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E#219 Becoming a Confident Coach

This episode is about becoming a confident coach

Despite extensive training, a lot of professionals talk about having impostor syndrome and fear of not being good enough. But what do you do about that? How do you flip that on its’ head and tackle impostor syndrome so that you can become a confident coach?  

Why you need to be enough 


Impostor syndrome is rife in many professions – I know, because I’ve been through it, and I’ve spoken to a lot of people who struggle with it. 

Today I want to talk to you about WHY you need to be enough and stop impostor syndroming yourself.  

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Why you need to be enough
* What a digital legacy strategy is
* Four steps to creating your Digital Legacy Strategy

I think the key reason that you need to feel that you are enough, good enough, worthy, and competent, is that then you can switch your focus off your own shortcomings and onto your clients. 

Let’s face it, if you’re worried about your own performance, then you’re not giving all of your attention to the people you are purporting to help and support.  

I think this is SO critical. This was a realisation I had when I started coaching. I was so busy worrying about what to do, whether my questions were good enough, whether they got something out of the session, whether they were engaged and so on, that it was taking up a LOT of real estate in my head.  

I was feeling anxious and would be nervous going into each session. 

THEN one day I reflected on how my feelings and energy would be seen and felt by the people I was coaching. What would they say? 

By worrying about my performance, I was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was creating tension where there wasn’t really any. 

But most importantly, I realised this behaviour was about me spending too much time thinking about ME and my shortcomings, rather than my client. 

This aha moment flicked the switch for me and allowed me to totally change the way I showed up, coached and the impact of my coaching. It was amazing. 

Here are some benefits and outcomes of dealing with your impostor syndrome. 

Giving your best to clients 

Firstly, when you invest in overcoming your impostor syndrome you become more confident as a person and as a coach. You feel good about what you do and your ability to give value. That means that you invest more time thinking about the people that you’re helping, rather than your own shortcomings. It means that you are flipping the switch from a focus on you into a focus on your clients.  

Imagine how that changes their experience of working with you. Imagine how that changes their relationship with you in a coaching sense. And imagine how that therefore impact their results that they get from the coaching relationship. 

Secondly, if you deal with impostor syndrome and start believing that you can do this, that you are good enough, you be willing to invest enough in your own personal and professional development – because you know that it is worth it for your clients, and that you are worth it. The ripple effect is more advanced skills that will make you a better coach, giving your clients better outcomes. 

I think it’s really important when you’re starting any new career to know that you are not going to get it right all the time – ever. It’s important to manage your own expectations and to know that you will do things wrong and get things messed up along the way. And that’s totally okay. 

What’s more important is your commitment to investing in your own self-belief, personal development and professional development so that you can deal with those mistakes more easily, with grace and candour. 

So how do you get there? How do you beat it and become the best coach you can be, so that you can help people create their desired outcomes and impact the lives of more people? 

How do you beat impostor syndrome? 

Personal Development 

Start by working with your own coach. That way, you will improve your own thoughts habits, well-being and sense of purpose, so that you can be a role model for your clients. Being a strong role model promotes self-confidence. 

A reflective practice is also a must for all graduate coaches. After each coaching session, reflect on what went well, how you used your strengths, the verbal and nonverbal feedback from clients, and any areas for work. Write it down. Then, set specific goals to polish up any areas. One thing I like to do is focus on a particular coaching skill for all clients within a given month, so I can build and hone my craft. 

Ask for feedback and testimonials from your clients. Their feedback is really valuable as it tells you what they liked and didn’t like. Make sure to ask how things have changed for them – not just an assessment of your skills (remember, it’s about them, not you). 

Start hanging around more experienced coaches and having conversations and unpacking challenges so that you can more easily develop the habits and language of a masterful coach. 

Professional Development 

You can also do deep-dive training courses into specialty areas and practice those with your clients to become a better coach. For example, mental health first aid training if you are working with clients who have stress, anxiety and so on. 

There is a caveat on that. A lot of people see education as a tick box thing and they get really interested and they do more and more and more courses but without actually applying the learnings. And I think impostor syndrome comes from this too.  

I know some incredibly smart people who have numerous qualifications, who are full of self-doubt because they haven’t actually used their knowledge and practised with clients and seen the sorts of results that can be gained. 

If you complete a lot of educational courses but you never apply it, then you become potentially a very good teacher but maybe not good at the practice that you have studied.  

I recommend that you invest in practising new skills with clients. Ask permission to try new methods if you know them well, or find practice clients to test new skills and education with.  

Always, always, do market research – keep asking your clients what they need and want – keep learning about other people and their lives and how you can help them – that’s where you can overcome your own self-limiting beliefs, shift the value to what your clients want, and find ways to give it to them. 

Summary

Today we talked about why you need to beat impostor syndrome and start stepping up to be a more masterful coach.  

In short – if you’re focussing on yourself, you can’t focus properly or be present for your clients. 

Flip the switch by investing time, energy and money as needed into personal development and professional development. 

When you do this, you’ll feel more confident, and be able to truly serve your clients in a more authentic, impactful way – because your work will truly be about them. 

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#218 Benefits of Niching Down

This episode is about benefits of niching down

A lot of trainee coaches I meet are terrified of niching down and just want to help everyone, being afraid that they will have fewer potential clients. Today, I’ll help you understand what it means to ‘niche down’, six benefits of choosing a niche and what coaching a niche involves. 

When you’re starting out as a health and wellness coach, the experience you get with practice clients and your first paid clients will help you develop a niche that you can focus on, and market to directly. 

Starting more broadly is ok, but please know that it can be hard to find clients who want to coach with you if your marketing is not specific. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What it means to niche down
* Six benefits of choosing a niche
* What coaching a niche involves

Why? 

Because, unless you can clearly explain the benefits of coaching (see the previous episode of this podcast) then they won’t understand the benefits and value of coaching. 

That’s why I recommend starting to niche down as soon as you have some clarity. Let’s talk about what that means, and how it works. 

What it means to niche down 

Let’s start with the definition of a niche market. A niche market is a subset of a target market. It is a specific group of people that are desperate to solve a specific problem. 

When you hear the phrase “niching down”, it simply means getting more specific and targeting a certain segment of the group of people you want to work with. 

Why do this? 

Because people are VERY specific when they’re searching for an answer to their problem. They will be ultra-specific about the detail of their problem. And if they find someone who can help them with that specific thing, they’ll be much more interested than finding someone who does ‘all areas of health and wellness.’  

For example, I recently Googled ‘night sweats and insomnia in menopause’ – which is super specific. If I was looking to work with a coach, I’d be choosing someone who works with women in menopause, either listing those specific types of symptoms, or at the very least, indicating she works with business owners. I wouldn’t look for a ‘general’ health and wellness coach, because they wouldn’t necessarily understand what I’m going through!  

Let’s just be clear – you won’t necessarily be able to choose a niche right away, if you are just starting out. You will need to practice with people and work out who your people are and what challenges they’re facing. 

In other words, niching down is a journey. I recommend that you start out by picking what’s called a target market – which is a broader category of either person or type of problem that the market is spending money on. 

Spending is the key – if they’re not spending money to solve the problem, it’ll be hard for you to engage with them for coaching (they may not be ready, willing and able to buy – or the problem may not be big enough). 

Here are some examples of target markets: 

  • Weight loss for women 30 – 40 
  • Weight loss for women in menopause 
  • Stress management for men in white collar roles 

Do these sound specific to you? Actually, they are pretty general! 

As you coach people in a target market like this, you quickly understand that not all people in that group are created equal. There are subgroups! And they are very different. 

For example, the target market may differ in terms of their demographic, take-home income, family situation, and circumstances that are causing the problem. 

But that’s ok – start broadly and then you can get more specific as you get to know the people you are attracting. 

For example, more specific niches in weight loss for women in menopause could be things like: 

  • Female corporate leadership roles who are tired and listless, struggling with sleep 
  • Primary school teachers who are struggling to lose weight due to stress 
  • Women in the beauty industry who want to lose weight because looks are important, but they’re going to lots of lunches and drinks 
  • Women who are emotional eaters. 

ANY of these could be viable and more specific menopause niches. 

If you can’t pick an area of health and well-being, start with the type of person that you want to engage such as introverted women in corporate jobs, or mothers with two young kids, and find out what their problems are. 

Six benefits of choosing a niche and niching down 

Thinking about the more specific menopause niches I mentioned earlier – let’s say you are running group coaching and you put that bunch of women into a group together. 

They’d all think and behave in slightly different ways. For example, you’d have the teachers who are overweight in part due to stress, corporate leaders are overweight in part as they are tired and struggling to sleep, and emotional eaters. 

They might have some common ground, but they’ll potentially all be interested in different things.  

And while that doesn’t matter too much in a 1:1 scenario when you are starting out, any groups you run will be WAY more cohesive and MUCH better equipped to create a community if they can relate to each other on a personal level.  That’s benefit #1 of niching down. 

Number 2i s that you’ll find it much easier to coach even in a 1:1 setting because you’ll be dealing with similar types of people or problems, rather than being stretched in lots of different directions. 

No wonder new coaches think they don’t know enough! Having to face a barrage of different people and issues can make that worse. 

Benefit #3 – imagine you have picked a niche and narrowed it down so it’s more specific. What does this mean for your business? Suddenly you are seen as a one-of-a-kind, unique business. It’s SO much easier to speak specifically to your audience, stand out from the pack and to become a trusted go-to source of support.  

Benefit #4 – you’ll become a proficient and confident coach much more quickly and easily. As you really get to know your audience, you’ll realise that you have really started to master the key areas that matter to them, the main coaching approaches that work, and the interactions with those clients. 

Benefit #5 of niching down – you’ll be working less and achieving more. That’s because you won’t be customising your marketing content for different types of clients or needing to source tons of different resources – you’ll be diving deep into one area and using the same sorts of content and resources for all your clients, saving you LOTS of time. You’ll be marketing in one or two places where your niche hangs out, rather than all over the place, hoping someone will respond. 

Benefit #6 is that you will have a bigger number of clients and more loyal, committed clients because you know them so intimately and deeply. In fact, your sales call conversion rates will be much higher because the more specific niche trusts that you know a lot about them and really understand what their problem is. 

These are six great reasons why niching down is beneficial and valuable.  

But start walking before you run – choose a target market at first, and with practice clients, start to really listen and learn more about them.   

Now, let’s look at what coaching a niche involves. It’s actually not what you think! 

What coaching a niche involves 

Coaching a niche isn’t really much different from coaching different types of people more generally, or in different niches. 

That’s because no problem exists in isolation. 

Let me say that again – no problem exists in isolation. 

No matter who you are coaching, and what their key problem and goal is, there are a lot of other areas of health and that they will need to be coached around.  

For example, weight problems are influenced by sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress and mental health/mindset. Or some combination of these. What changes is the order of priority! 

Or, for example, stress/anxiety problems are influenced by sleep, nutrition, mental health/mindset, and exercise. Same thing – it’s a particular combination, and order of priority. 

Not all areas will be relevant for every person. 

But what the CLIENT is thinking about is the bit that matters to them. Speak to that in your marketing, honour that in your coaching, and know that you will invariably be working around the other areas to some degree, anyway. 

In addition, the likelihood is that the reason behind their perceived problem is a general skills gap. 

For example, someone who is stressed and overwhelmed is likely not very good at setting boundaries, being kind to themselves, and/or making enough time for themselves.  

Those three skills are also relevant to many other areas like eating, exercise, sleep etc. 

So when you work with a niche, you are actually helping a client fill specific skills gaps (they develop the skills through experimentation) that will help them to solve many different problems they’re facing – all because of the same reasons. 

As the saying goes, “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything”.  

Summary

Today we covered what niching down means, and six of the benefits of niching down (there are others!) 

Those benefits are: 

  • More cohesive and connected clients when coaching groups  
  • It’s easier to start with similar types of problems/people rather than being stretched 
  • You’re seen as unique, one of a kind, standing out from all the other coaches 
  • You’ll become proficient and confident more quickly 
  • You’ll be working less and achieving more as you’ll save a LOT of time not customising marketing content and resources 
  • You’ll have more loyal clients and higher sales conversion rates. 

Finally, I discussed the fact that no problem exists in isolation. So while your niche thinks they have a specific problem (which is an area they want to focus on and which you might market to), you will end up coaching them around other areas. In other words, you will actually be helping people to develop skills in one area that are transferrable to many areas of health and wellness. All that changes is the priority!

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#214 Six ways to boost your professional credibility

This episode is about six ways to boost your professional credibility

Are you finding it difficult to gain credibility with other health professionals? Are they confused about what you do, or facing lots of questions about your qualifications? Today I’ll outline six ways you can boost your professional credibility so that people understand what you do and have trust and confidence in your qualification, training, skill set and capabilities.

I wanted to create this episode today because I’ve had two conversations recently that really got me fired up.

In one conversation, a recent graduate who is out marketing her services said she’d been constantly questioned by professionals about her qualifications – not by potential clients – but by health professionals.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What professional credibility mean
* Why people question your qualifications
* Six ways to boost your professional credibility

In the other conversation, a seasoned coach is starting a degree, following what I would call professionally bullying – being told by a health professional that she isn’t qualified enough to have enough expertise in wellness, and needs to do higher education.

After I got up from pounding my fists on the floor, I decided to develop this episode to help you to understand why these sorts of things happen, and what you can do about it.

What professional credibility means

To set the scene, let’s define professional credibility.

It can be simply defined as your education, experience, performance and demonstrated professional development in a particular field.

This definition gives some clues about what it takes to be a credible professional that is trusted and respected. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Why people question your qualifications and professional credibility

According to an article in the Organisational Behaviour in Health Care book series, “…professional credibility is a source of legitimacy.” The chapter says that when professional credibility is combined with leadership, you can create respect and trust by peers, and engagement with followers.

So, when people question your qualifications or professionalism, they are looking for evidence that you’re trustworthy, capable, and skilled.

In a healthcare setting, it’s understandable that people might question anyone’s professional credibility because you may be dealing with people in health critical or l

complex medical or psychological conditions, and other professionals with significant experience in patient care and medical systems.

Somebody showing up with a coaching qualification may not fit into their paradigm.

In Australia, Health and Wellness Coaching is a relatively young profession and people don’t understand what it is or how it fits with existing medical frameworks, or within health professions.

Part of the challenge is the range of untrained and unexperienced people giving themselves coaching-related titles and offering services that are clearly not coaching related.

Another part of the challenge is the diversity of coaching professions around – you can be a life coach, a wellness coach, a health and wellness coach, a health coach, an executive coach….and so on. What’s the difference? Which is the appropriate setting for each one?

I’ll address these three issues in a moment.

But to finish up this section of today’s topic, I wanted to say that there is something of a turf war going on in Australia. I have heard of this first-hand from a psychologist a few years ago, who told me that psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors are fighting about who is credentialled enough for what.

Let me ease your mind a bit by saying that professional skills are important, our profession definitely needs some good promotion and PR, our scope of practice needs to be clear, but please also know that human ego and professional bullying exists and is potentially always going to be there, no matter how well known, recognised and accepted our profession is.

In fact, the reason I left my previous career as a biological scientist is that I was sick of all the egotism, barrow-pushing and bullying that was going on in my industry back then. I wasn’t personally affected but I was disheartened by the behaviour, generally.

That said, there are things going on and that you can do to move past the questions and to gain the credibility and respect you deserve.

Six ways to boost your professional credibility

Let’s look at 6 ways you can start boosting your professional credibility.

HCANZA – Look for the Logo

If you’re a regular listener of this podcast, you might remember an episode I did in May 2022 called how to boost your professional credibility. This episode was about showcasing the health coaching profession at the inaugural conference of our industry association, Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand association (HCANZA), and how attending could give you ideas on how to communicate what health coaches do, and what our profession is achieving.

As a current board member of HCANZA, I can say that HCANZA is working hard in the advocacy of our profession at the highest levels of government, insurance and medical sector in Australia and New Zealand. HCANZA serves multiple purposes, including building the knowledge, understanding and reputation of health coaching in Australia and New Zealand. We are running a Look for the Logo campaign that educates the public and health professionals on how to choose an appropriately qualified health and wellness coach.

If you are a member of HCANZA, then you have access to resources to help you also advocate for our profession, and to promote yourself in a professional way. Hot off the press, HCANZA members now have access to a 25 page booklet called The Doctors Guide to Health Coaching, authored by Sandra Sheinbaum from the Institute of Functional Medicine and provided to HCANZA members for the purpose of awareness-building, advocacy and promotion of our profession.

If you’re a current member, this would have been sent to you by email and it’s available in the member toolkit. The document has been sent to 2,000 doctors in this past week.

Professional branding

Whether we like it or not, first impressions count.

That means that any imagery, documents, flyers, email footers, social media pages, websites etc that you have need to look professional.

Professional branding can cost as little as $200 or up to $15,000 but before you leap in, you need to work out your target market and ideal customer and get to know them intimately.

Why? Because your branding colours and styles need to appeal to your specific demographic, psychographic and desired feelings.

Before tackling branding formally, when you are getting started, at least develop a professional looking email signature and a formal LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot and a well written bio on it.

Mentioning your qualifications, training and HCANZA membership is valuable for your professional standing and to raise awareness of our industry association.

Your main goal initially is to have consistent visuals and messaging across any promotional material. If you start with LinkedIn and an email footer, and any other online presence, they should all look similar, use the same fonts, and have the same feel about them.

If you are a HCANZA Professional member, log into your account and look inside your member toolkit for tips on creating a professional bio, getting noticed on LinkedIn, where to use your HCANZA logo, and crafting an elevator pitch (who you work with and the general area – e.g. I help professional women in their 40’s who are struggling with menopause). We also have a HCANZA-badged brochure that talks about the benefits of working with a HCANZA-accredited coach.

A clear value proposition

When you can clearly and confidently describe who you work with (elevator pitch) and how you help your niche (value proposition), it lends credibility and professionalism – and legitimacy.

A value proposition describes the tangible results someone will get from using your products or services. I did an episode unpacking how to do this recently using a tool called a Brand Ladder, which you can listen to, here.

A value proposition might be longer than an elevator pitch and speak more specifically to the tangible results. For example, comparing to the elevator pitch I just mentioned, a related value proposition might be something like:

“I use an evidence-based methodology help menopausal women to become aware of what impacts their menopausal symptoms, and to develop health-giving routines to help them reduce their symptoms naturally and feel healthy, productive, energized and calm”.

When you can clearly explain how you help people, they see the value in working with you.

It’s clear that you know what you’re talking about, and that you are confident in what you do and how it helps people.

Endorsement

Personal or professional endorsements are great ways to build credibility. If someone else likes and trusts you, and if you have proven success, this builds your legitimacy as a coach.

Endorsement can take on various forms, such as:

· Being a HCANZA Professional member and listed on their website

· Client testimonials (on your website or social media platform – or a widget like TrustPilot)

· Client case studies

· Professional recommendations (LinkedIn is a great example)

· Media references

· Employer references

· Corporate or business client case studies

Even as a new coach, you can cover at least some of these.

Professional networking

While networking itself isn’t necessarily credibility building, the act of consistently showing up in professional networking spaces creates visibility and recognition and helps you to build relationships with like-minded people who can become your allies and advocates.

For example, when I started my weight loss coaching business, I made an effort to send introductory letters to prominent health professionals in my area and meet several of them for coffee afterwards.

I also attended various events and presentations in my local area such as Medicare presentations, health expos and health practitioner lunches, where I could leverage those initial contacts and become known in the area.

Also, I started my business by running a pilot program that involved my clients seeing their doctors or health professionals for a health clearance before starting. This gave those professionals firsthand experience in the success of my coaching program, and therefore professional endorsement and recognition.

In the end, GP’s and podiatrists, chiropractors and diabetes educators were referring people to me for weight loss, having seen improvement in my clients weight, BMI, blood pressure, insulin, etc.

You can do this in your local area (four or five surrounding suburbs) or nearest health hub.

Publishing and speaking

Finally, being published in online articles, interviewed on the radio or podcasts, published in print newspapers or magazines, all give you visibility and credibility.

After all, nobody will publish you or interview you if you’re not credible.

While this is a marketing activity, it also gives you a chance to be seen, heard and known by different audiences, so they can validly assess (in their own minds) how professional you are.

Summary

Today we talked about the challenges we face in being recognised as credible professionals. The truth is, no matter how experienced and qualified you are, someone will always take a shot at you or doubt your credentials.

That aside, there are six things you can do to boost your professional credibility right now:

· Being a HCANZA member

· ensure you have professional branding

· develop a clear value proposition

· gain endorsements

· professional networking

· publishing and speaking

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:

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E#211 How to Succeed by Showing Up

This episode is about how to succeed by showing up

Are you struggling to find enough clients, do a good enough job, or achieve your goals, and wondering how to make it happen? Let’s look at why showing up is the key to your success.

What is showing up?

Showing up refers to your ability to do things consistently and to be accountable to yourself for that. It’s a simple as that, but it’s also essential for achieving any outcome goals you have.

Losing weight.

Launching a successful business.

Attracting clients.

Completing a qualification.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is showing up?
* What does showing up create?
* How do you commit to showing up?

It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve – it’s the same principle. Showing up is required for success, and it means that you are committed, disciplined, and consistent with your efforts no matter what, which makes the results possible.

A lot of people I meet come to me for coaching because they are getting half baked results or no results. A lot of the time it’s about not showing up for yourself consistently.

A lot of things happen if you don’t show up.

For example, in marketing one of the keys to becoming visible and known is that you show up regularly and keep your promises to yourself and your audience. It might take 6 to 12 months before somebody even knows that you exist, so you need to be putting yourself out there consistently and regularly in the same places over a long enough period of time that people can start to see you and get to know you, let alone want to buy something from you.

A lot of coaches I meet try something here and there for a month and then give up saying that nobody is interested. Not long enough! And likely, not consistent enough.

The same goes for eating and exercise for example. If you want to be athletic, to lose 5 kg of body fat, to gain 3 kg of muscle, to run a marathon or to consistently follow a Mediterranean diet, then you need to show up for yourself and exercise, eat well or train several times per week and every week consistently for a period of time – usually at least 3 months.

It’s great to start with planning to do something, but that is the easy bit. You feel excited at the prospect of achieving the result. You feel satisfied that you’ve mapped out all of the steps appropriately. You feel like you are ready to go.

But the reality is, as you start to implement your plan life is going to throw you curveballs. That’s a definite – and showing up requires you to figure out how to keep showing up for yourself, or for others, or both.

I know for myself for example, at least two or three nights a week I sleep poorly at the moment. And while it might be tempting for me to take a day off the next day, I have responsibilities and things that are important for me to do so I dig deep, and I show up. I make myself get up on time, shower, get dressed in colourful clothing, eat something nutritious, and prepare myself mentally for the meetings and tasks ahead. Obviously there are exceptions, like if I am really sick, but otherwise I just get over the mind games and move forward.

ALL of us have obstacles in life that prevent us from showing up and that is why working with a coach to be so helpful because it’s about learning how to navigate, troubleshoot, and problem solve those obstacles so that you can be consistent and get the results you want.

Why is it sometimes hard to show up? Simply, because our brains work against us. Our brains are wired to seek pleasure, avoid pain and expend as little effort as possible. This is why we tell ourselves all the lies and excuses that stop us from taking action!

But if we work with our brains, we develop better habits that help us to show up and create results.

What does showing up create?

So, what happens if you do manage your brain better and show up consistently?

Well let’s look at some real life examples.

I have been running this podcast every week for over two years. I have committed to consistently publishing episodes every week no matter what. For example, my father just passed away a couple of weeks ago, and knowing that he was unwell I recorded a couple of episodes in advance so that I could keep showing up.

Some days I don’t feel like recording a podcast but I do it anyway because I am committed to this activity.

People ask, where do I get the motivation? Well, I have learned to embrace this process because it builds my audience over time with more and more people listening to this podcast. I don’t want to let them down by not showing up. If I don’t do an episode or two, or if I’m late, people will get the impression that I’m unreliable and untrustworthy – definitely not helpful! Therefore, I have strategies in place to make sure that I show up every week no matter what.

Actually, weight loss is a really good example of what’s required for showing up. In my experience of coaching people around weight loss, it often takes several weeks before they start to see the impact of habit they have changed. In the meantime, they may get sick, lose motivation, feel overwhelmed with stressors or feel tired as their body changes. But by committing to themselves they can overcome those challenges and still show up for themselves in order to achieve the result that they want.

The interesting thing is that it’s actually not so much about the result because that is a one-off thing. Showing up is actually about embracing the process and developing the habits that will make you a success.

Those habits become who you are, your new identity, and a new way of living.

In the weight loss example, people talk about losing weight and then gaining it again. It just means that they stop showing up for themselves and go back into their old habits which no longer serve them.

In another example, I think about myself as a business owner running my signature weight loss program in my local area for 3 1/2 years.

It didn’t matter how tired I was, or down, or what the weather was like, I showed up consistently for those groups of clients and got myself into a positive mindset to foster an exceptional experience for those clients and hold the space for them so that they could achieve their goals.

Sometimes I definitely didn’t feel like running those group sessions, but I had strategies in place to make sure that my clients got incredible value from those sessions and from working with me. After all, it was the results they got and the way they felt in those sessions that created multiple referrals and sold-out programs every time.

What do you think would’ve happened if I cancelled sessions because I didn’t feel like going, or if I showed up half hearted and listless?

Showing up – or not – creates your results.

How do you commit to showing up?

So how do you commit to showing up for yourself and for other people?

It’s really all about managing your mindset, your energy, your motivation, and maintaining your level of commitment to yourself and or other people.

If you want to show up for yourself or others consistently, the first thing you must do is to define a really good reason why you want to do a particular thing. In my example of podcasting, this is tied in with my ability to have an impact on the lives of other people and to help people to bring their greatness to the world. This is a huge part of my purpose, so if I don’t do this podcast consistently, I might lose my audience, and that might mean that I don’t get to fulfil my purpose.

The nutshell is that having a big why or lots of whys is really important for committing to something.

The second thing is that you have to be doing something that is truly meaningful and important to you. If you are trying to do something that you think you should be doing but don’t really want to do and then it’s going to be hard to stick to. This ties into your why, but is slightly different.

For example, reaching my audience is important to me, but my actions for getting there must be meaningful and aligned. When I tried to run a Facebook group over about a 14-month period, I struggled because I absolutely hated being on Facebook and so I wasn’t able to make myself be consistent and show up for that and I learnt a really important lesson by failing at that. I realise that I was doing something that I thought I should be doing but didn’t really suit me or feel right and it didn’t suit my audience either.

So, choosing activities and goals with importance and meaning is an essential part of showing up.

The third thing is that if you want to be able to show up for yourself or others consistently, choose habits or activities that play to your strengths, or find ways to use your strengths to complete those activities. It’s much easier to be consistent when you are doing something that you are good at or have the potential to develop skills in.

The fourth thing, and this is probably a really important one, is that you just have to stop overthinking things. It’s really easy if you’re tired or stressed to want to give up on yourself and to tell yourself stories about why you can’t do something. That’s just your brain trying not to make the effort.

If you think about it, it’s actually the discomfort of doing something under adversity that helps you to come out stronger and with a greater sense of self belief. If you give in every time and don’t be consistent, then you are just proving to yourself that you can’t. If you grit your teeth and get

through something challenging, you gain a sense of pride, efficacy and a glimmer of hope that you can do it again. This gives your untrusting brain the proof it needs to believe you can succeed.

It’s way better to find some strategies and cues and just make yourself do something and get across the line to prove to yourself that you can because that will create momentum and an upward spiral.

My best strategy to overcome mental hurdles is talking myself into doing the activity and outlining all the reasons it’s important.

The fifth thing is that planning is really important in terms of being able to show up for yourself. Imagine if I was trying to record a podcast every week but didn’t have any sort of activity put into my calendar. I’d probably forget will be trying to squeeze it in around other appointments or double booking myself and then it wouldn’t get done. Planning means you are intentionally making space – a dedicated time slot every week – to recording an episode, doing the gym workout, or posting on LinkedIn – whatever it is you want to commit to.

Planning offers you more than just the ability to complete the task. By making space for what matters to you, it prompts you to clear out the low return tasks so that you don’t waste time and become more efficient and productive. When your schedule is based around important but not urgent tasks and not too many of them, then it’s much easier to show up for yourself.

The sixth thing I want to talk about today in terms of showing up is that sometimes you’re going to need support from another person or some sort of system to help you show up. It could be a coach. It could be an alarm. It could be a ritual or process you used to get yourself into the right headspace. But whatever it is, if you find it hard to be self motivated and self disciplined at times, think about the things you can do to help you show up for yourself.

Using this podcast as an example once again, if I’m not in the mood or am lacking inspiration, I have a few uplifting podcasts that I listen to that help me to come up with a more positive mindset and create some of my own ideas for content. I also have content that I’ve created in the past and I can always go back to that and re-purpose it for a podcast episode if I need to. I have a system of dictating into my iPad or phone so if I get an idea while I’m on the run I can capture it in a document using the microphone function and that means I am constantly adding to the content when the ideas strike me. These are three of my personal strategies for making sure I show up and do this podcast every week no matter what.

The seventh and final thing that will help you to show up is the 7-minute rule. In the practice of yoga, there is a saying that if you just do 7 minutes then you will likely keep going. I apply the same principle to anything else that I need to show up for. Just seven minutes writing some notes for a podcast. Or just seven minutes getting my mind in order so I can still see my clients today and not cancel any appointments. You get the idea. Doing a tiny amount of something means that you get over the initial hurdle of starting, and that you are more likely to keep going

Summary

Today we talked about what showing up is and why it is important.

I also talked about seven ways to help you show up for yourself:

1. Define a specific why, or many whys

2. Focus on activities that are meaningful and important to you (linked to the why)

3. Choose activities that play to your strengths, or find ways to use strengths to complete them

4. Stop overthinking things and just do them with the help of strategies and cues.

5. Planning specific activities for specific time slots

6. Get the support you need from others, systems or tools

7. Commit to just 7 minutes so you get over the hurdle of starting.

Showing up for yourself means that you can do meaningful things in your own life and succeed at those things and feel like you are living a purposeful and intentional life.

It is about learning to embrace the process and become good at that, rather than just focussing on the result. This not only helps you achieve the result, it also helps you to become committed to the regular actions that create your results!

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#209 How Long Does It Take to Form a Habit?

This episode is about how long does it take to form a habit?

Are you thinking about making change but lacking in motivation, and wondering how long it will take to form a new habit that happens automatically and effortlessly?

By knowing how long it takes to form a habit, it can help you to manage your expectations, decide if you are ready to start, and hang in there long enough to be successful.

I’m sure you know what it’s like. At some point in your life, you have wanted to lose weight, or tone up, or establish a better sleep routine, but it can be hard to get started when you’re not clear on how long it will take, and whether you have enough time and energy to even start.

If you search the internet for “how long does it take to form a habit”, you will find a range of answers. Today I want to share the most recent research to answer this question, with caveats included!

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The Architecture
* What Type of Habit Do You Want to Change?
* What Type of Person Are You?
* What is Your Situation? What is Your Mindset?
* What Does the Research Say?

The Architecture of Habits

To set the scene, let’s look at the architecture of habits. I have done a deep dive on this in previous episodes, so for now let’s recap.

Firstly, any habit has a cue or trigger – something that causes it to happen.

Then there is a routine or process that you go through.

Then, there is a reward you receive by going through the process.

The craving for this reward can motivate you to keep coming back.

What this means for you is that if you want to change a bad habit or form a new habit, you need to work the elements of this ‘habit loop’ to help you get there faster.

Let’s look at how to do that, with some examples.

What Type of Habit Do You Want to Change?

Firstly, consider that the type and complexity of habit that you want to change. Let me give you two examples from my own life so you can see the difference.

If it’s a simple habit you want to form like flossing your teeth once per day, then you can bet that it will happen a lot sooner and become automatic more easily compared to a more complex habit.

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me he had started flossing his teeth each night. This is something I’ve wanted to do for teeth hygiene reasons, but never quite found the motivation and

momentum to be consistent. This is probably because I found it to be a rather fiddly and sometimes painful task, and I had told myself that I hated flossing my teeth, or that I couldn’t be bothered.

But as soon as my friend mentioned he was doing this, I decided that I’d have a go too. I didn’t tell him or anyone else – I just decided one day that I would have a competition with myself to do it every night for 12 weeks, as an experiment to see whether I could turn this into an automatic and effortless habit.

The trigger part of the habit was easy – I would floss before brushing my teeth each night. This is called habit stacking, or as I like to call it, piggybacking. I simply put a package of floss next to my toothbrush and voila, I remembered to even think about doing it each night!

I got off to a good start and in the first few weeks, I realised a few things.

Firstly, I realised that each night I was approaching this habit in the wrong way.

When I got ready to floss, I noticed that I was thinking about how annoying this was, or how I didn’t feel like doing it, or how yukky and gross it was – unhelpful thinking! Instead, I decided to come up with more neutral or positive thoughts as I was flossing. I started thinking things like “I did another night! Yay!” or “This is good for my teeth!”

Secondly, I realised that if I was going to be consistent with this, I would have to be clear on the process. I had recently been to a new dentist, and they’d provided some written instructions on how to brush and floss your teeth. To make it more interesting, I decided to geek it up and deep dive into technique, trying to bring some fresh energy and interest into the process.

I learned about flossing on angles and how long it should take.

Those two things kept me going in the beginning.

Then I started thinking about the reward in earnest, rather than just having that sense of achievement. Sure, that was a reward, but I also ran my tongue over my teeth and made a smug ‘ah’ sound, really celebrating the clean teeth and how I was maintaining the dentist’s good cleaning work.

Something funny happened about 11 or 12 weeks into the routine. I had had a late night and a few drinks and was getting ready for bed. And even being so tired, I realised that I simply couldn’t go to bed without flossing my teeth before brushing.

It was a huge win! I could celebrate more than just the fact that it had become automatic and effortless – I also wanted to floss my teeth because I had created an attachment to the rewards of achievement and cleaner teeth (as opposed to the old rewards of getting out of a boring task).

Now compare that with something like giving up smoking. Smoking is something you do multiple times per day, and your desire to smoke might be triggered by multiple different things.

I smoked socially in my late teens, and in earnest when I was 21 years old after a stressful series of events. It had become a coping mechanism and a way of fitting in socially (these were the rewards).

After a year, I decided it was ridiculous to smoke and I wanted to give up but it was difficult! This wasn’t just one habit loop – it was many habit loops happening in tandem.

For example, there were various cues or triggers for smoking.

After breakfast. While driving. After lunch. When stressed. While hanging out with certain friends. While drinking alcohol. At a pub or nightclub (a common hangout when I was this age). At the end of the day as a pleasant wind-down ritual on the balcony of my unit. Looking cool in front of boys (or so I thought).

Coupled with the perceived rewards of coping better and looking cool (yes, I am groaning about these), I also had a serious nicotine addiction by now so had chemical drivers.

This habit was a lot more complex than teeth flossing!

In the end, I dismantled my smoking habit one piece at a time.

Firstly, I switched from menthol cigarettes (tasted better) to plain cigarettes and the worst-tasting ones – in other words, I made the habit more unpleasant.

Next, I substituted those cigarettes to ones that tasted bad AND had the lowest nicotine.

Then, I started delaying my first cigarette. So instead of around 9am, I would wait until 10am, then 11am, then after lunch.

By now I was smoking fewer per day, so I started buying smaller packets.

I started hanging out with different friends – friends who didn’t smoke. This was a game changer for this habit because it removed temptation and also helped me frame a healthier identity – by hanging around people who placed a higher value on health.

I was going to nightclubs to dance instead of smoke. I was going to the beach in the daytime instead of pubs to play pool.

By the end of about 6 months, I was down to one cigarette per day – the one on the balcony late afternoon. This was the hardest one to give up because I had a positive ritual and feeling of me time. However, I made the decision to stop and do something else at this time.

Voila, the habit was gone.

I had cravings for a while, but it was easier to ride them out once I got this far.

As you can see, more complex habits take longer to break or form and are more involved.

Some people go for substitution for gum or other things, but for me, I wanted to break the habit and rewire all the different areas of my life rather than swap one vice or habit for another.

What Type of Person Are You?

Complexity aside, I think a lot comes down to the type of person you are.

If you are motivated, focused, achievement oriented and proactive, it’s probably easier for you to form a new habit or break a bad habit.

Some people have more addictive personalities – and I am one of these (as revealed in a genetic test I had done a few years ago to look at disease risk factors).

Some people like putting others first and even at their own expense, which can get in the way of forming new habits.

These are all factors that affect your ability to form new habits and the time that it takes.

What is Your Life Situation?

Your life situation impacts your ability to form a habit and the rate at which it happens.

Why? Because making change is hard. It requires a lot of focus and energy from your brain, and brains like taking the easy, low-cost, low-effort route.

That means if your life situation is busy, overwhelming, stressful, painful, difficult, or involving major shifts or even crises, forming a new habit is going to be pretty difficult. Not just in terms of starting but in persisting.

The best time to form a new habit is when there’s little stress in your life, when things are on an even keel, and when there aren’t many other pressures in life.

This is not always possible, but at least you can clear the decks to make time and energy to focus on doing something new, or something different.

The less stress you have, I believe the faster and easier change will be.

This is where working with a coach can be so helpful, because they help you make the time and create the focus, and clear the decks, so that you have enough brain power for forming a habit.

And not too many at once!

What is Your Mindset?

Finally, your mindset is a critical piece of the puzzle.

You heard me say earlier in the teeth flossing and quit smoking examples, that I had decided to do it. And after 13 years of coaching, I can say that the majority of my clients use similar words.

They say that they have decided, or they are in the right headspace, or they are really ready. There is determination in those words.

And to be successful and persist for long enough so that you can form and automate a habit, you need to have a good enough reason which is meaningful to you, because this is your motivator to keep going.

What Does the Research Say About Time Required to Form Habits?

I’ve just given you a lot of backstory about habit formation that sets the scene for discussing the research.

A 2009 paper by Phillippa Lalley et. al. was published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.

The study involved 96 volunteers over 12 weeks. Those volunteers chose an eating, drinking or activity behaviour to carry out daily in the same context (e.g. after breakfast).

The time it took to form the habit and for it to become largely automatic was 18 – 254 days, with an average of 66 days (9.5 weeks). A huge range!

It is known that behaviour is likely to become habitual when it is frequently and consistently performed in the same context, this study found that a habit could be formed and become automatic even if it was missed a few times.

More recently, a longitudinal field study considered how self-control capacity affected the development of habits over a period of 90 days.

Contrary to expectations, self-control capacity did not seem to affect the habit formation process and opened the opportunity for future research.

The recent research reveals a few keys to easier and potentially faster habit formation and habit automaticity:

· Habit strength increases steeply at first then levels off

· The more often the behaviour is completed, the quicker the habit forms

· The more inherently rewarding the behaviour, the easier it is to form a habit

· If the environment is comfortable (no threats/obstacles), habit formation is easier

To me, these findings back up my experience with my own habits and with clients.

The recipe for success seems to lie in the goal-setting process and the situation, as described earlier.

If you clear your decks to make time, set specific goals around behaviours that are rewarding, and you commit to doing them frequently, you will more likely succeed.

Having the support of a coach will probably help you get there faster!

Summary

Today we talked about how long it takes to form a habit and covered some of the factors that influence the timing and ease of habit formation.

There is a lot of scope for future research in this area, with the most recent studies having shown that your capacity for self-control is not critical to the process!

Rather, the intrinsic reward, frequency of behaviour, commitment, environment and in my experience, situation, mindset and personality, might all play a role in the timing.

 

References

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. (2010), How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 998-1009. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.674

van der Weiden Anouk, Benjamins Jeroen, Gillebaart Marleen, Ybema Jan Fekke, de Ridder Denise. (2020). How to Form Good Habits? A Longitudinal Field Study on the Role of Self-Control in Habit Formation. Frontiers in Psychology 11. URL=https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00560

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#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#201 Alcohol and Mental Health

This episode is about alcohol and mental health

Let’s face it – Australia has a drinking culture, which started in colonial times when convicts were partially paid with rum. (1, 2)

Most of us associate drinking alcohol with relaxing, celebrating, sport and ‘fitting in’ with social norms. We might feel that alcohol helps us cope better with stress and anxiety, but is alcohol good for mental health?

How We Think Alcohol Helps

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that drinking alcohol can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Some people say it helps them manage anxiety in social situations. Others use alcohol to ‘blunt’ their heightened emotions at the end of a stressful day, or to fall asleep easier.

It’s tempting to think that alcohol is helpful, but is it really?

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* How We Think Alcohol Helps
* The Physical and Mental Effects of Alcohol
* Longer Term Impacts of Alcohol Use and Misuse
* Who is Most at Risk of Alcohol-Related Health Issues?
* What We Can Do

The Physical and Mental Effects of Alcohol

While you might feel that alcohol is relaxing you, it’s doing the opposite. There is overwhelming research on the effects of alcohol on mental health and physical health – and the news isn’t good.

A 2021 study shows that binge drinking increases muscle sympathetic nerve activity (fight or flight response), reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, reduces sleep quality overall and increases morning-after blood pressure and heart rate. (3)

In other words, alcohol intake in the evening causes ‘stress’ while you’re sleeping. For example, you might think you fall asleep easily after a few drinks, but then you wake up between 1am and 3am and can’t get back to sleep, or you have ‘night sweats.’

As Head of Growth at Philia Labs,’ I’ve certainly seen these sorts of results in our 2022 data collection studies, in participants who consumed alcohol. Even though they felt more relaxed after drinking, their heart rates were higher and they had a lower amount of deep sleep on the nights they consumed alcohol.

Adding insult to injury, this overnight stress disrupts your body’s natural rest and recovery process that occur during sleep. These processes include physical recovery, blood sugar regulation, brain

detoxification, immune system regulation, learning and emotional processing, and memory consolidation.

And depending on your intake, you might wake up to the symptoms of drinking too much alcohol.

These include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, irritability, mood swings, lower energy levels, reduced memory, poor focus and impaired work performance.

In other words, you’re starting the next day ‘behind the 8-ball’ in a ‘fight or flight’ state.

Longer Term Impacts of Alcohol Use and Misuse

Research shows that alcohol use and misuse accounts for 3.3 million deaths each year (6% of deaths worldwide) related to accidents, violence, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases. (4, 5)

We also know that mental health tends to have a reciprocal relationship with alcohol. That is, people who are dependent on alcohol are more likely to have mental health issues, and people with mental health issues may drink to self-medicate. (4)

This was reinforced in a cross-sectional study of alcohol intake and mental health during COVID-19 lockdowns. The study found significant links between increased alcohol consumption and poor overall mental health, depressive symptoms and lower mental wellbeing. (6)

The long-term mental health impacts can include increases in aggressive and/or risky behaviours, self-harm, anxiety and depression. (6, 7)

Other risks of alcohol use include the increased chance of having an accident or injuring yourself or others, poorer job performance and negative effects on relationships.

Who is Most at Risk of Alcohol-Related Health Issues?

Certain groups of people may be more likely to drink, or drink more, and therefore be at greater risk of (physical and) mental health problems. Research on US populations (4) shows that:

– men are more likely to drink heavily or binge drink than women,

– Caucasians tend to drink more overall,

– people of higher socio-economic status tend to drink more frequently, and

– lower socioeconomic groups tend to drink larger quantities of alcohol.

Isolation is another risk factor for increased alcohol consumption and related mental health issues, particularly for some age groups.

In 2021, a study of alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdown (self-isolation) in the UK showed that increased alcohol consumption was most prevalent in 18–34-year-old people compared with older age groups, and that poorer mental health was significantly related to increased alcohol intake (versus no increase during the study). (6)

Certain work sectors are also in the higher risk category, such as remote mine sites. The fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce experiences stressors including isolation, extreme environments and shift work disorder. Levels of psychological distress are significantly higher compared to the general population (8). Drinking is also part of the mining culture. Recent studies in the FIFO workforce in Australia indicate that the odds of risky and harmful alcohol use are much higher in certain groups (8, 9, 10):

  • males,
  • younger workers,
  • smokers,
  • people working primarily for higher income,
  • working in underground mining (vs open cut)
  • those with previous alcohol and other drug problems
  • those who report psychological distress, and
  • those with a history of anxiety and/or depression.

Advertising, marketing and cultural norms (including in the workplace) all play a role in drinking habits, as do lack of support and exposure to stressors.

What Can We Do?

Alcohol intake is a cultural norm in many countries, and it is linked with a complex array of individual and societal factors. There are several ways we can reduce the impacts of alcohol on health and mental health.

Firstly, education on the risks of drinking and binge drinking is important. Knowing the recommended drinking guidelines is a good starting point to work out whether you have risky drinking behaviour. You can use these yourself or share them with others.

Secondly, being self-aware of your drinking habits and after-effects is important for identifying your own risky behaviours and it might help you feel motivated to change your habits or get some support to do so. There are various levels of support available. Alcoholics Anonymous is one association, but also, several health and wellness coaches offer support and behaviour change for grey-area drinkers – those people who aren’t alcoholics but are concerned about their drinking habits. Sarah Rusbatch in WA is a leader in this area and has a free community. You can also ask a trusted friend, family, mentor or colleague for support.

Workplace culture is another place that can support positive change. A lot of workplaces support, condone or endorse a drinking culture that can be uncomfortable and create pressure for people who don’t want to drink.

As an individual, you can approach your HR department to discuss initiatives, find ambassadors and request support to change the workplace culture. As a business owner, you can review employee behaviour and social drinking norms to look for opportunities to better support your organisation.

Whatever you do, by drinking less, you will feel better for it, you will look better, and you will reduce your risks of chronic and acute disease.

Summary

The message is clear – drinking alcohol can seem to have benefits in certain situations, but the reality is, it’s putting stress on your body that can impact your physical and mental health.

There can be flow on effects to your work performance, career opportunities, relationships, and life satisfaction.

Self-awareness is always the starting point for change, so by understanding the guidelines and reflecting honestly on your own drinking habits, you are better equipped to know whether you need help, and what sort of help you might need to make some positive and more healthful changes.

1. VicHealth. Exploring the Role of Alcohol in Victorians’ Lives. Website accessed 16.6.22

2. Moodie, Prof. R. 2013. A Brief History of Alcohol Consumption in Australia. The Conversation Website, accessed 16.6.22.

3. Greenlund, I.M. et al. 2021. Morning sympathetic activity after evening binge alcohol consumption. Am. J. Phys Heart Circ Phys 310(1), H305-H315.

4. Sunhinaraset, M. 2016. Social and Cultural Contexts of Alcohol Use. Alcohol Res 2016; 38(1); 35-40.

5. Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2021. Every alcoholic drink increases your risk of cancer. Website accessed 16.6.22.

6. Jacob, Louis, et al. Alcohol Use and Mental Health during Covid-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Sample of UK Adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 219, 2021, pp. 108488–108488., doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108488.

7. Headspace. How does alcohol affect mental health? Headspace website accessed 16.6.22.

8. James, Carole et al. Correlates of psychological distress among workers in the mining industry in remote Australia: Evidence from a multi-site cross-sectional survey. PloS one vol. 13,12 e0209377. 20 Dec. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209377

9. James, Carole L., et al. Alcohol Consumption in the Australian Mining Industry: The Role of Workplace, Social, and Individual Factors. Workplace Health & Safety, vol. 69, no. 9, Sept. 2021, pp. 423–434, doi:10.1177/21650799211005768.

10. James, Carole et al. Factors associated with patterns of psychological distress, alcohol use and social network among Australian mineworkers. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health vol. 44,5 (2020): 390-396. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.13037

11. Alcohol and Drug Foundation Australia. Australian Alcohol Guidelines. Website accessed 5.7.22.

12. Alcoholics Anonymous. Zoom Meeting attendance information. Website accessed 5.7.22.

13. Sarah Rusbatch – Grey Area Drinking Coach. Website accessed 5.7.22.

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#200 How to Coach Around Nutrition and Eating Habits

This episode is about how to coach around nutrition and eating habits

I was recently asked, ‘how do you coach around nutrition and eating habits without being an expert’? Today I’ll illustrate a few ways to do this with some examples.

When Clients Ask You What They Should Eat

Let’s say a client comes to you and wants to be told what to eat, and whether she should follow a diet plan.

A good starting point is to ask what the client already knows and acknowledge why that matters to them – what is behind this change in eating and how will that impact their life? Their answers may reveal some important values that will help them to create a compelling vision.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* When Clients Ask You What They Should Eat
* How to Discuss Portion Sizes
* Coaching for Weight Loss

Next, you would explore what they know already about healthy eating. Most clients have a reasonable amount of knowledge – just not how to fit it into their busy lives. But if your client doesn’t know much, you might point them to relevant guidelines, or refer them to a professional who is qualified to help.

The most important thing is that you are not here to educate clients or tell them what to do. Instead, your role is to draw out what your client knows and help them make sense of it, identify any knowledge gaps that require referral, and otherwise help them to create safe and effective goals to achieve their vision.

How to Discuss Portion Sizes

Let’s say your client isn’t clear about portion sizes or serving sizes but sees this as an important part of eating well. How do you tackle that?

Firstly, there are published guidelines on these aspects that you can share with a client. The way to introduce them is to ask permission – would you be interested in looking at the guidelines on portion sizes and serving sizes?

In sharing the information, you can ask the client questions that will raise their self awareness. These might include questions like:

How much of this did you already know?

What surprised you?

What have you learned?

How might you use this information?

What would you like to experiment with?

There is much to be learnt about healthy eating and there is also a lot of mis-information out there. Your job is to support your clients as they consider changes they may to make, provide well documented information when required and step in if they are planning to set goals that are unsafe in any way.

Coaching For Weight Loss

People might want to change their eating habits and diets for many reasons including to reduce arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, to lower blood pressure, or address a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes or an autoimmune condition, or to boost their energy.

But a lot of clients who want to change their eating habits are concerned about weight loss, either as a stand-alone concern, or coupled with one of the other aspects.

So how do you have conversations about plateaus, popular diet trends and supplements?

The starting point is always about finding out what the client knows already, and what their perception is about this area.

What do they know about this diet trend or supplement, it’s safety and efficacy?

Or in the case of a plateau, what do they know about energy balance?

What is attractive about the solution they’ve found?

And what’s behind that?

Often clients are drawn toward things that seem to offer a quick solution to their challenges. Unpacking conversations can reveal underlying fears, concerns or motivators, and awareness of these can lead a client to reasonably assess whether their thought processes are helpful.

If there are any remaining concerns or desires to try certain approaches, you can easily refer a client to a doctor or dietician for more specific advice.

But often, you get the chance to turn the conversation back toward the longer term goals, the sustainable habits they are doing, how they feel about the habits, and also, basic principles about mindful eating and tuning into natural hunger and satiety signals.

You may invite a client to watch their thoughts and/or track their responses to food, any ‘rules’ they set around eating, how they feel in social eating settings, what thoughts they are having about other people’s results etc. In doing this self-reflection, the client can learn the valuable skill of critical thinking to help them work out for themselves if they have legitimate concerns or not.

A little information and some self-reflection can be used to help your clients develop the skill of understanding what their bodies are telling them, so that they can self-regulate their behaviour more easily.

Two key drivers of unhealthy eating habits and weight concerns are stress, and faulty thinking patterns that lead to unhelpful feelings and beliefs. In that sense, while the initial work in weight loss

coaching is around more superficial topics like what to eat and how to get organised, the deeper work for lasting change is around the individual’s ability to set boundaries, manage their lives and their emotions.

Summary

Today I shared three examples of how to coach around nutrition. We covered:

1. What to do if a client wants to be told what to eat

2. How to coach around portion sizes, and

3. Coaching for weight loss including popular diets, supplements and other people’s success.

We’ve only just skimmed the surface of weight loss coaching, but these are three common questions that I have been asked by coaches who want to coach clients around nutrition and eating habits.

I hope this episode was useful. Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes and I’d appreciate your rating and feedback if you are enjoying this!

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:

Posted on

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#190 Fear Vs Faith-Based Business

    This episode is about fear vs faith-based business

    Today I want to talk to you about running your business from a position of fear versus a position of faith. This is such an important conversation to have. If you’re operating from a place of fear, it can really hurt your business. But if you can switch that and operate from a position of faith that you’ll succeed, of optimism, and hope, then it’s a totally different ball game.

    If you’re a new coach, if you have just graduated with your qualification, and you are getting ready to start your coaching business or practice, it’s a really exciting time. You have so much opportunity ahead of you!

    You have so much enthusiasm about making a difference in the world!

    But for a lot people starting out as a coach in business, there is this challenge around self-confidence self-worth and self-value.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What a fear-based business looks like
    * HFlipping the Switch
    * What a faith-based business looks like

    Impostor syndrome is incredibly common.

    And that’s why today I want to talk about the impact of starting your coaching business from a position of fear, verses starting your coaching business from a position of faith.

    I want to give you some practical tips and tools to help you come from a better place, so that you can build your coaching business easily more quickly and to be more successful.

    What a Fear-Based Business Looks Like

    I want to start here so that you can see the impact of having this fear-based mindset on both your ability as a coach, and on your business.

    From a business perspective, a fear-based approach reduces your ability to make money, attract clients, and get ahead.

    A fear-based mentality is a little bit like a circular reference. It might start with impostor syndrome – who am I to coach? I’ve never run a business before – how will I ever succeed?

    You might be comparing yourself to others who have spent 10 years of blood, sweat and tears to build their business.

    And as a result, you feel like you won’t get things right, or you’ll fail or you won’t be able to find enough clients, or you won’t be good enough.

    That puts you into this repeating cycle of not taking action and worrying about the action that you do take – giving your brain the proof it needs that you’re not good enough.

    There is a confounding factor in this cycle that I want to alert you to.

    Here is a pro tip – If you start working with practice or paid clients who are ready, willing and able to change – even desperate to change – chances are they will love coaching with you and get great results.

    A lot of coaches starting out with this fear-based mentality want to find anyone with a pulse!!

    But, if the client is not ready, willing and able, they’ll probably be resistant, disinterested, unfocused and uncommitted.

    The kicker is that YOU will feel like the failure, but it’s actually probably not you!

    See how this fear-based ‘I need any clients I can get!’ mentality is hurting your self-value and self-efficacy – and your business?

    The fear-based approach sets you up to start looking for – and finding – evidence of failure. In other words, if focus on your fear of failing, then all you will see is the evidence that this is true.

    How does this kind of mindset affect your ability to start marketing your business?

    What happens to your ability to proactively go out to meet new people, talk about what you do with confidence, or become a specialist in a particular niche area if your head is full of this negative stuff?

    I know that when I started my own coaching business, even though I had been incredibly successful in other businesses, I had that same mindset.

    I kept asking myself questions like, where will I find clients, and what if they don’t get very good results, and what if I can’t make a living out of this, and what if I’m no good at this, how would I ever know?

    What happened is that I started to get more and more agitated and wound up about not succeeding, and I started to doubt myself, and feel threatened and judged by everybody around me who knew what I was trying to do.

    I felt disheartened. For the most part what was going on for me was that I didn’t have a specific enough niche, so people didn’t understand my messaging, and I wasn’t going to the right places therefore to find the people who I wanted to work with.

    If this sounds like you, then stick with me because now I’m going to talk about flipping the switch and having a more faith in yourself, and having a more positive attitude to your business so that you can start attracting clients more easily and becoming a better coach more quickly, and make more money.

    Flipping the Switch

    A turning point for me was doing some research to find out that there was a need and I want in my community. Identifying a need isn’t enough. After all, lots of people need help, but not many are

    ready, willing, and able to seek and pay for help. So I had to find those people who were motivated to change and were willing to pay to get my help.

    As soon as I did this, everything changed. And it’s a story I have seen time and time again with other coaches who have been successful.

    As soon as they committed to one thing that they knew people were willing to pay for, everything changed.

    If you do that, you create an upward spiral of thinking and acting positively – and this is how that can play out for you.

    My second pro-tip for this episode is to create a little roadmap of how to beat the imposter and get started. Here’s how.

    First of all, find some practice clients to work with who REALLY want to change and are ready to do so.

    Then, invite interest to be part of a pilot program, which is a safe, confidential environment for you to be imperfect, for them not to expect the world, and to get their honest feedback without too many expectations upfront.

    Be vulnerable and let them know it is a test for both of you, and that their opinion and feedback will really help you to help others in exactly the right way.

    If you get that combination right – the right people and a test environment – then invariably those first pilot clients will stick with your program and finish it, and then, they will more likely to succeed.

    And THEN, they will refer others to you!

    Imagine how you would feel having coached a handful of people who really wanted to change, and then were able to succeed and feel and look amazing?

    What would your mind be telling you in that situation?

    Would it be telling you that you were a failure or that you weren’t any good or that your results weren’t worth the money or anything like that?

    Of course not. And that’s the whole point.

    Once you start working with the right people and getting some initial results and focusing on them rather than your fears and inadequacies – a totally different region of your brain lights up.

    It’s the region associated with positive emotions, optimism, and hope.

    What a Faith-based Business Looks Like

    For me when I started my coaching business, as soon as I got those clients that were successful initially, I started wondering where can I find more of those people, and how can I share those wonderful results, and how can I help those people to continue to succeed?

    The initial results that my first successful clients got totally shifted the language in my head. And instead of focusing on me and my supposed shortcomings, I started to focus on the possibilities of change in my business.

    And pretty soon, most of my language was very different.

    Instead of asking why can’t I? I started asking how can I?

    I had the confidence that what I was doing was working. And I started to look for more opportunities. Everything just unfolded as it was meant to because I was moving forward in my mind.

    I was believing in what was possible based on some initial results. And I was totally focused on pursuing opportunities knowing that I had something of value to offer, rather than being frightened of speaking to anybody in case I couldn’t figure out the words to describe what I was doing or in case I couldn’t prove my results.

    This is such an important episode. It takes courage and a bit of confidence to take those first steps into your profession, once you get those couple of important wins on the board it gives you the confidence to gain momentum to keep going and getting traction and continue taking action in the right direction.

    Your brain will switch from how will I ever do it, into where do I go next?

    Of course you will probably need support to face and work on your fears, and probably your own personal and/or business coach.

    But please know this – as Henry Ford said – If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.

    Summary

    Today I covered the difference between a fear-based versus a faith-based coaching business.

    One involves getting bogged down in everything you can’t possibly do or succeed in, and keeps you stuck there. And unless things change, you’ll probably fail in your business and as a coach.

    But, if you commit to a more faith-based approach, where you develop faith in your method and in your ability to succeed, and you put your clients first and find the right people, it will flick the switch in your brain and reveal a positive path of traction, momentum and success.

    Today, I walked you through a simple plan to develop a faith-based coaching business.

    What are you waiting for? Go out and get started.

    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#188 3 Reasons Why Knowing Your Niche is Valuable

    This episode is about 3 reasons why knowing your niche is valuable

    Why does having a niche and knowing your niche matter in business? Simply, because it allows you to quickly build trust, and rapport and be seen as a specialist or expert, and therefore attract clients more easily. Today, I’ll outline three reasons why knowing your niche is valuable, with some examples, and how you can get to this level yourself.

    While marking assessments in my Passion to Profit course, it became clear that some students knew their niche really well. I’d like to showcase the value of knowing your niche by sharing some of the insights presented by students.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Speaking Their Language In Your Marketing
    * Matchmaking Relevant Program Content
    * Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

    Reason 1 – You Can Speak Their Language in Your Marketing

    When you understand what your niche is going through each day, you can easily demonstrate that and tell their story in your marketing.

    When asked about the type of content they would create for the niche, one student really understood that her audience (busy professionals) were very capable people but often felt alone. They are the type of women that have role models and like learning from other successful women, and they like reputable, fact-based information sources.

    Her ideas for content included expert interviews with or by other women, fact-based news and statistics, and some self-assessment tests.

    These content ideas are perfectly matched to a professional, capable niche and will likely create better engagement.

    Her niche are readers who trust published information written in more formal language, and who expect more professional standard of information.

    To that end, she has self-published a book, has developed a newsletter and will be creating a series of videos that match what they need and want.

    This coach has also identified that her busy professional audience wants to wind down and get ready for a fun and inspiring weekend, so she plans to create content on Thursdays for posting on Friday – just in time to end the week on a positive note.

    What happens when you know your niche so intimately?

    You know what they want, can anticipate when and how they want to receive it, and what they need and want to hear.

    This builds trust and rapport, and makes you the logical choice as the right person to work with.

    When you get to the stage of a ‘good fit’ call, they have often already decided you’re the one they want to work with, because you ‘get’ them and speak the same language.

    Reason 2 – You can Matchmake Relevant Program Content to Your Niche

    With a niche of busy, stressed professionals, this same student decided that the flavour of her content should be short and to the point (time efficient and easy to read).

    In her marketing and her programs, she’s developing shorter forms and surveys using via electronic links to complete and submit online with the press of a button, rather than lengthy documents to fill in.

    Her niche tends to feel negative or frustrated, so she will focus on positive statements and reframes to help boost their spirits and bring a bit of spark to their day, and a supportive group that helps them to feel connected and engaged.

    Reason 3 – Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

    What comes to mind when you think of a specialist?

    When I hear that word, I think expertise, a higher price, someone who knows exactly what I’m going through and what I need, and someone who is equipped to help me with every little thing.

    Niching down and being more specific allows you to be good at something specific – to become a specialist.

    When you run a coaching program that is tailored to a certain type of person, using the content, words and imagery that they more personally relate to, they will more likely commit, persist and succeed with your program.

    Of course, this assumes that you have screened and prequalified them first as someone who is ready, willing and able to change!

    There is a saying that goes, you are the average of the 5 people closest to you.

    What does that mean, in the context of THIS conversation?

    It means that your successful clients have at least five friends who are just like them.

    In other words, they know at least five people who are also in your niche.

    If they have had the experience of personal, specialist experience from someone who ‘gets’ them and even better, has been on the journey or worked with lots of people like them, they will tell ALL their friends, which means referrals, referrals and more referrals.

    In my previous weight loss coaching business, I would invite my finishing participants to let their friends and colleagues know about my coming information sessions, and to invite them to attend.

    That alone ensured that my next information sessions were fully booked, and resulted in 95% conversion rates on the night.

    Summary

    Niching down is important not just for client attraction and engagement, but also for client success and results and even better, referral to more people like them (who are your ideal client).

    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#187 How Exercise Improves Mental Health with Zac Jefcoate

    This episode is about how exercise improves mental health with Zac Jefcoate

    Today, I interview exercise physiologist and health and wellness coach, Zac Jeffcoate to discuss the links between exercise and mental health, the cost of prevention versus injury management, and how the powerful combination of individualised exercise and coaching can empower improvements, save money and improve quality of life at the individual and workforce level.

    MW: I’m pretty interested to start by hearing a bit about what you’re really passionate about.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * The links between exercise and mental health
    * Why changes are difficult, and how to overcome resistance
    *  How individualised coaching and exercise programs can improve health and save money
    * The importance of simple steps

    ZJ: Well, firstly, that question gets asked a lot, and the way I answer that is, the passion for me is providing exercise and movement. Initially in my career as an exercise physiologist, we can impact people’s lives really positively. And as I progressed in my career, I found that it’s not so much what exercise does, but it’s more the fact of what exercise, obviously, how it improves the quality of life, and how people actually fit that into their day to essentially get to an outcome.

    So my passion is actually educating people on the benefits of exercise my solution and what I kind of not sell them what solution is that exercise is a modality that fits into their lifestyle.

    And it’s really important that we look at how diet, sleep, exercise, relaxation, and meditation fit into a physical mental model. My passion is really the profession, I’ll be honest with you. It is exercise physiology. And beyond that, it’s obviously providing education to anyone who wants to hear.

    MW: Wow. And it sounds like you have quite a broad experience. We were talking just before we started this conversation about all of the things that you’ve done. Can you give us a quick recap of your world tour of Australia?

    ZJ: Yeah, well, just I mean, I’ve, I’ve got a bit of ADHD probably. So I do a lot of different things.

    Initially, when I graduated in 2008, I was offered a job in mining. Unfortunately, I turned up and I tried a uniform on and the guy said, Sorry, Zac, there’s no work here. We’ve lost the contract that’s mining.

    It was a humbling experience. My rejection was the redirection to go on a journey, and I set up two AP clinics in medical centres. They’re a great company so did that for about five years. At that time, I was an ABC radio host, and had a skit on ABC.

    I then worked in Surf Lifesaving as a performance coach and as a Cert IV lecturer in fitness. Then, after five years, I went into the Northern Territory in Tennant Creek, and I worked over there for about three months with a company called Body Fit. We provided access to exercise physiology in remote and rural indigenous communities. That was a great eye-opener.

    And then after that, I went to Melbourne for a number of years and work down with Angelo and the team in Melbourne, in rehab, and then I had come back to Perth, to take on the role in rehab services.

    MW: Wow, you’ve seen a lot of the country and by the sound of things, a lot of different sorts of people in different contexts regarding exercise.

    ZJ: Yeah. And it’s the same message. And I guess the challenge is what you know, the message that you’re trying to portray, it’s about linking that to your target audience, or linking that in terms of value. So how does someone who’s recovering from kidney disease take your message, as opposed to someone who’s just been guys diagnosed with anxiety and depression?

    So how do you as an AP, or as a health professional, essentially get buy-in or trust with the client? And that’s a hard skill, to be honest with you.

    MW: I guess that’s where the coaching approach comes in for you.

    ZJ: Definitely. Yeah. And the coaching principles. More importantly, that the client-centred approach is you really have to understand that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, essentially, the empathetic approach. Second to that, what is it about what you’re offering do they think they need?

    I mean, I’ll be honest with you, a lifestyle change is hard. And this is why it’s about the clients we have the range on the spectrum in terms of their levels of health. And it’s really important that when you coach them through each week or each session, they understand that your guiding principle of coaching is really important because of how you do your initial assessment, how you do your follow-ups, and then essentially how you educate them all comes down to that kind of format and modality that needs to really be targeted to them.

    MW: I can hear that it’s very personalized, even down to the level of each individual client. That’s what you’re saying?

    ZJ: Yeah, a tailored approach. So we don’t do cookie-cutter assessments. You can have two of the same people come in with the exact same diagnosis or a similar history and you need to treat them differently. The approach of, well, for example, the One-Stop approach doesn’t work, especially in coaching and health and wellness, the individuality.

    So it’s really important that you understand, this is essentially going through the need to understand the biomedical markers of the person, you could ask them the physiology, and you have to understand the drive and direction in their psychology behind their motivation and their habits. You have to break this down, because what your intervention and what you’re trying to provide a solution won’t necessarily hit the mark if you can address those factors.

    MW: It sounds like you have to be across a lot of stuff, generally. And then as well, on top of that the individual needs of the person or being able to identify those and be client-centred at the same time.

    ZJ: Yeah, it’s difficult. And I’ve been doing it for 14 years, and I probably am still learning a lot, it probably took me at least a number of years to actually understand how to relate, also understand how to say what, when, and also how to formulate a plan to best suit my client. And this is life experience, number one. Number two, it’s understanding your trade, knowing what you can offer and also really having a thirst or a passion to continue to keep learning.

    MW: It’s so important. Absolutely. I wonder if we could talk a bit about mental health because really, in this spotlight at the moment, there’s obviously a link between exercise and mental health. But I’m not sure that a lot of people really understand that link very well. So could you talk to us a little bit about that?

    ZJ: Well, I mean, the link, over let’s put it this way, it’s definitely gotten a lot better in terms of the awareness, I think we have to be mindful with exercise and mental health, that there’s a component that they actually go hand in hand. But remember physical health, mental health, what comes first.

    I think the main thing is understanding that from a, I guess from a medical model, so for example, in the GP, it’s about providing the lifestyle change. And then from a health coaching, and from a wellness perspective, you’re not just focusing on one part.

    So the link between exercise and mental health is actually quite been studied a lot in the last probably three to four years, the rates of depression, anxiety, in particular, schizophrenia, and bipolar.

    Also, there’s a lot of evidence in relation to exercise and how it modulates the brain improves, obviously, the feel-good hormone reduces cortisol, which essentially over time, what it does, it gives it a more locus of control, or competence to the client, about what they can and can’t do.

    I’ll talk to you from a purely physiological point of view from the way the body responds. It improves oxygen. That’s the first point of Go.

    So as we improve oxygen, when hemoglobin, obviously, blood flows for the body, that increases natural feel-good hormones, you need to do that in certain way over time to get a benefit. And the first thing I look at with mental health is called dose-response.

    For example, you go walking for 10 minutes, get enough response for your body and change. It’s no different than medication now, where you’ve been diagnosed with depression, and you have 25 milligrams of sertraline or Zoloft. Does that do anything for the body? So it’s this it’s no different.

    The second thing is looking at what is it about physical health that when you’re faced with a mental health condition or concern, why does that always go on the back burner? What is it about exercise and movement and eating? Well, so why does that always go to the bottom? And this is the crux of understanding that we need to break the relationship down so people can see the value.

    Liking what you read so far? Listen to the whole interview by clicking the links above.

    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#185 How to Write a Magnetic ‘About Me’ Story

    This episode is about how to write a magnetic ‘About Me’ story

    Do you want to attract more clients to your business – and the RIGHT kind of clients?

    As part of my Passion to Profit course, I ask my students to write an About Me story as a critical part of their marketing. In this episode, I’ll explain how to write it in a way that attracts the right kinds of clients more easily, and with fewer objections.

    What An About Me Story Is – and Why It Matters

    Statistics show that your About Me story is one of the most-read pieces of content on your website.

    So, what is an about me story?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What an About Me Story Is – and Why it Matters
    * Four Things Your About Me Story Must Cover
    * How Your About Me Story Attracts the Right Clients
    * Four Steps to a Magnetic About Me Story

    It’s the story that describes your journey from tragedy to triumph, to arrive at where you are today.

    It is an emotive story that captures four important things:

    1. Who you are as a person (your personality)
    2. How do you relate to your niche (your story)
    3. Your values
    4. The position and value of your business

    In his 2015 book called Dotcom Secrets, founder of Clickfunnels Russell Brunson describes this as an Attractive Character Avatar – a public persona that people immediately relate to and connect with.

    Why does the about me story matter?

    Well, because first impressions count, and your About Me page is often the first thing people look for on your website. A well-written story builds connection, rapport and trust with the reader.

    Four Things Your About Me Story Must Cover

    Remember that people buy you, not your service. There are four things that your About Me story must cover in order to build trust and rapport in the reader. It must show the reader:

    1. What they have in common with you – in terms of age, stage of life, problem, values, journey and personality

    2. How deeply you understand their day-to-day struggles with the problem

    3. That you are a role model for success, giving them hope and a sense of what is possible and achievable for them

    4. That you have more than just professional expertise, but personal lived experience with an issue – and how best to overcome it.

    Think about how much trust that generates!

    How Your About Me Story Attracts the Right Clients

    Think about any more generic About Me story that you’ve read on a website or one that is full of qualifications.

    How did you feel when you read it?

    A dry, boring, linear account of your academic history can cause readers to skim at best, and switch off at worst.

    Yes, qualifications matter, but it’s personal engagement that actually sells.

    By telling a heartfelt, emotive story of tragedy to triumph, the reader will see themselves in your words.

    They’ll know that you ‘get’ how they are feeling.

    They’ll get to know you a bit more personally, and to understand your personality, values and approach.

    By the end of your relatable story, the reader should be clear about how aligned they are with you, and whether you are the right person to help them or not.

    In other words, a well-written story can either attract or repel the reader – so you end up with enquiries from people who are pre-sold that you might be a good personality fit for them – and very few mismatches or tyre kickers!

    How To Write a Magnetic About Me Story

    Start by doing some exercises to prepare to write your story.

    If you haven’t had a journey yourself, you might have had experience with many clients in a niche, or friends and family around you with a certain problem.

    Your About Me story can convey your story OR your experience with others.

    You might like to think about and write some notes about:

    1. Your best and most likeable personal traits
    2. A clear journey that matches the niche you work with (your story, or someone else’s)
    3. Your strengths and values
    4. What matters to you most or your vision
    5. Your struggles (or your client/friend’s struggle) to get there
    6. What the turning point was (for you or your client/friend)
    7. How it felt to make the decision, and what the decision was
    8. The success and how it felt

    Once you have done this, you probably have all the elements to write a great story about a journey that you or others have had.

    It needs to be real, emotive and compelling.

    Here are some tips for getting it right.

    1. Start with a defining event

    You can draw the reader in with a specific event that triggered a chain reaction.

    For example:

    “The year I turned 35, I was living my best life. I was travelling extensively for work, partying hard, and playing golf and tennis. Then I married my best friend and we knew we wanted to have kids right away. It would be the icing on the cake of a perfect life.

    But after 6 months of trying, we were unable to get pregnant, and it was then that I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

    Suddenly my world collapsed, and we were faced with some hard decisions about what to do. We were facing expensive treatment, a hormonal rollercoaster, and no guarantee of success.”

    Notice in that example, I outlined how good life was, and how this one specific event was so big that it stopped the person in their tracks.

    It covered specific events in a timeline and described all the emotions that were felt along the way. Remember, this could be your story or the story of a client that came to you for help and succeeded (written in the third person).

    This part helps the reader connect with you as a person on a similar journey, or who has helped people like them. It is where resonance and trust start.

    Are you someone that they could relate to and work with?

    2. Define the emotional turmoil

    Next, you want to talk about the pain of this – the cost of the struggle. This highlights the personal reasons why getting help and seeking a solution are so important. In doing this, you get to share your values and motivators, which might be the same as your client.

    For example:

    “We were told by the specialist that if I went ahead with treatment, life would change dramatically. I would need time off work and our income would drop.

    I would have to deal with uncomfortable side effects of the treatment. It would make me more emotional, and it would change my body.

    My husband and I talked about the consequences. He would have to be the main income earner, and on top of that I would be relying on him for more emotional support.

    We would have to decide whether we really wanted kids badly enough to go through with these massive changes and this uncertainty.”

    Notice in this example, I am talking about that initial stage of diagnosis and talking about things that the reader with this problem might be going through. The reader who relates to this would be thinking – YES – this person gets it!

    This part helps the reader connect with their version of the problem, and to weigh up how big of a problem something is for them right now.

    Is the reader going through this too, and are they ready to make a decision?

    3. Describing the turning point

    Whenever there is a problem that someone is facing, they weigh up the pros and cons of change before deciding what to do, as we heard in that last point.

    Humans are driven to avoid pain, so when there are more benefits to change than not, it creates the motivation to act and seek help.

    Describing the decision-making and action in detail – what you realised, what was decided, how it felt and what the next steps were – helps your reader to make their own decision, and get some ideas on what getting started might look like.

    It also gives them ‘permission’ to ask for help. After all, if a competent role model like you sought help – then the reader might be able to do it too!

    On the other hand, what happens if you were to write about how you did it all yourself? It might be off-putting for the reader. They might feel that it’s too hard, or they’re not good enough to do it themselves!

    If you manage to weave in the importance and value of getting support, it could help the reader to find the courage to reach out to you. This is important from a marketing perspective (not so much the resonance of the story itself).

    For example:

    “Being undecided was an excruciating place to be. We needed to make a decision one way or the other, and we both felt so much pressure to choose the right option – but we had no idea what it was! We had so many unanswered questions.

    How would we pay for the expensive treatment?

    Were we up for this, financially and emotionally?

    Could our marriage handle it?

    Or could we face a life without kids?

    What would that look like?

    As our next specialist appointment drew nearer, we decided to go for it. But it would be hard on our own, and between specialist visits. I would need to make sure I was doing everything possible to make my body healthy and better equipped to handle potential pregnancy.

    My specialist recommended a health coach who specialised in optimising health for women trying to fall pregnant.

    She was amazing – not just in helping me be consistent with positive habits like eating well and exercising safely, but also with the emotional support I needed. She helped me to set boundaries at work so I could finish earlier, get more rest, and also accept that I needed to slow down!

    I have achieved so much in so many areas of my life, but without the support of my coach and the community she offered, I would have truly struggled with so many things.

    Notice in this example, I am talking about the fear and questions, the process for getting support, and how the support benefitted the person.

    This part helps the reader to understand that help is available, and how it helps them get through this situation. It helps to generate hope and optimism, relief and other positive emotions.

    4. Amplifying the outcome

    Change is hard, and it is often a struggle. It requires focus, dedication and persistence, and to set time aside.

    A person will only go through that if there is a reward at the end – and if it’s the reward they want.

    Your ability to articulate that clearly, at the end of your About Me story, is essential for helping someone feel ready, willing and able to change – and that you are the right person to help them.

    If your reasons and benefits are the same as theirs, they will likely reach out to you for help.

    For example:

    “Fast forward two years, and we have an amazing little girl who is healthy and happy. We managed to fall pregnant on the second round of treatment, and my coach was invaluable for helping me keep my physical and mental health in check.

     

    I went on to study Health and Wellness Coaching, because I wanted to help women like me who were taking that leap of faith, to do so with their best foot forward.

    And even though I’m a qualified coach now with a Professional Certificate of Health and Wellness Coaching, I still check in with my coach every 2 – 3 months. I am healthier than I’ve ever been, thanks to her ongoing support.

    Right now, she is that objective, non-judgemental person who helps me to navigate the challenges and the joys of raising a baby while running my business. She helps me make better decisions and to be consistent with the habits that keep me healthy and happy.

    I have been working with my own clients for 12 months now and am so excited to be doing this important work.

    I am so excited and relieved that things worked out. Finally, we get the family we wanted, and we are even talking about baby number 2! For us, making this decision was the best thing we’ve ever done.

    If you are reading this story and going through this right now – please take your time to think about all the angles of your decision.

    And if you have taken that deep breath and decided to go for it – please know that there are people who can support you and help you through it, regardless of the outcome.”

    This part fast forwards to the joy and reinforces the benefits and importance of getting help. It speaks to what’s possible, helps them to connect with the desired outcome, whether you are the right person, and once again, to work out if they are ready, willing and able to do the work.

    Summary

    Today we discussed what an About Me story is, why it matters, and four things it must cover.

    If you get it right, you will build trust and attract the right clients to your business, and they will be ‘pre-sold’ that you are the right person to help them.

    There are four parts of a magnetic About Me story:

    1. A defining event

    2. Defining the emotional turmoil

    3. Describing the turning point

    4. Amplifying the outcome If you need help to write an About Me story, 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#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#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#171 Pull Marketing – Attract Clients with Confidence

    This episode is about pull marketing – attract clients with confidence

    I was asked recently for tips on how to ask clients to work with you, or engage people in a sales process. This episode covers what I call a coaching approach to attracting clients with confidence and creating clients with ease. 

    What is Pull Marketing?

    I use the concept of ‘pull’ marketing. It means creating demand for your services or products, rather than pushing them onto people.

    If you are a coach, you are perfectly equipped with the coaching skills that can help you do this easily. All you need to do is to flip your thinking and redefine the words that currently seem icky and uncomfortable, like “marketing” and “sales”. 

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What is Pull Marketing?
    * The 4 Step “Pull Marketing” Process
    * How to get it right?

    The essence of pull marketing, from a coaching perspective, is to speak with conviction about your why, to be aspirational and inspirational, and to build or tap into a community around that. Then to match your values and services with the people who need them, and offer to support them through a journey if and when they are ready to take it.

    Here is a rough 4-step process that I use, that others have used, and that really works.

    4 Step “Pull Marketing” Process

    Step 1 – Start with the Why

    Pull marketing starts with clearly communicating your big why and your bigger mission and really unpacking it.

    The why naturally speaks to a huge problem that people want to solve – confidence, fear, isolation, self-doubt – or whatever it is. 

    It paints an aspirational picture of what’s possible (and what we can achieve together). People see themselves in that and create a shared vision.

    Speaking to the why regularly ignites the fire in people who are thinking about change but are afraid (it’s not you, it’s them!) – they move through the stages of change to become ready. 

    They sit up and take notice. Your inspirational and aspirational approach gives them a sense of hope, of potential, and that you are the leader who can help them.

    Step 2 – Give a Vehicle for Engagement

    By communicating your why in your content, people are attracted and engage with you as they become readier and readier to change (and therefore buy).

    They want to stay connected because it feels good to be around you.

    They may not be ready to buy yet.

    So, create a vehicle for engagement. Give them a place to go to stay in touch – a meetup group, a LinkedIn group, or some other ‘container’ for like-minded people.

    They will want to be part of that community and they will have ownership if they can co-create it with you (and this is the coaching way). 

    In that container, you can speak more to the journey they are on and help them solve day-to-day problems that they’re facing, and to get peer support.

    Be authentic, and speak to both obstacles and wins. Keep the positive momentum going.

    The community will become very problem aware, and solution aware, and are equipped to evaluate how important it is to change at this time.

    Step 3 – Add More Value

    With the help of your content in steps 1 and 2, some of the people in your audience will become more ready to change and will start to prepare for change.

    You can add more value in an event of some kind – a workshop, webinar, etc.

    In that session you would unpacking your why (related to their problem), and then introduce how you help people solve that problem. What has worked for you, and/or your clients?

    What you are selling is support to walk people through a 4-step process or formula for helping them go from point A (problem) to point B (solution).

    Engage the audience and make them part of it. Make the content specific and relevant to them. And right up front, let them know that at the end you’ll let people know how to work with you if they want to.

    Step 4 – Make a SMART Offer 

    There is an offer at the end of this event (and you can make this offer once a month at least, for your general audience). The offer is your vehicle to actually help those people to find the confidence and support they need on such a big journey.

    The offer is essentially formulated like a SMART goal (I am patenting this idea) 

    It talks about the:

    1. Specific problem you are helping with and type of people who have that problem 
    2. Two Measurable elements – how long it is (e.g. 8-week program) and how many people you have capacity to work with (e.g. 5 clients)
    3. Actions that 
      1. people need to take e.g. must be committed to attending weekly sessions, and, 
      2. the actions that you will take to help them overcome their obstacles and objections
    4. Realistic results that people will get if they take the actions – and the outcomes that those actions will generate e.g. have a bigger impact, be a role model for their kids
    5. Timing of the offer – e.g. contact you by a specific date, starting on a specific date

    Then, you must have the next steps mapped out clearly to enquire or take up the offer.

    I like to have a good fit call to see if the person is truly ready to change, and if they are a fit for working with me.

    If they aren’t interested, it might not be the right offer or the right time.

    If they aren’t a fit, you can refer them to someone or something else.

    In either case, you can STILL offer them value through ongoing connection with you on (LinkedIn, email, community etc) and you can invite them to share the message with others who need the courage and confidence to navigate the journey.

    Getting it Right

    This method works for me, and others. 

    Your courage to do it is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what – which is the kryptonite for your fears.

    If you can engage people in your why and share the dream with them, and co-create a vision, you will both be able to put the fear of marketing and sales aside and focus on making a change, and a difference. 

    Summary

    Attracting clients and selling programs is a big challenge for a lot of coaches. There are mental and emotional hurdles and often limiting beliefs in the way.

    Your courage to make offers is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what.

    Pull marketing is a strategy that leverages coaching skills and strengths.

    The four-step process I shared today includes:

    1. Starting with the why (as the focus for all your content) 
    2. Creating a vehicle for engagement where you dive into the what 
    3. Adding more value by offering events that truly help the people who are becoming ready to change
    4. Making a SMART offer that helps people connect with you so they can benefit from your skills, abilities and support.

    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: