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

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

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

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#195 Danielle Dobson – Breaking the Gender Code

This episode is about Danielle Dobson – breaking the gender code

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

Connect with Danielle

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#194 Kristine Gardner Having an Impact With Metabolic Balance

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

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

Connect with Kristine

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#193 Ruth Morgan: Creating Healthy Careers

This episode is about Ruth Morgan: creating healthy careers

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

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

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#192 How to Network Effectively at Events

This episode is about how to network effectively at events

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

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

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

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

Finding Relevant Events

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

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

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

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

– Search online for ‘coaching conferences 2022’,

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

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

Start With the Why – and Clear Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speakers and Attendees

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

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

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

Breaking the Ice and Connecting

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

Check out the link in the episode notes.

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

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

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

Those people would probably fall into one of six categories:

– Ambassadors for your business

– Influencers to help you gain visibility,

– Referrers (to clients or opportunities)

– Collaborators or partners

– Leads (potential customers), or

– Prospects (engaged and interested in buying).

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

Following Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#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:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you do?

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, how do you get started?

The Evolution of a Niche

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

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

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

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

This is the evolution of a niche.

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

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

1. You are totally clear on your niche.

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

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

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

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

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

1. Start with your why

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Start listening and reflecting

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

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

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

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

What is their magic wand solution?

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

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

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

3. Explore niche content marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note which conversations or posts get the most interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

You can:

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#176 Burnout and Rust Out – Are You At Risk?

This episode is about burnout and rust out – are you at risk?

Have you been working at home, including supporting your clients or teams through mental issues, over the past two years? Let’s talk about some of the mental health impacts that people in supporting roles may face – burnout or rust out – so you can understand and identify these two elements that have the potential to impact your role as a leader, manager, mentor or coach.

This is the first in a series of conversations I’d like to have with you about understanding burnout and anxiety, and how to recover and build resilience.

These are such important topics because our working world has been turned upside down and this has impacted our mental health – and let’s face it – our mental health underpins both our personal and professional success

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Burnout, Rust Out, and Consequences
* Risk factors for burnout and rust out
* Managing or Reducing Burnout and Rust Out

Background

Over the past two years, we have seen significant changes in both working conditions and the mental health of workers and business owners.

If you are an employee, or if you are a manager leading customers or teams, your daily role has invariably expanded to include dealing with other people’s emotional challenges.

If you are a business owner and especially those in coaching businesses, it’s been more than just business as usual – you have faced a multi-pronged challenge of running your business while supporting your clients through greater than usual mental health challenges related to lockdown, home schooling, isolation, separation, loss of income, grief and the consequent depression and anxiety.

On top of this, all of us have been dealing with our own emotional and situational challenges that potentially lead to mental health issues like anxiety or burnout.

In simpler terms, it’s difficult to support others when your cup is empty.

It’s hard to be an effective listener, leader and coach if you are struggling with anxiety.

It’s hard to think clearly and make decisions if you’re overwhelmed.

It’s difficult to be effective if you have lost purpose and direction.

We need to understand what’s going on so we can deal with things more effectively and thrive in spite of what is going on around us.

Burnout, Rust Out, and Consequences

We all recognise the risks of burning out in such circumstances, but there is also the risk of something called ‘rust out’.

At a simple level, we can describe burnout and rust out in terms of the number of challenges being faced, versus the resources we have available to meet those challenges.

In the case of burnout, you may be facing substantial challenges but few resources to cope.

Consider the effect of the pandemic. So many people are dealing with more stress, grief, isolation above and beyond what we they normally experience, or may be in roles where there are high levels of physical and/or emotional demand.

Examples might include mental health counsellors who are trying to cope with an increase in emotionally challenged calls or clients, or on the other hand, there businesses that are thriving in the pandemic and may be working long hours, struggling to keep up with demand.

In either case, workers may eventually lose the energy or ability to meet those demands, and this puts them on the road to burnout.

And the result?

Chronic and excess stress that leads to a sense of overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment, a sense of ineffectiveness, and a lack of accomplishment (professional efficacy) (1). These are the hallmarks of burnout.

Compare that with its’ opposite, rust out, where you may be facing few challenges but have plenty of resources to cope.

Consider again, the effect of the pandemic. Perhaps your work has dried up to the point where you have very little to do, and you’ve started clock watching at 10am. Perhaps your career prospects have dwindled and you’re doing mostly menial work, shuffling papers and attending endless meetings.

The result?

You may become bored, disheartened and directionless. Your day feels monotonous, and you are developing a sense of dissatisfaction with a career. You are also at risk of anxiety – a sense of – where is this all heading? – or depression.

It’s pretty clear that your ability to identify the risks and warning signs of either burnout or rust out means you can adjust, course correct, and stay on top of your mental health and thrive, in spite of what is going on around you.

Risk factors for burnout and rust out

In various studies, burnout risk factors are cited as gender, age, tenure and occupation, but there is variability in each of these.

Generally, though, burnout seems to affect all industries and since the pandemic, it has occurred on a larger scale. In a report by Microsoft, interviews with 9,600 frontline workers revealed that some workers reported feeling an increased sense of connection with co-workers due to shared stress from the pandemic, but many felt underappreciated by supervisors and that lack of communication had contributed to their burnout.

Further, 51% of non-management position frontline workers did not feel valued and wanted help to address physical exhaustion and mental health.

In the mining industry in Western Australia, a pre-pandemic (2018) survey of fly in, fly out (FIFO) workers showed that 1/3 of workers surveyed experienced high or very high feelings of anxiety and depression, and burnout was significantly higher for FIFO workers than the benchmark group.

Within the FIFO-based occupations of all mining employees, highest risk groups were makes 30 – 34 and 40 – 44 years of age, with eight people per week taking their lives in Western Australia.

Other factors contributing to burnout in FIFO workers higher workload, high job demands, reduced engagement, work-family conflict (which had a negative impact).

Burnout was found to be detrimental for safety compliance, contributing to more accidents and unsafe behaviours.

The most influential resources for burnout were social support, leadership and a positive safety culture, good management skills and reasonable job demands.

Looking at these two specific occupations, it’s clear that burnout is more than just about the demands of the job. It’s as much about isolation, loneliness, relationships and leadership.

Managing or Reducing Burnout and Rust Out

There are many strategies to avoid, manage and reduce burnout and rust out.

I will cover many of those in future articles, but for now, I would like to quote my colleague and friend, David Carroll, a Trainer and Leadership Consultant who has extensive experience in this area.

David says:

“It’s important to differentiate between regular work-related stress and the state of being burned out. Stress is usually temporary and easily overcome. Stress is usually short-lived or tied to a specific goal. And when that goal is accomplished, the stress usually goes away.

On the other hand, burnout is an extended period of stress accompanied by emotional changes. Burnout is a long-lasting condition that may need the help of a professional to treat. Regular stress, on its own, is not harmful. Burnout is damaging to both the individual who feels the burnout and those involved in that individual’s life.

Developing your self-awareness and establishing coping mechanisms are the keys to building resilience, replenishing your energy reserves and regaining your passion and purpose in life. It’s all about establishing a healthy business mindset, healthy business body, healthy business relationships and healthy business development tools.”

Summary

The past two years of the pandemic have thrust change up on the way we work and have exposed us to greater, chronic stressors.

Today, we talked about how changes at work may add to the intrinsic mental health risks we face at work and could result in burnout or rust out.

Burnout is a situation of lacking resources to cope with too many challenges, leading to overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment, a sense of ineffectiveness, and a lack of accomplishment (professional efficacy).

Rust out is a situation where your work had diminished and/or become menial, resulting to a sense of boredom, monotony and dissatisfaction which may lead to anxiety and/or depression.

We know that healthy relationships, supportive leadership, and personal care are critical to resolving both of these. I look forward to diving into those topics in coming episodes.

1. Boring-Bray, W. 2020. Behavioural Health Providers are Burning Out or Rusting Out. Psychology Today website accessed 17.1.22

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:

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E#175 Does Your Business Need a Website?

This episode is about if your business needs a website?

A lot of graduate coaches get focused on having and launching a website because we are told that having an online presence is essential to business success.

But is this important? Does your business need a website?

Let’s talk honestly about this so you can take a breather and get clear on exactly what you need to do, and when.

The Reality

There are two realities when it comes to business websites.

Firstly, you need to know a lot about your intended audience, and you need to have spent enough time on income-generating activities to know the value you bring to your audience.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The two realities of business websites
* A simple website readiness quiz to work out if you’re even ready for a website
* Some ‘for now’ options that are just as good, if not better!

Secondly, when you hit ‘publish’ on the website, it will end up on page 7 gazillion on a Google search. Nobody will know it’s there – so you will need to have a plan to promote and market your website.

What this means is that if you are fairly new to the business, and/or lack client experience, you have a lot of work to do before even considering building a website.

Otherwise, you risk spending a huge amount of time and money on something that won’t generate you any income, delays your getting experience and reviews, and isn’t visible to the outside world.

I have prepared a website readiness quiz to help you get clarity on where you are at. See how you go with answering these questions and check your score at the end.

Website Readiness Quiz

Let me ask you a few questions before we answer this question.

1. How long have you been running your business – or are you brand new?

2. Do people know what you are capable of?

3. What sort of people do you attract?

4. What does your business stand for?

5. Do you have clarity on your niche?

6. Do you truly know and understand your niche client?

7. Can you describe your niche client’s problem and solution clearly, in their words?

8. Do you know their specific desired outcomes in their words?

9. What format is your program?

10. Which dates are you running your program this year?

11. What is your lead magnet for the program?

12. When are your marketing campaigns running – and on which channels?

13. How and where will you promote your website?

Here’s how to score yourself for these questions.

If you could answer all 13 questions clearly and easily, then your business is probably ready for a website. You have a clear offering, clarity on your market, what they want help with, and probably some level of traction and proof of success.

If you could answer 7 or more questions clearly and easily, your business is not quite ready for a website. You need to do some pilot or beta testing, market research and/or planning to truly understand how to position your business on a website, and/or where to promote it.

If you struggled to answer even 7 of these questions, your business is clearly not ready for a website. You need to do or get help with many of the business basics, to develop a blueprint for success, get some experience and start earning an income before you are ready to create a website.

So, If Not a Website, Then What?

It’s super easy to create an online presence and credibility without the time and expense of a website.

Three cheap, very effective options are:

1. Create a professional-looking LinkedIn profile for your business, with good quality photos and descriptions of how you help your clients. You can also ask clients to give reviews on this platform which lends credibility, trust and social proof.

This option is great if your business targets clients in professional roles or corporate settings, or where your leads come from professional networks such as allied health.

In these cases, professionalism is especially important, and a good LinkedIn profile can convey this.

2. Create a professional-looking Google My Business profile for your business, same as above. You can ask clients to give 5-star ratings on this platform which boost your Google visibility.

This option is great for businesses targeting a local area (e.g. your local shire) and/or if your marketing strategy will focus on publishing, guest blogging, blogging, SEO or other online strategies.

It can be an easy entry point for more introverted people who feel exhausted at the thought of daily interaction on a social media platform, or for those who are not on social media.

3. Start a social media following (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).

This option is great if you love being on social media and are a people person, love being in groups, and are extraverted or get a lot of energy from others.

It suits clients who are extraverted and love engaging online, being active in groups, and getting value from a lot of support and interaction from you and their peers.

Summary

Does your business need a website? As you can see, it depends on which stage of business you are in.

If you are brand new, without a track record, it makes sense that you choose a quicker, easier option to gain online visibility.

Then, when you have a track record, experience, a better understanding of your niche, and some social proof – you will have all the information and clarity you need to launch a website that will actually work for your business.

If you need help with understanding your audience, enquire about my February or June Passion to Profit Course intakes, where we go through the foundational work behind understanding your clients, your best marketing strategies and marketing channels.

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#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:

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E#162 The Link Between Stress and Mental Health Issues

This episode is about the link between stress and mental health issues

Mental illness is a significant global issue. If we want to take a preventative approach, we need to understand the factors that lead to mental health issues. 

In any one year, 1 in 5 Australians is affected by diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues.

Mental health is a global issue, having the third highest disease burden of all diseases in Australia and globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that depression (in particular) will be the leading health concern in both developed and developing nations by 2030[1].

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What causes mental health issues?
* How does stress affect mental health?
* What we can do about mental health and stress

We know that mental health issues affect a person’s thinking, emotional state and behaviour and disrupts their ability to work, carry out daily living activities and engage in healthy relationships. We also know that early, effective prevention or intervention programs maintain good mental health[2].

In that sense, if we can understand the causes and etiology of mental health issues, we are better placed to reduce and manage them better.

What Causes Mental Health Issues?

If we are to intervene early and effectively to prevent mental health issues, where do we start?

A logical place is the link between stress and mental health. There is overwhelming evidence that stress is a precursor to mental health issues and is tightly linked to mental health decline. Stress is also strongly related to depression[3].

Since 15 – 45% of mental health issues are attributable to workplace conditions, understanding the workplace risk factors seems to be a logical next step[4].

How Does Stress Affect Mental Health?

One model of stress and ageing/disease suggests that an individual’s perception of stress and prolonged exposure to stress can change the brain, body and behaviour, all of which perpetuate a vicious cycle of excessive response, damage and poor recovery3.

In the brain, an enlarged amygdala and diminished hippocampus are related to memory loss, reduced learning ability, and depression. The longer a person is highly or chronically stressed or depressed, the smaller their hippocampus gets.[5]

In the body, elevated cortisol levels and a chronically active fight or flight response can cause symptoms such as elevated resting heart rate or blood pressure.

A chronically stressed person may change their behaviour to help them cope or adapt[6]. Behaviour changes may include decreased exercise and sleep, increased smoking, changes to diet and reduced adherence to medication, all of which contribute to mental and physical health decline.

In other words, an employee who faces stressors such as constant overwork, prolonged screen time, sedentary work behaviours, feeling pressure to work or respond to emails outside working hours, discrimination, bullying or harassment, constantly facing disgruntled customers or workers, or long/irregular working hours, is at risk of chronic stress, and both physical and mental health issues[7].

The initial signs of mental health decline in the workforce may be subtle and therefore hard to detect at first, but over time will become more obvious in terms of health metrics and behaviour change.

Workplace Impacts

Chronic stress and mental health concerns in the workplace result in increased absenteeism, reduced contribution and participation, reduced productivity, reduced cohesiveness and cooperation and high staff turnover.

There are concomitant increases in the cost of health services, insurance and supplementary employment benefits to the tune of $17.4bn per annum in Australia4.

What We Can Do

As a starting point, the hierarchy of control is a useful framework to identify and reduce stressors in the workplace, to reduce the risk and development of mental health issues.

If workplaces can eliminate, substitute, or reduce exposure to stress and mental health hazards, provide protection and treat the negative impacts, then we may start to see mentally healthier, happier workplaces.

But let’s go one step further.

We all know that prevention is better than cure. From a preventive standpoint, workplace programs and initiatives that are proven to build employee resilience and improve individual stress responses will create a workforce where employees cope well, bounce back better, are happier and more productive in their roles.

Summary

Mental health issues are a global concern, and they have a significant impact on both quality of life and workplace productivity.

An individual’s perception of stress and prolonged exposure to stress are key factors in the development of mental health issues, via changes in the brain, body and behaviour.

We know that workplace conditions strongly linked to both chronic stress and the development of mental health issues. This provides us with a golden opportunity to get on the front foot by better-managing existing risks and by taking preventive action to improve resilience and create healthier, happier workplaces.

[1] https://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf?ua

[2] https://mhfa.com.au/

[3] Epel, S. et al., (2018). “More than a feeling: A unified view of stress measurement for population science,” Front Neuroendocrinol, vol. 49,   pp. 146-169, Apr 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2018.03.001.

[4] Carter, L and Dr Stanford, J (2021). Investing in Better Mental Health in Australian Workplaces. The Australia Institute, Canberra, ACT.

[5] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain that Changes Itself. Scribe Publications, Melbourne, Australia.

[6] Cohen S, Janicki-Deverts D, Miller GE (2007). Psychological Stress and Disease. JAMA. 2007;298(14):1685–1687. doi:10.1001/jama.298.14.1685

[7] Johnson, a. et. al (2020) A review and agenda for examining how technology-driven changes at work will impact workplace mental health and employee wellbeing. Australian Journal of Management

2020, Vol. 45(3) 402–424

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#161 Sleep Hacking

This episode is about sleep hacking

Today I want to share a bit of my journey around sleep hacking to overcome insomnia.

I’ve had insomnia for most of my life off and on, and for me there is a clear correlation with the amount of stress that’s going on in my life. But with the onset of perimenopause, that has ramped up and there are other things that are also causing insomnia such as night sweats and even certain things that I’ve eaten or drunk.

So I’ve been on a mission to hack my sleep. 

I’m going back to my roots.

That is, biohacking is something I’ve done for many years, but I just haven’t spoken about it much in the last couple of years.

Biohacking is where you make small tweaks to your daily habit to improve certain areas of your health or your life.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What approach does one needs to take to remedy sleep?
* What you can take to supplement your need to sleep?
* What other factors affect our sleep?

I want to share with you what I’ve been doing, what I’m doing next, and how it’s all working, so that you can get your own ideas for hacking sleep for yourself or perhaps for the clients that you’re working with. 

Remember that everybody is different and has their own individual formula for improving sleep or any other area of well-being. So what’s working for me may not work for you, but it could be worth trying

The approach you take to remedy sleep and the hacks you decide to use will depend on what’s causing your lack of sleep.

Things changed

My catalyst to get back into biohacking was the onset of perimenopause around 18 months ago, when a lot of things changed for me. 

One of the first things I noticed was that my anxiety increased, and I developed insomnia again after many years without a hitch, and I had night sweats.

Through self-observation, I realised these things were related and they tended to make each other worse. The more anxious I became the less I slept, and the less I slept the more prone to anxiety I was, and the worse my night sweats, the less I slept.

Obviously none of these things are very good for mental well-being or productivity or health so I was motivated to experiment and make some changes. 

Lack of sleep tends to make you grumpy, it tends to make you crave sweet foods, and to feel too lethargic to exercise.

And all of that started happening to me.

So here’s how I worked things out.

Supplements

I actually started the process of unpacking by experimenting with some supplements. The reason I started here is because it was the easiest and fastest way to effect change. 

Firstly, I got back into a routine of taking a high grade multivitamin and mineral formulation that I have used on and off for years, because the research is clear that the more stress your body is under, the more that stress robs nutrients from your body (oxidative damage). 

I won’t go into the complex biology in this episode and will save that for later.

That was my baseline, and I also consulted a naturopath to get some specific supplements for my perimenopause symptoms. She gave me an Ashwaghanda formulation, a magnesium, vitamin B and zinc formula, and a herbal preparation to help with night sweats. 

As a result, I got fairly rapid relief from stress to the point where I was able to sleep better, and I also felt calmer during the day. That took about three weeks.

Before supplementing, I was waking up around five or six times at night with a hot flush that caused me to wake up and then stay awake. Falling asleep was not the issue, it was staying asleep, and particularly at that critical time of 1 to 3am. 

After supplementing, my sleep was more regular, I had fewer flushes, and I was staying asleep better or more easily falling back to sleep.

Stress – workload

At the time all of this was going on, the pandemic hit and I had anticipated a downturn in workload through my contracting roles. As a result I decided to take on some new private clients running a pilot program. 

What actually happened was that both of my contracting roles got a lot busier, so I was juggling too much busier contract roles in addition to my own clients. 

The other thing was that with my own clients, it wasn’t a set and forget, rinse and repeat program that I had run before. It was developmental work and consideration to get what I was doing right. I believe that creativity is the opposite of stress. When you are feeling stressed and under pressure then your ability to think creatively is compromised.

Also, going through menopause makes you realise that your capacity to do things is diminished. It’s a combination of brain fog, fatigue, and of course the insomnia and anxiety.

That’s what happened to me. 

So what I had to do was to reach out to my contract roles and talk about changing my roles, doing less of the detailed stuff that doesn’t light me up and which I find draining, and that took a load off.

Switching off at 5 pm was also a critical part of this formula for me. 

It was a hack that was well worth it. Switching off at 5 pm, I was finishing my screen time at that critical period around sunset where we want to decrease cortisol levels rather than keep them pumped up with artificial light.

This helped me to wind down, reduce anxiety and sleep better.

Before that, I was prone to catastrophizing and making everything seem worse or more urgent than it was.

By lowering my workload and switching off earlier, I had time to unwind, relax and ‘de-focus’ so I could sleep better each night.

I’ve since noticed that if I have to teach at night or if I watch an intense or scary movie, or read a thriller novel, it pushes up my anxiety levels enough that I go back to 1am wake ups.

Food and Drink

A bit of research and some experimenting on my own helped me to realise that certain things would trigger night sweats, or even hot flushes during the day. 

For me these triggers included portion size, alcohol, sugar, or more than 2 cups of coffee per day.

With portion size, I’ve worked out that if I eat after 7pm and/or if I have a meal that’s too big, I won’t fall asleep easily or stay asleep. I tend to sleep better if I’ve had a small serve of complex carbohydrate, plenty of veggies and lean protein for dinner. 

Anything that’s salty, fatty, sugary or too starchy (like a risotto) will wake me up at an odd hour, either starving, with heartburn or thirsty.

With alcohol, I have found that champagne, certain spicy spirits like cinnamon whisky, and some wines, will cause me to wake at 1 – 3am or to have night sweats. It seems related to the amount of sugar.

Having one white wine with dinner, or a white spirit, seems to be ok. But regardless of the alcohol I drink, there is definitely a pattern of increased sweating and I wake at least twice per night with this and struggle to sleep again.

I am still experimenting with sugar, but have found that evening chocolate or dessert might be a trigger for poor sleep, in the absence of alcohol, late work or other triggers. 

It’s well known that when you are a bit depressed you crave carbs, and that is related to an increase in tryptophan and therefore serotonin which improves mood – in the absence of protein which can block this pathway. I have many more experiments ahead on this, so I’ll come back to you on it.

With caffeine, I’ve worked out that I can have 1 – 2 espressos per day (I make mine with oat milk) and be ok and sleep well if I have them before 12pm.

But, there are some exceptions to this rule. 

If I’ve been awake since about 3 am and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, or if I am waking up tired and have two coffees on an empty stomach at a time when I have a lot of stress in my life, then those two coffees don’t help anything and I tend to have a peak and then a crash, followed by a jittery day and/or a restless or sleepless night.

I remember one day waking up after having a terrible night sleep, where I perhaps only had three hours of sleep. I had coffee in the morning and I had a rocket fuel boost of energy followed by a big crash and I felt listless all day.

What I’ve learned is that I have a tipping point for caffeine and I need to be careful not to cross the tipping point. If I am a bit fragile or tired or stressed and my capacity to cope with caffeine is lower and it has an amplified effect on anxiety, mood, sleep and energy levels.

The optimum time to have caffeine is 60-90 minutes after waking or around 10am. The reason is that when you wake up in the morning your cortisol levels naturally increase in response to sunlight. If you inject caffeine into that equation then it prevents your body from creating its own natural energy at that time.

Exercise

I am yet to do any experimenting with exercise specifically – remember that good science means one thing at a time. 

But for now, I wanted to say that I’ve always been somebody that likes exercising in the afternoon. As a personal trainer, I know that exercise done too late can be overstimulating and affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

I will come back to you on this one.

Summary

At different stages of life, we experience hormonal and physiological changes that tilt your world on its axis.

When that happens, what used to work for you in terms of your biology and physiology might change such that you need to revisit things.

With the onset of menopause, I’ve started experimenting with my body – biohacking – to help me understand my triggers for insomnia and anxiety. 

So far, I’ve worked out some important things about supplements, stress, and food and drink so I’m much more aware of nights that I AM sleeping well.

The real benefit of this experimentation is that I am super clear on my own personal formula for a good night’s sleep. I am following my own coaching framework to figure this out. 

Working with a coach can be so helpful because they can help you to work out what to experiment with, and to focus for a long enough period of time to uncover your blind spots and reveal your own secret formula for healthy sleep, weight loss, stress reduction or any other challenge that you’re facing.

If you’re looking for a coach and need a referral, please reach out and let me know.

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#160 Trusting yourself

This episode is about trusting yourself

Trusting yourself as a key to developing self belief – and in creating a thriving business. 

That’s because if you can’t follow through on your commitments, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

How can you learn to trust yourself more and build more self belief, so that you can show up confidently and achieve what you want in the world?

That’s what I want to discuss today.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What Erodes Self Trust?
* What gets in the way of self-accountability?
* How do you find the motivation to do things?

What Erodes Self Trust?

I want to start by providing some backstory to this, and outlining some basics on how the brain works and how self-trust can be formed, or eroded. 

Firstly, you will only believe something is true if your brain has enough evidence to prove it. 

For example, if you have previously run and won (or come close to winning) a 5K race, then you probably trust that you can probably win a 5K race in future. 

Here’s another example.

Let’s say you have previously gotten up at 7am each day and created a daily work plan and then completed all of the tasks in your plan. You didn’t need anyone telling you to do it; you were self-motivated and just got it done.

Because you’ve had that experience, you trust that you can do it again.

Where I’m heading with this is that if you’re willing and able to be accountable to yourself, and do the things you set out to do, at least for a little while, then you will start to build self trust. 

But if you consistently start things and give up right away, or focus on what you haven’t followed through on, then your brain will notice the unfulfilled promises and tell you that you’re only capable of making empty promises and that you’re not to be trusted.

For example, if you keep meaning to walk each weekday after work but it doesn’t happen, maybe you never even start, then you will start doubting your ability to do things.

Or maybe, you just can’t be bothered!

Let’s talk about these two important pieces – self-accountability, and motivation – because they are so important for anybody who wants to achieve anything in the world. 

What gets in the way of self-accountability?

Have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to be self accountable?

The first reason is that when you always put other things and other people first, you often end up doing that at your own expense, and therefore letting yourself down. 

Or, if you have too much on your plate and so you constantly struggle to get everything done, you are also letting yourself down.

In either scenario – putting yourself last, or having unrealistic expectations – you are eroding trust in your ability to start, persist or complete something.

Let’s project this outwards for a moment and see how it feels to be on the receiving end. 

Imagine that you were working with somebody who constantly let you down. 

They would promise that they would do certain things by a certain time, or that they would have that report finished by Friday, yet they never ever met those deadlines. 

How do you feel about that person? Would you trust them? Would you be relying on them for things? Would you believe in their capacity to do things?

When you don’t meet your own goals and expectations, you end up feeling that way about yourself, and also, you become known as someone who is unreliable or flaky – which erodes trust from your client base!

How do you find the motivation to do things?

There are three things to think about here.

Firstly, what looks like lack of motivation is often lack of energy. 

That’s why people who are overloaded may find it hard to make decisions, feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of doing anything new, or finding the mental energy to be consistent with habits. 

Secondly, motivation may come after you have made a commitment to something.  

Thirdly, motivation may come only when you know what to do and/or have taken the first steps. 

So, if you have avoided making decisions or if you haven’t mapped a clear plan or pathway, you might get stuck in an avoidance pattern where you don’t take any action because you aren’t committed or clear on what to do.

Three things to build more trust

With all that said and done, hopefully you’re clear on why you might not trust yourself.

But if you want to flip this around and start trusting yourself, you need to stop doing those things and change your behaviour.

Here are three things that can help you to build trust.

1. Honesty

Firstly, be honest with yourself. If you want to be consistent with something but you don’t have the energy, time or commitment, be clear on that and park the idea.

Schedule a date to revisit it when you think you might have some more breathing space.

Secondly, be honest with others.

Honesty also extends to your responsibilities at work and in your relationships. If you don’t have the capacity to do something, or the bandwidth to contribute, say so.

Don’t burn yourself out for the sake of someone else’s happiness.

Don’t put yourself last and expect to muddle through it. It won’t work.

By being honest with yourself and others, you will be able to set boundaries that give you time, space and capacity to actually do things for yourself.

Then you will be able to do those things, stick with them, and build trust.

2. Decide what you will commit to 

One afternoon when I was 14 years old, my best friend’s mother came into their kitchen and hung a rubber disc on the wall. It was the size of a dinner plate and it had writing on it.

“What IS that?” we said.

‘It’s a round tuit.” she replied. Sure enough, the disc had those words on it.

She said, “It’s a fun little reminder of all the things that I keep saying I will get around to doing one day.”

We all have things that we’d like to get around to doing one day, but as long as those things are hovering around in your brain without any action, there is a clear lack of commitment, importance and/or energy.

If you have a list of ‘round tuits’, I suggest you write them all down and look at the list with honest eyes and make some decisions.

Decide what you’ll never do and cross it off the list.

Decide which ones have merit and evaluate them. Visualise yourself actually doing them, and then, cross off any that aren’t important, realistic or likely.

Decide which ones you will do at some point, and diarise time slots to revisit each one and make a project plan.

When you have done this, your round tuits will become actionable projects that you feel honestly committed to.

One last thing on this. We all have to do things that we don’t like doing or find difficult, like writing a blog, or exercising. 

But we may need to do those things in order to succeed, so we can choose to make those things more enjoyable somehow, focus on the outcome we’ll get, or find ways to make those tasks a bit easier.

When you are committed to doing something, this part is much easier!

Rather than doing something ‘when you feel like it’, you will have a not negotiable, automatic habit that you do no matter what.  

3. Set specific goals and build in self-accountability. 

Once you have done the first two steps, you can create specific, tangible goals which are based on clearly defined, realistic actions with their own unique days and time slots.

Be clear to identify whether you need training or support to take each action.

Make sure your confidence of achieving each one is at least a 9/10.

Troubleshoot in advance – plan away the roadblocks and create cues and support to help you succeed, like reminders to complete a plan, or developing a checklist you can use to complete the steps.

This is the secret to setting and actually achieving all of your goals, and building self-trust through self-accountability.

When you start doing this, you will start to feel good about yourself, and the outside world will see and feel it, too.

Summary

If you can’t follow through on your commitments to yourself, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

That feels terrible.

It can be hard to commit to yourself if you normally put yourself last, overcommit, or otherwise lack motivation.

Luckily, you can change ALL of these things, by

  1. Being honest with yourself and others about what you want to do and can do, 
  2. Making decisions on what you will and won’t commit to, and
  3. Setting specific goals with built-in self-accountability.

The more you commit to and achieve your own objectives, the greater trust you will have in yourself, the more confident you will feel, and the more self belief you will have.

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#159 Promotional Copy 101

This episode is about promotional copy 101

In this episode, I’m going to explain how to write great copy so that you can attract more of the right clients more easily!

Good copywriting makes the difference between ‘crickets’ and ‘conversions’.

Luckily, copywriting is a skill that you can learn. 

And as a coach, you have some ninja superpowers that give you a massive head start. The better you are at listening and reflecting, the easier marketing and more specifically copywriting will be for you.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* How to get attention?
* Which clients’ words should you use?
* How can you make it mouth-watering?

How to Get Attention

Which advertisements do YOU respond to and why? 

Most likely, you will be most engaged with promotions that use the exact images, words and phrases that you use to describe what you’re going through.

When the copy uses your exact language, then no education or translation is required – your brain recognizes your own words and immediately ‘gets it’.

This is why choosing a niche is so important! 

Different niches use different language to describe what’s going on. 

Think of two weight loss niches – young mothers and menopausal women. While there would be common ground, those two weight loss niches will use very different and specific language to describe their desired outcome, their challenges, and the obstacles they face.

A young mother wanting to lose weight might talk about ‘post-baby belly’ or ‘losing pregnancy weight’ and might also talk about wanting to be a role model to her children. Obstacles might include tiredness and lack of time between juggling family, work and small kids.

A menopausal woman wanting to lose weight might talk about ‘menopause belly’ or ‘slowed metabolism’ and might also talk about looking her best in a professional setting. Obstacles might include workload, hormonal balance and the stress of ageing parents. 

See how different this could be? It’s important to be clear on exactly who you are talking to. 

Developing a customer avatar helps you define who you are speaking to, and remembering what they say about their problem, obstacles, desired result and reasons why that’s important to them.

By using your client’s own words, you can create text that is visible and relevant to your niche so they feel heard, understood and to trust that you’re the best person to help them.

Which clients’ words should you use?

It’s important to be selective with the client words you use. Whose words would be better for copy:

the client who didn’t show up consistently and always sabotaged themselves? 

or

the words of your favourite high chemistry clients who persisted and got AMAZING results?

The latter is best, but it’s not just about a more compelling result. It’s also that you want to attract more people like them – the better-fit, more persistent client who is driven to succeed.

How can you make it mouth-watering?

Beyond the body copy of your promotion, you can add call to action text (CTA) to seal the deal, that: 

adds value 

creates accountability and 

adds a trust step.

Value is a bonus that they get for joining. For example, 

“if you join this program, you will receive a bonus free e-guide and video walking you through the simple 3-step process to foolproof meal planning.”

Accountability is the time that they must decide by – whether they’re in or out. For example, 

“Register now – this offer closes 30 June, and there are only 10 places available.”

This simply forces the person to decide now and commit or not, rather than delaying the decision and forgetting about it.

In a coaching session, we ask clients to commit to their goals by nominating the day and time they will take action. The accountability step is much the same – it requests a decision, commitment to take action and provides accountability.

Trust step is the condition they must fulfil in order to join (week 5). For example,

“This offer is only available to people who have attended my live information session.”

“A health clearance with your GP is required before you can participate.”

“Complete the program application form to see if you qualify.”

Most clients will only sign up for something if they have had some sort of a trust step or steps in place. 

In your call to action, the trust step is optional. It shows that you value working with the right kind of client, and it also meets their requirement for trust building before they sign up.

The trust step may present a hurdle to signing up, but it can also build trust, authority and encourage action. You will need to decide whether to include this aspect or not.

Summary

Good copywriting leverages your innate coaching skills including listening, acknowledgement, reflecting, reframing, goal setting and rapport building.

The easiest way to write compelling copy is to craft copy using the exact words your best, high chemistry clients use.

Then, add a call-to-action that leverages your clients’ emotions around value, accountability and their desired trust building activities. 

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

This episode is about 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.

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

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.

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.

Summary

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:

Posted on

E#157 Discipline Vs Commitment

This episode is about discipline vs commitment

I want to make an episode today about discipline and commitment. I’ve just come out of a lot of conversations I’ve had recently where people are talking about wanting to be more motivated and needing to be more disciplined in order to reach an outcome that they’re striving for.

I think the word discipline has a lot of negative connotations for so many people. They imagine this carrot and stick approach where they have to be hard on themselves in order to achieve something. 

Think about that concept for a moment. 

How does it make you feel?

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Comparison between discipline and commitment
* What does the word discipline mean to you?
* What can make someone commit?

What does the word discipline mean to you?

I was thinking about this the other day while coaching somebody. We were talking about how hard it can be to do new things and that you may have to make yourself do something you don’t enjoy for a period before you finally do it regularly.

Using the word discipline – if it has a negative connotation for you – can make things feel harder!

Take exercise for example. You may not like getting sweaty and feeling puffed, so when you start exercising after a long break, it can feel a little difficult and you may not feel very disciplined about your exercise sessions.

Your brain starts coming up with all of the excuses why you can’t exercise, and you may not be very consistent for a period as you fight with yourself.

This is where we think ‘discipline’ is required to do the exercise.

So the work of doing the exercise is potentially much less pleasant than it could be. So change and consistency probably take a long longer!

The interesting thing is that at a certain point you learn to love the exercise and you look forward to it every day. You have made a decision to do it, and you. are committed to it.

This happened for me with teeth flossing a few years back. I found it fascinating to think that I had struggled with so-called discipline for several weeks and then I got to enjoy the feeling of commitment. I had decided not to break my record of flossing daily and I was totally committed to that. I tapped into my competitive streak to get to this point.

And I thought to myself, why can’t we just get the decision and commitment up front?

If we could do that, then we wouldn’t need to keep going back to this idea of discipline.

The adoption of flossing as a lifelong commitment took me about 14 weeks. That’s quite long, and imagine if I’d been committed to it in week 2?

What might have gotten me committed earlier?

If I’d had a coach who had tapped into my competitive streak, that definitely would have helped. As it was, I didn’t realise and use that strength to help me until about week 10 of my flossing journey.

This is why I love health and wellness coaching so much, because it’s such a strong component of our work and we can help people get there faster.

Health and wellness coaches are trained in positive psychology and we do a lot at the front end of a coaching program with someone in helping them to tap into their whys, and develop that decision and commitment to a new habit that they’d like to form.

I think this is a golden opportunity to take some of the pain out of developing or upgrading habits, and to rather focus on why we want them and why we are committed to them.

Some people need a lot more work in this area than others.

For example, it was only after several coaching sessions examining all angles of a relationship with exercise, that my client was able to finally decide it was a not negotiable activity and that she was ready to commit to it.

But the fact that we had those conversations week after week about all of the things that were important to her, as a key part of her arriving at the place of commitment.

Once commitment is in place, once you have made the decision to do something no matter what and you are totally committed to it then it becomes easy. You don’t have to rely on the easily-fatigued muscle of willpower any more. 

You’re doing something because it is important to you and you want to do it, so the discomfort involved in doing the thing is minor compared to the sense of achievement and reward of doing it. 

There is one caveat on this conversation of discipline versus commitment. In some cases, you might think that you want to do a certain thing and it may actually take a journey of experimenting and trialling and testing to figure out that you don’t actually want to do that thing. So if you are in this situation, then perhaps it is more relevant for you to focus on experimenting rather than trying to gain commitment. 

On the other hand, if you are sure that you really want to commit to something and you have some very good reasons, then perhaps there is a language there for you to gain that commitment much easier so that habit is more enjoyable

I challenge you now to think of a habit you are trying to form, or be consistent with.

What could help you just decide to do it?

What could help you commit to it, no matter what?

Summary

Today we compared discipline with commitment.

We discussed the fact that discipline may have negative connotations for some people, and it may make a journey to form a new habit or be more consistent with a habit a little bit harder.

On the other hand, if you focus on the benefits, the strengths that you can use, and the reasons why you want to make the change right at the front of the journey of change, and the more likely to make a decision to continue and gain commitment to that habit so that it becomes much easier and more enjoyable to continue.

In any case, that commitment to the habit is where sustainability comes in.

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