As of July 2021, the social media platform TikTok has 732 million monthly active global users, and counting. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you might be assuming that TikTok users are primarily teenagers; however, in actuality, teens only make up about 25% of users. It’s men and women over the age of 30 who comprise 53% of TikTok users—which happens to be the perfect demographic for health coaching services.
182 million women over 30 are using TikTok to connect, be entertained, look for new information, and learn new things. With these kinds of numbers—and the continued early growth opportunities for new creator accounts—it’s no wonder today’s guest, Danielle Meitiv, was able to grow her TikTok following, and her health coaching business, so astonishingly fast.
It was this Facebook post, which Danielle Meitiv shared in our PHCI Graduates group, that inspired our interview with the new coach:
What made Danielle pursue a health coaching career in her late 40s?
What business experience did she have, and how important was that in her success?
How did she use TikTok to reach more people and grow her business so rapidly?
From Environmental Scientist to Primal Health Coach and TikTok Success
Danielle Meitiv, M.S, is a certified Primal Health Coach, a Hashimoto’s “thriver,” and a self-proclaimed “total science geek!” who helps people with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism so they can get their lives back.
For over 20 years, Danielle worked as a marine biologist and environmental scientist. She loved it, but yearned for something that could help her make a difference in a more tangible, connected way.
Through a series of culminating experiences, Danielle found her way to the Primal Health Coach Institute (PHCI). “I’ve always been fascinated with health, with biology and human evolution. That’s why ancestral health is such a natural fit for me.
There was no question, when I decided to become a health coach, that I was gonna do it with PHCI. I didn’t want to go somewhere where I’d have to filter what they’re teaching through a more scientific lens. I went to PHCI where we actually start with science. I met the Co-Founder Mark Sisson this past weekend, and I was like, ‘You’re the reason I woke up to ancestral health.'”
In February 2020, as a PHCI grad, Danielle joined our affiliate program called Healthy Profit University, by Michelle Leotta, and by February 2021 she put some of these new business strategies to work, and the results have been pretty incredible!
Q: Before you changed careers to become a health coach, would you say you considered yourself a businesswoman?
Danielle: “Oh, no at all. I knew nothing about business. In fact, a few years ago, if you told me that this requires actually starting a business, I’m not sure I would’ve done it (laughing). That idea would’ve just been too scary. And, I don’t think it occurred to me that I was gonna have to start a business until I was like, ‘Oh…well, now that I learned how to be a health coach, now I’m going to learn to be a business person.’ This makes sense, it’s the next set of skills I need to learn.
Having a business just means that you have something to sell. And you come up with structures by which to sell them, to get paid, and to deliver services. It’s a very simple concept, but it was still foreign to me until I saw Michelle walking through it, like, ‘Here are some marketing basics. This is what a mailing list is for.'”
Q: Tell us, how did you get 760 people enrolled in your challenge so early in your health coaching business?
Danielle: “I promoted my first challenge with no mailing list and just 60 TikTok followers, resulting in 35 people enrolled. The next challenge I ran in March ended up with 760 people. And then I ran the challenge again in May with 3,250 people. I literally went from 35 to basically 100 times more participants in three months. It was amazing.
I remember in January, just two months prior, I thought TikTok was for 13-year-olds making dance videos. But yeah, there’s definitely no question that TikTok soon became the foundation of my business. And now, my mailing list has almost 10,000 people on it and I have almost 120,000 followers on TikTok. It’s insane.
What I loved about the free challenge business strategy is that it’s literally five days of someone sampling your coaching. People experience the way I teach, the way I speak, my personality…By the time somebody got on a consultation call with me, I knew that they already met me.”
Q: Does the 5-day challenge serve as a filter to get people on your email list and into private coaching?
Danielle: “I see the challenge as my main marketing tool. Everybody has to be on my email list to be in the challenge because it’s delivered entirely via email.
At the end of every TikTok, I send viewers to my freebie so that I’m able to funnel them from TikTok onto my email list. In my freebie, a thyroid healing guide, I provide five days of recipes and a shopping list, as well as an explanation of what Hashimoto’s is, why it affects us, and how a paleo diet can address it.
When I’m on TikTok and people tell me, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know where to get started!’ I’ll reply, ‘I have a free guide. Just go check it out here…‘ So, these people get my entire philosophy downloaded into their inboxes where I eventually invite them to my Facebook group or to a consultation call.
Q: What would you say to coaches who are hesitant to give away so much helpful information for free?
Danielle: “Always give away your best stuff for free. Honestly, because, well, first of all, you’re not selling information.
What people are buying from you is the guidance, the interpretation, somebody to hold their hand and explain to them how to apply it in their life.
I have a waiting list for my clients right now. Trust me, they want somebody to talk to and walk them through it. They want your help.
My goal is to change people’s lives. I want to be part of the healthcare revolution, helping people take back their power, especially women.
But what’s the likelihood that it’s only going to be free challenges, and I’m never gonna make a dime? It’s not likely at all because I’m already making a living, you see? So yeah, give away your best stuff for free because people go, ‘Wow, that’s what she does for free, I wonder what a coaching call is, or what we can do in six months of coaching.’
There are 9,200 people on my email list. Who can build a loyal list that quickly and for free? I mean, it’s shocking to me when I say these numbers.“
Q: So what would you say to coaches who are hesitant to try TikTok because they don’t think they have time or the patience to learn how?
Danielle: “Well, I’m totally sympathetic, right? I get that there’s a learning curve. The good news is, in the beginning, nobody knows who we are. If I look stupid in front of my 60 followers, who cares. If you post a video and hate it—don’t delete it because the TikTok algorithm does not like that—you can change the settings to private, and nobody else will see it.
You can’t get good until you’re first bad at something, right? Just this week at The Ancestral Health Symposium, we discussed desirable difficulties and the things that actually stretch your brain; you make mistakes, and those are the things that actually keep your brain young…so it’s good to make mistakes.”
It just so happens that TikTok is my medium. I’m very good at video, and I’m comfortable with it. You just gotta pick one platform that you can be authentic on, and keep showing up. But it’s quite an easy app to learn, and there are a million tutorials out there.”
Q: What is the top mistake you see creators making on TikTok?
Danielle: “I think the biggest one that I’ve seen people make and then correct—which is like night and day—is that they’re just showing their food or their hands, and they’re hiding behind the camera.
That’s a huge one because TikTok is all about interacting with people…Don’t worry about things like the airbrush of Instagram, because the whole point is to be real. That’s when people will respond to you. Especially as a coach, they want to know who you are because you’re literally gonna hold their hand through some pretty emotional stuff, right? So that’s probably one of the biggest mistakes I see.”
Learn more about the strategies Danielle Meitiv used to grow her brand new health coaching business using TikTok and a free 5-day challenge, here, in her interview on Michelle Leotta’s Health Coach Power Community podcast.