In this episode, Ajay speaks with Christine Franklyn, Founder of the Good Living Network and a Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In this episode, Ajay shares his experiences and strategies to grow her health coaching services with a limited marketing budget.
Christine Franklyn is the founder of The Good Living Network and is a health coach who is certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through her online health coaching practice, she helps overwhelmed coaches and consultants lose weight and get healthier by first shedding their biggest stresses. She transforms the lives of her clients by giving them practical guidance to consistently fit in self-care, more homecooked meals, exercise and quality sleep. Christine holds an MBA and has combined her passion for entrepreneurship with a desire to build a network of solopreneurs who support each other, as they become healthier and happier.
Ajay: Pretty good, pretty good. I’m so glad to have you as my guest today. So, Christine, just to make sure that our audience has an idea about your questions, so can you tell me something about your business and where you are? Tell me something about your business. What exactly is your business about?
Christine: Sure. Well, I have an online health coaching practice, which is somewhat unconventional, because I look at what nourishes both body and the soul. And this is key for understanding what works for you and what doesn’t. And after all, no two individuals are the same. So, together with the client, I audit four key areas of his or her life: stress, sleep, food, and movement. And from there, we develop a plan of action.
And we also use the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Circle of Life, which is divided into 12 areas. And these are things that we often take for granted, and we don’t realize that they’re impacting our health. And they include things like joy, finances, and so on. So, the client looks at these areas and decides which of these areas he or she’s currently dissatisfied in, and then we address these as we work through the four stages of my six-month program. And the key thing here is that we can’t be perfect all the time, but by setting up ourselves for success, we put our health first. And as long as we do that, then naturally any excess weight will disappear over time.
Ajay: Okay. Good. So, now that we know what you’re doing, which is really very interesting and amazing so, tell me how, when you are saying you are doing it on the internet, so, how does it work? Do you have a platform through which you do, or do you just do it over the phone? Tell me about the process, how – So, if you can take me through journey of one of your client from the time they contact you to six months. Give me an idea of what do you do –
Ajay: and how it goes.
Christine: Sure. So, it’s all online, and even if there are people that I meet locally, the sessions are still conducted online. So, how it works is that we start with a typical initial consultation – and I offer this free to anyone who’s interested – where we go through your health history – there’s a form that I use. And it gives a very clear sense of all the various aspects related to your health that almost actually give a client clarity as he or she’s going through it and filling out the form. So, I’ve heard that from many clients at the very beginning of the process.
And after we have a clear sense of where you are in your health journey, what your goals are – and for a lot of people, one of their major goals is weight loss – then we look at setting up the sessions. And typically, I do three sessions a month, all via Zoom, and those sessions are 45 minutes each. And typically, I work with solopreneurs who are very busy, so it gives us a chance to check in three times a month to see if suggestions that I have given them have been implemented, how they’re working, and we go through, as I said, the four key areas. So, step by step, we work on making small improvements.
And as I said, the six-month program is divided into those four areas. But we pay more or less attention on particular areas depending on each client’s specific needs because the program is very personalized. So, by the end of the six-month program, we would have covered those four areas, and within them, we would have looked at some of the other things that may impact them. As I mentioned, simple things like home environment, for example, might impact how well someone is set up to eat well, how prepared they are to home-cook their meals regularly.
So, we go through all of that in each session, step-by-step, and each change is really incremental. So, we’re not trying to make huge changes all at once. So, that’s the basic process.
Ajay: Okay. And so, right now, how are people finding you?
Christine: So, right now, I’ve been getting either referrals or I’ve had people that I know as clients. So, it hasn’t been a case of having many cold clients coming to me. I have some people who have joined my email list, but I haven’t had any new clients out of that email list yet. So, that’s where I am right now.
Ajay: Okay, okay. Good. So, now that we exactly understand what you are doing and how so, let’s go now to answer your questions. So, tell me what are the questions that you have –
Ajay: – and so then I can see if I can answer that.
Christine: Okay. So, my practice is still relatively new, and I only have a small budget for marketing. So, one of my major questions is how can I get found, typically online, in a sea of everything else that is available online with only a small budget?
Ajay: Okay. So, just so you know where I am coming from – So, when people find you online, right, they don’t know you. But they are looking for the solution that you have. Or maybe someone has suggested your name, right? And then they look you up, and that’s how they find you online.
So, the very first thing you want to make sure that when they go and find your business all about you, there are nice things on the internet, right? So, you already have some clients, so first thing I would do is, you should make sure you have your profiles on Google and Yelp and Facebook and some of those basic platforms that you have for reputation management and encourage them to write some reviews about you online. Because that should be the foundation. I always say that, actually for any online business, your online reputation is the foundation. You have to have that in order to have anything effective.
So, first things first, and this should not even cost you a lot of money, right, where you are just asking them. And then, have a program to keep on getting more and more of those reviews on a regular basis. As you get new clients, encourage them to write reviews. That’s going to be very important. So, that’s the very first thing that you need to have, which barely needs any budget, really. I am assuming that you have already created your profiles on Google and Yelp and Facebook and all the rated websites. So, that’s the first thing I would tell you.
And then, to start with a small budget, the best thing is to use social media for marketing, right? Now you have to become a little bit of a marketing whiz. I’m saying a little bit – you don’t have to become expert in the sense in how do you engage people. Because the reaching out to your target audience over the social media is really easy. You can limit the area. For example, most of the people are coming for weight loss. You can even limit your advertising to people who are overweight who are looking for that solution. So, that’s the good thing about – You can really micro target.
Even a hundred-dollar budget will give you an idea of what to expect. Is it marketing when you start it? I have been in marketing all my life for big corp business, small corporations, now my own business, with massive budget, with no budget when I started my business. And I know that there’s almost never from the get-go a slam dunk kind of program. So, you always have to test with a small one and tweak it until you figure out that, okay, this is the program that’s working.
And now, your goal with a small budget is to find out how much it will cost you to acquire a client, right? So, if you know that eventually that when you spend $200 on – I’m just throwing an example – social media, then from there you will be able to generate one client. Once you have that metrics, then now it becomes easy, right? So, it’s just a matter of opening a faucet. The more money you spend, you’ll get the clients. So, with a small budget, I would say, number one, just go very micro. So, don’t even spend more than 25, 30 dollars without analyzing and seeing what is happening and tweak it.
Now, if you get very lucky, then by spending $50 you will know the solution. Sometimes it may take $200, $300, but ultimately, you should be able to figure out the process. Again, very micro target. I cannot, Christine, emphasize more. The more you target narrow-targeted, the more effective your marketing budget is going to be.
So, that’s what I would do first come first, make sure you have a good foundation. I’m sure that you have a website. Make sure you have a website talks about what you are doing, the benefits, hopefully some testimonials. You should have some reviews. And also, once you have that foundation, use social media to test the budget. But again, the best way to test it is really go very narrow target, literally one kind of solution. I know that you may have people with stress, and, like I said, lot of the things, but you can only do one thing at a time. That’s my thinking with a small budget.
Even with a large budget, when you’re starting a business, you don’t want to sprinkle money all over to see what sticks. You want to go in a very strategic manner where you say, okay, this is my best target. I’m going to see and until either it succeeds or not. If it’s very successful, then you have maxed it, only then you spend your marketing dollars on the other segments. If it doesn’t work, then of course you go to the next segment. But again, you very well plan, and the small budget should not be a problem for you.
Christine: Okay. Thank you so much. That’s very helpful. I actually do have a blog and I have a page on that where I talk about my services and offer people the opportunity to book for a free consultation. I’m in the process of getting more testimonials, so that’s –
Ajay: That’s perfect.
Christine: – the one thing that I don’t have ready right now. But I’m in the process of making sure I have those in hand. But I did not think about Yelp or any other review sites like that, so that is extremely helpful.
Ajay: Yes. And that should be very easy, because most of the people now are used to writing on – Facebook is almost everyone in the world seems to be on the Facebook. So, Facebook should not be a problem. So long you have the profiles on Facebook, Yelp, Google, you can just ask all your previous clients to say, “Do you mind writing something for me?”
And Christine, if you don’t have it, then I would suggest that, just have a good basic website. Nowadays with Wix, and there are so many other platforms – or even if you go to Wordpress, there are some Wordpress platforms for a few dollars a month. Wix is free, even. You want to have a website that you can drive people to. So, that way, have a name for your business, right? Make sure that the name is available. The name does not – it’s not necessary that you have the domain with the same name, but if it is there, it’s even better. And so that makes you look more established.
That’s what I will say for sure, that if you’re just doing it through a Facebook page or through blog, I would say just add a, nothing huge, three-, four-page website which talks about all the things you told me, which was very impressive in the beginning. You ought to lay it out so that when a new person finds out about you, they go to your website and say, “Oh, this is her approach, and I like the deal.” The ideal customer is someone who also going up front believes with your philosophy, right? People with a similar philosophy are the best customers. So, that would be my advice also.
Christine: Thank you so much. So, that actually ties into my next question, which is about growing my email list. Because I have had a freebie, which initially was about food. But then I realized that, although some people have questions about food, I didn’t get as many people on my email list as a result of that freebie as I thought I would. So, I started to tweak it, and I realized that I am getting people asking about weight loss, so that’s my new freebie. But I am just interested to know if you have any other tips on growing my email list, because I know that will be a valuable way for me to grow and have better relationships with people over time who will eventually, hopefully, become clients.
Ajay: So, when you are talking what freebie right now that you had that some people signed up, was that a free consultation or was it something you created that they could download?
Christine: It was something that I created for them to download, which gave them some tips on how to eat better and how to avoid junk food and cravings, so –
Christine: that was the download.
Ajay: Okay. And so, one thing that I always suggest is – that is a perfect thing, what you are doing. You may want to double down on it. But each download, just focus on one area rather than for everything, right? So, because someone control craving – if you have a whole everything, like how do you lose weight, do you have to control craving, this, this – then what is happens is there, you may lose people, right? And even if someone has downloaded it, if it’s 10 pages and they are not reading – How big is this, the one download that you have?
Christine: It’s just a one-pager with five tips on things you can do so you’re not tempted to eat as much junk food as you may normally eat.
Ajay: Okay. So, that is fantastic. I would say, similarly, all the four factors that you have, they’re created. And maybe you want to do two, three pages so that it also looks substantial. But you are already on the right track in terms of building the newsletter list. Obviously, the other thing that you – When you have a small list, you should also be trying to reach out to that list and ask for referral, right? You can very easily create a referral program where they can just refer it: “If you like this thing, forward this to your friend,” and who can also download.
And by the way, in generally speaking, when you are talking about the small budget for marketing, it’s not a bad idea to spend little bit of that on, again, social media marketing. Because, see, the fight is that you have – you can put it on Facebook, right, where people can download it, and it just reaches a different group of people.
So, the one that you got some download, how did people find that page to download?
Christine: I put it on social media, not in any paid ad, just on my Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn. And I also sent it to friends via WhatsApp and asked them to forward it on to anybody else that they thought might be interested in it.
Ajay: Okay. I can tell you, you are a pro. I can tell. But you may want to try some ad also to see how it goes. Again, because you can really target it, narrow targeted range, so you can just narrow target. And to start with, you can also narrow target the geography. So, that way, you won’t be able to even – even if you wanted to spend a lot more, you cannot do it, right, because there are only so many people who can see that and click it.
So, try it and see if you add. Because once someone has downloaded, they are your perfect client already, right, because they are interested in it. So, I think that it may be part of your social media campaign should be to do that, because when – And then of course, I am assuming that, just based on just talking to you, I am pretty sure that you already have call to action on that freebie, right, that you have –
Ajay: Perfect. So, you see, that way, you know what people are downloading, right, and who is downloading, and when they reach out. So, you already can start to structure your discussion with this person, because it looks like it’s a weight issue, it’s a stress issue, and then you can straightway relate to their problems rather than start talking about, “So, tell me what made you contact us.” Right? You would already know why someone has contacted. So, that may be a very good usage of your small marketing budget. You get the lead at the same time people have already downloaded.
And by the way, Christine, it’s perfectly all right to reach out to someone both by email or phone, someone who has downloaded your form. And if you can – of course, email you can make mandatory in the sense that you are emailing it to them, right? So, email has to be there.
And then you can make this thing have them giving their phone number; just make it voluntary. It’s not mandatory if they give you their phone numbers. It’s just name, phone number, email. And what that does is when they have downloaded, you can also reach out to them. That’s perfectly okay. I mean, that is the standard industry practice: give them some freebie, and when someone takes it, then reach out to them proactively rather than wait for them to now come back, okay? So, that’s what I would do.
I think that you can really use the small budget to get both leads. And by the way, that’s the best way to also get the leads, because you have interested people, not by just saying that I can manage your stress. But you are giving them something first, a stress management, which already has given you credibility, right? And then when you reach out to them, they should be more conducive to talking to you.
Christine: Okay. Thank you. I didn’t think of having such a proactive approach, so that is just a whole new concept for me that makes perfect sense.
Ajay: You can pull it off. I can tell.
Christine: Thank you. That’s really helpful.
Christine: So, I just had one more quick question, and this was about the niche that I have decided on recently. I’ve realized that I am in the circles of solopreneurs quite a lot. I keep meeting other coaches, consultants, healthcare practitioners who have their own practices. And I noticed that, of course, we’re all busy – I’m a coach myself, and I totally understand. You’re trying to build the business and market the business, and still you have to meet with clients and do the actual work. So, I was wondering, how do you think I can find that specific group of people, who I know are all busy and may struggle with taking good care of themselves or good care of their health? Where would be the best places to find that group?
Ajay: So, first, the groups you can – so, I will tell you one thing, and of course you can obviously Google and see there’s a group in there and they will accept you. And that’s the easy thing to do and then you can offer them the freebies and all. Proactively, what you can do is – LinkedIn is the perfect medium for something like this, right, because number one, it’s very easy. It’s easy for you to find exactly the right kind of person, because almost all solopreneurs, I’m pretty sure, would have a – or not all but most of them would have their – LinkedIn profile. So, LinkedIn is one thing, and you can start connecting with them, right?
And the next thing that I really encourage you to do is to create – and by the way, this does not even cost money, connecting – and you can create your own group on LinkedIn and start inviting these people to come in.
So, on that group, you can have webinars, right? You can do a 10-minute webinar, again, on the same topic that you have written, and you can post it. Now you can – whether someone attends or not it really doesn’t matter. In the beginning, probably, you’ll have very few people attending. But this is how every webinar thing does, right? So, you can start to do that.
You can start posting the information. You can start posting the useful stuff for the group that they have a reason to come and join and see. And you will be, really, the admin of the group once you create it. So, that way, if someone else wants to come and join, you are in control. You know you can turn them down or you can welcome them in the group.
And these things, again, Christine, I know you come across as a seasoned businessperson. So, you know they say, “Rome was not built in a day.” So, it will take persistence, but you can very easily start to build a pretty good network on LinkedIn, where now you are posting things here which they will automatically get in the feed. You have a group. You constantly invite people. So, when you go out and ask solopreneurs to join, once they join, you can also then invite them to join the group itself, right? So, that way, you are in control.
But having said so, that is one thing. And then I would see if something is already there in a big way they are welcoming it. I mean, generally speaking, you will be welcome in an existing group if there is no one competing with you there, right? So, if you have a competitor in any group, they will try to stop you. Just like if you form your own group, and someone says, “I want to do this coaching.” You can always turn them down, right? It’s your choice. You say, “No, this is in direct competition with me, so I’m not accepting it.” So, that would be my thing. One thing is to find the existing group, and the second would be create this on LinkedIn, become active.
And again, you don’t have to spend hours on LinkedIn, I am saying. But make it a routine to spend 10, 15 minutes so you can put on your calendar: this 15 minutes, I’m going to be working on LinkedIn. And I’m sure that you already have a LinkedIn profile. It’s just a matter of taking you to the next level.
And then see if there are other forums, because there could be a forum where people are asking – so, if you go to Quora – and there are a bunch of those broad forum – and you can go and see if you can make an impact. I mean, the problem with very – When you are starting up, it is always hard to break through in those huge forums. So, that’s why I always suggest that you take control of your destiny. That way, it may be a little bit slow in the beginning, but as you grow it, you are going to be totally in control of it.
Christine: I am so glad to hear you mention LinkedIn, and I did not even think of Quora. But I love LinkedIn. That’s my favorite platform, and that’s where I’ve already connected with other coaches and consultants who are doing slightly different work, but we share some of the same challenges.
Christine: So, I just never thought of starting my own group. But that is a brilliant idea.
Ajay: So, at least I came across with something useful today –
Christine: Yes, many things.
Ajay: - in our discussion. So wonderful, Christine. I know that I had the whole thing come 15 minutes late for you. So, do you have any other question?
Christine: No, I think you’ve covered everything that I needed to ask very well. I’ve got so many –
Christine: – really helpful ideas, and I can’t wait to start implementing them and just seeing where it goes.
Ajay: Wonderful. So, Christine, what you may want to do is for our audience, tell them how they can reach you.
Christine: Sure. I’m on LinkedIn, for sure, so you can find me under my name, Christine Franklyn. That’s Franklyn with L-Y-N at the end. And also, I’m on Instagram at thegoodlife.bb. And you can also reach me by email: Thi@ChristineFranklyn.com.
I also have a freebie, as I mentioned. I like to give freebies to welcome people into my community and onto my email list, so that’s another way to be in contact with me if you want to get useful information and you also want to send me any questions or anything like that along the way. That’s an easy way to do it as long as you’re already on the email list. And that specific freebie is really to help anyone who’s on a weight loss journey to get back on track. So, I have a five-step road map that is almost guaranteed – nothing is completely guaranteed, but there is a very high chance – that if you follow those steps, you will get on track and stay on track. So –
Christine: – that is what’s available to everyone listening.
Ajay: So fantastic. I can tell you that I will be taking your freebie. And it’s not that I’m looking for weight loss, but I can always learn something from the good practices. It was really wonderful talking to you.
Christine: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. This has been very helpful.
Ajay: Thank you Christine, and really, it was great talking to you.
Christine: You, too.
Ajay: Okay. Bye.
Speaker: Thank you for listening to this episode of The Founder’s Corner podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and SoundCloud. If you are interested in being a guest, be sure to visit our main page at www.gmrwebteam.com/thefounderscorner