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How to Launch Your Health Coaching Business, with Hailey Rowe

Starting a health coaching business can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What do new health coach graduates need to get started? How do you make your first sale? This week, Dr. Sandi sits down with expert business coach for health coaches, Hailey Rowe.

Hailey Rowe has a passion for health and a calling to help health coaches make the most out of their health coaching business. She guides coaches at all levels through everything from first steps to finding clients to growing sales. Her insight into sales and marketing in the health coaching industry is invaluable. Hailey shares her best advice, such as the benefits of getting a “No,” examples of great content, like lead magnets, and walks through her 4 Steps of Client Attraction.

Episode Highlights

  • Learn the 4 Steps of Client Attraction.
  • Gain insight into how you can grow your business.
  • Understand what you need to get your health coaching business started.
  • Hear Hailey and Dr. Sandi’s tips on making your first sale.

Meet the Guest

Hailey Rowe

Marketing & Sales Coach


Hailey Rowe helps health coaches build their client roster, overcome marketing overwhelm, & stand out online. She’s been named one of the Top 25 Coaches in Chicago (Chicago Entrepreneur Magazine) & one of the Top 6 business podcasts for health coaches (Primal Health Coach Institute). Since 2010, Hailey has worked in the coaching industry & business development/marketing for startups. Hailey is also the host of the podcast Health Coach Nation.

Hailey’s philosophy: You can have an amazing service and impact to make, but without a strong mindset, and sales and marketing plan, your business will remain a hobby.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Sandi: Welcome, everybody. Today, I have a special guest. Her name is Hailey Rowe, and she is a top business coach, particularly a coach for you guys, for health coaches or if you are considering becoming a health coach. So, welcome. It is so great to have you with us today.

Hailey: Yes, thank you so much for having me. I love this community and all the amazing wellness impact you guys are making in the world.

Dr. Sandi: Thank you. So, you are a business coach. In fact, you have been named one of the top business coaches for health coaches, and you have a podcast also and we’ll talk more about that. But, first, how did you get started in specializing in working with health coaches?

Hailey: Yeah. So, I started to get an interest in wellness. I like to say fitness was, kind of, my gateway into personal development and all of the things that come with that. And so back in 2010, I started to get into fitness, and then I wanted to learn more about coaching in general.

And so I ended up starting as well as an entrepreneur at the time, and I was dabbling in some different certifications. I got a certification in human potential coaching, which was a lot of focus on mindset and how do you actually apply changes in your life.

And then I ended up getting my bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship because I knew I had this passion for coaching, I knew I had this passion for growth but I didn’t know how I wanted to apply it, and I knew I wanted to maybe have my own business one day. And so I ended up getting that degree.

And then I worked in the startup world, but all of the startups had a theme. They were all wellness-based. And so I worked in their marketing departments and on some of their launch teams, and I had so much fun with that, learning about just all the things you need to do to make a startup succeed and all the reasons why startups fail because some of them didn’t go so well.

And through that journey, I ended up deciding in 2017 to go off of my own and coach wellness professionals on their business and how to market, how to sell, all that good stuff. So, I’ve been doing that ever since, and that’s right around when I started the podcast “Health Coach Nation” and what brings me here today.

Dr. Sandi: Well, this is a subject that I know there’s a lot of overwhelm around. People are confused and often don’t know how to start. They think they need to have all, what we call, the mechanics in place. I go, “I can’t start before I have a website,” or, “I need a business card or a business plan.” Can you talk about that first year when someone just graduates? So, what do they really need to get started?

Hailey: Yes. So, to get started, you don’t need a website. You don’t need a big audience. You don’t need to know every single detail, but what you do need is an offer. So, what is it that your coaching package is and what kind of benefits can you work with clients on? And you need to have what we call your first sale and proof of concept. So, you need a minimum viable product. So, in other words, what kind of benefit or dream outcome or problem could you help your clients solve? How are you going to solve that in your program? What’s the price? And it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with that for life but take that one offer and how can you start with the lowest hanging fruit, meaning who either you already know to get in touch with to not work with, what you already have, what opportunities you have in front of you, maybe there’s a local place you can collaborate with.

So, kind of, breaking down, if I had to go get a client tomorrow, what ideas come up for me as the lowest hanging fruit and the path of least resistance to get there? And you don’t need a website or all these other things. Just maybe you start with a PDF that summarizes your program, and maybe you start with a social media post saying, “Hey, I’m taking on some test clients for this special rate with my new health coaching business. If you’re curious, let’s connect,” or something like that.

So, we could dive into more ideas. And I also have a system that is called The 4 Steps of Client Attraction and so it, kind of, breaks it down, but that would be my suggestion is don’t get caught up in all…you know, needing to have the rest of your life figured out in your business or needing to have it set in stone. You could always adapt things, but we first just need that first sale or proof of concept that people are interested in the kinds of things that you’re putting out there.

Dr. Sandi: Oh, absolutely. That is so true. It is just that first client, that first encounter, and then it could grow from there. I started out many, many years ago in the 1970s. I was a learning disabilities therapist, and I had been teaching in a public school. And then when I was starting a practice privately as a learning disability therapist, it was one child and that snowballed to probably 100 families because they liked my work and then they would refer their friend, their neighbor, and it just snowballed. So, it just won. And then they have friends, they have relatives, and there are so many connections, that you have the power of your own relationships that I don’t think people take that into account.

But you talk about the possibility that you can actually double your sales as a health coach in a year. Let’s say we’ll make this 2024 that they can double their sales. And I know that listeners are going to really say, “Wait, how can I do this?” Because again, we have many people who think, “Oh, I don’t think I’m going to make it,” or they try some things, it doesn’t work, then they get very, very discouraged.

Hailey: Mm-hmm. Yes. So, that first year, I will say is probably the hardest because you have the biggest learning curve. You’re trying to do everything for the first time. But the truth is, if you break it down enough and, kind of, like you, Sandi or Sandra, how you were able to have one client and then get word of mouth, one idea I would have for your audience is if you’ve had practice clients, if you have had somebody who maybe did an intro single free session with you or something like that, start a referral program and say, “Hey, I’m launching this new referral program. If you have one friend who’d want a free consult too, and if they end up signing up for coaching, you would get X. You would get either free sessions or you get a gift voucher. You get income.” I mean, it could be a commission. It could be an affiliate type of program. But the point is if you start with one, just like you did, it can turn into two just by having a referral program. That’s number one.

The other thing I talk about when I say doubling your sales, I have a little thing I call the business equation to double your sales. And it is the number of offers minus the no’s equal your results. And I actually heard this the first time from Bert Castillo, who I love and who’s grown a huge business just from this foundational principle. And what that means is with offers, most people think, “I’m going to post, I’m going to put up a website, and people are just going to come to me.” And I’m sure many of your students have found that that’s not really how it works. You have to be the person giving an invitation to either an email freebie, a free call to connect with you and engage with you. So, you have to start making offers, and those would be examples of offers either free lead magnet or something like that.

Now, the second part of that equation is getting some no’s. So, if you have never put yourself in a position to get a no by either pitching yourself for a partnership or pitching a referral partnership or program for your clients or something like that, you’re never going to learn what works and what doesn’t work and be able to adapt and refine. So, we have to start actually looking for how can I make some more offers this week in some way, shape or form, whether that’s on a podcast or whether that’s in my calls to action on my posts or with a referral program or something like that. And then, how can we start learning from the feedback you’re getting and the no’s to increase your total sales results?

So, that would be something to consider if you’re getting confused and bogged down, like, “Well, should I be posting? Should I be editing my website? Should it be writing an e-book?” Probably not. We should just be looking at what kind of offers could you make this week right now and let’s start there.

Dr. Sandi: Exactly. So, never post anything or put anything out there without having that offer so that you are inviting people. And many people think, “Well, sales is wrong. They’re uncomfortable.” But what you’re doing is giving information, and you actually have a moral obligation to do that because, by not doing it, you’re denying what somebody might want and might be and will be life-saving for them because you have an important mission to help them create much better health. You’re saving lives.

Can you talk about those people who don’t know what a lead magnet is? They may hear that term and not exactly know. And what would be some good examples that health coaches can give as lead magnets?

Hailey: Great question. So, I have a process called The 4 Steps of Client Attraction and a lead magnet is part of it and I’ll explain what it is within this process. So, in order to get clients, there’s, kind of, four stages we go through with them, right? So, there’s the connection. So, that’s meeting somebody new, whether that’s they see your post or you’re on a podcast and somebody gets exposed to you or you connect with them.

And then we have the second stage, which is engaging them. And what we want to do with that is find out what would be useful to them or what’s a goal they have or what’s a problem they want to solve. And so you can do that by either… If you’re on a podcast or something along those lines, you probably will know based on the questions being asked of you on that show. But if it’s directly connecting with somebody, you could even ask like, “Hey, I’m really glad you’re here on my Instagram account and a follower. I really appreciate it. Is there any types of questions, goals, hurdles you’re having with X, Y, Z? I want to make my content useful.” We need to find out what they find useful in some way, shape, or form. And you don’t have to do just that. There’s other ways but engage.

And then we get to the lead magnet or pre-offer. I call it a pre-offer but it’s the same thing. What that means is when someone shares what they find valuable or someone expresses they have a concern, if you have a way to give a free result or quick win upfront, that’s what you want to do and what we call a lead magnet.

And a lead magnet is something where somebody gives you their name and email in exchange for some kind of freebie, some kind of free call, free checklist, free guide, free audio training, a video class you’re going to lead, a workshop. It doesn’t have to be long. It should actually be pretty bite sized. And it should be something that gives them a quick jolt of a solution. We’re not solving the whole entire holistic health system in this one freebie. We might just be solving dinner tonight with your family, something that’s quick and easy, and something that is going to insert whatever their goals are, help them work towards that.

So, that pre-offer has to be bite-sized, and it allows us to go into the fourth step, which is say, “How did that win go for you? How did that freebie go for you?” and invite them to the sales process if it makes sense. Would it make sense togo deeper with X, Y, Z goals you’ve shared? And if sowe can connect for a discovery call, something like that.

But in that Stage 3 with that lead magnet or pre-offer to give you a couple of examples. So, here’s some things I see. Sometimes people will say, “Oh, I have a free healthy grocery guide,” which is good. But how can you take your lead magnet or freebie to the next level? Well, you want to make it more specific to your audience and have something that makes it stand out to what their urgent pain point they need to solve is right now. So, in other words, rather than saying The Healthy Grocery Guide, maybe it’s The Healthy Grocery Guide to Feed Your Whole Family With a Bonus Meal Guide of 30 Minutes or that will take you 30 minutes or less because maybe your audience is busy moms, for example. So, like, speak to them and their pain points, and maybe that’s not the onlythat’s not the best title, but the point is don’t just be vague. Try to get more specific.

So, for example, rather than… I have a training called The Four Basics of Client Attraction Without Social Media Overwhelm, and that communicates that, in it, I’m talking about how social media is not the only way to get clients. So, just try to find what’s a point you can make that differentiates your freebie and makes it more specific.

So, some ideas is you could add numbers rather than just saying Healthy Grocery Guide. I could beThe Top 10 Grocery Items for Boosting Fat Loss or something like that. And there’s a way… I hear a lot of people say, “Well, I don’t want it to be too sales-y or too hooky or too clickbaity,” and that’s fine. You don’t have to. You can do something that aligns with your values and what you’re communicating but try to speak to the most important pain points or goals that your audience has and make it more narrow.

Another example would be like, if you were… Let’s say you help people with emotional eating or eating habits at dinner or something like that. Maybe you could say, “I have a five-minute exercise you can do right before dinner to prevent emotional overeating at the end of the day or something like that.” So, try to make it specific. I hope that makes sense.

Dr. Sandi: It absolutely makes sense. So, they want to see themselves, and they want to see what you are offering, your pre-offer. Yeah, I need that. And they’re going to then give you their contact information. So, maybe it’s five ways to navigate a supermarket for kids with food allergies as a mom of kids with food allergies or something that is going to be very narrow that’s going to speak to them like, “Oh, yeah, that’s me. I want that guide.” And, yeah, and then it’s not going to be too sales-y to get the next step. You’re interested, sign up for our newsletter. Joining a group for moms with kids with food allergies, and then see how it grows and snowballs from there.

Hailey: Yep, yep.

Dr. Sandi: So, yeah, so any other elements of that four step that you had mentioned. You have the four steps for client attraction.

Hailey: Yeah, I think the first step for everybody here is to zoom out and decide based on your strengths, meaning maybe you’re really good at talking to people, or maybe you’re really good at writing, or maybe you really like the actual act of coaching and that’s your favorite thing. Think about how can I use my strengths, and then also what you understand and what you could be consistent with as a starting point. Maybe you’re the most familiar with Instagram, or maybe you’re the most familiar with networking in your local community or something like that. So, combine, kind of, evaluate it what are your strengths, what are you most familiar with, and then decide what could be a starting point where I could use The 4 Steps of Client Attraction—connecting, engaging, pre-offer, and sell—in whatever arena I feel like I could probably crush the fastest.

So, in other words, if you like in-person things, and you like talking to people, and you hate social media, maybe you choose local marketing to start with or going to local networking events and applying… Maybe at the local networking event, you meet people. You see if they have guest speakers. Maybe you could be a guest speaker sometime or maybe you could talk about your referral program because usually, at those events, they have a time where you can share what you guys are working on or whatever.

So, I think a lot of people overcomplicate marketing because they think they need to be on Instagram, on Facebook, doing local marketing, doing ads all at the same time. And I think the point that we’re trying to make is if you’re new and you’re getting the hang of this, it’s important to maybe pick something that you’re going to be able to stick with and start with and hone your skills there. And then it’ll get easier to expand it or, if you ever did do a guest training, you could take that and do it as a virtual guest training or online. So, I think there’s a lot to pull from by just getting started and focusing on one thing.

Dr. Sandi: That is such a good idea and it really resonated when you talked about picking one, picking what you’re good at, what your strengths are. We have a Career Navigator track and one of our offerings in that track has to do with social media. And the presenter talks about like, okay, if you’re more business, more formal style of writing, maybe LinkedIn is for you. Maybe if you’re more visual and love graphics, maybe post on Instagram or maybe you want to reach a different audience, perhaps an older audience who may be just on Facebook. And so that might be… You have a Facebook group there. So, there’s where are you most comfortable, where is your audience, so really looking at these strategies that you can adapt, but I think at the end of the day, I’d love to hear your comments. Does it boil down to to your mindset, to confidence, losing that imposter syndrome and having the sense that you can do this, that you can get there. It’s not intimidating.

Hailey: Yeah, I think at the base of all of this is having confidence that you can help… If you can help at least one person, it’s worth your while. If at least one person resonates with your post or… And that’s also just how it starts. It starts with one, one conversation, one post, one networking event you go to. So, I think the other reason why I think people overcomplicate marketing is because almost they’re using it to distract themselves or avoid getting to what they know the next step is because maybe they feel some self-consciousness about their offer or whatever it is they’re doing.

So, if you’re avoiding… Let’s say you know what you need to do. You know you need to launch that lead magnet, but you’re not doing it because you’re worried if you get rejected or what if you put the time in and nobody gets it, nobody signs up. But the truth is you’re just rejecting yourself ahead of time and you’re never able to find out and see it as data. You don’t need to make it anything about your self-worth. It doesn’t have to mean that you’re a bad health coach. It just means that you have to learn what your audience wants and needs, and you learn by doing.

So, I think it’s just really important to take a step back and ask yourself, “What benefits do I really feel I could help someone with, with the right coaching questions and with the right coaching tools that you all get with amazing Functional Medicine Coaching Academy?” And start there and know that Part of the process is you’re not going to be the most amazing, most evolved version of you yet when you first start, but you are ahead of some people. And I think a lot of people forget that what you guys know about health coaching that to you almost now seems common sense, to the average person, they have no idea. They could really use your help.

Dr. Sandi: Oh, 1000%. So, you are selling something that people want, something that is life-saving. You’re not a snake oil salesman. And so overcoming that sense that there’s something wrong with sales and marketing. We’re also saying that the more open you are to a no, the more likely you are to get a yes. So, take some risks.

I was looking through a local magazine where I live, and I saw that there was a big spread about a wellness retreat. And so I looked at it, and this was a bunch of doctors who were gathering people together for this all-day women’s health retreat. I saw that one of the people who are speaking was one of our graduates. Her name is Jill. I got so excited. Yay, Jill. Somehow she had those connections. She approached them or they knew of her, but she made that connection. And this is something that people will jump at.

So, you can approach doctors. You can approach people in the community. There are a lot of med spas. And I did that when I was a psychologist and, “Oh, I can come and talk to your clients.” And so we did, like, an open house and had a bunch of professionals who were there. So, there’s a lot of opportunities. And if something doesn’t work, well, then maybe it was not the right time or place. Try it again in a different way or something else might work as well. So, just keep going.

Hailey: Well, and you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And I learned that because I always told myself, “Oh, I could never interview that person on my podcast. They’re too ‘big’ for me.” And I had a little bit of a wakeup call. Last year, Amy Porterfield’s team, she’s a big marketing person, reached out and said, “Oh, we’re doing this live blitz. Could you interview Amy?” And I was like, “What?” I was shocked. I was like, “Really? Me? Like, how did you even find me?”

And I learned from that experience like just try to ask. I started after that asking for bigger podcast interview people because I was like, “Well, maybe they’ll say yes, I don’t know.” And you’d just be surprised. So, I think it’s, yes, they could say no; you’re opening yourself up to that. But at the same time, you might be surprised what happens.

Dr. Sandi: That’s right. One of our graduates in the UK, this was a number of years ago, first time out, new graduate. She’s got a podcast in the UK. She gets Mark Hyman on her podcast.

Hailey: Amazing.

Dr. Sandi: So, you just never know. This has been such a joy to connect with you, Hailey. So, how can people find you? If they want to work with you, how can they learn where…? Tell us about your podcast and where people can find you.

Hailey: Yeah. So, I have the “Health Coach Nation” podcast. I’m very excited to have Sandra on it. And we also have The Marketing Hub Facebook community. It’s free on Facebook, facebook.com/groups/themarketinghubgroup. haileyrowe.com is my website. And I do have a free client attraction cheat sheet and class, and it takes you deeper into those four steps we talked about, gives you some examples that you can tangibly do after the class. And that is at haileyrowe.com/client-attraction.

Dr. Sandi: Well, we will put that in the show notes. And notice how she weaves that in so authentically and naturally. And so you can follow that example in terms of that really good offer that I hope you take advantage of. So, thank you so much for being with us today. It’s been a delight.

Hailey: Likewise.