Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

How to Advertise Coaching and Attract New Clients


A lot of coaches ask me how to get new clients. 

When you start a business, you know that clients are your absolute lifeblood – they are essential to your success.

But when you’re starting out, or if you have an existing business, you aren’t really sure what to say, or how to say it. 

You think you don’t know how to get clients in, without sounding salesy.

Just like coaching, the secret to getting new clients and explaining coaching is less about you, and more about the client. 

Let's explore what this means, and how to get it right.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a moment.

Scenario 1

Imagine yourself as a client walking into a fitness centre.

You are there for exercise, but as you walk through the doors, you see a poster advertising “Health and Wellness Coaching”.

You wonder what it is, what that means. 

Then the thought is lost as you walk past and continue the conversation with your friends.

Scenario 2

Imagine yourself walking into your favourite organic food shop, past the notice board.

You see a poster advertising a Health and Wellness Coach (or a Health and Wellness Talk).

You have a vague interest, but it doesn’t really mean much to you. 

Is this like a personal trainer? Is this person going to tell me what to do? What is it?

Your questions aren’t answered by the poster, so you keep walking and it slips your mind.


In both cases the problems are:

  • you have NO IDEA how a coach can help you
  • the outcomes you will from working with a coach are unclear.
The advertising did not communicate what coaching is, how a coach can help, and the outcomes that coaching can deliver.

Let's look at those things.

How a Coach Can Help

It's critically important that you have a short spiel that rolls off the tongue, explaining what you do and who you help.

Here's how to get that statement right.

Fact: people know they need or want to do certain things – like eat better, exercise more regularly, manage stress or boost energy.

But you are not necessarily offering them that specific service showing them WHAT to do – e.g. exercise, diet, meditation.

A coach can help you get over the hump of changing habits in a specific area, by helping working with them on HOW they can adopt and be consistent with healthier habits, in a way that aligns with them, their beliefs and their commitments and lifestyle.

A way to introduce coaching could be as simple as this:


"You know how people know they need to exercise or eat better, but they don’t actually DO IT? That’s where coaching fits in.

Coaches help you to develop your own unique plan to get motivated, organised, create a plan, build confidence and find your own way to develop healthier habits that you can ACTUALLY stick to."


How do you Advertise Coaching?

Unfortunately, marketers have conditioned people to notice outcomes and benefits.

Knowing how to explain coaching is important, but it may not be compelling and 'sexy.'

As a coach, that means you have to be able to create the desired outcome or end point that your stuck client is looking to achieve.

Normally, getting in front of people (live, or on the phone) is the best way to communicate the value of coaching.

To get to THAT point, you often need to advertise a workshop, free session or low cost session to give them a taste.

And to get to THAT point, you need a compelling advertisement.

The BEST way to advertise coaching is to use the exact words that your client uses, to describe the challenge they face, and their biggest desired outcome. 

That demonstrates that you understand them, so they feel connection and rapport, have hope that you can help, and are interested to know more.

Hints and Tips for Advertising

  • Advertising copy and images is best to focus on the desired outcome.
  • Website copy needs to talk about the problem, then the vision of how they’d rather be.
  • Workshops, webinars or seminars should take attendees through a 3 – 5 step process (simple steps) to start moving from the problem to the vision.
  • Advertising always uses the exact words, and communicates the exact feelings, that your client has.
  • Note that different demographics use different language – hence the value of narrowing down to serve a niche
  • The best way to get your wording right is to pretend you are the client and struggling with their issue. What would you be looking for? What search terms would you use?

Examples

Let’s say you help mothers of primary school kids who are always busy and overwhelmed with no time for themselves and guilt about not doing enough for their kids.

You might run a workshop or offer an introductory session to introduce them to the concept of coaching and how you can help them.

Catchy titles for your workshop or session might include:

  • How to be a Calm, Happy and Organised Mum
  • 3 Steps to Creating a Foolproof Schedule for a Peaceful Household
  • From Harrowed to Happy – One Mum’s Success
  • How to Create More Connected Families

You can see that each of these titles talks about a positive outcome.

Using numbers is psychologically attractive to most people, especially women, according to marketing guru Neil Patel.

Notice also that the outcomes may not be immediately obvious.

Your logical mind might think the mother wants to be more calm….but a deeper coaching conversation might reveal the layers below that as being happier, more connected, sleeping better, finding time for herself.

The precise wording for your attractive advertising is best elicited through: 

  • interviews, 
  • ‘sneaky coaching’ with friends, 
  • listening to live conversations, or 
  • through coaching your own clients and listening to their words in vision and regular sessions.

Summing it Up

The value of coaching is communicated through feelings and emotions that your clients recognise in themselves.

People need to understand how coaching can help them in the context of their own specific lives and struggles.

Better still, if you can articulate what their fears, frustrations and desires are, using their own language, people will build trust and rapport, and be more likely to take the first steps toward working with you.

Often, the true value of coaching starts with your ability to communicate that you deeply ‘get’ your  client and what they’re struggling with.

Creating that connection, trust and rapport is the essential first step to attracting loyal, committed clients. 


Need help to connect with the right clients, in the right way, using the right words? 

You may like to attend the next free information session for Passion to Profit; a 6-month business building program for coaches to help you craft a unique, successful and profitable coaching business. 

Click here for more information.



Coaching and The Brain - Part 1



We now know that our coaching conversation can actually light up different parts of our clients’ brains and create an “environment” that makes positive change more likely to happen - or at least be considered!  There is a lot about the brain that we still need to understand and the field of neuroscience is rapidly providing this information.


The “split brain theory” refers to the left and right brain which we have known for some time to perform different functions– one being used mainly for linear thinking (left) and the other for creative, holistic thinking (right).  Our left brain organizes information and our right brain senses danger, recognizes patterns and creates imagination (amongst other things).   We could say the left brain sees the trees and the right brain, the forest!  We need both and we are aware of tapping into each side with our work with clients. There are times they need to dream and envisage and times they need to plan and rationalize.  

When we make decisions our brain is involved, yet what we may fail to recognize is the part that other organs play in this crucial process.

We need to revisit how our brain was formed.

The brain evolved by layering – as it became more complex it built on the existing structure and the following stages occurred:

Reptilian brain – our primitive brain served three purposes – sustenance, survival and sex!  All necessary functions to stay alive and prolong the species!

The next stage of development saw the Paleo-mammal brain – this appears still in horses, apes and certain other mammals.

Then came the sophisticated  “hardware”– the Neo Cortex which included the prefrontal cortex responsible for high level learning and thinking that occurs in today’s world.

So that’s three in total.  What people aren’t generally aware of is that we have many neurons (brain cells) in two other organs – our heart and our gut.  There are over a hundred million neurons in our gut alone.  Which makes these additional organs extremely important in decision making.  As often happens, when we look back to how our language developed and the expressions we use, we realize that on some level we have always been aware of the role of these body “centres”. Think of the term “heart felt decisions”, or “gut instinct”.  We learn something “by heart”.  The heart has the most powerful magnetic field in our bodies and many stories are told about heart transplant recipients taking on characteristics and knowledge of the donor.  90% of serotonin, the “feel good’ neurotransmitter is produced in the gut!

We will take a look at what happens in the brain when we coach in our next short article but for now the most important message here is that out of our five “brains”, only one is rationale! We need to use all of them to make decisions but when it comes to the final word, our emotions will win out.  And this involves our entire body.  It has been said that reasons (thinking) leads to conclusions, but emotions lead to action.  A very important awareness for anyone who is trying to help someone with tough changes that may need to be made to improve their health.

This is part one of our two part blog on Coaching and the Brain. Click here to continue to read part two. 

Reference:  Carlos Davidovich, MD.  2016

Health and Wellness Coaching Is NOT just about food




Are we spending too much time talking to our clients about food?

I think it’s time to clear up the misconception that Health Coaching is for people who want to find a new way of eating.  Yes “food” is inevitably a part of health and wellness coaching. Clients frequently set goals around specific nutritional improvements but these goals are only one part of the change process.

Yet we are hearing more and more confusion around the term “Health and Wellness Coaching” (particularly “Health Coaching”) as people believe a health coach’s role is to help their clients find the ultimate state of wellness through food. By sharing their knowledge of what they believe to be the magic formula for health through nutrition, their client will achieve all their wellness goals. This is not health and wellness coaching.  

Our profession is growing. In the U.S. there is now a Medical Board certified exam for health and wellness coaches with rigorous criteria around training and experience. And the international version is not far behind. And guess what? Only 20% of the competencies relate to health and wellness knowledge; the other 80% is to coaching competencies.  And of the 20%, Nutrition is 1 of 16 of the competencies in that category. The exam therefore gives about 1.25% of its focus to healthy eating. Health and wellness is so much more than food.

Now I love food. In fact, on a recent trip I felt frustrated when I kept being served what seemed like platefuls of white food! I didn’t think to myself, “now where’s the B12 or calcium in this meal?” I looked for a variety in colour, taste, shape and texture - the things that appeal to me and give me an appetite (and generally lead to a well-balanced diet). I came back to Australia realising how lucky we are in the availability of so many fresh nutrients.

So what is the role of food in health and wellness? This is the way I see it:
  • Food fuels us
  • Food is a tremendous source of pleasure – it is a way of showing love, of sharing special time with loved ones and forms part of our culture.
  • Insufficient or imbalance in nutrients can cause a host of medical problems
  • Food can heal us – to a degree.  
  • Specific sports performance requires careful examination of daily intake. However, 
  • For many people food now represents the holy grail.  They have discovered a way of eating that has worked for them and they want to share that knowledge. 
  • For others food has become an obsession and is linked to emotional eating for comfort or other less useful reasons.
  • Food is linked to obesity but is only one of several factors
  • Social pressure on being slim has led to an increased obsession with food.
So can obsessing about food be detrimental to our health?  I think so.

Here’s another way of looking at it. Wellness, or let’s say, “barriers” to wellness are many and diverse. Poor eating can sometimes be a symptom rather than a cause of other poor lifestyle habits. Here are some links:

  • People are overloaded with responsibilities – leads to lack of time and poor meal planning or irregular eating patterns.
  • Stress can be caused by many things but the end result is that we don’t believe we have what it takes to do what we have to do – we look for ways of self soothing – poor food and alcohol are frequent choices
  • Poor personal organisation – although linked to the above factors can also create a problem with nutrition
  • Lack of physical fitness – exercise regulates appetite, not exercising is often tied in with poor eating patterns
  • Lack of direction or sense of meaning – food fills the gap
  • Poor sleep patterns – research has shown this is linked to obesity – the more tired we are the more we eat and not necessarily the good stuff
  • Negative thinking and lack of self-belief –food becomes a reward and a punishment
Jim and Janice Prochaska,  in their book, “Changing to Thrive” note that people do better working on multiple behaviors in parallel. For example, establishing regular activity usually increases engagement with healthy eating.  Which is the chicken and which is the egg?

You may not agree with all that’s written above, but what is apparent is that food is not the only answer.  People need support in many areas and my concern is that if we make food the answer, we increase the growing obsession that so many people have with what they put in their mouth. (If 95% of your Facebook posts this year have been pictures of food, then this is about you. Unless you are selling something. But maybe you are.)

Food should be a pleasure, not a source of deprivation or guilt. Our nutrition is only one factor in our health.  

So, if you are a Coach who works purely in the area of FOOD, please consider calling yourself a Food or Nutrition Coach – not a Health and Wellness Coach. Then we start to have clarity. And perhaps there needs to be separate credentialing for this type of work. Dieticians and Nutritionists would no doubt have valuable input. 

Health and Wellness Coaches support people in achieving self-determined goals which involve often changing multiple behaviours and habits. Providing information on food and nutrition if it is requested by the client and if it is within the scope of our background and training. 

If you agree with this article, or any of it, please SHARE so we can reduce confusion around this growing profession. If you disagree, then please comment.  Let’s get some conversation going around this topic and see if we can clarify what Health and Wellness Coaching is and what it isn’t



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