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I assume since you are reading this that you want to learn the most effective ways to market you health coaching or wellness business, right? Once you start diving into the world of marketing, you realize that it is much like diet, there is no one size fits all approach.
There are however, some things that just don’t work and end up sabotaging your business instead of building it. Much like in health and diet, we all can agree that eating lots of processed food and tons of sugar is going to harm your health no matter what kind of diet you eat.
What prompted me to write this post was all the ineffective and counterproductive ways I see all sorts of people trying to market themselves online. This is another one of those tough love moments for some people. If you are using one of these methods and it is working great for you, fantastic. Just ignore everything I am saying. If, on the other hand, you are trying these and not getting any results (as I would expect) please don’t beat yourself up, just stop and try something new.
As an online publisher in the Health Coaching arena, I probably get approached a little more than most people by many of these techniques. When I am feeling gracious I simply respond with a very polite notice saying why I think the person should try another approach. Normally, I just ignore the messages or emails and when I am feeling especially cranky, I hit the Spam button. My guess is that for most people, the response to this type of marketing is probably in the reverse order of mine.
This is the modern equivalent of cold calling. I’m sure it works for some people, but like cold calling it will be a very SMALL percentage of people that respond. I routinely get emails and social media messages from people I have never heard of, never met and never asked them for any information. It usually goes something like “I have this awesome product that you have to check out!” or “Are you interested in making more money?” My favorite is when I get a follow up message to this initial spam asking me if I got a chance to look at whatever they are hawking.
Most of these types of messages come from Network Marketing reps which is one of the reasons why that industry has the reputation it does. Network marketing businesses are like any other business, you need a solid marketing plan and sales funnel in place. Just aiming your message blindly at the world will not lead to much success.
I hate to bash network marketing, it just seems that this is where some of the worst marketing practices show up. I guess this is understandable since many times it is a case of someone who knows nothing about business coaching someone else on how to build their business.
This is mainly on Facebook, but can be any social media account. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unless you are using Facebook for advertising (which you should be), having a ton of likes on your fan page is not going to really do much for you. I understand the excitement, a new business and we want others to know about it. I see this in the health coaching arena a lot, people go into groups of their peers and ask people to like their page or get on their list. Unless these people are in your target market this one is another time waster.
While I am not a huge fan of selling in general on Facebook, this is specifically aimed at those who post their sales messages on pages and groups that are not theirs. Other people create groups to serve their audience and sell their stuff, not yours. This one can get a little tricky, but my basic rule is never to put up any kind of sales message on a property that you don’t own or control. If your material will serve this audience and the owner of the page or the group is OK with it, post useful content or resources, but not sales messages.
Here’s another one I see lots of starting network marketers do, once again this is an exaggeration. The message usually looks something like
“I only have room for x more people on my team. I haven’t tried the products yet and have no idea how to build a business, but my up line told me to do this. Join me and you will be earning a residual income in no time”
OK, so maybe it’s not usually that bad, but you get the idea. Network marketing is a very valid business model, but do yourself a favor and get educated before just blindly doing everything someone tells you is a good idea.
Enough of my rant, sorry if any of this came off as overly negative, but I think there are lots of people using techniques like this and wondering why they are not getting the results they hoped for.
Don’t take all this as an indictment of network marketing. I think network marketing can be very effective and done well, it’s just that so often it isn’t. It’s pretty easy for me to dismiss 90+% of the companies out there simply by looking at the ingredient labels and another 8% by realizing that the prices are so expensive that nobody but sales reps will buy the products. Here is a post I did awhile back about the Network Marketing Myth you might find valuable.
No matter what kind of business you are doing it still comes down to the same basics. Developing relationships and providing value to your ideal client and THEN offering your products and services to them. If someone hasn’t given you their email address yet or signed up for an event you are doing, they probably are not interested in buying anything from you. Start generating valuable content and relationships first, worry about making money second, not the other way around.
Why is it that lots of holistic practitioners and health coaches I talk to think advertising is some big mystery or a dirty word? We have no qualms about spending half our day writing blog posts, facebook, twitter and google plus posts, putting pictures up on Pinterest and Instagram. Do you fall into what my friend Eric Walker calls “The Loop”? Let me know if this sounds familiar.
Are You Stuck In The Loop?
“The Loop” for entrepreneurs, is worse than a morning commute
I used to be stuck in The Loop.
Here was my typical loop:
First thing I did was open my email
There were the new video uploads to YouTube that get sent to me automatically; there was Seth’s daily post; there were emails from clients, launch sequences and the content that goes with it, and at least 10 or more emails that I would open.
Then onto Facebook
First I’d go through my notifications, and respond where appropriate. Then my news feed where I might comment on anything and everything.
Then over to Instagram, and a quick trip through Twitter
I’ve timed this, and usually it’s 20-30 minutes. That’s 20-30 minutes that I used to spend first thing every day consuming rather than creating.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t be doing any of these things. It is important to keep educating ourselves if we want to be seen as “the expert”. Eric’s point in this post was to create before you consume. It is easy to stay stuck in an endless loop of education and busywork and never really get down to the things that are going to actually propel you forward.
Depending on what your business model is, this may be different things, but when it comes to social media, at least a portion of what you are doing should be directly building your audience. No matter what your business model, you need an audience to speak to.
If you are overwhelmed by all the technology and just starting out, no worries, go book a talk at your local health food store, church, school, or anyplace that will have you. This is really the fastest way to get in front of people if the technology piece is still beyond you. Coaches are always asking me the fastest way to find clients and this is it. Book a talk, get people to come and then get them to either sign up for a low ticket offer during the talk or a consultation. It is much easier to “sell” your more expensive services 1-on-1, either after a consultation (please come up with a better name than a “health history”) or after someone has gone through a lower tier program of yours and gotten to know you and get results. This is “sales funnel 101″ and where most people start.
Once you are ready to start moving online one of the first things you need to work on is building an audience. I have talked about a couple of different business models over the past couple of months, but they all have 1 thing in common, you need an audience.
My favorite way to quickly build an audience is by using Facebook ads. SEO, social media, blogging, and all those activities are great, but they take lots of time, are not always consistent and can even stop working. I remember at one point my blog went from getting 300 visitors per day down to 50 in just a few days due to some Google algorithm change. If I had relied entirely on Google to build my business, I would have been up the creek without a paddle. This is true of any single means you might use for building your audience.
The one thing that I have found to be fairly consistent is to use advertising to build your audience. If you are new to the world of advertising Facebook is definitely the place to start. It is easier to learn than many other platforms. This is a screenshot of a couple of campaigns I currently have running and you can see that it can be a very cost effective way to get subscribers.
I will have to warn you, however, the numbers you see are not typical results. I have been studying facebook advertising for years and have figured out what works for me and what doesn’t. I have talked to lots of people that try Facebook ads for a couple of weeks with no training (maybe they read a blog post or listened to a podcast) and complain that they are getting terrible results.
Also, if you are going to invest money in advertising, you need to at the minimum have a nice looking lead capture page. Paying for advertising and just sending people to your website’s home page is a waste of money.
You hear some people talks about penny clicks on facebook, let me tell you that for the most part that is a bunch of crap. If you can consistently get new subscribers for $1 – $1.50 each you are doing very well. The great thing about Facebook is that you can do some pretty interesting targeting, so that your ads only show up to the exact people you want to see your ads. This is another reason why having a very targeted niche becomes even more important as you move your marketing online. It is really easy to throw up a facebook ad and target a million people. Of course your results will be terrible, the audiences that I target for the above illustration are fairly small, but they are very targeted to people that want to hear from me. There’s a good chance that you found me this way.
I would love to invite you to a webinar with one of my Facebook advertising mentors, Amy Porterfield.
I have a confession to make, I used to hold some serious misconceptions about network marketing. It was about 10 years ago, I found an organic skin care company that I thought was going to be “the thing” that finally allowed me to quit working in the pharmaceutical industry and work for myself. I fell for the network marketing myth. I signed up (under someone who really didn’t understand the business), learned all I could about the products and the company and started doing what the company told me to do. Basically it was the same story, go approach every person you have ever met and tell them how awesome this business is and how they can make a good income by just sharing the business with a couple of people.
If you have ever joined a network marketing (sometimes referred to as MLM, or multi level marketing) you may have run into some of the same stumbling blocks I did. I hated “selling”, I got a knot in my stomach whenever I would go tell a friend of mine about the business, and after about 5 months, I became one of the huge number of people that were happy to tell everyone that network marketing doesn’t work.
So fast forward quite a few years. When I started Health Coach Weekly a few years ago, I brought this baggage with me. I said I will “never” promote any thing in the network marketing industry. Then a funny thing happened. I met person after person that had made it work for them. Sure, many of them were promoting products that there was no way I would put my seal of approval on, but I started to pay attention. Then I met someone that had built some enormous organizations without ever approaching her warm market (now I’ve quite a few more). I even have a friend that almost never calls someone to get them to join her business. Either they call her or just show up, and she is more successful all the “old school” marketers in her organization.
So by this time last year I had seen enough to know that my judgment of the business model was wrong but I still was hard pressed to find a company that I could really get behind.
I basically found 3 kinds of companies when I started really doing my research.
I’m sure you have sat in on some of these “opportunity” calls or webinars. They all sound great, just get a few customers and sign up 3 more “business builders”, help them do what you did and you will be all set. Like most things in marketing, there is a kernel of truth to this. In theory, at least…in reality, it is a lot of hard work, just like every other kind of business. I do think, however, for health coaches, there is a good place for network marketing for most coaches. At the least, you are probably wanting to be able to give your clients access to some really excellent products, and if you find a company that has managed to keep the pricing competitive, this can be a nice extra income source. Most coaches I talk to already recommend certain products from the health food store. If you can find similar products that are valuable for your client and you make money on, I look at that as a win-win.
Of course, the big thing that seduces people into looking at network marketing is the promise of “residual income”, basically earning money tomorrow for work you have done today. Anyone I have talked to that has actually built up a substantial residual income did not do it by signing up 3 people into their business and then helping them. I know some people that have done it in amazingly short amount of times by working incredibly hard and following some very good systems and training. But even the friends I’ve met who took 3 or 4 years to build up a $10,000 – $20,000 + / month “residual income” still worked very hard.
So basically, what I am saying, is don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater like I did. Network marketing is a perfectly fine business model as long as it is done right. Just like there are slimy internet marketers and used car salesman, you can find the same thing in network marketing. There are also lots of heart centered network marketers full of integrity just like in any other field. They are just not always the ones that are speaking the loudest. Just don’t fall for all the low-work, get-rich hype that still exists in the industry and fuels this whole network marketing myth.
I don’t try to “prospect” everyone I meet, in fact, I’ve gotten kind of particular about who I want to work with personally so if you interested in learning more about what I’m up to in this arena, just drop me an email. I answer all my own messages and would be happy to share my experience with you.
If you have been implementing the strategies I discuss at Health Coach Weekly (or even if you haven’t), you know the importance of building your email list. This is probably the biggest thing I see health coaches put off. Building a list of people to talk to is crucial for your success, no matter if you are marketing your business online or not.
The likelihood of someone deciding to hire your for 6 months of coaching after just meeting you or hearing about your offer is pretty low. I know this is hard to hear, but if you think about it, not to hard to understand. People need time to get to know, like and trust you before they are willing to invest the kind of time and financial commitment needed to hire you as a coach.
So you’ve gone through the hard work of setting up a newsletter system and one or all of the following:
Great Job! That is definitely one of the first steps towards building your list. I have a question for you now. Where do you send people after they sign up for your free gift? If you are like many people I see, you have setup a list in something like aweber or constant contact and once they sign up for your list, they go to a page that looks something like this.
Now for the second question. When is your new potential customer most engaged? That’s right, right after they hit the submit button on your opt-in page. You really need to send these people to some sort of custom thank you page while they are interested. They may have just found you on Facebook or while searching for the solution to some problem in Google. They want more information from you. This is a great place to do one of the following:
What you don’t want to do is to send them to the default thank you page you get from most auto responder services.
Here is an example of a webinar thank you page I am using.
This is a way of building engagement with you and your audience. By using a simple system like this, you can build your fan base on Facebook and your followers and engagement on Twitter at the same time you are promoting your free offer, in my case a webinar.
Another great technique I have seen people use is to offer some sort of great deal on a low cost offer you have. This could be an eBook or information product you have created. Something that will serve your audience and get them used to spending a little bit of money with you. Once people consume your free offer and low cost offer and have gotten some good results, when you invite them to join you for a higher ticket offering it won’t feel like selling. You can just say “If you got a lot of value from this, then I would love to go deeper with you.” This would be a much better time to offer a free or paid consultation with a perspective client then having that as your first offer. They have already learned a little about you, have decided that they like you and your style, and are interested in more information. In the sales world, this is what is known as a “hot lead”.
Of course I wouldn’t call it a “free consultation” or “health history”. Come up with a sexier name that speaks to the transformation you will provide your client through your coaching.
Another technique to use if you are using “double opt-in” for your email is to send them to a page like this.
Again, you are leading your readers by the hand to the next step they need to take.
If you are unfamiliar with the terminology there are 2 options when you are setting up an email system to capture emails from an opt-in page. You can either use single or double opt-in. I am a proponent of single opt-in as long as you are targeting the right kind of people and providing excellent content. (which I know you are ) But I understand that lots of people recommend using double opt-in, where a new subscriber needs to actually go their inbox, find your email, and click on a confirmation link. If you are doing this, you absolutely need something like the image above. We live in an ADD world and people have short attention spans, especially since chances are your new subscriber has just found you and may be searching all sorts of websites at the same time as they found you.
You need to stand out, provide great content, and always lead your readers on to the next step.
If you would like to learn how to create these kinds of pages for yourself (and many more) please join me for a special webinar with Tim Paige.
Are you using Facebook to build your business? There has been a lot of talk in the past year about how it is getting harder and harder for businesses to use Facebook to build their business. While I don’t entirely disagree with this, it doesn’t tell the whole picture.
So why have people been saying this? In the early days of Facebook, when you posted something on your business timeline (or personal profile), all of your friends and fans saw what you posted. This made it very easy to connect with your fans, build your list and everyone got very excited. Anyone who has been online for long knows that the one constant is change. This is true in all our lives, but online, it is much faster. Back then, Facebook only goal was to increase their subscriber base and collect as much information as possible about every use as they could. They did a masterful job of this, more than likely about 90% of the people you know are on Facebook to some degree.
In the past 3 years since I have been using Facebook to build my business I have seen tons of changes. Many of these have made it harder for the novice marketer to gain traction, but I still think Facebook should be a part of your marketing strategy. Here are some of the changes and some of the current opportunities.
Custom Apps Are Not As Effective…or are they?
You probably know about the custom apps you can have on your business fan page. These are the tabs right below your timeline cover where you can put a variety of things from custom landing pages to You Tube videos and much more. A couple of years ago, you could set one of these as the default landing page for your fan page. This meant that any new visitor to your fan page went directly to this tab. This made it super easy to start building your email list, since this could be a free offer or a webinar signup page. When they changed this to the timeline being the default you heard lots of people whining on Facebook.
Another problem custom tabs is that they are not viewable on mobile devices. So even if you have a tab with your optin page and you put the link up on Facebook, anyone who clicks on the link from their phone (which is a growing number every day) will go to a dead link. There is a way around this, but you need a third party tool like Lead Pages that will create a mobile redirect page off of Facebook if you want to share your custom tab links on your timeline.
With the growth of mobile more and more people are checking Facebook from their phones or tablets all the time.
This was the start of pushing business owners towards buying advertising to get their message out into the newsfeed of their fans.
Your Fans Are Not On Your Business Page
Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you actually went to someone’s fan page more than once? That’s what I thought. Most people interact with fan pages from their newsfeed so if you’re not there, you are basically invisible to them. This is a hard pill to swallow. It used to be that if you shared something on your fan page, you could expect a fairly significant percentage of your fans to see your message. This has all changed over the past year.
This article goes deeper into the problems with Facebook’s Newsfeed. His basic point is that we are now all advertisers. Like it or not, this is the future of Facebook. When they went public, the priorities shifted. Sure, they still wanted to grow their user base and collect your information but now their main focus is on generating income for their stockholders.
You Have a Limited Time To Engage New Fans
Right after someone “likes” your fan page is the time that they are most likely to become engaged with your posts. Every day that passes that they do not like, comment, or share something from your fan page increases the likelihood of you dropping off of there newsfeed…probably for good. Facebook used to use an algorithm called Edgerank to determine what posts showed up on your newsfeed so that all you needed to do was get some consistent engagement and and you would be good to go, there new algorithm is much more complex and I’m assuming is designed to increase their revenue, not necessarily to give you the best user experience.
So What’s The Good News?
I have been saying all along that the two most important things to do with Facebook are to cultivate relationships and build your email list. Facebook is still a great place to join groups of like minded people and connect. Really no different that networking off line, need to reach out to people one on one to create an actual connection. This does not mean you need to speak to everyone on your email list but if you want your ideal clients to spend any real money with you, you definitely need to be talking to them personally, whether it’s on the phone, Facebook or in person.
As a list building tool, Facebook is still super popular. I won’t get into in this article, but advertising on Facebook is still the easiest and most effective way to build your list with paid advertising that I have seen out there. My favorite strategy last year was to create an image and upload it to Facebook with a link to a landing page in the description. Then use this post to create what is called a promoted post in the ad manager. Facebook recently announced that these will not be shown as much as they used to in favor of link-share posts, so that is my newest recommendation. For a description of how to create a link-share post, check out Amy Porterfield’s article on this. One thing to keep in mind when setting the featured image on your website pages or posts is to make sure the image size is at least 560×292 pixels, otherwise Facebook will resize it down to a thumbnail.
Which one would you be more likely to notice in your newsfeed?
You really don’t want to be selling your services or business opportunity on Facebook anyway, that is much more effectively done through things like email marketing, webinars and free consultations. So don’t focus too much of your time on crafting the latest thing to share on Facebook unless you are doing it within groups of people who you know are your ideal clients. Your time would be much better spent focusing on some list building strategies and then a great email follow up sequence so you can start connecting with them.
In a recent article I talked about why you should be doing webinars and a few options for the technology. Each has some advantages over the others but basically there are going to be 2 gold standards moving forward in 2014. For high engagement webinars where you want to be able to actually unmute audience members and speak with them one-on-one, GoTo Webinar is the obvious choice. The biggest problem with this platform is the cost.
The other main platform moving forward is going to be Google Hangouts. They have the cost element under control, since it is free for the platform. This is a relatively new technology and up until the last few months I would not have recommended it since it was not all that stable. Google is continuing to improve this though and I imagine within a few more months Google Hangouts will be just as reliable as any other platform.
Remember though, this is a new piece of technology to learn and there will be a learning curve. Better not to “learn on the job” with this one. I have seen so many people schedule their first hangout, publicize it and then fall flat on their face since they really had no clue how to use the platform. Do yourself a favor and do a couple of dry runs before trying a hangout on air to your audience.
So what is the biggest problem with Google Hangouts? I’m pretty sure that the technology and reliability will continue to improve but the real problem lies in the marketing side. One of the main reasons I want you to do webinars and hangouts is that they are great lead generation tools for building your email list. This is where out of the box hangouts fall down. If you already have a tribe and just want to invite them to a hangout you won’t be as concerned about having people optin to your email list first.
There are several ways to accomplish this goal, ranging from just setting up a basic optin form from your email autoresponder and sending people a link to your hangout up to setting up a complete marketing funnel. If you have been reading my stuff for awhile, you will know which one I recommend.
Right now, there are quite a few products coming online to help with the whole google hangout marketing funnel, from setting up an optin page to hosting the hangout on a page that you control and setting up the replay page. Some of them also will take care of the emails for you.
A tool I have been using for awhile is called Easy Webinar Plugin, this is great if you are a WordPress user. It allows you to do a lot of things you can’t do with a traditional hangout, including setting up a signup page, live event and replay page and even automate webinar and emails that go out before and after the event. A new feature is being able to track who actually shows up to the webinar, which is really cool since on average only about 20—40% of the people that signup will actually attend the webinar live. To see it in action, check out this webinar.
Even if you are not a WordPress user, lots of times I recommend that my clients setup a domain with WordPress on it just to be able to use tools like this.
Not to worry though, even if you know you never want to have a wordpress site, I do have another suggestion.
Probably my favorite online tool of 2013 has been a tool called Leadpages. The biggest strength of leadpages is the simple templates that are already setup. You just have to edit a couple of things and your pages will be up in minutes. If you have registered for any of my webinars in the past 6 months, usually this is the tool that I use. It integrates directly with your autoresponder and GoTo Webinar, and they even have 2 different templates for hosting Google Hangouts.
In this video is the demo of my favorite template that is already setup on leadpages.
If you want to learn more about Leadpages, check out this webinar.
Are you using webinars yet to promote your health coaching programs and services yet? If not, let me encourage you to jump in, the water is warm.
Don’t get overwhelmed with all the technical challenges, it doesn’t need to be all that hard. What are some reasons why you should be doing webinars?
So let’s break down some of these benefits.
You have probably heard me talk about this before, if you want to be a success online, you need to pick a niche and then become seen as an authority figure to that group. This doesn’t need to be as hard as it sounds. Lots of coaches get overwhelmed when they see all the super successful coaches who have 7+ figure businesses and are the so-called “gurus” in their niche. If you want to play on that stage, awesome, I applaud you. However, just because you don’t want to be the next Oprah or Dr. Oz doesn’t mean you can’t be an “expert” in your field.
You have probably heard that to build an email list you need to great an irresistible free offer, put up a squeeze page and then deliver the content to your subscribers. Well, guess what one of the most effective free gifts is? You guessed it, you will likely get way more people to sign up for a great informative free webinar than you will get to download an ebook or video from the homepage of your website. This doesn’t mean those other things aren’t important, but webinars are a great way to kick start your email list building efforts. This is the way I have built up Health Coach Weekly.
Everyone tells you that you need to create a sales page to sell your programs and services, what they don’t tell you is that the conversion rate (how many people actually buy) of most sales pages is very low, in the 1-4% range. What does this mean? If you have a 1% conversion rate on your sales page, then for every 100 people that land on your sales page, 1 person will buy your product or service. Of course these numbers can vary wildly and writing a good sales page is another skill entirely. The best way to get someone to sign up for your coaching program is to have a 1-on-1 session with them, this is why IIN suggests that you do a health history with people. This is fine when you are starting out, but eventually you want to do things to more effectively leverage your time.
Here’s a good idea for a starter webinar sales funnel for a health coach. Pick a topic that you are an “expert” in and that your target market will be interested in learning about. This can also be applied offline to talks you give at local events.
So what is a good call to action? When you are first starting out, this could be something as simple as getting people to an introductory consultation. Make sure to give it a great name and build up the value. Instead of just giving away a free health history, make sure your introductory sessions are high value and charge something for them. The goal isn’t to make money here, but to qualify potential clients. The problem with “free” is that lots of people will sign up with no intention of a further commitment. If I come to a “Weight Loss Breakthrough Session” with you and actually give you some money, I will definitely show up engaged. This actually makes it easier to then sell people into your paid programs since the freebie seekers will have never made it to the initial consultation stage with you.
One bit of advice, if you are selling a high dollar service, go for the initial consultation, not the sale, until you get really good on webinars. Most people will need to actually have some sort of relationship with you before they are willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars with you.
If you are doing something like a $67 winter detox, then a webinar is a perfect platform for this. Pull out some of your best content, make it into a webinar and then sell your detox at the end.
I know lots of coaches get uncomfortable with the whole “selling” thing. I get it, but if you are delivering great content and programs, how else are you planning on changing people’s lives and actually getting paid?
This has always been a point of difficulty for anyone starting out since historically the better platforms were very expensive. Here are some of the ones I have used, along with pros and cons.
This was the first service I used, although I think now a better starting place would be Google hangouts.
So after all that, my current recommendation is……Google Hangouts, with a couple of caveats. First, spend some time learning how to use the platform before trying to do a hangout on air. Second, don’t send people straight to the hangout or to your YouTube channel. I have been on lots of hangouts where there is some sort of technical issue and the hangout gets ended. You want to embed the hangout onto some property that you have control over. This can be your website, but there are much better alternatives out there. Stay tuned for next week and I will get more into what some of the alternatives are for getting the most out of Google + Hangouts on air.
My favorite tool for doing both live Google+ Hangout webinars and automated webinars is called Easy Webinar Plugin.
I am sure you have attended your fair share of online summits and are wondering how you can use these in your health coaching biz.
Basically, in my experience, there are 2 main types of online summits, and only 1 of them you should try to avoid like the plague.
Of course, these are not inexpensive to produce or make available so the typical way these are monetized is that the recordings are made available for a limited time (usually 24 hours). After this time, various upgrade packages are made available. I’ve purchased quite a few of these over the years, some super valuable and some maybe not so much. I recently attended the Gluten Summit, which just wrapped up and it easily had the best quality content of any “free” summit I have signed up for ever.
I think the upgrade package had something like 30 hours of recorded webinar trainings with various medical experts on the subjects of gluten intolerance, gluten free diets and all things gluten. They are even giving me a special powerpoint presentation that health coaches can use with their clients or for presentations on next steps in the gluten free journey which I can’t wait to get my hands on and share with everyone that purchased the upgrade package. There was way more content than I could ever hope to absorb in 1 week and having a son on the autistic spectrum whom I try to keep on a gluten free diet this was a real bargain for me. Being able to share some of these trainings with family members will be so much more effective than me telling them why he shouldn’t be eating that cookie.
No matter what your specific area of focus in health is, chances are there is a summit around that topic at least once or twice a year. These can be a great way to help educate your audience as well as generate a little extra income for yourself. Also a great place to get ideas for content or products that you may want to create.
Like everything else when it comes to promoting things like this, you cannot expect to just slap a link on facebook, send one email and wait for the dollars to come pouring in. I am perpetually telling people about the importance of building up their own email list and developing some sort of relationship with your audience. We may not have gotten a chance (yet) to speak personally, but I feel like I know a lot about you already. Sure, we have have different dreams and obstacles, but basically every health coach I meet has the same core desire to help people live healthier, happier lives.
A more advance tactic is to create a separate email list so that people from your main list who sign up for the free event you can send additional information to without pestering people who have no interest in the event. This is what I typically do. Send a couple of messages about the free event to my main list and then people that sign up I will send some additional messages, especially as the event is drawing to a close. You need to be careful if you don’t segment your list, since if someone gets 10 emails from you about an event they have no interest in, they will likely unsubscribe.
After people have invested some time in reading or listening to / watching whatever kind of content it is that you produce, have been on your newsletter list for awhile and have grown to trust your recommendations is when you can actually start expecting to see some results with stuff like this. I try really hard only to send out emails about things that I think will either educate you from a health standpoint or help you move your business further along. Sure I stumble once in awhile and send something more like the second main type of online summit.
While the first summit I just described is great to listen to, easy to invite people to, and can even generate a nice little chunck of change sometimes, the second kind really turns me off.
You see this in both online summits and live events. “Come see these 10 experts for free”. Then you attend the online summit and each speaker spends half of their time talking about some great promotion they have going on and the content is weak.
While I have no problem with people offering their services, there has come to be an expectation of how this will work. If I host a 1 hour webinar, I usually tell the presenter that we want to give a minimum of 45 minutes of high quality content that everyone can use, regardless of whether they buy anything or not. This is a pretty standard setup and people have gotten used to this. If they want to buy the product / service, great! If not, at least they learned something useful. What ends up happening in summits like this, on the other hand is that the organizer asks for people to share their event through some sort of JV relationship (you and me) where we will make a couple of dollars for people we invite and purchase the upgrade package. When they go on to heavily pitch each presenters products, the organizer has a JV deal with them, but you don’t. Besides which, it ends up feeling heavy handed (at least to me).
There is another kind of online summit that has a lot of value for health coaches or anyone who is trying to build a business. This kind of event is usually aimed more at list building than it is at income generation, although you can do both. Typically these are smaller events, with 6 – 12 people, where the organizer gets together a bunch of experts on the topic, and each expert (that’s YOU!) gives away some sort of free gift. These can range, much like the online summits from super valuable to a complete and utter waste of time. What ends up happening if it is not well structured is that the organizer will get a pretty good result in terms of list building but the experts will not. This does not have to be the case, just depends on how well everything is planned and laid out. Also, when you are first getting started, just getting your name and voice out into the discussion has tons of value, regardless of any list building or monetary gains.
I know the holidays are fast approaching and even though this may not be your focus, everyone is looking to either lose weight before and/or after the holidays. So I’ll leave you with a couple of upcoming online summits that I think will be a perfect fit. The first is more for your clients, and is a great way to share a free resource with them without having to do the work. The holistic weight loss summit starts in a few weeks which will give you enough time to sign up and get it into your marketing calendar. There are a few IIN grads, some faculty, and a bunch of holistic nutrition experts, so I am sure there will be lots of great stuff in this one.
If you want to promote this to your own audience, just sign up for free and then go to the affiliate signup page. This can be found at the bottom of the summit home page. They will send you all the information you need.
The second is more for your personal education. I recently got the opportunity to meet the founder of the META Health University and they have some great training available for those of us interested in holistic and integrative health. He has put together the first META-Healthy Integrative Medicine Online Summit. He has brought together 30 world-renowned health experts and their goal in this event is to Show you How to Improve your Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Relationship and Financial Health. This actually started today, so be sure to check it out HERE.
I think everyone who reads Health Coach Weekly understands that they need to have a newsletter to communicate with their ideal client. This is an excellent first step, but definitely not the end of the story when it comes to email marketing. In this article I will share 3 tips on how to take your email efforts to the next level.
Once you have mastered the basics of your email service, setup a list and started to gather subscribers, it is time to look at a few more advanced email marketing techniques. The first one is list segmentation, which is basically breaking up your email list into smaller, more targeted groups. For example, if you are doing a webinar or a teleseminar, those people that have signed up for the webinar are looking for more information on that topic and are expecting reminders about the webinar and probably the replay. If you send your entire list every single email about your webinar, the people that are not interested are much more likely to unsubscribe from your list.
Another time that this is extremely useful is if you have an audience that is not all the same. If you have 2 target markets, like massage therapy and weight loss for seniors, sending the same messages and promotions to both groups is not a very good idea. Segmenting your list will allow you to send your subscribers the information that they are interested in and is relevant to them.
Different email programs make this easier or harder to accomplish. Some let you move people to a new list with just an email click, some require users to fill out a new web form. I’ll get into my recommendations later in this article.
This is a very overlooked, but powerful benefit of using an email management service. It takes a little bit of time to setup up, but you only need to do the work once.
Whatever your free gift is, make sure to setup a series of emails that automatically go out to your new subscribers after they ask for your free gift. Whatever the topic, obviously they are wanting more information. If someone is looking for a solution to their particular problem, they don’t want to wait a month for your first newsletter to get more info from you. When someone first gets on your list, this is a perfect time to start building a relationship with them. Go ahead and deliver on what your promised, educate them more in a series of emails that you automatically send out to them over the following days and weeks. Tell your story, make your first offer, find out more about your potential client.
A mistake I see too many people wait is the fear of being “salesy”. This is especially true I have found of lots of holistic practitioners. I agree that we are here to serve our clients and that being overly promotional is a turn off, but you need to learn to strike a balance. If all you do is send out one newsletter a month with a tiny link in it to sign up for your 6 month program, the likelihood of getting any clients is very low. On the other hand, if you send out an email every day asking people to buy your stuff without providing some very valuable content, most people will just unsubscribe. Like everything else in life, it is finding that balance, which will be different for all of us. I have been on both ends of the spectrum: Never “selling” anything and just providing great content to sending way too many emails to people that probably didn’t want them. Of course, when I never sold anything, my bank account was pretty empty all the time.
The lesson here is to learn where the balance is. If you freak out when someone unsubscribes to your list, then you probably shouldn’t be doing any email marketing. If you are doing successful email marketing, you will be continually adding people to your list, and others will continue to unsubscribe. Those that are opposed to any sort of selling in your emails probably would never have been a client anyway, so my advice is not to worry about it. Of course, if you send out an email and have 50 people unsubscribe, you may want to look at what you are doing and change your tactics.
Do you have an upcoming group coaching program or cleanse? How does this work with your email list. Of course you will want to email everyone about your upcoming events. These should be mentioned in your newsletter, but you need to go beyond that if you expect any sales. A good marketing campaign can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and can include a series of emails as well as things like webinar and teleseminars. If you have segmented your list as I suggested you can more heavily promote your upcoming program to someone who has shown interest, either by clicking on a link in your email, filling out a form on your website, or attending a webinar. A few emails to your entire list is always a good idea, but if someone hasn’t shown any interest after a few exposures they likely won’t. This is assuming that they have opened your email. Another best practice when doing a promotion is to segment out who has not opened your email and send them another message, testing out a new subject line.
I use and used to always recommend Aweber as my preferred email service provider. I still really like aweber, but now it is my number 2 recommendation. The reason for this is that they don’t make list segmentation the easiest in the world. There is a solution I found recently and if you use and love aweber, then you will want to check out AW Pro Tools. This is a tool that extends the capability of aweber, allowing you to tag people or copy them to new lists simply by clicking on an email link. The problem with switching to a new provider is that if you have been using something for a long time, it is likely that the switch will not be easy, especially if you have lots of different optin forms, email lists and autoresponders already set up. The other downside of Aweber is that they do not allow you to import an existing list unless people reconfirm, which means you will lose a lot of subscribers.
A much simpler system to use than what I do is to use Get Response. They have a much more intuitive user interface and make it much easier to do things like: create web forms, do list segmentation, and create multiple autoresponder series. They also have some cool features like a basic landing page creator, birthday reminder and built in polling software. This allows you to learn more about your subscribers and create stronger connections more quickly. A major benefit for people that are thinking of moving to a new service is the fact that Get Response allows you to import your email list without having to reconfirm everyone.