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Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 30, 2011

Creating Online Health Coaching Programs

Health Coach

Do you have a health coaching program that you want to share with more people?  It is great working with individual clients, but eventually most health coaches decide they want to share their message with a larger audience.

There are several ways to do this, but creating an online health coaching program is definitely a great way to get you a larger audience.  I think the biggest hurdle people come to when considering doing an online program is where to start.

If you are creating a 3 month weight loss program that is going to have 12 modules, waiting until all 12 modules are done will take a long time.  If, however, you simply outline the course and schedule it, inertia will take over and you will find yourself getting it done easier.

My first bit of advice is expect things to go wrong your first time around.  All the technology we have available today is fantastic, but there is a learning curve.  Just know that mistakes will happen.  Learn from them and move on, no need to beat yourself up for not getting it perfect.

Schedule Your Program

I know for myself, I obsessed for months about having the perfect website and having my program completely done before I even considered getting anyone to sign up. The problem for me was that this led to getting stuck. What was the solution? I scheduled my first online program and started telling people about it. The great thing about creating content for an online class is that you can create the content as you teach. Whether you are doing a tele-seminar or webinar class, your classes can be your content.

Decide what format you want to use.  Online webinars are a great way to connect with people online.  Anything you can do on a computer screen you can do on a webinar.  You can teach from a powerpoint, do a video of yourself leading a class, share your computer screen, it really depends on your class material.  Online cooking classes are a great idea, people love seeing exactly what you are doing in the kitchen.

The premier web conferencing solution is GoTo Webinar , but they are fairly pricey.  They do have a free 30 day trial and some discounts available.  A much cheaper solution is GVO Conference, which works a lot better than some of the free options.

Decide How To Deliver Your Content

There are several ways to deliver your content.  The simplest, is to simply deliver your program live via either tele-seminar or webinar and provide attendees with a replay link.  You can simply take payment via PayPal.  This requires very little technical setup and is a great way to start, especially if you are technically challenged.

A more valuable and professional looking option is to set up a membership site or a members area of your website that is password protected and put all of the content in there.  You want to be careful about putting too much video material on your actual web server.  If you only have a couple of people watching your videos it is not a problem, but if lots of people try to watch at the same time there will be bandwidth issues and you can even crash your site.

Fortunately there is a very cheap solution to the video problem.  Simply host your videos on Amazon Simple Storage System, which is an online media storage service.  You can host audio, video, or any other type of file on here and only be charged when people view it.  Until you have lots of files being used, this will only cost you pennies per month.

It is probably best to setup each new program on it’s own URL as a membership site.  This will make managing and marketing multiple programs much simpler.  The good news is once you learn how to do this once you can just duplicate what you have done for your next program.

Marketing Your Program

This is like marketing your coaching services, there is no one way to do it.  One of the best ways to get people to learn about your new program is to hold some live training events.  Preferably these will be given in the same format as your training and will contain some of your best material.  You want to give people a taste of what they can expect if they join your program so make your free trainings high value content.

Set up a landing page specifically for your free training where you will talk about exactly what you are offering and have an email opt-in form.  Not only is this a great way to fill you program, it is also a great way to build your email list.

Facebook is a great place to get publicity for your event.  You can create a Facebook event, place ads, and create some buzz about your upcoming training.

Summary

Online health coaching programs are a perfect way to start moving beyond working with one client at a time.  By sharing your message with a larger audience, not only will you be able to leverage your time and reach more people, you will be able to do it with less work.  After you have done your online health coaching program the first time you will have all the pieces in place to offer it again with much less effort on your part.

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November 23, 2011

Branding Secrets for Health Coaches – How to Stand Out from the Competition

Have you ever lost a potential client to the competition?  You knew you could really help them with their health problem, they may have seemed excited about your program, but in the end, they hired someone else.  Maybe it was another health coach, a holistic practitioner, or a doctor.  Itʼs discouraging.  You wonder what you could have done differently to get the potential client to say, “Yes!”

If you want to stand out from the competition, the answer may be branding.  Most health coaches just starting out donʼt understand what a brand is and why they need one.  So itʼs something they put off to do “later.”

For health coaches, branding is essential because their niche is very competitive.  Not only are there a lot of other health coaches looking for clients, but there are also many alternatives vying for your clientʼs attention: holistic, spiritual, pharmaceutical, etc.

In this article, Iʼll help you create a branding message to make your marketing easier and your health coaching services irresistible to potential clients.  And if youʼve been struggling with creating your own brand, youʼll find the following tips will help you get unstuck.

Hereʼs my top 3 branding secrets for health coaches and consultants to help you stand out, beat the competition, and attract more high-paying clients.

Branding Secret #1 – Your Brand is the Transformation You Deliver

This may come as a surprise, but you already have a brand for your health coaching business.  Itʼs who you are and what you do.  This isnʼt rocket science.  Your brand is the promise of an experience.

When someone decided to hire your competition instead of you, they were buying into the promise of the experience that the other person was selling, instead of your promise.

If youʼre having trouble standing out from all the other health coaches in your niche, then your current brand probably isnʼt clear and specific enough.  So letʼs fix that right now.

Coaches donʼt sell “stuff”.  Coaches transform peopleʼs lives.  This is especially true for health coaches because they help people bring vitality back into their lives.  So what is the transformation people get when working with you?  What is the breakthrough they achieve?  Make it as specific and clear as possible.

For example, helping people feel better or make more money is not a specific enough transformation for great branding.  Helping young professional mothers have an abundance of energy – without sacrificing family time – is a transformation that is clear, specific, and irresistible.  What mother (young or old) doesnʼt want that?

What if you help people achieve a lot of different transformations?  How do you brand yourself then?  The answer is that you donʼt.  If youʼre too general, you wonʼt be able to create a magnetic brand and stand out from the crowd.  Youʼll have to narrow down your ideal client and niche, first.

Another option is to focus on a broader transformation that encompasses smaller transformations (or results) within it.  For instance, if youʼre a fitness coach your clients may achieve results such as feeling better, looking great, increased self-esteem, losing weight, etc.  So pick one specific transformation that can encompass all of those benefits, like helping busy professional women over 40 feel sexy again.

Branding Secret #2 – Market Your Brand Consistently

One of the biggest marketing mistakes I see health coaches and consultants make is with inconsistent branding.  They give one marketing message in a flyer, another in a live talk, and still a different one on their website.

Since your brand is the transformation you deliver, be consistent when telling people what that transformation is.  You canʼt stand out from all the other health coaches if you are marketing three different branding messages.  Worse, your potential clients will be confused and not hire you.

For example, a health coach may give a talk locally on the topic of hormonal balance and recommend that attendees visit their website for more information. But when prospects visit the website, they only see information on general health and wellness. This is inconsistent branding.

Or a health coach will give a presentation on a very specific topic, like eating well to lower cholesterol levels.  At the end, they offer a free gift on their website – an ebook that has nothing to do with cholesterol levels.

You want to keep your marketing and branding message the same throughout their entire contact with you.

To attract more clients, be clear and specific about the transformation you help clients achieve.  Then consistently give that message in all your marketing: business cards, presentations, free offers, articles, websites, personal conversations, service packages, etc.

Branding Secret #3 – Use Your Brand Everywhere

Get excited about your brand.  Be proud of it.  After all, this is a transformation (or breakthrough) that changes peopleʼs lives for the better.  Announce your brand everywhere so people start to associate your health coaching business with a specific promise of an experience.

Your complete brand can include a combination of things:  your name, an image, business name, colors, logo, tag line, product series name, a style of font, and much more. You can use all of these or only some of these in combination with one another, depending on the amount of space or time available.

Here are just a few places where you can start using your brand:

• Offline: business cards, printed ads, stationery, over the phone, printed on products, brochures, and more.
• Online: website, email, search engine listings, article marketing, video marketing, podcasting, ezines, RSS feeds, blog commenting, etc.
• Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google Places, Vimeo, Squidoo, online directories, social bookmarking, etc.

Any place you have an opportunity to market, you have an opportunity to use your brand.

Summary

The first time I heard about branding, I thought, “I wonʼt need that until my business is bigger.”  I really didnʼt get that my brand was my ticket to standing out from the competition.  And as a result, I played small and struggled to get clients.

Then when I tried to put my brand together, I got stuck for months.  Nothing I came up with resonated with me.  It was like being in high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to major in at college.  I had lots of ideas but nothing captivating.

Then I discovered the three branding secrets above.  I used the first to quickly figure out what my brand was, the second to get more sales from existing marketing, and the third to attract a lot more ideal clients.

You, too, can use these branding secrets to help you stand out from the competition and get more health coaching clients.  Youʼll love how easy marketing becomes once you have an ideal client, a niche, and a great branding message.

For more tips, strategies, and articles on how to get more clients and create irresistible offers and websites, visit http://www.KarenBrunet.com.  From Karen Brunet, online marketing consultant, where “Itʼs not just a website…Itʼs the Mother Lode!”

November 17, 2011

5 Easy Tips To Grow Your Health Coaching Facebook Tribe

Health Coaching Facebook Tribe

Facebook is the largest social networking site on the planet and a great place to build your health coaching facebook “tribe”.  Seth Godin coined the term tribe which speaks much better to the group of people we want to work with.  Many marketers speak of target markets and ideal clients.  While these are useful terms, it implies that you are separate from them while a tribe is a group of people all with a common interest, goal or vision.

I imagine you started your health coaching business to be of service to people, not to become a marketer or salesperson.  This seems to be where many holistic practitioners run into trouble.  We are livelong learners, full of knowledge and eager to help others reach their potential.  Many of us run into problems when it comes to “selling” our services or products.

Instead of focusing on selling, when you switch to a focus on building a tribe or community, you naturally become connected to people who come to see you as an expert and trusted source of information.  Then when you announce your services and programs people will already see you their “expert” and will be drawn to learn from and work with you.

This feels better from both sides.  As a customer of any service, you are much more likely to buy something that you are seeking than something you are being “sold”.  As a health coach you can focus on what you are passionate about, sharing your message of health, instead of trying to be a salesperson.

What better place to start building your tribe than facebook?  People are already there looking for connections.  Here are 5 easy ways to start growing your facebook tribe.

1.  Focus Your Message

Focus your online health coaching on a specific group of people.  It is much easier to find people interested in what you are doing if you know exactly who you want to work with.  If your facebook fan page tells people you are a “Health Coach”, they are much less likely to stick around than if you focus on one specific topic that they are already interested in.  Name your fan page something that when people read the title they say to themselves “I need that or I need to learn more”.  This will be especially helpful if you decide to do any advertising on facebook, which I highly recommend.

2.  Use Facebook As Your Fan Page

Did you know that you can surf facebook using your fan page instead of your personal profile.

use facebook as page

use facebook as page2

Now go to facebook groups and pages where your tribe hangs out and start interacting.  This typically more effective than saying “please like my page”.  Remember, start out building connections and providing great content.  It’s much better to have 100 fans that are really interested in what you are doing than 1000 people on your facebook page that just “liked” you on a whim and really aren’t all that interested.

3.  Search Facebook For Your Tribe

One of the easiest ways to search facebook is to type in quotes what topic you are interested in.

Facebook search

This will let you find groups, pages and public posts about your topic.  Not only is this a great way to find people, it’s also another way to research what is going on right now in your field.

4.  Use Sponsored Stories in Facebook Ads

You know the sponsored stories on the side of your facebook page that says a friend of yours likes something?  Aren’t you more likely to click on this than if you didn’t see your friends name.  Once you have a facebook fan page setup, this is very easy to do in facebook ads.  This is one of the reason’s the title of your fan page is important, since this is what shows up in facebook sponsored stories.

Facebook Sponsored Story

There are also lots of other techniques for using facebook ads to get people to your fan page, but this is a great one.

5.  Put a facebook “Like” Box on your website.

Go to facebook developers at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box.

Facebook Like Box

I was at a holistic marketing conference last week and I met someone who was still in school and was using these techniques to build a thriving community on facebook.  She hasn’t even graduated yet and already has over 4,000 fans on facebook.  After doing the work to start growing your tribe, it actually becomes easier over time.  When you are just starting out, nobody has any idea who you are or why they should listen to you.  As time goes on and the number of fans you have grows, people will naturally find you.  They see you on their friends pages, when new people show up they are more inclined to see you as an expert when you have a larger number of fans.

You can also have more than one fan page, you can actually have as many as you want.  I would not recommend having a bunch of different pages, since it will dilute your message, but if you have totally separate groups you want to work with it can be a good idea.  For me, I have a page devoted to my poetry (which I haven’t done much with lately) since I’m sure not many of them will be all that interested in hearing about online marketing.

Summary

Get started today building your facebook tribe.  And don’t forget, while you are sending them to your facebook page make sure you are delivering something of value.  Having an opt-in for your mailing list on your facebook is just as important as on your website.  Make it easy for people to connect with you.

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November 9, 2011

4 Steps to Creating Irresistible Health Coaching Packages

Youʼve worked really hard on creating a fantastic health and wellness coaching program.  You know that when your clients take action, they are going to get amazing results that will transform their wellbeing and lives.  Youʼre so excited.

You announce your program to the world – in your newsletter, in strategy sessions with prospects, and on your website.  And then you wait for the calls to come in.  Do you get a flood of responses?  Or do you get silence?

If youʼve been in the health coaching business for any length of time, youʼve no doubt experienced both – the excitement and the silence.  You may be wondering why some of your packages and programs are doing great while others get lack-luster results.

In this article, I reveal the 4 critical elements you must have in every health coaching package (or offer) to make it irresistible instead of mediocre.  These steps are really
easy to use once you know what they are.

Step #1 – Offer What They REALLY Want

This first step is what grabs the attention of your ideal client.  It is so easy to get this wrong, and most health coaches miss the mark because they focus on the program features, instead of the benefits clients really want.  Features are hard to sell.  But benefits will grab peopleʼs attention.

Here is the difference.  A feature is what you do.  A benefit is what the client gets.  Menu planning, shopping tours, EFT, and massage are all examples of features that you may be offering your clients.  Getting energy, saving time, getting off medications, and feeling great again are all examples of benefits your clients may achieve when working with you.

When your client looks at your coaching programs, services, or offers, they donʼt really want health coaching, per se.  What they really want is to find a solution to a health problem or achieve a transformation in their lives.

For instance, if you are trying to market cooking classes, then youʼre offering a feature, not a benefit.  This will be hard to sell, and it wonʼt set you apart as being unique.  As a result, youʼll be competing with every other person offering similar cooking classes.

On the other hand, if youʼre helping busy women achieve more energy and vitality with delicious, healthy meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, youʼre offering a fantastic benefit, instead of a feature.  Youʼve just set yourself apart as THE expert your ideal client wants to work with.  Your coaching program might include cooking classes, but youʼre now focusing on the transformation they REALLY want – to have more energy, eat great food, and save time in the kitchen.

Now that youʼve grabbed their attention…

Step #2 – Make it EASY

Your ideal client will most likely be skeptical.  Most of them have already tried other ways to get help with their problem, usually with little or no results.  Theyʼve heard all the promises for the latest diet or prescription medicine, but nothingʼs worked for them.  They wonder how hard it will be to implement.  Will they have the self-discipline and time to follow through?  Will it be easy to learn?  Even if it worked for other people, will it work for them?

A great way to overcome these doubts  – and make your program irresistible – is to make the process as easy as possible.  Donʼt expect or ask your clients to figure things out on their own.  Give details and tips for every step along the way so they wonʼt be overwhelmed.  For instance:

• Donʼt just tell them to cut sugar out of their diet.  Provide a checklist of what to substitute for sugar in certain recipes.  Give them alternatives to eat and drink that donʼt have sugar and are easy to buy or fix themselves.
• If you ask them to get something unusual, like fermented coconut milk, give them instructions on where to buy it.  If itʼs in a health food store, say so and tell them which section of the store to look in.
• Give testimonials from other people that say how easy it was to work with you and get results.

One of the best ways to make it easy is with Step #3.

Step #3 – Create a Step-by-Step Process

Your ideal client is often paralyzed with indecision, and they feel completely overwhelmed.  As a health coach, you will often be dealing with prospects who are continually fatigued or are dealing with brain fog. And that can only add to the feeling of overwhelm.

If they are a perfectionist, they may be afraid of trying and failing.  If they are feeling unfocused and confused, they may be afraid to start doing anything.  They will want to know they are working on the right thing at the right time.

Once youʼve grabbed their attention and assured them that it will be easy, the next critical element is showing them that you have a step-by-step system that not only works, but eliminates (or greatly reduces) the feelings of overwhelm and confusion.  Clients love this.

Step-by-step processes will give your ideal client confidence, clarity, and focus.  They can be assured that they can do this and get the transformation they are looking for.  Having this in your coaching program will make it simply irresistible.

But there is one more critical element needed in order to attract high-paying clients.

Step #4 – Convey the Value

Miss this final step, and youʼll end up working for peanuts, with a hobby instead of a profitable health coaching business.

Have you ever spent time with a prospect and had them really excited about your services, but as soon as they heard the fee, they lost interest?  Itʼs so discouraging.  You start to wonder if youʼre charging too much or what you might have said differently that could have changed their mind.  What probably happened is that you didnʼt convey the value of what you were offering before you asked them to buy the program or hire you. And this is a key to attracting high-paying clients.

Letʼs go back to the cooking class example mentioned in Step #1.  What is the value of a cooking class?  Well, they can watch cooking videos all day long on YouTube for free.  So when looked at in that context, there isnʼt much value.

But how much is it worth to them to have more energy and vitality in their life?  Imagine the value if they can wake up in the morning and actually feel great, to go through the day without feeling hungry and tired, to get home from work and not feel drained.

What is the value to them to be able to fix delicious, healthy meals that help them have this lifestyle?  How much is it worth to them if those meals cost less and take less time to prepare than to order and pick up take-out?  That has to be worth several hundred dollars per month, at least.  After all, look at what it costs to get take-out from most restaurants these days for a family of four.

Now imagine conveying that value and then giving the investment in the coaching program.  See the difference?  That is irresistible.

Summary

Irresistible coaching programs have four critical elements, and you can apply these in four easy steps to any of your packages, programs and offers…

1. Offer what they REALLY want
2. Make it EASY
3. Create a step-by-step process they can easily follow with confidence
4. Convey the value before giving them the investment amount

Look over your own programs and see where you can start applying each of the above steps.  You will be amazed at how quickly you start getting more clients and more sales more often.  Itʼs what your ideal client really wants to buy from you.

For more tips, strategies, and articles on how to get more clients and create irresistible offers and websites, visit http://www.KarenBrunet.com.  From Karen Brunet, online marketing consultant, where “Itʼs not just a website…Itʼs the Mother Lode!”

November 2, 2011

The Online Marketing Myth

Online Marketing MythI think that many online marketers have done a disservice to new entrepreneurs by perpetuating the myth that online marketing is a great way to get rich quick.

Look around, there are plenty of so called push button systems out there promising instant riches, tons of traffic to your website and all with no work on your part.  Most reasonable people know in their gut that if it sounds to good to be true it probably is but still many get swept away by the excitement and allure of easy money and waste a lot of time and money in the process.

Don’t get me wrong, I think an online business is a great idea and can be very lucrative, but I don’t think it is any easier than any other type of business.  It does have certain advantages and for me the main ones are time and location freedom.  It is just as easy to type a blog post at midnight as it is from 9-5 and anywhere your laptop is located can be your office.

Just realize that no matter what you may hear, running an online business is work, and actually getting it started is a lot of work.  No more than any other business and in my experience it actually has quite a few parallels with the off line world.  You need to build a community of people that are interested in your specialty ( A niche market is even more important online) and grow a relationship with them.  If you focus on just making money, chances are you will burn out long before you are making enough to pay the bills.

My steps for building an online business are focused on using your passions and talents as fuel to get you over the initial hump of starting an online business.  In the beginning, any new business venture is usually a lot of work for little financial reward, which means that you need to be doing something that fires you up so that when you feel like throwing in the towel and giving up it is not so hard to get motivated.  At least for myself, if I am only motivating myself with money, it is hard to stay passionate about what I am doing.

Find A Niche You Are Passionate About

I know you are passionate about health and wellness, but you will need to narrow it down to a very specific target market if you want to succeed online.  Many people have this chosen for them, usually through some health challenge they have or someone they love has had.  Make sure it is something you can stay really interested in and focused on for at least a few years.  Nobody says you can’t broaden your scope, but initially you need to focus on a very specific audience.

Do Keyword Research Before Anything Else

So many people get a great idea, build a website, create a product and then wonder why they can’t get anyone to find them online.

There are a few ways to get people to find you online, but targeted search engine traffic should be a cornerstone of your strategy.  It takes awhile to master, but once you have your content on page 1 of Google for a decent search term, you WILL get traffic.

It is amazing the difference one letter can make when doing keyword research.  Let take 2 search terms that someone whose target audience is people struggling with Diabetes might think of using.

Diabetes Diet

Even if you got on page 1 of Google for the term “diabetes diets” you still wouldn’t get a lot of search engine traffic.  This doesn’t mean this is a horrible keyword, and lower searched keyword terms are very useful for doing things like targeted blog posts, but you don’t want something like this as one of your main keywords.

Build Your Tribe

Whatever your niche is, they key to online marketing is to grow a community of people who are interested in what you are doing.  Just writing a blog is not enough anymore.  Social networking has made it easier to connect with people than ever before, but there is a catch.  If you join a group or forum on places like Facebook or LinkedIn, you will find lots of people interested in your topic.  Just going here and “selling” your services is not usually the best plan of attack.

People go to social networks to connect with others that have similar interests, not to be “sold”.  Use these places to connect with people and be seen as an expert in your field.  This is not an overnight plan, but over time you will be able to establish yourself as an authority.

Create Programs and Products That Your Niche Wants and Needs

While you are spending time in social networks becoming an “authority” in your field make sure to pay attention to what people are saying and what questions they are asking.  It’s much easier to promote a program you create if it is something people want and need.  Another important piece of this is don’t spend years creating the “perfect” program.  When you get a great idea, go for it!  If it is an online coaching program, try to find a few people who are interested and just do it.

I know I have fallen into the trap of having to have everything perfect before taking any action, which can become an endless cycle.  Once you do an online program once, you will have the confidence and momentum to create something bigger.  The best part of this strategy is that you can get paid to actually create your content.  I’m not suggesting flying blind, but as you teach others, it will become more apparent what works and what doesn’t.  Keep what works, and improve on the rest.

Summary

Taking your practice online is a wonderful way to grow your business, increase your freedom and get your message out to the world.  It is not usually an overnight success, but if you do your research and create great programs that people want and need, you will succeed.  I look forward to seeing what you create as you take your message online and positively affect a greater audience.

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