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.



The Underside of Wellness


The Underside of Wellness

We assume that we work in a field that has appeal to anyone on this planet. Who doesn’t want to improve their health and wellness?  What could possibly be bad about working towards this outcome?

Well, think again.  Wherever there is a strong argument for one approach, there will be someone who argues against it!  (Remember the fitness movement and the articles and books sending the message that “Exercise can kill”?)

Of course, freedom of speech, sharing ideas, playing devil’s advocate etc. are all good things so when I came across the following interview, I listened, (non judgmentally) and attempted to filter out the learning or awareness that came out of what Dr. Spicer had to say.  

Dr Spicer was interviewed on Life Matters radio program and was promoting his book The Wellness Syndrome where sure enough, the main message was “Wellness is simply the latest obsession”. I will sum up Dr Spicer’s comments (and a bit of his rationale) and then counter them with a few of my own.

  • Wellness has become something else to worry and feel guilty about (consider the bloggers whose daily routine is something we can never aspire to).
  • Wellness trends are associated with abstinence and possibly self punishment.
  • Wellness encourages too much self-obsession (think of all the ways we have of monitoring everything we do.
  • Wellness behaviours are time stealers and take up huge amounts of our day.
  • Corporate wellness programs are becoming a way of discriminating against new employees who are not fit and thin.
  • Organisations are taking the view that a successful CEO must be able to run a marathon or climb a mountain and  productivity and wellness are inaccurately linked.  
  • Pressure is being put on employees to train.
  • Wellness is becoming a cult.
Yes you are probably thinking, “wow”! but let’s face it there are some things we recognize as being, if not problems, potential problems and this is what we must be aware of and accept that some of what he says could have merit.

However….

First, all the above points are referring to extremes.  

“Bloggers who have huge followings and expound living the perfect, rigorous healthy life with rules around everything could well make people feel somewhat inadequate.”   
My response – choose who you follow!  We need to take some responsibility over what we expose ourselves to.  What motivates that blogger?  Are they boasting or helping?

“Wellness behaviours are cultish and like religious rituals.” 
My response – anything taken to extremes can be sinister.  If a ritual is a habit, then that sounds like a positive way of incorporating a few new ones into our daily routine.  Becoming aware of what we do automatically is the first step to changing it.

 “Corporate wellness has become a way of discriminating.”
My response – taken to extremes yes, but high energy that comes from being well is definitely associated with productivity.  Anything that our society can do to encourage healthy behaviours as being the “norm” is a good thing.  If an individual does not want to consider their health as important, go and find an organisastion who doesn't care about this aspect of their employees’ lives.

Dr Spicer’s final comments are about the backlash that the wellness movement is having.  “Dude food” is increasing where people can eat as much as they want and eat real, high fat meals.”
My respose - Hey, if that’s your choice, it’s your body.

 “People are looking for meaning rather than happiness.”
My response – Agree (finally) - and we need to be.  If we search for happiness, it will elude us. If we try and find meaning in our lives, the incidence of depression will decrease.

 “The rise of neo-stocism – the belief that gains can only be made through pain and suffering and fight clubs, extreme work outs, tough mudders etc. are now becoming very popular.”
My response – there will always be people who want these things. Let everyone find what works for them.. There are plenty of softer “wellness” options out there!

In conclusion, I respect many of Dr. Spicer’s views but worry about the way people might interpret his message as encouraging a total lack of regard for whether we have healthy lifestyle habits and a continuation of the growth of lifestyle related illnesses.  

At least we’re doing something to try and slow it down.

The recording of Dr Andre Spicer was found at this link 

https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pg9G1mr82G?play=true



A New Slant on Goal Setting


We always encourage coaches to work with clients to create positive goals that take them in the direction of what they want!  This fits with the idea of running towards, rather than away from things in life.  

I recently had an interesting conversation with someone who had been at a conference on death and dying, with one of the speakers raising the idea of having a “Reverse Bucket List”. A very strange notion I thought - where does that go?  

The “Reverse Bucket List” consists of things that a person no longer wants to do!! Now that might mean saying “no” to a number of onerous tasks that drain energy and take precious time away from doing what we do want to do.  

It also might encourage our clients to take a good hard look at what they spend their time on - believing that they enjoy it and yet we come to the realisation that we don’t enjoy it any more!  

This type of “bucket list” can actually be very empowering!  Yes, it might be more meaningful to us as we get older and realise the value of the years left to us, but I think it's worth considering and playing around with. It’s really no different from asking, “What do we want more of?”, and “What do we want less of?” Try asking it of yourself and see what comes up! 

Happy culling of unwanted and unrewarding activities!


Helping our Clients Define Success



Inevitably, our clients want to move forward - in a direction that they may have struggled with in the past. In fact they may even have failed in that area. So their drive is to succeed this time, which is why they have a Wellness Coach.

Our job as a Wellness Coach is to help them define exactly what it is they wish to achieve and of course to help them get there. But first, conversation around this concept of “success” is essential. Closely related to the idea of achievement is the notion of  ”ambition” and an exploration of both terms can reveal interesting insights for both ourselves and our clients. 

Some people describe themselves as ambitious and others may not relate to the term. The word is often associated with competition and succeeding at the expense of others, but if we accept that a better and more accurate definition is “a strong desire to do or achieve something", surely we would like our clients to become more “ambitious” around their goals? Words can do strange things to our interpretation of life. Success and ambition are really very personal constructs and relate purely to what a person truly wishes to obtain in their life. So to be motivated and enthusiastic about working towards goals is a great thing as it can lead to success, but in this sense, “success” is not about “winning”, neither is ambition.

The first question to ask a client is “what makes you fulfilled and happy in life?”  By doing this we can uncover a person’s core values.  So let’s take a look at a few examples. They may identify strongly with any of the following:

  • Imagination and creativity;
  • Kindness and compassion;
  • Lifelong learning;
  • Building relationships and connection with others.
These are all values and also strengths and if we can recognize what really drives us, we can then set goals accordingly and ensure that the steps along the way give us opportunities to incorporate these core values.

The next question is, “How do you measure success?” The answer to this could be anything, and you may hear responses such as:

  • How much fun I have in life;
  • How peaceful and calm I feel;
  • How much I can contribute to the world.
These bigger picture questions and answers can help shift someone’s mindset and help them identify changes they would like to make that may be somewhat different from what they thought they wanted, or at the very least affect the choice of the ways in which they choose to move forward. When we work with clients to help them define the steps they wish to take, we must never forget to explore their bigger world view first.

Why we need a vision for change?



I often refer to the quote by Lily Tomlin – “I always wanted to be someone; I just wish I’d been more precise.”

Many of us would like to change something in our wellness. Whether it be improvements in fitness, eating habits, weight control, stress management or other health behaviours, we know WHAT to do. But we don’t do it. Perhaps we need to focus on WHY we want the change.

In today’s society we are inundated with facts on what is good for us. What we should do, what we shouldn’t do (says who?). Learning how to change our own behaviour is not easy. We know we want to say, lose weight. We know we need to eat less or make better choices, so what do we do? Go on a crash diet, deprive ourselves with an eating plan that leads to low energy, demoralization, rapid weight loss  and equally rapid weight regain. And we fail again, which reinforces our lack of belief in our ability to take control of our weight.  

Rewind back a bit.  In fact a long way. Before we begin any drastic action, it is a great idea to create a vision of where we would like to be if we were at “our best”. First, write down what that would look like. Then ask the deeper question, “Why is that important to me?” You will find that the answer to this question can be quite revealing and it will always be connected with something you value in life. It might be as simple as “good health”, or it could be, “to be a good role model for my kids”, or even “to walk the talk”.


You will find that without knowing the reason why you want to create change, you are on an empty, fruitless mission.  It is our deepest values that will give us the motivation to start and stay on track more than anyone else’s recommendations.

Look Back, Look Forward and Look Around You


Here we go again. New Year and a new start! I was reading another motivating column in the paper about setting goals and it was good to see it pointed out that the majority of New Years resolutions were abandoned within 6 days. There were some useful points made about creating new habits etc. and taking small steps. Hmmm.  

I’ve been thinking about this need each year to reinvent our lives, or ourselves in some ways and it’s got me querying why we don’t seem to be happy with the old self, or our existing life? It can’t be all due for replacement just because it’s the end of December. We always want to improve and grow and that’s a great thing but I wonder if there is a better way of looking at this blank page of the year ahead?

So I  tried using an idea from one of the many books I am reading and decided that instead of setting these amazing new goals to strive towards, I would re-think my end of year meeting (with myself) and ask three things:

  1. What has happened this past year that has been significant and had an element of success in it (Incredible how many things I listed!)
  2. What am I thoroughly enjoying right now? Ie what’s happening in the present time that I want to savour (Again, lots there.)
  3. What have I got to look forward to in 2014? (Such a nicer way of planning new ventures, challenges and just good things!)

I enjoyed this process so much I invited my husband to join me in the conversation and we both felt really energised, grateful and positive by what came out of it. 

Why not try this new way for your annual “review”? 
The principles of course come from positive psychology where the notion of having a positive relationship with the past, present and future can create greater life satisfaction – cultivating gratitude for the past, savouring the moment and anticipating the future. A refreshing approach.  

The Tail of a Wild Dog


It's February!  How did that  happen we ask ourselves?  Weren't we just looking at the first page of our fresh and new diary, thinking what a glorious feeling it was that the year had yet to unfold and what possibilities lay ahead?


Then suddenly, it's February.  I asked a colleague how her week was going the other day.  She responded with, "I feel like I'm hanging on to the tail of a wild dog!" That made me smile as I recognised the feeling.  And I know for a fact that I am not alone.


So why is this one of the most often cited reasons for people feeling, well, less than perfectly in control?  This sense that life races ahead and unless we hang on tight, we get left behind. I have two Labradors. On our morning walk to the park, they are also like wild dogs. After a run, they are calm, well-behaved and willing to be gently led to the next activity.  I want my life to look like that. Calm, obedient, good looking and satisfying!


We could list the many reasons why life today is this chaotic and demanding.  Technology; expectations (our own and others), distractions and multiple roles to mention a few. We need to manage time better. Or do we? Perhaps managing priorities and even our energy is a better place to start?  

Priority Management

How often do people say, "I have no time to exercise"?  Of course, they do.  It's just that exercise is a lower priority than the other things in their life.  And we all have that choice.  If we ask ourselves the simple questions:

What do I want more of?

What do I want less of?

The answers will be revealing.  The things that get in the way will be competing priorities.  What counts is  how much you want that missing aspect of your life.  How  much do you value it?  Worth spending some time thinking about that.


Energy Management

Then there's this question of exhaustion, or simply feeling too flat to be bothered. Try asking:

  • What gives me energy and what drains me?

    When am I at my best? 

With a bit of careful planning it is possible to organise our day so that we play to our strengths. If you do you best thinking in the early morning make sure you have a way to record your ideas. If your energy is low in the mid afternoon, perhaps plan to do mundane tasks that don't require much thought. Or find a way of boosting it by slotting in exercise at a time that gives a flow on effect. Don't leave the things you hate doing for the time you feel the least motivation to do anything! Take time out to work out how your natural energy flows.


Time Management
We can't make 24 hours any longer than it is.  But what we can do is ensure that we get the maximum result from the time we spend on a task/project.

Mind Management


To do this we have to organise our mind rather than live to the clock.  Margaret Moore writes of the six Rules of Order in her latest book "Organising your Mind, Organising your Life" and she stresses the need for developing the ability to focus and cut out distractions at appropriate times.  On the flip side, we also need to cultivate the ability to switch tasks without getting flustered and annoyed.  Very often our emotional state prevents us from being at our best and neuroscience shows that our thoughts can in fact calm the pre-frontal cortex - the part of our brain that  produces emotions that can sweep us along in a positive, or sometimes negative way.  Panic, anxiety, frustration all work against our working in a  relaxed steady state.  If we can start to recognise what patterns we fall into that make that dog run (the one we are trying to hold onto), we can then begin to retrain our brains and regain control.

Wellness Coaching is a rapidly growing field


Contrary to what people think, poor lifestyle habits do not stop at what we ingest, whether we move enough and what tine we go to bed.   Instead we are working with people at a deeper level to help them be more better performers, have more peace of mind, improve the quality of their relationships etc.  Together we set not only physical goals, but mental ones as well.  Exercise, nutrition, managing thoughts and emotions become the tools to create change and much of our work focuses on helping people work out what they want and why they want it and then understanding  why it is difficult to achieve.


This realisation is spreading through the health, fitness and wellness industries and very quickly into the corporate world where the main measure of success has always been financial return on investment.  What is happening now is that companies are recognising that what goes into creating this success is a multitude of factors, many of them concerning the people who work in the organisation and their level of satisfaction or "wellness".  



Reflections on a recent visit to Boston


Coaching in Medicine and Leadership” was the title of this year’s conference in Boston. I headed over - spurred on my memories of my last visit two years ago when I came away fired up with new ideas and learning. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that my last experience could be topped but I was about to be surprised.

After an informal catch up with the Wellcoaches fraternity I settled in for two days of intense listening and I wasn’t disappointed with the new insights the sessions gave me. Not only does the conference attract some of the best minds in  the fields of both coaching and leadership, but also the interesting thing was the way each session seemed to link into the others. 

You would think that by their very nature/definition, information on “leadership” might be somewhat different to information on “coaching.”  There is a long held belief that leaders are in charge and play a different role form an empowering, collaborative coach. Yet it was clear that times are changing and leadership in today’s world is different from what it was ten years ago.

The main reason for this seems to be the degree of uncertainty surrounding us all – not only in the economic climate but in the speed with which things are changing and developing across all industries. “The rules of the game are changing while the game is still being played” was one memorable comment made. 

So although I hope to draw on many of the wonderful sessions I attended and pass on some concepts – or my interpretation of them – in future newsletters, I will summarise what I feel were the main points presented at the conference.

  1. The models for leadership have undergone major re-modeling to take into account the business world of today. The four keystones of sense making, visioning relating and inventing, as presented by  Dr. Deborah Ancona  were strongly aligned to coaching terminology and indeed, principles.

  1. The importance of emotional intelligence in both coaching and in leadership were emphasized by Daniel Goleman (until now a name that I was familiar with from literature on EQ and whose ground-breaking ideas have long been respected by anyone working with people in coaching and counselling). He presented research that showed that EQ (emotional intelligence – put simply the ability to relate to people) rated far above “skills and knowledge” in making a good leader, an exceptional leader.

  1. The need for, and growing body of, research in health and wellness coaching is central to its growth yet the outcome measures of reduced morbidity will come after a long process of measuring things like confidence level, new behaviours, attainment of individual goals and life satisfaction.

  1. The frightening yet eloquent presentation by David Katz on just how bad the health of the US (and globe  brought the room to silence and then to its feet.  He brought it home to everyone that there was no such thing as “public”, just you and I and the other individuals affected by the lifestyle illnesses that abound.  He gave us hope that we could “sandbag the flood” and eventually turn the tide but it would take enormous and collective effort in changing culture. His speech should have been given for a presidential election campaign.  He would have won.  The issue he spoke of was one of the biggest problems the USA (and Australia) face.

  2. Neuroscience was a hot topic - not for its own sake but for the information it is giving us about the human brain.  The fact that our thinking brain and our feeling brain are so closely intertwined came up time  and again as did the notion that we are “wired for empathy” as our motor neurons fire in synch with the people we connect with.  And again, those many reminders that the body and how we fuel it, are inextricably linked with better brain power.

  1. The coaching “dance” is now being measured by comparing arousal of the sympathetic nervous system between coach and client as the session takes place. The clients that had the most parallel response to their coach, in physiological response, reported feelings of greater rapport.

  2. So many other great topics and speakers.  I came away,  if not feeling wiser and more effective by my attendance, with a feeling that I am so very lucky to work in a field that is gradually infiltrating many of the key professional areas.  Let’s face it,  if the key people in Leadership and Medicine are listening, who else could be?

Attending this conference also concreted my belief and understanding of  why the area of wellness coaching is suddenly getting greater attention from the corporate world.  In today’s environment, you simply cannot be a good leader without a) learning to coach,  and  b) taking a long, hard  look at your own personal wellness.  Gone are the days when the top people managed to ignore growing stress levels and enlarging girth measures; where work ruled and relationships came second.   We are all finally speaking the same language.



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