129. Why Progress Over Perfection Is Key To Building A Health Coaching Business with Mel Rogers

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Do you know what it truly takes to build your health coaching business from the ground up? I can tell you from personal experience it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Maybe your niche isn’t what you expected it to be, you are struggling to stand out from other coaches, or you are undercharging your worth. It happens to all of us. But I’m here to tell you that building a successful coaching business is about progress, not perfection. 

In today’s episode, I talk to Mel Rogers, a holistic health practitioner on a mission to help women feel amazing in their bodies! Mel is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P), Precision Nutrition Coach, and Pilates trainer with a background in Chinese and herbal medicine (MS). 

We get raw and real about what it takes to build a successful health coaching business. Mel is giving us a behind-the-scenes look at how she built hers! We also talk about why niching down is essential to nail your messaging, how to price and package your offers, and advice for improving your coaching skills. Plus so much more.


Rachel: Hey there, guys, I’m so pumped that you’re back at the Healthy Hustle Podcast. I’ve asked my good friend Mel to come on and talk about her business, how she got started, how she discovered her niche and got really refined in her messaging, which does not happen overnight. So I don’t care if you’re a brand new coach, or you’ve been around the block, it’s always great to hear from another person’s behind the scenes. So Mel, thank you so much for being here.

Mel: Thank you, Rachel, I’m thrilled to be here and thrilled to talk about this process. Because like with my fellow coaches, it is a journey to build your business for sure. Everyone thinks that if they just follow this one process, that it’s going to be perfect. But we go through a lot of changes with our niche, with our ideal client, with our messaging. 

Rachel: So tell me a little about how you decided to become a health coach. I know you’re a functional medicine practitioner as well.

Mel: I’ll try to summarize this in a nutshell. I have a master’s in traditional Chinese medicine. Originally, 20 years ago, I was an acupuncturist but then I got married, we moved around a lot, had kids, and just it was hard to establish a practice when we moved around a lot. 

I loved it but became mom, so I became a Pilates trainer and got really good at that and had a pretty successful career doing that. I always wanting to get back to health coaching. I knew I didn’t want to do acupuncture, I wanted to do more of the virtual lab testing. So I got my precision nutrition certification and my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition certification. So I’m FDN, which is basically the core of my practice. My goal is to work with as many people as possible, but women are my jam.

Rachel: I love that right there. You’re getting specific. When we know our ideal client and we know who they are, what their day looks like, all of the problems that they deal with, and we narrow it down. That’s when we have that profitable business.

Why We Don’t Usually Niche Down In The Beginning

Mel: It’s tough though. I worked in a gym where I had professional athletes come to me for services or 20-year-olds coming to me for services. In the beginning, I was just excited to help anybody and I still am in a way. But I’m getting better and better at narrowing down my messaging and now that I’m really niched down, but if you want to take everybody and you’re excited too. But then you’re like, What am I supposed to say? “Athletes and 20-year-olds come see me.” That’s not a niche or specific and that’s not really talking to your clients. So it was a journey. 

Rachel: I can remember having Rachel’s Wellness, and being in that stage of my business where I didn’t yet choose. I wasn’t so clear on who I was really meant to work with. In the beginning, there is this trial and this process of niching. I was attracting this person who is coming out of inpatient hospitalization and it just was too overwhelming for me. I tried that niche. I also tried more of a mindset coach, but it always came back to the gut stuff for me. 

I got more clear on what I wanted to be known for, but specifically what the problem is that our client actually lacked. That took me two years. And that was going to be that breaking point where I quit, because I kept saying things like, I’m a digestive health coach, and not hearing what people’s real problem were. I knew the symptoms but that’s different from the problem and why that person buys or why they think they have a problem, right? 

They come to you for what they think is a problem, not what you think their problem is. And that’s a tricky part to really understand. When you’re niching out and saying, I want to optimize your health in all ways –but people aren’t coming to me saying I really want to optimize my health. They’re coming to you for a specific problem. So that transition where you went from really seeing a lot of different kinds of people to more specific –I know that you also see men in your practice as well.

How Your Niche Evolves With The Pain Points Of Your Clients

Mel: I do. I would say this is primarily because of my extensive background in fitness and the Human Performance Center gym that I work at. I know some professional athletes just naturally come to me for stuff, but what happened really when I first started was I had all different types of people coming. I really was trying to be like Okay, a little bit of gut health, a little bit of hormone health, and I was like, Okay, I’m gonna do hormones. Happy hormones. I still love hormones and hormones is the foundation of so much work that I do. 

Then, I was starting to get woman after woman coming to me and the first thing out of their mouth was, I have gained weight, or I can’t seem to lose the weight, or I used to be able to do all these things and now what I’m doing doesn’t work anymore. I can’t lose weight. 

On about the fifth or sixth discovery call that I had, I was like, alright, Universe, I’m listening. This is a niche. It’s people’s pain point that brings them in to see me. We know as health coaches we’re going to work on gut health, we’re going to work on down the path that they need. Attract them with what they want, lead them down the path they need. 

But that was hard for me, Rachel, because there’s a stigma with weight loss and with the anti-diet culture especially iin the fitness world. So I come to it as we all deserve to be a healthy weight. We know that metabolic health, especially in today’s day and age, is more and more important. Obesity rates are rising. 

Rachel: It took all those things in your messaging to show that you’re not just a trendy detox weight loss plan or whatever. 

Mel: But it was triggering to even choose it because it can have a connotation. 

Rachel: What was the moment that pushed you to just say, this is what I meant to do?

Mel: I guess it was about that fifth or sixth client in a row. I had a couple of months in and they said I’m here for weight loss. I thought, I’ve spent my whole life either professionally dancing, teaching Pilates, or optimizing health. I just was like this is it, because I can do everything else under this category. But it’s still niched down. It’s still specific, and it’s a pain point that people feel. 

Let’s be honest, sometimes vanity can bring people into Holistic Health. I had horrible acne as a kid and teenager. That’s what got me into Holistic Health. Yes, I had digestive problems. Of course, we know it’s related. But what really got me into it was the having acne on my skin. So it’s like whatever brings people in so that I can help them on a deeper, transformative level. 

How To Stand Out From Other Similar Coaches

Rachel: The biggest question that every coach always has is, how do I stand out from the rest? What has helped you to formulate this system in this process that you have?

Mel: I would say speaking from the heart, first and foremost, and making sure that people understand that you understand the plight –either because you can speak the language and how they describe their problem or because you’ve had that problem yourself. 

I’ve struggled with my own weight multiple times throughout my life. I’ve never been extremely overweight, but I’ve definitely struggled my way. I definitely understand what it’s like to have that middle spread over 40. But also, I’ve had all the symptoms that coincide with weight gain, which hormonal issues, acne, bloating, gas. So making sure that you’re speaking their language. I’m still working on getting better with messaging. 

One of the things that stands out with me, besides my Chinese medicine background and my deep herbal knowledge, is the emotional aspect. I’m really trying to coach people a moderation lifestyle without counting calories, but also being mindful of food sensitivities and bridging the gap between, you can’t have gluten, dairy, and all these things and instead going with intuitive eating. Eat whatever you want. I’m trying to bridge that cycle of food psychology with actionable functional nutrition. I think that is where I’m trying to stand out in the industry as well.

How To Package Your Offers

Rachel: How do you package your brilliance? What have you found that’s really worked to package your offers? Because I know you do testing as well.

Mel: Yes. So becoming a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner FDN was life-changing, because I can run lab tests as well. Honestly, I have to say that has been a game changer because I had definitely utilized your programs and done health coaching. I didn’t have my acupuncture license. I wasn’t doing that for a few years, but when I got my FDN and was able to give actionable data to clients that way, it was great. 

It also revitalizes interest in what I do. People saw me as more than just a Pilates trainer who has this weird herbal medicine background. It was very actionable. So that really helped to offer labs because that’s our starting place. We get labs and then we apply the FDM principles of dress, diet, rest, exercise, stress relief, and supplementation. Each of those categories have a ton of nuance. 

Then I’m working with a system called moderation 365, which is a co system created by Joel Coleman. It is about tactical tools to navigate the middle with food and food psychology. I like to start people with that right away. Instead of going with the food sensitivities and cutting things out, we start off with what navigating the middle looks like. It’s trying to end food obsession. It’s trying to end the yo-yo dieting, and really be in the moment with what our food choices are. It’s a little more tactical, intuitive eating no, there are more actionable steps. 

I’d say those foundational processes in my system make it pretty unique. Then it’s the follow-up coaching. It’s moving on into nutrition, protein, fat, and fiber, your pff is your BFF. All these little things and then creating metabolic flexibility. Yes, we know calorie deprivation can make you lose weight. But if you are always in a deficit, if your adrenals are shot, if you have hormonal imbalances, it’s going to provide this metabolic chaos. 

So we want to provide metabolic flexibility, where we have low caloric times and then regular caloric times without being too anal about caloric counting. We’re just letting the metabolism become flexible, not fast, but flexible. So that’s another focus of the program. And then optimizing adrenals, gut, health, mineral, all that all of that so that you can have the best shot at your metabolism. My program is called Metabolism Reboot for a reason. You want to be able to have a metabolism that can handle whatever life throws at you. And that’s having all of everything function properly.

Rachel: Let’s even talk about hormones and weight in the 40s. Do you think that a lot of the clarity with your niche was also that you got to a different age, and you’re attracting women where this was their biggest pain point?

Mel; It was affecting their confidence and intimacy. When you start to gain weight, a lot of these women that were coming to me relatively had not too many issues with their weight for 20s and 30s. Right, or maybe they had kids and they never really regained themselves since then. After 40 there can be a big shift and there are many many reasons for it. Our fluctuating hormones starting to go into pre perimenopause, you can have estrogen dominance. All the different days, I sit there and I go, Okay, is it estrogen dominance today? Have I had enough progesterone? What the hell is going on? So it’s complicated, it needs to be individualized and customized for sure. And it can fluctuate among individual people. But there are some nonnegotiables. 

Rachel: Getting the foundations down is really important when you’re over 40 because you don’t sleep, your hormones are wack and your cravings are up. If you’re not drinking enough water, you’re gonna get dehydrated headaches. What you used to get away with your body’s is different. Your monthly cycles almost punish you more when you’re not on track. So we get those foundations down first. How is your sleep? Are you moving enough? What’s your water intake before we even tackle the nutrition side? And Christian philosophy with your coaching?

Mel: That’s a really good question. First of all, I think it should be customized because no perfect plan means anything if the person can’t adhere to it. I tend to have the protein fat and fiber sort of mantra, your PFF is your BFF. So really prioritizing protein especially with women over 40. Prioritizing protein every meal, making sure you’re getting enough fiber, but if you have gut issues, we have to get gentle. Healthy fats and then carb timing if significant weight loss is an issue. 

Rachel: So maybe nutrient-dense carbs after working out or more in the evening? 

Mel: No, it’s not a no carb. I don’t I don’t necessarily recommend keto. But it’s individualized to the person and what we think they can do like carb cycling based on that individual person. 

Rachel: Because I found that when I think about anti-diet, I think when we can really learn to master blood sugar, which I know for me has always been an issue in my life. Hypoglycemic, high sugars, totally correlated to my adrenals and my overdue personality, which I will say this past two years has been such a bitch. It brought me to my knees on seeing the level of care that I need in my 40s. I just turned 47 and I thought, Wow, the last two years, I’ve needed to take care of myself so differently from what I’ve done before.

Mel: Absolutely. I’m 45 and I hear you. These last two years have been a mirror up to you know what you need to do in order to thrive 100%. So it’s not about deprivation, it’s not about extremes, but it’s about talent, and finding what works for you and your lifestyle.

Rachel: I always say, if cortisol levels are really high, there’s going to be weight. There’s just no way to have these cortisol levels that are skyrocketing without affecting your blood sugar. 

Why Mel Always Starts With Foundations

What packaging do you do for a person that’s coming to you with 20 different problems? They’ve got blood sugar, they’ve got hormonal issues and cortisol level. Do you have a nice way of pulling apart these different issues? Or do you really focus them first on the foundation, no matter what?

Mel: I focus first on the foundation, no matter what because quite often, if they’re that askew, so to speak, their foundations are off. First and foremost, my results sessions for my labs are 90 minutes. But if we go over everything, we go over like big picture stuff. But if I have them implement everything that we’re going to be doing in the next six months, it would be too much for them. So it has to be tactical, which is why I really don’t like working with anyone less than three months. Six months is ideal. 

Right now, I have two programs, I’m dealing with Metabolism Reboot and then Total Transformation. I’m looking to fuse them and just have one because I know what it takes. I know the time that it takes to get enough results so that they could potentially move on their own. Because they learn all the tools. 

But I would say the testing, you have to get your adrenals because when you are either depleted or skyrocketing cortisol, for example, no matter what protocol is really going to work. It’s sort of like a foundation.

Rachel: I’ve been in that place. I would say last year I went through and I saw a lot of entrepreneurs all over Instagram all over YouTube talking about burnout. I think everyone just through that uncertain time, we won’t even say the word. But that time just did a lot of pivoting. And pivoting requires a lot of thinking and a lot of doing. 

I know that I put myself into an overdoing Tizzy and got to that place where nothing was working. Ot was one of my writers, one of my hormone writers said to me you’ve got to just really pull back and take care of your adrenals. Don’t work out. Maybe a little yoga, some stretching, and I’m not a Yoga Girl. But I hated her advice. Because I was hiring all these doctors, I was hiring all these different people and nothing was really working.

Mel: It’s not like they were misdiagnosing. It was your body in flight or flight mode, they can’t do anything else. So I would say adrenals are one of the most foundational besides getting that lifestyle habit foundational piece, for sure. 

Then when you’re overtaxed with stress, you’re not going to detox properly. But you also make sure detox channels can open, so making sure you’re pooping every day and sweating and all of those good things before we do a gut protocol. So those are the foundations to get your body actually prepped to be able to detoxify.

I’m still working on developing video tutorials. When you first go with me right now everything is done one on one, but I’ve got so many ideas to create even better, more of a system for yourself. 

Rachel: When you create that system, all of a sudden, you can take on more people.

Mel: Exactly. So that is sort of the next step for me, I would say from a business standpoint is getting some system in place where you’re gonna watch this video before we meet but recognizing what we have to do, either way. 

Whether I’ve got this fancy video for you to watch first or we’re doing everything in live sessions. Get your basics, get your adrenals, get your detox pathways open. And then, what’s your stool test? Balancing your minerals and all of that. So it really depends on the person which is why I still work mostly one on one to customize. 

I love your Sugar Detox. I have run little group programs like that when I’m doing testing. I haven’t quite gotten to a space where I’ve done group testing. I’ve done a little bit, but I think one just to get it customizable. What do they need first? What do they need second? Because some people’s detox pathways are great. You want to make sure they understand and they’re educated on it. For some people that takes two, three weeks to get that going. 

The Struggle Behind Pricing

Rachel: Let me ask you something, and you don’t need to go into your specific pricing. But what was your struggle on actually pricing your programs? Because we all see everyone’s prices and we say all these wonderful things, but what behind the scenes money issues come up or self worth issues? What were some of the things that come to light when you are putting a number on that stuff?

Mel: This is such a great question, I have to say that I have had so many good business mentors and influences in my life that have helped me to come to the point where I am now. I’m still a work in progress. I’ve been in the fitness industry and health industry for 20 years, but I’m two years into my FDM business specifically with lab testing. 

Rachel: So between you and your products, I’ve worked with others and I listen to other podcasts. A big sticking point for everyone is why I’m saying this, is knowing what you’re worth. 

I started off with figuring out what I wanted my hourly rate to be how long it would take me to do most things, knowing that in the beginning was gonna take me a little longer. I always say this, you have to know your hourly rate. It’s just a no brainer.

Mel: Yes. And that’s hard to do at first because I know my hourly trainer rate, which varies if it’s at a gym, or if it’s at someone’s house. Because it’s higher if it’s someone’s house. In the beginning, you take so much longer to do everything you’re like, Okay, well, I’m gonna give a few hours for free and then you’re overdelivering. You just are just like, it just took me so long to do test interpretation. Everything took so long. 

Obviously, getting systems is why I’ve invested in so many different business courses and mentors because I’m trying to get better and better at that. Because if you’ve never been a business owner, you don’t have those practices in place. And then obviously, the tests of the lab, the cost of the labs have always included. 

And then maybe three times a year, I’ve raised my prices, and that usually was when I had a handful of clients. Always at the beginning of the year, sometimes in the summer, and then potentially in the fall. Now that could be a small increment, it could be tweaking with lab tests, I decided to do how many sessions first. I paid like 20 sessions, my first my biggest package and realized that that was too much. But I narrowed it down. 

How To Get Better At Coaching

Rachel: I like that’s not enough and you also get better at coaching. So,go with that. You just said that, because I think that you get better at coaching is such a big thing. We think that it’s going to be just perfect in the beginning. And that fear of imperfection often stops somebody from coaching. 

I remember the first time that I went to meet somebody for coaching, and I had this binder of handouts, and they were falling all over the place. I didn’t even know the structure of my session. I had no idea but I was like, I’m gonna figure this out. It pushed me to actually create those systems because that pain of not knowing how you’re going to run a session, or what are the things that you’re going to talk about, or that system that you’ve even described, it’s like, this is where we start, this is the next step. This is the next step. We follow this protocol and it gives a guide for analyzing. 

It forced me to really get programs in place, and also to really understand what I believed. What I believed is that you needed to detox first before you could fix your gut. So my process was always that process. When we narrow that down and we coach, even if we are just doing sessions for free with friends and family to practice, we have to get those coaching skills together.

Mel: You’re so right, Rachel. Because it’s overwhelming. At first, no matter how much training you have, you’re just gonna feel tension, awkward. 

Questions like, do you feel any improvements are needed? What have been your struggles? How are the supplements going? Let’s look at your protocol. Like that part’s good. Like that’s 10-15 minutes unless they’re a real big talker. You have to watch out for those. 

Right now my coaching sessions are 30 minutes but I allow for 45 and almost always run over, but they have a buffer. But I don’t make them 45, because then I feel like they’re gonna run into an hour. We really want to keep it sustained. 

Back to the new business –it’s overwhelming. Going through Jill Coleman’s Margins is extreme 65 because it gave me a framework for the food coaching aspect and the emotional aspect of it. Using your handouts is so helpful for guidelines, and people always like handouts, even just something to look at visually. 

How To Connect With & Listen To Your Clients

To be able to connect with a client, though, that’s where I think the real skill set comes in. It takes time, you just have to do that to get to that place where you’re hearing right. You can’t have the inner chatter going on. If the inner chatter is going on, and the I don’t know, what I’m doing is going on, and the inner critic and all of those things, that’s impossible. You become that coach that’s like, we’re talking about this, then this, then this and this, and there’s no flow. 

There’s no intuitive responses, because I think that’s the part where coaching comes into play is really being able to feel what somebody is going through and listening. I always have a rule when I do a discovery call, or when I would be working with somebody, how many times they would repeat a certain word or a certain problem. I would always count them. 

I would say maybe you didn’t realize, but you didn’t even include on the form, that this was a problem. And yet, you’ve mentioned this six times. So really listening and being able to pull it out. Coaches being able to pull out these areas that  clients don’t always say. Drop into your heart center, try to eliminate the chatter, listen, a lot. 

And then what I have improved upon lately is asking questions instead of giving advice. So we have our protocol, we can check in on that, blah, blah, blah, but then when we dip down into that heart-centered, how are they doing? What struggles are they having? 

Listen more, which is hard for coaches to do, I think we want to keep regurgitating information and facts and knowledge and information. Listen more, and then ask questions to get them to uncover their mental blocks, or have that aha moment. I’m really starting to ask more questions and let them uncover things, and then at the end, maybe summarize when we’re handling emotional aspects. And that’s been a new coaching win for me.

Reframing Questions To Help Clients See Their Mindset Blocks

Rachel: What are some of the questions that you have infused into your coaching sessions?

Mel: I would say it’s more about the topic that they’re speaking about. I had a client and we’re working with her through food obsession issues and really being hard on ourselves. So she’s saying I just feel like, I’ve been so lazy, I just can’t get off the rock. I can’t get out for a walk. I’m all or nothing.

I said, Okay, well, what would it feel like if you told yourself, you don’t have to be all or nothing? Well, it would feel like I would not feel as hard on myself. I said, what would it feel like if you were happy with one walk a week? Well, it’d be good, it would be a relief. Okay. So what is stopping you from scheduling one walk this week? That was the way I was going. I take what they’re saying and then I try to reframe it and ask questions to get them to dig.

Whether I’ve worked with a coach or whether I’ve been in therapy, it just takes a person reframing something, and then you are sitting there going, I can’t believe I just said, I don’t have any time for this. I know my self worth and self esteem issues that I struggled with for a long time really impacted my self-care. 

So there are times that I get squirrely, which I think we all get and we just don’t talk about as much. When I get squirrely, I would see all those self care habits go down. It wasn’t until I sat there and it came out of my mouth. I’m not committing to this, I’m not doing this. I’m not doing this. It was just a person reframing and said, Well, what if you actually gave yourself a break and it didn’t feel like you had this long to-do list? And just said, Well, here’s one hour of my day, and then the person was like, and when do you think you could actually schedule that one hour a day? What’s realistic?

All those questions came from you, she’s just prompting the questions. That’s where I think good coaching comes in. That’s my new focus now is framing the question, making it into a different and helping that person to see that this is just old garbage and old mindset stuff, but making them come to that conclusion by the questioning.

Why Progress Over Perfection Is Important

Rachel: I love it. Before we wrap up, what would be your biggest advice to that coach who is five years into their business and they’re still struggling, or that brand new coach, that person who hasn’t figured it out yet out of probably out of their own fear, but hasn’t figured it out?

Mel: I would say first progress over perfection. So your niche, I get it, you might have so many different ideas, or you want to be considered weight loss, I want to be considered more serious. But just pick something. It’s okay to change it down the road. Pick something and get into the shoes of that person. Really do the work, whether you invest in business coaching, which I really, really recommend, or just do your own work on your own avatar. Try to speak their language. I think that’s number one. 

Also, you got to do all the things. I’m a single mom, I’m super busy. I have limited time in the afternoon driving around but I try to say, what’s my one actionable thing today or my two actionable things this week that will move the needle? That’s being consistent on social media,  reaching out sometimes in person, getting out there and practicing speaking and writing to your email list. 

Just start doing – progress over perfection I would say. 

Rachel: What’s so interesting is you just now, down to the basics, the foundation and so not only does it seem like this is something that you do with your clients, but it’s something that you’ve learned to do in business to really get those basics set first so you can build off of that. 

I’ve had help along the way since the beginning but it can take one or two years to even get your niche down and  feel like you’re not completely overwhelmed with what’s to be helped or seen or seen by everyone under the sun. 

Mel: Exactly. I’m still in a business course right now but I know what I need to get done and I know what my goals are with the business in terms of my messaging or marketing. I know all that and that’s really helpful. 

I would say, Rachel your Done For You stuff is so helpful and it really takes a lot of the work out. Now trust me I always make it my own. I definitely don’t just send it out as is but it has been really helpful when time is a commodity, is the enemy. Especially if you’re doing this part time or you’re a single mom or you’re just busy in life or you’ve got a health issue. Time is always the enemy.

Rachel: I love how you broke it down step by step and so easily. Your business and your behind the scenes. Any coach who is saying how is this possible, how am I going to do this? It’s most important to do it without perfection and consistency. It can mean one email a month and three posts a week. That’s good, that’s something, that’s consistency. It will get easier. 

One foot in front of the other, just keep plugging along is really my best advice because I have to forgive myself for not getting to my to-do list all the time but you get it like oh, she had braces she was in pain for four days she needed TLC. But throw that to-do list out the window and just move on. 

I always prioritize serving my clients, making sure their sessions and their follow me all the half twos are done in terms of building the business which is more like their to do list. It never ends, like you guys are gonna end your to do list will never end. So it’s okay if something gets pushed to the next day because it’ll be there. It’ll be there for 10 years.

It’s just about learning how to refine the process. I think that’s the biggest thing that really saved me and helped me make money even in that year one when I was charging under my worth. I don’t even know how I made $13,000 charging $197 for a month. Oh man, it was crazy. 

So anyway, talking about money mindset issues. It was back then that I really got myself into being consistent on social media and made sure I was sending a newsletter, like really not even the blog thing. I think I decided I’m going to blog once a week, like very simple. But I made sure that each of those pillars were said, because I knew that I would be able to build off of that.

Mel: Absolutely, you just got to start somewhere. I purchased your 30 days of blog posts, and usually just completely added or gutted whatever. 

Rachel: Yes, it’s a template. And that’s what we give our clients as well when we’re coaching with them. We’re giving them templates for their success and helping them to find that individual blueprint.

Give Your Clients Simplicity & Value

Mel: One more thing I want to say. Buying your coaching services is to make it more simple for your clients. Because you want it more simple. When you’re trying to learn your business, the best business coaching gives you step by step and doesn’t give you it all at once, and refines it. We have to do that for our clients and that’s been a learning lesson because you want to give them value. But if they’re overwhelmed, they will do nothing.

I can’t tell you how many times I made that mistake, but it was then learning that I was over giving. Because I wanted to fix everything so fast, but learning that it’s human nature and human behavior is not that way.

You have to learn how people learn and how people make adaptations and changes to their habits and lifestyle. I’m still learning that I’m a work in progress. Because I’m actually looking at where I’ve come and how far I’ve come. It’s been nice. I have come a long way in two years, slash 20 years. But then I know where I want to go, I know what I’m working on. So just always know where you’re going, what you’re working on. But it’s going to be progress over perfection, because that’s just life.

Rachel: The biggest advice if you’re struggling with your own health issues, or how to hire a coach?

Mel: Yes, sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a business coach. Sometimes you just need to learn how to take care of your health issues. And how somebody else is approaching that process with a person and to be on the other side as a client. You’re

Rachel: Absolutely. If you need a health practitioner coach, if you need a mentor in the actual work of what you’re doing to help you, or if you want a business coach, any and all of that is highly recommended. Done For You programs can help you out so you start somewhere so you’re not totally blank slating everything, because you will put your own spice and end up turning into the adrenal fatigue woman or guy because you’re not going to help anybody if you don’t put your oxygen mask on yourself first. Don’t be afraid to talk about your problems out loud on social media. My gut flared up today. They want to know you’re human. 

That was one of the biggest assets that I learned is just to be transparent in my own issues, and not to have that fear that I needed to be perfect with my health issues. Because that took time to get sick, it took time to go well,

Mel: You’re great at that. You’re always talking real about your health issues, and I’m trying to get more real about my health issues. Because I think the most successful coaches and practitioners out there have been there. We don’t want to go to somebody that has no issues or never had or is perfect. You want someone who’s working on their health and takes it seriously. You don’t want someone who has like this perfect body of training is really with fitness. They may never understand what it was like to have to gain or lose 10 pounds

Rachel: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. Make sure you go back and listen to this episode. It was raw. It was real, talking about the truth of what it takes to build your business but most importantly, progress not perfection was the theme. 

Mel: Thank you so much for having me. This is a blast.

Rachel: Alright guys, take it easy and see you next time.

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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