So you finished your health coaching certification and you suddenly realize… “I HAVE NO F-CKING CLUE HOW TO BUILD A BUSINESS!!!…????”
It’s unlikely that anyone told you that you need the same amount of training, if not significantly more training, in online business and marketing than you do in health coaching!
It’s a steep learning curve and in the beginning you often feel like you are getting nowhere and making zero progress!
You are likely making A TON of mistakes without even knowing it! And these mistakes are stunting your growth and making you feel like you are running on a hamster wheel!
On today’s episode of the Wealthy Coach Podcast I’ll be teaching you:
- The problem with being too generic (and looking a lot like Walmart!)
- The danger of being “professional” online
- The top thing to NEVER sell as an online coach
- The one thing that you should avoid as a new coach
- BY far THE BIGGEST MISTAKE new coaches make that keeps them playing small (and not making money!)
These are all things I deep dive into in my Health Coach Accelerator Program, which I will be re-launching in 2021! Get on the VIP list here: https://kendraperry.net/hca
Connect with me on Instagram: @kendraperryinc
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The Worst Online Biz Mistakes That Coaches Make
If you’re not familiar with me, I am an online business mentor for coaches who are working in the health and wellness and personal development space. My mission is to help you get your business off the ground running, working for you and help you start consistently generating $5,000 per month to start plus. That’s always where we want to start. I know there are a lot of coaches out there who are talking about six figures and these five-figure months and that’s great.
That’s a great thing to shoot for but when you’re barely making $2,000 or $3,000 a month that can seem far out of your reach and something that’s not even possible. I always start with $5,000 per month because the truth is that might be all you want. Not everyone wants to build a six-figure business and that is cool. Some people are happy making $60,000 to $80,000 a year and that’s cool. $5,000 a month is a respectable income. If that’s all you want, I’m not here to tell you that you should be shooting for anything else.
What we’re going to be talking about are some of the biggest mistakes that new coaches make online when they are starting their business. If you are doing any of these five things, you’re going to be stuck and you’re not going to get the results that you want. To this day, I’ve talked to hundreds probably thousands of coaches at this point, I’ve coached a ton of people. I have a lot of students in my programs. To this day, no one’s ever come to me who is struggling to get clients, isn’t making the money and the business isn’t working for them. Those people always are making at least one of these mistakes but typically a lot more.
We’re going to go through five big mistakes that typically health coaches make especially when they’re new in the first few years of business. The first one is a big thing. I’m a bit of a broken record about this. I talk about this a lot but the reason I talk about it so much is because it’s critical. It’s the first crossroads that you’re going to come to early on in your business. If you choose the right path, you’re going to be setting yourself upright and you’re going to be building that solid business foundation. If you choose the other path, it’s going to be struggle town.
Not Being Specific Enough With Who You’re Talking To
Mistake number one is not being specific enough with who you’re talking to. Not choosing a clear and specific niche. Basically what a niche is if this is all new to you is it’s a segment of the market. When we’re in online business, the market technically is everyone who’s online, which is billions of people. We can’t talk to all of them because they’re all different people who have different problems. We need to target a subset of the market.
You’ve got to be specific and clear with who you’re talking to. It should be so clear that people don’t ask you questions after it. If you say, “This is what I do,” and people are like, “Does this mean this? Does that mean that?” They start asking all these questions and they don’t seem to get it, that’s an issue. That means that it’s not clear. You want it to be clear to a third-grader. You want it to be obvious and clear that when you say that people are like, “That’s cool,” instead of, “Does that mean this? What does that mean?” What you want to do is you want it to be clear and you want to be able to say in ten seconds or less. You don’t want to be going on this rambling path of, “I help this type of person and this,” and going on and on. What that tells you is that it is not clear enough. It needs to be specific but it also needs to be described in their own words.
You want to get on the same level of who you’re talking to. You don’t want to be using technical or what I call nutritionist language. What that means is saying stuff like, “I help people with leaky gut,” for example. As health coaches, health practitioners and doctors, we know what leaky gut is but our clients haven’t taken the training we have. They don’t know what that is. They’re like, “Leaky gut? That sounds gross. I have gas.” They don’t realize that gas can be a result of something like leaky gut. Another example would be something like inflammation. We know what inflammation is. We know how it manifests but they’re like, “I’ve got joint pain,” or, “I’m bloated and distended,” whatever it is. We’ve got to hit them with where they are at.
This is a good example. No one is lying awake in bed at night being, “I’ve got to get rid of my leaky gut.” They’re not saying that. They’re not thinking, “I’m so sick of this indigestion,” or, “I’m sick of this chronic diarrhea,” or whatever it is. They’re thinking in terms of the actual experience that they are having. You need to get on their own page. This is where market research is important. For example, if you’re thinking, “I want to help people with indigestion,” go interview people with indigestion. You’re not trying to sell them. You don’t have ulterior motives. You’re trying to have a conversation with them to see how they describe the problem that they have. You don’t want to be using vague terms.
An example of this would be so they can live their best life. No one has ever been like, “I want to live my best life.” I’m trying to think of another, there are so many good ones out there. I’m drawing a blank now. If you will come to me, you don’t want to say things like, “Take your health to the next level.” “Be the best versions of themselves.” “Optimized diet nutrition. Eat a healthy diet.” These aren’t the things that people want. People have specific issues and are only going to pay to get help to get them out of pain and suffering. It’s got to be a big problem. You can help people eat a healthier diet. People will pay for it but they will not pay much for it.
What they will pay more money for and be more committed to changing is something like chronic joint pain or chronic diarrhea, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, things that are literally interfering with their lives and reducing the quality of their lives. It needs to be a big pain point. When you come up with your niche statement, it’s going to look something like, “I help this type of person with this type of problem to get this type of result.” It might be like, “I help new moms with debilitating anxiety to reverse their anxiety so they can feel calm, confident and whatever.” That’s the overall niche statement. It’s specific. I can say that you’re like, “You help new moms with anxiety. You get rid of their anxiety so they feel better or whatever.” That’s what I mean by that.
Dr. Herman has a great question, “Is autoimmune disease too broad?” Yes, it is because there are a lot of different autoimmune diseases. We know that underneath an autoimmune condition is the same process in the body. It’s that overactivity of the immune system, inflammation and all those things but people don’t connect with autoimmune conditions. They connect with their specific autoimmune condition. This is the huge disservice that the traditional medical paradigm has done to people because they classify all these diseases as different based on their unique symptom presentations.
It’s the same underlying issue but the problem is our clients are living within this conventional medical paradigm so we have to help. We have to meet them where they’re at within that medical paradigm. We know that whether we have someone with Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac or whatever, we’re probably going to do similar things to them. We’re going to maybe run some tests, maybe not but we’re going to implement diet, lifestyle and all that stuff.
The way that we get them there is going to be similar but if we want to attract them, we’ve got to attract them with where they’re at. I would recommend that you get more specific with what type of autoimmune disease you’re working with. Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia or whatever because then you can get on their level. Someone with Hashimoto’s is experiencing different symptoms and different pain points as someone with rheumatoid arthritis. Let’s use rheumatoid arthritis as an example and you can dive into how they’re feeling like their swollen joints and not being able to have good use of their hands. Maybe they want to be a rock climber and they can’t because of their swollen hands and all these things.
You want to be able to connect with them on their level. Otherwise, it’s too broad. The truth is if I have something like Hashimoto’s and you’re out there being, “I help people with autoimmune conditions.” Someone else is like, “I help women in their 30s reverse their Hashimoto’s,” you know I’m going to the other person because I’m like, “That autoimmune sure but that woman helps people with my exact condition.” That’s how people are going to choose because they are within this medical paradigm that separates everything that considers all these conditions separate. They haven’t had the training we do where we see the holistic, bigger picture and what root cause perspective. I hope that makes sense. It’s got to be specific. That’s number one.
Sounding Like A Textbook
Number two is in terms of mistakes is sounding like a textbook when you show up online. Don’t be Wikipedia. If people wanted Wikipedia, they would go to Wikipedia. If people wanted a textbook explanation of something, they would read a textbook. That’s boring to people. People want to have fun. They want to learn in a way that is different. What they want is to be able to connect with the people who they are learning from. They want real and they want authentic. When it comes to what we’re teaching online and how we’re connecting with people, we have to bring our unique personality and unique flair to that information.
The content we provide needs to be good. We also need to not be afraid to be someone that we’re not. I’m going to use an example of myself. I told this story a few times. When I first started out as a health coach back in 2013. I was obsessed with being professional online. If you know me in person, I swear. I’m crass. I’m blunt. I’m honest. That’s my personality. That’s who I am. I felt that online that I need to be super professional. I need to prove how much I know. I was stoic, boring and I use specific language. To be honest, I found it quite exhausting because it wasn’t me. I started learning more about marketing and what people want from us, which is to connect. People truly want to connect and that is true for the online world.
I was like, “Screw it. I’m going to show up as who I am. I’m going to drop an F-bomb if that’s what comes out of my mouth. I’m going to make my weird jokes and be a little bit more of who I am.” That worked a lot better for me. People liked my information but typically people follow me because they resonate with me on some level. They like my style or whatever that is. That’s cool because that is what’s going to make you stand out online. That’s what’s going to wipe out the competition because the truth is there’s only one you. No one else is you.
You’re not competing with anyone else online because people naturally gravitate to who they connect with and who they resonate the most with. Not everyone is going to resonate with you or me and that’s okay. I know some people that when I swear they’re like, “This chick is unprofessional. I don’t like her.” I had someone comment on my YouTube video and was like, “I was with you until you dropped an F-bomb. Keep it classy.” I was like, “I’m not a classy chick so clearly, I’m not your person.” I don’t think I even responded to that comment but I’m not offended by that because if this person truly hung out with me, they probably wouldn’t like me. That’s for them to go find someone who they connect with. It’s clearly not me and it’s okay.
Screw being professional. Be yourself. It’s interesting but building a business is so much of figuring out who you truly are. It’s a big lesson in personal development and I’ve grown and learned so much about myself. I gained much confidence in building an online business because it does teach you much about yourself. It also triggers you and you learn a lot about your insecurities and how to move through them. If you are confused about who you are, that’s where you need to start.
A good exercise you can do is go ask some people who are close to you to describe you in five words. Why are they friends with you? Why do they hang out with you? Do some journaling. Learn a little bit more about who you are. Be a little bit more aware and conscious of how you show up in person with friends. How do you talk? That’s how you should talk online there shouldn’t be a disconnect. A great compliment you can get if people meet you in person and they’re like, “You’re exactly like I imagined you. You’re exactly like I thought you were online.” That’s a good thing.
Selling One-Off Appointments
The next one is a big one and this is true for a lot of new practitioners. This is down to selling one-off appointments or one-off sessions. Meaning that you are trading time for money. People purchase an individual session from you and they pay you an hourly rate. The reason why a lot of practitioners do this because typically, that’s the only business model we’re familiar with. We’ve seen naturopathic doctors or physiotherapists, massage therapists and that’s how it works. Maybe in the schooling that you did, health coach school or whatever, that was the business model that they taught you. I hate this business model. it’s a recipe for burnout and also possibly being broke. If you’re not broke, you’re probably burnt out.
We know that we cannot change someone’s life and help them transform in an hour. It doesn’t work like that. We’re always going to want to work with people for multiple sessions because there’s a lot of stuff we need to talk about. We need to teach them and need to help them work through. When you have someone purchase a single session, you get zero commitment from them. They may only see you for one session and you might not see them again or maybe they’re going to book months in advance. The problem with that is when you work with that business model, you are in a constant stage of needing to find new clients.
This can work for certain professionals, for example, a massage therapist. It’s probably different in your country but in Canada, we have Registered Massage Therapists or our RMTs. People who have extended health benefits can get those appointments for free. I will always choose an RMT because I have benefits so I can get a free massage. I’m always going to choose that first before paying for it. A lot of RMTs in my town, for example, can set up practice and expect to get busy within a year because people will naturally go to them. They will naturally be able to build a practice. The same as true for naturopathic doctors. If you are unlicensed, for example or you don’t want to run a business model like that, it doesn’t work.
The truth is we get into this health and wellness industry because we want to help people. We want to see people make that transformation so we need people’s commitment and we need more than one session. It’s pretty unsatisfying when you have single sessions with people and you don’t get to see them transform. You’re in this constant state of having to find new clients. When you can’t rely on being licensed or building a practice in that way, you need a lot of time for marketing. I don’t believe you should be working with clients more than 2 or 3 times a week but if you’re selling single sessions, it doesn’t work. It’s going to be hard to get to that $5,000. I recommend selling a signature program. I’ve made several YouTube videos on this. Look through my channel if you want more information on this.
A signature program is basically a program in which your business is known for. It is designed specifically for your ideal client. Everyone who you work with goes through this program. For example, if we use an example of you helping women with anxiety, you’re going to have some program that helps women resolve their anxiety, it’s going to be a certain timeframe, maybe it’s 90 days and it’s going to include some amount of sessions, support and accountability.
The promise of the program is for that person to see improvement in their anxiety. You will get less clients this way there. You’re going to get more noes but the people who do say yes to something that is a higher price point are going to be more committed to moving through that process with you and getting the result. When people get results, they give you testimonials and that will help you build your business. That’s why building a signature program is important. This is something I teach inside Health Coach Accelerator, which is my signature program. It’s a whole module. I am updating it and we’re going to be relaunching it this fall so probably in October 2021 so you can stay tuned for that.
Running Paid Advertising Too Quickly
The next big mistake is running ads or paid advertising too quickly and believing that it’s going to fix your lack of leads and customers. I am a big fan of paid traffic and paid ads. I use this in my practice but it is not where you should start especially when you’re new and starting out. In order for ads to be successful, you need to know who you’re talking to, you need to have that signature program and you need to have the process. I believe that you should prove something organically before you put paid advertisements behind it.
The reason for this is if something doesn’t work, driving more traffic to it isn’t going to make it work. You need to make it work first. When you make it work, you know it works and you’ve proven that it works, that is a great time to put ads behind it. I see a lot of coaches running ads way too early on and it’s not going to fix a lack of sales or a lack of signups to your email list. It’s important to see some success in getting people to opt-in for your email list before putting advertisements behind it. I see this a lot. People think, “It’s not working. I’m not getting leads. I need to start paying for traffic. That’s going to fix it.” That can be a huge suck of your money. It can lead to a lot of money going out the window because ads are expensive. They’re also complicated.
You have to be willing to spend a decent amount of money in order to see success with ads. Ads are good. When do you start running ads? When you have an email funnel that works that means that you attract people from social media. They opt-in for your freebie, they go through your onboarding, email sequence and people purchase at the end. They sign up for your complimentary call and become clients. Once that happens enough time then you know that funnel works and you can start putting paid traffic behind it.
Being Cheap With Your Business
The fifth biggest mistake that new coaches make is being cheap with their business. This is a big one. The great thing about online business and an online coaching business is you don’t need a lot of capital to start it up. That makes it accessible to a lot of people and that’s why I love it. Personally, I had $300 in the bank. I was in debt. My credit card was racked up. When I started my health coaching business in 2013, I had no money but I was able to do that. You can start a business for virtually nothing. You don’t need to spend too much but if you aren’t willing to invest in your business financially, it will not grow.
If you are cheap with your business, you’re going to be stuck. You should not be trying to run your business for free, with free platforms and free subscriptions. For example, if I were to start a restaurant or retail store, I would never go in thinking I didn’t need to spend money. I would come up with a fair amount of capital to invest in and I would get funding. You should do the same thing for an online business. It would be great if you could get access to maybe $5,000 initially so you could invest in a mentor or some educational course and have some money to invest in the things you need.
I love running a lean business, which means I’m only spending money on what I need to be spending money on and what I know is moving my mission forward. I don’t think you should ever be cheap. If you were cheap with your business, you’re not going to get anywhere. You have to water the business. You have to water the plant for it to grow. If you’re trying to do everything for free past the first few months, it’s going to show and the amount of clients you’re going to be able to attract.
The things that you do need to invest in when you are a new business owner, first and foremost, is email marketing software. You are going to have to pay for email marketing software. The most important thing in an online business is a robust email list. My recommendation is ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign. Those are the two that I like because they will allow you to do all the things you want to do in the future. I don’t recommend starting with something like MailChimp. A lot of people go for MailChimp because there’s a free option. It is limited in its functionality. At some point, you’re going to want to move over and that’s a huge pain in the ass. Plus, they have terrible customer service. At some point, you end up paying as much as other email providers but you have less functionality. Email marketing software is a must.
Client management software is a must. I recommend Practice Better. It brings together a lot of the platforms that you would need to bootstrap into one. It will store all your plant information and allow you to invoice, set up payment plans, charge people’s credit cards, share documents. It has a scheduler to set up appointments and that sort of thing. I highly recommend Practice Better. You’re going to need some storage. Please do not put everything on a physical hard drive, put it in the cloud. Google Drive is great, it’s free for the first terabyte. You get a ton of free storage. I might be wrong on that but you get a lot for free before they start charging you.
Canva, which is your graphic design software. You will need Canva. You will need a paid account. You will get access to so many templates. It’s super easy to use. This will be how you make all your graphics. You’ll need to invest in a Zoom account. Zoom, as far as I know, you can get a free account if you’re only meeting with one other person and you get unlimited meetings. If you want to get more than one person on the meeting, you are going to have to upgrade and get the basic account. I believe it’s $14 or $15 so it’s not too much. You’re going to use Stripe and that’s how you’re going to do your payments. You are going to get a charged fee for payments but it is the cost of doing business.
You can find other payment services that don’t charge you a percentage and charge you a flat fee but they will not integrate with everything. If you do want to do things like group programs, online courses, workshops and that sort of thing, you want something that integrates and that’s going to accept all types of payments. When you are new, if you are struggling in business, the best thing you can do is take an online course that teaches you how to build your business like my Health Coach Accelerator program or hire a mentor to help you. This is an entirely different language. It’s complicated. It’s hard to figure out. You will delay your success if you try to do it on your own.
That is my one regret early on in my business. I tried to DIY it for so long. As soon as I hired a coach, things took off for me within six months. It happened quickly once I invested in that help. It was scary. It was a big investment. At the time it felt completely crazy but I do not regret it. It helped me get things moving and I was able to start hitting $10,000 months quickly after I hired a mentor. A mentor is great. If you have less money to spend, do a group program, do an online course. Get the help because you’re going to pull your hair out. There’s so much that goes into online business that you need people to mentor you. You need someone to help.
Those are the five mistakes. Let’s recap those before we go. Number one is not being specific enough with your niche and your ideal client. Your goal is to be super clear. It’s so clear that you can say it to a third grader and they understand exactly what you’re talking about. Number two is sounding like a textbook. People don’t want you to be an embodiment version of Wikipedia. They want your personality and your unique flair. Learn your voice, your personality and bring that into your online communication with your audience.
Number three is selling single sessions. It’s a fast track to burnout probably and to being broke. If you want to sell a signature program, I have a YouTube video on this and this is something I teach. I teach all these things inside my program Health Coach Accelerator. Number four is thinking ads are going to fix your situation. Ads are great but they are not where you should start. Before you run ads, you want to prove that what you want to run ads to works organically.
For example, with my course that teaches practitioners how to interpret hair tissue mineral analysis, I launched that organically five times and saw great results before I put it on an evergreen funnel and started running ads to it. Finally, a big one for a lot of you out there is being cheap with your business and not investing. If you don’t water the plant, it will not grow. If you do not invest financially in your business, you’re going to be stuck. Hire a mentor or take a course and make sure to invest in those platforms that I mentioned. Have a fantastic day and weekend. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.