Online Opportunities for Your Wellness Business 3 Ways to Generate Revenue
Julia Zaslow, NC
Many practitioners want to take some, or all, of their business online to reach more people, develop new revenue sources, and leverage their time. Many also crave the freedom of location that a virtual business can provide. You may be one of them.
There are three primary revenue generating opportunities for an online wellness business: Courses, small group coaching programs, and product sales. I’ll go over each, and then discuss the essential components required to build your online audience and generate sales.
Revenue Generating Opportunity #1: Online Courses
Courses are attractive because they allow you to help a large number of people at once. A course is typically six to eight weeks long and can be taught through teleclasses, webinars, or videos.
An effective course should provide education plus action steps, where students follow a sequential process to get results. To support them, you’ll want to include materials, such as handouts, recipes, meal plans, and checklists.
Courses are generally priced at $97 to $497, depending on the duration, demand, and your sales skills. I generally recommend starting with $97 or $197 for an introductory course.
Revenue Generating Opportunity #2: Small Group Coaching Programs
Small group coaching programs are more intimate than courses. While a course can accommodate hundreds of students, a small group coaching program is more personalized — typically just 10 to 15 people. They’re also longer, from three to six months, and are well suited to a virtual format.
Like courses, education is a key component of a small group coaching program, but coaching and accountability are emphasized more. Weekly or biweekly teleclasses should include teaching, coaching and Q&A. This is for the client who needs more time, guidance and accountability than a course can provide.
It’s important to note that if you are working with remote clients, depending on the telehealth rules in your state, you may not be able to offer personalized nutrition recommendations or lab testing in this format. You may need to limit your discussion to general information. Always check with your state licensing board or certifying organization and a qualified medical attorney to ensure you are in legal compliance.
Small group coaching programs can be offered for $997 to $3997, depending on your credentials, the duration of the program, and the quality of your relationships with your audience.
Revenue Generating Opportunity #3: Product Sales
Product sales can be an easy and significant source of revenue. You’re probably already offering supplements and personal care products in your office, but adding a virtual dispensary allows you to scale and eliminate the hassle of managing inventory.
One of my favorite online dispensaries is Wellevate from Emerson Ecologics because of the ease of use and vast professional product line. You can offer the specific, high-quality supplements you recommend in your courses and coaching groups, as well as natural personal care and even food products. Plus, two valuable features keep your customers staying on track and coming back for more: the ability to offer loyalty savings and set automatic re-order reminders.
To take advantage of these opportunities, there are a few things you need to have:
A niche. You’ve heard that niching can help you build a successful practice quickly. Online, where competition is fierce, it’s more important than ever. Never try to be all things to all people. Instead, choose one condition or set of conditions, such as autoimmunity or gastrointestinal disorders. Or, work with a demographic who suffers from set of related conditions, such as midlife women who complain of weight gain, fatigue, depression, poor sleep and GI issues.
A good website. Your website needn’t to be fancy, but it does need to communicate what you do and who you help, clearly and quickly. This means having a short, simple headline and a call-to-action (CTA) that tells your visitor what to do. A “Learn More” button makes a good CTA; this should link to a page that explains who you help, your approach, and how to get started. Include an opt-in where people can give you their email in exchange for a free gift such as a report or ebook.
A social media presence. Good news: No need to go crazy with social media. Just pick one or two platforms to spend your energy on. I recommend Facebook, with its two billion active monthly users ranging in age from millennials to baby boomers, and YouTube.
A lead generation strategy. In other words, how will you attract prospects? The idea is simple: create helpful content and get it out into the world. Share it on social media, optimize your website for search engines, and develop promotional partnerships with colleagues. Some of your content should be free (articles, videos) and some should require an opt-in (ebooks, reports, webinars).
A conversion strategy. How will you convert leads to customers? For online courses, webinars are great. So are videos. For small group coaching programs, with their higher price point, prospects will want to talk with you before committing, so get on the phone. Personal conversations are still one of the most effective sales strategies, and thankfully they’re simple and low tech too. For supplement sales, often all that’s required to create a customer is a well-written article explaining the benefits and uses of the supplement, with a link to buy. (Just be careful to stick to structure and function claims, per DSHEA 1994.)
An email marketing strategy. Email marketing is critical to an online business. Always be focused on adding new leads to your list, and regularly engaging your audience by sending regular helpful content such as articles, reports, videos and case studies. You’ll need an email marketing system, such as MailChimp or iContact, which allows you to send nicely formatted emails to your list and stay in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Hopefully, this helps you understand what’s possible for your business online and how to get started. For more marketing and business tips, download Julia’s ebook “20 Things Successful Practitioners Do Differently” at www.juliazaslow.com/20things