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E#247 Wellness Workshops, Books and Breast Cancer Coaching with Sadie Goddard

Wellness Workshops, Books and Breast Cancer Coaching with Sadie Goddard

Today I speak with Sadie Goddard of Serenity and Sunflowers, talking about Sadie’s journey into coaching, accepting the need to work, and gaining a new perspective on how coaching fits into both employment and her own business. 

Sadie talks about an important project she is working on, the Breast Friend Project, and how she’s helping women in need of positive support in that space. 

Sadie shows that coaching can take many forms and that it’s ok to experiment until you find out where you want to land! 

If you’d like to learn more about what she does or the Breast Friend Project, here are her links: 

What Sadie offers: 

 The Breast Friend Project:

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#238 Scale Your Business with Group Coaching

Scale Your Business with Group Coaching

If you’ve been coaching 1:1 for a while and want to scale your business, moving into group coaching is one option. By the end of this episode, you’ll have clarity on how group coaching works, why it’s so powerful and how it can accelerate your business growth.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Presence and resonance
* The inspiration for the book: The Connoisseur of Time
* How changing your relationship with time supports better coaching and business growth
* How being present creates more satisfying relationships

How group coaching works

You might feel like groups would never be your thing, but they could be a ‘later’ thing once you have enough experience and confidence as a coach.

Groups are really interesting.

For you as a coach, working with groups requires you to have certain skills in facilitating. For example:

· You’d need to learn how to ask a few broad questions and invite the group to discuss their ideas, and maybe write down their own goals and/or insights around those things.

· You’d need to develop the skill of helping everyone have a chance to speak and be heard while keeping the more boisterous people attended but not dominating the floor.

· You need to be able to keep the focus of the session and keep to time so that you deliver value and respect the audience.

For clients, groups are rarely a ‘forever’ thing because people come to get a result, and then they either:

  • get the result and leave, or
  • don’t get the result and leave, or
  • outgrow the group and leave, or
  • lose focus on all the other things in their lives and leave (other things become more important)

This can happen in groups with a defined period (e.g. an 8-week program) but more likely in a long-term group (e.g. a membership-style group).

People will be more likely to commit and stick with 8-10 weeks to help them solve a problem. In membership style groups. dropping in and out is part of the natural buying and change cycle! Readiness to change peaks at certain points in time and that is where the enthusiasm is. When enthusiasm wanes, people drop out.

Remember also that as a coach, you are helping your clients become self-empowered and self-responsible so they don’t need you anymore and can do new things consistently on their own. That is a mark of your success as a coach!

Some groups do persist – and they have a few things in common:

  • like-minded people who love being together for further growth
  • continual stream of new people coming in with that problem who feel supported by the group
  • the problem is painful on a day-to-day basis and requires long-term support, and/or
  • people lapse back into the problem and keep coming back.

These types of groups are good candidates for a membership model versus just a program on rinse and repeat.

Grey area drinking is a good example. Drinking affects health, self-worth, productivity and relationships. It’s a big pain point that can disrupt daily life and can be hard to be consistent with.

It might take 6 months to feel ‘sober’ and it might take a year to ‘trust yourself’ to remain sober. Once you’re sober, great. But you might keep feeling pulled back into it. Or, you might really want to be a role model to others and help them stay on track.

Why Group Coaching is so Powerful

Why is group coaching so powerful? One way to think about it is to consider how you feel when you’re watching a DVD at home, versus how you feel when you go to the pitch-black cinema to watch a movie with surround sound and a large audience laughing, getting a fright and shrieking all at the same time as you.

Groups leverage emotional contagion. They create an energy that is attractive and appealing.

Groups create connections between members. In fact, some studies into group education show that peer support is just as important for learning and insight, as facilitator support in a group environment.

Group coaching presents multiple points of view so it’s easy to gain a broader perspective, to feel like you’re not alone, and to learn more ways to overcome your challenges.

How Group Coaching Can Accelerate Business Growth

When you move from income in a 1:1 setting to a 1:many setting, you’re earning more money per session. If you have a group of 5, then you’re earning 5x as much per session.

How big should the group be? A group is technically two or more people. Small groups of up to 10 are best, as it’s easier to have intimate conversations and give everyone a chance to speak and be heard.

In my own face-to-face weight loss business in a small country town, I ran four groups of ten people, with a few separate individual sessions for those who wanted more privacy and personal conversation. The program was successful for the 3 years that I ran it until I decided to pivot my niche and move online in 2016.

Larger groups are less personal and less interactive but can be peer-supported. I like to define group coaching as up to 10 people, beyond that I feel it’s an interactive workshop. In that larger group setting, you’d use tools and strategies like asking the audience to fill in worksheets, asking for hands up to answer a question, and using small break-out groups for peer discussion, which you walk around and monitor.

Beyond creating a group and earning more money per session, you are likely to earn more money over time.


Because groups tend to stay together for camaraderie and support to stay on track e.g. Weight Watchers which started in New York in 1963 and is still operating worldwide today.

Further, groups grow when members tell their friends about the support and value they get and invite them to come along. Growth can be exponential if the group program is great; more easily in an online environment.


Group coaching is one way to scale and grow your business and revenue and is a natural progression from 1:1 coaching.

When you understand how groups work, and why they’re powerful, it’s a no-brainer to turn to this business model to build 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:

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E#217 How to Describe the Benefits of Coaching

How to Describe the Benefits of Coaching

How good are you at describing the value and impact of coaching to potential clients? In this episode, I am going to help you to unpack the benefits of coaching in a way that gets prospective clients interested in learning more and working with you.

Recently, I was having a conversation about coaching in a workplace context, in terms of mental health, seeking support and duty of care for your own wellbeing.

As I was describing how coaching works with an employer, his eyes lit up as he totally ‘got’ the way coaching could support his workforce. It got me thinking about how we often describe coaching, why that falls flat, and then what to do instead.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* How do you describe what “coaching” is? (what not to do)
* What drives people
* How to describe the value of coaching

How do you describe what “coaching” is? (what not to do)

A lot of coaches struggle to sell their services because they find it hard to describe what they do and how it works. I’ve done several previous episodes about this, such as episode 116 Explaining Your Coaching Services with Fiona Cosgrove and more recently, episode 205 How to Create a Magnetic Value Proposition.

And the problem is exactly what I’ve just said – we try to describe COACHING – not the value or benefits of coaching.

What I mean is this – we get caught up trying to explain what we do as a profession or HOW coaching works, so we end up talking about US and our modality or methodology, rather than THEM – the value, benefits and results that THEY want to achieve.

If we focus on how we do the method, then people are therefore ‘informed’ about us and our method, but they have no idea what’s in it for them. So that’s what NOT to do.

The way to communicate value is to answer the question – ‘what’s in it for me?’ – and this is what I want to talk about today.

Back to that conversation, I had recently with an employer about coaching in a workplace context, the conversation was about mental health, seeking support and duty of care for your own wellbeing.

We were discussing psychosocial risks, and how they impact worker safety. I positioned coaching as part of the solution, by explaining that the two key goals of coaching are to raise self-awareness, and to help people generate self-responsibility. By coaching around these two aspects, we could empower workers to be more aware and proactively seek help or take action themselves, therefore improving the individual’s duty of care and as a consequence, reducing mental health risks and incidents at work.

He really got the importance of coaching to HIS organisation. I used language that the employer was familiar with, and that tied into the ‘industry vernacular’ that he was familiar with – and showed how coaching can help him achieve the benefits and outcomes he wants. That said, he really understood the value of coaching and his eyes lit up.

The way you describe ‘value’ is probably different for different market segments, but the point is that you need to use the clients’ language and talk about what’s meaningful to them, to the results and benefits they are after so that the value of your services is really obvious.

It’s time to think differently about how you communicate value.

In the example I’ve just described, I thought about the fact that mental health problems are initially hard to see, so it makes sense that self-awareness is valuable.

Currently, workplaces are focussing on identifying mental health risks and priorities, so it makes sense that helping people self-identify is half the battle won. I didn’t waste time trying to explain coaching – I described coaching in terms of the benefits and impacts it can create.

See how unpicking the market’s problem helps you talk about the value?

What drives people to change (and buy)

In what I’ve just explained, it’s clear that the value of coaching needs to be positioned around what drives people to change and to pay to get your help.

Have you ever wondered what those drivers are, and how to know when someone will pay?

Here are four conditions for change and for buying.

As you learn in coaching, the first condition of change is ‘a sense that something isn’t right’- in other words, self-awareness is the first step, because if you know or are self-aware that you have a problem you will more likely do something about it or seek help.

A lot of the general marketing a business does is to make people ‘problem aware’ – and some of the ways we do this are with quizzes, case studies, stories and questionnaires, and by inviting reflection.

Knowing you have a problem is one thing but doing something about it and paying to get help is another.

So the second point is, in my experience, that the problem the person has identified needs to be big enough that it is disrupting their daily lives – they can’t ignore it (and they describe the impact on families, relationships, work, and their own wellbeing). Most people are reactive, so they tend to wait until things get really bad until they seek help.

Thirdly, they feel they can’t tackle this on their own (and they use feeling words around this like frustrated, helpless, irritated, guilty etc). They have obstacles that are situational, behavioural, cognitive or emotional and often talk about what’s hard, or what’s getting in the way.

Fourth, feel ready, willing and able to get help to make the change (and there are positive feelings they want to have right now).

These are the four general things that drive people to buy and pay to get help.

When you have spoken to people in your niche and truly understand these four elements from the niche perspective, using their ‘feeling words’, then you can use the information to formulate a statement of value that aligns with them.

How we need to start describing the value of coaching

To sum it up, we need to start describing the value of coaching by talking more specifics about the things that matter to the niche client and how that feels, rather than talking about us and our tools or methods.

For example, when I used to coach in weight loss, a lot of clients talked about not being able to commit to themselves or being consistent and loathing themselves for that.

If I was speaking to one of those types of people, I’d be talking about how coaching helps you to make a solid commitment to yourself and then learn how to honour that commitment so that you can be consistent, authentic and live with integrity, feeling aligned with who they truly are, and feeling proud and confident.

Can you see how that very different explanation could be very valuable for someone who really wants to commit to themselves and be consistent and stop beating themselves up?

There’s no description of visions and goals or what coaching is – just a clear, feelings-based description of what coaching can help the person to achieve, using their language.

What I’m saying is this – think about the outcome that people want, because it’s a key part of the value of what you do – in your niche client’s eyes.

A final word

To really get into the client’s shoes – get coached yourself. This is essential for a few reasons – so that you can be a role model for change – but also experience what it’s like to make and honour a commitment to yourself.

Then you can authentically talk about the value of coaching from your own experience.

When people want to know HOW coaching works, you can speak honestly about what it’s like to make a commitment to yourself, how it feels, and how you develop certain skills (e.g. self-regulation, self-discipline, consistency, scheduling, self-accountability) that can transfer to other areas of life. When people want to know WHAT the RESULTS are, they can speak emotionally about the feelings and changes they experience. For example, you will finally stop quitting yourself and feeling guilty. You’ll be aligned with your values and dreams. Having some wins in one or two areas builds your confidence to do more and build on those wins. And how, when you are living in line with your values, it is living with integrity which gives you a sense of self-respect and self-worth.

In other words, we are communicating how forming a few simple habits can give important skills and insights that can be applied to other areas, so they don’t have to doubt themselves anymore or rely on experts anymore.

Now, how would you feel if someone describe coaching like that to you?


Today we talked about how we often get caught up describing “coaching” when we should be describing the VALUE of coaching.

To do that, you need to know what drives people in your niche, and even better, get coached yourself so that you have the lived experience.

Then you can more easily craft a statement that describes the value of coaching with such richness that people are excited to join you on the journey.

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

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 on emotion, and only 10% is based on 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 by outlining your service’s most important feature, then its 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 you 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. honesty, 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 changes.

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 the 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 its 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 40s 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

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.


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

Andy Hampson Launching her Breast Cancer Coaching Business

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#186 Three Proven Marketing Roadmaps for Coaches

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 relationships.  

I’m pretty busy with contract work and as a board member of HCANZA, our industry association does 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 a 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 emotionally 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’ll 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 long-form 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 to get interviewed on the radio or score 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 are 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. person vs online).  

One thing is for sure – public speaking is one of the fastest ways to becoming 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 a focus on sharing ideas and listening more.  

Of course, any networking you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), and 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 becoming 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. 


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 emotionally with potential clients or referrers.  

If you need help developing 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 building 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:

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E#158 What You Promise in Marketing

What You Promise in Marketing

Are you worried about what you’re promising in your coaching promotions and feeling like you can’t deliver? 

I want to explain a few basics about messaging, what coaches do, and how to describe your services in a way that is congruent, transparent and authentic so that by the end of this dialogue, you feel clear and comfortable with what you are promising.

The Backstory 

A lot of coaches tell me they are worried about making big promises that they can’t keep, or about giving people the wrong idea.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What Coaches Do and Don’t Do?
* What are promotional messaging basics
* Describing HOW your solution helps

Some coaches also feel they aren’t a good enough coach to help the person get a result, so they are worried about being able to deliver.

Today, I am going to help you to clear up these myths and solve these challenges once and for all, so you can promote your services confidently and authentically.

Let’s start with a reminder of what coaches do and don’t do, some promotional messaging basics, and then talk through some examples so you can be clear on what you ARE promising, and what you are NOT promising. Then we will finish with an explanation of what health and wellness coaches do.

Remember – What Coaches Do and Don’t Do

Firstly, and before we break down the marketing copy, remember that as a coach, you are not treating or administering any therapy to a client that would make you responsible for their result.

As a coach you are helping people to create the time and space to focus on developing habits that will get them a result they want. And that’s very different.

Please keep that in mind as we proceed with how we help people.

Also remember that your promotional messaging is NOT about what you do or how you do it. You need to know how to answer that question if asked (and I will cover it at the end), but your promotional copy is ALL about your niche client.

Let’s dive in.

Promotional Messaging Basics

I think part of the reason that coaches struggle with their advertising is that they don’t know what to say to attract clients and then explain what they do to these prospective clients.

The foundations of good promotional messaging are built on trust, rapport and relationship.

Good messaging creates these things by focusing on three foundational points.

Right now, I’d like you to imagine a triangle that has those three points 

  1. Your niche clients’ big struggle in their words
  2. Your niche clients success or vision, in their words
  3. Your solution and how it fills the gap.

Your advertising needs to speak to those three things.

I think where a lot of coaches get caught up is in describing the problem and solution. When they do this, coaches feel kind of responsible for fixing the problem and creating the results.

No, no, no.

This is the first myth I want to clear up.

The reason you describe the niche clients struggle and success is so that they recognise you as someone who understands their specific needs. 

They can recognise themself in your words, so you become visible and attractive to them.

Here’s a really bland example. It’s like me saying – are you wearing a red shirt and white sneakers, but wish you were wearing a fancy black tracksuit?

In this example it’s clear that I’m not going to give you a tracksuit! I am calling out anyone wearing a red shirt and white sneakers who wishes for something more stylish!

So that’s the first point – speaking to their struggle and success to show that you understand them. Your marketing copy needs to cover these two points in the triangle.

The next bit is explaining how your solution fills the gaps.

Note that this is not describing WHAT your service is – it’s explaining HOW it will help them. 

Let’s break it down so you can get clear on what your role is in their journey, and how to convey it.

Describing HOW Your Solution Helps

When describing how your solution helps, you need to be clear that you are helping people to follow a process to get to the result they want – you are NOT promising the result itself.

Your clients are the ones who are responsible for doing the work, not you. You can’t follow them home and make it happen.

But you CAN help people to get a result by helping them follow a process. 

It’s very clear that we want people to be attracted to the outcome that they want to achieve. 

And you were going to speak to that outcome, but you’re not going to promise to deliver it. 

You are going to show them the technique and the process for getting there and you are going to hold them accountable to doing that work. And that is the difference.

Let’s use a fairly benign example to illustrate this point – dentistry.

Let’s say you are a dentist who is also a coach and you are doing a promotion for your services.

You know that you have to make the service sound really appealing and so you want to talk to the results that people are going to get. Then you’re going to walk them through how they’re going to get that result so that it’s clear that you are not responsible for the result but they are.

The dentist example

Let’s say that your program promises to help clients achieve clean, white teeth free of plaque and holes, following a proven, three step process.

Sounds good, right? So what is the three step process?

Well firstly the dentist is going to make sure that you’re accountable to brush your teeth every day three times a day following his recommended method. He’s also going to make sure that you are accountable to floss your teeth twice a day following his recommended method and at the right time in relation to brushing your teeth. 

And thirdly he’s going to recommend that you use a specific toothpaste and mouthwash at the time that you’re brushing your teeth.

So as you can see it’s a very simple three-step process that anybody can follow. 

The problem is that most people don’t follow the method or aren’t sure about the best way to do it, or they lack commitment and self responsibility to keep doing it. 

And that’s why coaching is so important. If the dentist was a coach he would be helping you to figure out how to make those daily habits happen so that the result would follow.

The weight loss example

Let’s say that your program promises to help clients lose weight by developing a healthier relationship with food, based on two proven strategies.

Sounds great. What are the strategies?

You might decide that managing portion size and mindful eating are two techniques that are especially useful.

So your program might include discussion and resources on managing portion size and how to eat mindfully.

Your clients may choose to implement these (or not) in addition to their own weekly goals.

Your program helps them to develop habits that are linked with weight loss, and that if done consistently, should see weight shift. The weekly goal setting and review process helps to create accountability and navigate obstacles.

As you can see, in this case, the client may or may not have their own tools, but they might like to learn and implement ideas on portion size and mindful eating that will help them to slow down, manage portions better and effectively lose weight.

The accountability around action is the secret sauce here!

Explaining what you do as a coach

As you can see, it’s very important to be clear on using your client’s own words in the promo copy for your program.

If asked, you should also have a clear and simple explanation of your role as the coach.

There are many ways to approach this and it’s a whole separate podcast, actually.

But for now, let’s assume you want to position professionally and give some info on the benefits to the client. That is the ‘rough’ formula for your statement of what you do.

The Coaching Psychology Manual by Moore and Tschannen-Moran discusses the fact that coaches facilitate client-directed neuroplasticity – in other words, forming new habits that change the brain. 

Words to this effect, and/or discussion of coaching psychology and/or positive psychology are relevant to set the scene around what you do.

In addition, remember that we help clients develop their own foolproof process for change, that they can enjoy and be consistent with, so that the result can be realised.

Coming up with a simple statement is important. Make it relevant to your audience, but it could be as simple as something like this:

  • Health and wellness coaching is based in coaching psychology and it facilitates neuroplasticity – your brain’s ability to change.
  • My role as your coach is not to advise or direct, but to help you achieve the things you are struggling to do on your own.
  • When you work with me, I help you to develop your own foolproof, automatic habits and process around healthy eating/sleep/stress management/other  so that you can do X consistently and confidently.


Marketing is all about your ideal client and it needs to focus on their story.

It’s easy to get lost in explaining coaching services or being plagued by the thought of promising what you can’t deliver, or simply underdelivering. 

As you can see, the thing clients are stuck with are not WHAT to do, but HOW. 

Therefore, your job as a coach is to explain the process by which you help them, in words that they understand, so that your scope of practice is clear and that your offer is mouth watering!

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#155 The Value of (Pilot) Program Content + Emails

The Value of (Pilot) Program Content + Emails

Program content and emails are important program resources that help your clients to know what to do, grow into their new identity and make positive, lasting change. The right amount and type of content and emails can make your clients’ ‘know, grow and change’ journey more impactful, therefore adding incredible, tangible value to an intangible service – at least initially, before clients truly experience the value of coaching itself. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Getting started guide
* What are the monitoring tools that can really help?
* How your personal experience can help you come up with great content?

When creating content and emails, it’s essential to consider the customer journey and user experience so that you can meet clients where they’re at and meet their needs and wants.  

Simply listening to and addressing needs is another great way to add value!

I like to call content and emails ‘assets’ – the definition being ‘things that you own (e.g. your IP) that have an economic or other value. 

Content Assets

Here are some of the content assets that you can create and use in your pilot and completed programs.

Getting Started Guide

This is a program road map and welcome guide for your clients, all in one. It explains briefly how the program works and includes housekeeping items like how to book appointments, log in, whitelist your email, etc. 

Written and Verbal Quizzes

Everybody loves to learn more about themselves. Everybody!

And as coaches, we know that self-awareness is the first step to making change. It’s an essential pre-requisite for creating a compelling vision (where I am now, vs where I want to be).

Quizzes, questionnaires and reflective worksheets are effective tools for raising self-awareness and/or changing perspective and negative thinking patterns that keep us stuck. They are fun and interesting methods of bringing curiosity and attention to who we are, what we like, and what we are capable of.

As clients become aware of the symptoms, thoughts, feelings, behaviours and situations that they experience, and identify those which affect their motivation and habits, they will start to really ‘get it’ – that they have unique lifestyle challenges that they must master on their own terms. 

In coaching programs, we tend to use quizzes more in the pre-work and first 2 – 3 weeks of a program (in the awareness phase), but they are also useful going forward for ongoing discovery.

Quizzes can be sourced externally or you can create your own (Word doc, quiz software, Microsoft forms, Google forms).

Examples include:

any sort of personality quiz (e.g. here is a simple Myers Briggs type test).

Monitoring Tools

We know that recognising success makes you feel like you are getting somewhere, and achieving a result – and that creates a sense of value.

Yet so few of us take the time to recognise our efforts, our progress, and our incremental results.

We live with ourselves every day, so the subtle changes that occur may be hard to see and acknowledge.

Monitoring tools offer a powerful way to help your clients recognize some of the more subtle but important changes they are creating in life, body and/or mind.

You can use monitoring tools from the first week of your program to help your client feel good and see hard data to show that your program gives specific benefits and results. 

Useful tools include:

  • Weekly, in-session monitoring tools like a rating of 1 – 10 in any area, like energy, stress, hunger, sleep etc. Discuss and get the client to write them down.
  • Weekly goal review, including % success
  • Goal review (mid-program & final week) to give a big-picture view of change.
  • Wellness wheels (good ‘before and after’ visuals)
  • Reflective journals
  • Blank meal plans or other schedules
  • Checklists
  •  Progress charts or spreadsheets (e.g. for workouts done, glasses of water etc)
  • Anything else that helps a client ‘tick things off’.

Homework Tasks (in Email, or Portal Resources) 

In addition to a client’s own weekly goals, you may like to offer optional homework such as some activity or experiment you determine with the client in their session.

Homework generally falls into the category of skills development (self-efficacy), challenge, or self-awareness.

Here’s an example of each:

  • Skills development – invite a client to create their own tool for monitoring exercise based on their learning style, or to practice reframing negative thoughts.
  • Challenge – invite a client to say no to something, or set a boundary with a person, or themselves at work. Or, in a group setting, create 2 or 3 teams to complete a fun task such as highest total number of exercise minutes. 
  • Stretch – invite a client to complete one of the goals they set, with the option to stretch beyond it and do a little more (e.g. 5 more minutes of exercise.

Other examples of homework tasks for coaching programs include:

  • Complete the VIA strengths inventory and identify one way they have used their #1 strength this week to help them with their goals.
  • Writing down 3 successes every night. This is a quick exercise that reinforces positive change – which is good for the client AND the perceived value around your program.
  • Saying ‘you’re worth it!’ into the mirror each morning.
  • Keeping a gratitude diary.

Coaching tools

Coaching tools are used to help clients get unstuck and/or otherwise facilitate change. 

Like regular quizzes but with more of a coaching flavour, these tools can help to enhance a client’s self-awareness and facilitate a shift in perspective. Both are essential parts of change. 

They may include: 

  • Decisional Balance, 
  • the VIA Strengths Test, 
  • Appreciative Enquiry, 
  • Energy Drains and Boosters, 
  • the ABCDE model, 
  • Reframing
  • Socratic questioning, 
  • a Positivity Rating. 

Emails (or private / video / audio messages)

Used wisely and in the right amount, emails, private messages and/or audio/video messages can add value to coaching programs.

They can make it easier and more convenient for clients to remember to do this, such as:

  • log in to the coaching call each week
  • remember to complete their homework

I once had a program for busy people and many of them wanted to remember to do a small daily task during the program. 

To help them, I created an email autoresponder series was optional for my clients to subscribe to. It sent a simple email at 6am every day for 6 weeks, reminding them to do their activity. 

It finished after 6 weeks, and didn’t sell or subscribe to anything else. They found it extremely useful!

Emails, messages and personal video or audio messages can build connection, rapport and trust, if you use them to:

  • check in with progress on goals
  • let them know that you’re thinking of them or are ready to support them if they’re having trouble.
  • be a cheer leader for them
  • acknowledge their progress.

In short, emails can support a client to deliver content, but also to remember to do things, feel supported in tough times, and feel acknowledged and valued.

Experience Content

Your own experience – what you did, what worked for you, how you felt at the time, and what worked for your client – is super helpful content to share with program members.

It could be delivered as live or recorded videos, audios, blog posts or small snippets.

There needs to be context added, for example, how you overcame a mental hurdle along the way, or a specific tool your client used to finally get out of bed at 6am, or a story of how someone redesigned their environment so they were no longer tempted.

Stories are powerful and they help people imagine themselves in the same position, and succeeding.

Value Adds

Value adds are those unexpected little things that delight and surprise you – and add tangible value to a program, simply because you’re showing that you care.

The goal is to make the client feel personally valued, supported and/or rewarded

A great way to enhance ‘user experience’ (UX)! 

Examples include:

  • A physical welcome gift (goodie bag, book voucher etc)
  • A personalised welcome letter
  • A blank journal and a branded pen (easiest to start) 
  • A beautiful worksheet that you create
  • Recipe booklets
  • Recommended Reading lists
  • Links to relevant Ted talks
  • Offering a private 15 minute chat
  • Links to ‘how to’ or ‘why’ style blogs or podcasts you’ve created (or others)
  • A completion certificate
  • A completion gift
  • A personalised thank you letter
  • A follow up postcard (e.g. 4 weeks after the program)

For value-adds that can be used within a program, getting your clients to use them – in session, and for homework activities – can significantly boosts their self-awareness, achievements and results. 

Value-adds used outside a program help a client to feel heard, acknowledged and valued.

In a pilot program, actively taking on feedback and making changes to a program also demonstrate respect for and acknowledgement of your program clients. This is a way to add ’emotional value’ and to build trust and rapport.


Content and emails (and other media) aren’t about pushing your story or information on people, or forcing them to do or buy anything. 

Content and emails (and other media) are an opportunity to truly support and help your client on a sometimes-challenging and uncomfortable journey to change and, to demonstrate that their journey and success is your priority.

Best of all, you don’t need reams of stuff. You just need a few pieces of super useful stuff to support the journey to know, grow and change. 

Based on what you know of your ideal clients, what could YOU create that would add the most value to your clients’ journey?

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#154 The Why, What and How of Pilot Program Workflows

The Why, What and How of Pilot Program Workflows

When you’re creating a coaching program or an educational program, there is SO MUCH that needs to go into the finished product that you don’t even realise. It’s like thinking you are putting together a 50 piece jigsaw and realising it’s actually a 5000 piece jigsaw. 

In this episode I’m going to help you sort out the pieces of your program jigsaw and map out the basic roadmap or workflow of your pilot program so you can build it quickly and efficiently.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What pilot programs?
* What are workflows, and why create them?
* What is it that you are mapping out?

Why pilot programs  

I did a compete episode on the benefits of pilot programs a while ago. But to recap, in my experience of over 3500 coaching hours, I have had the best results in programs that have started with a pilot version. 

Now, I firmly believe that you should always run a pilot program so you can develop and test a draft version of a program with real clients before you launch it so you can feel more confident, professional and give clients exactly what they want.

The starting point for any program is to map out a workflow which helps you to develop a professional program outline that captures all the key things you need to do, in a way that maximises your clients’ experience and results.

In this episode, I’ll briefly map out the Why, What and How of pilot program workflows to help you capture the key elements and make the build out a little easier.

What are workflows, and why create them? 

Workflows are essentially planning tools that help you think through and map out the individual tasks you need to do to build your pilot program from both YOUR perspective AND considering the needs and wants of the clients you will serve. 

Workflows help you build your program in a way that is very time efficient – aiming to capture all the important steps and do them in a logical order, so you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

For example, building a program isn’t just about working out what you are going to do in a session and what content you might need to create. 

It’s also looking at those things from the clients perspective – like how to make your client feel excited and comfortable when they attend the session. Consider also the format and delivery style of content in your program.

For example, some social media Guru might have told you that you need to send three emails each week with a long story to engage your reader. How is your ideal client going to feel if they hate getting lengthy emails? The answer is simply, turned off.

Or, what if you want to build out some fancy expansive platform to share coaching resources with your clients, but they are virtually IT illiterate and hate being online?

As you can see, workflows are definitely about creating your own step-by-step roadmap for building your program, but more importantly they’re about making sure that your client has an exceptional service experience with your business.

After all, it’s exceptional customer service that creates raving fans, transformational results, and plenty of referrals.

In summary, workflows are all about good planning and customer service. They ensure you don’t miss anything in the build, and to co-create the program and build it in exactly the right way for your niche clients to have the best experience and results.

What is it that you are mapping out?

Since you want your clients to have a great experience working with you (UX = user experience), you want to break your program into chunks and ensure that the customer experience in each area is easy, seamless, and enjoyable.

There are three main areas to map out with workflows:

  1. Key steps in the promotion-to-sign-up phase
  2. Key steps in the onboarding phase (payment, welcome, engagement)
  3. Key steps in how the program will be run and what needs to be delivered, and when.

Along the way, you can liaise with a niche focus group to get their opinions at each step of the way. Here’s how that could work.

Once you’ve mapped a workflow for the areas above, test each one out yourself, as if you were a customer. 

What was the experience like to sign up, be welcomed, pay, receive the info etc.?

How did you feel as you did it?

What could be different/improved?

Refine the process if needed, then, ask a couple of focus group members to talk through it or walk through it with you to see if you’re on the same page.

No need to ask the WHOLE focus group to do all three aspects – just a couple for each is enough.  

How do you create workflows?

The workflows themselves can be as simple, visual or detailed as you like – YOU decide.

Some people (e.g. visual learners) like to use post it notes. 

They write one step on each post-it note, then rearrange them on a mirror, wall or window until it seems like all of the steps (for signing up, on boarding or working through the program) are in a logical order, easy to undertake without any frustration, tech issues or time wasting.

Alternatively, they may like to draw pictures.

Some people (auditory or interactive learners) prefer to talk through things.

Asking clients for their opinions might be the best way for you to map things out – or to talk through it aloud on your own.

Some people (visual / detail learners) prefer to write answers and/or use spreadsheets.

Working through a series of prompt questions might be helpful to identify all the considerations.

Having a detailed, step-by-step project plan in a spreadsheet might help you to capture all the steps and schedule/allocate time to each task.

Remember, they can be as simple or detailed as you like. 

Some people are happy to go with the flow and build things on the fly as they go, so might prefer to start with little detail and just some main ideas.

Other people feel like they need a detailed, step-by-step list of tasks in order to do it properly and feel confident enough to launch.


Pilot programs (and eventually, full programs) contain a lot of moving parts.

Workflows are great tools to help you capture all the steps and put them in the right order for three critical areas: sign up, onboarding and program delivery.

As you create workflows, it’s important to get client opinions, test them yourself as if you were the client, and even get clients to talk through or walk through the ideas with you. That way you build more than just a great program – you build a program that gives your niche the best possible experience in working with 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:

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E#142 Interview with Michelle Hasani

Interview with Michelle Hasani

MW: Today, I’m very excited to be talking to Michelle Hassani today and Michelle, I’m not going to introduce you. I’m going to let you introduce yourself and tell us all about your business and what it is that you do.

MH: Thanks, Mel. Well, I’m Michelle Hasani and my business is Revive and Thrive. It’s about workplace wellness, leadership and lifestyle coaching. And I’ve been in business for about three years now. So my background is in leadership policy.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The value of coaching
* Helping clients understand whether they have systems and structures that support people

I work a lot for not-for-profits, in government organizations, which is where those services will come into play. For me, starting out in business, I had been in leadership for a long time and realized that I didn’t actually love what I was doing anymore, and I guess the flow had gone out of it. 

I had an aging father who was ill and I had a young daughter at the same time so it was just a combination of things and reflecting and thinking I’m not loving what I do anymore. And there must be a better way of doing life. So following that I went and worked for the government for a little while. And for about five years and did some really interesting pieces of work.

During that time I started thinking about where I wanted to be long-term and coaching was the bit in the equation that I loved doing as a leader and as a manager. But I didn’t really get the opportunity to do it because there were so many other parameters that were influencing my time and then having had a cancer experience within the mix of that, I recognised that prevention was an important piece. 

Our health system, while fragmented, was awesome at providing treatment but not awesome at helping a person, really make behaviour change or reclaim their health and wellness post-intervention of some really heavy-duty chemoradiotherapy, lots of surgeries, that kind of thing. So, often our system leaves people broken rather than cured.

So that’s kind of where I started thinking, what did I want to be doing? I wanted to help people with prevention which is far better than cure. 

MW: You’ve talked about the gaps in healthcare, and it’s an interesting thing, people often say what’s the value of coaching, and when you think about somebody having been through such a significant journey and then being on their own in between visits to their doctor or their specialist or whatever. It’s a lot to deal with. It’s not just like you broke an ankle. It’s a it’s a life-changing experience, right? And you have to maybe rethink and re-navigate your life going forward and who’s going to help you with that? 

MH: That’s where I started in terms of thinking it was one of the areas that I actually wanted to be working with people, helping them navigate the multiple practitioners that are in your world. When you have something like cancer, you’ve got multiple practitioners who aren’t necessarily talking to each other. And so that in itself presents a whole heap of other challenges in the equation. 

It’s about helping people to develop a really clear plan about what their priorities are, and how can they rebuild following that trauma of the experience.

MW: So fast, forwarding three years now who’s your typical client? Who are you working within your business?

MH: It’s predominantly women though I have started to get some male referrals. My model is about working with a whole organization, but I have to say that that hasn’t transpired as I thought it might. It’s still a work in progress. But my main clients are coming from government employees, who are actually being seen to be underperforming or having significant health issues that are preventing them from performing, or perceived health-related issues that are impacting their ability to perform at work. That’s one cohort. 

There is another who has been underperforming but they’ve been long-term employees so their employers want to invest in them, rather than the ‘three strikes or you’re out’ approach. They’re looking at what else they can be doing to actually help these people reach their maximum potential. It’s quite a proactive approach. It’s actually still very experimental. 

For me, this work has extended to two government departments and I’m talking to a third, so it’s slowly developing. But we’re looking at how we can look at that as an ongoing model rather than it just being

I have other clients who have had breast cancer and want to invest in not going back there again. So rebuilding post-treatment and and going from there.

I have a few clients who are women who run their own businesses. They work as professionals and recognize that their health and well-being have been compromised because they’re putting others first rather than themselves. Some of those want to progress in terms of being at a particular level in their career but that would like to go to the next step but they know that going to that next step requires them to have the foundation really solid in terms of their self-care as well as their skill set. 

Because of my background, I’m able to help them build the toolkit around leadership, as well as their toolkit around their their health and well-being. 

MW: That’s interesting. You’re working with those three groups and I think I can hear some similarities between them.

MH: Yeah, there are similarities. So performance is there, people working at their optimum, whether it’s their day-to-day management of their family versus how they perform within their workplace, or whether it’s about that performance in terms of the next step career-wise and building on from where they are now. 

Some of the tools that I use with people are the same regardless of whether they’re underperforming at work, or they want to progress to the next level. The foundation for each of them is very similar, the same because one size doesn’t fit all, but it is quite similar.

MW: Interesting. We are kind of dancing around the topic of niches, but it’s almost like you’re looking at above and below the line of performance – with some coming up to that line and then some wanting to exceed.


MH: Yeah. Sometimes people don’t even know what their baseline is, you know. So that’s helping them to know where they are at right now, where they want to be and how they are going to get there, which is the whole coaching Journey. 

And when I think about a whole organization and when I go in and work with them, it’s about helping them to understand whether they have systems and structures that support people.

Not being an effective leader is actually holding them back so I talk about wellness systems but it’s as simple as their communication. It’s not just about the health. It’s about the mindset and values that organizations use and then how that plays out in terms of enabling and supporting people to actually be self-driven within context. 

MW: That’s interesting to think about the types of organizations that you’re working with. Are they generally that are more proactive and have a bit of a framework and some policies in place? Or are they people that don’t give that level of attention to their workforce, and almost need to be educated and directed a bit in that area?

MH: It’s kind of interesting in the government, because the state government is such a large beast, then there are policies and procedures, but what happens in practice is different depending on who’s leading individual teams. There’s not a streamlined consistent approach, so that’s where the work is.

With some of the smaller organizations that I’ve been working with, might have some things in place. One in particular that I’m thinking of has done some fantastic work in terms of the documentation, but it’s then the implementation and anything leaders need to model what they’re doing. So you can have it on paper, but if you don’t have people that are walking the talk so then it isn’t congruent. 

Often there’s a lack of congruence with the environments and so it’s about helping them to recognize that this may be the aspiration, but you’re not quite there yet. 

MW: I was thinking this morning that a corporate culture starts with the individual and every individual has an impact on that. There’s definitely that role for leadership but it’s also, “How do you help the individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being in a place?”

MH: Yeah I talk to organizations about that in my model, it starts with self, then it starts with the shared systems within an environment then it’s about enabling and equipping the leadership. Whether you’re a leader or you’re not, it all starts with being self-aware and building your own toolkit. 

Then as you build your leadership within that, you’ve got your shared systems, shared language and shared values. 

What that does is it frees up your teams to actually be self-managed. They have the confidence to be able to experiment as we do in coaching and explore different ways of doing things and it brings freedom in environments because, you know, everyone’s on the same page and consequently creates thriving cultures. It’s like, you’re closing the gap between the leadership in the workforce, almost bringing them onto the same page and getting them talking, the same language and working together, rather than that distrust or that they don’t understand me.

I think what I see more is that often smaller businesses are fantastic at taking care of their people but they forget to actually take care of themselves right? You know so you can have the policies and practice you can actually really give you staff days off. You can fund them to go and have fun. You know, you have a gym program for them, all of those things, but when it comes to, you know, a couple of organizations, I’m thinking of their stress levels are really high because they’re actually spreading themselves too thin. So some of the work I also do is around helping to identify what the gaps are. So one organization are recently worked with was identifying the right level of support that is needed for their growing business as well. By then being able to help them develop what that looks like. 

We don’t have to do it all ourselves. It’s sometimes knowing when’s the point same as in your coaching business, when’s the point of when you get help from others and pay someone to do a component of your work versus

MW: I’m curious to know your focus on business for the next 12 months. So if there were one or two things that you think are your priorities, what would they be? 

MH: I’m having some interesting conversations with some peak bodies at the moment about how they can provide adequate support.

A lot of services are delivered by not-for-profits and some organizations might have an employee assistance program but it’s about helping people change their behaviors on going around their health and wellness. You can have a debriefing service, for example, a lot of not-for-profits work in environments where vicarious trauma is actually an issue.

But there are a whole heap of things that you can put in your toolkit to reduce your stress, manage your health and wellness, be more open around those conversations, those kinds of things. There is a space for coaching to actually support education engagement. 

The other is around, consolidating, some of the government work and and trying to move it from ad hoc referrals to actually looking at a system response.

For example, you can get a free physio appointment or something like that, but you could also have a health check or health and wellness check. How might we be able to add a service in place that’s been so that the employers are getting maximum benefit?

MW: Yes, really packaging what you’re doing and taking that out into companies. 

MW: I was talking to someone the other day and it’s all about timing. In September last year, I had a conversation with a person. He’s a head of a peak body and they were worried about getting support and decided to go a different way which is absolutely fine. Then only a week ago, I picked up the phone and said, hey, I’m just touching base to see how you’re doing and is there anything I can support you with?’ And that person said hey your timing is perfect. We need to have this conversation. So, you know, sometimes you as a coach who’s running a business, you don’t see the immediate effectiveness of those conversations that you are having. 

It’s about planting the seed and then making sure that you go back and water it.

MW: It’s such an important point because a lot of people say, “How do I get a steady flow of clients?” and the answer is, “You have a steady flow of conversations.”

MH: Absolutely, you know, lots of people will go the social media way and you have to really know who the client is. The clients that I’m working with are of the age and professional status and are not going to pick up a service from an ad on Facebook or Instagram, you know. So they might check it out in terms of the quality of your content. Yeah. But they’re not going to click a link and book there. 

MW: That’s a very important point. Coaching is a relationship business and you’re in the you what you are doing is building relationships in both the service that you deliver and the marketing of it and it’s like building friendships. I remember moving to a town where I knew nobody, but I didn’t get on the internet and started posting and hoping to make friends and business connections. I went out and talked to people and kept showing up and kept showing up and kept showing up and eventually, they figured out who I was and got to know me. It’s that repetition of showing up and adding value to them, sharing articles, asking how they’re going, following up and it’s also about making those strategic connections. 

MH: This year, I’ve done a couple of workshops for a local government, but also for the tourism industry Tourism Commission of South Australia. 

Now I can’t say that immediate work has come from either of those but the relationships that I made in one Workshop, eighty percent of the people in there were in the health provision space, but they’re all relationships, you know, from that we’ve talked about setting up a meeting on an ongoing basis to come together and look at how we can actually collaborate to provide support to clients. So that becomes a referral pathway rather than a thing that you sign up a client there and then. So that’s ongoing and it’s about building that relationship again with the tourism commission. That’s about keeping in contact with the people who attended, you value-add by giving something and not expecting anything back but what might come is that referral. 

MW: It’s called the principle of reciprocity. Give first in order to receive as Stephen Covey, would say, absolutely yeah. 

MW: So, I don’t go and deliver a workshop with the intent that I’m going to walk away with three clients from it.

I have the intent of hoping that people walk away with an aha moment that they can, then start to make improvements within their business, or within their own personal life. And then to know that if they need additional support it’s a phone call away and that starts a conversation.

MW: And I guess the other thing too, is that when you go to go to any sort of event or you run an event, there are going to be people who your values are aligned with. As in “values-aligned” as a hyphenated word. That’s a bit of jargony for a podcast, but it just means that you might make a couple of connections in that session that you then take offline and can, continue and build that more intimate relationship as well.

MH: There are some people who I know of who run workshops and sign clients before they’ve left the room and I don’t know how authentic that is. What I mean is, that I personally like to process the information. And so, you know, gathering information and testing and then saying “Is that what I want to be doing? Is that who I want to be working with?” 

And maybe my clients’ stream comes slower because that’s the approach I take, but I’m actually quite comfortable with that because the people that come on board are genuinely committed to going through the process and then become long-term clients rather than it being you’ve done this short intervention and thanks very much.

MW: So, just to wrap up, Michelle knowing what, you know, now of all that you’ve done and experienced. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself five years ago or three years ago? 

MH: If I just go back three years I think the thing that I would have done is I probably would have stayed working part time. I need to be in collaboration and working with people in that context. So I think what I would have done is maybe stayed employed by someone for a period of time until I had the flow of clients because it takes time, it takes a good two years not just in coaching just generally. It takes time to build a solid client base to build those relationships. 

Also, I’d say trust yourself in lots of different stuff. I originally was encouraged by multiple people to have a niche and one niche, you know, like an I think that slowed my business progress rather than looking at my whole skill set and tool kit. So, you know, like I was going mainly in that cancer space to start with, but in actual fact, our culture in Australia around paying for support in that space people get so much free stuff and there’s so much fundraising, and those kind of things, people expect to be given. I don’t agree with that but that’s okay. So I think, yeah, I think take the advice of others but then really trust your sense of where you think you need to go. 

And I think the other thing, a great piece of advice that I and I was given is, don’t build it unless you’ve sold it. One of the things I did in the beginning was start writing programs, and having them ready to go, but if you actually haven’t sold it, there’s no point building it now.

MW: Right, you just need enough of a skeleton to have the confidence to go out there and promote yourself and say I’ve got this, but it’s not the complete whiz-bang finished product. 

MH: Yeah. Because you can spend a lot of time that’s not paid for so, you know, like, be really clear. I guess the advice is, to be really clear on what is income-producing activity. And what’s not? Because at the end of the day, as much as, you know, we all become coaches because we want to help and support people who grow the stuff that you can do sitting at your desk like designing your website, doing your social media, all of those kinds of things isn’t actually income-producing activity so it’s about having it’s been clear on what is your income activity and what’s not and so have the best structure.

You don’t need it to be perfect and, you know, as we would talk to our clients about progress, not perfection, I think in terms of our business that’s the same piece of advice. I would have given myself. It’s progress, not Perfection. Yeah. So and no, you don’t have to spend a lot to get your business off the ground but there are just some key Basics that you need a good logo, a good business card.

MW: And you can do that electronically, you don’t even have to have a paper form, you know if you’ve got a fantastic LinkedIn profile. You don’t need a website until you you’re really clear about who you want to work with and you’ve done some work, it’s good to have a starting point, but then when you don’t know in the beginning. 

It’s like when I was three, I didn’t know that I was going to University and to become a biologist 20 years later, you know? So it’s that same kind of thing. You might pick a direction and keep it rubbery and also not too much in place so that you can develop it through your experience of working with people and figuring out what you love to do. 

Thanks so much. Michelle for your insights today and I hope that everything goes as you wish it to this year and the coming 12 months. 

MH: One thing I’ve learned Mel is that it’s just being open to what the possibilities might be – to have a direction but then be grateful for the new opportunities that are presented. If you’re not open to them, you can’t actually know what they are. The space that you’re going to work in may not even be designed yet. So the space that we’re working in as health and wellness, coaches may not even be defined yet be open to listening to what people need and adapting.

MW: It’s very valid and the first bit you said is the important bit – listening to what people need.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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E#133 Why (and How) Does Coaching Work?

This episode is about Why? (and how) does coaching work?

Today I want to talk to you about why and how coaching works so that if you’re having trouble explaining it to your clients, you can get some ideas from this episode, and maybe make your own video or blog about it. Or maybe you just want to send your clients directly here to listen and learn how it works for themselves.

I’m going to walk you through a list of things that you get from working with a coach and then give a simple explanation of how the process of coaching actually works.

And give you a few simple hacks to help you tackle issues like how to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energised and more productive at work. Or how to help you when suffering from stress and anxiety, a sense of physical tension in their body and wish you could just feel more relaxed and calmer.

As you can see, there are lots of problems out there that people wish they can solve.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* Helping your clients understand how a coach can help them
* The science behind making significant life changes
* Tools and techniques to stay focused and motivated

And maybe you think the problem is that you can’t do it, or you don’t have time, or that you don’t know how to do the right thing, or you don’t know where to start. But the real problem is, you don’t have the right structure, support or accountability to make a change.

You don’t have the systems to get it right. And that’s where working with a health and wellness coach can help you.

I’m going to talk about the word coach in this episode. But I want to be clear that I’m talking about health and wellness coaches, specifically, who are qualified and certified to work in the area of health and well-being habits. Now let’s talk about some of those benefits that you get through working with a health and wellness coach.

And the first one is focus.

Let’s face it, very few people are self-motivated, and most of us are busy. So one of the key benefits of working with a health and wellness coach is that you’re creating a commitment to dedicate enough time to give enough focus to a certain area of your life for long enough that you can automate a habit for two or three and get the results you want.

Think about it, you get fired up about starting an exercise programme or an eating plan. And you get all organised and you get off with a bang. And then invariably, life gets in the way you get busy. You feel a bit guilty because you’ve missed a couple of things that you were intending to do and your best intentions go by the wayside.

You just don’t persist for long enough to form the habits. And so that’s what I’m talking about when I use the word focus. It’s your commitment to the coaching programme. You end up forming a relationship with somebody who can help you to stay focused for a discreet amount of time, eight weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, six months or 12 months. And it’s long enough attention that you will cement a couple of habits into and make a significant difference to your life and get the results you want.

Listen to the full episode to learn how to cement habits and get 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: