There is an opportunity for wellness and wellness coaching to impact the lives of millions of people in a life-saving way. 79 million Americans are estimated to have a condition called pre-diabetes. Usually symptom free, without intervention they will develop full-fledged Type II diabetes within ten years and possibly endure physical damage to their heart and circulatory system along the way. Yet, according to the American Diabetes Association, if a person is successful at lifestyle improvement they can completely avoid the onset of diabetes 70% of the time.
Although arthritis today is considered one of the leaders of the pack in the epidemic of chronic illness, millions of those affected are living fulfilling lives and living them well.
According to The Institute of Medicine’s New Report on Living Well With Chronic Illness, 8.6 million Americans are living with disabilities related to arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation reports it as “striking one in every five adults, 300,000 children and as the leading cause of disability in the United States.” Arthritis is a chronic illness that impacts many.
Those living with arthritis can live well and have a good quality of life by employing lifestyle interventions as medicine, in conjunction with, prevention, joint protection, weight management, physical activity, wise food choices, stress management and a good medical regimen. By combining all these necessary recommendations into a personalized Wellness Strategy and Plan, a coach can assist an arthritis patient in organizing what is important for them to live life well. The Wellness Plan then becomes a map by which to navigate toward managing and maximizing the patient’s best life possible.
A common factor also influencing quality of life for those challenged by arthritis or any chronic illness is what is called “adherence” or “medical compliance”. Lack of adherence to medical and lifestyle improvements is a large piece of the cost of healthcare today and contributes to the epidemic of chronic illness. Average patient adherence rates for prescribed medications are about 50 percent, and for lifestyle changes they are below 10 percent.
The World Health Organization reports “improving adherence also enhances patients’ safety because most of the care needed for chronic conditions is based on patient self-management, use of medical technology for monitoring, and changes in the patient’s lifestyle.” A coach assists in supporting patient compliance and self-accountability and works with the patient to forward the action toward their goals.
The same report goes on to say “patient-tailored interventions are required and must be customized to the particular illness-related demands experienced by the patient. There is no single intervention strategy that has been shown to be effective across all patients.” Therefore, working with individuals one on one is of primary importance for enhancing their quality of life. Coaches work with clients on a one on one basis assisting them in creating a wellness plan that is personalized to them.
Dr. Bennett and team’s article Health Coaching for Patients with Chronic Illness states “it is critical that those with arthritis understand, agree with and participate in the management of their chronic condition. Health coaching is one way to accomplish this function.”
A long-term study done at Stanford University indicates that interactions with a coach can significantly increase the health of people with chronic illness. Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program brought patients (including those with arthritis) together with a coach. “Subjects who took the Program, when compared to those who did not, demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, cognitive symptom management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, fatigue, disability, and social/role activities limitations. They also spent fewer days in the hospital, and there was also a trend toward fewer outpatient visits and hospitalizations.”
It was found “This type of self-management, through coaching, is so effective it has been endorsed by the Surgeon General of the United States.”
“Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.” Health & Wellness coaches work with a client to tailor-make a wellness plan that includes self-management, coordinating their medical regimen, and forwarding lasting lifestyle changes. Working together with a coach, a patient can successfully manage their condition and create a strategy to living life well with arthritis.
What Can Health & Wellness Coaches Do for You?
► Work with you to take an inventory of your current wellness status
► Guide and facilitate your personal well-life vision toward the life you would like to live
► Work with you to develop a personalized Wellness Plan that is tailored to your needs. The wellness plan becomes the map that integrates your important areas of focus including: self-management support, the medical regimen, and lifestyle improvements.
- Self-management support:
- Promote healthy behaviors
- Impart problem-solving skills
- Assist with the emotional impact of chronic illness
- Provide regular follow-up and accountability
- Encourage people to be active participants in their care
- Assist in patient self-advocacy
- The medical regimen – facilitation of a patient-directed approach
- Scheduling and attending medical appointments
- Asking your medical team the right questions
- Following through on daily prescribed medications
- Tracking your regimen to support success
- Lifestyle improvements
- Physical activity
- Healthy eating
- Eliminating risk factors
- Promoting healthy behaviors
► Bridging the gap between clinician and patient.
- Health coaches can bridge these gaps between the medical team and patient by following up with patients and guiding a patient-centered approach, asking about needs and addressing obstacles, addressing health literacy, cultural issues and social-class barriers.
- Health Coaches help patients become self-directed in navigating the health care system. Coaches can help with patient self-advocacy and coordination of care
► Provide accountability & support for you to be successful
- Offer emotional support
- Coping with illness is emotionally challenging. Coaches can offer emotional support and help patients cope with their illnesses. They also assist patients in seeking out additional emotional support that will help them achieve and maintain success.
► Provide ongoing evaluation of progress toward your goals
- Re-evaluating success
- Resetting goals & action steps as necessary
- Provide acknowledgement & support of successes
- Assist in maintaining forward momentum toward goals
► Serve as a continuity figure
- Coaches travel with the patient as an ally and assist them with staying the course while implementing their wellness plan.
► Assist in patient-directed achievement of successful lifestyle behavioral change
- Be your ally and walk shoulder to shoulder with you
Dr. Linda Gogl is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with Board Certification in Orthopaedic’s with over 20 years in healthcare. She currently serves as Director of Development and Team Member for Real Balance Global Wellness Services. Her professional experience includes outpatient Clinical Director, Developer/Director of an APTA Credentialed Orthopaedic Residency Program, Director of Quality Assurance for the largest physical therapy private practice in California, Credentialed Clinical Instructor, Adjunct Professor of Anatomy & Physiology, Research mentor and Clinical Coordinator for University affiliations. More recently she also served as National Director of Training and Implementation for OptimisPT, a physical therapy software system.
- Arthritis Foundation. Arthritistoday.org
- Bennett et al, Health Coaching for Patients With Chronic Illness. Fam Pract Manag. 2010 Sep-Oct;17(5):24-29.
- Harris et al. The Institute of Medicines’s New Report on Living Well With Chronic Illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Volume 9 – September 20, 2012.
- Lorig et al. Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, 2-year Health Status and Health Care Utilization Outcomes. Medical Care. Volume 39, Number 11, pp 1217-1223.2001
- National Prevention Strategy, Clinical and Community Preventive Services, National Prevention Council 2010. www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/prevention/strategy/preventive-services.pdf
- National Prevention Council Action Plan: Implementing the National Prevention Strategy www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/prevention/2012-npc-action-plan.pdf
- World Health Organization. Adherence to Long-Term Therapies. Evidence for Action. 2003.
Is there really a difference between CBT and DBT? Both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) come from the same family of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is one of the best treatment methods available to treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions, like depression and anxiety….
Have you ever wondered why a particular diet, workout routine or cleanse offers remarkable results for some people, but not others?
It’s because of bio-individuality and Metabolic Chaos®.
When it comes to health, there is no one size fits all! Each person is unique on a cellular and metabolic level. They have their own health strengths and weaknesses, or vital voids as Reed Davis, the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® calls them. So, instead of treating symptoms, tests and/or assessment results, the key is to assess the specific needs of each person.
Functional lab testing is the best way to analyze a person’s specific needs on a deeper level. The comprehensive data obtained through lab testing can be used to inform and guide a health-building program, to get real results that last a lifetime.
Reed Davis, the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®, worked for over a decade as a certified nutritional therapist and case manager perfecting lab testing and resources. And now for over 10 years, he has been sharing his knowledge through the FDN course with a mission to empower as many people as possible to help as many people as possible to get well and stay well naturally.
After helping hundreds of clients, Reed discovered that while each was unique in their health challenges, they also had much in common – H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors.
Through clinical work, Reed identified 5 foundational lab tests essential for in-depth insights in order to uncover a client’s H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors and reveal their true healing opportunities to build their health.
Having access to lab testing, knowing how to properly interpret the results and use the data to guide a health building protocol is what makes certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioners so successful in getting their clients real results.
Like you, most of our FDN practitioners started off as health coaches, personal trainers, nutritionists, nurses, homemakers or were in non-health related fields and changed their career because they were inspired by their personal health journey.
No matter what their prior profession was, all of them have these 3 things in common:
- A strong desire to help others on a deeper level
- Willingness to walk the talk and empower others to do the same
- A feeling as if they were missing some very important pieces to the health puzzle.
FDN’s complete methodology has empowered over 3,000 trainees in over 50 different countries to help people get well and stay well naturally.
Join Reed Davis in our upcoming webinar and learn how to get real results for you and your clients, and create a successful business doing what you love while positively impacting others.
Reed Davis is a Nutritional Therapist and has been the Health Director and Case Manager at a wellness clinic San Diego for over 15 years; he is the Founder of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Certification Course.
So you go to your annual check-up and your doc says “whoops your blood pressure is up and you’re 15 pounds heavier than last year. I’ll give you some meds, but you’ll have to lose weight and get into shape, OK?
You say OK, you walk out and then what?
Join a gym, hire a personal trainer, go on a diet, take a walk? You might do one or several of these because, after all, it’s a new year and a new you.
Right? Right, and you try something. But how long is it till you throw up your hands and say, “ugh, I got started and now I’m off the track just like last year.”
What went wrong? Maybe nothing, except you might not have been psychologically ready to take those steps.
For any change there is a process. One of the models that are used is the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) developed by James O. Prochaska , Ph.D
There are 5 stages:
Precontemplation – going along not aware of a need for, or not wanting a change.
Contemplation – recognizing a need to do something to improve your situation and considering making some sort of change.
Preparation – doing some research, making small changes, or at least thinking about what you’re going to do to help yourself.
Action – Actively making lifestyle changes,
Maintenance – Having made changes, keeping the healthy lifestyle going.
All too often we jump from contemplation to action without being ready for the change. It can feel like getting off a plane in Antarctica wearing shorts and a T-shirt. You wanted to be there but you weren’t ready for what that change would be like, and what you’d need to do to stay there comfortably.
But there is help, a new kind of help.
The health and fitness industry is rising to the challenge of our increased involvement with our own health care.
Many of us still think of fitness professionals as muscle heads with great bodies and not much else. Those types will always exist, but more educational opportunities including degrees and certifications are spawning a new breed of health & fitness professional, one that’s part of the health as well as the fitness industry.
Enter the Health & Wellness Coach
Not to be confused with a personal trainer, the Health & Wellness Coach is a consultant who helps you go, through, preparation, to action and on to maintenance. The coach helps you determine your health and wellness goals and needs. Once you have a path to your goals the coach continues to work with you to help you find the behavior modifications, activities, facilities and allied health professionals (MDs, Ph.Ds, Nurse Practitioners RDs, PTs, Personal Trainers, Exercise Instructors, etc.) to support your healthy lifestyle. You can do this on your own, but having someone with health industry knowledge who has your back, who is nonjudgmental, who just wants to help you focus and succeed can make all the difference.
Mirabai Holland MFA, EP-C, CHC is one of the foremost authorities is the health and fitness industry. Her customer top rated exercise videos for Age-Onset health issues like Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Diabetes & more are available at www.mirabaiholland.com. Mirabai also offers one-on-on Health Coaching on Skype or Phone. Contact her at email@example.com.
I was back in my hometown recently, where I health coached and taught for over 20 years. I missed my clients so I decided to take some of them out for tea and dessert. I thought for a minute the dessert…
One of the most powerful tools in any coach’s arsenal is his or her knowledge of which coaching techniques to apply to a given situation and how to apply them to best meet clients’ needs. “Sharpening the saw,” or continually honing one’s skills, ensures coaches are on top of the most effective practices.
Learning new skills and coaching techniques is easier than ever through eLearning–educational programs delivered online. Online courses are more accessible, less expensive and faster to master than traditional educational programs. And best of all, they can be taken at the learner’s convenience, 24/7/365.
So how does eLearning help coaches sharpen their saw? In his mega-bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Franklin Covey describes “sharpening the saw” as a way of “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.”
By engaging in eLearning to expand their knowledge of proven, effective practices, coaches can treat clients with a wider variety of issues. These same practices also work on the coach! Taking online training gives coaches the opportunity to see their own issues, in each of the four areas mentioned by Covey, from a fresh perspective, making them better practitioners and better people in general.
Approaching eLearning not only as a tool to gain skills as a coach, but also as a way to live to one’s full potential provides extra motivation when taking online courses and makes “sharpening the saw” more fun!
Reprinted with permission from the SoleLife Blog.
Nichole Lowe is a board certified Health Coach, Educator and Presenter. She is the Founder and CEO of SOLELIFE™. SOLELIFE™ is an online training platform that offers proven advanced training for coaches and health practitioners in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) to improve its customers’ client results and grow their referral business. It’s an all-in-one solution for professional coaches where they can learn new skills, connect with peers, and gain valuable industry knowledge in a first-ever fully social eLearning platform.
If you’re interested in learning more about DBT, SOLELIFE offers a free course, Understanding DBT.
If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” –Hippocrates 420 B.C – 370 B.C.
Healthcare providers have been prescribing lifestyle improvement for thousands of years. The evidence has been built from the observations of Hippocrates all the way to the neuroscience of today. We know, from mountainous reams of data, that lifestyle affects the course of an illness or health challenge. The challenge for the healthcare provider of today is to see the “lifestyle prescription” translated into lasting lifestyle change. Many well-intentioned healthcare professionals have attempted to educate and admonish their patients into losing weight, ceasing the use of tobacco, managing their stress better, getting more sleep, being medically compliant/adherent, etc. Seeing actual success in behavioral change happening far too seldom, many have abandoned such efforts and just reach for the pharmaceutical prescription pad.
In recent years, however, there has been an exciting movement in the field of medicine that looks at how to use “lifestyle interventions” as first-line treatment.
“Recent clinical research provides a strong evidential basis for the preferential use of lifestyle interventions as first-line therapy. This research is moving lifestyle from prevention only to include treatment–from an intervention used to prevent disease to an intervention used to treat disease.” –The American College Of Lifestyle Medicine
The Lifestyle Medicine Movement has done much to establish an evidence base and it continues to examine research that distinguishes what appears to work for lifestyle improvement. Much of its attention has focused on nutrition, but more and more the field is realizing the importance of health and lifestyle behavior.
Wellness and health coaching has become the delivery mechanism for wellness programs, and its potential for the same vital role is being seen in Lifestyle Medicine. The reality is that the vast majority of clients that most wellness/health coaches see are already health-challenged in some way. They may already have a chronic lifestyle-related illness, or multiple risk factors that set them up for needing serious preventative help. Wellness/health coaches that work for disease management companies, insurance companies and many corporate wellness programs are already working with caseloads populated primarily by lifestyle medicine patients.
At past Lifestyle Medicine conferences, I’ve presented on “Wellness Coaching And Lifestyle Medicine: Covering The Whole Continuum”. and “Delivering The Behavioral Side Of Lifestyle Medicine: Wellness Coaching Skills & Concepts”. Together with other presenters on wellness coaching we have experienced a strong positive response from an audience made up primarily of physicians.
Co-creating a Wellness Plan with our clients is one of the primary tasks for the wellness coach. Together we work with a structure that insures the client’s plan for lifestyle improvement will lead to success. A key part of that Wellness Plan will always be the “Lifestyle Prescription” that the client’s treatment team is recommending. What is key is that the Wellness Plan supports The Treatment Plan.
I will be talking further about this concept in my forthcoming book on the more advanced skills and methods of wellness coaching, but here is a sketch of the two plans and the way they overlap.
- Diagnostically Derived
- Treatment Provider Devised
- Responsibility on Provider to administer, responsibility on client to follow
- Usually does not accommodate patient’s circumstances or abilities, may accommodate patient’s capacities.
- Problem solving, solution finding oriented
- Purposed for resolution of illness and disease, reduction of symptoms, healing
- “Lifestyle Prescription” focuses on recommended behavioral changes leading to Lifestyle Medicine outcomes
- Dependent greatly upon medical compliance/adherence
- Derived through exploration and self-assessment combined with treatment recommendations.
- Co-created by “client” and “coach”
- Non-prescriptive – client centered
- Responsibility on client to follow with coach’s accountability and support
- Not only accommodates, but is derived from client’s circumstances, abilities and capacities.
- Designed to eliminate barriers and develop additional support
- Possibility, growth and self-actualization oriented.
- Purposed for behavioral change and lifestyle improvement
- Includes assisting client with medical compliance/adherence
Overlap Of Treatment And Wellness Plans
- The Wellness Plan (WP) supports the Treatment Plan (TP)
- TP identifies critical areas for recommended lifestyle improvement
- Through “client-centered communication” WP aligns with the goals of the TP
- Client engages, with coaching support, in lifestyle improvement behaviors that positively affect treatment outcomes
- WP helps client with organization, accountability, etc., improving attendance for medical appointments and management of medications, self-testing/self-care
- WP helps client make best us of medical appointments (self-advocacy)
- WP helps client report more accurately to treatment team about changes in lifestyle behavior (providing more data for treatment decisions)
When clients are operating on a Wellness Plan that they have truly helped co-create with their own buy-in, the opportunity for weaving in Areas of Focus, Goals and Action Steps that support what their treatment team wants to see becomes obvious. Clients then have the structure and support they need to carry out the goals of the Lifestyle Prescription.
Physicians and other healthcare providers can already start making use of wellness and health coaching as a delivery mechanism for the behavioral change they would love to see. Many of their patients already have wellness coaching as an employee benefit. Their company’s wellness program may already provide it, or they may contract with a wellness coaching provider company. More and more employees have wellness/health coaching available through their insurance provider.
Wise medical organizations and practices are hiring wellness coaches to become part of their staff or are outsourcing to them. Healthcare providers are sometime “wearing two hats” and combining their treatment work with coaching. Others are becoming more “coach-like” in their interactions and are then handing the patient off to the wellness coach for the longer process of lifestyle improvement.
The Real Balance Wellness & Health Coach Certification curriculum (http://www.realbalance.com) has included how coaches fit into the Lifestyle Medicine approach for over a decade. Our students come to us as a resource for learning how they can help deliver the lifestyle improvement that their Lifestyle Medicine clients seek.
Wellness Coaching to support Lifestyle Medicine is not just an idea whose time has come, it has already arrived!
Originally published on Real Balance blog. Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Michael Arloski is the CEO and Founder of Real Balance Global Wellness Services, Inc. (). Real Balance has trained thousands of wellness coaches worldwide. Dr. Arloski is a board member of The National Wellness Institute, and a founding member of the executive team of The National Consortium For Credentialing Health and Wellness Coaches. He is author of the leading book in the field of wellness coaching: Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change, 2nd Ed.
The Space Between Fitness and Medicine: Where “the Good You Do For Others” Brings the Reward you Deserve | Part 2
In our first part of this three-part discussion, in addressing the topic of financial reward, I asked you to ponder the value of restoration. What, I prompted you to consider, is the value of helping someone who has moved along the dis-ease continuum, gradually leaving health in the proverbial rear-view-mirror back toward divine health?
It isn’t an easy question to answer. We can tackle it by considering all of the dollars those who incur inflammatory issues, chronic challenges, and cellular degradation will have to invest in maintaining function and comfort. We might also attempt to place a monetary value upon lost quality of life. We might even consider the simple question, “what would someone pay to rediscover health” considering their fear and apprehension of the alternative, and from that extrapolate the value.
If you are willing to believe that personal trainers with advanced education and the development of a complementary skill set can have immeasurable impact upon “the unwell population,” one perspective becomes clear.
The trainer versed in restoring health commands a far greater value than the personal training mainstream.
STEPPING UP A LEVEL
As in any field, a specialist with enhanced value will serve his or her marketplace best by finding a direct line of contact with those in need of their specialty.
In the sentence above, “need” is the key word.
While it’s oft been said that personal trainers are a luxury or a privilege, with an appropriate adjustment in perspective, those who have slipped into the largest segment of our adult population, the unwell market, might consider any therapeutic resource, if wellness is a goal, a “need.”
Now that I’ve mentioned it a few times, I’ll provide a general description of the market I’m referring to as “unwell.” Then I’ll help you see the opportunity to step up, to meet this population in an arena where they “need” you. I’, to command a value in line with a well-justified fee, and . . . here’s the biggie . . . to provide them the service they will truly benefit from.
WHO ARE THE UNWELL?
Let’s be really clear here. I’m not suggesting the opportunity lies in training “sick people.” I’m suggesting the largest, most opportune market share is made up of many American adults between the ages of 35 and 65. They aren’t “sick” in a clinical sense. They work. They drive their kids to school. They shop in the malls and grocery stores. They eat in the neighborhood restaurants. They pump gas in the same gas stations you do and they frequent Starbuck’s, Chipotle, and the local pizza place.
They don’t have need for hospitalization or chronic care . . . but they’ve slipped, moved along what I’m calling the dis-ease continuum. They’ve begun a process of maladaptation, a movement away from healthful homeostasis, and while many haven’t yet been diagnosed (many have), their bodies have become imbalanced. Whether it’s a hormonal imbalance, thyroid irregularity, blood sugar elevation, hypertensive condition, hypercholesterolemia, or chronic inflammation of one or several bodily systems, they have moved into a place where innate homeostasis is no longer their “norm.”
Not sick, at least not clinically, but not well. What’s alarming is, I’m describing near 65% of the adult population over the age of 45. Yes, the market is vast.
If the unwell were being cured of their ailments or remedied by the conventions of medicine, I wouldn’t see the “need” as being this opportune. All I need to share is a single statement to help you see why there’s a desperate need for a new type of health practitioner, one who masters the exercise and eating intervention. Here’s that statement.
In a society where chronic disease is most treated with pharmaceutical intervention, there isn’t a single medication that will cure any chronic disease.
Read that again. While there exists a wild array of meds to manage conditions and change biomarkers, there isn’t one that will cure the plight of the unwell.
Conversely, there is an extensive body of evidence to demonstrate the power we have over shifts in blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormonal disruption when we strategically employ a variety of exercise modalities and guidance in the realm of supportive nutrition.
If the demand is great, the “need” remains unfulfilled, and the greatest potential lies in the skill set we, as fitness professionals, have access to . . . our value escalates above virtually any conventional yet impotent “cures.”
THE LEVEL 2 TRAINER AS A CORRECTIVE HEALTH SPECIALIST
If we consider a “Level 1” trainer someone who is qualified, credentialed, and able to provide safe and effective exercise prescription to a healthy population, let’s consider a “Level 2” someone who can effectively target this Unwell niche and deliver improvements in biomarkers, condition, and quality of life.
The Level 2 trainer can identify his or her “ideal client avatar.” Moving forward I’ll refer to the Ideal Client Avatar as an “ICA.”
In establishing a presence and a track record with the Unwell, the enhanced personal trainer (enhanced with a higher level of education than the standard and an ability to implement positive change in the unwell) can justifiably command fees in line with other health practitioners, medical practitioners, and specialists.
In setting a fee structure, there should be a professional standard, a relationship-based fee that is consistent, one that exceeds “an industry standard.” Remember, if you deliver above the standard, you deserve reward above the usual.
HOW DO YOU STEP UP AND CREATE AN AUDIENCE?
Marketing, for the Level 2 trainer targeting this niche is not as haphazard as “pass out cards, talk it up in the gym, and talk to everyone about what you do.”
In order to establish your position, you’ll want to have four. Four strong successes. Four living examples of the value you deliver, and finding those four requires a bit of front-end work. Once you have your four you have a sound foundation upon which to build. The question, therefore, that merits consideration is . . . how do you “break in.” Where do your “four” come from.
I’ll make it step by step.
Note that everything that follows is based upon the assumption that you have received extraordinary training, that you’ve established a level of education complementary to your base credential, and that you’re positioned to initiate and maintain a practice with a revised focus on empowering clients to reverse the imbalances inherent in chronic disease. This is a prerequisite of paramount importance and although I won’t invest any more time in addressing it here, don’t allow my failure to repeat and reiterate this point as an indication its any less than vital.
STEP ONE: Define your Ideal Client Avatar. If you have a personal connection to a given condition or population (i.e. a relative with diabetes, a personal history with thyroid issues, etc.) and you have a passion for helping others who you feel are kindred spirits, that’s where you should best direct your marketing. You can’t “market well” until you define your ICA. This is a “must” in turning your ambition into financial security (and it’s the step most who seek to elevate their careers miss or ignore). Your ICA may not be based on your personal experience, but rather on where you see the greatest opportunity or where you have the greatest inroads. Devote time to getting clear on your ICA. It’s the true key to successfully “Stepping up to Level 2.”
STEP TWO: Determine your fee structure, your promise, and your offer. You don’t want to approach each prospective client with an open negotiation, nor do you want to exhibit uncertainty. As any business owner, design your foundation. What, precisely, are you promising each client? How are you compensated for that? What, precisely, is the person considering retaining you, supposed to do now, as a point of commitment.
STEP THREE: Choose a location, an affiliation, a network, and a social media platform where you can “meet” your ICA and spread the word. This is far simpler than it sounds. In outlining your ICA, simply as the question, “where do I find him (her)?” This is marketing at its core. Don’t think “medical.” Think real life. Where can you do a talk, a workshop, a presentation, knowing your ICA sits in the audience. I realize this is the intimidating step . . . but it’s also the one that brings you to human connection, and ultimately to commitment and money exchange. Perhaps in the future I’ll share an entire article devoted to “finding your ICA in the real world.” For now, accept that you have the answer to the question, you have the ability, and all it takes is a bit of courage and determination.
STEP FOUR: Create your Four. Do your thing. Work your magic. Use your skill set. Bring about change. Documentable change. Once you have your first four successes, you begin to build what I call an Arsenal of Evidence, and from that point on, the marketing challenge is replaced by magnetic appeal.
STEP FIVE: Build your business confidently, massively, professionally, and without limit.
This 3-part piece is intended, not to be a complete primer for business building, but to give you a sense of both the opportunity and your ability.
In creating a distinction between the progressive trainer willing to study, learn, and elevate, I’ve used the term “Level 2,” not to suggest any elite status, but to demonstrate a clear escalation in earning potential. Before I conclude this second part of the piece, I’ll outline a few elements of what I’m calling The Level 2 Trainer.
FIVE DISTINCTIVE ELEMENTS OF THE LEVEL 2 TRAINER
- You are a specialist among a given population
- You command fees above the norm
- You have a consistent promise and offer
- You have a track record and consistently grow a marketing / referral base
- You understand and recognize the value in the potential you have as a guide to empower others to move away from chronic disease and back toward divine health
Is there a level above the Level 2 trainer? Yes. And the sky’s the limit. Literally. More to come in Part 3!
Phil Kaplan has been a fitness leader and Personal Trainer for over 30 years having traveled the world sharing strategies for human betterment. He has pioneered exercise and eating interventions documented as having consistent and massive impact in battling chronic disease. His dual passion combines helping those who desire betterment and helping health professionals discover their potential. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org