Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Power of Meaning, Pillar of Belonging Part 4: Transcendence


The fourth pillar of meaning that Emily Smith refers to is that of “transcendence” which comes from the word “transcend”, or “go beyond”.  ‘Go beyond what?”, we might ask.  The sense of going beyond our everyday world to a higher reality is what transcendence is all about.  
But how can that give a deeper sense of meaning to our seemingly trivial lives?

You would expect the opposite. Yet it works the other way.

Imagine looking at a sunset, imagine meditating for hours at a time, imagine looking down on earth from a spaceship. What those experiences all have in common is that we are faced with something bigger than ourselves that creates a sense of insignificance and this feeling can transform us!

How does this happen?

In two ways.  First, our sense of self tends to disappear and along with it all the petty worries and wishes. Secondly, we get a feeling of being deeply connected with other people and everything else in our world. This experience can help us get a greater sense of meaning and promote a state of peace and wellbeing.

This should come as no surprise to health and wellness coaches who instinctively now that time spent in nature is somehow more valuable than perhaps time spent working out in a crowded gym. Mindfulness meditation come directly from this understanding and works in the same way.

But back to nature. If you needed any evidence of the benefits of nature, consider this.  A study had students outdoors in two groups. One group spent one minute staring at the huge trees that were part of the environment, and the other spent one minute staring at a tall building nearby. They had no idea what the study was about. After this time, a researcher approached them with a questionnaire and “accidentally” dropped a box of pens. The group who had stared at the trees showed much greater willingness to help pick up the pens, than the group who stared at the building. The conclusion? Nature created a reduced feeling of self-importance and made that group more generous towards others.  


How do we use this in our work?  Keep encouraging our clients to experience and savour the wonders of the world!

REFERENCE

Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning


Power of Meaning, Pillar of Belonging Part 3: Helping Clients tell their Stories





















Still on the topic of “meaning”, the next important privilege that coaches have is to help a client tell their story - as it relates to their sense of emotional, physical and perhaps spiritual wellness, and this is often affected by what has gone before.  

At some point, we will all endure hardship and tough times. Some more than others. The story that we create around what has happened will greatly influence how we make sense of the world, and ultimately, how we create our lives. Often the toughest events can alter a person in some significant way and put them on a different and perhaps better path. So it’s not what happens to us but how we interpret what happens to us that counts, and we have the power to change this.

People who have endured loss or trauma may choose to avoid thinking about that loss, but to grow we need to come to terms with the way our life has turned out. The wonderful thing about “story-telling” is that even fiction can help us cope with our experiences. By reading we can gain wisdom and inspiration and learn from others’ experiences. By sharing stories, the story-tellers are not just creating meaning for themselves but helping others do so too. In this way, we can reach out and connect with others.

How does this help our coaching practice?
We often hear our clients talk about past events in a certain way, it may be dis-empowering and have a sense of keeping them stuck. By helping them re-frame their story, but looking for a different interpretation, we can help them perhaps create a more helpful meaning around it.

By telling stories of others, or our own (if appropriate), we can connect and inspire our clients. Note that the latter is only done in exceptional circumstances and we have to have a strong sense that this will be helpful to the client!

In summary, there is no such thing as “the truth” as we all remember things in different ways. If we can create a narrative around our life that helps us understand ourselves better, and if that inspires others, then the job of storytelling has been well done. Stories and storytelling shape people’s lives.


REFERENCE

Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning


Power of Meaning, Pillar of Belonging Part 2: What creates Meaning in our lives?


Purpose and meaning are often referred to together, however, having a purpose is just part of what can create “meaning” in our lives. So how do we define “purpose”?  What does that mean exactly?  How can we become more “purposeful”?  

Emily Smith (The Power of Meaning) states that having a broad purpose helps us deal with the more “menial aspects of life”.  So although we have to spend a lot of our time just doing the mundane tasks of our daily routine, if we have a sense of what is behind that, we will be driven by a stronger sense of meaning and less likely to feel that life, well, is like a treadmill! If we’re not sure why we are doing what we’re doing – it can easily lead into depression.

Purpose needs to be defined. There are two aspects to it:
1) We are working towards a stable and far-reaching goal;
2) Somehow we are contributing to the world, in other words, we have a more meaningful purpose than just to please ourselves.

In order to fully define our purpose, we need to do a lot of self-reflection and have a great deal of self knowledge - because our purpose needs to fit our identity; our sense of who we are, what we value, what our strengths are and what is important to us.

Now don’t misunderstand this. Self knowledge does not come from spending long hours thinking about ourselves. In fact, Dr. Tasha Eurich, in his book “Insight” states that “ the more time the participants in a study spent in introspection, the less self-knowledge they had”.  He says we should start by noticing more rather than reflecting. Notice our behaviour and the results. Interestingly, he believes that questions that start with “what” can be more useful than with, “why”.  A “What’s going on for me?”, or “What would be a different way of thinking about that?”, might give more productive answers. Self awareness takes time and effort and we never stop learning. We need to avoid assuming that we know everything about ourselves and keep an open mind. 

But there is a time and place for “why” questions as we know in coaching. 

“Why is this important to me?” is an essential place to start when we are working with anyone around behaviour change.  We encourage self reflection and knowledge, particularly around identification of values. This gives a strong sense of purpose around the changes that need to be made to achieve their goals, and setting goals also creates more meaning in our lives!  

Back to purpose.  When we start to get a good sense of identity, we can then find ways of living with purpose. We may not find a “calling” but if we can find a purpose, we are on the right track. Health and wellness coaching help create meaning in peoples’ lives.


REFERENCES
Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning
Dr. Tasha Eurich, Insight
Eric Barker, Barking up the Wrong Tree

Power of Meaning, Pillar of Belonging Part 1: Is Happiness What We Really Want?


















We often refer to happiness as the holy grail. Surely this is all we would want for our children? If only we could achieve happiness, then it wouldn’t matter about the rest (because the rest would be what was making us happy?) Isn’t this what health and wellness coaching is really all about? Helping people find happiness by living “well”? It’s not quite that simple. Physical and emotional wellness is affected by many factors, but back to the holy grail.

The trouble with happiness is, the more we chase it, the more it will elude us. Although “feeling good” may be better than feeling bad, it does not mean that we are living a “good” life. This question has been researched and debated for many decades and there is now a growing recognition that having a sense of meaning, or choosing to pursue one, ultimately allows us to live fuller – and happier lives! There are times when meaning and happiness can be at odds with each other but the former will sustain us when times are hard.

So where do we get this sense of meaning? The meaning of life has never been revealed but much work has been done to try and establish where people can find meaning. Of course the answers are endless and individual yet, like most complex factors, they fall into broad categories.

Emily Esfahni Smith has written a landmark book called The Power of Meaning and she identifies four “pillars of meaning”. We are going to look at the first:

Belonging – our close relationships which often come from our community are critical for a meaningful life. But not only do our close relationships give us this sense of wellbeing but what has been referred to as “high quality connections” is also important.  Sharing short term high quality interactions with people we love gives us a great sense of meaning but it can be just as important to share those moments with friends, acquaintances and possibly strangers. People give value to others and feel valued themselves when their interaction is empathic, caring and showing mutual regard and respect.

Letting people be seen, heard and acknowledged creates bonds. Compassion lies at the centre of the pillar of belonging. Everything we strive for in our coaching practice supports this pillar. Our very conversations can add to our client’s and our own, sense of meaning.  

So how else can we use this information to add value to our coaching?  By helping and encouraging our clients to seek out opportunities for routines and activities that allow a sense of belonging. By exercising with others, joining groups, group coaching? But also helping them recognize and appreciate where they already “belong”. Often we forget that we have communities around us that if we took the time to acknowledge and promote those communities we would help ourselves, and others!

REFERENCE
Emily Esfahani Smith, The Power of Meaning.

Coach Profile: Caroline Silveira


About Caroline

Hi, I’m Caroline de Faria Silveira. I live in Brazil and operate my coaching business under my own name, Caroline Silveira.
I am a qualified Level 3 Health and Wellness Coach, Physiotherapist and ThetaHealer. 
I help my clients learn how to be free of anxiety – it is easier and faster than you can imagine!
I help you find a new way of seeing yourself and others, and especially to perceive your body as your greatest ally. 

Getting Started in Business

I am a physiotherapist and since college we have heard this expression: the body speaks! 
But it is always linked to the idea that the body expresses what our mind thinks. Hence comes body language and all the study we can make of it. 
Even with all my experience, I began to ask myself: if the mind can transform the body, can the body transform the mind?
After going through a process of depression in the year 2014, I experienced the importance of body awareness as a fundamental part of a truly healthy lifestyle. 
Since then, I have dedicated myself to spreading the importance of integration between mind and body so that other people can have an abundant quality of life through the realization of their dreams and goals.
I started my business with a Website, a Facebook page and a YouTube Channel only. I decided to record videos twice a week and write a blog regularly as well. 
My videos on YouTube and some advertisements on Facebook brought my firsts clients.

My Niche

I work mainly with anxious people. Most of them are women, 30 to 35 years old, who suffer with insecurity, fear of future, and lack of self-esteem and self-love. 
I love to assist them to discover their strengths and abilities, to change behaviors that provoke stress and to develop new habits to improve their quality of life. 
It is incredible how they have all the answers within then. They only need help to discover it.  

Start-up Challenges 

My first challenge was to give up my former profession (I was Physical Therapist) and work exclusively as Health and Wellness Coach. 
The second one was to be consistent on YouTube and Facebook to attract clients and the third challenge was to focus only in my target market.
In the beginning, I felt alone and weak sometimes. But with discipline, courage, and good advice from experts it was easier to overcome the challenges. 
I am currently getting support in a Master Mind Group and this has been a turning point for me. 
Sharing my ideas and receiving advice from more experienced entrepreneurs has allowed me to make better decisions and avoid many mistakes in my business. 

How my Business Has Grown

I have been in this business for one year and it was very different than I expected. 
I dreamed that clients would easily come to me just because I am a very good professional. Well, I discovered that my effort and persistence are the best ingredients to have clients. 
Having my business has taught me to be strategist and to be patient. Success is coming through consistent work.

Typical Client Outcomes

 Almost all of my clients look for peace and happiness. In their minds, they were not born with these gifts. 
The main outcome for most of them through working with me is to feel they can get control of their actions and be responsible to build the life they want to have. It’s very empowering!
I'm glad every day to be Health and Wellness Coach and to help people to live better lives.

My 3 Biggest Lessons

The 3 biggest lessons I have learned are:
- Firstly, to look for partners. It is easier to go farther when we have people with us. 
- Second, I do not know the answer until I ask the question. It is good to be brave. 
- Third, being optimistic makes me more successful. 

Final Thoughts

As one of our International students, Caroline has built a powerful practice in her home country in an important and growing area of health and wellbeing – anxiety.

Caroline’s business has been built on her parallel study and personal journey. She is truly a role model to her clients and brings an integrative approach to her sessions.

Here are three things I notice about Caroline’s story:

1. Caroline is open, authentic and speaks from the heart 
Honesty and authenticity are two essential parts of building trust and rapport with clients. Caroline’s blog posts and videos clearly demonstrate these important character strengths. They are undoubtedly part of the reason for her success in online marketing.

2.        Caroline works with clients who have a similar story
She openly acknowledges her own struggles with anxiety and has built a business in this field to help people with similar challenges.
Caroline is a credible role model for people who are on this same journey.

3.         She has ongoing support with her business
A key to Caroline’s success has been seeking support from business mentors to avoid mistakes, to be consistent and to make good decisions in her business. 

To learn more about Caroline or connect with her on social media, visit:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinesilveiraoficial
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/c/carolinesilveira
Website:  http://www.carolinesilveira.com.br/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/carolinesilveiraoficial/

Empathy - one size fits all?


Empathy – one size fits all?  
Perhaps not.

We all know what empathy means – a few definitions exist.
Here’s one. “The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people.  Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions”.
“Ability to read other people’s cues to their emotional and psychological states.”

There are other factors involved:
Although you may be able to see the world through the other’s eyes, you do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective, or condone the choices they have made, but you do understand.
As coaches, having empathy is an essential skill.  It allows us to hear unvoiced questions, to anticipate needs, to help people find the right words and the right phrases to express their feelings.  You help give voice to their emotional life.

Sounds straight forward and it’s certainly a desirable strength to have. We also know that empathic people tend to do better in personal and professional relationships and certainly in the helping professions.

What else do we know?  

Empathy is closely connected to “sensing” or “intuiting.”

We know that empathy is different from sympathy which can be somewhat dis empowering as the person receiving it can feel, well, in a worse, maybe “weaker” place than the person sympathizing.  

So why can empathy still be tricky? 
Because too little or too much can cause problems. Some research has shown that there are three distinct types of empathy:
Emotional empathy
Cognitive empathy
Compassion

All three are useful at the right time. Emotional empathy is when our feelings become involved and we often find this happening when someone close to us is experiencing a strong emotion. At times in our coaching, we can verge on being too empathic and our own feelings become a little too strongly present. This can lead to emotional fatigue.

Cognitive empathy is at the other end of the scale – this is when we understand on an intellectual level what someone is feeling.  We will often say, “I understand what you are feeling”.  (Whether we do or not is sometimes questionable.)  This is the kind of empathy that would be appropriate for a health professional who needs to stay a little detached from their client in order to perform their role effectively.

Compassion – is the middle ground.  The difference here is that we want to help.  Coaching with compassion is our goal.  We feel for the person, not with the person.  It has the effect of making us want to help but not to be emotionally “impaired” which may prevent us from helping.  

So finding the right level of empathy is all important for us as health and wellness coaches.  And while we’re at it, self-compassion has its place up there with compassion for others!  If we are unkind and judgmental to ourselves, how can we possibly help others with authenticity?

Financial wellness – a new or an ignored frontier?


Life is never simple, which is why it is so interesting!  Here’s an example. Have you ever had several goals you wanted to achieve, yet at times they seem to conflict with each other?

One case of this that we hear often is from people who want to “follow their passion” (in their professional life), but also want to be financially secure.   Yet their passion may not hold the level of certainly around financial security they require.  

Of course, this applies to many of students who want to study health and wellness coaching, yet are concerned that it may not pay the bills.  When we get a dilemma like this, we can experience tension, stress and a sense of “stuckness” as we struggle with what really amounts to two conflicting values.  So how do we get round this?   We may also experience a sense of guilt or disappointment in our failure to follow our heart.  After all, surely financial “stability” should not be as important as doing what we really want do – living the professional dream?

Yet finance (or fears around lack of finance) is one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to people achieving their goals.

Lea Schodel, a recent graduate, does a lot of work in the field of financial wellness.  She says,

“Money has such a large influence over our day to day lives, our sense of success and self-worth and our overall happiness and wellbeing. Our career choices, our ability to spend time with our family and friends, or to do the things we love, whether we can join a gym or practice yoga, how much we can spend on food, healthcare, self-care and other treatments, the type of neighbourhood we live in, the relationships we have and even our self-esteem are all impacted directly by our relationship with money. 

Our finances play such an integral role in our total wellbeing yet, so often they are ignored, put to one side or handed over to someone else to manage.

The elements of wellness

Image souce:  wellnessutah.com

There are many elements that comprise of our overall wellbeing: Social, Physical, Emotional., Spiritual, Environmental, Occupational, Intellectual and Financial. What is important is to recognise that there are many elements (other than diet and exercise) which contribute to or detract from total wellbeing and we cannot have total wellness unless we pay attention to and seek balance with all elements of wellbeing in our lives.

So how can we align our goals so that we achieve both a career we love and healthy finances? 
This was a question we had to address when we put together our latest training program – the Professional Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching with Business Pathway (PCBP).  We love helping people learn to coach. And we have recognised the need for support in setting up our own business for some time. We have provided the Passion to Profit program almost as an add-on for people who finished the training and then realised they ill-equipped to actually make money from coaching.

So, we decided that we would combine all our programs and offer an inclusive “journey” that guided people along the path to becoming a proficient and effective health and wellness coach but at the same time, kept their eye on the end game – how they would make this work for them as a business.

To date, we have had a great reception to our PCBP and we can’t wait to work with the people who have enrolled at the start of this year.

View the details on our Professional Certificate program here.

We are also looking forward to Lea’s professional development webinar which she will hold later in the year when she will help our coaches learn how to “talk about the money”.  In this sense, when our clients present finance as the biggest obstacle and which we so often skirt around!  Watch this space.

You can get in touch with Lea at: lea@leaschodel.com

Coach Profile: Miranda Wageman




People often ask how our busy coach graduates achieved success in their coaching business.

Here’s the business journey of Miranda Wageman, owner of Sum of One – Holistic Wellness Coaching for Fitness and Health.

About Miranda

My name is Miranda Wageman and I help people get out of pain and into life. 

I help people be strong, active and mobile, through gaining control of their lifestyle habits and carrying through with their goals. 

I used to be a graphic designer and I have a BA (Hons) in Chinese. These days, I am a Wellness Coach, fitness instructor and Pilates instructor. 

Getting Started in Business

In 2015, I was in the process of starting my own business and wasn't sure what to call myself or what direction to go into - I knew it had to be more than just being a PT or fitness instructor. 

I found WCA, and that was the missing link for me - it gave me an edge over other PTs, and a focus of where I wanted to go with my business. This helped me develop my business materials as well. 

Since then, I've been steadily chipping away at building my business and fine tuning my services.  
 
Initially I started my business just with exercise classes – my niche is seniors as well as Pilates (all age groups). 

I subsequently picked up a few private clients, and then a few coaching clients and secured a number of government grants in my first year. This was a great financial help as it gave me a consistent income and allowed me to set myself up with equipment. 

I engaged Melanie (from WCA) as a business coach for a number of sessions to help get clarity of what I wanted to do and how to go about it. 

My Niche

It was pretty clear from the start that my niche would be seniors. I love working with them as they are honest and are willing to work hard at improving themselves. 

When they decide to do something, they do it, and stick with it - and are willing to pay. 

They are also (sometimes brutally) honest in their feedback, which I see as a good tool to fine tune my services further. 


Having said that, I am getting more younger clients too which is interesting.

Start-up Challenges 

My initial challenges with my business were actually getting started - and believing I'm good enough to work as a coach. 

I had a lot of fears to begin with – all the usual things, like:

“what if I set up classes and no one turns up?”

“what if people don't pay?”

“what if they don't like me?”

Plus, I live in a small rural community, and competition is fierce. People don't always fight fair and it has at times been difficult to be the better person and distance myself from petty squabbling when unjust comments were publicly made. 
 
Running your own business and having to be fully dependent on yourself for the next pay cheque can feel daunting, lonely and isolating. 

How I Stay Focused

Whenever I feel flat or doubt myself, I make an action list to go through (sometimes marketing, sometimes reconnecting with people or posting information, doing research on different classes). 

This gets me out of the blues and reminds me that I must be effective, as my reputation is growing and my classes are well attended. 

I remind myself that people like coming to me, they like my style and they like my classes. 


The consistent feedback on my coaching style is that people see me as a trustworthy friend they can confide in. This is also reflected in how many people stay with me, both private and in class situations. 

Word of mouth seems to be my best friend. And always, always I make sure that I do my own workouts too and maintain my own health so I don't burn out or lose enthusiasm.

How my Business Has Grown

In the past 3 years, I've increased my classes, and also, my number of clients. 

I've been rigorous in cutting out anything that doesn't make enough money - it sounds awful, but I have to make a living out of this. 

I'm getting more enquiries, and I've recently been contracted by a large organisation to work specifically with seniors - initially running strength based programs, but they are interested in exploring my other skills (even extending to their staff) - and they are willing and able to pay. 

Typical Client Outcomes 

Because I still primarily work in the fitness industry, the main feedback I get is about increased strength, ability to continue doing ordinary things, increased energy and confidence, people enjoy my teaching and they come for the social aspect as much as the physical aspect. 

Private clients have a range of issues - post accident rehab, changing food habits. 

Typically, the clients I work with seem inspired to try more, and dare to take more risks. That is, they build self-confidence, self-efficacy and a belief in themselves that was not there before.

They realise there are different ways of looking at things, so if they are stuck, they see new options. 

I think that builds their confidence which of course affects all parts of your life. 

They seem to find their mojo again :) 
 

My 3 Biggest Lessons

The three biggest lessons I’d share with other coaches starting out are:

1. Keep going - one foot in front of the other.

2. Stay positive (you're worth it!!) and focus on all the people who think the sun shines out of your a**e :) There are usually more than you think.

3. Life is full of options and choices - if one thing doesn't work, try another. 

Final Thoughts

Thanks Miranda for providing the material for this profile. 

Having worked with Miranda in 2015/16, I wanted to finish with my perspective on how she is building a successful coaching business.

1. She brings her strengths into the development and growth of her business. 

Her persistence, resourcefulness, positive attitude and creativity have allowed her to come up with some awesome and authentic promotional strategies. 

2. She’s used bought her creativity and resourcefulness into her marketing

After Miranda identified her ideal client and elevator pitch, I noticed something switch inside her. She asked some talented people to help her develop a promotional video (you tube in the links below) and they agreed…but ended up being mostly too busy to help. So Miranda drew on her resourcefulness and created the video herself – her own music, videos and photos – and it works beautifully.

3. Miranda shares her authentic self with her clients

Miranda’s not someone who uses corporate, ‘them and us’ speak. Her authentic zest, enthusiasm and genuine compassion for people really shine through – and those things are her best marketing tools. 

4. She knows that meeting people every week is an essential part of marketing

Early on, Miranda went out and met new people each week using a structured plan. They were potential clients, potential JV’s, other practitioners, hospital staff, you name it she was there. 

When we chatted for this profile recently, it was interesting to map where her current client base came from.

There were those handful of people - clients and professional relationships - who were what I call “your Tupperware ladies”. That is, they’re very well networked, have fingers in lots of pies, and consistently tell EVERYBODY how great Miranda is.

Once you get that sort of momentum, word of mouth referral carries you through. 

To learn more about Miranda or connect with her on social media, visit:

Coaching and The Brain - Part 2





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

There are many qualities that make a good coach and many skills that we learn to improve connection with our clients and help them create effective change.  While considering the role of the brain in the process, let’s take a look at what happens there and put four important aspects of coaching under the spotlight.

TRUST

We cannot support our clients unless we have trust, and building that trust takes time.  Once trust is created, the brain chemical that is released is Oxytocin  - likely in both client and coach! This is the chemical that is associated with empathy and connection. What’s interesting about Oxytocin is that it only creates connection with people you closely associate with – your tribe, if you like – and when we are with people we identify as being “our people”, it has the effect of reducing fear and calming the amygdala – positive things in a coaching conversation.  However, the same chemical can cause rejection of people who are not seen to be in that “tribe”.  Interesting implications? The coach needs to build trust and allow the client to get the full benefit of Oxytocin.

The actual physicality of coaching – either touch or close presence will also increase the release of Oxytocin - under the right circumstances.  What isn’t known as clearly is how this works during phone coaching, although there is no doubt that trust can be created in that situation. Some people have a higher level of inherent trust than others and what’s interesting is that it has to start with the relationship with our own bodies.  If we don't have that, it is unlikely that we will trust others.  This is highly relevant to concept of whole body coaching which fits so well with health and wellness coaching.

LISTENING
There are six types of listening:
  1. Hearing (noise);
  2. Pretending (to listen, often being skilled enough to fake our body language too);
  3. Self-biographic (filtered, self-related);
  4. Selective; 
  5. Active – this can be with your mind;
  6. Empathetic listening – this has to always be with your heart.
So how does the brain work when we listen? What we need to understand is that our brain builds up information on incomplete data.  We make assumptions about things that may not have been said as we try to make sense of what we are hearing. This is very important for us as coaches to realize as we endeavor to fully understand our clients. Our brains want to make “sense” not necessarily find “truth”! So we fill in the blanks to confirm our own hypotheses. So it is essential that we find out what really is there – what the client’s story is all about, not what we think it is about when we listen ineffectively.  We must always strive for the last level of listening.

ASKING QUESTIONS
By asking the right questions, we will help the client share information that is as important to them as to us as coaches. However, if we ask the wrong type of questions, instead of triggering new pathways in the brain that can lead to different outcomes, we can cause the client to become defensive and actually create new barriers.

REFRAMING
Once again, by reframing and showing new perspectives, we open new channels and pathways in the client’s brain which can increase possibilities and solutions!

Knowing how our brains work is important knowledge for any coach. Our work should not be random use of learned skills. We have to be aware of the actual effect that our presence and our choice of words can produce.

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.





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