My favorite store is called Terrain. The first time I stepped foot inside, I secretly wished I could be locked in for the night.
Terrain is what I imagine when I think of my dream home. It magically blends inside and outside living across every room of the house.
Terrain feels like it was made for me … like we belong together.
That, my friend, is the power of a brand.
That “we belong together” feeling is the power behind every strong brand. And a strong brand is the fuel behind every successful business.
Even your health coaching business.
Coaches who create a “we belong together” feeling have a steady flow of clients … and a thriving health coaching practice.
Unfortunately, most of the health coach brand-building advice I see out there won’t help you create a “we belong together” health coach brand.
The Missing Piece to Building a Strong Health Coach Brand
There are 2 parts to building a brand. There’s the part that makes you look good …
And there’s the part that makes you money.
Most people focus on the “makes you look good” part. They spend time figuring out their colors, fonts, and logo. Then they print business cards and build a beautiful website.
All of those things can help a coach feel polished and professional. That’s good. But they won’t help the coach get clients.
Those things are just the icing on the cake. The icing makes the cake look yummy and pretty. But it won’t tell you if it tastes good … or even if it’s a flavor you like.
That’s why coaches who only focus on the part of branding that makes them look good are missing the most important part … the part that “makes you money.”
The “Makes You Money” Decisions That Will Help You Build Your Health Coaching Brand
Before I opened up Piper Wellness Marketing, I spent 29 years in the corporate world. I helped turn brands like MTV, Nickelodeon, and The Sharper Image into multi-million-dollar businesses around the world.
With each of those brands, before we talked about the “look and feel” of the brand, we focused on the decisions that would make people want the brand. And those decisions centered on the brand’s positioning.
How a brand is positioned is what sets it apart from other brands in the market.
The positioning process is all about the brand’s target audience … who they are, their values and beliefs, and what they want.
Once we got that part dialed-in, we could craft strong messaging that would resonate with them. And then we focused on ways to super-serve them.
If you want to build a strong health coaching brand, you need to do the same.
Your positioning is how you’ll attract new clients … people who want to work with you. It will help you stand out from the competition so you don’t get lost in the sea of other health coaches out there. And it will make everything else you do to market and build your business much more effective.
BUT … the strategies I used to build brands in the corporate world will only get you partway there. Health & wellness coaches need some additional positioning principles to stand out and be successful.
I call them the 3+1 Positioning Principles for Health Coaches.
The 3+1 Positioning Principles for Creating a Successful Health Coach Brand
The first 3 positioning principles are the bare essentials for a strong health coach brand:
Principle #1 – Person
Principle #2 – Promise
Principle #3 – Process
Then there’s Principle #4 – Pixie Dust. That one really knocks it out of the park!
Person and Promise are important for every brand. Process and Pixie Dust are specific to health coaches. They’re essential because they help the coach stand out in a saturated and skeptical market.
If you follow the 3+1 Positioning Principles, it will help you create a solid brand and craft attention-grabbing messaging … the kind that gives your future clients that “we belong together” feeling.
The first principle is often the hardest for health coaches. But it’s also the game-changer. So I’m going to focus on that one first.
Positioning Principle #1 – Person
As you may have heard, the not so secret “secret” to building your health coaching business comes down to picking a niche. Your niche is the people you serve.
Now I take things a step further by saying this: Your success as a health coach is directly tied to how specific your niche is.
The more specific your niche, the easier it is to get clients. That’s an undisputed truth when it comes to marketing.
The reason why is because you can create laser-focused messaging. And that’s exactly what you need … messaging that speaks directly to what your future client is thinking about. (We copywriters call that “entering the conversation they’re having in their head.”)
But so few health coaches pick a niche. And if they do, quite often their niche isn’t specific enough.
I see this problem on most of the health coach websites I look at.
A lot of coaches try to avoid the niching “problem” by creating what I call an “ online brochure” type website. That’s a site that showcases the coach.
Unfortunately, that kind of approach won’t do a good job at helping you get clients. Online brochure websites are a showpiece … not a marketing asset.
But when you have a specific niche, you’ll be able to create a website that speaks directly to your future clients.
Let me show you the difference that having a specific niche makes to your messaging.
The Power of a Strong Brand Message
I once worked with a Nutritional Therapist, Ann. When Ann and I first talked about defining her ideal client, she told me she works with a lot of people with type 2 diabetes. So we talked about positioning her as a type 2 diabetes specialist.
So Ann’s messaging could be around helping people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar. “People with diabetes” is a niche.
Then I asked Ann if she could get more specific. Is there a particular type of person she likes to help? And that’s when things got really interesting.
Ann told me she works with a lot of truck drivers. Every year, truckers are required to pass a physical exam given by the DOT (Department of Transportation).
As you can imagine, the life of a trucker can make it hard to stay healthy. They are under a time crunch to make their deliveries. They don’t have time for special diets. So they have to eat whatever they can find along their route.
Truckers also sit for long stretches. And it’s almost impossible to get any kind of regular exercise. That’s why blood sugar problems are a big concern for truckers.
So Ann decided to focus on working with truckers who want to lower their blood sugar. And we made sure to consider their specific concerns when we worked on her messaging.
Now Ann’s messaging can say, “I help truck drivers lower their blood sugar so they can pass the DOT exam in as little as 8 weeks … without medication, exercising, taking time away from their route, or feeling hungry.”
If you’re a truck driver who has trouble managing your blood sugar and hate diets that leave you feeling hungry and deprived, you’ll notice that kind of message!
The 2 Factors That Go Into Picking Your Person
Your person is your ideal client. In most cases, your ideal client is made up of these 2 factors:
The problem you solve … and who you solve it for.
In both cases, the more specific you can be, the better. To give you some ideas, here are a few ideal client examples from coaches I’ve worked with:
- New moms who want to get their pre-pregnancy body back
- Contractors and builders with chronic low back pain
- Healthy women with unexplained fatigue
- Women with breast cancer who want to minimize the side-effects of treatment and reduce the chance of a recurrence
- Young professionals who have career sabotaging self-doubt
As you can see, there are a number of ways you can get specific. It usually involves combining a few different factors.
Here’s a list of factors to consider. Aim to combine at least 3 of them:
- Demographics – men, women, teens, young children …
- Life event – menopause, new parent, recently divorced …
- Profession – contractor, executive, teacher …
- Specific problem or pain – diabetes, overweight, smoking, food addiction …
- Reason for solving their problem or pain – a wedding, presentation, medical test, or just to enjoy more out of life …
Picking an ideal client gives you a solid foundation that you can build and grow your business on. It makes what you do marketable.
If you feel stuck or want more help picking your niche, The Health Coach Positioning Breakthrough Course™ can help you out. It’s the “friction-free” method for attracting people who want to work with you. Find out more here.