Most aspiring health coaches simply want to coach. Many don’t realize that to become a successful health coach, you must also become a successful business person.
To become a thriving business person, you must first master the business basics, which are:
Today’s post is the first in our marketing series, which has been specifically tailored to the marketing needs of health coaches.
Here we plan to investigate the two most essential aspects of ANY marketing strategy. These two steps are often skimmed over or completely overlooked by many naive entrepreneurs, but without them your marketing plan will lack direction and effectiveness.
Before we delve any further, let’s strip this right back to basics and address the question…
What Is Marketing?
Marketing encompasses any process that involves attracting prospective clients or customers to your products and/or services.
It’s important to remember that marketing isn’t just one thing, it’s everything your potential client encounters in relation to your business—from advertising, to what they hear or read, to the coaching and other services you provide.
Marketing shapes the choice a person will make as to whether or not to choose your business either as a first time client or as a returning consumer.
Marketing is often confused with advertising and sales, but in order to create a powerful marketing campaign, understanding the difference is essential. Advertising and sales are individual components that contribute to the overall marketing process, so next we’ll define what advertising and sales are.
What Is Advertising?
Advertising can be defined as paid public announcements that bring a product or a service to the attention of potential or current customers.
Offline advertisements can be found in newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV, and even on buses and taxis.
It’s important to remember that paid advertising makes up just one aspect of the larger marketing picture.
What Are Sales?
Sales comprises of everything you do to close a sale and get a signed agreement or contract in place. It involves an interpersonal interaction with the seller (you) and your consumer (your client).
Marketing and sales are not two distinct processes, and are most successful when they overlap. For example, if marketing is performed effectively, you can move a prospective client from the status of a cold lead to a warm lead.
Now that we’ve clearly defined what marketing is, it’s time to ask these two essential questions before developing your marketing plan.
#1: Who Do I Serve?
Getting clear on who your ideal client is will be essential to any successful marketing strategy. It allows you to target your marketing content to a specific audience, making your services irresistible to them.
This form of marketing is known as niche marketing.
What we’re going to do now is explore how to use your own personal health story to discover your niche market.
What Is My Story?
Writing your own personal health journey is a fantastic way to start preparing your marketing plan.
Sharing your own health challenges and how you overcame them is one of the best ways to identify who you’re best suited to coach.
Don’t be afraid to dig into the physical, emotional, and spiritual changes you went through during your transformation. The more honest and open you are, the greater impact your story will have on the people you hope to inspire.
Writing your own story is also a great way to extract important marketing information necessary for shaping your health coaching business.
Here are some questions you should consider when writing your personal health story:
- What initially motivated you to become a health coach?
- Do you have any additional qualifications in the wellness, medical, scientific, or fitness industries?
- What obstacles have you overcome in your own health journey?
These questions will help you identify your secret sauce—or in other words, what makes you unique.
Sharing your story in the most authentic way is the best way to attract clients.
Identify Your Niche
When you try to target everyone, you end up targeting no one.
Without a specific marketing message, you’re not able to hit anyone’s pain points or solve their problems. However, by focusing your marketing campaign on a small subset of the population, your marketing will have a powerful impact on your target audience.
Identifying as a Primal Health Coach is a good start, but this is still not specific enough; you need to look a little deeper in order to stand out amongst the other health coaches.
To gain a clear picture of your ideal client, ask yourself these questions:
- How old are they?
- Are they married?
- Do they have children?
- What type of housing and neighbourhood do they live in?
- What type of job do they hold?
Now ask yourself about their psychographics:
- What do they read?
- What do they watch?
- How do they socialize?
- How do they spend their free time?
- Do they exercise?
- Who are their heroes and thought leaders?
Saying that you help “people get healthy” won’t have the same impact as saying you help “retired women over the age of 60 who want to maintain a positive quality of life using ancestral health concepts.”
Can you see the difference?
Getting specific is key to your marketing success.
More often than not, you’ll be best suited to help people who are going through situations similar to those you’ve overcome.
It may feel as thought you’re eliminating lots of potential new clients before you even get your health coaching business off the ground. However, niche marketing is a proven marketing strategy that will help you reach people who have an interest in what you have to say and how you say it.
The key is to choose a niche that you connect with on a personal level, so you feel passionate about promoting yourself and your health coaching business.
#2: What Is My Product?
Defining your product is THE most essential aspect of any marketing campaign.
Simply selling health coaching is not specific enough. You need to identify what it is you’re selling, as this informs your content and your marketing strategy.
Next, we’re going to share the three questions you need to address that will help you develop a unique health coaching product that’ll tantalize your ideal client.
1. What Services Would I Like to Offer?
When deciding on which services or products you would like to offer, think about what gets you (and your niche) excited.
To do this, you need to be super clear on who you’re targeting.
- Are they overstressed workaholics who want a healthier work/life balance?
- Are they high-level soccer players looking for a nutritional edge over their competition?
- Are they working moms looking for a strength and nutrition program to help them get back in shape?
Now consider some of the things you’re great at.
- Do you get a kick out of organizing meal plans?
- Are you highly experienced as a strength and conditioning personal trainer?
- Are you an expert on stress management tactics?
When brainstorming your areas of expertise, think about what other people have complimented you on, and what areas you seem to excel in. Don’t be shy! This list will be the start of your health coaching products/services. You can include services that you’ve seen other coaches offer and you think you’d be great at. You could even invent totally new services that may have never existed before. The only limit to this list is your imagination!
2. How Do I Like to Coach?
Next, it’s time to think about how you would you like to coach.
- Do you feel more comfortable working one-on-one with clients, or do you prefer working with groups?
- Do you enjoy the personal interaction of seeing your clients in-person, or do you prefer to coach online using Skype or Google Hangouts?
- Do you thrive on the thrill of public speaking, or do you like the idea of working in a wellness clinic?
- Does the thought of changing the culture of corporations excite you, or maybe you would prefer to teach people new skills in a workshop setting?
Don’t feel as though you have to choose any single coaching model. Your business could offer more than one service or package, but it’s important to identify what these are so you can market them appropriately.
3. How Should I Package My Product(s)?
You’ve worked out your niche, you’ve identified what you’re great at and which style of coaching would suit you best. Now it’s time to develop a health coaching product that you feel passionate and confident to sell.
If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at what other health, fitness, and wellness professionals are offering. A great place to start is the Primal Health Coach directory.
Some examples of the type of packages you could offer include:
- Casual pay per session or per hour
- Per month (with multiple sessions or services included)
- Multiple month plans with a flat-rate package price (3 and 6 month plans are popular)
- Private online community memberships
Your products and services are likely to change over time as your health coaching and business evolve, and that’s okay. The important thing is to be clear on what you’re offering, and that your marketing content corresponds accordingly.
To summarize, before you even consider developing a marketing plan, the two questions you must address before starting your marketing plan are:
- Who Do I Serve?
- What Is My Product?
Remember, before you can successfully market your product, you have to have an AWESOME PRODUCT!
Here’s a list of our marketing series posts in order:
- Two Essential Questions You Must Address Before Developing Your Health Coaching Marketing Plan
- How to Use Inbound Marketing to Win Clients
- How to Build an Irresistible Health Coaching Website
- How to Generate Traffic for Your Health Coaching Website
- How to Use Content Marketing to Gain Clients
- 3 Simple Steps for Converting Web Traffic Into Leads
- How to Use Email Autoresponders to Convert Leads Into Clients While You Sleep
- How (and Where) to Hire Freelance Writers, Designers, and Tech Support
- 8 Tactics for Closing the Sale on Your Next Discovery Call
- How to Delight Clients and Keep Them Coming Back for More
- PHCI Marketing Glossary: 43 Essential Marketing Terms for Health Coaches