How do you begin to market your health coaching business when you don’t have an email list?
Whether you attended IIN (The Institute for Integrative Nutrition) or another certification program, you probably know you need to have a list of ideal clients that you can stay in contact with, provide value to, and occasionally offer your services to. But where do you start if you're at zero? If this is where you are right now, I have good news – this post is just for YOU!
We ALL start out with ZERO people on our email list, so if this is you, no worries – I’ve got your back. I wish I knew all of this when I was first starting out – but I didn’t. I learned things little by little, and implemented strategies step by step.
Today, I’m sharing 10 AWESOME tips so you can start marketing your programs even if you don't have an email list yet.
Ready?? It will be helpful to read through this, then decide which one or two strategies you want to implement first.
First, it goes without saying that you want to put email list building at the very TOP of your list of priorities (I'll sprinkle in some ideas about how to do this too). Once you have a system in place, you can put it on autopilot which can generate leads for you 24/7 – sweet!
Let's dive in so you can become a lean, mean marketing machine!
1. In-Person Workshops
In-person workshops can help establish you as an expert and build trust with your audience quickly. Since you are speaking live, you have the opportunity to interact with your audience and create instant rapport. Take the time to answer their questions, and engage them in the process since this will help them to connect with you.
Be sure to collect email addresses of your workshop attendees. This gives you the opportunity to follow up with people after the event, and continue to provide valuable content. It also makes it more likely that they will purchase from you in the future. A great tool for managing and promoting live events is EventBrite (it's free to use if your event is free).
Like in-person workshops, webinars also help build authority and trust. Additionally, they are a low-cost way to raise brand awareness. When you are just starting out in your business, webinars allow you to provide high value information to potential clients at minimal cost.
Webinars work as a list-builder at the same time as a promotional tool. When people sign up for your webinar they are also consenting to being added to your email list. They receive high quality content for free, and you gain a new email subscriber.
You'll want to promote your webinar on social media, and run a Facebook ad to have people sign up. If you have an email list, you will want to let your subscribers know (and encourage them to share the link with their friends).
3. Include Opt-ins with your Blog Posts
Another method to grow your email list is to create detailed, high-value blog posts about relevant topics, and include an opt-in to a relevant freebie within the blog post. Never worry about ‘giving away’ too much information – you want your blog posts to be so awesome that after people read it they feel like they got a lot out of it, and want to learn more from you. Include specific, actionable tips or strategies they can easily implement.
Include an image to make your opt-in standout. It should be an eye-catching, but simple design.
Be sure to include a clear call to action, so readers know exactly what you want them to do.
Note: You can also use a popup opt-in plugin on your website (in addition to having an opt-in on your home page and side bar).
Once you have your blog post ready, post a link to it on social media, along with a blurb about why people would want to read it (what's in it for them?). You want to share your blog post a few times a month. Social media scheduling apps are great for this since you can pretty much set it and forget it. I love Edgar for this, but Hootsuite is another option (and it's free).
4. Retarget Your Website Visitors
Imagine being able to capture the information from people that visit your website, so you can show them your free offer again (and eventually invite them to your program). Sometimes people intend to sign up for your offer, but they get distracted and forget. By using the Facebook retargeting pixel, you can put your Facebook ad in front of the people that have been to your website – this will be more of a warm market since they are at least familiar with who you are. They are likely to forget though, unless you remind them.
You’ll be able to create a “custom audience” of your website visitors so you can show your ad to them. This will be a semi-warm market since they have already seen at least one of your blog posts or offers already. Ads that are targeted to custom audiences usually cost less than other audiences that you target, so this is a huge plus!
To find out how to set this up, check out this blog post or Google “How to install Facebook pixel” for instructions. You can have your web developer take care of this for you if you don’t want to hassle with it.
Using this strategy will allow you to build a highly targeted list around the clock. Part of this strategy is sending traffic to your website via promoting your blog posts, free offers (opt-ins), and anything else you have on your website that you are sending traffic to.
5. Run Facebook Ads to Your Blog Post
Include an opt-in within your blog post. The opt-in must be relevant to the blog topic. For example, if your blog post is about how to do a pantry makeover in 5 easy steps, your relevant free opt-in could be a helpful checklist or cheat sheet of ideas for stocking a healthy pantry. You wouldn’t want to have your free offer be something like “How to De-Stress with a 5-Minute Meditation” because the two topics are completely unrelated in this instance.
People that are reading your blog about a healthy pantry makeover are interested in that topic, so create something they can get in exchange for giving you their email address. Once you have determined which post you would like to promote, run a Facebook ad to direct people to your blog post. You want to choose to optimize for “clicks to website” as your goal which will cost you less than “conversions.” I use this strategy, and it works very well (and it's very cost effective).
6. Run Facebook Ads to Your Free Opt-In
Similar to running a Facebook ad to promote a blog post, you can also run an ad to promote your opt-in. This will allow you to get in front of a much large audience than just your Facebook followers. To do this, you will need to create a landing page where people can enter their email address in exchange for your freebie. Leadpages is a popular landing page program, but you can choose any program like Instapage or even create a new page on your website. Once you have designed your landing page, create a Facebook ad to promote your opt-in, and link your ad to the landing page instead of a blog post.
7. Ask People to Share Your Free Offer
Who do you know that can help promote your free offer to their email list and social media followers? If you are a health coach, do you know a fitness professional or someone else that can get the word out about your free offer? Maybe you can do this in exchange for helping to promote something for them. What friends do you know that can help promote your free offer? Make a list, and start contacting people.
8. Host Your Own Facebook Group
Hosting your own free Facebook group can be a fantastic way to establish yourself as an authority, and gain new clients. Facebook groups allow you to present valuable content to your members without the organic reach concerns of Facebook fan pages. My first few clients came as a result of the Facebook group I had at the time.
Since your Facebook fans see very few of your posts, hosting a Facebook group allows you to really connect with people in a more personal and powerful way.
Experiment with different types of content, such as article links, photos, videos of you, and infographics. Use the engagement rates for each post to determine what type of content resonates most with your audience.
On occasion, you can promote one of your programs or services (no more than once per quarter).
Facebook groups are easy to set up, and they can be a fantastic way to build a close-knit community that will get to know, like and trust you. For detailed information on starting your own Facebook group, click HERE.
9. Run a Contest
Use a program like contestdomination.com to create a contest where you give away a certain number of free enrollments into your online coaching program in exchange for people sharing the contest on social media. This can expand your reach, help you find out who is interested in your program, and it will build your email list at the same time!
10. Go Live!
Livestreaming with Facebook Live or Periscope is a great way to get in front of people to share helpful tips that they'll appreciate. Keep your livestreams to under 10 minutes to make them easy to watch. At the end of your broadcast, include a call to action about signing up for your free offer or direct them to sign up for your program (and how the program will help them – keep it short and sweet). For more about how to use Facebook Live for your business (including what mistakes to avoid), check out this post.
BONUS TIP – Be a Guest
Write a guest blog post for sites like MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal, or any other online publication, and include a link to your free offer (if permitted). For more information on how to do this, check out this blog post that shares insider secrets on getting published on health and wellness websites.
Be a guest on a podcast that would be a good fit for you and your target market. Most hosts will let you mention your free offer, but be sure to check first. Even if you can't, it will still be great exposure for you.
No matter where you are in your list-building plan, the best time to take action and begin to actively grow your list is NOW. Pick one strategy at a time and watch as your list begins to grow. Whether you have no list, or just a small list, you can begin to gain traction and develop an audience full of prospective clients.
Note: This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase a recommended product, I may earn a commission. I only recommend products and programs I believe in and/or use myself. Use your own due diligence to determine what's right for you.