162. How to Build a Thriving Health Coaching Business with Samantha Gladish

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What do health coaches need to do to actually change the lives of their clients? Build strong business foundations! A strong foundation is what will set your health coaching business up for sustainable success! Things like niching down, building email lists, hosting webinars, understanding the stages your audience moves through, and promoting organic (and paid!) traffic are key elements to building a business that allows you to help your clients improve their health!

Luckily today’s guest has a plethora of information and experience on this exact topic. I am talking to the amazing Sam Gladish, a No BS Business Mentor, Lead Gen & Sales Expert, and Lover of All Things Online Marketing (and Food!). Samantha is the host of The Wellness Witch podcast and CEO of Holistic Wellness, an online business that helps women optimize their health and hormones.

Sam not only runs a thriving wellness business, but she also supports health and wellness coaches in her mentorship program and in this episode. She’s on the Healthy Hustle Podcast to share the exact steps that she took to build her six-figure wellness coaching practice. Plus, Sam is explaining why niching down and list building are so important, how to adjust your mindset around confidence to start your business, and the surprising lessons you can learn when you undercharge your services as a beginner. And so much more!

Connect with Samantha:
Website: https://holisticwellness.ca/
Instagram: @holisticwellnesswitch
YouTube: Samantha Gladish
Facebook: Holistic Wellness Foodie

Rachel: Hey guys, I’m extremely excited for this episode because I’ve asked my good friend Samantha, also known as Sam, to come and be a guest. She is that all-around woman that you need in your back pocket. She not only runs a thriving wellness business, but she also supports health and wellness coaches in her mentorship program. 

In this episode, we are diving into the exact steps that Sam took to build her six-figure wellness coaching practice. Sam, can you introduce yourself to everyone?

Sam: Absolutely. Well, thanks so much for having me here. We were talking before we started recording that we’ve known each other for so many years, like eight, because I started in the online space about eight years ago and learned from you and your done for you programs and all of that. 

So we’ve connected online for a long time. This is the first time we’re on video truly connecting and meeting face-to-face. I can’t believe that that amount of time has gone by. So I’m so thankful to be here and connect with you and your audience. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, my name is Samantha Gladish. I am an online hormone nutritionist. So we specialize. And I say we because I have a team of coaches and amazing people behind the scenes that specifically focus on women’s health and hormones. And then on the flip side, I am a business coach and mentor. So I work with practitioners inside our mentorship program. I wear many hats, as I’m sure you do in your business, and can dive into all of those.

Steps To Take When You’re A New Coach In The Online Business Space

Rachel: Well, I think we could go in so many different directions. We could talk marketing and list building and all of that. But I really think the juicy details are for the coach who’s either brand new, or they’ve been doing this and they’re not making money. What is that missing ingredient? I would love to hear some of the steps that you took when you came into this online space.

Sam: Absolutely. So just to bring it back a little bit, I could definitely relate to so many people with spinning your wheels and feeling like you’re not getting any traction. I totally get that. I spent many years doing that. I went from job to job to job and got fired twice. I basically had $4,000 in my bank account, and had to really bank on myself. And I knew I didn’t want to be in these jobs working for somebody else. 

I had this massive light bulb moment go off when I was working one of my corporate jobs and I wanted to go away with my now husband who was my boyfriend at the time, he was surprising me with a trip to New York for my birthday. And I had to lie to my boss about taking that time off and asking for that time off. It felt so shitty to have to lie. All to get this permission that I could take four days off. That was a huge lightbulb for me that I was like something really needs to shift here. 

So I started to dive into learning online marketing. I started actually just going to different events and business events and just planting my feet in that world and starting to understand what it means to actually market myself because I realized I was spending so much time, energy and money, investing in all these nutrition courses and getting all these fancy initials after my name thinking that that was going to be the thing to grow my business. 

But what I was actually missing was the marketing piece, and learning how to put myself out there and sell and build an online business and build an email list and do lead generation. I’ve now invested well over $150,000 in working with coaches and going through programs and all of that. I had to really put my ass on the line, essentially, I just show up and bank on myself. There was no plan B, and I fully committed to this process and learned that you don’t know what you don’t know. So I just had to get really honest with myself about learning these pieces so that I can grow and build this business that I truly desired.

Why You Learn By Doing & Failing

Rachel: Well, I love that you’re saying that because it’s something that I think more coaches need to do. You need to come in and you need to learn it. As part of that learning is by doing,  making a mistake, failing, and then figuring out what was actually the best process for this, because that didn’t really work. 

Sam: Absolutely, there were so many failures, and I don’t even see them as failures. It’s all feedback. Especially in the coaching space right now, there’s a lot of misleading information around constantly growing and constantly scaling. Every year more and more people are burning out. We are mentally exhausted, there is some serious cognitive fatigue that’s going on right now. 

I’m all for the growth. I’m all for reaching new goals and revenue goals and all of that 100%. But we also have to recognize that there’s maintenance. We have to know that we can maintain where we are, in order to actually get to that next level. A lot of us are skipping that. We just want to keep going and going, more and more. When is it ever enough? The chasing and having more?

Rachel: It’s so hard to stop when you’re building. It feels so overwhelming. There’s all these different moving pieces. I have to build my list. I have to have visibility, I have to be the face of my business. I have to do this all while I’m feeling a lack of confidence.

Sam: Of course, it is such a mindfuck. Let’s face it. It’s interesting, too. You have a story similar –there was not a plan B. And when you’re in those kinds of situations, you do have to make it work. But  you can also transition from a 9-5, you don’t have to go all out.  

The Mindset & Confidence Needed To Start A Business

Rachel: What was that initial piece of mindset and confidence that you needed to embrace to be able to start your business?

Sam: There’s multiple things. So number one, the consistency of just recognizing that I have to show up every day, sharing content, creating content, being visible, connecting with people, and knowing that it’s not going to be this immediate payoff, that I’m really here because I want to build something long term, this is going to be a legacy of mine. 

This isn’t just giving myself a year and if this doesn’t work out, well, I guess on to the next thing. This is the forever thing for me. I’m very clear on that. So it’s really about recognizing and getting into the headspace that I’m building this momentum. And that takes time. I have to build community, I have to build connection, and I have to be visible and I have to be consistent. And it’s in doing that. That’s where the confidence comes. 

We have this idea where we sit back and overthink everything and overanalyze everything. We think if we just think through all the things, that’s where the confidence is gonna come or we’re gonna find it. It doesn’t work that way and we fall into the worst burnout because we are doing that. We’re just waiting for that day to show up. 

How She Started Her Business

Rachel: When you started your online business, did you know your niche clearly? What were your first lead magnets? How did you start building?

Sam: Great question. So it was a bit messy. I started my business not really having exact clarity on my niche. I just knew I needed to do something I was procrastinating for so long. So I knew I wanted to work with women that I knew. But specifically, in what capacity? I wasn’t super clear. 

So at first it was a bit generalized, just kind of helping women with health. And so I had launched my very first lead magnet, which was a 10 day detox that I had written, and just something I had done in my own life and quickly put that together. So I launched that and put that out there into the world. Sure enough, many years later, we still use that lead magnet because it converts very, very well. 

Rachel: Wow. It’s such a great value. Your high value for a freebie, especially if you’re leading them into a longer program.

Sam: Yes, absolutely. So that 10 Day Detox was just for women and they loved it. So that was what initially helped me to build my email list. From there, I got a handful of clients, some of those weren’t just from my email list, they were referrals and whatnot. 

The Process Of Niching Down 

But I do remember those first few clients because it was so general, somebody coming to you just saying oh, I want to get healthy, it was hard. It’s so hard to work with somebody who wants to get healthy. Because there’s no real end goal, right? Sure there were some symptoms and things we’re looking to address. But as a practitioner, it was really hard to support people in that process. 

So as I started to work with women, and just work on general health, that’s when I started to realize this is not fully landing for me, as a practitioner. I feel like I don’t have a real methodology that I’m bringing people through. 

As I started to learn more about honing in on a signature program, and creating more of a system for clients, then I really started to sit back and think about, well, what was my own journey and experience? What do I feel really confident talking about? Well, I had my own issues with the birth control pill and my period, and my cycles. So I feel really excited to support women in that same area. So that’s when I started to narrow in and niche down a little bit. I was calling myself the period fixer-upper. 

And that’s really what brought me so much more traction. Because when you position yourself as an expert, and you really narrow down, you bring yourself more of the right clients and leads. So then it made more sense working with these women, taking them through more of a system to support their hormones and their cycle and get them understanding their cycle and their hormones and coming off the pill and a protocol for that. 

And then that led to women coming to me with PCOS which started to expand to PCOS and thyroid issues. And there were always these hormonal imbalances with an underlying weight gain issue. So then I expanded into doing weight loss and just started to naturally progress as my community was growing. 

As those women were asking for support and getting the data for my community, that’s so important. And listening to what women really wanted. It helps me to really focus on those next few steps and what I want it to grow. That makes sense.

How She Started Building Her List

Rachel: It makes complete sense. I love how it happened organically. But it also happened because you were showing up and doing that market research and those clients coming to you and seeing what people were coming to with the different issues. Absolutely started list building. Did you start a Facebook group? Where was your primary source?

Sam: So at this time, there was no Instagram, or TikTok, but there was Facebook and Twitter. I was using Twitter. But that wasn’t really a lead-generating platform for me. So I did have a Facebook group. And I was just posting such random information in there. I really was, it was so random and all over the place. 

But I did have a group where I was able to bring a community together and post in there and share content. So I got some clients from there, yes. But the majority of it was from my email list. From there, as you start getting more clients, you start to build this amazing referral network. So I was getting a ton of referrals. And that led to me having to have a waitlist in place. And then when you see that you are really at this capacity, that’s when it’s time to really reassess in terms of charging more and raising your rates. I definitely had Facebook and then at some point, Instagram came along.

Rachel: So to get to that six-figure mark, I’m assuming that you charged according to what you felt your signature program was worth because for you to be able to make that, I know I struggled. I have complete money issues. I still work on them. And I was undercharging. I think I was charging $197 a month. 

Sam: Well, that’s more than what I charged at first because I remember bringing on a client for three months and I think I charged them like $250

The Value She Learned In Undercharging Her Services At The Beginning

Rachel: Oh my God. How fast did that turn around?

Sam: Very quickly, and just a note on that, but the pricing and selling and all of that, I think there’s so much value in undercharging, because it allows you to truly recognize and see the time and the energy and the output that really goes into working with a client. 

So it’s easy for me as somebody’s business coach to say, listen, you should go out there and be charging $2,500 for this. But for somebody who’s brand new, number one, that’s gonna feel super uncomfortable when they don’t have the experience under their belt. That’s easy for me to say that and throw them into the fire to do that. But I actually really want them to go through the process of undercharging. Because that’s where you’re going to start to see the value of what it is you’re really doing and the value of your time. 

This isn’t just about getting on a call with somebody all the time and the hours and the effort that goes in behind the scenes. Speaking of confidence and knowing your worth, although you can never charge what you’re worth, because it’s beyond the moon and the stars, right? So the undercharging is really going to allow you to recognize the value that you are really offering. And that’s what’s going to allow you to build your confidence, confidence in yourself as a coach in your programs and your offerings to then be like, Wow, this is worth so much more. And then you start to work your way up. 

So that’s really what happened to me. I realized, oh my God, this is crazy. I’m never going to have time freedom or flexibility or hit numbers that I really want to, or be stressed out over. This was just so much time and energy. 

So those prices went up. As I started to streamline more of a package in terms of not just working with people one off, here’s a one hour call, booking a 30 minute follow up. It’s really hard to scale a business that way. And we know we can’t solve somebody’s health issues in a one hour call. So as I started to create more structure with a three month minimum commitment. I can’t remember exactly the pricing. But I do know, at one point I was charging about $1500 for a three month program, which over time went up to $3000.

Rachel: I think email list building is really important. I hear you can build on social, you can just go on Instagram. I’m always like, that did not work for me. I had a plethora of freebies that I used to really test lead magnets that people were interested in. 

Why Webinars Are A Great Way To Connect With People

As you started to add more programs, do you have a specific freebie that addresses each of those pain points? What would you suggest for that coach who’s like, Okay, I have my signature program, but I am not getting the people into my list that I really need to get at.

Sam: So a framework that has always worked really well for me was webinars. Webinars can be used as a lead magnet, they’re great because they help you to build your email list. But at the end of that webinar, you have the opportunity to pitch your programs and sell. So webinars were really great for me. We obviously teach our students an entire framework to really launch their coaching programs. Those are great because you’re live on video, people get to see you and hear you and connect with you in such a powerful way. And that was really helpful for me. Webinars are just a great way to connect with people. Even just getting in front of the video, yes, you’re so much further ahead of somebody else. Nobody knows how to do it perfectly. In the beginning you have to just like you have to practice

Rachel: Totally. The amount of anxiety and overwhelm we see from our students. I’m like, Okay, it’s time for you to create your webinar. They procrastinate on it big time. 

Sam: It’s just because they’re nervous, when it comes to webinars. I think what’s happening is coaches feel like they need to put everything into a webinar or they need to teach all of the things and that’s not what your webinar is about. There really is a system to it. But more than that, it’s about teaching in your zone of genius. So when you start to teach outside of that, that’s when you start to feel really uncomfortable because you feel like you have to know everything, but you actually don’t. Just focus on one main thing and teach about that. The thing that comes so easily to you. 

What I always used to say to myself is I’m just here speaking to a girlfriend who really needs to hear the support and advice and get some education and just feel like somebody is actually hearing them and listening to them. So that’s how I think about it with sales calls, with webinars. It’s so easy to overthink these things. And it’s really easy to overthink them when you haven’t done them. So once you actually go through it, it’s a much easier process than you think. But you have to go through it.

Rachel: Yes, it’s like the fearful inner child who’s trying to protect you and don’t do this, you might mess up, let’s not get into an uncomfortable zone. Just put it to the side, have your workshop there. Go over those slides. Practice it before you do that webinar or a bunch of different times. Get prepped.

Sam: Absolutely. And a big thing with procrastination, because I see it all the time, especially with webinars, having to be live on any sort of video platform always freaks people out. But with procrastination, often we are avoiding things because it’s going to bring up certain feelings, like the inner child. So we will often avoid doing something like a webinar, because showing up means it’s going to trigger feelings of not being good enough, or not knowing enough. We end up not doing these things because of the emotion we’re trying to avoid. So if we can really just tap into that, and really recognize that that’s just your fear talking. It’s your ego talking. 

We spend so much time in our heads, I’m always telling my students, get out of your head and get into your heart because you’re here to serve, and you’re here to show up. This is what you love to do. Let’s show that and share that with the world.

Rachel: It’s so true. When you lead with the heart, it’s just like the words can be put in your mouth. But when you’re trying to come up with something so strategically every time, you step too much into that masculine flow. Yes. And it just doesn’t work.

Sam: 100%, I can totally relate.

What Type Of lead Magnets Worked (& What Didn’t)

Rachel: So let’s talk about your lead magnets for a second. Did you like Facebook ads from the beginning? How have you built organically? What did you see that really worked for you? 

Sam: It’s been a bit of both. So I’ve had multiple lead magnets, you were very helpful in that process too. With your done for you programs, they were great. Got many of them. I spent time revamping them, and making them my own. But man, they’re huge time savers. 

So I had multiple lead magnets: meal plans, sugar, detoxes, PMS guides, 10 day detox, all sorts of things. So those were great. And then I would just share those organically on social media. But I definitely did run ads. I didn’t run ads to necessarily all of them. But the ones that were seen to get the most conversions and interest, then there was definitely money going behind those. 

I did start pretty early with Facebook ads. At that time, the ad game was very different. I could run them myself, it was an easy platform to navigate. It was not very costly. I could literally spend like $30 a month. It was very different. So it was easy for me to just do that. I still run ads to this day but I also focus on a lot of organic as well. So it’s really the best of both. 

The reason I focus on ads is because I do not want to be on social media all day long. Every day. I want this running for me in the back end so that I can actually take care of myself and enjoy my life, which is why I’ve built this business so I can have freedom and flexibility with my schedule. 

So what’s really important to know when we are on social media and posting all the time and the visibility and showing up and just being consistent with that. If you are seeing people online saying to you that you can sell in your DMS and you don’t need an email list, you can just sell through Instagram. Here’s the thing: there is truth to that 100%, if that is the business model that you want, by all means, you could go on social media and spend six to eight hours a day. Because if you ask these coaches and I know many of them, and they are fully transparent with me, they are literally spending six to eight hours a day on social media, in their direct messages, all the strategy, three to four videos a day, it is non stop, and I personally don’t want that business model. So that’s why I run ads.

Rachel: I love that you’re talking about that balance with what you so desire in your business and your life, because I think, in the last three years, I don’t know if it was just COVID that pushed everyone over the edge. But I feel like everyone after that is like I’m burned out. You don’t want to live the same life. A lot of people took that time to reevaluate what was important in that whole social media and hustle attitude of life which has definitely gone away. 

Where To Promote Organic Traffic To Get More Clients

Rachel: Totally 100%. Where are your favorite places to promote organic traffic?

Sam: So I am on Instagram, I love it there because I’m a very visual person. So the reason I got on Instagram was because I’m a foodie. I love to cook and bake. Seeing other people’s food photos is what drew me to the platform. So that’s where I started. And that’s where I continue to put my energy, I focused on one platform and put all of my eggs in that one basket. And that’s why it took off for me. Now I’m spending a bit more time maybe trying to grow Tik Tok, but I’m not on there very often and not consistently.

I would say to anybody, when it comes to your social media platforms, pick one, and at the very most two. For me, it was my Facebook group and it was Instagram. I don’t really put much energy into my Facebook group now. It really is just Instagram. And then my email list. 

Rachel: Could you say you have an incoming flux of health clients? Where are they finding you?

Sam: My podcast. I started my podcast in 2018. So a lot of people find me through there, which they still do. I don’t do personal one to one coaching anymore. I haven’t for over two years now. I do have coaches that people can work with one to one, I do have a program that I show up in. But that essentially is the only way that you could work with me inside the Naturally Nourished program that I run. Instagram and my podcast are the two biggest referral platforms. 

How To Know When Is The Right Time To Add Other Offerings

Rachel: We talked about that one signature program, but I see you have other offerings. When did you know that it was the right time to add another offerings?

Sam: So I had a coaching program, that was a bit messy at first and not super niche down. So I had that. But I was actually launching many programs. Looking back, I was just doing that, because that’s what I thought I needed to do. I felt like I always needed to have something new and out there. And I did too much of that. I ended up taking my focus away from really focusing on growing one thing. 

So I finally transitioned and focused on one thing. And that’s what really helped me to scale beyond six figures and into multiple six figures was just really focusing on that coaching program and scaling that. And then because I had this real system in place, and consistent clients and recurring income and all of that it allowed me that freedom and flexibility to start exploring other options to create other programs. 

So it was really just about listening to my community. What is it that they’re asking me about? And also with my coaching clients? What are the things I’m constantly repeating and going over that I can take and turn into a smaller, lower barrier program to help others who perhaps aren’t ready to join me in a higher end coaching capacity? 

The Biggest Challenges Her Clients Have & Building A Framework From That

Rachel: I love that. Can you tell me about your mentorship because I know so many coaches desire to have a framework. What are some of the biggest challenges that you find your students have?

Sam: One of the biggest things that I always hear from our students, when they’re curious about the mentorship and getting support is, I’ve been posting on social media, but I’m not getting any clients. That’s the thing I hear consistently. And then when I asked, do you have a sales system in place? Do you understand lead generation? Are you building an email list? They don’t have any of that. 

So what I’m finding is people are actually skipping over these foundational steps in their business. And just going straight to social media, posting random content, telling people to reach out. And they’re getting crickets essentially. I have a new program. Message me to start now.

Rachel: Yes, absolutely. And it’s not to say that that will never work, or that can’t work for you.

And if you have visibility. I think, yes. The top people in the industry, they still do their marketing and their pre marketing. They don’t do everything on the core fundamentals of marketing, and building a list and nurturing your list. 

Why It’s So Important To Build a Strong Foundation For Your Business

Sam: Yes, absolutely. So it’s so important to build a foundation, and people are skipping over that. So a lot of coaches don’t understand what it means to do lead generation and have a lead generating funnel and system that is built and automated and set up for you. They don’t understand how to put a sales process in place and really streamline that onboarding process with their clients, but also how they’re attracting those clients. They are really unclear about their messaging and who they’re speaking to. And there’s just no strategy behind what they’re doing. 

So it basically feels like they’re throwing spaghetti at the wall and just pushing this boulder up a hill. I say this from experience, because I did it myself. I know how important it is to put those steps in place. Because that’s what’s actually going to leverage your time. So that when you have automated systems in place, you can actually now put your energy into visibility and into connecting and actually marketing yourself. When you know how to get those leads, how to clearly communicate to them and nurture them and actually put them through a sales process, your business totally becomes streamlined and it becomes this foundation for scalability. 

A lot of people are skipping over it, because we’ve been brainwashed into this idea that social media is where it’s at, just post, you’re going to get clients so put all your energy there. And building a business is hard, and it takes time. And it takes that grit and that effort. Don’t skip the fundamentals. Don’t skip it. Because then it becomes even harder if you skip those fundamentals. You just keep spinning your wheels forever and ever and ever. Just go back to those fundamentals and get them in place. 

So that’s really what we’re building with VIP students. The moment you’re unclear, go back to the basics. What do you want to be known for? What is my niche? Who is my ideal client avatar? Do I read different personas? What are their biggest struggles? What do they desire? 

Rachel: The big issue is that I see a lot of coaches missing, is what’s the reason she’s gonna buy? That can be something that you really discussed today, in narrowing down and listening to the very things that your potential clients were asking you to have.

Sam: Absolutely it’s so important to listen, and we just get caught up in our head thinking, Oh, I’m going to do this thing. I’m going to create this. I’ll do this over here. I want you to create stuff that you’re excited about that you’re passionate about 100% But take that and combine it with what your community is saying what they’re asking for. Really take into account their problems and their issues and their pain points. What are the things that’s keeping them up at night? Mash those things together, that’s where you find the sweet spot. We said this earlier, speak from your heart.

Rachel: Totally. I hear so many coaches say well, I don’t know what to say. It’s like What did you want to say to the world when you first became a coach? Go back to that original what’s our why? What do we actually want to say unfiltered? Just say it.

Sam: Yeah there needs to be this sense of boldness in your approach. Because I think what happens is, we all know what we want to say, and and what we want to share, but we don’t, because we are just scared of being disliked and getting mean comments. Listen, you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.  It’s gonna go either way. 

In all of these years being in my business, and being on social media and having these platforms, it’s actually very rare. The amount of times people come out and are super rude, it’s very rare. It definitely happens. But they’re welcome to leave camp. They’re not my people. It’s swiping delete, and on to the next. So I can’t let that stop me from doing the thing that I really want to do and serving the people that really need the help.

How To Communicate With Your Client By Understanding The Stages They’re At

Rachel: What would you say to the coach who is posting on social media and no one’s opting in? What are some of the things if we were to reverse engineer for that code? 

Sam: There are things they need to think about immediately. So it’s really important to think about, number one, your niche. Who is your ideal client? Who were you actually speaking to? What are the problems that they are going through right now?

For example, I think of this one phenomenal gut health coach who has amazing content. I’ve looked at the content and that’s so good, but they’re not converting. When I think about that, I also always say, Does your ideal client know the words that you’re actually using where they lay still stuck in the symptoms?

Rachel: Totally. That’s important. You have to really understand the stages that your community and your followers are at, because you’re going to have a mix of people in your audience, people who really desire a change, and they desire something different for themselves. If you are constantly talking about the solution, but you haven’t actually explained to them about the problems that they’re going through, and really kind of taking them through this journey, so that this person can understand, that’s how you really convert people.

It’s a story that you’re telling. You have somebody that desires something different, but when you’re in that desire state, you’re actually not ready to make a purchase. That desire state is the state of just getting information. So it’s important for us as coaches that we need to spend time showing people what the problem is, and why they’re not getting the results that they want. And as we start to share that information and educate our audience about that, that’s what gets the interest piqued for them to be oh. It helps them to connect the dots. 

Rachel: I feel like coaches don’t do that enough. I think one of the things that’s been coming up a lot is somebody will say, Well, my niche is hormones. So I’m not going to talk about any of these other things. It’s like, what are you talking about? There’s a plethora of things you can relate back to hormone health. I think that coaches get so focused on this one area that they failed to connect it. What are your sugar cravings and hormone health? What’s your sleep and hormone health? What’s your cell phone like? What’s your period like? Things that would be affecting this woman on a daily basis?

Sam: Totally. I think we get so caught up in our heads when we think about niching down that if you for example, say okay, well, if my niche is PMS, how am I supposed to constantly just keep posting stuff about PMS? There’s only so much I can say and it’s like, well think of it this way. You have your umbrella, which is PMS at the very top and then under the umbrella, what are all the topics that relate back to PMS that this person can know and that you can educate them about? Because it’s not just PMS and your period. It’s their nutrition, it’s stress, it’s sleep, it’s supplements, it’s understanding hormones, it’s their gut, it’s liver and related all back.

Rachel: It’s their green rolls.

Sam: Exactly. I always say to a coach, if you’re so stuck, Google Mind Body Green and see all the different articles that come up, everything that they’re talking about and relate it back to your niche. 

Rachel: Absolutely. It’s a great idea, because it will give you so many ideas. If we think we’re going to run out of ideas, go there. And remember, we are the experts so we are constantly talking about this stuff over and over. It feels boring for us, it feels so repetitive. But your ideal client needs to hear it multiple times in multiple ways, in order for it to really land for them to finally be Okay, I need to take action on this. I need to hire this person.  

Courses & Books That Helped Her Hone In Her Health Coaching Business

Rachel: Do you have books? Or did you take courses in marketing that really helped you to hone in on this area?

Sam: Oh, my God, so many courses. I think the first one was Marie Forleo is B School, I think I took that in 2015, or something. It’s a fantastic program, and I love all things Marie Forleo. But it also showed me very quickly how that wasn’t a learning style for me. I never completed the program, because I didn’t love being in a Facebook group with 3000 other students. I just felt really lost in the mix. 

So I feel like most of the programs I enrolled in were just a numbers game. Again, I felt lost in the mix. That’s why I wanted to create something that really fix that gap, which I see in my industry. We are not a numbers game in our mentorship. It’s small group coaching. So we can give high level support. Our mentorship runs as well part mentorship and also part digital marketing agency so that we can actually take on the tech and the funnels and build out for our students. 

Rachel: It’s huge, because you and I both, the tech is what takes us down and I feel you could have a coach that knows exactly where they need to go. But they can’t get there because they can’t get the tech off the ground.

Sam: Absolutely. So we build lead magnet funnels, webinar funnels and the entire sales system and process for all of our clients. So it’s amazing, it really gives them so much momentum. And then we teach them how to use the platforms. Our tech coaches are so fantastic. We cover copy and review their content creation, all of the things. So it’s really fantastic. 

I love it because like my love language is being able to show up and coach and serve and connect with people. So being in a small group capacity allows me to build such beautiful relationships with our students who have even graduated two, three years ago, and they still message me and they still keep me up to date with things going on. That’s what I love the most and the fact that they trust me to still keep coming back and sharing and asking questions and wanting support. That means a lot.

Rachel: I love that. And that’s so important to have those smaller kind of coaching circles, because that’s where you actually get that transformation. Even self paced programs. I’m not the best at doing them. I need somebody who is holding me accountable. It lessens my anxiety and allows me to show up. 

Sam: Absolutely. So our mentorship is a bit hybrid. We have our Member Area where you can do your self paced and learn about marketing, learn about social media, learn about webinars, it’s all in there for you, but come to the weekly classes so that we can actually coach you through it. There’s human connection and Q and A’s and hot seats. It’s not 3000 students. It’s like 20. 

Rachel: So before we end up wrapping this up, is there one thing that you’re like, I wish I would have done this differently right in the beginning. 

Sam: Oh, definitely niching down, for sure. And then also with list building. I feel like there would be moments where I would list build and then stop and then list build on stop. And that should have just been a consistent thing. I don’t want to say I should have, but looking back it definitely would have helped to just have that consistency with the list building for sure.

Where To Lead People From Your Webinars

Rachel: One more question, in the webinars that you did, because a lot of people get confused. Where did you lead them? Did you just lead people to discovery calls? What was the process for that?

Sam: So multiple things you can do with a webinar, you do not have to pitch or lead people to anywhere, you could just do a webinar because you want to connect with your audience and show up and serve them and give them an opportunity to see your coaching style and know a little bit more about you. 

When people can see you hear your voice, see your mannerisms, they can build such a bigger connection with you. So that’s one way to do a webinar. Another way is to pitch your discovery calls at the end. So that was definitely something that I did, especially for higher end groups, one to one coaching or group coaching. It was if you want to learn more by booking a call and chatting with me. And so that was definitely one. And then there were other options of just leading them straight to a sales page to go by, or a link to checkout to go by. So there are tons of different ways that you can do it. And I think all are valuable and all work. 

Rachel: I just had to ask you that last burning question that I use to end the episode. I love the takeaways that you gave, and really sharing from just such a place of soul-based messaging on what is essential for health coaches to do to actually be able to change lives. So before we go, can you tell everyone where to find you on Instagram? Where to find you on your site?

Sam: Absolutely. So if you’re interested on all things, nutrition and hormones, you can find me at holistic wellness, which over on Instagram, there’s also my podcasts, which is the Wellness Witch, and our website holistic wellness.ca So that’s all things nutrition and well being and then on the business and entrepreneur side, we do have our website, which is just semantic loutish.com And you can click there to learn about the mentorship. It’s all there. I do have a business Instagram, which doesn’t get all the attention. It’s a slow bill, but you can follow me there. Samantha_Gladish on Instagram if you want to see all my business musings.

Rachel: Awesome. Well, you have your work cut out for you to listen to the feedback and this episode today. But also to go follow this woman because she has a plethora of information. And I always say you have to follow people who have what you actually want. So definitely make sure that you guys do that. 

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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