Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Coaches: Should You Call Yourself An Expert?


If you’ve been learning about marketing from any of the gurus out there, you've probably been told you should be positioning yourself as an expert.

But as a coach, you know that you are supposed to be the OPPOSITE of an expert. It’s the CLIENT who is the expert in their own lives.

What’s more, this talk of expertise can feel a bit uncomfortable. 

You might be feeling like a fraud...like you don't yet have the years of experience to be an expert.

So, what do you do? 

How do you position yourself in a crowded market full of experts, in a way that has integrity and credibility?

Actually, the answer is pretty simple.

What is "Expertise" All About?

If you think about it, being seen as an expert is really just about portraying your experience, skill and professionalism - so you can build TRUST.

A client who trusts you is more likely to buy from you.

The problem with positioning yourself an 'expert' is that: 

  1. it usually implies years of experience in a specific field...and as a new coach, you may lack this experience, or may not have specific health-related knowledge.
  2. the word expert diminishes self-responsibility in the client.
Both these things can feel mighty uncomfortable~!

The good news is, there ARE ways to generate trust and curiosity in your clients with integrity and authenticity.

Experts vs Specialists

So, you're not an 'expert'? Here are some ways to build trust in your audience in an authentic, comfortable way.

1. Be a Specialist

Calling yourself a specialist achieves exactly the same outcome as calling yourself an expert, but without the pressure or expectations.

Specialists are simply people who focus on a particular area.

As a Health and Wellness coach, your core speciality is behaviour change – helping people change habits in a way that fits with their lifestyle, drawing on their strengths, past experience, values and existing commitments.

And in all likelihood, if you have been on a particular journey yourself, then you have hands-on, real-life experience in the area that your client is struggling with.

Using the word “specialist” has some benefits:

  • You can let go of needing years of experience

  • It helps you to focus on a niche (demographic or problem area)

  • It helps you get specific in your marketing language

  • Specialists generally attract higher fees

  • It removes the pressure of being an ‘expert’

  • It creates clearer expectations in your client 

Let’s face it, the reason people seek a coach is that for a period in their life, they need help to overcome an obstacle and change their behaviour.

That is what you specialist in - that obstacle.

2. Share Your Journey

This one takes a bit more courage, but it is a very authentic way of building trust and communicating thorough experience.

If you have been on a journey yourself - to lose weight, to overcome a massive obstacle, to thrive after burnout, to bloom with self-confidence, to get organised....then you are automatically talking about the end point that your clients want to achieve.

You've been there.

You've done it, successfully, with a few trip ups along the way.

That makes you credible, believable and trustworthy.

Sharing your story and your process of getting the outcome is attractive and will attract clients who were once like you.

3. Show, Don't Tell - Be An Awesome Coach

This sounds left field...but bear with me.

Being an awesome coach means people will share their success with others - particularly, they will tell people how much they enjoyed working with you.

Word of mouth is the most powerful way to build a good reputation.

And when you're not coaching a client, you are STILL having conversations with people in your daily life and on social media.

If you contribute thought-provoking comments or questions - or if you reach out to help people who are struggling - you are demonstrating your skill and experience, compassion, empathy and ability to listen - without having to use the word expert. 

Experts AND Specialists

Some coaches DO have expertise in an area, so it IS possible to be both an expert AND a coach.

For example, you are a personal trainer or nutritionists and you also offer coaching.

You're someone who helps people ACTUALLY MAKE THE CHANGES they need in their exercise, eating etc. while helping them to build motivation and confidence in the process.

In this situation, there are some challenges and understanding gaps for your clients:

  • they might think coaching is something you normally do
  • they are confused when they're used to you telling them what to do 
  • they may not understand the value of coaching.

And with all that going on, you may be unclear on how to integrate coaching, or how to transition to a coaching-only business. 

Clear positioning, education and communication are essential to help you transition seamlessly into a coaching-inclusive or coaching-only business.

How To Introduce Coaching Into Your Existing Business 

A lot of new coaches ask how to distinguish coaching from their existing service, or how to make the transition.

So I've decided to run a Business Training Intensive on this very topic.

It's for coaches who have an existing business and want to transition into a coaching-inclusive or coaching-based business, and it's called:

How to Package and Introduce Coaching Into Your Health Based Business

This training will be delivered via live Webinar on  Wednesday 9 August, 2017. 

Click here for more information.

In Summary

Ok, let's wrap this up into a neat package.

Firstly, you can communicate skill, professionalism and value without using the word expert. 

You can present yourself as specialist, build a business around people going through your own journey, or build your reputation with 'demonstration.' 

Secondly, you CAN be an expert AND a coach.

To do this effectively, you need to be able to communicate what coaching is, how it differs from your service, and explain the value of coaching as a stand-alone service.

I'd love to know your best strategies for positioning coaching. 

What's worked for you? Post in the comments below and let us know.

Two Words


The new year is well and truly on us and before we know it, we are into the swing of things and are now wondering where the holiday went. But most of us take some time, if only a moment or two, to ponder what lies ahead. What do we want for 2017?  Do we have new directions to travel in? New challenges to enjoy?  Notice I have not once said the word “goal”... Not that there is anything wrong with having goals, as long as we don’t get caught up in a mad rush to achieve them.  

What I prefer to do each year is to find two words that I can focus on that mean something significant to me at this point in time.  And I let those words “colour” my  plans and way of living.  So, for example, my two words for this year are, “Balance” and “Freedom”.  I won’t indulge myself by explaining what they mean to me, but I think you’ll get the general idea. 

So why am I sharing this?  Because I think it is just another creative way of working with clients at a time when most of them are busy, they've set new years’ resolutions (that often are broken by now) and planning to make major changes in their lives, which suggests that things are really not going well.  The reality is, we have all spent the last year growing, learning and experiencing a variety of things.  Hopefully, we have ended up with more information about what we want, what we don’t want and are feeling fairly clear after a nice rest and reset that Xmas and New Year can often give us.  Choosing two words keeps it nice and simple, creates a feeling of control and gives us clarity around what we need most. 

What are your two words?  How do they apply to your life?  How can you bring more of those two elements into your world?  Share this with your clients.  Have fun with them as you invite them to do the same. Spend time talking about what those words mean for your clients.  Coaching does not always have to be delving into the dark stuff.  There is always room for laughter and lightness; for fun and anticipation; for a sense of the unknown whilst feeling grounded in who we are and what we stand for. 

Go lightly into the rest of 2017 and make it a wonderful year. 

The Language of Connection - Connecting with Wellness Coaching Clients


As a Wellness Coach, our first and foremost aim is to connect with the client. But often it’s quite tricky to define how we actually do this. 

There are many meanings of the word “connect” but some of the less obvious that may resonate with you include “meld with”, “come aboard”, “relate”, “ally” and “unite”. All of these words really describe what we try to do as coaches. Connecting is an extremely important first step – we want to engage the client, gain their trust and create a solid foundation to work from. We know the importance of body language and the human skills of coaching: warmth, zest, calmness and authenticity, but how much difference do the words we choose and how we use them make?    

Here are some reminders of their significance:

Speak slowly, allow pauses.  There is nothing quite so overwhelming as a coach who rattles off observations and questions.  When you slow down, the client slows down.  In a fast-paced world this can be a really restful experience.  

Ask more than tell – come in with curiosity and go where the client wants to go.  If you are curious, your questions will come from the right place and be delivered in an engaging manner.  Clients know when they are being “led” in a certain direction.  Curiosity without judgment reveals interest and suggests caring!

Reflect what they say and know that this can be as effective as any probing question in helping the client connect more deeply to their emotions and to the truth.  Questions are great but they often make the client go into analysis mode, searching for the right answer.  Reflections activate a more emotional response.

Use the same framework as they do.  If a client uses a metaphor that involves physicality, such as “I’m stuck”, don’t respond with, “How does that make you feel (emotion)”, but ask how “they can move forward”, for example.

Never talk over the top of someone.  This would have to be one of the biggest mistakes and often comes from the excitement of sensing something that the coach wants to share with their client or a great idea of their own.  Remember that the client’s own words are much more powerful than anything we can say. 

Creating a connection is an essential element in providing valuable and significant Wellness Coaching experiences to clients, it is a foundation "puzzle" piece. Becoming a Wellness Coach is a career path for those of us who are passionate about supporting individuals in healthy lifestyles and empowering clients to achieve their health and wellness goals. Even the most experienced Wellness Coaches often reflect on the language of connection, and revisit the points above as each client may present a new perspective.

Why You Should Be Flying “Three Mistakes High”




Whenever you’re learning something new, including running a new business and learning how to work with customers, you’re going to make a mistake.
 
At least one mistake.

And if you’re anything like me, you’re so excited in the beginning. You start with a swing set (your simple service), and you quickly turn it into a theme park, an uncontrollable juggernaut of ideas (a multi-faceted business).

Of course you know that you can only focus effectively on one thing at a time. Any more than that is spreading yourself too thin, and that can affect the quality of your work.

But you’re excited!  Even so, the last thing you want to do is make a costly mistake in your business, like letting down a customer, or having an epic public crash.

So how do you avoid this?
My husband inadvertently gave me the answer.

He is an avid remote control aircraft fanatic. He is constantly in his man-cave, building scale model planes and helicopters, testing out new wing designs and adding and removing parts for looks, speed and performance. 

One day, while testing out his latest model jet at a local airfield, his plane came down hard and shattered into smithereens. Tiny pieces of foam lay all over the grass.

His friend came over and said, “Ah, you were only flying one mistake high – too close to the ground. You should have been at least three mistakes high”.

In other words, when you’re testing out a new concept, service or product, it’s important to:
  • Keep it simple enough to control easily 
  • Tread carefully, anticipating worst-case disasters 
  • Allow enough space and time to manage any mistakes. 
Fly your craft high enough to test it safely, do short flights, and temper your bravado. It could save you some costly reputation or financial business mistakes. 

The Importance of Authentic Business


Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, first screened in 1895, is a farcical comedy about maintaining fictitious peronae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Fast forward to 2013 in your business, and let’s consider the importance of your business persona – the face you present to your customer. 

Let’s face it – your persona is the thing that dictates whether your business sells, or smells. How many times have you bought a widget, or a service, and been put off by a disinterested service person or salesperson who is most obviously resenting your presence and, is irritated that you would interrupt their crossword?

Or have you ever seen right through that service person’s ‘interest’ in your problem, realising that they’re really only ‘interested’ in your money?

Unfortunately, these things happen all too often. Why would a business owner or staff member behave like this?
  • they don’t want to be there
  • they’re overworked
  • they hate the job
  • the job is a ‘filler’ until something better comes up
  • they are driven by money above all else.
You can see the pattern. The persona might need an attitude check in order to retain happy customers! 

The magic ingredients that create this switch are PASSION AND AUTHENTICITY. 
Passion is loving what you do; living and breathing it; knowing it inside out. Authenticity encompasses truthfulness (honesty), sincerity and openness. Genuine passion for your business gives you authenticity by default – it’s obvious that you believe in what you’re doing and it’s value. 

An authentic business persona offers great benefits for your customers.  They will: 
  • be drawn to your passion 
  • tell others about your knowledge and enthusiasm
  • feel that you’re genuinely interested in them
  • feel that you understand their need/problem 
  • trust you – therefore be more likely to buy from you
  • feel that your value and ethics match theirs. 
In other words, an authentic persona becomes a client-magnet. There are also clear links to Martin Seligman’s five elements of well being (PERMA): 
  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Positive relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment
Your passion drives inspiration and aspiration. You are a role-model; a living, breathing advocate of your craft. Your skill, confidence and belief in your product is real – tangible. You love helping people and building relationships with people who share your beliefs and convictions. Clients trust your genuine passion. Trust builds rapport. 

Your meaning and values are loud and clear – right there on your face and the face of your business.

The Importance of Being Earnest is about being the person you want to attract, then engaging those you attract in a way that is mutually meaningful and ‘profitable’. 

Top Three Tips for Building a Successful Wellness Coaching Business


If you've ever started a new business venture, you’re probably familiar with the rush of excitement and anticipation to get your great idea out there. You simply can’t WAIT to do this amazing thing that you've dreamed up, it’s such an amazing opportunity!


A business typically starts in one of two ways:
  • Your idea for a nifty product/service, which you then try to sell, OR, 
  • You identify a need in the market, then develop a product/service to meet the need.  
With your passion and huge investment of time and money, you would think that success is guaranteed! However, the statistics that are bandied about tell a different story: 
  1. 95% of new businesses fail in their first year of operation 
  2. Of the 5% who make it through the first year, 95% fail within their first five years.  
There are a variety of reasons behind business failures including fear of failure or success, problems with time management, delegation and/or monitoring.  

Yet the most important reasons are a lack of vision and planning. A vision says why you are in business – it is your business ethos.Planning helps you work out exactly: 
  1. what you’re selling 
  2. to whom 
  3. where you sell 
  4. how you sell 
  5. which systems and outside experts will help you run your business.
With all this in mind, how can a wellness coach start out on the right foot in business? 
These top three tips may help you define a clear vision of what you want, and some key concepts to start your business plan.

Tip #1: ASK
Discover your business vision - ask yourself why you want to do this.  
What is your greatest passion and what will it bring to your life? 
If you could describe your ideal working day, what would it look like?

Tip #2: ACTIVELY LISTEN
Here’s your chance to put your number one coaching skill into practice – ACTIVELY LISTEN – and you will discover a variety of ways to introduce wellness coaching into your new or existing business. 
Pay attention to the conversations with your potential or actual customers. 

What do they ask when they phone up to enquire about your services? What are they complaining about?  What do they need? What frustrates them? What clues can you pick up in their conversation? What are they struggling with? 

And then, most importantly, how does your proposed service solve their problems?
HINT: If you really understand your clients, you will already be able to answer most of these questions.

Tip #3: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Is there another way to think of this? 
Brainstorming and mind mapping can help you discover different ways of packaging and delivering your services and products. Then, you can distil your brainstorm into a few realistic, fantastic ideas which you can go on to “reality-check”.

If you’re working on your own, you can expand your ideas and think about different options with the help of a friend, colleague or business coach.

Wellness Coaching Australia offers Business Mentoring services for graduate Wellness Coaches who want help to get started in business. Click here to enquire. 


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive