155. Overcoming Your Fear So Your Business Can Succeed with Amber Shaw

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Every single business owner has a different journey toward success and how you achieve success (and what success looks like to you) will differ from your peers. But no matter what you went through or what you offer, if you’re in alignment and are providing a solution to a problem people need to solve, you can absolutely build a successful business! 

Today I am talking to rockstar health coach and business maven, Amber Shaw, who built an incredible business helping women over 40 stop dieting and transform their lives, love their bodies and create lasting results. Amber is sharing her journey from navigating an unhealthy relationship with her body to building a business helping other women overcome similar issues. 

During our conversation, we talked about everything from turning pain into purpose, finding self-healing by overcoming your fears, why success is about creating habits, the importance of list building and showing up for your people, and so much more. 

Connect with Amber:

Website: www.ambershaw.com
Free Gift: www.ambershaw.com/fasting 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msambershaw/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msambershaw 
TikTok: @msambershaw 


Rachel: I’m terribly excited to have this amazing Rockstar of a woman here today. I have known this coach, how long have I known you Amber?

Amber: I think it’s a few years now, because I came to you when I was first getting going.

Rachel: Okay, so a few years, but it seems like I’ve known her for a lifetime. She’s one of those people that is definitely like a sister to me. I’m extremely excited because I begged her to talk to coaches about how you created a successful business with a behind the scenes. We always  love to hear from somebody who is doing it successfully. Amber, tell everyone a little about you.

Amber: Well, first of all, you didn’t really have to beg me. I say all the time that you are definitely one of my OG mentors and still somebody that I look to for advice. And I am still learning so much. So I really look to you to continue to guide me and I appreciate you. 

Having An Unhealthy Relationship With Her Body At A Young Age

It’s really funny. I think that most coaches in this business are like, how we got to what we’re doing today was really a windy and bumpy road. I don’t think I first started off being like, oh, I want to be a health coach.  I think this is what makes us the best kind of coaches is drawing from experience. But a little bit about my journey, from the age of 10 years old, I started having a very unhealthy relationship with my body and myself. 

Rachel: I will just raise a hand and say my first diet was 11 years old. My daughter is 13 and I can’t even imagine if she dieted.

Amber: My daughter is 11. I can’t even imagine if she were to talk to me about calories. It’s just mind-blowing to me. But from a very young age, I got this overwhelming sense that I was not okay. The body I was in as a 9, 10,11 year old girl was just not progressing for me which led to a kind of a lifetime of having a very unhealthy relationship with my body constantly bouncing from one diet to the next. 

I learned to attach my value and my worth to that number on the scale, to what size I was, to how I looked. For me, it was really hard because it wasn’t like I was ever an overweight child. I was a cheerleader and in track.  When people hear my story, they’re like, really? I never knew all that was going on with you. Because that’s not what they saw. Isn’t that just the case pretty much and everything in life? It’s not what we saw. That was not the front that I put on. I put on this front. 

I always say that I’m a very strong and confident and secure woman. But underneath it all. That was not really the case. So this led to me in my 20s really engaging in a lot of unhealthy behaviors, a lot of drugs or alcohol, a lot of bulimia. I was just trying to find all of these things to fill a void in my life. 

I’ve come to realize at the age of 43, and through a lot of therapy, that the void in my life was just really how I felt about myself. I didn’t really love myself. So all of this just progressed into my 20s. I was able to seek help professionally for the binging and purging. I physically healed but I didn’t mentally heal a lot. 

Rachel: I can’t believe that you just said that. I love that so much. 

The Importance Of Getting To The Root Of The Problem

Amber: We had put out an anti-diet program, and when I read it, and I was like going through it, there were tears because the eating disorder that I had was like my first baby blanket around not liking myself. I healed the binging and the purging, I healed that part. But there was still an emptiness inside. Sure that’s what so much of that weight loss culture promotes. So many people think it’s like a fix it all but then you don’t realize that there’s all this healing, too.

Diets are just a band aid for when we don’t get. That’s the whole problem. There’s a whole other tangent we could go on but diets don’t get to the root problem of what’s really going on for most overeating issues. What’s the why? If we don’t address the why, and this is so much of the methodology, and what I’ve been leaning into in my coaching is addressing the why first. 

If you are somebody that has weight loss goals or somebody who’s got some health goals, what diet culture teaches us with the nutrition, with the exercise, and honing in on –that’s the bandaid. That’s putting the cart before the horse. You’re not getting to the root of the problem. 

So that’s exactly what happened to me. I didn’t get to the root of the problem. Fast forward to now, I’m in my 30s and I get pregnant with my first baby and gain 70 pounds. I was eating everything. I was like, Scott, go to the bakery, get everything. It was disgusting. I was preeclamptic. 

And it’s because I really didn’t know I was doing it at the time. I used my pregnancy as an excuse for a nine-month binge. That is what I did. So after I had my first baby, I did lose the weight. But it was super unhealthy. I was doing all these crazy, long term detoxes, I was basically just starving myself. It was gross. And then just rinse and repeat with my second baby. 

Fast forward to, and this is really what kickstarted me to start my business, I was in a period of my life, which I now know, completely changed the trajectory of my life. I was turning 40, I was in a very successful, very lucrative sales job that I had built for 18 years. But I was so unsatisfied. My marriage was falling apart. I knew that a divorce was kind of on the horizon and I was very broken, I was very unhappy. 

Turning Your Pain Into Purpose

So I really started this spiritual journey of how do we fix this? This is not in alignment with my higher self. This is not who I am supposed to be. And then the bigger question is, how do I turn all of this pain into purpose? And I just fell to my knees. It was a very pivotal moment in Costa Rica, where I’d taken a solo trip for my 40th birthday, a year before I was planning on doing a whole Girls Gone Wild trip to Cozumel with my girlfriends. But I was like that’s not what I need right now.

And I ended up going on this trip. And the intention for that trip was really just what’s the next step in my life? In particular, what’s the next step in my career? Again, with this underlying question of like, all of this that I’m going through, God, what’s the purpose? I know you have me here and at that time reading a very pivotal book in my life by a mentor of mine that was like full circle. Just few months ago, I got to have her on my podcast so pumped about but Gabby Bernstein wrote a book called The Universe Has Your Back and it’s just all about really leaning into believing and trusting in God and spirit universe, whatever that higher power you believing is that they have your back, that you’re at the place at the time. 

So I was meditating on the beach and really asking the question, “What am I supposed to do?” And it was such a divine moment and hit me like a ton of bricks. I just wrote down the word coach. I was like, okay, okay, I’m supposed to coach like, Coach what? I knew in my core that I was supposed to coach women. I knew that. I felt that in my core. I wasn’t sure how I knew that. I did feel like it was because nutrition and fitness have always been a passion of mine. 

Because I’m a doer and I’m not going to waste any time, I immediately look back with the intention of enrolling in IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I’m just going to get the ball rolling. I’m going to start this as a side hustle. And through this journey of even just making that simple step. It really started the process of me also starting to heal myself with nutrition and was stopping the dieting and really starting to look at food differently from more of a functional medicine standpoint, for more of an integrative point. I know that’s why you and I are so much aligned, Rachel. I know that’s what your whole background going into that journey. 

Going through IIN helped me to slow down. I’m still not doing yoga ever. I swear. IIN was always like, do yoga, but I will tell you like breathwork and all the things that I learned really helped me to start that healing process for myself. 

And I did have that wake up moment where I was like, my kids had a lot of food allergies, a lot of mystery stuff going on and I was like, they’re only babies. I looked at my own experience and realize that I needed to coach similar to you, I had no idea how I would do it.

At the time, I didn’t really even know that I was really going to be doing what I do now, which is helping women over 40 to achieve sustainable weight loss. I use the word sustainable, meaning teaching women have stopped the dieting, teaching women that they can live a lifestyle, where they’re enjoying and feeling satisfied with healthy nutritious foods, and they are no longer a slave to food and no longer in that vicious loop of dieting and feeling miserable in their body.

I hear a lot of coaches say this, but I think that when I started opening up, and really leaning into my experiences and my relationship with food and all that I went through, it allowed me just to be a better coach. It just found its way to me. 

We’ve talked about this before, what kind of really catapulted my business when I launched in 2019, I bought a domain for a website and I had a website built out. And I always laugh about this because I can remember being on the weekly calls for your membership and just in tears being like, Rachel, I just spent five grand on a website. And the site is gorgeous but there’s been so many iterations. 

This is one of the things that I always share with new coaches, and you preach this all the time, which is you do not need a $5,000 website when you are first starting out. I wish I had realized that because when you’re first starting out, you don’t even know what you’re doing. You don’t even know your niche. It always ends up morphing over time and practice. And here I am two and a half years later, and I feel like I am just now really settling into my groove of who I coach, the transformation that I not only promised but what lights me up. And that’s where I’ve been able to really find my way back to a lot of the mindset piece of it, which is really in alignment. 

But in the beginning and 2019 I spent all this money writing all these programs doing all of that. And I knew nothing about really what I was supposed to be doing. 

Rachel: Well, I think the hard part about it in the beginning is your niche is usually a soul niche. It’s something that’s come to you but you don’t know how to explain it to somebody else. 

Amber: Exactly.

Rachel: The promise of what you want to offer. So we just get into the state of overwhelm. Yes, for me, I started out as an emotional eating coach focusing on the gut And it became so much I actually said to my husband, I was like, I am getting triggered too much by this. Because I was getting girls out of Renfro. And it was just a little too intense for me. Wouldn’t be the same today. 

So I was a gut coach with a focus on weight loss, because I was like, Well, if you heal your gut, you’re going to start losing weight. I started to be able to understand what my system and my process was, but that didn’t come overnight. I think about that first two years struggle and it was definitely a struggle to find my voice.

Amber: Yes. 1,000%. There’s so much that goes along with that. I think in the first couple years, it’s also like, number one, what can contribute to that overwhelm, too is in the beginning, at least the first couple years there’s there’s a sense of fragility. You think your business is so fragile because it kind of is. You’re trying to build your following and all of that. When you constantly have this mindset of like, oh my gosh, my business is fragile. If I don’t post every single day, if I’m not consistent, it will fall apart. 

The Difference Between Hustling & Otherthinking Your Fear

But you can get to that point, especially after a couple years where like, Okay, I’ve built up enough of a following, I’ve built up enough of a business here to where I can relax into this a little bit. Because my business isn’t going to fold, my business isn’t going to go away. I can relax into this, which I think is hard. 

Rachel: They say good things come to those who hustle. But I would say, in that beginning stage of any business, it takes one to three years to build a book. That’s in any business. It’s really a level of grit and hustle in the beginning. I know that this is going to disrupt the feathers of people listening to this, but it’s one of the reasons why I called this the Healthy Hustle. 

I have not seen anybody who sits there and takes a rest and you can stop hustling at that next stage of the business. In that beginning part. I think what contributes to that Hustle is there’s a difference between working and there’s a difference between overthinking and fear. And overthinking and you’re fearful. And you’ve got just like anybody, impostor syndrome. Maybe for someone like you, it’s a little less because sales was part of your main job before. But I would say for the majority of people, that is scary. Building a business is scary. When we get to that place where we are in that groove, we can take that pause and say I have enough content that I’ve created. We’ve learned how to repurpose content on multiple platforms, that isn’t as much pulling the strings anymore.

Amber: I know, in the beginning, even recording a Tik Tok video or writing a post on Instagram you can get in your own way. In the beginning, I could spend an hour writing a post and now I’m like, Man, if I can’t knock this out in 15 minutes, I have to move on.

What Social Platform Worked In The Beginning Of Her Business

Rachel: Well tell everyone listening, what was the social platform that really worked for you? This is gonna be different for each person but I always love to know what worked for each coach.

Amber: So it’s definitely TikTok. What’s really interesting talking about the evolution of my business is I launched my long term business by turning on a $5,000 website. I had no clients, no social media. This was like November 2019. 

Well, I really had no idea that the pandemic would happen. Obviously, nobody knows. In March 2020, I got sent home from the sales job. And this is when I was just having to work from home and because I am a hustler, and I’m always going to be trying to figure out ways to get things going, I watched this marketer talk about TikTok and talk about how TikTok was really the wild wild west of social media. 

At that point, I had been posting pretty consistently on Instagram, but I had like, 300 followers, they were all my friends. I was like, this is for the birds. I need to get some growth here. But I was terrified at this stage of my life. I had never even taken a selfie of myself. I wasn’t gonna record video, I was so insecure, so no way doing a Live on Facebook terrified me. It’s mind blowing to me now of how much I’ve healed myself over the last couple of years of being much more comfortable with that. 

What Happens When You Decide Your Drive To Succeed Is Greater Than Your Fear

But anyway, I decided that my drive to succeed was greater than my fear. I had a little chit chat with myself, I need to put on my big girl panties. I needed to just do this and so I started putting content on Tik Tok. Simultaneously, I really got niched down. I hired a business coach and she started helping me set up some of the backend processes like a funnel, a freebie. 

I had a way to get people off of TikTok  and into my funnel, I think that’s what’s key because so many people who have a video do well on social or they maybe even grow their platform really big and they don’t have anywhere for people to go. That’s a big mistake. So I had a place for people to go. I had a video. And I was just putting up content, slowly growing a following and then had about 3000 followers, which I thought at that point, I was like, that’s amazing. This is great. 

Then in June of 2020, I had a video that went viral. And it just catapulted me. I swear, within five or six months I grew a six figure business. It was crazy. But I will say, that wasn’t dumb luck. I’m a hustler. 

Rachel: Okay, I want to remind coaches to listen to what you just said, because you were scared. You made a decision that your fear was not going to overwhelm your ability to show up, and you just start showing up and showing up consistently.

Finding Self-Healing By Overcoming Your Fears

Amber: And let me tell you what that did for me too. And I think about this a lot. It was me actually getting on Tik Tok, and doing videos and constantly having to see myself on video. Actually, a self healing thing happened for me, because I went from watching myself on video picking apart every part of my body, my face, everything, and really just hating on myself. I eventually got to this point where I could watch video and be like, Oh, I like that girl. Her friends like her. And it was really a self-healing thing.

So yes, I think that putting yourself out there, whether it’s on video or doing posts about yourself, being vulnerable is hard. It’s scary. But that’s what people connect to. 

Rachel: When you start a business, it’s like therapy. You push past fears and inner thoughts. 

Amber: I had to face all those inner thoughts of like, Do I sound stupid? Do I look pretty? Do I look thin enough? All that stuff I had to really put to the side. And in that process of putting that to the side, finding the other more loving thoughts.

Rachel: 100%. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I’m glad you highlight that. But I think it’s true. When you let fears get in the way, that’s going to stop you from being consistent. If you look at somebody who’s successful, and somebody who’s not, it’s the person that shows the hell up every single day, even when they don’t want to. They have content to repurpose, even when they don’t want to, even when they don’t want to. 

Why Success Is About Creating Habits

Amber: Exactly. Because I’ve been hustling like crazy and doing and showing up every day and staying organized. That’s the other key as to why I think I’ve been able to have success in a short amount of time is that even as a single mom of two kids, 9 and 11, I’m organized as hell. Whether or not it’s in your business, whether or not it’s about a healthy lifestyle, I think success is all about habits. 

For me, one of my habits is I literally sit down every single Sunday with my planner, I don’t do a digital planner, because I can’t do all that, I physically write it out. I map out my week. Not only does that help me to get organized with my time, but it also mentally helps me get prepared for what I have coming up. Everything from, when can I get my workouts in, making sure I plan a meal in between because I got back to back podcast interviews. It’s really just a very simple habit of staying organized so that you can stay consistent. 

I was having this conversation with my coach Joe Coleman the other week and I was like, there are days where I just feel so stressed. I was like, I feel so stretched thin. I’ve got all this stuff, the podcast, TikTok, brand partnerships, Instagram, Facebook group, coaching –and she’s like, Yeah, you just described actually a kick ass personal brand. 

So it’s really a matter of trying to find pockets where you can kind of relax into it, but it is going back to that whole thing. It is a hustle, but I think it’s about staying consistent.

Rachel: Yes, when I started optimizing my time when I felt like I had no time, I would put out an egg timer. I’m going to tie myself on these different activities. I’m going to figure out exactly how to cut time, so that I give myself back time.

I think the other thing is to really look at what we’re doing and see if there are any pockets of wasted time. I always know when I’m stressed. I know when I start scrolling –there’s a healthy scroll and then there’s a scroll where it’s just like, I should be doing this, and you’re not doing it.

There’s also the part when you’re building your business, or at any level, where you’re like, I don’t know what the next step is. And that’s why I’m a coach and why it’s great to have that clear path in the beginning. 

How To Nurture Your Clients

I love that your coach had suggested for you to have a funnel. Because if we’re not building a list, how are we going to get people to buy our programs? We can hope that they come off with social media and follow us. But I think when you have a funnel in place, it actually provides the perfect ground for your client to get to know you and then be nurtured to your main list.

Amber: Well, I hope everybody knows and I hope that my original funnel, which I still use this today, is The Guide to Intermittent Fasting freebie. My second one is Your Seven Day Little Black Dress. So yes, girl you’re done for you content has been pivotal in my career.  I was able to take those two freebies and I made them my own. 

The seventh day is called The Little Black Dress Boot Camp. I think that’s what you call it. So what I did though, is because it’s really important to me that I didn’t want women to think I was pushing a seven day diet since I am like the anti diet kind of coach, I made this as hey, this is really a seven day which it is a seven day program of what it looks like to just get more real food in your diet. 

So I how I made it my own is in my funnel, when they opt in, there’s a little video of me talking about that. What’s so awesome about the content that you have for coaches is that it really does lend itself to be able to make it their own.

Rachel: Tell me about your process. Because I always say looking under somebody’s hood is the favorite thing we want in our business because we’re trying to figure out what to actually do. Do you bring people straight from that to a discovery call? Do you have an application process? What does that look like for you?

Doing The Work Before Launching Certain Programs

Amber: So I will say it’s morphed as I’ve gotten busier and built my business. In the beginning, which is how I built literally a six figure business in a very short amount of time, was because I didn’t have any clients. I didn’t have a group program. I’ve learned and I know you probably talked about this and my other business coach talks about this as well as is –you don’t really want to start a group program until you’ve coached enough clients one-on-one at least that’s what I subscribed to. People jump into doing groups but they don’t have success, and then they’re not successful. You have to put the time in. Can you scale a business only by doing one on one coaching? No, but in the beginning, you have to do that after your process. I think there are a lot of people out there, a lot of business coaches who talk about beta testing, but you need a list first. Go on Facebook and say I’m looking for 10 people to join my signature program.

Especially with how saturated the market is, you’ve got to make it a little more compelling. You’ve got to have some testimonials behind it. There’s just so much more that goes behind that and then I will even say to take it a step further. You can’t start a membership or continuity program until you’ve successfully run a group program like three, four times. You’ve got to put in the work. 

For me, the process was in the beginning, for sure. I was leading them from opting into the intermittent fasting freebie to a discovery call. And then I was selling them into one on one coaching. There was a point in time though, where I had probably 12, one on one clients. And it was too much for me. So after I was done with that, when you learn to scale with a group, that’s what I think we can come up with these really cool containers for mass for groups.

That’s what I did too. We can overcomplicate it with the group programs, but it doesn’t have to be like that. I just did a small group container of about 10 women. I implemented a lot of my same methodology for how I coach women through that process and just applied it. What can be helpful going through enough one-on-one coaching is you settle into a little bit more of the rhythm on how you actually get people from A to B within their transformation. And then all you do is you can take that and then adapt it into kind of a group process.  So that was sort of kind of like the process for me. 

Now, it’s a little bit different because of time, I don’t really do discovery calls anymore, I’ll do it if somebody comes to me. I don’t really advertise as much one-on-one coaching. If somebody finds me, for one-on-one coaching I do it if I have the bandwidth. And this is really just a scalability thing. But I do it through an application process of just trying to make sure that they’re a  fit for me and I’m the fit for them. 

Why List Building Is Key

At this point my freebies that I’m using are really a lot of list building for me that I can just continue to nurture. I’ve recently moved to a new funnel that I’m trying out which is, which has been really fun. So I’m hosting a live two day event. I ran my first one last month on Instagram. 

It’s completely different from their traditional launch model that I’ve been doing but I will run this probably every other month, eventually, when I can build a bigger team where I have an enrollment specialist and all of that I will start running it maybe every month. But it’s definitely I’ve moved this to more of a high ticket offer is what the purpose of this funnel is. 

For me, the evolution of my business –and this is really just one of my strengths coming from a sales background –I’ve really found that –and this is also pushed by the book: 100 Million Dollar Offer by Alex Hermoza. This is a fascinating book. It’s about really creating an irresistible offer. And there’s some elements in the book that are just so profound, because I think especially in the health coaching and the weight loss space, and the health and fitness space, all of it, it can be very saturated, and it can be very easy to have your offer commoditized and lumped in with all the rest of them. This book really walks you through a very special process of how to make your offer really unique. So it’s really fascinating. And so that kind of reading, that is what prompted me to shift gears a little bit and start moving my model to doing more of a high ticket offer. And that’s kind of the direction I’m going now.

Rachel: I love that you’ve talked about list building a lot. I think a lot of coaches, they will get the website. They’ll have the program’s but they don’t list build, because that was the really scary part. I just want to reiterate what you said about showing up and not get lost with everyone else you showed up on video. That’s a really scary part for coaches. And I always suggest practicing that because it’s an uncomfortable process showing up. But you still did it anyway. And I think in this world you have to. You have to be showing up in video.

Amber: 1,000% Now though now I don’t think people have a choice the way that Instagrams going the way that TikTok’s going. You’ve got to learn to heal and show up. In the beginning, it will feel scary. I know. It’s hard. In fact, when I go back and look at some of my original videos on Tiktok, it’s painful for me to watch. I was so uncomfortable. I was so anxious. It was the whole thing. 

But it’s one of the reasons why my business grew so fast, is because when people get to see you in video, eyeball time, they’ll be like, I feel like I know you. Because you’re always showing up on video, it really is one of the fastest and easiest ways for people to connect with you and to get to know you.

Here’s the thing, too, if doing long videos seems very scary to you at first, why don’t you start with Instagram Stories? Do little quick snippets, peeling back the curtain of who you are just as a person and start to get comfortable with the camera with that or even doing Facebook Lives. Maybe in your small community where it’s the circle of trust, it’s not as scary to start there, and start to build that confidence within yourself. But at this stage, if you want to be successful as a coach in the online space, you’ve got to get down with the videos.

Why You Need To Show The Hell Up For Your Audience

Rachel: Well, for everyone listening, what are your closing thoughts? If you could go back and tell yourself back when you started, what would be your advice?

Amber: Okay, then how long have we got here? There’s so much that I want to say. Number one, we’ve definitely hit on this, but I do think that this is key is showing the hell up. It’s staying consistent. It’s not necessarily about doing all of the things all the time. Pick the things you’re going to do and do it. Pick the things that you’re going to do, and do it and do it well. That’s one of the biggest things that I would say. 

So this was a hard lesson, the reason why I think I wasted thousands of dollars in my business is because I didn’t trust myself. I had a lot of impostor syndrome. I’ve got so many stories of this, but this is something I’ve had to really heal on. 

You think you need the $5,000 website. If I told you how many coaches I’ve hired over the last two years it’s crazy. But at its root, it’s me not trusting myself and not being confident with myself.  So really navigating that. But I think I think for me, those are two really big things of just showing up and staying consistent. And really, really learning to trust yourself. 

The hard thing about having a business is we don’t trust that process in the beginning. So every time that I’ve hit a growth stage, I go through a period of a lot of fear, a lot of coaching and that’s okay, I’ve learned that but I’ve learned that that impostor syndrome, it doesn’t ever fully go away. It’s just how much you’re gonna feed it

Rachel: 1,000%. Feed the faith more than the fear because the two can exist on the same bridge.

Amber: 1,000%. I’m just going to shamelessly plug –if you’re a coach listening to this and you are not working with Rachel in some capacity. If you are a new coach, you are really missing the boat here. No, honestly, when I spent all that money on the website and I can remember sitting in one of your weekly zoom calls because you talk about showing up for your people. You show up consistently every single week and the value you give is unreal. I can remember just showing up and even going through your exercises of trying to find your niche and really drilling down in your pillars of topics and all this kind of stuff. I still implement a lot of that in my business every time I’m changing things up a little bit. 

So number one, if you’re not already working with Rachel, in some capacity, you need to change that. But number two, it’s so important but coaches need coaches. For sure. I know for me, I’ve never been somebody that’s been afraid to and probably maybe too much. I’ve hired too many coaches, but I’m just saying, I’ve never been afraid to put money back into my business. I think that it can be really hard when you’re just getting going to not operate from a place of scarcity and how that shows up in your business and how

The Importance Of Niching Down Once You Get Going In Your Biz

Rachel: I think that’s also the reason why in the beginning, we feel like we need to serve everyone. I love what you said about niching down. It’s like the women that you serve, that our problems are perimenopause. It’s an addiction to weight. It’s an addiction to the scales, dieting. That’s the part where we get into the groove when we start to step into her shoes and really get to know her and think what is troubling my woman emotionally, physically, spiritually, like every different level, what probably are, and what are the topics I’m going to talk about?

Amber: Absolutely. I think that’s such a good point is that in the beginning, because we are just so concerned with making money, we dilute our message, because we’re trying to help everybody but what I’ve learned and even the women and the mentors that I listen to, they all say the same thing is when their business turned around when they started exponentially making money is when they got super clear on who the hell they were talking to. 

They got into the psychographics, they got into the demographics, they got into all of it. When you can really start to speak someone’s language, and now it’s about attracting your people and dialing in the message. But you can’t do that if your net is cast too wide. For a lot of coaches listening to that can be really scary. And that was scary for me too. 

For a little while, I started off with weight loss women over 40 and I realized in my world, that’s even too far of a net to cast. I got specific and so if you look at my messaging, I’m talking to a very specific woman. I’m talking to a very specific woman so that what I’m putting out there was really going to resonate with her and I think that that’s really important. But it is scary for sure.

Rachel: Can you tell everyone where to find you? If there’s a woman struggling and she’s a coach, which I always say the best advice I give is to get a coach for your health because you actually learn how to get how to coach yourself. And also we all need healing as well.

Amber: Yes, of course. I would love love love to connect. I am just @msambershaw on Instagram and TikTok. You can send me an email amber@ambershaw.com. If you are a coach and you’re listening to this, and you just you’ve got maybe a question or something I said resonates, reach out to me, I love connecting with other badass female entrepreneurs and women and just really finding ways to help empower each other. 

Rachel : Make sure you follow this woman and just check out how she shows up. I think it’s really important to be able to go and watch other people who are doing it well and successfully doing it to be able to know how to actually show up yourself. But remember, listen to the tips that Amber shared today. She shared straight from the heart something that you should be doing on a daily basis.

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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