Welcome back to the Healthpreneur Podcast! Today on the podcast we have another incredible interview. I’ll be interviewing Lori Kennedy, RHN, the founder of The Wellness Business Hub and fellow Torontonian.
When she worked full-time as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, she realized that she lacked the fundamental skills to start up and run a business – you know, the things they don’t teach you in school. After hard lessons learned and money spent on mentorship, growth, and knowledge, Lori has created a business that is changing the game for entrepreneurs in the health space who want to reclaim their time and take control of their business.
Lori and I will be discussing her frustrations with one-on-one coaching, how her offering evolved to include group coaching, and why she believes everything starts with good copywriting. She’ll also dive into her first sales funnel and process, which is very much like the one she uses today. If you’re feeling burnt out by one-on-one coaching, need some tips to make more consistent income, or are looking for a way to transition into group coaching, this will be an extremely valuable episode for you.
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In This Episode Lori and I discuss:
- When 1-on-1 coaching doesn’t work.
- What happens when your process is streamlined.
- The two tiers of education.
- Copywriting to success.
- Offering both group and 1-on-1 programs – and how it can work.
4:00 – 9:30 – How and why Lori transitioned from one-on-one to group programs
9:30 – 13:00 – Her legit sales funnel, streamlined process, and repeatable system
13:00 – 18:00 – The importance of email lists, self-investment, self-teaching, and mentorship
18:00 – 23:00 – Copywriting as a necessary skillset
23:00 – 29:00 – How to move from one-on-one to group programs, or have both effectively
29:00 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
In the last episode, I revealed the #1 mistake to avoid with webinars. This mistake is huge and VERY common – and leads to minimal conversions and wasted money.
The key is to have a clear objective and position your content properly – but the secret lies in what content you’re providing within your webinar. Tune in to find out that #1 mistake – and learn exactly how to avoid it.
What’s up guys? Welcome to episode 88 of the Healthpreneur Podcast. Can you imagine that? 88 episodes so far. If you’ve been with me since day one, thank you because this has been a lot of fun. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.
Today we’re speaking with a good friend, another Torontonian. If you’re not from Toronto, that’s what we call ourselves here, Torontonians. Her name is Lori Kennedy. We went to the same school a couple years apart for nutrition, and ended up going on similar paths. We both morphed into serving the health and wellness business community.
Lori is a registered holistic nutritionist turned business coach for health and wellness experts. She’s the founder of The Wellness Business Hub, which is an online platform that delivers personal development and professional training for health practitioners all around the world.
Her real world, no BS style of teaching online business is built into her online courses and annual live event called The Wellness Business Summit, which I was fortunate enough to speak at a few years ago. This event is attended by hundreds of health practitioners. She believes that success is possible for anyone, and lives the mantra, “My life, my terms.” Good, right?
I’m excited to have Lori on the show because we share similar philosophies about business and some things that are important to succeed with your online business. In this episode, she’ll share the number one skill you need to develop to do well online.
What we’re going to talk about specifically as an overarching theme is taking what you do one-on-one and turning that into a group coaching model that frees your time and creates more impact, without compromising your revenue.
If you’re someone who’s currently doing a lot of one-on-one, whether it’s virtual or in-person coaching, what Lori’s going to share with you in this episode will be extremely valuable if you want to enjoy your life again. With that said, let’s welcome Lori onto the show.
Lori Kennedy, welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast. How are you?
Lori: I am wonderful, Yuri. Thanks so much for having me.
Yuri: You’re very welcome. It’s always great to have fellow Canadians on the show. I think we’ve had a good balance of 50/50 Americans or international to Canadians on the show.
Lori: Nice. That’s awesome.
Yuri: I think there’s a lot of amazing people in the health and wellness space who live in and around Toronto, so it’s a cool mecca/hub we have in this area. It’s always great to feature people like yourself who are doing some awesome stuff. Why don’t you share with our listeners what you’re up to these days and how you’re serving our community?
How and why Lori transitioned from one-on-one to group programs
Lori: I started about a decade ago as a registered holistic nutritionist. I did that full-time for seven years. While I was working with clients, I realized that the only way to live a happy and healthy life as a mom would be to figure out how to scale my practice.
For those of you who are service providers, you know that our job is to work during our clients’ off time, and that means we have to miss out on a lot of our own family’s stuff. That just wasn’t okay with me. So, I turned my one-on-one practice into a group program, and that’s where everything changed for me.
Over the years, we turned that group program into a licensing program, and that has become the mainstay of what I do now, which is teach other health and wellness professionals, specifically alternative health practitioners and licensed professionals, how to create group programs and run them in their own businesses.
Yuri: That’s awesome. I know a lot of our listeners, as well as some of our guests on the show, have a one-on-one type of coaching model, whether it’s life coaching or nutrition coaching. How did you make the transition from the one-on-one to the group work?
Playing devil’s advocate, if I’m a client and I’m working one-on-one with Lori and suddenly I’m part of a group of X number of people, how do I get that personalized attention? Do I want to share some stuff that I would only share in a one-on-one scenario?
Did you go through that mindset that I just described? Or how did you make that transition?
Lori: First, I looked in our industry as to what other types of group programs were out there. And at that point, it was Weight Watchers. The idea came because I was working in a fitness club, and they were doing small group training with three or four people. I thought, “Well, I can do that.”
And at that time, it was starting to get a little bit frustrating for me as a practitioner because I felt like I was repeating myself repeatedly. Even though all the clients came to me with their own individualized symptoms and issues, the underlying fundamentals that I had to change for them before we could even personalize were all the same. Most people, then and now, don’t know how to eat on a fundamental level. They’re overwhelmed and confused.
That was the work that I was doing with them up front, and that’s what I turned into the group program. I found that by being able to put them in small groups and foster their confidentiality, community, and support, it helped them because they saw that they weren’t alone in their struggles, although they had their own symptoms. But the symptoms were generally the same.
The challenges in their lives felt unique to the client, but they were generally the same. This helped to create that level of community and support inside the group, and out. People just want to know and feel validated. They want to feel heard. And they want to know that they’re not alone in their struggles.
I looked at the common categories that I was coaching and the symptoms that people were coming to me with. I said, “I’m repeating myself too much.” That became the fundamental pillars of the program that I put together. Over the years I had to iterate and simplify it more than when I started so that my clients could get results.
Then the personalization came only after they followed through with those fundamentals. In my experience, I didn’t personalize dramatically at the beginning because they weren’t consistently complying with those core fundamentals that lead to changes.
Yuri: How you heal anything is pretty much how you heal everything at a fundamental level. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Get the bases covered and then move up from there.
Were you working with people in an actual in-person setting, in a group setting, or was it mostly virtual at that point?
Her legit sales funnel, streamlined process, and repeatable system
Lori: No. I had no idea what I was doing, so now when I look back on it, I had my own little funnel. I had urgency offers and sales and marketing strategies implemented, I just didn’t know what I was doing at the time.
It was offline, but it functioned very much like how my online business functions now. The strategy was: I created invitations and handed them out to all the members at the gym where I was working at the time.
I went into every group fitness class, for example. Some people would think, “Oh, you’re at a gym. You get lots of clients.” That’s not the case. I still had to hustle for every single one of them.
I created an event around this free seminar because I had to “sell” people. I had to “sell” them on coming to a free seminar, so I got them to the seminar, educated them, and entertained them. Then I invited them into this program.
People who were ready and wanted to sign up got a special deal. Those that weren’t convinced yet got a free consultation where I could nurture them a little bit more and help them decide in privacy. That’s how I would sell the group program.
I had a group program starting every eight weeks, one in the morning for the people that didn’t work, and one at night for the people that did work. I could see 24 people over the course of two hours a week, versus 24 hours a week, which dramatically changes the game. Right?
Yuri: Just a little bit. That’s awesome.
What were some of the big learnings from that experience that you’ve taken forward into what you do now with your clients?
Lori: Having a streamlined process that you can track and improve upon is everything.
Until that point, I was randomly selling one-off sessions. I was randomly booking clients. There was no method to the madness and it felt like madness. It felt like what I describe now as playing Whack a Mole.
You know that game where you have the mallets and you’re trying to go here and there and everywhere? Once I could streamline the process, I was also able to delegate.
There’s receptionists at the gym. I could say, “Here’s what I need you to do and here’s what I need you to say.” I knew how many people I needed to show up to the free seminar based on tracking.
I put systems in place that freed up more of my time, but also made it more enjoyable because everything was streamlined. Everything was consistent. There wasn’t this frantic-ness or this pressure. There was no unpaid homework time, having to create these personalized protocols for people that they never followed. And it felt legit.
I think most of all I finally felt, like after years, legit. I had a system. I had business. Word was starting to get out. There was somewhere to send these people; it was my free talks that I had every week, just as I do webinars now every week.
It was the same system, and I think that was the biggest learning. It was a system, it was repeatable, and I was able to improve upon it.
Yuri: Nice. That’s awesome. If you don’t have a system, you essentially have a job where you’re reinventing the wheel every single time. That’s a great insight, for sure.
Knowing what you know now, if you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
The importance of email lists, self-investment, self-teaching, and mentorship
Lori: That’s a funny question that I’ve asked myself so many times. My first instinct is to say no, because if I was to do it differently I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m so grateful for all the lessons, both the light and the dark ones. However, I would skip the first two years of that deep, hardcore struggle because that was hard.
And not start a career in debt. I would skip over that part. Knowing what I know now, I would absolutely have started my email list on day one. I can’t even imagine where I would be if I would’ve started my email list five years before I started it.
I probably would’ve invested in myself earlier, although I didn’t know that was even an option. For whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me that I could go to the library and pick up books on sales and marketing. I didn’t think at the beginning that I even had a business. It didn’t even occur to me that I had a business.
I was just an RHN and I knew stuff that people didn’t know about. So those things; start my email list, learn about sales and marketing – specifically direct response marketing – seek out mentors and coaches and just pay to be in the game, pay to learn as fast as humanly possible so that I could grow.
I could’ve grown faster than the way I did it.
Yuri: That’s great. Great insight. It’s a catch 22, right? I would say that most the guests on this show have said having a mentor, or specifically hiring a mentor, has been one of the keys to their success.
It’s easy to say, “I wish I had done it sooner,” but at the time you think, “I don’t have the money. How am I going to pay for this?” You get to a point where you’ve got to take a leap of faith and make it happen. But, like you’ve mentioned, like I’ve experienced, and like a lot of other people have as well, you just have to. It expedites the process 100-fold.
That’s the key. That’s the ticket.
Lori: Absolutely. For me, I had no idea how to do most things. All I knew were calories, macronutrients, and food. I didn’t know how to do most of the things that were required of me.
And I didn’t want to waste time figuring it out. The obvious thing to do was to go to the people that were doing it and say, “Hey. Can I pay you to teach me?” Just as I did when I invested in my schooling. It’s the same thing.
Yuri: You went to CSNN. Right?
Yuri: We both went to the same school for nutrition. It’s unfortunate that whether it’s that school or any other school, they don’t equip you with anything to build a business. They give you the knowledge, but don’t teach you how to find the people to help.
Lori: Right. I’ve taught at the Naturopathic College. I’ve taught their residents marketing. The way I see it is a two-step process.
They go to one school to learn their professional education and then they’re missing the second step, which is the most critical step. It’s the sales and marketing school. Then, we’re all left to our own devices to either figure it out on our own or, again, invest in a coach, mentor, or program to finish that level of schooling, which is the thing that really matters.
Most people go into the first step not knowing that they’re going to start a business, and they feel very scattered when they come out of school.
Copywriting as a necessary skillset
Yuri: Just a little bit. Under the business-building umbrella, what do you think is the first place or the first skillset that someone must get a good grasp of to succeed in today’s world?
Lori: My instincts are saying copywriting. You need to communicate in a way that pulls the people that you want to work with into your world. You need to learn how to structure content that guides them through understanding what their problem is and how you’re going to help them. You can have all the strategies in the world, but if you can’t communicate in a way that converts, what good are Facebook ads or webinars?
All the other strategies depend upon us being able to communicate in a way that resonates and moves somebody into decision.
Yuri: I completely agree with you. I’ve seen this time and time again. So many practitioners, doctors, trainers, whatever, are amazing technicians, have a program, and it’s just not selling. You must understand the basics of this stuff.
I say, “Listen, guys. I’m not going to write the copy for you. You can hire someone to write the copy for you and pay a lot of money if you want to.” But at the end of the day, if that person leaves, you don’t have the skillset so it’s important to understand that.
What were some of the initial resources that helped you become better at writing copy?
Lori: Dan Kennedy’s “Ultimate Sales Letter.”
Yuri: That’s a good book.
Lori: To be honest, it was doing what my mentors taught me to do, which was study other people’s content.
Print out sales pages and highlight the points that make you feel something. Look for consistencies across the board because it’s very formulaic. Once you understand copy and whatnot – I’m not a professional copywriter – but there’s a formula to it.
I think studying people like Dan Kennedy, looking at sales emails that we know are high converting that resonate with you, and trying to establish the patterns, language, and adjectives.
I was taught to create swipe files, which means putting together a folder on your computer of headlines, phrases, adjectives, emails, and sales pages that you can model that speaks to your market. I learn best by example.
It’s been helpful to see your stuff. You don’t fall into the traditional way of communicating because you focus a lot on food and different aspects like diabetes, heart conditions, and things like that.
Just paying attention and being a student. Always having that beginner’s mind and coming at it like, “I like this email. What do I like about it? What is good about it? What is making me someone who even knows about diabetes, why do I even want to click the link? What is the feeling that it’s initiating in me?”
I’ve never taken a formal copywriting course, although I’ve read books on it. I pay very close attention to how things are written. I always have something to learn. Especially where copy is concerned, you can always improve, tweak, and pay attention.
Yuri: Moving from the B to C side to the B to B with Healthpreneur, as I develop a lot of frameworks and different components of business, it’s helped me a lot as well. You get to this level of unconscious competence where you do it so often that you say, “How do I do this again?”
It’s cool to dissect it and break down those formulas like you talked about, because then you can start to identify that much more easily in other people’s work. Then it’s a lot easier to communicate with other people.
It is such an important skillset. Modeling to see what works, creating your own voice, putting in the reps.
How to move from one-on-one to group programs, or have both effectively
Without giving your secret sauce and everything, how do you walk people through taking their one-on-one expertise to a group coaching type of platform?
Lori: That’s a good question and this is the starting point: With one-on-ones, the way we were all taught – whether you’re a chiropractor, naturopath, trainer, or life coach – is not necessarily to create a narrow niche and focus on a singular problem to solve.
Now, in order to create a group program, that’s exactly what you have to do. You must first decide: What is the singular problem I’m going to solve? Then, from there, reverse engineer the protocol. Create the actual steps that the clients need to learn and do to have results or get rid of the problem that you’re solving.
One of the mistakes that I often see, even in sales pages, is people making lots of different promises like lose weight, gain energy, sleep through the night, get rid of bloating, etc. No one’s going to believe you because that can’t happen in six weeks!
Narrow it down. But then the mindset that comes with focusing on one thing, like headaches, is, “Well, am I going to be ruining my chances of getting a lot of clients?” And I say, “Well, how many people in this world have headaches? A lot, so I think you’re okay.”
It’s really about breaking it down step by step and focusing on the fundamentals. If this is going to be your base program, what we call a signature program, it’s fundamental. In my opinion, that one-on-one coaching, that higher level of accountability and investment, should only happen after somebody’s gone through and been compliant with the fundamentals. The personal attention doesn’t need to come at that point.
That’s how I teach people to do it, where each module, or each pillar, each week, or class, or whatever you want to call it, only focuses on the one thing that they need to learn and the one thing that they need to do to solve the health problem that you’re promising. And when you break it down like that, it helps to remove overwhelm from the client.
The mindset trouble that we get into as practitioners is that because we want to feel like we’re giving them their money’s worth, we tack on the to-dos. Every week, most practitioners are giving them five things to do. But most people don’t even drink water.
So, if most people don’t even drink water and you’re asking them to have apple cider vinegar, go work out for 20 minutes, and meditate, you’ve screwed them. Already they’re failing, and it’s done and it’s over.
We have to think about the singular problem that you’re solving and the point at which the client is at in their life. Not where you think they are, or where you want them to be, or where they think they are. Where they actually are.
Start from that place and literally give them one thing to do. Explain why it is they need to do it, so they can comply, do it, and not get super-overwhelmed and blame you because your program sucks and you failed.
Yuri: It’s never about us. It’s about them, but we’ll take the blame. It’s all good. That’s valuable. With that signature course you’re really building out a signature system as well, like a proprietary secret sauce, a five-step process or whatever it might be.
Lori: It gives you the ability to create consistency and measure it. It gets you out of that Whack a Mole. It gets you out of that frantic-ness and it gives you something to focus on over time, which is how businesses are built.
Yuri: Totally. So just to recap: You start off with the signature course. Get people going through that at a fundamental level. It meets more of their needs. Then, once they’ve finished that, offer the right people the opportunity to work with you more closely at a higher price point if they wanted to, but don’t have to. But it would make more sense at that point. They’ve covered their bases before even spending time with you.
Lori: Absolutely. For me and my business, the way that I used my program, it pulled double duty. If you have that system, if you have that core program, you can use it with one-on-one clients and in a group setting at the same time.
Of course, I had people that came to me and said, “Absolutely not. I’m not joining the group.” And I said, “Okay. No problem. Let’s do it as a 12-week program.” So they either paid in full or monthly. That way, I used my one program in my business for seven years and I didn’t have to create anything else. Most often, people would renew after 12 weeks.
I had clients stay for up to two years because that’s how long it took them to even get the fundamentals down. We’re not perfect. Life happens and we all fall off the bandwagon at some point.
It’s the accountability and support that they’re coming to you for. So, whether you want to do it in a group or as a one-on-one, just having that system and that structure in your business changes the game.
The Rapid Five
Yuri: Awesome. Great advice, Lori. This has been awesome. Are you ready for the Rapid Five?
Lori: I am ready.
Yuri: All right. Nothing to be scared about here. It’s all good. So ive rapid fire questions, whatever comes top of mind is probably the right answer. So here we go. Number one, what is your biggest weakness?
Yuri: Delegating. Nice. I don’t think anyone can relate to that. Number two, what is your biggest strength?
Lori: Taking action and not being afraid. Just going for it.
Yuri: Sweet. Number three, what’s one skill you’ve become dangerously good at to grow your business?
Lori: Creating funnels and understanding the strategy behind it.
Yuri: It’s not just about slapping some pages one after another together, so that’s good.
Number four, what do you do first thing in the morning?
Lori: Drink coffee.
Yuri: Every day?
Lori: Every day. 5:00 AM every day.
Yuri: Nice. Finally, complete this sentence. I know I’m being successful when…
Lori: I feel calm and I’m enjoying what I’m doing.
Yuri: Wicked. Lori, this has been a lot of fun. Before we finish off, what is the best place for our listeners to follow your work online?
Lori: They can go to the thewellnessbusinesshub.com.
Yuri: Lori, once again, thank you so much for taking the time for being with us and sharing your journey and your wisdom. And thank you for all the awesome work you continue to do for practitioners in our space to help them get their business going and serving more people.
Lori: Thanks for having me, Yuri.
Yuri: You’re welcome.
So there you have it, Lori Kennedy. I hope you’ve enjoyed this one. If you run your own coaching practice, I’m sure what she was sharing will be valuable to you. If you can leverage your time and get your message out to more people, if you want to enjoy more than the one-on-one, what Lori’s talked about is the way to go.
When I initially started online, the holy grail was to start an online business, never talk to anyone again, make money while you sleep, etc. That happens if you do things properly. But you get to a point where you enjoy dealing with people and maybe miss those one-on-one sessions.
If that’s you, that’s totally cool. You don’t always have to move away from the one-on-one because there’s always going to be a place for that, maybe at a higher level. What you want to avoid is trading your time for money every day of the week. You don’t want to work 40 hours a week dealing one-on-one with clients all day long.
As Lori mentioned, you can find the fundamental truths and put together a curriculum that people can go through with you in a much less guided fashion. It helps them, it frees up your time, and it just makes a lot more sense. From there, you can have the right people elevate to work with you more closely and at a price model that makes sense for you.
That’s one of the beautiful things about running an online business where you have leveraged products and courses that do the work for you. You don’t have to work with people, and only the people you want to work with are determined by your own criteria. You call the shots and say how much it costs to work with you. If they don’t want to work with you, that’s fine because they have other things that they can do on their own at a lower price point.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Remember to subscribe to the Healthpreneur Podcast on iTunes. If you haven’t already, leave a rating or review while you’re there. If you’ve enjoyed the show, that means a lot to us.
And if you haven’t picked up your copy of Health Profits Secrets, you can do so today. It’s a great book. It’ll take you less than an hour to get through, but it gives you the fundamental truths about building a successful business online. Specifically, you’re going to uncover four secrets that all successful businesses in the health and fitness space have in common. And you’re going to get a scorecard inside that book so you can score yourself in each of those four areas and see if there’s a gap.
Then, I’ll show you how to close that gap so that instead of driving a car with flat tire, we can inflate that tire so your car runs smoothly and your business journey is that much more enjoyable.
We’re going to look at fixing that, getting you back on track, and getting you to the next level, wherever that might be for your business. I’ve covered the cost of the book for you, just help with the shipping over at Healthpreneurbook.com. Thank you so much for joining me once again. It’s always a pleasure to bring you these awesome guests and I hope you’ve enjoyed this one. Have an awesome day. Continue to go out there and be great, do great, and I look forward to seeing you in our next episode.
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