Scale Your Impact and Income With Online Courses 

May 27, 2024

When your daily work involves improving the health and wellness of other people, it can be tricky to reconcile the care delivery part with the earning money part. But your practice is a business that needs to generate a level of revenue that lets you make an impact — without burning out. 

One way to do that is by packaging your expertise into online programs. Programs are a proven way to help more clients while adding a reliable passive income stream to your business. The trick lies in learning how to retool your mindset and systems to embrace this business model. 

This blog series helps you make the shift. We’ve included expert advice on how to unlock your personal freedom formula, avoid common thinking traps that can sabotage your success, and determine how to meet your future clients where they are.

Special thanks go out to two expert speakers from our most recent Programs Summit, whose ideas contributed this post: 

Comfort zones are where dreams go to die

Sachin Patel found in his own practice that when he focused on having a positive impact on the world, his revenue grew at a remarkable pace. He believes wellness practitioners are uniquely poised to create a greater impact on their clients and generate more income for themselves.

“Ask yourself how you can make more of a positive impact and share this beautiful gift you have of teaching people how to reverse their chronic health challenges and help them live an exceptional quality of life.”

Sachin Patel

Sachin says that embracing your potential often requires stepping out of your comfort zone. And according to Meghan Walker, that means commiting to pursuing new options and paths. 

“We’ve decided to practice unconventional care. Why do we do that but still practice in a conventional manner?” asks Meghan. “Building leverage, creating more impact, and accessing the income of your dreams does not come from hard work. It comes from choices.” 

One crucial choice is breaking your reliance on 1:1 sessions. 

Unlock your freedom formula 

Sachin and Meghan both say that it makes sense for new practitioners to start by offering 1:1 services to clients. Learning to work with clients this way lets you identify the best of what you have to offer before bringing it to the masses. When you get stuck in the mindset of trading time for money, the potential for impact shrinks. 

Sachin shared his Freedom Formula with Programs Summit attendees and explained how it breaks down. 

Freedom Formula diagram showing a triangle broken into three sections with 1:1 sessions in the top 4%, 1:many in the middle 16%, and infinite possibilities in the bottom 80%. 
Image courtesy of Sachin Patel, as part of his presentation for Programs Summit 2023
  • The top 4%. The top of the triangle represents how much time you can spend 1:1 with clients. The reason it’s the smallest wedge of the triangle is no matter how busy you are or how amazing your results are; you can only help one client at a time. 
  • The second 16%. The 1:many framework may still require you to be present, but you can simultaneously deliver one set of content to many people. 

Imagine a registered dietitian (RD) offering an online group program for men who want to take control of their high blood pressure through nutrition and a mind-body approach. The program could include a mix of live online sessions and supportive content. 

  • The bottom 80%. The largest section of the triangle is where you can help an infinite number of people with no limits. Our RD above could embrace this model by taking the video recordings from his online group sessions and repackaging them into a self-paced online program

Sachin says that learning how to master the bottom two aspects of the triangle can free you to supersize your impact on the health and wellness of many people. 

“If I help people 1:1, then yes, I’m doing great work. Yes, I’m making a positive impact,” he says. “However, this is not going to solve the crisis of our healthcare situation. People today need more access to functional medicine and wellness services. If you’re looking for more impact, if you’re looking for more income, and if you’re looking to help more people and create a solution that solves the magnitude of the problem that exists, you need to start thinking outside the 1:1 framework.” 

Determining how you best fit with client needs 

A diagram with four quadrants representing four phases healthcare consumers progress through: aspirational, DIY, strategic, and growth.

Meghan believes meeting people where they are is key to making health and wellness expertise accessible to more people. 

“The people buying your services aren’t all the same,” she says. “They can be at different places in their state of readiness or desire to invest their time and money into working with you 1:1. Some may never need 1:1 care, and this is where we have an opportunity to understand where their other needs reside.”  

Having the proper context for the different phases of people’s healthcare journeys can help you see opportunities you may not otherwise notice.

Meghan explains in her Programs Summit 2023 presentation that clients are in various stages of readiness. She’s outlined the phases in the graphic above and the details below.

The Aspirational Phase

 When frustrated health consumers don’t get the answers they seek from the traditional healthcare system, they often start searching and scrolling on Instagram, Google, or TikTok. It’s purely an information-gathering exercise. 

“People aren’t spending money in this aspirational phase,” says Meghan. “They are only spending their time, and you want to be part of the conversation.”

You can use your social channels, email marketing, and other methods to establish expertise and earn trust with these individuals. This way, you stay top of mind when they move into the DIY phase.

The DIY Phase

In this phase, health consumers are more willing to take out their wallets. Feeling empowered by the information they’ve learned, they’re open to buying a book or investing in an online program that promises to get the results they seek. 

Meghan points out that consumer autonomy is a crucial feature of this phase. “They’re not paying to see you 1:1,” she says. “They might not need to, or they might not yet understand why they have to make that level of investment. Frankly, this is a hobby for them right now, and they might want to do it themselves.”

The big opportunity for you in the DIY phase is to discuss your online courses. You can even do this while building a course—you don’t have to wait until it’s done and dusted. 

It would help if you also clarified that an online course isn’t necessarily meant to replace your 1:1 services. This plants the seed with people that you offer additional options for more personalized care should they need it later. 

The Strategic Phase

Imagine a client who signs up and completes your online course but doesn’t achieve the full results he was seeking. This doesn’t mean your content wasn’t good, but it can mean that his needs were too complex to be fully addressed by a course. 

Now is the perfect time for a client to transition into seeing you for more strategic care – the personalized kind that an online course can’t deliver. 

The Growth Phase

When people experience positive results thanks to your expertise, they remain curious about continuing to work with you. Maintaining optimal health is an ongoing process. You can be your clients’ favorite guide in the evolution of their wellness, offering a mix of services, including membership programs, group programs, and 1:1 support.

“You don’t have to only deliver online courses,” says Meghan. “There are lots of other mechanisms that can help us deploy the medicine that people need. In the growth phase, membership offers and group programs also work particularly well.”

Meghan Walker

Embrace your inner sage

Sachin describes a type of support that fits well with the growth phase: Sage Selling. It’s selling your services based on presence vs pressure. 

“The sage is positioning the client as the hero,” says Patel. “Don’t sell based on your ego, and don’t be a vendor offering a commodity. Sell your unique program, your unique process. Share your wisdom, and always make it simple for your clients. ” 

Create your practice success strategy

It can be easy to feel stuck in the 1:1 visit hamster wheel. For one, you’ve trained in this healthcare model, and you’re good at it. 

However, with some strategic mindset shifts, you can think of your services as a continuum of care, offering more options to a greater variety of people.

For more strategies to train your brain into the mindset needed to get your long-awaited program off the ground, check out the next post on mastering your mindset to grow your impact. 

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