Public speaking: The fastest way to get health coaching clients
Pop quiz: What is the #1 marketing strategy that gets health coaches new clients?
I’ll give you a hint. It’s not social media, blogging or email marketing…
It’s public speaking!
Public speaking, whether you’re giving local talks or online webinars, is the fastest, lowest cost way to build your business.
If you’re a new coach or you’ve been in business for a while – this is the strategy that you can count on every time… if done the right way… to bring you new clients and program participants.
This strategy works if you don’t have a list and are looking to quickly generate interest in your programs.
This strategy also works if you have been in business for awhile and are looking to take it to the next level.
You can use public speaking if you have an online business or one that’s primarily in-person.
Because speaking works to attract clients quickly – no matter what stage of business you’re in.
There are probably all kinds of questions racing around your head like:
- How can I book talks and get people to show up?
- How much information should be included in my talk?
- How do I turn the people at my talks into clients?
- How do I overcome my anxiety around public speaking?
In this post I’m covering EVERYTHING you need to know to make public speaking work for you.
So let’s dive in!
How To Know if Public Speaking is Right For You
When I was a new health coach I used a number of different strategies, but public speaking proved to be the easiest way to get clients.
It wasn’t always glamorous…
My first talk was to a group of about 20 people at a local gym (not a fancy one), in their group fitness room.
Speaking doesn’t come naturally to me, and boy was I nervous!
Even so, two of my very first clients came from that talk.
Over the course of 5 years and more than 50 live talks and webinars, I perfected a system that was dramatically more effective at building my business than anything else I tried.
The first time I used the system I’m sharing with you in this guide was during a webinar.
Moments after I hung up my phone, I had an inbox with 10 emails from people who wanted to speak with me.
I’d never had results like that before and I was floored!
I’ve since successfully helped numerous coaches use this same system for a variety of public speaking gigs, allowing them to build their lists and enroll more people in their programs.
I know what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to getting clients from your talks.
Even though you’ve heard that giving talks is a great way to get clients, you may wonder if it’s the right choice for you.
After all, there are so many different ways to promote your business. You have limited time, so you want to choose where you put your energy wisely.
The beauty of being your own boss is that you get to decide what strategies you want to implement.
To help you determine if speaking is right for you, I put together a few questions you can ask yourself.
Do you enjoy educating and teaching?
One of the most fulfilling parts of working with clients is educating them on how they can improve their lives, and seeing the relief on their face when you tell them something that could be life changing.
With public speaking, you can have that moment over and over again.
If the thought of teaching groups of people about improving their lives through wellness excites you, speaking might be right up your alley.
Do you find it easy to express yourself verbally?
If you’re one of those people that can strike up a conversation with your friends, family, or even a total stranger, you can definitely captivate a room of people with your story and your knowledge.
Speaking is particularly great if you don’t love writing lengthy blog posts, but you still want to share your message with a wide audience.
Would you like to attract new clients quickly?
Speaking works to attract clients quickly – no matter what stage of business you’re in. The reason public speaking is so effective for getting clients is two-fold:
1. It gets you “in front of” a group of people who are interested in what you offer.
The people who attend your talk or watch your webinar are pre-qualified. They’ve raised their hand to say “yes, I want to know more about _______.”
Imagine that you specialize in helping women lose the “baby weight” after pregnancy. You give a talk entitled “Why The Body Holds Onto Weight After Pregnancy and What You Can Do About It.”
You can bet that the women who show up to that talk are primed and interested in what you have to offer!
2. Public speaking gives you the opportunity to truly connect with your audience.
While there are a lot of other promotional strategies out there, speaking to a group of people is the most powerful way to quickly create a connection.
It’s more effective than posting and/or advertising on social media, blogging, or email marketing.
When you give talks, your audience gets to know you as a person – they see your personality. And because you’re sharing valuable information, they see you as an expert.
In short, they come to know, like, and trust you, and want to work with you.
Side note: people only buy from those that they know, like, and trust.
Do you know of (or belong to) groups or places where your ideal clients hang out?
Setting up a public speaking gig at a group, office, association or wellness center that your ideal clients frequent is a great way to reach them, educate them with your talk, and offer your personal services as a coach.
Imagine that your ideal clients are busy moms.
You know that you can find your ideal clients at the local mom’s group that hosts regular meetings with speakers.
Or, let’s say your ideal clients are high-powered women in corporate jobs.
You know you can reach these women inside corporations and professional women’s associations they belong to. You can speak at a corporate lunch-n-learn and at the association meetings.
These are just two examples, but you can see how easy it can be to reach your ideal clients.
Would you like to reach a wider audience online?
If you’ve been thinking about expanding your health coaching business beyond your local area, hosting webinars is a great way to kickstart your online growth.
Webinars and Facebook live videos allow you to reach people all around the world, meaning you can help far more people.
Do you have a following on social media or would you like to grow a following?
If you already have a social media following, you have a baked-in audience for speaking. You can start speaking to that audience right away through Facebook live, Instagram stories, or webinars.
If building up a social media following is on your business to-do list, public speaking will help you get there.
Webinars are one of the fastest ways to grow your list (and following) and start creating a connection with your followers.
Plus, Facebook now favors video and Facebook live streams over posts that only contain links or text, so you’ll be able to reach more people faster if you add video to your social media mix.
Does the idea of becoming a local celebrity excite you?
Do you want to be known in your hometown as THE wellness expert? Then public speaking is definitely right for you!
When you get up in front of a room of people and speak on a subject, they’ll start to view you as the expert in your field. They’ll start to spread the word about you to their friends. Before you know it, you could be the go-to person in your niche.
And once you start giving talks, you’ll find you get invited to speak at other venues and groups.
Speaking can open up so many doors!
If you found yourself nodding “yes” to these questions, speaking is a great marketing strategy for you. I encourage you to get out there and speak!
Now that you’re convinced public speaking is a great strategy, you might be wondering how to get started. Let’s dive in!
How To Find and Book Public Speaking Gigs
There are so many opportunities for health coaches to get speaking gigs. Venues of all kinds are looking for speakers to come in for events and give great talks to their customers or members.
You might want to give talks at:
- Yoga studios
- Pilates & Barre studios
- Crossfit centers & Orangetheory Fitness
- Holistic health centers
- Reiki, Body talk, acupuncture, and other healing centers
- Doctors offices
- Massage, physical therapy or chiropractor offices
- Organic markets
Step 1: Determine what types of places you want to be a guest speaker.
I focused on Yoga and Pilates studios when I was a health coach. Where you decide to speak should be informed by your chosen niche. Find places you think your ideal clients are likely to hang out. You might want to speak at PTA groups, doctor’s offices, birth centers, or professional women’s groups, to name a few ideas.
Step 2: Create a list of places to contact.
First, I suggest you get organized and create a system to track all of the people and places you’re finding and reaching out to. I use a spreadsheet template, which you can copy right here. You can use any method you prefer whether it’s paper and pencil, a word document, or a spreadsheet.
Use Google, social media and online directories to find places you want to contact. Another great place to look is meetup.com to find groups in your city.
You can also contact your referral or affiliate partners for suggestions. And don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and coworkers – they may belong to a gym or wellness centre that regularly hosts speakers.
When searching for places to speak, here’s the information you want to be sure to gather:
- The name of the space or studio
- The address
- The phone number
- The name of the person you will be contacting
- Their email
- The date you contacted them
Step 3: Send an email to reach out to potential venues.
Now that you have some great ideas of WHERE to give talks, you’re probably wondering how to approach these potential venues.
With these pre-written emails, you can literally copy and paste as you start pitching your talk.
Step 4: Follow-up (This is the most important step, so don’t skip it!)
You’ll notice that in Step 2 I suggest making a note of the date that you contact the potential live workshop venues.
One week after you send your emails, email the venues again if you haven’t heard from them.
You can make this a simple email where you write “I wanted to check-in again regarding potential guest speaking opportunities,” and then include the text from your previous email.
You may feel like a nag emailing someone two or three times, but it is important to remember that everyone is busy. Some of my most successful live workshops or speaking gigs were with people I had to email multiple times.
How to Choose Your Topic
The starting point of a successful talk that gets you clients is to speak on a topic that your ideal clients desperately want to know more about.
I often see coaches giving talks on topics that are too general, such as “Whole Foods Nutrition” or “How to Achieve Wellness.”
When you’re deciding what topic to focus your talk on, it can be tempting to give a “one size fits all” talk, where you discuss health and wellness in a general way. Many coaches think that being broad with their topic will compel more people to want to work with them.
But this is a big mistake!
When you give a talk that’s too broad or vague, it won’t resonate with your audience.
Your talk will be far more successful if you pick a specific, compelling topic.
Your topic should speak to your ideal client in a way that really piques their interest. This is done by relating it to the main challenge they’re experiencing.
A talk called “5 Strategies to Reduce Belly Bloat” will be much more interesting to your target audience than something like “5 Strategies to Get Healthier”.
In order to come up with your topic, you first need to understand your ideal clients.
- What are they struggling with most?
- What questions do they ask you most frequently?
Answering these questions will help you zero in on a topic that will fill the room with your ideal clients.
How to Create Your Talk
Once you’ve got your topic, it’s time to put your talk together. This step can seem completely overwhelming – where do you even start?! That’s why I suggest using an outline to create your talk so you have a structure to follow and fill in.
When putting your content together, think about having 3-5 teaching points and no more.
For each teaching point, be sure to focus on the “why.” Always ask yourself – why does it matter to them? This will help your talk really connect with your audience on a personal and emotional level, rather than feeling like they’re sitting in a dry lecture.
Once you’ve addressed the why, include some of the “how.” How can they start to implement what they’re learning? This will leave them walking away feeling like they got a lot of value from the talk.
It can be very tempting to include a lot of information in your talk (you’re an expert after all, so you’ve got a lot to say!). However, doing this will overwhelm your audience with too much information.
And, if they find your talk overwhelming, they may feel like they can’t possibly tackle their health concerns and won’t be as likely to want to work with you.
So grab the outline, follow along, and try to keep it simple.
How to Invite People to Work With Your During Your Talk
After you’ve delivered the bulk of your talk, it’s time to share how the audience can get more support and work with you. (Pssst… this is how you get clients!)
You’ve given your talk attendees a lot of great and helpful information, now they want to know how they can work with you to put it into practice.
Your offer can either be to work with you one-on-one, join a group program or cleanse, or simply to get on a call for a free consultation.
The best offers are specific, relevant and time limited. Your offer should hit on each of these elements.
Specific – whether you’re offering a free consult, a group program or a cleanse, be specific about what it includes.
Relevant – make your offer relevant to the talk you just gave. If your talk is about cutting sugar, a 21-day sugar detox is very relevant and enticing to your audience.
Time limited – putting a time limit on your offer makes people jump into action instead of thinking about it for too long (and eventually forgetting).
Your offer is a really important part of your talk, so be sure you leave enough time for it. I see a lot of talks and webinars that are so packed with information, coaches barely have time to make their offer. Or, they feel shy about making an offer and they end up breezing right through it.
This is doing yourself and your audience a disservice because you’re not allowing your audience the opportunity to see the real value in your offer.
How To Convert More Attendees into Clients With Your Follow Up Strategy
You might think that once you’ve given your talk, your work is done. But following up after your talk is one of the most important steps for converting attendees into clients. And it’s the step most coaches miss!
When I was giving talks as a new health coach, I had a great system for following up with my talk attendees, which helped me grow my list and turn more people into clients.
Other coaches would tell me that they were shy about following up – they either wouldn’t ask for their attendees’ emails, they would only send 1 email to follow up, or they would wait too long to get in touch.
The reason the follow up is so important is because most ‘consumers’ need 7 interactions with a company before making a purchase – and this is especially true when purchasing one-on-one services. Your clients have to know you, like you, and trust you before they signup.
While it’s certainly possible to build that trust factor during your talk, most people need a few ‘reminders’ to really be convinced that you can solve their problems. That’s why the follow up is so crucial to growing your business and converting more attendees into clients.
Most coaches skip this step, leaving money on the table!
This is the strategy that I used to convert more talk attendees into clients, and I still use these methods now when I lead webinars.
Collect names and emails
If you’re going to follow up with your talk attendees, you need a way to reach them! There are a few ways you can collect names and emails from your talk:
- Pass out what I call an “a-ha enrollment form” towards the end of the talk. On the form, provide a place for people to share their biggest ahas and check off if they’d like to receive your free gift or sign-up for your initial consultation..
- If the attendees registered for the event online, make a plan with the venue to use an online registration platform like eventbrite.com. That will allow you to send emails to your registrants through the platform.
- If you’re doing a webinar or online talk, the attendees will be providing their email when they sign up. Done!
Send a thank you email immediately
Prepare a thank you email ahead of time so that you can send this one out right after your talk. This is important, so you can keep the momentum going.
Your thank you email should be short and sweet – thank them for coming, remind them of the key takeaways that they just learned, and give them one call to action.
The call to action you include in this email should align with the offer you made during your talk.
If you invited people to sign up for a free consultation, your call to action should include a link to schedule the consult.
If you invited people into a group program, like a cleanse or detox, send out an email that shares information about the program and links to your sales page where they can learn more and sign-up.
One note here – don’t send the same follow up to someone who already signed up or purchased during the talk. You don’t want to confuse them by sending them an additional sign up link.
Create a follow up email series
At this point you’ve had 2-3 interactions with your new audience and they’re definitely starting to warm up to you. This is a great time to keep up the momentum and continue building that know, like, and trust factor.
An email series is the perfect way to build that relationship quickly. You can provide a lot of value over a short time with a strategic email series. You don’t want to hope that your new audience will visit your website, look you up on social media, and find the blogs or resources you’ve created. You’ve got to tell them to do that and point them in the right direction.
Your email series can be anywhere from 3-10 emails – but I think 5 or 6 is the sweet spot. What you write about is going to depend on the offer you made during your talk.
If you offered a specific program, be sure that your email series goes into more detail about the program. You want to use these emails to build trust, educate, and provide value so that your audience feels confident in their decision to work with you. Tell them what kind of results they can get, what they can expect during the program, and share success stories from past clients.
Encourage fast signups by creating urgency. You can do this by putting a time-limited bonus on the offer you made at your talk – whether that’s an expiring discount, an extra resource they’ll get, or bonus one-on-one time with you.
If you offered a free consultation at the end of your talk, use the emails to promote the consult, while sharing more information about you and how you help clients. Create urgency in these emails by making the offer time-limited and share the dollar value of the consultation. For example, you could say..
I’m positive that if you use a follow up email strategy you’ll see the results from your talks and webinars!
How you can give non-traditional talks that can bring in even more clients and revenue
There are many different forms of speaking for health coaches that often get overlooked.
I believe there’s a form of speaking for almost everyone – no matter what your comfort level is with public speaking, presenting, or technology!
In many ways, webinars are really similar to in-person talks except for the obvious difference – they’re online! But the idea is the same – you are giving a 45-60 minute presentation on one topic to a group of people. Only in this case, they’re behind a computer screen and not in the room with you.
Webinars have helped me – and many coaches – grow their business beyond their local area. In terms of online marketing, webinars are one of the most effective ways to get new clients or fill a group program quickly.
How to get started:
To get started with webinars, the first thing to tackle is the technology. There is a lot to set up to run a webinar – signup pages, email confirmation and reminders, the video recording and delivery, and the presentation. Once the technology is tackled, giving a webinar is just like giving an in-person talk.
A party may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about public speaking for health coaches, but this was a ‘strategy’ I used when I was a health coach. I say ‘strategy’ in quotes because it’s almost too fun to be considered a marketing strategy!
I asked people I knew – clients and friends – to host a small party for a group of their friends. I brought healthy treats for everyone to try, did a cooking demo, and I also gave a short talk. I even brought some homemade body care products for everyone to try.
These events were always really fun and a very comfortable way to “speak” to a group. It also made the party guests more comfortable approaching me about their health because they got to know me in a casual setting.
How to get started:
To get started with wellness parties, talk to a few friends or clients about hosting one. You’ll prepare some healthy snacks ahead of time, as well as a short, informal presentation and prepare food together. Your actual talk only needs to be about 15-20 minutes, but you’ll be able to interact with the guests throughout the event.
One thing I really enjoyed when I was a health coach was holding cooking classes in my home.
I would invite specific groups – like my local Mother’s Club or a local women’s networking group – and teach them how to prepare their own healthy, delicious food.
I also hosted seasonal cooking classes for my clients where they were able (and encouraged) to bring a friend. This allowed me to offer great value to my clients while also meeting new potential clients.
Hosting a cooking demo can be a great way to get people excited and intrigued about the possibility of a more healthy lifestyle. You’re showing them just how fun and delicious healthy living can be!
How to get started:
To get started with cooking demos, approach a local group you’re a part of (like a mom’s group or women’s networking group). You’ll prepare the menu ahead of time and get all the supplies and ingredients you’ll need. In this case, you don’t need to give an actual ‘talk’ but you can discuss health topics throughout the demo.
Using Facebook Live is one form of speaking that many coaches are finding extremely effective.
Facebook Lives are more casual than webinars. There’s no slideshow presentation, so it’s easy to hop on when you’re inspired and share a message with your Facebook audience.
I’ve recently started doing Facebook lives and I have to admit that I was nervous about trying this new medium, just as I was nervous when I gave my first talk… and my first webinar… and my first cooking demo. But I know as with each of those forms of public speaking my nerves will relax the more I do it!
I recommend jotting down a few notes on a topic you want to share, practicing what you want to say a few times, and hitting that live button. Sticking to one main topic and having an idea of what you will cover will make your live video flow easier.
How to get started:
To get started on a Facebook live all you need is a Facebook account and your phone or laptop camera. Livestreams can be as short as 5-10 minutes, or go as long as 25-30 minutes. If you’re nervous about talking to a large group, pretend you’re having a conversation with one person like you would on Skype or FaceTime.
As you can see, there’s a form of public speaking for almost everyone.
To figure out which is right for you, go with your gut. Which of these sounds most comfortable to you? Which fits your speaking and interacting style? Which do you think you can get started on right away with the shortest learning curve?
Start where you’re comfortable and build from there. I encourage you to try one of these forms of speaking and let me know how it goes!
Public speaking can be your most powerful marketing tool, but it only works if done the right way.
Worried about getting it right?
Don’t worry. This is why I created the Done-For-You Speaking Kit.
I am handing you everything you need (and even some things you didn’t know you needed).
I created each of these comprehensive kits with lots of love, and I’m thrilled to share them with you!
You’ll have the tools you need to:
- Book talks at the right places
- Get people excited to show up for your talks
- Deliver talks that get people hungry to work with you
- Land clients on the spot & after the talk is over
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Are you ready to use public speaking as a powerful marketing strategy in your health coaching business? What questions do you still have about speaking?
Comment below or come join our Facebook Group to share!