Over the last 5 years I’ve helped hundreds of health and wellness practitioners get their businesses set up and growing.
And during that time, I’ve been able to see that there are some core practical elements that need to be covered in order to see the results I know you’re looking for – regular enquiries, ideal clients booking in, sustainable money in the bank and that feeling of fulfilment and enjoyment in your work.
Without these foundations I realised when I jumped on calls, I was often helping people with only part of the puzzle:
I quickly noticed that helping people with only part of the dilemma wasn’t as rewarding, for them or me. And without rewinding and making sure the basics were in place, anything else was just a distraction or a waste of time (leading to frustration and resentment and a whole heap of “what is the point, I’m giving up!”).
Whether you’re just starting out and don’t know where to begin, or if you’ve been running your practice for a few years but things just aren’t flowing the way you want them to, coming back to these foundations is a great place to focus.
Here are the 5 pillars and why each one is essential to create the business you know you’re capable of:
Most people want to dive into the ‘external’ bits they can see everyone else doing – usually building a website or doing social media marketing. But first you need to hold your horses and get yourself some clarity.
Clarity for me breaks down into two things:
If you do not spend any time getting clear on what you want, what an ideal business is to you, what money you want to make, how your dream week would look in your work or even just get in touch with the way you want your practice to make you feel, you are guaranteed to get sucked into shiny object syndrome, jumping from one thing to the next without a clear path or objective.
Without clarity on your own goals and vision you’ll follow what other people say or do, get distracted, start and not finish things and have a gaping hole in that purpose that is so essential to showing up and taking action.
Why are you doing this? What do you want? Get honest with yourself and write it down. I promise this will be more important than anything else you do in your business and will keep you determined and focused when times get tough.
The other part of clarity is knowing who you serve and how.
Niching, getting specific, narrowing down, standing out, having a USP… whatever you want to call it. If you want to get noticed, be the name on people’s lips and find ideal clients come to you rather than you constantly having to promote yourself, then knowing who you help is vital.
There are many ways to look at this and your ‘niche’ constantly evolves as you work with more people and discover more areas you love to help people in – you aren’t ‘stuck’ with one niche for the rest of your life! But this must come first. It makes everything else you do in your business easier when you’ve done this work and can imagine the person you’re trying to help and can articulate your distinctive way of supporting them.
To make income from your amazing wellness expertise and knowledge you need to have clear packages, services or offers to sell to people. Otherwise, it’s just a hobby.
This sounds so obvious, and yet I can’t tell you how many people don’t have something clear and simple that I can understand and invest in right now to help me with the particular health issue or goal I am aiming for.
If I knocked on your door today, or dropped into your inbox, or visited your website, saying I was desperate for your help, what are you going to sell me? What exactly is the programme? How does it work? How long do we get together? What is the process? What are the outcomes we’re going to try to achieve together?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions then you are not going to make sustainable money.
That is said with love and kindness because I know you may well have been trained or feel that it’s kinder and more client centred to let customers choose when they see you, how often and what they need. To keep it open and fluid. To not pin it down because health isn’t fixed and humans are all individuals.
I absolutely get that. But for both you and the people you help having clear offers means you get sustainable and reliable income and work within your boundaries (doing what you enjoy), and they invest in themselves and you with a clear understanding of what working with you looks like and what they’re going to walk away with. Even with tailoring and bespoke support built-in.
The practitioners I love to help most are solopreneurs. Largely this means that it is them themselves that will be delivering the work – running the clinic, doing the testing, leading the classes, advising the clients, showing up on the calls.
This is such a fulfilling way to run a practice as it’s a lifestyle business that is flexible and can serve your goals and needs, without the huge overheads of a team or infrastructure of a big brand or corporation that requires investment.
But. That does mean one thing: you are responsible for selling. For promoting yourself. For marketing. For asking people to invest in you. For explaining and compelling people to buy your services.
This isn’t something that can be palmed off to someone else. Because there is literally no-one else. It’s just you! And so my third essential pillar is comfort with selling, which involves shifting your mindset, addressing money blocks and starting to find a way that you love to talk about what you do and invite people (regularly!) to buy what you offer.
This pillar comes laced with self-doubt stories and deep ingrained beliefs we all have about our worth, about money and whether anyone wants and needs what you do.
Ease with selling is not a ‘one and done’ step. It’s not work that ever really comes to an end as typically our voice of self-doubt morphs and changes constantly. We think we’ve cracked it but it pops up again in a different variation to hold us back a few months later!
However frustrating and ongoing this work is around sales, it’s something that must be addressed in order to succeed and find your authentic and genuine way of selling regularly.
If you want to sell without feeling icky grab my How To Sell Without Feeling Icky training (it’s a little glimpse of what you get inside Just Start Now!)
It’s perfectly possible to build a successful wellness business without a website and a mailing list.
If you’re a master networker, happy chatting, emailing, calling, DMing and voice-noting or maybe you’re 100% dedicated to using your social media channel as your primary way of getting customers, then you don’t need a website and a mailing list.
However. I tend to find most practitioners who want to have real, balanced lives alongside a family or other commitments, and also experience those niggles of self-doubt that can paralyse them, would really benefit from having both these assets.
That’s because a well written and positioned website will help you get found by people looking for someone like you and the services you offer (because they’re searching on Google) which means you don’t have to relentlessly market yourself to get leads.
And a steadily growing mailing list means that you can always beat the social media algorithm and have a direct way to contact people who want to hear and buy from you, whenever you have something to say or offer (or you can automate emails so they sell while you sleep!).
Both these pieces of software – website and mailing list – can feel overwhelming. Which is why inside Just Start Now I break down the tech and give you templates and examples of how to structure and fill websites and emails in a way that builds trust and connection and that “hell yes I’m ready to buy!” feeling from your visitors and subscribers.
Because this is such an integral pillar Just Start Now offers a fortnightly copywriting clinic where our in-house professional copywriting expert Lea Tierney reviews and gives you pointers on anything you’ve written for your business, particularly website and email copy. So there’s no more “I’m not a great writer!” excuses, you have our full expert support to convey what you want to say in writing.
If you need help with these, you can get access now to the How To Build A Website and How To Start A Mailing List trainings (they’re a sneak peak of what’s inside the Core Content of Just Start Now!).
The final pillar is where most people find it suddenly all clicks into place. With all the other pieces covered, the question now turns to reaching out and building an audience and customer base for yourself.
There are thousands of ways that you can market yourself. And that unending choice can lead to paralysis, overwhelm, comparisonitus (“everyone seems to do it better than me!”) and a lack of consistency and persistence. Because despite what you might have been told, mostly we need to build up our connections overtime to create enough trust for people to be ready to invest in us. It’s rare that a single social media post, speaking opportunity or email alone is going to fill our books.
I call this pillar ‘connection’ because it’s about creating that connected network around you that amplifies your message and buys from you. Rather than trying to do every type of marketing at once and spreading yourself too thin, in Just Start Now we take 1-2 key ways to connect and commit to them for 90 days (which is linked to our goal setting method back in the Clarity pillar) to see what results we get.
By the way, connection may or may not involve using social media. As a marketing tool social media can be powerful. But over the years I have become increasingly aware that many wellness practitioners have a difficult relationship with it and don’t want to use it for hours at a time to market themselves. Whatever you choose, with or without social media, inside Just Start Now I show you methods to connect with and get in front of the people that need you.
I know I said there were 5 pillars. And from a practical stand-point there are.
But underpinning everything you do practically, must come a strong and healthy way of thinking: about yourself, your abilities, your potential customers, and the world.
You could follow every single one of the practical steps laid out in the 5-pillar process: know all the theory, have the shiny website, market yourself consistently and have exemplary services. But if your head is filled with the voice of imposter syndrome, self-sabotage, doubts about charging, fears of rejection or failure, then the practical steps won’t get the results you’re after.
As a training Self-Belief Coach, a large part of my work is to not only make easy the practical aspects of business building, but also help highlight what your inner protective voice is saying to keep you safe, but small and unable to take action.
If I’ve learned nothing else from delivering and teaching these 5 pillars in the last 5 years, it’s that recognising your own version of self-doubt and finding a way to keep moving forward alongside it, is vital to building a strong and sustainable wellness business.
If you’re struggling to know what’s blocking you building your own version of a successful wellness business take my quiz to find out which of the 5 pillars you need to start with and receive a free training to get you going.