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E#205 How to Develop a Magnetic Value Proposition

This episode is about how to develop a magnetic value proposition

A lot of coaches find it hard to really communicate the value of what they do in their marketing and craft a viable value proposition. Today, I want to unpack the ‘brand ladder’ with you – a helpful marketing tool that helps you define what motivates people to buy and craft a compelling value proposition that is guaranteed to attract new clients.

Before you develop any marketing strategies to get out there and start becoming known, liked and trusted to attract clients, you have to know what to say and how to describe the value of what you do. A solid brand ladder will make all the difference. It’s what will rocket fuel your opportunities.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is a Brand Ladder and Why Do You Need One?
* The Five Step Brand Ladder Process
* Crafting Your Value Proposition

What is a Brand Ladder and Why do You Need One?

In all marketing and advertising, we want to write, speak or engage with emotion and values that are aligned with what the clients want to feel and be, because this is appealing and attractive to them.

If you listened to my last episode, you might have heard me mention that 90% of a buying decision is based in emotion, and only 10% is based in logic.

So, how do you create that emotively based value proposition?

Brand laddering is one exercise to help you uncover the right language to develop your value proposition. This tool helps you to unpack the mental and emotional process your potential client goes through as they are becoming engaged to buy, and it leverages coaching concepts including positive psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and unpacking the “why behind the why”.

They start from outlining your service’s most important feature, then it’s benefits, the emotional value to the person, and how those benefits and values might change someone’s life.

The Five-Step Brand Ladder Process

Let’s walk through the five-step brand ladder process, so you can use this to create compelling copy and a rock-solid value proposition that is irresistible to potential clients.

Bottom Rung – Features

Features are the factual statements about your service, about what it can do or what it includes, and why it’s the best choice.

This rung answers the question – “so what is this program, and who is it for?”

If your service is a coaching program, then factual statements might include:

· Weight loss program tailored to women in their 40’s

· 8-week, evidence-based program to help you reduce stress at work

You can hear the points of difference here – firstly both are specific to a problem, the weight loss program is tailored to a specific group, or the 8-week program is evidence-based.

These types of statements speak about the strengths or differences of your service and therefore why it is a better choice.

You will notice that the wording is specific, not general. That way there’s no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding. This is important for all rungs of the ladder.

Second Rung – Functional Benefits

Next are the functional benefits that these features provide. These are the end results of what the service can accomplish for your client.

This rung answers the question – “so what do I get?” or “what’s in it for me?”

Functional benefits are things that help people to:

– Stay connected – e.g. friends, family, socially

– Save money – e.g. reduce time, add value, track success, reduce costs

– Make you smarter – e.g. build skills, support, information, step-by-step process

– Help you be healthier – e.g. prevent, restore, mental health, lose weight, exercise

– Work better for you – e.g. faster, safer, evidence based

– Help you take action – e.g. awareness, motivation, confidence

– Simplify your life – e.g. efficient, easier, time-saving, streamlined, organised.

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· Making simple changes to your eating habits to help you achieve a healthy weight

· Learning how to better manage your schedule and leave work on time, so you can switch off more easily and have the energy for friends, family and fitness after work.

Notice once again that the language is specific to the client and what their daily life experience might involve. Market research and conversations with your client can help you get there.

Third Rung – Emotional Benefits

Next are the emotional benefits that these functional benefits provide.

This rung answers the question – “how will this make me feel?”

It’s a bit like peeling off another layer of the why in a first coaching session, asking “so if you were to achieve that vision, how would you feel?”

Emotional benefits are commonly things like:

  • Curiosity for knowledge – e.g. competent, smarter, aware
  • Sense of optimism – e.g. motivated, successful, inspired, special
  • Feeling comfortable – e.g. relaxed, nurtured, compassionate
  • Feeling free – e.g. alive, excited, exhilarated
  • Getting noticed – e.g. playful, popular, sexy
  • Feeling liked or self-assured – e.g. friendly, happy, fulfilled, confident, empowered
  • Staying in control – e.g. respect, safe, trust, reliable
  • Feeling myself/my values – e.g. honest, standards, purpose, family, authentic
  • Feeling revitalised – e.g. active, more energized, youthful, getting the old me back
  • Having a sense of pride – e.g. leadership, overcoming, accomplishment

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· This program is designed to help you feel more confident, comfortable in your own skin and aligned with your values

· By mastering your work schedule, you’ll feel more in control of your time, gain a sense of achievement and have a more relaxed time with the ones you love.

Notice how we are tapping into the client’s aspirations here. We are not promising that the program does this – we are saying how they might feel if they can get on top of their obstacles.

Working with your niche clients to help them create a vision can help you to work out these ‘feeling words’ more specifically.

Fourth Rung – Transformational Benefits

Next are the transformational benefits that are possible when a client can make lasting change.

This rung answers the question – “how will this change my life?”

This is like peeling off yet another layer of the why in a first coaching session, asking “Why is this vision so meaningful for you?”

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· I’ll be a better, healthier role model for my kids and know that I am doing the best for my health

· I’ll have better, more meaningful relationships with my family, have more fun in life, and perform better at work.

Notice how we are tapping into the client’s deeper values and motivators here. Reflect on how you feel even just listening to these transformational benefits!

(Sometimes) Fifth Rung – Social Impact

Some brand ladders have another layer – related to social impact of the company or even of the person using the company’s services.

This rung answers the question – “how does this change society?”

In a coaching context, this might only really apply to specific niches, but it could also speak to the values of your business and it’s greater mission in the world.

For example:

· XYZ Coaching is on a mission to put an end to diabetes and other avoidable lifestyle diseases. This is your chance to be part of the change and inspire your friends and family with healthier choices for a healthy weight.

· Burnout is a global problem. For every program purchased, we will donate $10 to Beyond Blue, an organisation that supports and advocates for better mental health.

By now, your potential client will feel on a high and be excited to work with you!

Crafting Your Value Proposition

So, how do you use this information to craft a value proposition?

It’s about pulling together the key elements of the ladder into something that speaks to the value of what you do.

Using the weight loss example:

If you’re a woman in your 40’s who is struggling to lose weight, XYZ coaching will take you through a step-by-step process to make weight loss easier. You’ll finally start to feel more comfortable in your own skin and be the role model you want to be for your family.

Using the stress management example:

If you’re sick of feeling overwhelmed by workplace stress, this evidence-based program will help you to manage your time better and feel more energized so you can switch off more easily and have more quality time with the people and things you love.

Summary

The brand ladder exercise is a great tool to help you unpack a statement that truly conveys the value of what you do – your value proposition – and taps into your prospective client’s emotional drivers.

You can build a brand ladder using the words your clients use in their initial vision sessions, by peeling off the layers of the why.

Assuming that you have the best intentions for your client and will do your best as a coach, this is an authentic way to get excited about what you do and the difference you can make in the world.

It helps you to stand out and be emotionally engaging to the right people.

And if you get this right, you’ll easily have more clients heading your way.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#204 How to Better Explain What You Do So You Can Attract More Paying Clients

This episode is about how to better explain what you do so you can attract more paying clients

A lot of coaches have trouble explaining what they do, what health coaching is and how it works. And that’s why I want to get a bit ranty today. We’ll talk about the #1 reason why you may NOT be getting the leads you want, and how best to explain what you do so that you can confidently speak to people and attract more paying clients.

Advocacy vs Niche Marketing

I want to start this episode by talking about advocacy versus niche marketing. The problem I see is that a lot of coaches are so stuck on telling people what health and wellness coaching is BUT they’re not really communicating the value of health and wellness coaching. Let me explain

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Advocacy vs Niche Marketing
* Appealing to Emotions
* Brand Laddering
* How to Attract Paying Clients

For starters, people buy things that they believe will get them a result.

But if you are trying to explain your services in terms of how your profession works, then you’re not really talking about how you help the individual or the results they will get.

For example, imagine a doctor explaining how doctors work. He might say something like:

“Well, patients come to see me when they’re not feeling well. They come in and make an appointment and then we sit down and go through the health history, and I work out what’s going on with them now and I may prescribe medication or treatment that will help them to get better. They might come and see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure everything’s been resolved and that’s how being a doctor works.”

Now, I know that’s a really obvious example, but it illustrates what some coaches are trying to do when they’re explaining Health and Wellness coaching to people.

When you talk about helping clients to set visions and create goals and make lifestyle change, then you’re talking much more about how professionals in our industry work within a session with a client.

For the sake of clarity, let’s call this type of explanation “advocacy”.

The term fits pretty well with the dictionary definition of advocacy, which is “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending; active espousal.”

How do you know if you’re going down the road of ‘advocacy’ in your marketing?

Well, your copy would include words that focus more on our profession. The language you use would be broader and perhaps more about you as a coach. If you are using more thinking, factual or logical words to describe what you do. He might be also talking about qualifications and standards, professional affiliations, or the science behind what you do.

Let’s be clear – There is a role for advocacy in your marketing particularly if you are talking to other health professionals for the sake of building relationships to gain referrals. But you are not likely to get clients this way directly, because you were not speaking to them emotively in their language.

This is why I’d like to talk about niche marketing now.

Niche marketing is very different to advocacy. In niche marketing, your language focuses more on person, not the profession. You’re using more feeling words and specifically, the words that your clients used to describe their pain points and desired feeling-based solutions. You’re talking about their unmet needs, their perceived problem, how that plays out in their daily life, their desired solution and your value proposition. As a refresher, a value proposition is defined as a basic statement that communicates the benefit you promise to deliver to your customers post purchase.

This is how the hypothetical doctor might discuss his value proposition to a prospective client.

“I’m a Doctor who specialises in helping people who have just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes. I understand that being diagnosed with this might be a shock and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you are confused about your treatment options, mediation and their side effects, or which areas of your health require attention.

I understand how worrying this can be, especially with your work and family responsibilities at this time of your life. As someone who has treated metabolic conditions for 10 years, I am here to help you to navigate your condition, understand what’s going on in your body and take action to prevent the progression of this condition by taking action to lower your cholesterol, reduce your waist circumference, normalise your liver function and improve your physical and mental health.”

Can you hear the difference in the language? Of course, doctors don’t usually describe their work like that or use emotive language.

But if you had a metabolic condition and you heard those two descriptions, one based in more advocacy language and one about the challenges that someone with metabolic syndrome faces, which one would be more appealing?

Which one of those doctors would you trust more?

Appealing to Emotions

As I mentioned earlier, if you want to explain what you do really clearly and in a way that grabs attention then it’s important that you appeal to their emotions. And to appeal to someone’s emotions, talk with emotional words about things that they are emotionally engaged with.

You want to tell a story, but not just any story – you want to tell the niche client’s personal story.

You want to use descriptive and emotive words, and real examples of what the person might be thinking, living, experiencing and feeling. This portrays your understanding of them as a person and not just as a prospective client. This naturally brings a flavour of empathy, compassion, understanding and relatability to your words and messages.

Imagine how confident you’d feel knowing you had something that engaged people at their very heart and soul!

Brand Laddering

So how do you work out how to describe what you do in a more emotive way?

Brand laddering is one exercise you can do to bring more emotive language into your marketing copy, and to make it more about the person than about your profession. I will talk about that in the next episode, but the premise is that it helps you peel of the why’s behind the service.

It helps you to unpack the mental and emotional process your potential client goes through as they are becoming engaged to buy.

It works just like our very own coaching process of exploring the whys. As coaches, we explore a client’s challenge and desired solution with them by asking several why-type questions to uncover their values, motivators and drivers.

More in the next episode! But first, let’s back up a step and talk about a four step process to help you improve the way you describe your services to potential clients.

How to Better-Attract Paying Clients

If you want to get better at attracting paying clients, you will need to switch out of advocacy marketing and into niche marketing.

Here are four steps to better-explain how you work, and more easily engage paying clients.

1. Conduct LIVE market research interviews with your niche to hear what they are emotional about, and to hear the words they use to describe their problem, desired results and bigger why outcomes.

2. Create a brand ladder that captures the key words from these interviews, moving beyond the ‘features’ of what you do and into the emotional and transformational benefits.

3. Use this to craft a value proposition that clearly explains the tangible emotional benefits that your niche client wants.

4. Ask some of your niche clients for feedback on the value proposition. Why do they like it or why not? What does it mean to them? What would be more appealing, if anything?

Engaging people in your niche for feedback is ALWAYS, 100%, the best way to get your marketing copy, your explanation of what you do, and any descriptions of your services, spot on.

If in doubt – contact a business or marketing coach for support!

Summary

Today we talked about what coaches typically do wrong when describing what they do as a profession, and why it doesn’t work.

We compared the more factual, profession-based ‘advocacy’ approach to marketing, versus the more emotive, client-focused niche marketing approach.

Your ability to attract clients is all about appealing to their emotions. If you want to attract more paying clients, try following my four step process:

1. Conduct market research interviews with your niche

2. Create a brand ladder to draw out the more emotional, why-based words

3. Develop a value proposition using more emotive, client-focused words

4. Practice it on your niche before sharing your insights in your marketing

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#203 The Ultimate Guide to Health Coaching Prices

This episode is about the ultimate guide to health coaching prices

If you are a health coach and want to know how much to charge as a health and well-being coach, you’re in the right place. By the end of this episode, you’ll be clear on how to set health coaching prices that you’re comfortable to charge, and that are good value to your clients.

You know what it’s like when you start working as a health and wellness coach. You’re about to launch your business, and you have no idea of what to charge.

You look at all the other coaches out there and see coaches charging wildly different amounts – where do you even start with working out coaching pricing?

Let’s dive into this very important topic and help you get your pricing right so you can launch your business with confidence and certainty that you’ll find clients who are willing to pay you for your coaching programs and packages.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Health Coaching Pricing 101
* Perceived Value
* The Goldilocks Method
* Getting Your Pricing Right

Health Coaching Pricing 101

There are a few things to consider when it comes to pricing your health coaching services.

Which market are you targeting?

For any service or product, there are pricing ‘norms’ for different markets. In coaching, we could broadly consider four markets:

  1. Corporate
  2. Private niche clients
  3. Healthcare/Integrative Medicine, and
  4. Medical

I have listed them in this order on purpose – businesses or people with higher disposable income tend to pay more for health coaching services, or buy in bigger volume, or both.

In this list, I’ve put corporate clients at the top of the pricing tree as organisations will likely pay more and/or buy more to keep their employees healthy.

Next are private niche clients – those that are not covered under the corporate banner, they tend to have a specific health problem they want to solve and would rather seek support from an independent specialist rather than go to a doctor. Remember, a niche is defined as a group of people with a big problem they will pay to solve, and they generally pay more per session or package compared to people who have fewer big drivers for change.

Next are healthcare/integrative medicine clients. They typically have a big health problem to solve and are seeing multiple professionals to get support, to get to the bottom of things. They’re motivated to pay for a solution that will help them manage their condition but they might also be spreading their available spend across multiple health practitioners.

Finally, there is coaching in a medical setting. People who go to doctors and are referred are more likely to be lower income earners, possibly less motivated to make lifestyle change, and/or looking to get Medicare or Private Health rebates (not willing to pay as much as other cohorts).

If we take these four broad markets as a starting point, it’s pretty clear that there are different levels of motivation to buy, size of problem, and abilities to pay.

Their Demographic and Personality

As a layer over the target market, there is also the type of person you’re dealing with.

Certain demographics have higher disposable income, and they’re the types of personality who are already spending on other health services like massage, PT, supplements, food delivery services etc. This combination of demographics and personality will more likely spend money on coaching with fewer objections – if they can see the value.

Other people have very little disposable income and may be reluctant or simply unable to pay very much for coaching services. They’d more likely pursue the medical/Medicare route.

And regardless of income, some people are penny pinchers, some people have a victim mentality, and some people value health above all else and will do anything to improve it.

There are a lot of demographic and personality factors that affect someone’s willingness to pay for coaching services, no matter what the price.

Perceived Value and Pricing Psychology

Perceived value is a very important factor in setting pricing for health coaching packages and programs. A potential client’s mindset is that something must be ‘worth the money’ – meaning it must ‘give me the result I want’ and it also ‘must be proven to work’.

People are suspicious of anything that’s too cheap compared to the market rate. Cheap generally means ineffective, inexperienced or unqualified – or that a person doesn’t value or back themselves.

Think about how that affects trust, rapport and relationship!

There’s a saying that goes, ‘nobody wants free kittens’ which is really saying that there must be something wrong with it if it’s free or very low cost.

People are also wary of anything that’s too expensive. Part of this mindset is that the person thinks about what they stand to lose if they don’t succeed! This is a double-edged sword, because while a higher price implies greater skill, knowledge and specialisation, people who buy health coaching services usually lack confidence in themselves because they’ve failed before – and what if this doesn’t work for them?

What does this mean for you?

It means that as a coach, you need to be very clear on your value proposition – who your program or package is for (the niche), what problem it helps them to solve, how much they might save as a result of doing this program, what they will avoid, and what they will gain.

The value proposition outlines why your program or package is worth the money. Your VP includes:

– a list of benefits of what they get (not the features)

– your level of specialisation (niche clarity, lived experience and/or specificity) which conveys “perceived expertise”

– words that your niche clients commonly use, including ‘feeling words’,

– clear explanation of your process or system

– an outline of results (that they want, and including testimonials to back you up)

– a way of making it easier for them (process, money-back guarantee etc).

The Goldilocks Method of Pricing

I have done a whole episode on the Goldilocks method of pricing and I teach this in Passion to Profit.

It’s basically this:

– price too low and you’ll feel resentful and half-hearted about servicing your clients, and they won’t take you seriously

– price too high and you’ll feel scared to ask for the money, and your potential clients might have too many objections

– price just right, and you and your clients will both think your services are great value for money – and you will both ‘buy in’ wholeheartedly.

So, what do you charge for health coaching? Here’s a pricing guide for health coaches.

Getting Your Pricing Right

The common ways that coaches price their services are as follows. These pricing structures are relevant for both 1:1 coaching and group coaching:

– hourly or per session rate (fixed period of time or ongoing)

– price per program (fixed period of time)

– price per package (fixed period of time)

– monthly price with fixed number of sessions (e.g. membership style)

I’ll just distinguish between these options so you know what they are.

Single sessions, charged per session or hour, are typically either for an introductory needs assessment (as a one-off) or as ad-hoc sessions. Ad-hoc sessions can be offered after a program or package has finished, or as an up-sell within a membership.

A program is a set number of consecutive sessions, e.g. 8-week program, 12-week program, 6 month program with either weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions or some combination of these.

A lot of people use the word program and package interchangeably.

I prefer to define a package as a program of some kind for a fixed period, but with other value-adds bundled in, for a higher price. For example, you package up a coaching program with 4 PT session, or a wellbeing journal and water bottle, or some other combination of services, products, ebooks etc. A package might have a more flexible time period within which it can be used.

A monthly membership implies a set monthly fee on an ongoing basis, with a certain number of group coaching sessions, and usually along with some educational or other content housed in an online social media platform, learning platform or shared folder (e.g. Google Drive).

Basically, the more you include, the higher the price.

So, how much does a health coach charge per hour?

A lot of new coaches think about pricing ‘by the hour’ or session, because we get used to the idea of ‘hourly rates’ as employees and customers.

A better way to go is value-based pricing, where you sell several sessions of coaching for one price, not based on hourly rates, but based on the value of the outcome to the client.

These are general guidelines, but you must work out your pricing in terms of:

1. your income goals,

2. how niched or specialised you are,

3. how experienced you are,

4. what you are comfortable to charge, and

5. how much proof of success you have.

After all, people are buying results, and the better coach you are and the more proof you have of success, the more likely people will pay you for your coaching services.

The best question to ask yourself is this – ‘If I were a prospective client coming to my own business, would I pay that amount of money for this program to get those types of results?’

Summary

There’s a lot of factors to consider when working out coaching pricing, and it comes down to a few key areas.

If you want to build a viable business, select a market that will pay enough money for and value the services you want to offer.

Next, decide on what type of service you want to offer.

Finally, make sure you create a compelling value proposition for your services so that both you and your prospective clients feel good about the exchange of value – that is, your services for their money.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#202 Should I Show Pricing on My Website?

This episode is about should I show pricing on my website?

This is a question that comes up a lot – should I show pricing on my website, or is it better to not have pricing on my website? This episode covers the pros and cons and helps you make this decision.

Recently in my Passion to Profit course, I had a conversation with my current students on whether to include pricing on your website. We had a great brainstorm on the topic including how individuals felt if they were in the customer’s shoes, and I wanted to share some of the insights here.

What do your clients like?

The really easy way to figure this out is to ask your existing clients or practice clients what their opinion is. A client-centric business always starts with this approach.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Getting client feedback
* Price Lists on Websites – Benefits and Inclusions
* Why you might not include pricing on your website

You can either send them a direct message, email or even have a conversation with them and just say “hey, I’m winding whether to include pricing on my website. Would this make a difference to you?” Done just ask any clients, ask your favourite clients. After all, you want more of those, so their opinion matters more!

If you don’t have any clients yet, then think about your own buying preferences, after all, your ideal client is probably a lot like you are in terms of their values.

Imagine that you were going to buy a coaching program from somebody, and you were looking on their website to see what their packages were all about. Would it make a difference if there was pricing there, or not?

Price List on Websites – Benefits, and What to Include

What are some of the upsides of including pricing on your website?

Well for starters, it might seem like you are more authentic, and have nothing to hide. It might seem like you’re very upfront and honest.

Most people assess value based on typical outcomes or results, but pricing is often part of the decision, especially if the person doesn’t know you very well or doesn’t have enough proof or trust that you can help them actually succeed and get results.

If you are going to include pricing on your website, you’d need to make a few things clear. These include things like:

1. What is included in the price (features written as benefits)

2. What are the different package and pricing options? (not too many)

3. What are the payment options?

Let’s unpack these a bit.

What’s included in the price

When we are talking about what is included, it’s tempting to think about features, like workbooks, coaching sessions, etc. And while these are all valuable things, there are ways to describe them that communicate the value clearly.

I call these ‘features written as benefits’. This is where you list a feature and explain why it’s important.

Here are two examples:

1. 8 x 1:1 coaching sessions to give you the support, self-awareness and accountability you need to work out what to do, problem-solve, celebrate wins and become consistent

2. A 20-page workbook to help you develop an action plan, stay motivated and see results

Doesn’t that sound way more exciting than just saying ‘8 coaching sessions and a 20-page workbook’?

I would use this as full descriptive text that goes into detail of what the program includes.

In keeping with consumer protection law, please make sure you are not promising a result that you can’t deliver. Rather, talk about how the feature is intended to help them.

Packaging and pricing options

In terms of pricing options, if you decide to show pricing on your website, make it really clear as to what’s included in each option so the person can see how they’re different.

It’s helpful to include a diagram showing three options and listing what’s included in each.

You can also outline what the market retail price for each option is, and what you are selling it for (e.g. valued at $900, price is $600). This highlights the value of what you are offering without discounting (stay away from that!)

People normally choose the middle of three options, and this is typically your core or main program.

Payment options

In terms of payment options, if you are going to put pricing on your website, it’s important that people know how you will charge them and whether there are options.

For example, is it one payment up front, or three easy payments, or something else?

Sometimes people are interested but don’t have the money upfront, so would potentially buy if they knew there was a payment plan available.

You don’t have to offer a payment plan! And if you do, make sure you have clear terms and conditions, and make it easy for them. This is a whole other podcast, for sure!

Why You Might Not List Pricing on Websites, and What to Include

There may be circumstances where you don’t want to put pricing on your website, and that’s totally ok.

Firstly, a person who sees pricing listed on your website might decide then and there, based on price that they don’t want to work with you – before you have any chance to talk to them about their needs and wants.

That means you potentially lose a customer. Of course, if they are price driven, they might not be the customer you want to work with!

Another consideration is that your program options might be fairly customised and it could be too difficult to communicate easily on a website or landing page.

For example, you might have two or three options for a package that really require an understanding of the person in order for them to make the right choice, so a conversation is necessary first.

Similarly, there might be pre-requisites for a client to complete before they work with you. For example, with my weight loss program DownsizeMe, I required all clients to have a health clearance from their GP before signing up, and that might dictate whether they would buy the program at all, and/or which option is best. I also had this program available via licensees in other states who might have charged different prices, so I didn’t list the price on the website.

If you don’t list pricing on your website, then what should you include?

There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but there are a few things I think are essential to still get enquiries for your services.

Firstly, lots of recent, positive testimonials or ratings are a good starting point. This tells the reader that a lot of people have succeeded as a result of your program, and what they liked about the program. It gets them hopeful and excited, and shifts them into the mindset of ‘value buying’ rather than ‘price buying’.

Secondly, you might like to explain why you don’t list pricing. For example, saying that there are pre-requisites, or options that can be highly customised, or other reasons, would be important to allay any fears of ‘hard sales’ in your website visitor.

Thirdly, you still need to communicate the benefits, value and comparison of your program options, indicating where any tailoring might occur. At least people can see what they’re getting for their money, and you are shifting them into that value-buying mindset.

Fourth, the way you position the enquiry is important. I provide a booking link to a 30-minute good fit call or give them the option to send a contact me message. In my reply, I tell them it’s a chance to see if they’re suitable and if we have the right chemistry – if not, I will be honest and refer them to someone else, rather than set them up for failure. This feels really authentic to me and has been accepted by everyone who has followed this pathway. And there are several I’ve said no to!

Fifth, it can be helpful to put a short video of you on your website (or at least some bullet list points) explaining why you developed this program and who it’s for, and not for. This helps people see that you’re not just desperate for anyone and that you truly are seeking a good fit and to work with the right person – that way, they are more likely to succeed and you’ll both be happy.

Finally, if you want to, you can provide an indicative price range or a statement like ‘programs start from $ (amount)’ so the reader at least has a ballpark guide. This can be effective for getting them over the line.

Summary

It was interesting to have a discussion with my Passion to Profit students on whether to include pricing on your website or not.

We discussed:

· The benefits of including pricing on your website

· The reasons why you might not show pricing on your website, and

· Things to include in either case to position your services and options appropriately.

If you need help with pricing, reach out to me via my contact page for a good fit call.

For enquiries about my Passion to Profit course, click here.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#199 How Does Diet Impact Mental Health

This episode is about how does diet impact mental health

In the 20th Century, we have seen global shifts in dietary intakes, with people eating more sugary, fatty, high-energy food and snack foods, and a decrease in fibre-rich and nutrient-dense foods, especially in younger generations and those who are ‘busy’ and looking for convenience.

But what impact does diet have on mental health?

Today I want to explore the latest research that links diet and mental health, and to discuss some opportunities for health coaching in this space.

 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Global Research from Nutritional Psychiatry
* What the Research Means for Mental Health
* How Employers Can Support Better Nutritional Health

Nutrition and Mental Health – Global Research from Nutritional Psychiatry

We know that many ‘common’ mental health disorders are associated with chronic health conditions. We also know that lifestyle behaviours including eating habits are intrinsically linked to physical health. Recent research is defining these relationships and revealing opportunities to improve mental health through diet.

Nutritional psychiatry is an emerging field that recognises the consistent link between better quality diets and a reduced risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.

Most of us are familiar with the longevity and good mental health associations with Blue Zone diets – think the centenarians from Ikaria and Okinawa – and this association is supported by research. Here are some examples.

A study of Norwegian men and women who followed a traditional Norwegian diet reported more favourable mental health compared to those on a typical Western diet, even after adjustment for variables including age, education, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption (1).

An Australian study of 8,660 healthy men and women showed that a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with lower psychological distress as measured by a K10 score (2).

A systematic review of both observational and interventional studies of nutrition and bipolar disorder found that the intake of certain nutrients is associated with a reduction of bipolar disorder

symptoms. Those nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid and zinc. Promising results were also indicated for coenzyme Q10 and probiotics (3).

Many studies show that lower socioeconomic circumstances partly explain poor eating habits and depressive symptoms, but there is also evidence that depression is directly associated with long-term exposure to an unhealthy diet, independent of socioeconomic status (4).

What Does This Mean for Mental Health?

Medication, exercise and psychological intervention are well-known approaches that play an important role in treating and managing mental health disorders.

The research findings from nutritional psychiatry show that healthy eating is another impactful ingredient in maintaining brain health and mental health. It is important that we recognise these links with the rise in mental health disorders and body weight during the Covid 19 pandemic, and, that we apply these learnings in practice.

To that end, it is promising to see that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry guidelines (2020) and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (UK) guidelines (2022) now recommend dietary improvement and other lifestyle modifications as a foundational treatment for mood disorders.

This is a positive starting point to augment the existing approaches to mental health. Yet there is still more that can be done on a day-to-day basis to improve eating habits and food choices toward better health, lifestyle and productivity.

Can Employers Play a Role in Better Eating Habits?

Dietary changes typically happen in our own households or via a medical setting, but there are also opportunities for workplaces to be involved in improving eating habits of the workforce for better mental wellbeing, productivity, focus, concentration and general health.

These days, it is an employee’s market with thousands of job vacancies on the market. This means that employees are looking for workplace benefits to entice them into a workplace, or to make it worth their while staying in an existing workplace.

Any opportunity to improve health could be seen as a value add, and a sign that the employer cares about their workforce.

What might this look like in a workplace?

Well, assuming you would do a needs assessment first and find out what sort of service is desired, there are a few ways you can package up your services for a corporate market. In other words, there are a variety of ways you can add value to workplaces in terms of employee nutrition.

Firstly, educational and coaching programs can be offered to any employees to help them understand the benefits of healthy eating and to empower employees to develop of healthier eating habits. If you don’t have a dietetics or nutrition qualification, education can be based around published government guidelines in an interactive, workshop style arrangement.

If you’re working with a rural or remote workplaces where the workplace provides meal, one offering you could make is to help them develop a strategy to improve the nutritional quality of foods on offer at the workplace and reduce the availability of unhealthy options. This is an important consideration where employees don’t have access to healthy food other than at the workplace.

Routine medical clearance and fitness for work checks can monitor body weight and waist-to-hip ratio as one indicator of nutritional health and can facilitate referral to a dietician or health coach to support behaviour change. Partnering with the EAP or medical service that the employer uses is another way to add value to the company.

In some cases, running workplace challenges can also offer individuals the chance to improve their nutrition in a supportive team environment.

Of course, individual coaching is also appropriate as an on-sell from or adjunct to any of these types of initiatives.

The evidence is clear – eating habits play a significant role in brain health and mental health.

And aside from medical and psychological support programs, there are many other opportunities for coaches to help organisations to improve the eating habits of their workforce, and consequently, improve their quality of life, health and work performance.

The Opportunity for Coaches

If you are a coach running a business that focuses on either nutrition, mental health or both, there are opportunities for you to approach workplaces to implement education and coaching strategies that will boost employee health, wellbeing, focus, productivity and performance.

Citing the statistics and research is a great way to position your services to employers and gain their buy in. It answers the ‘what’s in it for me’ question – why should I invest in your services?

Summary

Today we covered some of the groundbreaking research in nutritional psychiatry that demonstrates the links between nutrition and mental health.

I also talked about some opportunities for employers to have an impact on employee wellbeing – especially important in times when employers are trying desperately to retain their talent.

By presenting the facts and figures on the impact of nutrition on mental health and performance, and by outlining affordable opportunities for employers to offer a value add, you can position your coaching business to enter the corporate space more easily.

If you have questions on this episode, hit me up on my contact page.

(1) Jacka, F.N et. al (2011). The association between habitual diet quality and the common mental disorders in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21715296/

(2) Hodge, A. et al (2013) Patterns of dietary intake and psychological distress in older Australians: benefits not just from a Mediterranean diet. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23199436/

(3) Fernanda, C Gabriel et al. (2022). Nutrition and bipolar disorder: a systematic review. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1028415X.2022.2077031

(4) Jacka, F.N et al. (2014) Dietary patterns and depressive symptoms over time: examining the relationships with socioeconomic position, health behaviours and cardiovascular risk. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24489946/

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#198 The Impact and Potential of Health and Wellness Coaching

This episode is about the impact and potential of health and wellness coaching

The recent HCANZA conference showcased some of our leading innovators and impactful coaches, as well as the impact and potential of health and wellness coaching. This article summarises how health and wellness coaching is at the cutting edge of health behaviour change in a variety of contexts, and how huge the opportunity is right now for qualified health and wellness coaches.

The inaugural HCANZA conference on June 2-3, 2022 was an incredible opportunity for like minded graduate and professional health and wellness coaches to come together and learn about opportunities for our profession. The conference was made possible by the incredible work by HCANZA Chair Linda Funnell-Milner, whose tireless efforts (supported by the board and leadership team) ensured that everything ran like clockwork.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The Award Winners
* The Speakers
* The Networking Opportunities

The conference kicked off on the evening of Thursday 2 June with a cocktail party, a keynote address from Grant Schofield, and an awards ceremony which I was invited to MC.

The Award Winners

Let’s start by recognising the movers and shakers in our industry, in Australia and New Zealand. The awards winners were:

1. Giovanna Stewart: Best Emerging coach of the year

Giovanna is a dietician who is gaining success by combining her dietetic expertise with client-focused coaching skills.

2. Jaala Dyer: Coach of the year in a clinic setting –

Jaala has developed a collaborative and creative platform for the most important chronic disease drivers that many in our communities face, and it is now being shared across the wider community.

3. Karina Morris (WCA graduate): Health & Wellness Coach Advocacy Award

Karina shows dedication in delivering coaching to a truly underserved population within the disability community, showing both courage and leadership to take Health and Wellness Coaching to areas that will make a significant difference to people’s lives. Karina is striving to have Health and Wellness Coaching recognised as a professional service within the NDIS that can be funded under many other parallel funding-based systems.

4. The Change Room (employs WCA graduates): Business Achievement Award

The Change Room has successfully adapted to the challenge of Covid and has created and provided resources for the unprecedented health and wellbeing issues arising in this time both for the individual and for organisations. They have adapted their use of technology to facilitate the ongoing

delivery of their core mission – supporting clients involved with return to work via insurance company funding.

5. Sharon Tomkins: Health & Wellness Coach of the Year

Sharon demonstrates committed to ongoing learning and training, individualises her client programs according to needs, and has engaged in many models of delivery and has been active running community programs. Sharon clearly works collaboratively with other health practitioners and shows leadership in her role of training health coaches.

6. Brad Hulcomb: Outstanding Contribution to Health

Brad is an influencer across multiple layers – medical, coaching and sports – and has impacted many on his journey, from his medical work to his ski instructing to now his health coaching. As the director of the Urgent Care Clinic on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu ski field, he led doctors, nurses and radiographers providing high-quality care in austere environments. He ran medical conferences to provide participants with more than just knowledge, but also focus on their own well-being. He is also a coach trainer with PreKure. He is someone who walks the talk.

As you can see, there are many ways that health and wellness coaches can have an impact, and these are just a few – the top six of over 50 coaches nominated for these inaugural awards.

The Speakers

On Friday, the audience was treated to a jam-packed day with speakers from different realms sharing knowledge and innovation from the coaching front.

Session 1 was about thinking big and exploring the possibilities.

Michael Arloski talked about how important it is to deepen our craft – and he discussed the concept of craftsmanship, which is very close to my own heart. Michael says that in the face of global well-being challenges that our clients face, we can double down by focusing on masterful coaching and staying within our scope of practice. Practice, patience and presence are required to become good at what we do, and focusing on this will help us to deliver incredible value to our clients.

Paul Taylor presented a summary of his new book ‘Death by Comfort’ – why modern life is killing us and what we need to do about it. Paul discussed some of the latest research around the benefits of ‘uncomfortable’ things like exercise, cold therapy and heat therapy, and how they can truly improve quality of life and longevity.

Suzie Carmack talked about creating value as a coach, and about building your personal brand and business with a portfolio career. A portfolio career is the idea of having multiple income streams as a coach, but also organising your days and working in batches to avoid burnout.

Session 2 shared exemplars of partnerships from the field.

We heard from Grant Schofield, Troy Morgan, Dr Sandra Scheinbaum, Bee Pennington and Sam McBride.

The speakers illustrated various ways in which coaches can build and leverage partnerships to build their businesses and have an impact.

One thing was definitely clear – as a coach, we need to engage our target market and build relationships there to truly understand their needs, before going in to ‘sell’ anything. It is truly relationships that give coaching a platform to really shine and make a difference.

Troy Morgan discussed two ways to succeed in corporate – firstly, to develop strong partnerships with all stakeholders, and secondly, to collect data that proves the impact and value of the work you are doing. Those two things can make you indispensable within an organisation.

Sam McBride’s ‘Men’s Muster’ in NZ was a particularly interesting example of how to engage men with the idea of health behaviour change, with a little beer and a lot of engaging outdoor activities.

Session 3 was about breaking business ground.

David Carroll, myself, Philippa Flowerday and Michelle Yandle discussed how coaches can establish thriving businesses in a variety of contexts.

We explored different models that can create income and add value, and discussed coaching success in organisations, workplaces, communities and solo businesses.

Michelle showcased a unique ‘ Empowered Eating’ model that is based in the ancient wisdom of her ancestors, and which is relevant to the issues upstream of eating – family,

A key message is that being specific about the problem that you want to solve, is the best and easiest way to build your business and have an impact.

Session 4, the final session, included speakers who are inspiring best practice and stepping into new specialty fields.

Dr Cam McDonald, Shivaun Conn, Sarah Rusbatch and Fiona Cosgrove talked about cutting-edge research and emerging niches in coaching.

Cam discussed the power of combining coaching and technology, focusing how we are extremely variable in terms of our exercise, nutrition, psychology and medication needs, and how digital metrics can identify and predict the needs of individuals so as to fine-tune their habits and protocols in these areas.

Shivaun talked about trauma-informed care – what it means and how to work with it and manage your own triggers as a coach. She explained the signs of a dysregulated nervous system (stuck ‘on’ or ‘off’) and the language that someone might use in either state, as signs that a coach could use to identify a need for referral or support.

Sarah outlined how (and why) her grey area drinking practice has skyrocketed in the past 14 months and shared the personal story behind her journey to becoming a grey area drinking coach. Her talk hit home with a lot of questions and commendations related to her work.

Fiona Cosgrove discussed her PhD research into the development and care of the health and wellness coach, and the four key areas that changed for coaches themselves during their coach training journey. These are self-knowledge and acceptance, better relationships, professional optimism, and personal health and wellness. Fiona’s was a fitting final session that pulled together the essence of the conference – that Health and Wellness Coaching has important impacts on both coaches and clients in terms of physical, mental and emotional health.

Networking Opportunities

The networking sessions created invaluable connections for all who attended. As the MC on the Thursday evening session, I invited everyone to introduce themselves to someone they hadn’t met before, to forge new connections.

By Friday, the ice was well and truly broken, and everyone was eagerly swapping contact details and sharing ideas in the breaks between speaking sessions. Several people were discussing opportunities to work together or to try the services of someone else. All in all, there was significant cross-pollination and the generation of new ideas.

Summary

The recent HCANZA conference was a huge success. It was an event that bought coaches together, showcased new and innovative research in our field, and highlighted coaches who are breaking ground and having an impact. Further, the conference showed that success is available to all who qualify in this field.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#197 Business Pivoting – Do I Need New Branding and Social Media Pages?

This episode is about business pivoting – do I need new branding and social media pages?

Recently I was asked whether pivoting your niche requires you to set up all new social medial profiles and pages, separate from your existing ones. Let’s talk through this today and summarise a few key points.

No matter who you are, when you start your business, it will take a long time before you truly, deeply understand your niche. Even if you have your own lived experience with your niche’s main problem, your experience of it will be different from theirs.

And as you know, being on a journey yourself means that more and more layers of the onion (as we call it in coaching) are peeled away revealing the true meaning and beliefs behind our habits, thoughts and actions.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is your brand?
* How to evolve your brand – Option 1 – the Tweak
* How to evolve your brand – Option 2 – the Happy Ending

And invariably, as you peel off those layers and learn more about yourself and your niche, you will likely become more specific about who your niche is. You may even pivot your niche because you finally understand who your best clients are or because you may have outgrown the niche clients that you started with, or realised that some aren’t as committed as others and you want to work with people who are totally all in.

What does this mean for your business?

In short – it probably means you need to rebrand.

What is your brand?

You’ve probably heard the word branding being used in a marketing sense. Your brand includes the images, personality, position, values and traits that your business is known for. Your brand is designed to attract the right type of customers to your business.

When you start your business you have an immature brand, because you have somewhat limited knowledge of your niche and ideal client.

Your brand matures and evolves as you get to know your ideal client.

What I mean by that is that you start using their language in your marketing, using more images that look like them, sharing personal anecdotes that resonate with them, and connecting more deeply. Maybe your customer journey has evolved.

As a result, you set up your website and social media accounts to appeal to those people.

So if you pivot your niche or evolve it substantially, what do you do with all those social media pages?

Do you create new pages and run them in parallel?

Do you move to a different social media platform?

Do you close everything down and relaunch?

How to evolve your brand – two options

Right up front I’ll be clear that I’m not an expert in this – but I have heard the same stories from some true experts.

And here’s the general agreement on how to do it.

Option 1 – Tweaks and specificity

Let’s start with option 1 – you’re going to be more specific or make some upgrades but essentially work with a similar type of client.

Start telling your people that things will be changing around here.

Let them know you still love your followers but they’ll notice you sprucing things up and maybe talking a bit differently or more specifically than you have in the past. Or let them know that you are having a complete change and revamping everything!

If you’re doing a similar version of what you currently do, then let them know that you’re still the same amazing business owner, and you’re still there to serve them as you are right now.

It’s great to email your list and send a personal message about the exciting new change, and create a similar version or a live or reel saying the same thing on social media. Repeat the messages over about a 4 week period so everyone hears about it.

Share your new vision and mission and be excited about it to generate momentum and get your audience Re engaged with you.

It’s important to also know that if your audience don’t feel connected to the new way of doing things, that’s ok, you won’t be offended if they unsubscribe or unfollow. After all, we all outgrow things in our lives, and that’s ok.

After the four weeks, you can start introducing your new branding, messaging and images and weaving it into your posts and communications.

Or, you can make it fun and create anticipation by counting down to a relaunch, and make an event out of it!

Option 2 – The Happy Ending

What if you’re totally pivoting to something completely different and no longer want to work with the old niche, or you’re discontinuing some services?

This is option 2, and it means you’ll need to break up with them, in a way, to draw a line in the sand and be very clear that you are making a complete change.

Still make the announcement and share your new vision, share stories about the good and bad times, and all the success, but draw a line in the sand.

Let them know whether there is a cutoff date at which old programs finish or a date at which you’ll wrap up with certain clients, or you might decide to continue working with some of your original clients simply because you love them.

Whatever you choose, make a clear decision and be transparent and consistent about it.

Don’t create false hope or set weak boundaries. Be honest and upfront about your plans. People will respect your honesty.

Someone who has done a full pivot really well is Denise Duffield Thomas. She ran lucky bitch boot camp for many years and then let everyone know she was closing it down and pivoting into a money mindset course. She closed down her old website and social pages and started fresh – and that makes sense if you are doing a complete and total rebrand into a different area.

Denise had a last hurrah celebration and a big goodbye, and everyone still loved her. Some people left, and some stuck with her, but everyone respected her efforts over the years and her honesty.

Summary

Today we talked about how to pivot your business in a way that is seamless and considerate of your audience – whether that pivot is minor or major.

There are a series of steps to take to make it work properly – but no matter what you do, consultation with the audience is an important part of pivoting without upsetting or losing your audience.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#196 Andy Hampson – Launching her Breast Cancer Coaching Business

This episode is about Andy Hampson – launching her breast cancer coaching business

Andy Hampson of the Inspire Network is on a mission to change lives. Andy has just launched her coaching business with a pilot program to bring out the best in breast cancer patients. Andy is leveraging her skills as a Practice Manager and her professional network to help patients she has previously supported, in a different and more inspiring way.

Connect with Andy https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-hampson-the-inspire-network/ 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* What her aspirations are

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#195 Danielle Dobson – Breaking the Gender Code

This episode is about Danielle Dobson – breaking the gender code

Danielle Dobson is hot property right now. As Author of the Gender Code, Professional speaker and executive coach, Danielle is making an impact in the corporate and small business worlds by helping women unlock their potential in leadership and life. In this episode, Danielle talks about her own career progression and Gender Code limitations, and how she broke through to create a successful business that is breaking ground and having an impact.

Connect with Danielle

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielledobsondna/ https://www.codeconversations.com.au/ 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What she’s doing now in her business
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* Challenges she overcame to succeed

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#194 Kristine Gardner Having an Impact With Metabolic Balance

This episode is about Kristine Gardner having an impact with metabolic balance

Kristine Gardener of Melbourne Wellness Coaching is a wellness coach, naturopath and Metabolic Balance Coach who is running a successful weight loss coaching business. But in the beginning, she wasn’t sure how to get traction and where to start. This interview uncovers her journey to success, and what it took to get there.

Connect with Kristine

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristine-gardener-consulting-coaching/ https://melbournewellnesscoaching.com.au/

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What she’s doing now in her business
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* Challenges she overcame to succeed

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on

E#193 Ruth Morgan: Creating Healthy Careers

This episode is about Ruth Morgan: creating healthy careers

Ruth Morgan of Creating Healthy Careers shares her insights and lessons in developing as a coach and creating a viable, inspiring business. Ruth is a coach, author and speaker who knows what it takes to create a more meaningful and purposeful career – and how to remove the blocks that get in the way.

In this interview, Ruth tells the story of how her business came to be, and how her own journey inspired her business.

Connect with Ruth https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruth-morgan-creatinghealthycareers/ https://creatinghealthycareers.com/

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What she’s doing now in her business
* Starting her business and the journey
* Her business traction point
* Challenges she overcame to succeed

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

Posted on

E#192 How to Network Effectively at Events

This episode is about how to network effectively at events

I have a slew of networking events coming up and I am mapping out my business and marketing goals for these events so I can network effectively and make the most of my time there. Today I’ll take you under the hood and share my top tips for effective networking at events.

If you’re like most people you might attend networking events, listen to the speakers or meet a few people, swap a few business cards and then go home. You might spend a lot of money or time to get there, for little or no return.

I want to walk you through a process to make the most of any networking events that you attend so that you do more than just show up – you learn how best to network effectively, exchange value and gain important insights that will help you grow personally and/or professionally.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Finding relevant events
* Starting with the Why – and Clear Goals
* Speakers and Attendees
* Breaking the Ice and Connecting
* How to follow up

Finding Relevant Events

It’s one thing to decide that you’ll attend events, but I suggest that you focus on finding truly relevant events that are going to give you the most impact on your business.

For example, it might be tempting to attend events that are short, cheap or purely online, when it actually might be better for you to attend live events or to pay more money for bigger or better events that will progress your business.

You’d be looking for events that interest you, are related to your specialty, and might link you with potential clients and/or referral partners. The idea is to maximise your exposure to quality people and good opportunities for collaboration, introduction to clients or professional visibility and reputation.

Most industries have lists of events that occur throughout the year. For example in coaching, you can find relevant events in a few different ways:

– Search online for ‘coaching conferences 2022’,

– Join a newsletter list of a coaching organisation that regularly hosts events e.g. HCANZA, ICF, Institute of Coaching, so you can see what’s coming up and find something relevant.

– find events in your niche area that might attract niche clients or collaborative businesses. o Event Brite is a good place to start o LinkedIn Events is another great option.

Start With the Why – and Clear Goals

There’s generally at least one good reason why you decide to attend a particular event.

Rather than just showing up to the event ‘because it’s interesting’ like a lot of people do, I encourage you to unpack all the whys for attending in advance. Doing this might help you to identify some marketing or other opportunities to make the most of your time at the event, which enables you to set some really clear goals for the event.

For example, I am presenting at or attending three events soon

– The Share Your Brilliance Online Summit (May 23 – 27) (Free tickets here!)

– The Digital Health Festival in Melbourne (May 31 – June 1), and

– the HCANZA Coaching Conference on the Gold Coast (June 2 – 3).

I have mapped out a why for each of these events so that I make the most of my attendance.

For example, I have three marketing goals for the Digital Health Festival:

1. To connect with like-minded people who are working to advance remote monitoring in mental health, so I can stay abreast of cutting edge knowledge that might help the company I work for (Philia Labs),

2. To meet some important networking contacts who can refer potential partners or investors, or who can provide support to Philia Labs, and

3. To secure a certain number of appointments for demonstrations of PhiliaLabs’ product.

Also, I have three goals for the HCANZA conference (tickets here!):

1. To inspire coaches in my presentation by explaining how to break ground and create an impact in your coaching businesses (with some great case studies)

2. To meet network connections and potential collaborators on digital health and women’s health projects I’m working on, and

3. To engage with my students and clients who I have only ever met online, catch up on their business progress and identify how I can best support them or connect them with opportunities.

For each event, I have worked out which people I want to talk to and how many follow up appointments I’d like to book.

Having these more specific targets means that I can show up and network purposefully and professionally and achieve some goals that will progress my business activities and growth

Speakers and Attendees

As you’ve heard with my goals, it’s great to identify both speakers and potential attendees at an event you will be attending.

For example, at Share Your Brilliance Summit, I have identified some wonderful speakers who could help me or my clients with different specialist areas of business.

At the Digital Health Festival in Melbourne, there are definitely speakers I want to talk to, but I also know that potential clients, competitors or collaborators might be wanting to see those same speakers. That means I’ll be primed to network with the audience at some of those presentations.

Breaking the Ice and Connecting

It’s one thing to attend an event and identify people you want to meet – but on the day, you need to be clear and confident about how you will approach them! It’s great to think about some interesting ice-breakers to start conversations and to practice your elevator pitch, so you feel ready and confident with engaging.

Check out the link in the episode notes.

Once you get past that first hurdle of breaking the ice, then you’re ready for connection – simply put your coaching hat on and ask, listen and reflect.

See if you can work out the person’s needs, wants, gaps in knowledge, common ground or synergies.

And if they seem like someone that you’d like to build a professional relationship with – invite them to follow up.

Those people would probably fall into one of six categories:

– Ambassadors for your business

– Influencers to help you gain visibility,

– Referrers (to clients or opportunities)

– Collaborators or partners

– Leads (potential customers), or

– Prospects (engaged and interested in buying).

It’s great to keep notes of the people you like (perhaps in your phone) – add their name and perhaps their website, phone number and also the category you’d assign them to.

Following Up

You’d probably be looking to create follow-up situations in one of several ways.

At a live event, swapping business cards is a great way to follow up – but take it one step further and agree on a date for a ‘coffee catch up’ online or in person.

The way you decide to connect would depend on the type of category that person falls into

For example, if you met an ambassador who wanted to showcase you or an influencer who wanted to mention you, then following them on social media and sending a private message would be one way to stay connected to them. You might also share some of their posts.

For referrers and collaborators, you might organise a Zoom meeting or a coffee date so you could talk about how you could help each other out.

For leads and prospects, you might invite them to follow you, and you might email them an article or podcast you created that might be interesting and valuable to them. Following that, you could organise a Zoom meeting or a coffee date to follow up.

Summary

As you can see, there’s more to events than just booking one and attending.

They present an opportunity to create connections that can help you to grow and build your business.

As we discussed, it’s about finding relevant events that give you the best opportunities first, then working on your why, your goals, who is attending, and how you will connect and follow up.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#191 Share Your Brilliance!

This episode is about sharing your brilliance!

Today I want to talk to you about sharing your brilliance. After all, you are an amazing practitioner who wants to change the world, and therefore, you need to be able to let people know how you do this, and then, to do it well.

I am talking through the lens of a summit I’m speaking at shortly and will share some tips and insights to help you get your brilliance into the world!

In the show notes, I’m sharing a link to your FREE ticket to the Share Your Brilliance Summit, being held from May 23 – 27, 2022.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What Sharing Your Brilliance is All About
* What Gets In the Way of Your Brilliance?
* The FREE Share Your Brilliance Summit
* Three Steps to Share Your Brilliance

What is “Sharing Your Brilliance” All About?

Brilliance means splendour or magnificence. And in a business context, I think that sharing your brilliance is about bringing your greatness, your zone of genius and your special skills and talents into the world.

Why does this matter?

Because as an authentic person who is in the business of helping and supporting others, you are on this world to make a difference, to have an impact, to help others to overcome their fears, challenges and find the joy and fulfilment they deserve.

Further, if you have greatness and the power to help others, it would be an absolute travesty if you DIDN’T share your brilliance.

Everyone would be missing out on the impact of your superpowers!

What Gets in the Way of Your Brilliance?

I think you and I both know the answer – it’s the stuff between your ears. Your fear, your lack of confidence, your scattered thoughts, your impostor syndrome.

Feeling not good enough.

Not knowing where to start.

And when you say those sorts of things to yourself repeatedly, they become beliefs. This is how beliefs are formed!

Now, I know how confusing business can be – especially if you are running an online business.

You’re on the journey of building a client base and getting things right in your business. But if you have any sort of impostor syndrome or self-doubt, there are a billion people out there trying to sell you the magic solution.

With SO much noise and information out there, so many people to compare yourself with, so many shiny objects….it can lead you away from your integrity.

It can be a challenge to work out how to get started and succeed in sharing your brilliance, and, find business strategies that suit multi-passionate, intuitive types like us.

The Share Your Brilliance Summit

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the Share Your Brilliance summit from May 23 – 27!

Most importantly, this event is totally, 100% FREE. No cost.

For 5 days, May 23 to 27, Natasha Berta of Connected Marketing is bringing you presentations from 25+ heart-led business owners who have found ways to grow their business without selling out on their soul. You’ll hear about everything from mindset, sustainable business foundations, content creation + creativity, your offer, how to reach more people, and more.

It features 25+ amazing presenters who are ready to teach and mentor you on how to book more sessions and have greater clarity about your value.

Let’s face it, these things are the secret sauce for building a purposeful, profitable business. Communicating your value and booking more sessions with paying clients.

The goal for this summit is different than most. It’s going to be more like an online retreat than a summit with morning movement sessions, daytime learning sessions and wrapping up each day with a sound healing to integrate it all.

Plus, there is a theme for each day tailored to people in business who are just like you – waiting and wanting to share YOUR brilliance.

For example, I am going to be speaking at the summit, on How to Create a Client Centric Program that Sells.

I am so excited to be featured alongside some pretty big names in business, including:

· George Kao
· Danielle Gardner
· Karen Humphries
· Lucine Eusani
· Bridget Avgoustakis
· Claire Kerslake
· Aesha Kennedy
· Chantal Khoury
· And a whole lot more

There’s a free option and an affordable VIP pass with tons of goodies.

Each presentation will be available to you for 24 hours, but you can also get lifetime access (along with some other amazing bonuses) by grabbing the VIP All-Access Pass.

There’s more I’d love to tell you about this summit, but I’ll let you check out all the details for yourself – and you can grab a free ticket for the Share Your Brilliance Summit using this link!

How You Can Share Your Brilliance

So, how do you share your brilliance?

Here are some ideas to get started.

Firstly, clarify the value of working with you and the service you offer.

  1. Write down all the skills and strengths you have – think about the things that come EASILY to you but are hard for others to do.
  2. Make a list of your top three strongest values. What drives you, and what makes you passionate about your work?
  3. Write down three important reasons why your work is so meaningful. If you can do this work, what sorts of impact or result does it have?

Secondly, define the turning point that causes people to reach out for help.

  1. What is the moment of realisation that they need to change? Where are they, and what is the situation?
  2. If you’ve been on the same journey, what was YOUR turning point?
  3. What is the pain that becomes so big, that the person reaches out for help?
  4. What is the result they know they desperately want?

Finally, work out who your target audience is, and where they might be. 

  1. Think about the people that light you up, who ‘get you’, and who you love to be around. What kind of people are they? 
  2. The saying goes that your niche is the version of you from 5 years ago. What kind of person are you?
  3. Think about where you like to hang out and find out about or buy services in your area. Where would you go, and what would your requirements for buying be – would you need to follow someone on LinkedIn for a while before speaking to them, or would you listen to their podcast, or something else? 

    These three sets of questions help you to define your value, your people, what they need help with, and where to find them. Feel free to write out your own set of questions in these areas to help you get clarity. 

    Also, go back to my previous episode 186 Three Proven Marketing Roadmaps for Coaches to help you get clarity on using your communication strengths to build your audience. 

    Summary

    Today I talked about what sharing your brilliance is, and some of the things that get in the way of that. I mentioned a totally FREE summit in May 2022, with over 25 experienced speakers to help you learn how to share your brilliance. A link to your free ticket is in the show notes.  

    Finally, I walked you through a three-step process to share your brilliance. What are you waiting for? Get out there and share your greatness with the world. I dare you! 

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#189 How to boost your professional credibility

    This episode is about how to boost your professional credibility

    When you start a new profession, one of the most important parts of marketing is developing professional credibility and a good reputation. Today I’d like to share a golden opportunity for you as a professional health and wellness coach, to do just that in June 2022.

    Starting out in your health and wellness coaching business is exciting and challenging. And initially, you need to put in a lot of work to become seen, known, liked and trusted.

    Further to that, you want to be more than just known – you want to be seen as a reputable professional who is properly qualified and who is confident in what they’re doing.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * 7 Reasons Why the Conference is a Must Attend Event
    * How This Event Can Rocket Fuel Your Coaching Business
    * Why We All Have a Role in Putting Health and Wellness Coaching on the Map

    How do you do that?

    Well, there are many ways, and I want to talk about one specific golden opportunity for you to boost your professional credibility if you are a health and wellness coach in Australia or New Zealand.

    This opportunity is the HCANZA conference, being held on the Gold Coast on 2 – 3 June 2022. The conference is called Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World.

    Before we unpack this, I’d like to say that any professional conference attendance gives you similar opportunities, but this particular conference gives you a one-time-only opportunity to be seen, heard and recognised as a professional.

    7 Reasons Why the HCANZA 2022 Conference is a Must-Attend Event

    There are several reasons why this is such an important event and such a significant opportunity for you as an individual health and wellness coach.

    Not in the least, is the fact that the world we know, our workforce, what’s important to us, the awareness of health and the willingness to change have been irrevoc

    Now more than ever, coaching is a viable career option, and it’s a golden opportunity to put Health and Wellness Coaching on the map as an important part of navigating health and wellbeing into the future.

    1. Showcasing Health and Wellness Coaching as a Reputable Industry

    This inaugural conference provides the opportunity for our industry association and its members to showcase the skills and the breadth in-depth of knowledge and experience that health and wellness coaches have and share those with the world.

    We have global experts Zooming in or attending live to speak at this event. Some of them are founders of the industry and have played a significant role in building our profession from the ground up over the past 20-odd years.

    With global key opinion leaders together in the room, it gives a huge weight of credibility and reputation that we can promote and advertise to medical professionals, allied health professionals and the general public to promote ourselves as an evidence-based, high calibre profession.

    This alone puts health and wellness coaching squarely on the map.

    2. Showing the Value of Health and Wellness Coaching, and Where it Fits

    This conference is our chance to explain our scope of practice and highlight how we complement other health professionals so that their clients and patients can achieve better health outcomes more easily and in a shorter time.

    We show our value with case studies, storytelling and real-life examples of business and client success.

    We’ll share how coaches and coaching organisations have changed lives by working in a complementary way with other health professionals, giving everyone who attends a clear understanding of exactly how and where coaching adds value to existing health professionals and treatment frameworks, and independent businesses.

    Remember, this is the first time in Australia and New Zealand that such a conference has been held, and it’s our opportunity to share these facts and success stories for huge media coverage and collective recognition.

    3. Clearly Explaining How We Work

    Have you ever had trouble describing what you do and how you work?

    The stories, case studies and expert presentations at this conference will equip you, the attendee, with clear insights and anecdotes to share with prospective clients, partners and advocates in your own practice when you get home to explain clearly how you work with people and what sorts of results and outcomes are possible.

    You will learn how to describe your profession and skill set in a more succinct way.

    You will develop a confident spiel about the important conditions for change such as self-awareness as an essential first step, and how health and Wallace coaching empowers self-responsibility, which saves the health system and the individual billions of dollars each year.

    4. Improve Networking Skills and Confidence

    Another great reason to attend this conference is that it gives you skills, experience and confidence in networking.

    Networking with other health professionals pretty much an essential part of fast-tracking your marketing and gaining success in your business.

    By attending this conference, you will get to polish up your skills of breaking the ice, having friendly conversations, making your contacts, and starting conversations that lead somewhere, with like-minded people.

    How will you feel, having brushed up your networking skills in a safe environment with trusted colleagues?

    How much easier will the next conference or networking event be?

    What impact will that have on your business or coaching practice?

    5. Build Important, Business Building Alliances

    I’ve just touched on the skills of networking, but have you considered what they might lead to?

    If you think about it, conferences are networking events that offer business-building opportunities.

    The #1 challenge coaches tell me they have is running their business in isolation, feeling alone, with nobody to bounce ideas off.

    Attending this conference in person gives you a more personal connection with other coaches that you’ve only ever met online. That live meeting will cement your relationships and help them grow.

    Through those conversations, you might even find some opportunities and leads to help you in your business.

    Think of how you’re going to feel after walking out of a conference with a handful of really great contacts that you can stay in touch with and possibly even collaborate with or get help from to grow your practice?

    Or finding someone who is doing complementary work and you find an opportunity to help each other?

    Or simply being inspired by one of the speakers and discovering strategies that you can apply right away to your own business?

    One way or another, you have the chance to learn some important skills and develop some strong support networks and alliances.

    6. Increased Confidence, Belief and Action-taking

    How are you feeling so far, having thought about all these benefits?

    I bet you are feeling pretty pumped up. And that leads me to my next point – this conference is essential to your business development, your confidence, and your personal and professional growth.

    You might hear that and think, “well that’s a pretty big claim to make”.

    Yes, it is – but it’s 100% true.

    Think back to the last time you attended a conference or event – how did you feel?

    If you have ever been to any sort of sizeable event, you probably remember the huge buzz, sense of enthusiasm, inspiration, energy, confidence, optimism and hope that you felt.

    You probably left that session on a high, with so much belief and a readiness to take action based on what you learned or discovered.

    There is a saying that we are the average of the five people closest to us. In a professional context, it’s important that you are rubbing shoulders with people who have more experience, more knowledge, and a greater sense of conviction about what is possible with your modality, so that you can continue to hope, believe, and create success that you wish for in your profession.

    Listening to professional coaches speaking gives you the sense of what’s possible for you. It makes your discipline in your profession relatable and within your reach. And it gives you the opportunity for some personal growth and to identify what you need to focus on in order to keep moving forward and growing as a coach and as a person.

    Remember that we are in the relationship building industry, and your ability to be self-confident is critical to your success. You can learn how other people have built their own self-confidence and their skill as a coach so that you create a roadmap to get there yourself.

    That leads me to my last point on why attending this conference is so important.

    7. The Ripple Effect

    The final benefit of this conference that I want to talk about is the ripple effect.

    For this inaugural conference to really help to put our profession on the map, we need to sell all the tickets and speak to everyone we know about it.

    If it’s down to the HCANZA board and few members to do this, we’re not going to get very much media coverage or excitement or visibility.

    But if the conference is a sell out and we’re all sharing the word and the success stories, it is a totally different ball game.

    It shows that there is a strong collective of coaches who are qualified and who uphold a standard of practice, and who stand together as a united voice to speak about the benefits and opportunities that health and wellness coaching provides.

    And at a larger scale, the success of our industry depends on the commitment of every person who is certified and working in the capacity of a health and wellness coach, to find their voice and speak up about the profession, this event, and every one that follows.

    It’s not something that a few people can do on their own. For this to work we need to have everybody putting their hand up turning up and being part of something that is bigger than the individual, and which has the potential to create a significant impact on our health systems, longevity and quality of life.

    Yes, the number of people attending the conference and telling everyone about it, is important for our profession.

    But it’s also important at the other end of the conference long after it’s finished. Because you’re going to walk away feeling inspired and enthusiastic and excited, and you’re going to have a head full of new knowledge, ideas and cutting edge information.

    And what’s going to happen to that information?

    You’re going to be excited to share it with everybody you know.

    You’re going to be equipped with information and words that will help you to network with other health professionals, reach potential clients, find collaborative partners, and find cross referral opportunities.

    The more people that attend and promote this conference at the same time, the bigger the visibility and impact we can have.

    This really is a critical time and event in the development of our industry.

    Summary

    Today, I got pretty ranty about boosting your professional credibility, and more specifically, using the inaugural Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World – as a vehicle to really showcase our profession.

    I outlined just seven of the many benefits of attending.

    In summary there are so many opportunities for personal and professional growth at this conference. So much rich content, information and relationships to be found in this conference. All you need to do is attend. https://www.conference.hcanza.org/?_ga=2.5600117.73171265.1650423249-552347760.1650423249

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#186 Three Proven Marketing Roadmaps for Coaches

    This episode is about three proven marketing roadmaps for coaches

    If you’ve finished your coaching qualification and are ready to launch a business, it can be daunting to realize that you have no idea of how or where to find clients and to create a consistent income. On top of that, the word marketing might conjure up a sense of dread and that you need to do all these things that the experts say you should do.

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. Forget the Facebook ads or webinar skills training courses – in this episode, I’ll discuss three marketing roadmaps for coaches that play to your natural communication strengths and help you start promoting with authenticity, integrity and confidence.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Playing to your communication strengths
    * The Writing Roadmap
    * The Speaking Roadmap
    * The Networking Roadmap

    Playing to your communication strengths

    When I started my coaching business, I was convinced I needed a Facebook page and Facebook group. All the gurus told me it was the only way to ‘get clients’ – and to set up some ads.

    The trouble is, I feel incredible anxiety when I go onto Facebook. But I persisted as I thought I had to be on that platform and that it was the only way to succeed.

    So, what happened?

    I felt anxious every day. I had to force myself to open the app and create posts.

    I spent hours debating over the words, trying to get them right, and picking images. I cringed at the lack of engagement, and I stressed over the future of my business.

    For a good six months, I did Facebook training courses, paid for mentoring and joined support groups. I felt miserable and hopeless.

    Then I reflected on my communication skills and strengths and worked out that this was not how I should be doing marketing. I needed to do it MY way, so that I could feel energized, motivated and excited about connecting with my audience.

    From there, I went on a journey to explore how best to market my business.

    I realised that I feel most comfortable and authentic when I’m talking to people, networking and to a lesser degree, writing. My main skills are active listening and relationship building, so these options make sense to me. I get to express my opinions, listen and reflect, and draw on my extensive technical writing skills and experience.

    Fast forward to today, and these are the ways I do my marketing.

    As part of my ‘visibility’ marketing, I write an article each week and turn it into a podcast, where I speak about things that my audience wants to know about. These build trust and relationship.

    I’m pretty busy with contract work and as a board member of HCANZA, our industry association to do much more than this. But If I wanted to go really big online, I’d be looking to be a guest blogger on a nationally-recognised online magazine, or guest on a podcast that is nationally-recognised, or on the radio.

    As it is, I share links to articles and podcasts on LinkedIn and Instagram. These are my best promotional platforms because I feel comfortable and more connected with my audience – it’s where ‘my people’ are.

    But actually, my preferred way of marketing is networking, so I do a lot of connections with others so I can meet and learn more about what people do, where there are synergies, and work collaboratively via cross-referral and cross-promotion.

    As you can see, I have a mix of marketing channels that leverage my communication skills and help me build visibility, and the ability to scale if and as needed.

    It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but when you’re starting out, it’s better to start more simply. Let’s talk about three rough marketing roadmaps for coaches that leverage your communication skills and can help you get visibility, new clients and traction more easily.

    Please note that it’s highly likely that your ideal clients within your niche have the same communication strengths and skills as you. By playing to your strengths, you’ll more likely attract your people.

    Here are three roadmaps that I think are the most effective for building coaching businesses. There are other marketing strategies out there, but these three are more effective because you get the chance to connect more personally and emotively with potential clients or referrers.

    As per my previous episodes – it’s the emotional connection between you and your clients that builds the trust and rapport that clients need before they commit to buying from you.

    Now, let’s explore the three roadmaps!

    The Writing Roadmap

    If you’re a great writer and you love writing, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • journals a lot
    • likes writing lengthy passages/stories
    • is creative with the written language
    • writes emotively and descriptively
    • If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled writer, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by guest blogging on highly visible online publications like MammaMia, Forbes, Thrive Global or other platforms.

    You could also write case studies, stories and articles for your own blog and build a following, or longform posts on social media platforms where your audience hangs out. Mine is on LinkedIn, yours might be elsewhere.

    You can write for your local industry association and/or industry publications to gain visibility.

    Of course, any writing you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), and on social media and your client email list.

    If most of your audience are readers, then your website can offer a well-written lead magnet (e.g. a how-to guide) that they can download, and join your list.

    As you become more comfortable with writing and build a presence, you can start to offer live webinars or 1:1 calls to connect with you.

    Writing as a stand-alone marketing tool can take more time than speaking or networking, so if you are starting here, you would aim to build in another marketing strategy later such as networking or speaking, events or PR, to speed up the process of becoming known, liked and trusted.

    The Speaking Roadmap

    If you’re a great speaker and you love talking, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • enjoys socialising and in-depth conversation
    • likes speaking at length, teaching and/or telling stories
    • has a good vocabulary
    • speaks confidently and articulately and likes public speaking.

    If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled speaker, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by being a guest on a highly visible podcast or getting interviewed on the radio or scoring a regular community radio spot.

    You could also develop your own podcast or YouTube channel, where you build a following by posting audio files or video files and inviting comments.

    You can deliver a signature talk to local groups, allied health professionals or clients. You could engage your local public library to help you promote and deliver a workshop and present your signature talk (promotional) in their space.

    You can present at conferences, expos or other events.

    Of course, any speaking you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), on social media and your client email list, or the list of the event organiser.

    If most of your audience is speakers and listeners, then your website can offer a well-scripted video or audio that they can watch that invites them to join your email list or meetup group.

    As you become more comfortable with public speaking you can offer live webinars or workshops that promote your service offering.

    Speaking is a fabulous marketing tool that requires confidence and practice. It’s easiest to start small and with people, you know, and build up to larger audiences and/or more complicated means of delivery (e.g. in-person vs online).

    One thing is for sure – public speaking is one of the fastest ways to become known, liked and trusted because there is an authentic connection in real-time, and you can build trust and authority easily if you know your subject matter.

    The Networking Roadmap

    If you love interacting and meeting people to share ideas, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • likes meeting people, breaking the ice and having in-depth conversations
    • likes speaking but is also curious about other points of view
    • enjoys collaborating and brainstorming to build on ideas
    • is comfortable with sharing opinions and exploring differences.
    • If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled networker, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by attending events that are hosted by business, social or online groups, or joining networking groups or social media groups.

    You could also develop your own group (e.g. a Facebook group), WhatsApp messenger chat, or live MeetUp group if you don’t like social media that much (MeetUp is a platform to facilitate groups that meet.

    You can offer interactive workshops, breakout rooms or discussion/opinion topics with allied health professionals, complementary businesses or potential clients. You can co-host workshops with other professionals to share knowledge and gain insights.

    You could also host events like movie nights, book clubs, meditation sessions or other such events that bring people together to meet, connect and share insights and ideas.

    This is a lot like the ‘speaking’ roadmap, with a key difference being that you are more interactive and collaborative, with the focus on sharing ideas and listening more.

    Of course, any networking you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), on social media and your client email list, or via the event platform.

    If most of your audience is interactive too, then your website can offer a live session with you (could be virtual) as a 1:1 on a meeting platform, VR, or to attend an introductory group event.

    If you are attending networking events hosted by other people, it’s important to define a goal for the event and complete that goal so it advances your marketing effort. For example, I make a point of finding one or two people at each event that I like connecting with, and to email them afterwards and set up a coffee date. This could be a potential client or a potential referrer.

    As you become more comfortable with networking, you can start your own group or simply schedule connections with like-minded people that you’ve built connections with. An allied health professional near me does this well – he emails me every quarter to set up a coffee date.

    Networking is a fabulous marketing tool that requires confidence and organisational skills. It’s easiest to start with small local groups and build up to attending larger groups or even creating your own group (which requires learning a bit of tech in some cases).

    Networking is one of the fastest ways to become known, liked and trusted because there is an authentic connection in real-time, using both auditory and visual cues to gauge and develop rapport.

    My opinion is that while speaking can build a sense of authority, networking can build connection and engagement.

    Summary

    Today we talked about three marketing roadmaps for coaches.

    To create your roadmap, it helps to play to your communication strengths and style to build confidence and to be truly authentic.

    Depending on your personal skills and strengths, I outlined three roadmaps:

    1. The writing roadmap
    2. The speaking roadmap
    3. The networking roadmap

    There are other marketing strategies, but these are known to be more effective because you get the chance to connect more personally and emotively with potential clients or referrers. If you need help to develop your proven marketing roadmap, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July 2022, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business. Click the link to learn more about the program.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#184 How to Beat Overwhelm and Achieve Simplicity in Business

    This episode is about how to beat overwhelm and achieve simplicity in business

    Are you a coach who is setting themselves up for your first clients and feeling overwhelmed about all the things you have to do, manage and create? Let’s take a step back and slow down and get clear on some simple things you can do to start meeting and creating more clients.

    Why Simplicity?

    In our fast-paced, always-on world we have so much stuff and so many things going on in our minds and lives.

    Did you know that at any one time, your brain contains around 60,000 thoughts?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Why Simplicity Matters
    * How to Do Business Simply
    * Five Simple Things For A Successful Business

    When we are always on, going fast and being ‘busy’, we tend to act without thinking, accumulate things that we don’t really need, and get talked into things that we don’t really want.

    We can become overworked and reactive, and then we lie awake at night with our huge to-do lists.

    The unwanted emotions kick in at 3 o’clock in the morning and we create mountains out of molehills.

    It’s hard to run a business effectively if you are caught up in the drama of all the things.

    The principle of simplicity can help you stay afloat and to thrive.

    Here’s how to achieve simplicity in business so that you can be freed up to build relationships – which is really the heart of what you’re doing.

    How to do Business Simply

    One of the easiest ways to be simple is to define what you need RIGHT NOW and the easiest way to meet those needs.

    In life, your needs include basics like water, exercise, good food, rest and time to reflect.

    If you think about your business in the same way, it boils down to five simple things:

    – maintaining relationships,

    – scheduling,

    – delivering services,

    – storing information, and

    – invoicing.

    As a coach, you know all about that first list of things. Now let’s talk about the second list – those five simple points – that can help you run a business with simplicity.

    Maintaining Relationships

    What does maintaining relationships involve?

    This is the essence of marketing. I think it’s about deciding who you will meet, and how often you need to meet them.

    For example, maintaining relationships could be as simple as meeting 5 people in your network each week, or showing up to a Facebook group you run each day, or making 5 phone calls per week.

    That’s it.

    SIMPLE!

    That’s all it takes to introduce yourself, build relationships and keep them warm. And when the time is right, these are the people that might buy from you or help you spread the word.

    Scheduling

    What does scheduling involve?

    There are two parts to this. Firstly, there is how you organise your time.

    You already know that you need to maintain relationships, so that would go into your schedule each week as a regular, set activity.

    You also need a way for clients to schedule enquiries or coaching sessions with you.

    How do you do that?

    Well, at a basic level they can phone or email you.

    At a more sophisticated and automated level, they can access you via an online booking platform like AcuityScheduling or Calendly.

    The beauty of these platforms is that they include reminders and even payment gateways so it’s easy to do two or three things at once.

    Delivering Services

    What does delivering services involve?

    As a coach, you either need a room, a phone or an online meeting service.

    Simple!

    A room could be a by-the-hour hired space in your local area, for example, a room you hire ad-hoc in a wellbeing clinic.

    The phone is easy – you can definitely coach by phone if you want to.

    Alternatively, you can use an online system like Google Meet (free), Zoom (low cost and better quality) or Microsoft Teams (higher end). These are all simple and easy to set up.

    Storing Information

    What does storing information involve?

    Well, you have client notes, procedures, policies, tools and resources that you might want to store.

    The old-fashioned way is a filing cabinet with printed documents. This is totally fine!

    Otherwise, you might want to have a folder structure set up on your computer where you store different types of documents.

    For example, you have one folder for client files (one folder within that for each client).

    You might have one folder for policies and procedures.

    You might have one folder with resources in it – a vault of information – that you can share with clients, via a link.

    That’s it. Simple.

    Invoicing

    What does invoicing involve?

    The in-person way involves a Word document template and a receipt book.

    If you want to get a bit fancier, Wave App is a free software that gives you basic invoicing functionality.

    Fancier than that is Xero or Quickbooks on a monthly subscription, with more bookkeeping features.

    Simple. You really don’t need much more than that.

    What about an online presence?

    I know, I know, you are thinking now – don’t I need a website or a Facebook page?

    NOPE.

    For free, you can set up a LinkedIn profile (professional) and you can also set up Google My Business for free.

    Both of these are great ways to build an online presence and get testimonials. Why get a website when you can do this?

    It’s the reviews that really count in the beginning.

    Summary

    Today, I discussed the concept of simplicity and how it can help you run a business free of overwhelm, and full of time, calmness and clarity on what you are doing each day.

    Your business is all about relationships, and the key things you need to focus on are

    – how many people you speak to each week,

    – scheduling your time and booking in clients,

    – a method for delivering your services,

    – a simple way to store information, and

    – a way to invoice and track payments.

    People are going to tell you that you need fancy systems and software. I’m here to say, No You Don’t.

    Keep your business simple and it will be WAY more enjoyable. If you need help to prepare for market research interviews and analyse your results, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#183 How to Invite People to Market Research Interviews

    This episode is about how to invite people to market research interviews

    Are you struggling to work out what your niche is, refine your messaging or get clarity on your offer? Market research interviews with your niche are the key to getting these things right. But it can be tricky to find people who are willing to talk to you, and you may feel uncomfortable about asking.

    Let’s talk about some easy, non-threatening ways to ask people to do market research interviews with you, that they find hard to resist!

    Market research is a critical part of creating a client-centric business. It is a process that allows you to understand your client and their specific problem in great depth.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Why Market Research Matters
    * A Simple Written Formula
    * Two Other Methods That Work

    You will get a sense of what they want and need, why that matters, their triggers for seeking help, the results they want, what they’ve tried before, and what stands in their way.

    When you know these things, you will be able to build a business that people love, where they felt heard and understood, and that truly serves them.

    As you can see, finding out what people want, why and how, is an absolutely essential part of your success.

    Market research can involve searching online to understand buying habits and main trends but speaking to people in person gives you much more information.

    You get to hear the emotion in their voice, see it in their body language, and truly understand what matters to them. Plus, you build rapport and trust in live interviews that might be lacking in a written message or survey.

    Once you have done those interviews, you can look for common trends, common words used, and which parts of the conversation created heightened emotion or a more in depth response from the client. These are the more important parts that matter to the interviewee. They give you clues as to where to focus your programs, marketing content and support.

    This episode came about because a student in my current Passion to Profit course asked how to approach people to take part in market research interviews, and it was such a great question I decided to podcast on it.

    A Simple Written Formula

    In response to that student, I created a ‘template’ – a simple written formula that could be used in an email, private message or post to invite people to do market research.

    You can adapt this to suit your niche and needs. Here it goes.

    Do you want to (stop/start doing something/solve problem), but aren’t sure where to start or are finding it hard to stick to?

    I would love to have your help. I am a student Health and Wellness Coach with a passion for YOUR PASSION (which relates to the problem).

    As part of the course, I have an assignment to speak with 5 people about their opinions, needs and challenges in these areas so I can more easily help people with these struggles to achieve (result).

    If you are available for a private 20-minute phone conversation with me (no strings attached), please contact me before (date).

    This is really short and sweet, and it contains elements that get people interested in helping you.

    These elements are:

    1. Starting with a question engages interest.

    This question qualifies the person who is not just struggling but is ALSO ready, willing and able to get help. This screens out tyre kickers and time wasters, or people who are ambivalent. You want people in the preparation stage of change, so your question should speak to them specifically.

    2. People love helping and giving opinions. This is a key hook in this formula.

    3. Mentioning the results that they want gets them more interested.

    4. If it’s a short, private conversation, they might be more willing.

    5. Be clear that there are no strings attached and no pressure to buy anything. It’s just an assignment.

    6. The due date compels them to take action.

    When you get this right, you get people engaged and ready, willing and able to help.

    Two other methods that work

    Beyond sending out an email, message or broadcast, there are other methods you can use to engage people in market research interviews.

    1. Make it a competition, with a prize

    People love competitions, so if you offer a $20 gift voucher or similar, it might appeal to the right person.

    To make sure they’re not just in it for the prize, you might want to be more specific about who the offer is targeting, and who it’s not for. In this case, it’s totally ok to list a few more criteria about the person you want to interview.

    2. Offer a freebie in exchange for their time

    Some people might be attracted by a free coaching session or a tool or resource that will help them with the specific problem you are interviewing about.

    Summary

    Today we talked about how market research interviews give you so much valuable information and can help you to clarify, understand and market to your niche more effectively.

    But it can be hard to engage people to help.

    There are a few things that motivate people to do interviews like these – the idea that they are helping you, getting the chance to be heard by giving an opinion, or that they receive something of value in exchange for their time and insights.

    I covered these things in a simple written formula that you can use to invite people to speak with you on various forums.

    We also covered two other methods that involve an exchange of value:

    1. Creating a competition, and

    2. Offering something of value in exchange for the session.

    In any case, your success in securing interviewees depends on you going out and speaking to people to proactively invite them to do you a favour.

    Some people will say no, but some will say yes. Ultimately it is a numbers game.

    Rather than focusing on the potential rejection, I encourage you to focus on the number of invitations you make, knowing that is actually your secret to success. If you need help to prepare for market research interviews and analyse your results, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#182 Three Ways to Find New Customers Even If You’re Just Starting Out

    This episode is about three ways to find new customers even if you’re just starting out

    Have you been watching other coaches online and wondering how they’re attracting all these clients, while you’ve just got crickets?

    Today, I’d like to share three super easy ways to find new customers even if you’re just starting out in business. Your core coaching skills are a key ingredient!

    When you’re starting out in business, it feels like you have all these things to do and yet you don’t have any clients. It’s a strange kind of limbo. You’re probably posting all sorts of things in an effort to stand out, yet nobody’s liking, commenting or watching

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * The Evolution of a Niche
    * Leading With Your Why
    * Why Listening is Critical
    * Niche Content Marketing – Getting It Right

    What do you do?

    If you’re like most people, you think you need to do another course or learn how to do social media marketing. But like most things, the problem is waaaay upstream of these things.

    Let me explain.

    Meredith Hill said, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”

    What this means is that if you are speaking broadly and generally, using generic content that covers a lot of topics or problems, then it’s hard for the audience to understand who you are and who you help. People might glance at your content and scroll right past it because it doesn’t speak to them.

    Consider the analogy of fishing. Your broad, general content is much like someone standing on the beach with a hook and a pilchard, hoping to catch a fish, but catching nothing.

    Next to you, there’s a person who is smashing it online. They’re like the fisher who knows what they can catch at that particular beach, and they have the right hook and bait to catch that fish. If they’re catching tailor, it’s probably a gang hook with a pilchard. But if they’re trying to catch a mulloway, fresh or even live bait like yellowtail is better.

    Hopefully, you’re getting the picture – the more you know about who you want as a customer or client, the easier it is to be visible and connect with them in your marketing.

    This is what ‘finding your niche’ is all about, where your niche is a problem that exists, that certain types of people are desperate to solve, and will pay money to get help with.

    Just like the fisherperson using a specific rig and bait to catch a certain fish, knowing your niche means you can go online and speak about specific topics to attract specific types of people who have specific problems – and in doing this, you stand out like a beacon to them, making it easy to be seen, trusted and purchased from.

    So, how do you get started?

    The Evolution of a Niche

    If you’re in the process of career change, have just completed a training course in a totally new area and you’re starting a business, with no prior experience – please take a moment to acknowledge that that’s a pretty steep learning curve!

    And just like you can’t go out beach fishing for the first time and expect to know everything about tides, weather, gutters, rigs, and which bait to use, please know that you can’t expect to know or perfect your niche and connect with them easily when you’re first starting out!

    Your niche WILL evolve over time. The way to even start defining your niche is by actively speaking to people, using your coaching skills in daily life, and working with practice or paid clients.

    Your clients are your teachers. You can start to notice common trends in the conversation, which people you have the best rapport with and how they describe their problems.

    This is the evolution of a niche.

    As you get more and more experience in using your coaching skills, you will get more and more clarity about your niche.

    In my experience, there are three levels of niche clarity:

    1. You are totally clear on your niche.

    This is usually because you have been engaging in your own or other groups about this problem, have a lot of experience with clients who have a specific problem, or have been on your own journey as part of a group.

    2. You have some level of clarity on your niche.

    This is usually based on a passion you have or experience with a specific problem area that is meaningful to you. In either case, you can do market research to further your understanding of your niche person and problem, and work out what they want your help with, so you can find the common ground.

    3. You have a great idea but have no clue on who would need or want it.

    If you’re really stuck wondering how to attract customers, you’ll need to get started with something. Beyond working with practice clients there are three ways you can start to work out your niche and attract new clients online, beyond just doing practice coaching.

    1. Start with your why

    When posting online – any kind of post – focus on your why, values and passion area.

    One thing’s for sure – when you get ranty and fired up about something, some injustice or area of need, that sense of conviction will be appealing and attractive to the right people. It’s the values and beliefs that we have in common with others, that create attraction between us.

    In other words, people form relationships because of shared values. When you lead with your why you put your values on display. This gives people an insight into who you are, and they can work out if you are someone they would like to know more about.

    By zooming in on your why, you can find some things to talk about and start to create ideas on specific topics of interest.

    The key word here is specific. Having a why of ‘wanting to help people’ is pretty vague. Be more specific at least about an area of health and wellbeing, like weight loss, or exercise, or mental health.

    Assuming you are on a social media platform where people can search for content topics easily, you can experiment with why-driven posts to see which ones get the most engagement.

    2. Start listening and reflecting

    Once you have identified a few topics, do a little live and online research to gain opinions and insights, and to see how engaged other people are with those topics.

    For example, if you’re getting ranty about impostor syndrome, or weight gain after 40, or anxiety in menopause, what are other people saying and thinking about those things?

    Take your coaching skills out into the world and ask people for their opinions. Notice how fired up they are too – or not. See the problem from their point of view.

    How big of an issue is that thing for them? Why or why not?

    What is their magic wand solution?

    What possibilities might open up, if they could solve that problem?

    As you do this work, notice the physical shifts you experience. Notice which topics or particular conversations excite you, grab you by the heart, or make you irritated.

    And most importantly, notice how your sense of clarity and confidence develops as you talk to people about what matters to them.

    3. Explore niche content marketing

    The third way is to explore what’s in the news and social commentary about niche content that’s already out there. This is a slower, longer-term game compared with live conversations.

    Think about whether online research is an initial project to help you understand your niche, or whether you will continue building information and content over time as part of your marketing. If you have skills and strengths in research, detail and writing, then this might be a good strategy.

    Here are some questions you could ask yourself while exploring niche content online:

    • What are the most popular angles being talked about?
    • Where is the gap?
    • Do you agree, or disagree? Why?
    • Which posts or episodes make you irritated or frustrated? Why?

    Write down all the things you like, agree with and disagree with.

    Then, look for qualified facts to back up your views, for example, from Google Scholar, or recognised institutions.

    Check in with yourself to work out which topics are most meaningful and interesting to you. These are the ones that will create a natural energy that is attractive to your audience.

    Based on the topic or related topics you have identified, develop some blogs, live videos or podcasts that map out the problem, and outline 2 – 3 things that back your position.

    Then, you’re ready to promote these topics to your audience – but not all at once!

    For example, let’s say that you are really into natural methods of managing and avoiding stress, and you are super interested in managing the nervous system.

    You’d talk about one or two related topics per month over a series of months.

    Start your first month talking about one topic in-depth online and offline – in this example, let’s say you focus on comparing different breathing techniques to manage stress. You could find research papers and share the findings, and also your own experience.

    Note which conversations or posts get the most interest.

    In the second week, start refining the conversations to focus on the specific parts of the topic that are most popular. For example, you might find that people have been talking about the 4-7-8 technique because it’s been in the news and was developed by a Harvard-trained medical doctor, Dr Weill, so you could ask for people to comment on their experiences or insights about the technique. This will get engagement and organic reach.

    If you wanted, you could collate all your insights from the month and do a live presentation or in-depth blog at the end of the month. Invite people to attend, invite comments and/or sharing through your networks. The next month, you might start talking about something that goes a bit deeper, like polyvagal theory, which is related to and goes deeper into the topic of the first month.

    The first thing that happens here is that by posting on specific topics, you will either attract “your people” – the people who like and trust you based on your messaging and promotion – or you will attract people who are curious and interested in your topics.

    You will also be ignored by people who aren’t interested – but that’s a good thing!

    This process takes you closer to understanding and clarifying who has the problem that you can help to solve, and what the problem means to them in their lives.

    Over the series of months and topics, you will find out which topics are most interesting to your audience, what types of people like each topic, what their main challenges are, and you will be closer to defining your niche.

    Over a longer period, you can refine your content and topics to meet the audience, and you can also go back and update older content you created so it is more up-to-date and polished.

    Summary

    When you’re new to the business, it can be easy to compare yourself to others and wonder why they seem to be so successful, when you’re just getting crickets.

    If this is you, remember that your clients are your teachers. By using your coaching skills in daily life, and by working with practice clients, you will start to get a deeper understanding of the people you want to work with, and what sorts of common problems they have that you can help with.

    At the same time, you can do three things online to fast-track your understanding.

    You can:

    1. Develop posts and content built around your why (be specific)

    2. Start listening to what people say (live and online conversations) and reflect on the trends, and which topics and people light you up.

    3. Explore niche content marketing, by assessing what is in the news, what is a hot topic right now, and which posts irritate or inspire you. Then, start developing content around specific topics that are relevant and meaningful to you and your potential audience and start getting a sense of their reactions.

    Live conversations take the least amount of time, whereas online research is more time-consuming and takes longer to engage your niche. Reflect on your skills and strengths to help you decide which way to go.

    Welcome to the evolution of your niche! If you need help to understand, define and connect with your niche, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business.

    References

    Balogh, A. Polyvagal Theory: A Simplified Explanation. Swan Counselling website accessed 28.2.22. https://www.swancounselling.com.au/polyvagal-theory-a-simplified-explanation/

    Cuncic, A. October 2021. What is 4-7-8 breathing? Very Well Mind website accessed 28.2.22 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-4-7-8-breathing-5204438

    Shatto, R. May 2019. Here’s Why Shared Values Are so Important in Couples, Experts Say. Elite Daily website accessed 28.2.22. https://www.elitedaily.com/p/why-are-shared-values-important-in-relationships-experts-weigh-in-on-this-common-thought-17917975

    Passion to Profit Program: Wellness Coaching Australia Website https://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/business-resources/passion-to-profit/

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#181 The Skills of Connection

    This episode is about the skills of connection

    If you want to operate a business, any business, but especially a coaching business, your ability to connect with people is a key skill that you need to learn. I want to share some insights on the skills required to build connections and some tips on how to become better at connecting with prospective and actual clients.

    What is Connection?

    Connection is the attachment and relationships we form with others. It is essential to human survival, and it helps us feel aligned with ourselves and others.

    Connecting with others helps us to build trust and rapport – and these are two VERY important criteria for someone to buy from you.

    Think about the last time you bought a service – price aside, why did you buy from that particular person?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What connection is
    * The skills of connection
    * Practicing and developing the skills
    * You don’t need a marketing course to learn connection
    * Putting yourself out there

    Chances are, it was because you felt a connection – a sameness, or alignment of values or experience – that helped you to have enough trust to want to work with them.

    I have a couple of my own examples.

    Once, I hired a business coach who was younger than me and who had only been in business for two years. She has the specific experience that I didn’t have, but the whole time, I had discomfort and uncertainty around her overall business knowledge and therefore, her value as a professional. It was a short-term arrangement.

    Much later, I worked with a business coach who was a similar age and had a specific experience that I didn’t have….but she is a lot more like me in personality. She also has 10 years of experience in her specific craft with a proven track record, a coaching qualification, a team working for her, and a book published. It was also a short-term arrangement, but I constantly refer others to her, promote her and would willingly go back to her, and may even approach her for a strategic alliance in future.

    The subtleties of our personality fit, values and professional ethics are incredibly influential and powerful in our business relationships. Knowing how to connect is therefore critically important.

    It’s about more than just attracting clients – it’s also about knowing who ISN’T your client.

    What are the Skills of Connection?

    Strong connections are built on good communication, common ground and a common, meaningful purpose.

    If you want to build your skills in connection, you need to know what the skills are and find ways to practice them.

    Skills

    The skills required for creating connections could include:

    • Active listening (being able to listen intently to what is being said – without thinking of what you will say next)
    • Empathy
    • Asking positively-framed, big-picture questions
    • Reflecting back on what you hear someone say
    • Reframing, i.e. even though (negative), there is still (positive)
    • Having respect for the other person as the expert in their own life
    • Seeing the other person as resourceful and able to find their own solutions
    • Being able to identify shared values or beliefs in something
    • Clarity on your vision and values
    • Leadership
    • Self-regulation (the ability to regulate your emotions & behaviours regardless of what others say or do)
    • Trusting yourself

    You may notice that these skills relate largely to the ICF core competencies #4 – cultivating trust and safety, #5 – maintaining presence, and #6 – listening actively. I’ll include a link so you can access them and see the full details.

    Being able to truly listen to and understand another person is a key starting point for building connection.

    But that last point is also important – it’s trusting yourself and feeling confident enough to initiate conversations.

    What do I mean by this?

    Well, consider how own confidence affects your ability to start conversations. How important is that for you?

    What helps you to feel more confident?

    I would hazard a guess that it’s about three things:

    1. practising the skills

    2. developing self-efficacy in your skills, and

    3. regular exposure to new people.

    Let’s talk about how to do that.

    How to Practice and Develop Your Connection Skills

    No matter what your starting point, you can learn and improve your communication skills and become better at making connections.

    Practising the skills can be done in a number of ways. I will brainstorm a few ideas with you here.

    1. Pick one skill and polish it up

    This is a good method if you’re a fairly confident person and a self-starter kind of person.

    Firstly, you can choose one of the skills (like active listening) and practice it over the next week with someone you live with or someone at work. Then at the end of each day, write a reflection on how you went, and what you learned.

    Once you feel you have made some progress you can dive deeper, or you can pick another skill to add to the mix.

    Remember, it’s not just about mastering the skill – it’s also about making it a habit, so don’t rush this process. It takes around 83 days on average for a habit to become automatic – take your time and do it well.

    2. Watch and learn

    This is a good method if you’re a bit less confident or are a kinaesthetic or interactive learner.

    Secondly, you can research coaching or other videos, or identify people you know who have a skill you want to learn and watch how they do it.

    All animals learn through mimicry and play, including humans!

    Setting aside time each week to study and observe others is a great way to ‘see how to do it’ before you start practising for yourself.

    There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can help, or your coach training organisation may have sample videos for you to watch and deep dive into.

    3. Find a mentor

    This is a good method if you lack experience and are not very confident in yourself or your skills.

    There are plenty of coaches around who offer free or paid mentoring.

    Practising your connection skills at a more professional level is incredibly helpful if you want to get some live feedback and tips as to whether you’re doing it right.

    4. Join a Community of Practice

    Community of Practice (COP) is something that many coaching associations offer as an opportunity to build and practise specific skills with other coaches.

    For example, ICF members have access to free and low-cost sessions, 1 – 2 hours long, where you learn about and practice specific core competencies.

    I recently attended one of these that was free to ICF members or $50 for non-members. It focused on maintaining presence, ICF core competency #5, and it was a lot of breakout room work for practice conversations with other coaches of varying levels of experience.

    I gained a lot of insight into how I can improve my presence and got practice with building connections.

    You Don’t Need a Marketing Course to Learn Connection

    I know I said earlier that connection is an essential skill that you need to run a business – but you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about marketing training or courses here.

    That’s because connection is useful in marketing, but I feel it’s better developed in a more personal environment that focuses on core communication skills – like the coaching industry offers.

    Putting Yourself Out There

    Although you might be shuddering at the thought right now, the next step is to start meeting a wider circle of people to practice your skills.

    Your ability to build a business relies on your ability to build new connections that might connect you with potential clients, or who might be potential clients themselves.

    Finding ease in communication and conversation can break down a lot of those confidence barriers and make it much easier for you to start approaching people you don’t know, or don’t know well. To help you on this journey, I suggest you go back to episode 56 of this podcast, about icebreakers. Once you have polished up your connection skills, learning how to start conversations is a logical next step.

    Summary

    Today, we talked about connection and its relevance in building your coaching business.

    Connection is defined as the attachment and relationships we form with others, and it is something that builds trust and rapport – two very important criteria for having someone buy from you.

    The skills of connection are simply related to many of the core coaching competencies, particularly in terms of building trust, maintaining presence, and listening.

    You also need to trust yourself and feel confident enough that you can have conversations with people – and the only way to build that trust and confidence is through practice.

    We covered four ways to practice and develop your connection skills, including:

    1. Picking one skill (at a time) and intentionally practising it

    2. Watching and learning from others

    3. Finding a mentor

    4. Joining a community of practice.

    It may seem like you need to learn marketing skills in order to learn about connection with potential clients – but this simply isn’t true. It’s the coaching competencies and practice that will help you develop good communication skills, and marketing becomes an extension of that skill set.

    From there, learning how to break the ice will equip you to go out into the big, wide world, and start building connections with your newfound skills.

    THIS is actually the secret to building your business.

    References https://coachfederation.org/core-competencies https://anchor.fm/habitology/episodes/E56-5-Steps-to-Engaging-Icebreaker-Conversations-e57458

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#180 Engaging Clients With an All-In-One Community-building Platform

    This episode is about engaging clients with an all-in-one community-building platform

    Do you want to start an online group or membership, but aren’t sure where to start?

    Are you sick of Facebook and want something independent and more personal?

    Are you trying to work out payment systems, landing pages, booking software and all the other things that go with an online business, and aren’t sure how it all works and how they connect?

    Then today’s episode is for you. I’ll walk you through a tour of the latest low-cost all-in-one platforms that you can use to build and host a connected, engaged community, promote events, book appointments, and even sell services through – without all the noise and ads.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Why People Love Communities
    * Why Businesses Need Communities
    * Two Platforms to Consider – That AREN’T Facebook

    Why People Love Communities

    At the tribal level, humans want to be part of a tribe because we have an innate need to belong.

    In years past, we lived in large tribes for our whole lives. These days, our tribe is often our immediate family. Our tribe is much smaller than it used to be, we’re working from home, or have moved away, so we seek connection in the online space to meet this basic, primal need.

    Being part of a group helps to give you a sense of self and of identity, and common purpose and support. A group of like-minded people gives us protection from others who challenge us, and it helps us avoid loneliness.

    As a collective, we share ideas, gain new perspectives and build confidence and strength with the backing of those who support us, champion us, and believe in us. It gives us happiness and emotional resilience.

    Why Businesses Need Communities 

    Smart businesses target a niche because it’s easier to be specific about who you help and how, and therefore, it’s easier for the right people to relate to you, and buy from you. 

    I see communities as a great way to bring your niche clients together into a place where they can support and connect with each other, where you can learn about what they want, where you can have more intimate conversations with them, build trust and relationship, and offer value to them (free and paid). 

    It totally makes sense for businesses to leverage this intrinsic human need and build a community of like-minded people who come together for a common purpose. 

    With that said, let’s look at some platforms where you can build a community that AREN’T Facebook. 

    Two Platforms to Consider – That AREN’T Facebook 

    I will give you an overview of two platforms that you might like to explore. 

    Some common features include spaces or topics for separate discussions, increasing amounts of storage with the more expensive plans, group chat function, posting, member profiles, and integration with other software. 

    But more than that, the great thing about these new platforms is that they are starting to offer more features so that you don’t have to have multiple systems running at once. 

    For example, right now you might be using an email program like MailChimp or Gmail to send stuff out to your email list. Some of these new community platforms have built-in email. 

    Similarly, you might be wondering about building a website and the cost of that, or how to set up booking software. Some of these new community platforms have features that will allow your members to book and pay, so you may not need separate software for that. 

    When looking at these options and their pricing, consider these sorts of features that could save you some money and help you have an all-in-one solution, rather than multiple payments and platforms. 

    Regardless, I suggest you sign up for the free trials offered and set aside at least 3 hours to explore and learn about each platform, watch some YouTube clips about the platforms, and check the ratings and examples before you decide. 

    That’s because if you don’t like the layout, features, look and feel etc, you won’t want to keep using the platform! Try before you buy! 

    Mighty networks – Build Communities, Courses and Memberships 

    Mighty Network is a platform for building an independent online community or business. It was founded by entrepreneurs who wanted to offer a framework for people to build their own social networks and run businesses from them. 

    Mighty networks have three plans:  

    1. Community (includes a website plus Livestream and video, chat, zoom integration and paid memberships),  
    2. Business (includes online course options, live course creation and analytics), and  
    3. Mighty Pro plan (app listing in Apple App and Google Play stores, account management and support). 

    Their value proposition is that you own your members (as opposed to the platform), you invest in a community (not an audience), and you build your own network effect (not just a content conveyor belt). 

    Their basic plan includes a website, plus a community function with live streaming and video function, chat and messaging, an app, unlimited members, event and zoom integration (e.g. from separate platforms) and the option to offer paid memberships. Higher paid subscriptions include an online course add-on. 

    Community messaging is available but there is no native email, so you’d need to run that separately. Otherwise, you can use Zapier (which has a small cost per transaction) to integrate Mighty Networks with MailChimp, ConvertKit and other programs. 

    I’ve used this platform for a pilot test group and found it easy to navigate, with plenty of helpful tips and hints delivered along the way in the trial.  

    Circle – the all-in-one community platform for creators and brands 

    I first learned about Circle through a community I was in, that migrated from Mighty Networks to this platform. 

    The look and feel of Circle is similar to Mighty Networks, and the pricing is similar, but the features available at each pricing level are slightly “rearranged”. 

    Circle has three plans: 

    1. Basic (simple community with essential features),  
    2. Professional (live stream and video with higher usage limits), and  
    3. Enterprise (including concierge, dedicated support team). 

    Their basic plan includes a community function, iOS app, a community function with chat and messaging, unlimited events and up to 1,000 members. Higher paid options include live streaming and video function, and advanced analytics. 

    You can also offer tiers of membership and include ‘gated’ access to paid or VIP groups or content and have a range of member subscription options including free trials and upsells. 

    The Circle group I am in loves using this platform as they say it’s easier to use and seamless. 

    Summary

    Today, we looked at the innate human need to belong, and how you can leverage that to build a community of niche clients around your business, building and maintaining a relationship based on trust, purpose and aligned values. 

    I talked briefly about two new so-called all-in-one platforms that are great alternatives to Facebook, where you can create, host and own your own community, app and membership/service offerings. 

    If you’re interested in creating an online community around your business, I recommend you set aside a couple of hours to trial each platform to see if either will suit your needs. 

    If you have feedback on these, please leave a comment on this episode for the benefit of others! 

    References and Links 

    Melanie White’s Passion to Profit program – foundational business building to create a profitable, purposeful business. 

    Winch, Dr Guy. The Importance of Belonging to a Tribe. Psychology Today website https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/202002/the-importance-belonging-tribe accessed 10.2.22 

    Mighty Networks 

    Circle – the all-in-one community platform

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here: