161. How to Make Sure Your Health Coaching Business is Legally Sound with Maria Spear Ollis

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As wellness coaches, we need to make sure we’re legally dotting our I’s, crossing our T’s, and asking questions like Are your contracts up to date? Do they reflect your offers? Are your Terms of Agreement and Privacy Policy on your website? Have you disclosed your affiliate links in the right locations?

A lot goes into making your health coaching business legally sound, but we need to protect ourselves first if we genuinely want to help our clients!

In today’s episode, I am talking to the fantastic Maria Spear Ollis, an IP Lawyer and Attorney who brings peace of mind to content creators and coaches when it comes to IP protection, contracts, and internet law. Maria is giving us the lowdown on contracts, how to protect our brand, the biggest legal mistakes most coaches make, how to make sure your content isn’t stolen, and all those things you want to know from an expert lawyer. 

Connect with Maria:
Website: https://www.spear-ip.com/


Rachel: Hey guys, if you’re a wellness coach, you are in the right place. My guest is going to give us the lowdown on contracts, how to protect our brand, and all those things that you are desiring and want to know from an expert lawyer. Maria Ollis, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Maria: I’m an internet and IP lawyer. IP meaning you’re covered and trademarked. I’m based in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve been here for 12 years. I help coaches and thought leaders protect their creative content, their branding, their relationships, business relationships, and make sure they’re doing business legally online.

Rachel: As wellness coaches, especially, we really need to make sure that we’re doing this right. We’re telling somebody, eat this, don’t eat this and we really have to be careful. So why don’t we dive into those coaching contracts? Because they scared the bejesus out of me. 

Overcoming The Fear Around Implementing Contracts Into Business

I didn’t want anybody to think I was creating too much of this boundary. I know that sounds crazy. But in the beginning stages of my business, I was extremely scared. Oh my god, they’re gonna have to fill out these additional contracts. But later, I started to see how important it was. So let’s talk about these contracts that a coach needs.

Maria: A lot of it comes down to practicing what we preach because I know a lot of coaches talk about boundaries. But a lot of coaches are very giving. And so there’s this mindset thing that happens when it’s your business and your contract where we don’t know how somebody’s gonna feel if we present them with a contract. We also don’t want to be pushy. We don’t want to put a document in front of them with a bunch of legalese, they get scared. And then they ghost us. 

So there’s a lot of emotions and mindset issues when it comes to contracts. But if you peel all of that back, truly all a contract is is it’s there to make sure you and the client are on the same page in terms of who’s paying what, in terms of what you’re going to be doing for them, so that they can’t come back and say, Wait, I thought we were going to be doing this. It’ll eliminate confusion.

What Goes Into Contracts For One On One and Group Coaching Clients

Rachel: So lessen the anxiety and get the contract. Say we have a person who’s doing one on one coaching, what type of contracts do you suggest for that? Is that any different from group coaching?

Maria: Yeah, so what it would come down to, there is just a difference between what you’re providing. In a group in a group setting, if there’s another platform that you’re using, a Facebook group, or Voxer support as a part of it, just spelling out what goes into that package, as opposed to anything one on one coaching, what goes into that package?

Rachel: If somebody’s doing a group, when do you typically suggest to your clients that they provide this contract? Because nobody buys?

Maria: Yeah, when they’re in that buying process, so many people are used to seeing if it’s a group coaching program, so it sometimes even depends on the size of the group. It might depend on how you have your current setup or your website or setup. It might be a click to agree. 

Now, I am all about efficiency and having your privacy policy on your website and that kind of thing. I’m hesitant to say to you the click to agree in a group coaching setting because you actually want them to look at it. You don’t want them to just click a button and be okay, great, I gotta coach because you want them to really understand what’s included. So keeping that in mind that that’s what’s important, so that everyone knows what’s being performed and what’s included.

Rachel: So for somebody to buy, and then maybe individually send them the contract. 

Maria: Yeah, that’s probably a best practice. Make it the easiest. And then if you’re doing one on one, I assume that you’re just including that in your package and working with somebody too. 

Rachel: Can you put them into any third party platforms to make it easier? 

Maria: There are options. So there’s Dubsado, HoneyBook, those types of platforms? You can use them so that it auto-populates what’s included in your diamond package versus your sapphire package, whatever it is, that could even do that. Even Acuity, I bet you can put your contract right in there as well. I know a lot of coaches use Practice Better and I’m assuming that can be done. 

What To Include In The Contract On Your Website

Rachel: Wonderful. So we have the contracts for your coaching. And then we have the contract on your website. Let’s talk about those contracts on the website.

Maria: So on your website, there are two main contracts or policies that we’re talking about. The first is your Terms of Use. Sometimes people say Terms of Service, they’re really the same thing. It’s usually in the footer of your website, and the other is the privacy policy. 

The terms of use are really a contract between you and the user, or the person viewing your website. And it can vary if you’re selling products on your website. In your Terms of Use, you’ll want to have a refund policy if it’s a physical product, add your disclaimers on if you use this the incorrect way or if you get injured. You want to cover your behind. 

But also, this is not medical advice, so you always need to check with your doctor before starting something new. That kind of stuff is more in the terms of use. 

Whereas the privacy policy is more of a here’s the information that we collect from you and here’s what we do with it. There have been a lot of laws in recent years that crack down on this. It’s really more for if you’re selling your user’s information. A lot of coaches aren’t really doing that. But that’s the purpose is to make sure you have a policy that makes clear to your user, the type of information you’re collecting, whether it’s actually information that they’re inputting, their email address, or if you’re tracking them with Google Analytics or tracking their IP address or something. Let them know that you’re tracking that and how you’re using it.

Rachel: I’ve heard of a platform Termly, do you suggest that people go there? Or is it really important to work with somebody like yourself?

Maria: It depends on your comfort level. There are platforms where you can pay a monthly fee and if the law is updated, then they’ll update your policy. I would say just, No and no. Not everybody wants to do it, but read it to make sure that it makes sense to you. Because if it doesn’t make sense to you, it might not make sense to you there.

Rachel: And do you have it where people can personally work with you?

Maria: Yeah, absolutely. I also have some templates for sale on my website. But yeah, happy to work with folks. So on our Terms of Use and Privacy policies and coaching contracts.

The Biggest Mistakes Coaches Make On Contracts

Rachel: What are some of the biggest mistakes that coaches make around their contracts?

Maria: Not drilling down enough on the services that are included and that comes back to boundaries. I’m not a coach, I’m a legal adviser, I guess you’d say. But my Enneagram is the Helper. And so many coaches are that same way. That’s why you’re in this industry is to help. And so some have the tendency of over delivering, right? 

With the client, if there’s a misunderstanding, and the client says, I thought you were going to do this, then you say, Okay, let’s just do it. Make sure to guard your time in terms of what’s included. 

Also have a clear cancellation policy or rescheduling policy, because, again, there’s only 24 hours in a day, there are only 30 or 31 days in a month. If you block off time and devote it to a client, you are closed off from adding business on that day, you know what I’m saying? Yeah, so it’s treating yourself the way that you would treat others and have it clearly defined. 

Rachel: Yes, absolutely. Would you say that good practice in the beginning of working together is actually going over this contract?

Maria: Oh, that’s an interesting idea. I think maybe not the entire contract, but certainly that’s the way to get a hold of me. Here’s what you can expect, cancellation policy, those things for sure.

Rachel: I love that. I think making it simplest for each coach and trying to visualize what that looks like when you’re doing a group. What that looks like when you’re doing one on one. 

Contracts, Forms, & Wording For Affiliate Links On Your Website

Let’s get to contracts or forms that you need for affiliate links. What do we need to know? Because I know lots of coaches have Amazon stores, lots of coaches do affiliate links with other people. What does need to be said on your website?

Maria: The most important thing to remember is that the FCC have said that when it comes to affiliate links, or even sponsored stuff, on your website, you should have that little disclaimer, where your affiliate links are –not on a separate page. 

So instead of seeing my affiliate link policy here and having a hyperlink, if you have supplements or whatever it is a section on your website, where you’ve got your links there, put that disclaimer right there. You don’t have to say how much you’re being paid. You can wordsmith it so that it only recommends products that you’ve yourself or are on brand with you. But making it clear that these are affiliate links will help support my business, whatever it is.

Essential Steps To Protect Your Brand

Rachel: I love that. So let’s turn this conversation in a different way. We talked about securing contracts and forms and policies. Let’s talk about making sure that you are building a brand that you’re protecting. So what are really the essential steps to protect your brand? 

Maria: So in terms of your brand, a lot of times your brand might be your actual name, it might also be something more unique

Rachel: Wellness with Rachel.

Maria: Exactly. And so the thing that I tell people that is always a glass-breaking light bulb going off is that you can use the TM symbol, even if you don’t have a registered trademark, you don’t have to wait until you have a pending or registered trademark to use the TM symbol. 

Now, what does that do? That shows that you consider that name to be your trademark. And also because a lot of people don’t know the difference between TM and they see that TM and they think, ooh, she’s got her name trademarked? r? I better keep my hands off that one. So that TM symbol can really help you ward off would-be copy cats.

Rachel: So that brings me to a great question. We’re talking about brands and we think about coaches having their own programs, having their own content. When somebody does copy your entire profile, and I’m seeing this a lot on Instagram, can you take any legal action? It’s Instagram. So I think mostly you’re reporting that. But I want to talk about that. And then I want to talk about somebody else taking your program.

Maria: Yes. Okay. So are you talking about when someone creates an imposter account that they’re pretending to be you? 

Rachel: Yeah. It has been incredibly frustrating and is happening left and right. 

Maria: Yes. Okay, here are my tips. In scenario number one, make sure that your little Instagram picture is your face. Because even if you report it to Instagram, if it’s your logo, and it’s a logo that’s not registered with a trademark office, it’s hard for them to know it’s you. There’s a whole procedure where you can take a picture of your ID to show that it’s you and then they will take down the imposter. So that’s why it’s good to use your face instead of a logo or instead of a really tiny full body shot. Make sure your face is visible. 

The other thing is, work to get that blue checkmark. Not everybody can do that. But it helps. And then encourage people to sign up for your email list because your email list is yours. Push that email list every once in a while and knock on wood if it happens Start notifying friends, start notifying off of Instagram so that nobody gets confused. Start notifying people that hey, there’s this person out there, can you submit a takedown on Instagram?

Rachel: Really, what it sounds like is it’s important to have your list because your social media can be gone in a day. That’s why I’m such an advocate for having your list. 

How To Make Sure Your Coaching Program Isn’t Copied Or Stolen

So I always hear these coaches say I’m so scared that somebody’s going to steal my program. What can they do to ensure that this is not going to happen to the best of their ability? I know that there’s always going to be something that happens. But what can coaches do to ensure that they have good healthy copyright copy?

Marie: The first thing to understand is the difference between an idea and an actual protectable Copyright. So I have two go-to examples. One is Uber and Lyft. Same thing, same idea, different execution, different logos, maybe different interface when you open the apps. 

My other example is Amy Porterfield and Jenna Kutcher. They’re two really popular marketing gurus, they each have a course on building your email list, right? The idea for a course on building your email list is not what’s protectable there, what’s protectable is what’s in the program, the videos, the worksheets, the text, and graphics and images and things that go into the actual building out of the course, not just I have an idea for a program. 

So that’s the first part of it is determining, have they actually taken part of my program? That’s a problem. Or have they taken an idea for a program and made it their own? It still stings. But it’s not the same type of legal issue that it is if someone actually takes your content.

Where To Place Your Copyright

Rachel: So putting a copyright in the footer,or at the end and the beginning of the content? What would you suggest?

Maria: Definitely putting a copyright notice on any worksheets and videos is a great idea. Also, there’s an option of registering that content with the copyright office, it’s relatively inexpensive. The Copyright Office does have tutorials on how to register content at the office. So you can go through there. You can hire an attorney to help if it’s overwhelming, but they do have tutorials on the Copyright Office website. 

If you don’t register with the copyright office, you still have rights, you can still stop someone if you found out that they’re copying. When you register it, you can stop someone and you’re legally entitled to get your attorneys fees. And you’re legally entitled to get at least a certain amount of money at as little as $750 per infringement of your work and up to –in really extreme cases– $30,000 increments. You hope it doesn’t go to a lawsuit, because that can cost more than a lot. 

it’s good to have that in your back pocket. Because if you have to send a cease and desist letter to someone, you’ve got that registered copyright, and they see that you’ve got that registered copyright. Then it’s like, Ooh, I don’t want to be on the hook for a lawsuit and attorneys fees and all of this money, so they’re more likely to pay attention.

Rachel: I think that’s interesting and I think that part does sting. But I love that example that you brought up of Jenna Kutcher and Amy Porterfield. I don’t look at them in any competition because they’re so uniquely different. And of course, our programs and our courses are going to be so uniquely different because we’re different people.

So we’ve been talking about contracts, policies, copyright, and protecting our brand. What are some other areas that we don’t think about when we think about protecting our brand?

Maria: It’s important to remember when you are creating content or adding content on your website or with marketing or whatever it is. If you have a podcast, if you have a YouTube show, make sure that any stock images, graphics photos, those stock things are properly sourced. 

So you’re going to legitimate websites. There are free websites. Unsplash is a great example of royalty-free images. But make sure that you are not just Googling royalty-free images and taking images from Google image search or from Pinterest. 

Rachel: I remember learning that lesson because they were cracking down on so many people doing it. I didn’t think that it was wrong until somebody was like, you’re gonna get yourself in trouble. Do not even do this.

So is there anything else that I’m missing as far as protecting our business?

Maria: I think we’ve gone through it, we’ve gone through name, we’ve gone through creative content, we’ve gone through website policies, and using content online. We talked about affiliates and disclaimer and disclaimers and sponsored posts. Yeah, we’ve talked about a lot.

Rachel: Before we even wrap this up, tell me your suggestions for that coach that is scared to bring that contract out, because they may lose? What energetic component is there? You said it’s a beautiful contract to not lose relationships. But how do you look at contracts?

Maria: You have to get into that abundance mentality and that scarcity, and that if you hand someone something, then you’re going to lose them. Essentially, what you’re saying by doing that is, oh my making sure that I’m protected and I’m covered. That’s less important than getting this client because there might not be other clients. And I’ve been there. I’ve been in business for seven years. And at the beginning, you want the client. You don’t want them to be scared. 

Rachel: It’s so scary. Nobody talks about it. Let me ask this question, because we’ve talked about all these amazing policies and contracts, but you have to feel confident to do it and when to deliver them.

Maria: Yeah, so just having that contract mindset, it’s just to make sure that you and your client understand what the expectations are of this relationship. That’s it. We can’t preach boundaries and abundance and wellness to our clients if we’re not setting an example and practicing those things ourselves.

Rachel: I love that. The contracts your boundary. 

Maria: Yeah. That is, it’s your beautiful boundary for your business loving boundary. 

Rachel: Well, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Maria: Absolutely. I’m on Instagram, mostly at Spear IP law. My website is SPEAR-IP.COM That’s us. 

Rachel: Awesome. Thank you so much! Make sure that you listen back to this episode. There’s a lot of things that we talked about that are really necessary for you to have a thriving business and one that you don’t have to be scared that you’re going to lose it all. That’s why we talked about brand. We talked about contracts. We talked about forms, we even talked about affiliate links. So make sure that you go and listen. Follow Maria and if you have any questions about her work, contact her. Maria, thank you so much.

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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