128. How To Sustainably Package & Price Your Offers

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What should you offer inside your coaching practice, and what prices should you charge your clients? Those are the biggest questions I get from new and seasoned health coaches – and  I thought it was high time to answer these questions so your packages and prices reflect the value you provide your clients.

In today’s episode, Michelle Ellis is back on the Healthy Hustle podcast to talk about how to charge your worth so you can grow a sustainable health coaching business. We cover topics like what to include in your packages, why you need to dish out the nitty-gritty details of your offer, and how to price your coaching rates competitively. 

Rachel: Hey there, we are diving into pricing and packaging your offers. I asked my good friend Michelle Ellis, who works with me to come and join me for this episode because I think two brains are sometimes better than one. So Michelle, can you just introduce yourself and tell everyone a little about you?

Michelle: So I’ve been a copywriter for going on nine years. I work a lot with health coaches and people in the health and fitness and holistic niche. It’s been really awesome helping them make their impact in the world when it comes to people’s health because I started out as a health coach. So I love just getting to be a part of that the marketing aspect and seeing them move their business forward because that means more people get impacted and their lives change, which is why I got into health coaching to begin with.

Rachel: Let’s dive into the pricing, which I know everyone wants to hear because this is one of the biggest questions people ask me is, what do I include in my coaching practice? What do I include in that transformation? And what’s the price? 

So let’s talk about how essential it is to think carefully about what you’ve included in a package to be able to equate that value. Because a lot of coaches will just say, Oh, I’m going to include four sessions that month, but they’re not including what is that step by step transformation. So they’re having a difficult time getting past the imposter syndrome of pricing, but really also stepping into that place where you’re thinking your ideal client, what’s going to make them spend that money?

Why You Need To Know Your Base Hourly Rate

Michelle: Also you should know the results that you’re promising from your coaching. What’s so important and often overlooked when it comes to pricing and packaging is the time spent. That is also not listed. So, I remember when I first started health coaching that email follow up and having that communication outside of those sessions can be really long. Sometimes that’s two hours within that month or something, it’s completely unaccounted for. 

It’s really important to know, at least your base hourly rate, what you really want to get paid so that you can then when you’re packaging it all figure out how much time you’re actually spending and a lot of that time appropriately with you.

Rachel: One of the biggest things I’ve seen coaches implement –I know I started to do it myself when I was feeling extremely burned out in coaching because you only have so many hours in the day and you only have so much time for follow up. You to leverage and be able to either leave that job that you wanted to leave or make this a full-time gig.  You really have to make the money you need. 

One of the tricks is to actually look at your packaging with one-on-one almost an automation. So I started to –instead of during the week, say, okay, so I’ll see you in two weeks, and just have email back and forth email back and forth–I made sure I was sending two emails a week. Tthat became a standard for that type of client for that type of program.

Michelle: A lot of that also has to do with health coaches having the resources that you’ve created as far as programs because years ago, just coming out of nutrition school, we didn’t have that. At least in my experience, I was just getting a ton of different handouts and trying to decipher it, there was no real program.

How To Package Your Offerings Sustainably

Rachel: The hardest thing is you’re trying to figure out what is my coaching flow. When I came out of school, I was like, oh, yeah, someone’s gonna pay me $115 an hour. I’m gonna give them handouts. But they were so far past the handout, and that’s why I got frustrated and started to create my programs for Rachel’s Wellness. 

I will never forget a client that I was seeing who lived in my neighborhood. I was seeing her and her family. They were a client and she went and bought this five-day detox and I told her I could have put these recipes together for her. But she’s like, I know but it just looks so pretty. It was just so easy to grab. And it was at that moment that I was like, I better include these things in my packages so that I can charge more, so that I can make sure that I don’t have to go back to a job that I didn’t want to be at anymore. I started packaging my offers with programs and very specific details on what that chat support throughout the month looks like.

That’s what’s so great about having different programs to figure it all out. It goes back to, what’s your niche? And having that signature program and being able to package that into your services. Because it’s super important for people to feel like they have a plan and you’re not just flying by the seat of your pants. You know what’s going to come up the next session, or what you’re working on. It actually helps to see the results and structure,

How A Structured Offer Helps You Write Your Website

I think it helps to structure the coaching sessions, whether you’re working one on one or in a group. When you’re thinking about packaging, what are things that you have told your clients to look to create? Or they explained to you and you end up putting the words together? Because  you’ve written countless work with me pages so you’re thinking about packaging and offers.

Michelle: Even just recently, I had written a work with me page for a new coach. They didn’t know what they were offering, there was nothing there. I’m just like, well, I’m trying to write the page. So I had specific questions, how many sessions is it per month? How long is it? Is it 90 days? Is it six months? Are you offering any type of Facebook group support or Voxer support or WhatsApp? Email support? What are you doing here? How long are these sessions? Because people want to know what they’re buying and where their investment is going.

Give Details Of What You Offer Clients

Rachel: I learned over time to really detail this package is for you. If you have the following issues with this package, then really getting down and gritty. You will get access to a guide, X amount of pages based on my x method, or based on my X signature blueprint, or gut health or for hormone health, whatever that signature program is offering whatever that transformation is. But I made sure I would say X amount of recipes as soon as they get on the sales page.

Michelle: I think that’s so important, especially coming from that health coaching experience. Clients want to know what to do. So often you go to the doctors and they tell you what you should do, and then you are left figuring it out, you’re not getting a nutrition plan, you’re not getting meals, or groceries or anything that. You’re kind of left to fend for yourself a bit. 

Whereas a coach comes in and has a step by step plan. I’m even going to show you how to makeover your kitchen or your pantry and eat these types of foods. That’s a level of coaching that clients need to get the results that they want. And then also figuring out you’re packaging, how much of you are you giving? What does that look like? 

People do want to feel supported during that whole process. Otherwise, they would just get a book and try to do it themselves. Instead, they can look forward to every Friday, I have a meeting with my health coach andI know these are the issues that I could bring up. And that’s so important to feel that level of support. 

Pricing Your Rates

So I think knowing what kind of experience you want to give your clients is really what it boils down to and how much support you want to provide. I think that would help health coaches, once they decide that package and once they know their hourly rate. Price that accordingly because then you can decipher how to time yourself.

Rachel: I always think hourly rate is extremely important because a lot of people will do workshops that they’re getting paid for. So it’s really important to know what you’re going to charge for that workshop and speaking. How long is that going to be? 

You need to know your hourly rate to come up with VIP days, which are really fun days where you’re working with somebody for four to six hours. I loved doing them. They were people that wanted to come in, clean out their pantry, go to Whole Foods, cook or have their coaching experience all packed into one day, which was so much fun and great for families great when in a bunch of people. 

It’s important to know that and  also the thing that you pointed out that I just wanted to circle back to is knowing what the duration of that offer is one more packaging. There are some people that do single sessions. It’s not the bread and butter. It’s not what we’re expecting. 

Brendon Bouchard even teaches high performance coaches, they want to have a single session, a 60 or 90-minute session as an entry point. Because that person will be so wowed. If you’re in the beginning of your coaching, we feel that insecurity, we’ve got money mindset stuff that comes up. We haven’t had success with clients. We’ve probably had success with a ton of different family members. If you haven’t already, reach out to them and get their testimonials if you’ve helped anyone, friend, family, etc. 

In the beginning that I had that low-cost offer that was a single session, and I knew my goal was to upsell them to my higher touch, higher ticket, which was a three-month program. But I also had a 28-day program that I did, as a do-it-yourself and two sessions. So somebody would get that win because I knew from my ideal client, they needed to have my support in some way, especially with gut issues, with detoxification issues, autoimmune. Why sell it just as a do it yourself? Why not include two sessions? All of the sudden packaging that made it a no brainer for somebody to say yes.

Michelle: It also really helps to provide clear results so that they can see that when they go to visit your work with me page. Where we went to school, it’s not their job to set up our business it’s just to educate us on nutrition, but without that knowing and all that took place and getting your business going, it was, Okay, well, now I got this website that was kind of given to me. The results were very general, it was not nice. It was like, you’re gonna get a holistic transformation, and you’re gonna learn how to eat healthier and feel great. That’s wonderful, but people really wanted the nitty gritty details of what they’re getting. 

I always talk about coaching packages like going to a car dealer and looking at the base package to the sport. There are very different specifics in there, and you want to read what’s included package, because when we get into now pricing. 

Breaking Down The Averaga Price Of Health Coaching Packages & Sessions

Rachel: Let’s talk about average price, I would say average price for a brand new coach that I see for an hour is usually $90. There is a definite general rule of pricing. I see novice coaches, at $1,000 program for three months, so $333 a month. I would say that the novice is in between $1000 to$ 2000.

Michelle: I remember going to school, and I was still doing both. I was copywriting and I was still doing some health coaching. But I was really scared to raise my rates. It was just that fear of, well, then, what if I lose out on the people that I want to help? And what if they don’t have the money? All those thoughts that come into play. Everyone was like, all these different coaches will be charged $150 an hour. But my mind couldn’t understand the concept. 

Then they were like, we’ll sit down break up, how much time do you actually spend? It’s interesting because if you really calculate that there are some coaches out there that think they’re making $75-$90 an hour but the amount of time that they’re charging for their packet and what they’re spending for their follow up retainers.

Rachel: One of the reasons I love our recipes is becuase every client came to me for them., That’s why I always put what was included in that package. What is that transformation? What are those recipes that they’re getting? 

I would spend hours going on Josh Axes website and there weren’t tons of recipes back then when I was coaching. At least for the person who’s typically eating a regular American diet. To hear even words that they can’t pronounce, it was just hard to really introduce them to it. 

What I loved most even back then about the done for you ree programs was that there were different types. Clean eating meals, more basic ones. There was the detox plan and there was just so much to actually select from to be able to say okay, I love the idea of doing seasonal detoxes. I also love the clean eating revitalized type program. Being able to offer options to reach clients at different levels where they were at is great. 

That’s the thing about pricing for coaches, Some charge $650 an hour plus some of them charging $90, who do tests and everything. But those coaches really believe in what they’re offering. And they make it very specific  and they make sure that they are being time efficient, because if you’re charging a certain amount per hour, and then all of a sudden you’re putting in so much time after, it just sucks you up. 

What To Think About When You Package & Price Your Programs

So before we get on to nitty gritty more about pricing, what would you say in conclusion, the biggest takeaway from packaging your programs?

Michelle: For packaging, know how much of yourself you’re putting into that package. Coaching sessions, client communication, any type of level of different types of support. What do you want to give them in exchange as well to help support them on their journey, whether that’s a certain number of recipes, different types of guides, it could be modules that maybe they’re watching, they get access to a membership area there’s a ton of different things that you can do. So it’s really a matter of what type of client experience you want to give them and the level of support from a coach that they need to actually stick with the program. Yeah, so defining that?

Rachel: It’s looking at your offer, sales page of what’s included. That person has to want to jump in and go to that next level with you. That’s why I love a low-cost offer. I love a high cost because it gives that person who may be on the fence a way to test drive you. But making sure that in a single session, you’re going over a distinct transformation, that you’re over this program, because and I always say for 60 minute sessions that, or 90 minutes, it’s so easy to do a seven-day program, so easy to do a 14-day program and go over that material.

You Need To Know The Transformation You’re Offering To Set A Valuable Price

Michelle: Even thinking it through the lens of going to a holistic doctor. I’ve paid big money for a one-hour session. To know that I’m going to walk away with some level of knowledge of what’s wrong with me, so that I can fix whatever this symptom is and have some type of solution whether it was floral essences, or certain probiotics or whatever. I knew what I was walking away with was going to help me. And then you continue going, if you still have issues, or you tackle one symptom at a time. It’s the same exact thing with the single sessions from a coach. If you can promise something that they can walk away, knowing that will help them feel a little even an ounce better.

Rachel: When I look at a low-cost offer, it’s an opportunity for somebody to come in and just get a taste of what it would be to like. It builds trust. You can say right away, I know you signed up for a 60 minute session, would you want to continue? Let me tell you what it would look to work with me for three months. This is what’s included. So that’s a totally different offer. 

All a sudden I’m bringing value, I’m knowing what the transformation is that I’m offering. I know that system, that method. There are so many different ways to work with. With people you can price for your one-on-one, you can price for a container meeting, with people per month a mastermind container, you can do memberships. Let’s dive into pricing for groups. What is your rule of thumb for pricing for a group?

How To Price For Group Programs

Michelle: How I’ve always looked at it was really what I wanted to or needed to make on that offer for the amount of time. For example, let’s say it’s an eight-week group program and within that eight week period you need to make $10,000. Then you can break it up. That equals $5000  each month. How many people would I need to get into that program to make that? Then I would divide it by X amount of people and figure it out that way. 

Also make sure it’s balanced with what I was giving and the amount of time that I was spending with them. So if I had to add anything, whether it was bonuses, or continue support after anything, that’s how I would typically do it. Really looking at from the angle, if you’re a full-time coach, what do you need to make? If you’re doing it part-time, maybe that would give you a little bit more wiggle room if you have a full-time job. I would say at least 1/3 of your coaching.

Rachel: This way, the prices are always relative, because it’s really based on that person’s pricing strategy. One of the examples that I have on my wall here, is doing a group coaching program at $97, which I would not suggest anything over 30 days. $97 is usually more of a 14 Day Program. $97 with 20 people is a goal of $1940. Upsell to $150 an hour. Three people out of those 20 take it. Then upsell to the three-month program at $500. I’ve had this at $591, which is cheap.

Why Upsells Are A Great Way To Keep Working With Clients

Michelle: That’s true too. Talking about that upsell, I remember many times even just as a copywriter doing programs with people, and then exceeding my own goals because people would reach out after. That was really great, you helped me get clear on my story. Can you write my website? It would be very similar to when you’re in health coaching business. Wow, this was really great. I really enjoy those group experiences, but now, I want a little bit more one to one time. So adding in the upsells is a great thing to mention because I don’t know if health coaches really look at it from that angle. 

Rachel: We have to look at an upsell, always, as a brand new coach. As we’re up-leveling as a brand new coach, we just have to think if somebody wants to do a do-it-yourself, what is that next step? That’s an upsell. Let’s demystify marketing and look at, what does this mean? It means we are taking our ideal clients through a specific journey with a specific transformation, and in what time cannot be accomplished. So what we really look at our offers, I think that it is important for us always to think about. 

Why Downsell Offers Can Work For You & Your Clients

I’m on a discovery call, what’s that next step? Is it a low-cost offer? Do you have more than two offers that are low cost? Some people have a membership. What would you say are the average is to do a down-sell? Where you’re actually going from that higher price to a down-sell?

Michelle: That’s also really important for that money mindset as well. Especially as health coaches. We just want to help people and sometimes even at our own expense. You just have that nature to want to help people, especially if they’re really suffering from symptoms. 

What I’ve learned even as a copywriter is because my prices now are higher than they ever were before. For me, I look at it like there will be people I speak to that can afford to work with me. But I still always have a little mini offer, where it’s like, Oh, hey, I can still help you at this level and help get you started. That makes me feel good because I’m still helping this person, and they’re still getting some of the help that they need. They might have to meet me halfway and do some of the work too. But that’s always good to have something to be able to help someone with. So look at the down-sell opportunities of if they can afford your coaching or if they need a do it yourself. 

Ideas & Things To Include In Your Packages

Rachel: The biggest thing about packaging is sweetening the deal. In my packages, I always gave a free gift and gave an extra two bonuses to my clients. One would be an essential oil, and another would be a skin brush or a tongue scraper. I would sign really cute little things. 

Another thing that you can always do to sweeten a group program is give a 20-minute session for 20 people on a phone call to have an opportunity to build that trust, and to take them to the next offer.It’s pretty close to a free discovery session anyway. So really, it’s booking your calendar that you would want to happen so I think that that’s really important to always include.

When you’re doing a mastermind, it’s a little higher touch, but it’s in a group. So I’m seeing prices in masterminds at $497 a month, or even higher because you’re getting an hour session with that person in the month. You’re also getting two 30 minute sessions with group calls as well. So I would say that covers on average, just to conclude the pricing that you see a three-month program, typically for $1000 or$ 2000 for a novice coach?

Michelle: I would say that’s usually right in people’s comfort zone. The cool thing about being your own boss is that you can give yourself a raise. I always say, evaluate that every three months. 

Rachel: Let me just say, if a coach is charging $550 an hour, I’m taking out my calculator guys. Let’s just say the month comes out to $1000. So we kind of have to look when we’re getting into that next stage, how many sessions are you including if it’s looking at $1000? Then you’re at a $3k program. If you want to add in that extra time to really give a buffer, I see coaches that are $3000+. At the end of my business, I was $2500 a month with a program that’s $7500.

Don’t Undervalue Your Services & Knowledge

Michelle: Health coaches have an abundance of certifications and knowledge. I see it all the time. Don’t underscore that. Every time you get a new certification, give yourself raised because that’s additional training. And to be honest, if you were in corporate and you were going above and beyond and getting all these different trainings and certifications, they would be giving you a raise.

Rachel: The biggest thing when we talk about that imposter syndrome is in the beginning, we’re scared to charge. I was charging $197 for the month and struggling, I don’t even know how I made 13k that first year. A lot of overwhelm, a lot of seeing people. But I was charging $197 a month. 

It wasn’t until I really knew what I was offering in each package, who it was for, who was not for. You get to a point where you’re choosing. You know that somebody is not your ideal client, because doing the work with them is going to take you so much more time because you’re researching. It’s just not good. Anyway, outsource that to another coach friend. 

Michelle: I knew what I was including. I didn’t have that shaky feeling when I would say my price was once I believed in it. That’s the other thing is that as a new coach, or even as a seasoned coach, maybe it’s a new program, but do beta testing. Try to get clients even if you have to go at a lower rate to just build up that repertoire of success stories in your mind. I think that’s so important for when we’re working starting prices, and the ones that we are up-leveling to.

It’s so important to know what you specialize in, what kind of results you can give your clients, and what they get out of it. It’s hard to put a value on that, but we shouldn’t undervalue it, that’s for sure.

Rachek: When we think about how to make $60k, $85k and $100k, it’s $597 a month for 10 clients. That comes out to be $71,640 for the year. So it’s when we really get down and dirty. You think $597, Oh, my God is somebody can pay for that? But when you really think of how much you’re giving, go back to what’s included, see how you’re going to package that brilliance to really make it pop and make it a no brainer. Most importantly, know what you’re offering and why because that confidence will come in with that clarity comes confidence in our offers in our packages and our pricing.

Michelle: I always looked at the angle from car payments. People buy and lease cars all the time and car payments can range anywhere from a couple $100 to way more than that. They buy it because one they need to get from point A to point B but also because it is the vehicle that’s going to get them around. They’ll still spend extra expenses. Let’s say they’re buying into coach that’s gonna get them from point A to point B. They still get gas to fuel it, they would go to the grocery store and buy their food. It’s the same concept. If they know that it’s going to help them, they will buy it. And there’s proof that people are doing that every day.

Gain Confidence & Clarity So You Can Charge Your Worth

Rachel: Too often in the beginning, we have all of those really big fears: am I going to get hired by anyone? A big thing that happened for me in that two-year mark when I was struggling to figure out what exactly I was doing and spending a lot of time creating my own programs. And having little kids is I really needed to get to that place where all those fears were running me. I remember the day where I was just like, Screw it. I’m going all in with this. I’m going to charge my worth, I’m going to figure out for each ideal client this pathway that I have for fixing your gut, for detoxing your body, this pathway for food allergies. Just when I got super crystal clear, that was when not only did I feel that I could charge my worth. But people were coming out of the woodwork.

Michelle: Just putting that energy out. And then people receiving that and seeing it so they know she believes in what she’s selling, I believe in it, too. I think that’s super important.

Rachel: What would you say is your biggest advice for pricing?

Michelle: Value yourself. If you really struggle with valuing yourself and believing in yourself, work on that a bit before really setting your price. And if you have to get a coach to help you with that but also reach out to other peers and health coaches and groups and ask them, get some feedback. This is what I plan on offering, what would you charge? Feel people out if you need to build that confidence because you have to value yourself to charge a decent value. If you’re not doing that, chances are there’s some self-belief stuff going on.

Rachel: I love that you brought that up. Because I know for me, self-worth issues have always been really big my big deep work. And that money mindset. I know, some people don’t deal with that internal fear of self, not that internal fear that they won’t get hired. Some people get they have, they’re fearful, but they’re not disabled. And I knew I knew that self-worth stuff was really a biggie for me. And so I always say even if you need to go and hire a health coach to take you through that journey, your business coach or work on the mindset part, but especially that self-worth because the moment that you own our own that and you honor that the price is just going to flow out of your mouth and that confidence will come out.

Michelle: Absolutely. I hired a coach a long time ago to help me with that, because I never realized that I struggled with so many deep-rooted issues from just being a kid when it comes to self-worth and value. So sometimes we sit with things that we don’t even know we have until it shows up in our business. 

Rachel: That’s why I always say building my health and wellness business was the best therapy that I ever went through. Because it will pull on every string that says, oh, no, I don’t think you can do this. You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. All of those Negative Nellies It takes a lot of rewiring. I know most importantly it is in our work to be able to really shine.

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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