124. Trending Niches for Health Coaches in 2022 ft. Michelle Ellis

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The past few years have been difficult for the entire world. In these unprecedented times, many issues have been brought to the forefront of society and have really gotten our attention. This shift in perspective has brought a lot of different pain points to light which opens up many new opportunities for health coaches to niche down.

In today’s episode one of our favorite guests, Michelle Ellis, returns for a discussion on some of the new health coaching niches that are trending in 2022 due to the changes we’ve collectively experienced these past two years. The opportunities to niche down as a health coach are always growing. Still struggling to get specific and clear on your message and your ideal client? Tune in now to see if any of these emerging niches inspire you!

Rachel: Hey guys, it’s Rachel and today and we are going to break open the Healthy Hustle podcast by talking about niches. We talked about niches an episode or two ago, and we thought, why not talk about how what we’ve gone through in the last few years has really opened the door for health coaches. I had Michelle come onto the show again to support me in this amazing episode. Michelle, what do you think about this time that we’ve gone through in the last few years? Do you think that it’s helped coaches to open the door as well to help others see them as really needed in somebody’s life?

Michelle: Absolutely, I think with these times that we’ve faced in the last couple of years, it’s been very stressful. And it’s had such an enormous impact on people’s bodies physically, as well as mentally, emotionally, mindset wise. So there’s just been a rising and a need in the marketplace for people struggling with digestive issues caused by stress or mental health, right? 

And I think it’s such an amazing opportunity for health coaches to show up in a new, very niched down way, to really specialize in one of these areas and help people on a bigger, more in depth scale.

Rachel: When I think on the last few years, I remember when I started coaching. 12 years ago, I graduated from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And back then, almost nobody understood what gut meant. Now, we’re in this time, not just because of what we’ve experienced in the last few years, but I think we’re in a time where there are major publications, TV, and the news that are actually talking about this gut-brain connection. They’re actually talking about stress and hormones; they’re actually talking about mental health. So I think that we’re also in a really ripe time where people are open to having these kinds of services, because they realize what has been working is not working anymore.

Michelle: Exactly. And I think trying to serve everyone is always hard, you know? It’s really best to niche down, narrow in on who you want to serve, and also looking at what the needs are right now in the marketplace. How can you show up and really serve? Because every health coach wants to make a big impact. So really, it’s about what type of impact you want to make. It takes looking at those different areas and saying, maybe it’s weight loss, or maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s gut, but right now, these are the needs. How can you show up with a solid signature program?

Rachel: I would say what’s really exciting, and I’ve always talked about the depression and anxiety that I dealt with and still deal with and how I manage it, is to actually see mental health coaches come around. It’s exciting to see anxiety coaches and stress coaches, and to see a lot of these niches that I don’t think have been around. Maybe we saw stress in the workplace for corporate wellness, but I didn’t see a lot of stress coaches. And now, I’m seeing a plethora of those as well as what we talked about last year, the amount of emotional eating coaches that I saw, and now body positivity. I think it’s a really exciting time where we still have weight loss coaches, gut coaches, hormone coaches, as really solid niches, but I think it’s a really great time to niche down in those areas and get even more specific so you’re really speaking to your ideal client in your marketing, which is going to save you a lot of time and money.

Michelle: When you do niche down, your message is so much clearer. You can really speak to those individual areas of pain, and really offer a solution that’s going to fill that need for them. The only way to really do that is to know what the pain is. So, if you know your niche, then you know, what those people are dealing with. You know what they are struggling with on a daily basis. What are the symptoms of that stress that they’re facing? If it’s emotional eating, if it’s not practicing self care, or having the right habits, or loving themselves enough, how can you step in as a health coach and really serve them?

Rachel: I’ve also seen a niche emerge around this mindset of weight loss. So, I see a lot of coaches who are weight loss coaches, but they’re more focused on the mindset and habits. And that’s been something I’ve seen born in the last year, habit coaches. It’s interesting because this is a lot like what I saw in corporate wellness, but now we’re seeing this across the board. Are there any other niches that you’re seeing coming up that can come to mind?

Michelle: Adding to what you just said, it’s not even just the niche, but also that step by step approach as well. So, with those habits, actually integrating more of a ritual approach to any of those niches, because in recent times, with all that we’ve been dealing with, people need those bite-siized steps to have a low pressure transformation where they can do something small, yet impactful every single day and get the results that they want, no matter what niche you choose. 

Rachel: That’s interesting because that even brings me to thoughts about how we are absorbing information now. And when you’re setting up your signature program, really think about that bite- sized information, because people really don’t have a lot of time. It’s not to say people are not in Facebook groups, they are in Facebook groups and engaging if that Facebook group is bringing value. They are on social media, but I feel like people really have seen how busy life is and has gotten this year, so when you’re thinking about delivering your materials, think of that bite-sized information. Even if you have to go week by week and do one video, or two videos, or three videos to really support that person through the week, give them little wins. Allow for them to really go through that transformation without it feeling so overwhelming that they quit. 

So, what is your biggest advice for somebody that is scared to niche down?

Michelle: Obviously, it would be to do it anyway. Test it out. There’s nothing wrong with testing.  Put one offer out there and take one step forward. You don’t have to redo your whole website or redo your branding, right? Just test it with a program, test it with an offer and see how it changes your business and your messaging for your ideal audience.

Rachel: What’s interesting is, I talked to a coach yesterday, we’ll just call her Samantha.I talked to Samantha and she has always worked with everyone. She’s always said, “I can serve everyone.” And in the last month she had one of those moments where you say, “What am I going to do with my life? What do I really want to do?” And she said, “You know, I want to work with women’s health. I want to work with hormones.” So she started in the last two weeks putting out social media infographics about hormones, and she got all this feedback. Women were like, “Oh my gosh, I love the posts that you’re putting out. It just is really speaking to me. It’s speaking my language. I’ve been struggling with this.” And so she ended up buying our hormone program yesterday and said, “I’m so excited. I feel like I was so scared to niche down. I was so scared to get specific. I was so scared to serve a woman in a specific time of her life. But now I’m so excited because it feels like I know where I need to take this woman.”

So I think of her and I think of how many times I know I was scared. I was like, “Well, I’m gonna work with gut.” And then it’s like, that didn’t really work. I had to get even more specific to food allergies and intolerances, and as soon as I started talking about food allergies, it was like, I had clients left and right, because that’s such a pain point. I realized a lot of people didn’t understand gut. And I think that still, even with this time where we have gut plastered on The New York Times, and we have all these different publications talking about gut health, food and mood (and that’s another niche that I’m seeing people talking about – moods and food), it’s still difficult to have somebody identify what their gut issues are. When our clients say things like, “I just eat and I feel nauseous. I don’t feel good,” helping that person to really navigate what’s going on can be a little difficult. But once I added food allergies and intolerances, I got more specific in my talk, I was able to talk about detoxing from those foods, detoxing from a mindset that keeps you in a high cortisol, and really just streamlined my message.

Michelle: That is so important because that’s how people get seen as experts, too. That’s how you really build authority in your niche. When you try to talk about everything, sometimes it’s overwhelming. But when you’re really specific, like that coach who’s now sharing those specific infographics, the pain is specific, so the messaging is specific and the solution is like a no brainer. 

I think that the more that health coaches can take that step forward and do a trust falll and try to test niching down, they’re going to experience such a big difference for themselves and for their clients. 

Rachel: What would you say, in your opinion, are the niches that you’re going to see come out of this amazing time, because I really do think I think people are just at a point where they realize that stress can influence them in such a huge way. Mindset hacks, productivity, rest are big things that we’re hearing. Take time to rest. Take time to put yourself first. We see a lot of self-care coaches, self-love coaches, what do you think is going to come out of this time?

Michelle: Definitely stress related niches. I would say stress and mindset are number one, and then all of the niches that are symptomatic from those levels of stress. So you have hormones, weight loss, food and mood, the emotional eating aspect of it, the gut, the gut and the brain connection. I would say those are the top ones and also looking at it through the lens of the approach being bite-sized. Anything habits related is a great lead in to any of those niches. If it’s a daily habits freebie, or a habit challenge, or something where they can come inand build those habits. Then you can lead them to any niche that you serve and lead them to that transformation. 

Rachel: So guys, we’re giving you today a bite-sized chunk by making this podcast short and sweet. And we want to hear feedback! If you have any comments, please leave them below. We hope that you have a great day. 

Remember, niche down! It can be scary, but you’re going to find that you’re attracting your ideal client. Make sure that your niche is profitable. Do your market research, see if there’s a demand for that niche, but always don’t be scared to set yourself apart and pave the road for that niche to be really profitable. With that being said, we will see you later. Bye guys.

Michelle: Messaging is so important for your health and wellness business because you want to reach the right type of ideal client, and you want to attract them organically, especially if you’re just starting your business.

You don’t have a ton of money to toss around with Facebook ads. So it’s really great to really get that concept of, okay, I’m attracting people organically on my social media, they’re connecting with me, they’re scheduling a wellness consultation, health discovery call, and they’re reaching out. Maybe they’re opting in to your freebie. All of that is so important.

In order for that to happen. You have to know who you’re talking to and all about them. But there’s so many things that go into it. You might even find that you have more than one type of person that you’re speaking to. So you might have to have some variation in your messaging and individual posts that go out or cycle them through or do something that.

But you should definitely know, the biggest things are: What’s that big problem that they have? What are symptoms that come from that problem? And really think about them. How old are they? Where do they live? Paint the full picture of what they do on a daily basis. That’s your ideal client avatar.

Rachel: If you’re looking to Google something, go to digital marketer, it’s Ryan Deiss. And Google ideal client avatar, there’s a great download that will take you through that process. You want to know age, demographics, dislikes, TV shows and movies they watch. Really play out the scenario of each of these ideal clients.

But before we dive into ideal client avatars and messaging, let’s talk about nailing your hook. Because I see clients left and right, who are saying, I specialize in gut and I just want to work with people to get them healthier. But it’s not going to work if you just say I want to work with everyone or I just want them to feel better. We want to get really specific.

So can you walk me through an example of a hormone specialist who deals with blood sugar, weight loss, and hormone balancing.

Michelle: Yeah the first thing, let’s say, you’re a hormone coach, and you’re saying something similar, I help women get their hormones in check, and lose weight and do things in the process, but get healthier. If that phrase comes out at all, the next question that I always ask is, well, what is healthy defined by that particular person that you’re speaking to? Because health is so different for everyone.

It’s really, really personal and based on that person’s goals and their problems and what they’re dealing with and what keeps them up at night and what’s their daily struggle.What’s their big goal?

So the hook really needs to be the biggest problem that you help solve for that person that dramatically changes their health or dramatically changes their life. But be so specific with it. Is it balancing hormones? Well, what does that mean? Are you talking to somebody who’s going through menopause or perimenopause? Menopause really messes up the cycle.

The more specific that you can really get with that, that’s going to help you attract the right people into whatever you’re putting out there like your freebie or workshop. So it’s really important to have the hook relate to that big problem that you solve for the person that you ideally would dream about working with.

Another step is to really know, signs, symptoms, and also what they want to achieve. So it’s really know those symptoms because that’s how people identify, and really know what they want to achieve. What is that big problem that you’re solving that they so desire on a physical, spiritual and mental aspect as well?

It’s really important to know those symptoms and what they’re dealing with, because a lot of times, it can be very easy to just fall into general language like, “I help women get their hormones healthy.” That’s good ground to start with. But then what’s next? And how deep can you go with that?

Get so specific and talk about things that might be uncomfortable to say out loud, but really connect with your ideal client? Is she having night sweats? Is her libido low? Did she gain weight during perimenopause? You have to get really specific.

When I think of copywriting and sales, if it was a sales page, these are your individual bullet points that have to be on your messaging everywhere, so that you can connect with them. You might have more than one type of person you want to work with.

So let’s say, you specialize in three things. Maybe it’s hormones, gut, and weight loss. Really sit down and think about, is this the same person that I’m talking to every time? Are these things connected? Or do I have different audiences for each of these? Which is fine, too. So it’s just really important to know that as you present your offer.

Rachel: Well, you just brought up a great point, because when we sit there and think of different audiences, we also have to think of that ideal client. So let’s say it’s a woman who’s dealing with weight gain during perimenopause. You might have a person who’s a stay at home mom, you might have a person who’s working in an office, and you might have a person who is a high powered CEO. But remembering that in your messaging, it’s okay to narrow it down and leave out your other ideal client.

So if you’re messaging and really talking to that CEO that has high stress, really go in and talk about high stress, maybe emotional eating, stress eating, or the weight that’s caused by perimenopause. Really speak to her in those pain points that she’s struggling with so she actually identifies with you and says, I’m going to opt into this freebie today, or I’m going to watch this masterclass where I’m going to sign up for this discovery session.

And I always look at it as someone who also loves health. If I’m going to hire a natural health person, whether it’s a doctor or someone else, I really look for specifics. What can they really help me with? When I’ve had breast challenges in the past, before I looked for natural, holistic experts that specialized in breast health. I wanted to know, is this someone I can hire who knows their stuff, and can really help me with this specific problem?

It’s the same thing when you go to your general MD. They refer you out to someone who can really help you go deeper in that specific problem. So it’s the same thing. So how specific can you get in your messaging as a health coach to those people who are really looking for that expert who can really help them solve those problems?

Rachel: Well, when we’re talking about messaging as well, we’re not just even talking about social media, we’re talking about messaging on your website. Can we talk a little about that? Because you brought up something that I would love to talk about, which is key words.

Before we jump into websites, how do you find your key words? I always say, do your market research, get 5-20 people on a phone call, interview them, take that time out to hear the words that they are saying. Take the exact words and write them down on a word bank. What would you suggest in addition to that?

Michelle: From an SEO standpoint, don’t be too creative. Use words that are so common that people are typing them in Google. So if you specialize in gut health, you should have keywords on your website that are digestion. Do they have a specific issue? Is it IBS? Irritable bowel syndrome? Gas? Bloating? Probiotics.

If you talk about that often, and you think your ideal client might be searching for those words that they are using every single day, use them. Make sure they are problem specific because that’s really important, because that’s what’s going to pop up in Google when they go search and you can even do that yourself. Go to Google and start typing it in, how to heal my gut. Notice all the things that pop up and look. Notice those common keywords and put those in on the back end of your SEO on your website.

Rachel: Such an important topic. Because so often we use health coach words that our ideal client wouldn’t use. Let’s talk about messaging on our website. So somebody comes to your website, and I forget what exactly is the amount of time you have to capture their attention?

Michelle: You’re lucky if you have three seconds. It’s so fast, because we’re a population that is just busy. So aesthetically, you want it to also be visually appealing, you want it to be attractive, you want it to be easy to read and then have pictures and things like that.

With these words, you want to think about the ‘above the fold’. The header needs to be so specific. And if that’s all they read on the website page, is that enough to keep them scrolling? Is it something they get over, whatever the problem is? Is it enough for them to take action on? “Click here and download my free guide.” It just has to be specific, it can be a question. “Are you struggling with your diet?”

Rachel: Your list builder should definitely be up on the top as well. So it should really be that big hook. The headline is that question in very, very bold, like Melissa Ramos.

Michelle: What I’ve loved about her messaging is that I remember her talking about super uncomfortable topics. She talks about UTIs, she talks about bacterial vaginosis.

For me, that is some clear, specific messaging. Most people get afraid to go that deep. So that’s when you fall back to that general messaging and general language, but do you say the things that they’re really struggling with? Because that’s what’s gonna make them opt in and click and hire eventually. So it’s important to be really specific.

If you’re focusing on a woman with Hormonal Health. Is it really balancing hormones naturally? Or is it really down and dirty to the women’s hormone health issues? Is it about her sex drive? If she could fix that, would it save her marriage? Really thinking about exactly what it is that that person is struggling with?

Rachel: That really comes down to that market research. In the beginning, say you’re coming right out of school, and maybe you haven’t done that market research. But for me, I asked friends, people who I felt had similar issues, similar health problems to that of my ideal client, I asked family members, I asked as many people as I could to get clear on what was the biggest thing for their gut issue?

For me, people came to me for food allergies and food sensitivities that was something that in their gut, somebody could deal with like Belly Bloat. But I found that food allergies and food sensitivities and weight loss were my big A’s and I never thought that I would ever be a weight loss coach with gut. But I found that so many people had bad bacteria that was leading to weight gain. At least that’s how I viewed it. And that’s what also set me apart from other people. I do gut differently. I do weight loss differently. Come and work with me and get down to your weight loss issues because you’re on a diet and nothing’s even working.

Michelle: That’s so important. I remember health coaching and I was scared to. It’s easier to write for someone else, right? Even writing for myself, I remember going and doing that inner work to be able to be confident in my own messaging. It took really being comfortable looking at my problems.

So for me, my ideal client was myself in the past, and that might be very similar for a lot of health coaches, that’s why we usually get into the field, right? We want to help the people how we helped ourselves. So it took a lot of feeling comfortable and being able to just push the limit a little bit. Am I talking about bloating? Am I talking about how messed up my stomach was or how I leave a party if I felt sick? Things I never wanted to share with anyone who knew me personally.

No, it was really necessary for me to be able to have people reach out and say, Hey, I’m so glad you did that post. I connected with that, can we have a talk? That’s how you attract people. It’s really just an honest vulnerability. So when you’re doing the market research also do the inner work.

Rachel: If you’re a different topic, because I’ve seen coaches who say, I’m scared to share my story. It doesn’t mean that we share everything. We share the things that we know our ideal client is going to say that is me. I remember sending an email out to my newsletter list when I had Rachel’s Wellness, when I was coaching about gaining weight when my probiotic wasn’t working.

I talked about this realization that I had for myself that I needed to rotate my probiotics so my body didn’t get used to it. All of a sudden, I got five clients from that email. People were like, Oh, my God, this is happening to me, I’m gaining weight, these pounds are so hard to get rid of. What’s going on? Let me try this.

All of a sudden, people were like, I need to work with you. Look at all these tips that you have. And just sharing that personal story with somebody. I also shared how it made me feel because people were identifying with my story as somebody who was recovering from food addiction, stress eating and not having a very good relationship with food. I struggled with food for years and it just helped me bring my client closer to my own life.

Michelle: Yeah. It provides a nice, comfortable platform for them to share in return. No one feels comfortable walking into a room and sharing something super personal. But if someone shares it first, then it feels like others can share, it’s a natural reaction. So it’s nice to be able to get those emails back or someone hitting the contact on your website, or having someone DM you because they’ve read your story.

It’s also just nice to be honest in your messaging, too. So if you’re struggling with that, just draft it a bunch of times. You don’t even have to put it out there yet. But draft it. Sit with it. Get comfortable with it yourself. Would this be the information my ideal client needs to hear from me in order to hire?

Rachel: Yes. I did with every post, whether it was posted on my personal page where I was laying the foundation for my brand, or posted on Rachel’s wellness, my business page, or on my Facebook groups. I always tried to really share with my ideal client, the very struggles that I had with asthma, the struggles that I had with food allergies.

Also even when I would have a flare, that was an important thing. If I had a flare, I used to get Angela Diem on my eyes. So my eyes would blow up after a food reaction. I remember posting that picture and being like, if you’re in a flare, this is what I do, and helping my ideal client to understand what was normal, autoimmune reaction and what was a flare. That landed with clients too. Be vulnerable in those situations where we would be so scared to share something because it also helps our ideal client to identify with us and humanize our work.

Michelle: Your message isn’t going to be for everyone and the people that it’s not for, that’s okay. I’ve heard from health coaches who were like, Well, I want to share this, but back before they did custom audiences on Facebook and everything, you can’t even do that on Instagram. They’re afraid for people they know to see it. You’re not sharing it to help those people. They should be there to support you wanting to help the people you should.

A lot of that comes down to that inner work that you’re talking about. It’s getting over the fear of what people are going to think. Because you declare that you are going to start this business. And you can’t just start this business by doing a few posts that are not speaking to your ideal client with your own messaging, it’s almost impossible to get hired.

Rachel: So let go of that self doubt and what are people thinking of me? That only leads to procrastination. So when we’re not doing the things that we need to do in our business, or when we’re questioning that, that just leads to procrastination. Then all of a sudden, we don’t have a business at all. We feel we’re failures. And it’s a vicious circle. Instead of just saying I’m going to let go of what people think of me, I’m going to make this post, I’m going to do it. And I’m not going to question that or look back.

Michelle: What was actually very therapeutic for me, is I went to other websites, third party websites, MindBody Green, Thrive Global, and I started doing some blogging there. Because even though it was a big audience, the chances of someone that knew wasn’t going to be reading it. And it was an awesome experience to have strangers commenting, thank you, this helped me so much. It just gave me this reassurance and confidence to build me up a bit.

So even if you can do some guest posting or guest blogging somewhere, and really get comfortable with that messaging, that can really help boost confidence to write.

Rachel: Whether you’re building your signature program, or blogging or doing things within those programs or within the blog, there has to be something that brings your story into relation to what you’re teaching. It’s not having that fear to go for the work that you need to do, or not having that fear to put out your signature program and find those stories that are relative to that signature program that you are selling to your ideal client. You have to really know the why of it. I think that’s important. Knowing why you’re messaging a person, knowing the journey that you’re going to take them on, whether it’s a blog, a workshop, or your signature program.

Michelle: Yeah, that’s really important, which goes right back to, who’s your ideal client? What’s their problem? Because when you know that everything else becomes crystal clear. Your freebies, your programs, your offers – everything that you do is there to serve someone. Once you know who that someone is, all the messaging becomes so much easier.

Rachel: Do you think that we’ve missed anything during this episode?

Michelle: I don’t think so. But I would definitely say if you’re really struggling with it, have a friend or a peer record you or record yourself. If you’re struggling with your messaging, look at the places that you’re struggling. Is it in your about me page, your website, social media posts?

First compartmentalize the areas, then actually say, I’m going to sit here and focus on a social media post, or I’m going to write down my story timeline. What happened? What was life like? What brought you to your knees that said, you’re going to change into this as a business? What do you teach now? Actually write it down and figure out the stories that you need to extract to infuse into your messaging and then actually record it. Record some of the verbiage that’s going to be on your website. It will take you out of that fear of struggle, because when we just let go and record it into our phone, it’s so much easier.

Rachel: Yeah, I can’t count how many times I’ve done that. I play it back too. Then you hear it and it just helps. It’s definitely a great way to express myself.

Remember, you have your messaging. You want to know what you do, who you do it for, what problems you solve, get very specific in that. You want to also make sure that your messaging is specific. You can have more than one ideal client avatar, just make sure that ideal client avatar works.

Lastly, really believe in your story. Believe in the story that you went through. And if you didn’t go through a health issue, you still need to get down and dirty doing the same work and figuring out what are the problems and what is your ideal client’s desire? Don’t be scared to get specific. In this, specifics is where you’re going to make the magic and that’s when your ideal client is definitely going to opt in, sign up or hire you.

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