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February 8, 2012

5 Tools To Help You Be Seen as a Health Coach Expert

So you’ve spent a lot of time and energy becoming a health coach, now it’s time to be seen by the world as a health coach expert in your field.  You have a passion for nutrition and healthy living and want to help people.  It is actually in your best interest not to try and help everyone, but to become seen as an expert in one particular area, whether that is a specific disease or a more general wellness area.

Think about it, how can you realistically become an expert in everything health and wellness?  It’s not possible, so don’t even worry that there are certain subjects that you are not knowledgeable or passionate about.

Picking the 1 or 2 areas that your are knowledgeable and passionate about to focus on lets you become an expert, and that is what people really want from you.  Just like in traditional medicine, when people have a particular problem, they seek a specialist in that field.

In marketing circles this is usually referred to as your niche or target market.  I prefer to look at it as the group of people you are passionate about helping.  From your end this makes it feel less like work and from your clients end you end up sounding a lot less like a salesperson when you are genuinely excited about helping them.

OK, so you’ve picked your area of expertise, but how do you keep up with all of the information that is constantly coming out?  You may be passionate about this subject but chances are your potential clients are only interested as far as the information will help them with their specific problem.

A term you hear a lot is content curation, which is basically taking all of the latest information on a topic and organizing it and sharing it with your tribe.

Here are a few of my favorite tools for helping with the content curation process.

Google Reader

This is definitely my favorite tool for content curation, www.google.com/reader.  This is what is know as an RSS reader.  For those of you who don’t use RSS, it stands for really simple syndication and can be found on most sites by looking for the little orange box either in the browser bar or somewhere on the page.

Once you click on that it will ask you how to subscribe to this page, simply choose Google Reader.  Now anytime a new article is posted on this site, it will show up in your Google reader account.  This makes it easy to skim over lots of headlines from many different sources and only read and share the ones that are relevant.

From within Google Reader you can sort RSS feeds into different folders according to topics.  When you see a post that looks interesting you can read it right from Google Reader and then you have a few options on what to do with it.

You can share on Google plus or twitter directly from Google Reader, email it or save it to a service called Instapaper, which allows you to save web pages for reading later.  You can’t share directly from Google Reader to Facebook, so your options are either to just paste the link into Facebook or for the more technically inclined you can use a service called Posterous, which is the next tool on the list.

Posterous

What Google Reader is to aggregating content, Posterous is to sharing content.

Posterous allows you to share content across multiple platforms from one place.  You can link your blog, Facebook page and twitter account (as well as several other sites) to your posterous page and when you post content to your posterous page it will automatically post to the other sites.

It also has the ability for you to curate this content into your blog by copying either an excerpt or the whole post, along with your comments and a link back to the original author on your page.

Here is a quick guide on how to setup posterous.

Shareaholic

Posterous has it’s own bookmarklet app that you can use from your browser, but a better idea is to use shareaholic.  There are browser extensions that you can use with all the major web browsers.

When you are on a web page that you want to share or blog about, simply click on the shareaholic button and you have the choice to share the post on any single location like Facebook, twitter, or your blog.  You can also share to Posterous, which if you have setup already will automatically share everywhere.

I like this option better than using the posterous bookmarklet since there are some things that I only want to share on Facebook or twitter, and some things that I want to share everywhere.

Feedly

While Google reader is one of my favorite applications for aggregating RSS feeds, it is not the most attractive interface to use for viewing your feeds.

There are several attractive services that you can synch with your Google reader account to actually view your feeds if you don’t like the clunky look and feel of Google reader.

One of my favorites is feedly.  With this tool, you can personalize the way your Google reader feed looks and it has lots of features that are not available from within Google reader.  Here is a great video tutorial on how to customize feedly.

Google Alerts

If you have a specific search term you want to keep up to date on then Google alerts is fantastic!

Basically you can have Google notify you of anything that gets posted online for any given search term.  You can also use this just to get notified about new videos, news, books or blog posts for any keyword search.

They give you the option of how often you want to receive alerts.  While having them emailed to you is great, it’s hard to keep track of yet another email.  You can setup alerts to be delivered to you as a feed and then simply follow this feed with Google reader.

Summary

The internet has given us access to more information at the push of a button than any single person could ever hope to keep up with, even if you are narrowing your search to a specific topic.

Fortunately there are now many tools to aggregate and curate all of this content.  This allows you to keep up with all the latest developments in your area of expertise without getting totally overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information.

Your tribe is probably not interested in every single bit of information that comes down the pike, so this will let you know what is going on and decide what to share, what to comment on, and what to ignore.

Being an expert doesn’t mean you need to know everything, it just means you need to be well informed and know where to look and who to ask when you need information.

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