Zuzana and Nikki are the founders of ActiveVegetarian.com, a plant-based, active lifestyle brand. They need to convert more people to their coaching program, so we're going to dig into what is and isn't working so they can thrive with their business in the future.
We start out by talking about Zuzana and Nikki's book, which has done well but isn't converting into coaching the way they'd like it to. We go over their communications with their audience, and dig deep on how to position the coaching program to potential clients and give them a taste of what to expect. We brainstorm a few tactics and touch on marketing and ad-spend strategy—Zuzana and Nikki end the call feeling pumped about their next steps.
What You'll Learn:
Discover insights on converting your online audience to a personal coaching program.
AskPat 1056 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to AskPat Episode 1056. This is a podcast where you listen in on a conversation between myself and an entrepreneur—or in this case, in this episode, a couple of entrepreneurs who need a little bit of help. I'm here to help them, and you get to listen in like a fly on a wall and hopefully take this information and implement it into your own business and life as well.
Today we're talking with Zuzana and Nikki from ActiveVegetarian.com. It's a plant-based, active lifestyle based brand. It's awesome. And they need to convert more people into their coaching program. They've been doing really well with the book, getting some pretty good percentages. We're going to talk about what is working well and then also dig into what is not working well. So make sure you stick around for that.
Hit subscribe if you haven't already to the podcast. I appreciate you for that. And, by the way, big shout out to our sponsor FreshBooks.com, an amazing, amazing cloud-based accounting software that's been super helpful for me and millions of other small businesses with accounting, from keeping track of income, expenses, and of course invoicing is the thing that I've been using them a lot for lately. You can send an invoice in less than thirty seconds, like super quick. And it's awesome because you can also keep track of who has yet to pay you, who has yet to even open those invoices. It's really great. There's a lot of great things about this, and they just redid their entire interface to make it even easier for us, which I love. I love great user design. And so if you want to check this out for thirty days for free, all access, thirty-day free trial, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat, and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. That's it.
All right. Now let's talk to Zuzana and Nikki. Here we go.
All right. We have Zuzana and Nikki here on AskPat 2.0. Ladies, welcome, and thank you for being on the show today.
Zuzana: Thank you for having us, Pat.
Nikki: Thank you.
Pat: Absolutely. So Zuzana, let's start with you. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what is it that you do, and then we'll move to Nikki.
Zuzana: Sounds good. I will, actually if it's okay, I will speaking for Nikki and myself as well just because we are kind of a team.
Pat: Love it.
Zuzana: Usually we don't go one without the other.
Pat: I love it.
Zuzana: So yes, Nikki and Zuzana, we are from Vancouver, Canada. We are health and fitness coaches, and we specialize in plant-based nutrition and mindful movement. And we basically are a mission to help millions of people get healthy and active and enjoy a plant-based lifestyle.
Pat: That's awesome. Nikki, tell me more. Tell me what you love most about this business that you're in.
Nikki: I think the fulfillment of just seeing people living a healthy, active life, and helping them achieve that. I think that's the most rewarding part of all of this.
Pat: I love it. So Zuzana, tell me where people can go and find more info and then why don't you tell us kind of what's on your guys' mind?
Zuzana: Sure. So the best way to find us would be through our website called ActiveVegetarian.com, and last year we also published a book called The Vegan Weight Loss Manifesto, and that's basically an A to B program to help people transition to a more plant-based life.
Pat: Love it. Nice job. So what's on your mind? How can I help you?
Zuzana: What's on our mind? So as I mentioned, we have published a book or we were approached by a publishing company to write a book in 2016. And that was after about ten years of blogging for fun. And so that really inspired us to take this more seriously, and we transitioned to actually moving our business online. And the book's been very helpful. We definitely have gained some traffic to our website, and we've been able to transition people from just being visitors to actually doing online coaching with us. But now since the book's been out for over a year, we are really looking to basically find more clients through our blog, through our website, and get them into our coaching program. So with that, we would love some help to find out how we can go about it.
Pat: Sure. May I ask you, what have you been doing so far to collect your current coaching students? Where are they coming from currently, mostly?
Zuzana: So I would say 80 percent of our coaching comes from the book because when we were approached to write the book, we realized that definitely the book is not going to make us rich or that we cannot quit our day job because that would not really support us. So what we did with our book was we included our coaching program as being part of it. So basically anybody who would purchase the book would receive eight weeks of free coaching on our website. So a lot of these clients, these readers transition into our coaching program via the book. So that's been our main source of clients so far. And the rest of them come through our website. So we do have subscribers, we have a mailing list, and we send them regular invitations to our coaching.
Pat: Love it. I love it. And then in terms of the book itself, Nikki, can you speak to like, how does the book get people to get off the book? I think that's one of the big challenges that a lot of authors have. We don't even know who's reading. How do you get to know them? I know it goes into an eight-week sort of free training, but I want to know if I was reading it, what are my instructions to help get to you?
Nikki: Okay. So we do have a URL within the book, and people can put in a coupon code to access the eight weeks free. And now once they do get onto our site, there's extra documents that we obviously couldn't fit in the book to include in the program. So we're referencing them to our website in order to download these supportive documents, to read different articles, to get some podcasts that we already have released and that are part of the program as well. So just a lot of supporting material, and we also give weekly messages, and those are also sent out in their email inbox as well. So every week they'll receive a video message as well as a written message from us, and they have the option to go online and to read it as well.
Pat: I love it. It sounds like a really great system and kind of almost like a machine that you've built. So first of all, just hats off to you both for creating that. I think you're really in a wonderful place. So now, okay, let's talk about this. So 80 percent coming from the book, and you're looking to get more coaching clients. So then what would you say the real challenge is here?
Nikki: Traffic and conversion, I would say.
Zuzana: Traffic and conversion. Mm-hmm.
Pat: So traffic to the website, or more eyes on your book you think?
Zuzana: Not even on the book because really the book . . . Here's the challenge, the program works really well. So after eight weeks of free coaching, a lot of these clients are actually experiencing tremendous results. And there's not that much big incentive to really continue with the program because they feel like they already have everything they need in order to continue on their own.
Zuzana: We didn't really mention but the whole program is twenty-four weeks, and they can have a lifetime access to it because I think we all know that healthy lifestyle is not something that we can change in eight weeks or twenty-four weeks. It's an ongoing thing. So they do have a lifetime access. So really our challenge is to bring more people to our website and inform them of what we have to offer.
Pat: I love that. Okay. So let's say I read the book or I'm on your website. You give me some transformations. I'm loving life. I'm feeling healthy, and then I hear this offer from you for extending my coaching. How would you pitch that to me? What would you say to me to convince me to stay on?
Zuzana: We initially give you . . . So if you were going to come to our website right now, you will receive a two-week free trial with basically, almost like an audible. So you receive your free trial with the fact that it continues with monthly payments. So as long as you don't cancel, you will continue with the program. So our belief is that after two weeks, you're going to see some results but hopefully the little results you get will keep you going.
Pat: Okay. Let's say I listen for two weeks and I get a lot of value, but I'm still on the fence. I don't know. Why should I stay on for longer? What would you tell me?
Zuzana: What we do is you will receive weekly messages from us. Within the first two weeks, you will receive four of them. So you receive one on Sunday that will set you up for the following week with everything you need to know for the week, your assignments, your meal plans and such. In between, so on Wednesday, you will get like a moderation email. So we try within the first couple of weeks to really encourage you to stay on the journey with us.
Pat: I like that. So I'm hearing a lot of what I get when I continue this path with you, which I think is great. These are almost like features, right? I get this newsletter. I get the support. But what would be the benefit of those? I'm trying to . . . I'm sorry I keep digging here. I'm just looking for the benefits, and this is a big . . . Don't worry. You're not alone in this. Most entrepreneurs, when they have a sales page, for example, they'll talk about the features of the thing. It has this many buttons, this many videos, this many . . . But like, why? I want to know these newsletters . . . Maybe another way to think about this is, Nikki and Zuzana, is if I don't continue, then what would happen to me?
Nikki: Well, ideally, why we started this program was the idea that a lot of people . . . We're personal trainers as background as well. So we've been in this field working one on one with clients for many years, and you see it a lot where people start to implement a lot of different changes in their life and they throw everything at themselves at once, and then they just kind of fall off track. So we started with this idea that it's a building block, and that it takes time. So like Zuzana was saying earlier that there's no real limit to this, that it is a lifestyle, and so we're just trying to encourage people and educate people along the way to be gentle with themselves. And we hit every aspect from fitness, nutrition, and the mindset because obviously the mindset plays a huge role in this. So we're trying to help people break free from all of that, rather than just kind of going all at it at once.
Zuzana: So if I can, I guess the benefits you were asking for would be within a couple weeks, they will definitely see … If they want to lose weight, they will definitely lose weight. That's very common for people to see that benefit. Increased energy. Is that kind of what you're looking for?
Pat: Yeah. Those kinds of things. Like, let's keep that increased energy, let's keep that weight off. Those kinds of things because I think a lot of times, and this is just human nature, you get the result, and you're like, “All right. I'm good. I got what I needed.” And then we all know that that's not the case. And so to really hone in on the idea that to get the maximum benefit they need to stick around. I'm not quite sure that maybe they even know that. I don't know within the messaging it's clear after the trial period that, like you said Nikki, like this is a lifestyle thing. You have to commit to this for life and we're here for you for your life versus what many people are doing and maybe this is what's happening, I'm not sure, I'm not in your funnels. But, “Hey, here's an eight-week course, and it's done. Okay, now let's keep going,” versus, “Hey, this is a lifestyle change, and we want you to test for eight weeks to show you what you can do and how we can help you. If you like the results you see at the end, we're committed to helping you further.” And that way you kind of set up early that this isn't just like a one time thing. You will get some results but in order to keep those pounds off, to keep the energy up, or what have you, you would benefit from and can see the clear value in sticking around.
It's almost to me seeming like a messaging or a positioning issue versus an offer issue because I love what I'm hearing. I think what you are offering is of high value, and I think maybe they just don't quite know or understand how much value there is there. And maybe this is because of the way they've come into the funnel and what they expect. Maybe it's a position as an eight-week course versus the first eight weeks of the rest of your life. Just a slight positioning difference can make a big difference in how people react when it's done.
I think another important aspect of this is perhaps finding some sort of . . . And this is much easier for software, but it's definitely something that's possible with any business, and that is to find some way to keep people in where it's like a software, for example, like Dropbox, which helps me with file storage. Like I can't live without that now because it's a part of my business and it's a part of my life. That's what I use to transfer files to people and I hold photos. I have to continue to pay monthly or else those things go away. I'm trying to find out, and maybe we can talk about this for a little bit, but would there be something in those first eight weeks or that first two-week trial period that you give them that they have to keep . . . Like, it would make them want to pay to continue to have that? Something very necessary, whether it's these workout routines. Like, if they get used to these workout routines every day, getting them from you, it would be missing in their life if they were to go away, right? And really honing on those parts of the sales process. Again, I don't know everything that's going on. I'm just kind of dumping a lot of things on you. I just want to know what you guys think or how you respond to this.
Zuzana: It's an interesting thing, because once people are in the program where they come through the book or if they come just strictly through the website—so they get eight weeks or two weeks for free—the conversion into our program is not that challenging. I would say that we keep about 60 percent of those people who try the trial. They stay onboard with us for a longer period of time. However, what is challenging is getting people onboard with the coaching to begin with, to even try it, whether it's for two weeks, just giving it a try.
Pat: Mm-hmm. Can we take that sort of hurdle or that thing that's hard . . . How can we make that easier? Would there be a way to get them to get a feeling of what it might be like to experience like even just a taste of that coaching in some way? Do you have any ideas on how you might be able to do something like that? The coaching is hard because they don't know what to expect, and it's hard to share the value of what it is until you're kind of actually in it. Like you said, once they're in, they're in. So how might you give them a taste of that? Some companies go, “Well, we'll have a fifteen-minute phone call.” I know that's not a scalable thing. But that works. Some people do live things with a group of people, and then lead people into the more personalized training. What might some ideas be from your end?
Zuzana: Possibly doing webinars.
Zuzana: Just introducing some aspects of the coaching. I don't know, maybe doing a webinar about meal planning or meal prepping.
Pat: I like that idea. I like the idea of the live aspect of that because then they get to hear you in real life. It's like you are coaching them, there just happens to be 50, 100, 200, 1,000 other people watching at the same time. What you could do to increase conversions based on everything I'm hearing is you could have, for example, just a planned monthly, free, live training of some kind. Just once a month, and people register for it. People know that these are things. You promote it on the website. If you have another update of the book, you can promote these things that happen that are there to capture more people but also let people who are in your ecosystem get a taste of what it's like to actually hear from you and connect with you.
If you do a good job with those, and obviously webinars are a whole new thing that require a little bit of training, but simple things like saying their name goes a very long way. Like, “Oh my gosh, Zuzana said my name. I'm in this community now and I have to come to the next training. Oh my gosh. I could actually get more personalized training and join another community of amazing people who are all at the same place in life. This is great.” That could be a really cool thing to test. The nice thing about that is you can try it a couple of times just to see if it converts or not.
Zuzana: For sure.
Pat: Instead of like, let's change the whole business model and see if that works. let's just add this one little thing, and see if that does anything. If it does, awesome. If not, then maybe it's something else.
Zuzana: Mm-hmm. That makes sense.
Pat: How are you feeling about this?
Zuzana: Feeling great about it. Let's say that we have a marketing budget of about $50 a day, would you promote these webinars on Facebook or . . .
Pat: Here's what I would do, I would definitely promote them on Facebook, but not necessarily to cold audiences.
Pat: I would perhaps try to re-target the website visitors that you've had.
Zuzana: I see.
Pat: Because you're talking about increasing conversions. So let's get the people who have already voted that they're interested in this in some way, maybe it's through the book, through SEO, through a link on another site, what have you. Then when they see this pitch or a free training on Facebook, it's not coming out of nowhere. Like, who are these people? It's, “Oh, I remember Zuzana and Nikki. Oh, they're doing this free training. Yeah, I remember their website.” They're going to be more likely to convert because you already have that vote of yes, I know who these people are. That's where I would spend the dollars versus . . . Later on it's spending dollars to find cold audiences. But I think the existing warm audience that you have, even retargeting your email subscribers perhaps could be a good way to do it, because on Facebook you can upload your email list to your Facebook ad account and serve ads to them too. So that way they're even more . . . They're kind of doubly warm I guess, or hot I guess you could say.
Pat: And perhaps more likely to capture one of these live trainings. You can send out the replay later also. You can put it in a library on your website of all the previous live trainings that you've done so it actually becomes content and repurposed as well. They can even maybe turn into YouTube videos or something. And then people can come to the next one and maybe, again, they get that little sample. Just like at Costco, you get the sample and the flavor, and you're like, okay, I'm going to buy the whole thing now.
Zuzana: Got it. Okay. That's very helpful.
Pat: Yeah. You guys came up . . . We came up with it together. It was kind of cool how it just organically turned into that. But I like the energy of just going where—I like where this energy is, instead of like, forcing something and this was a very clear sort of just, natural next step for you guys it seems.
Zuzana: Perfect. All right. So we have some work to do.
Pat: And you can take it one step at a time, right? Like, what I love about the webinar thing too is it comes in steps. Step one, can you even get people to sign up for one, right? And if not, then now you know that's not what people want. Although I would assume that based on the audience that you've built and the kinds of things you're teaching, it wouldn't be very difficult for you to get some people in a room. Then okay, now we have people, let's create the presentation and let's . . . It doesn't have to be super fancy. It doesn't have to be highly produced. It can just be a few slides and mostly your faces. I think I would encourage you to show up on screen yourself versus slides, because the whole point is let's give everybody a taste of what it might be like to work with Zuzana and Nikki. Let's do a little bit of Q&A at the end. Let's be really valuable. And then, by the way, if you want to work with us more, here's our coaching program.
Zuzana: So you would suggest doing those webinars live?
Pat: I would suggest doing them live, but also knowing that even people who register, not everybody's going to catch it live. The live portion would be great for just the interactivity that can happen there. Yes, absolutely.
Pat: So, could be a little bit challenging, but a lot of great things happen outside of your comfort zone. So I don't know if that's fun or a little bit scary to you. But I think it'd be fun to test.
Zuzana: We are ready to grow. So we got to go outside of the comfort zone, for sure.
Pat: You got it. That's exactly right. And remember, it's about growing so that you can help more people too. I mean, they need you. You're changing lives.
Zuzana: Yes. Thank you, Pat.
Nikki: Thank you very much, Pat.
Pat: Absolutely. One more time, Zuzana, where can people go to check it out and maybe sign up for a webinar one day from you?
Zuzana: For sure. We have a website called ActiveVegetarian.com, and when you come to our website, we will give you a seven day or seven step starter kit. So if you're interested in living a more plant-based life or just want to eat more fruits and vegetables and move, then definitely the starter kit is the way to get going.
Pat: Awesome. Thank you, ladies. I appreciate you. The other thing I'll say is that a lot of conversions happen based on where people are coming from. So coming from the book is great because they get to know you there. Coming from the webinar is fantastic because they get a taste of coaching. But if you haven't yet done this, this could be the next thing to do or something to experiment with as well, and that's a little bit of influencer marketing. So other people who are in the plant-based or vegetarian space, you might have some knowledge and special superpowers that their audiences might care to enjoy. And so if you were attempting to get in front of those audiences, perhaps being a guest on their podcast, or their vote of confidence from their leader or their influencer will be massively game changing for how they approach your brand. So instead of again, a cold subscriber, they're coming with an endorsement from somebody they trust. So if you have relationships already, that could be a good place to start as well.
Zuzana: Perfect. That's great. Thanks for the advice, Pat.
Pat: Awesome. Thank you both, and good luck to you.
Zuzana: Thank you.
Nikki: Thank you.
Pat: All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Zuzana and Nikki. We kind of just went right clear into . . . It took a little bit of digging, but I think we found a great solution for what their next steps might be to help them give their audience a little bit of a taste of what it might look like to work with them.
And if this episode was a little bit of a taste of what it might look like to work with me, well guess what, you have an opportunity to do that, just like Zuzana and Nikki. If you go to AskPat.com and you want to get coached and you have some things going on in your business and life or whatever and I can help you, just fill out the application there. And I cannot pick everybody unfortunately, but I do pick throughout the entire year. And so I may end up reaching out to you and we can get on a call just like I did today. You can hear just how much, and hopefully how helpful this was.
I'm looking forward to connecting with Nikki and Zuzana from ActiveVegetarian.com so that we can see how things have been going, and hopefully get an update, just like on Shark Tank, like they do. So we do that every once and a while. It's still February, so we're still early in the year. We're going to wait a couple more months most likely until we get an update episode and a batch of them for you. We had some great episodes in January. This month is crushing it too, and I cannot wait for the people coming up in March as well.
So, hey, subscribe if you haven't already. Thanks again so much for all of you for listening through. I appreciate you, and Nikki and Zuzana, keep crushing it.
Thanks so much. Team Flynn, you're amazing. Team Flynn for the win.
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