ep012: Get More Leads Using the Stages of Awareness




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When you lead with your offer, you are limiting the number of people who can help. In fact, putting an offer out with a link to purchase it is selling, not marketing. Marketing involves attracting leads, capturing leads, and nurturing leads.

In this episode, I talk about how to make your marketing a lot better by using the stages of awareness. These stages include being unaware, awareness, diagnosis, the real solution, and the “they get it” stage. I share how to move your leads from the unawareness stage all the way through the “they get it” stage.

In this episode of the Business (R)Evolution Podcast:

In this episode of the Business (R)Evolution Podcast:

  • How to make your marketing a lot better
  • The difference between selling and marketing
  • The stages of awareness
  • Why you shouldn’t lead with your solutions
  • Attracting the right people
  • Educating about the root cause
  • The power of storytelling
  • Empathetic and educational marketing
  • And more!

Resources and links Joanna mentions in this episode:

Joanna Sapir is a business strategist and coach helping innovative wellness practitioners build more profitable and sustainable businesses. She's on a mission to build a movement of people creating a new vision and reality for our future as humans on earth.

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→ Book a free consult today.

The Sustainable Practice Toolkit

Strategies and Tools to Streamline the Backend of Your Wellness Business
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Full episode transcript

Welcome to the Business Revolution Podcast, where practitioners and coaches that provide services in health, wellness, and education, come to learn the business side of things like marketing, pricing, hiring, finances, all the things you need to streamline and organize your business, create steady and predictable income, serve your clients even more deeply and reach your full potential as a business owner.

If you are a skilled, experienced practitioner of your craft that has or wants to have a profitable and sustainable business doing the work you love, you’re in the right place. I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s get into this episode.

Today, I want to talk about how to make your marketing better, a lot better, because the way that most practitioners market their services is that they announce something they have to offer. Perhaps it’s a class that’s coming up or an event, or they announce their program.

Really what that’s doing is selling. When you’re putting an offer out with a link to sign up or purchase it, that’s selling, it’s not really marketing. So then what is marketing and how’s it different from selling? Well, if you have my Marketing Life Cycle Framework, you’ll see that the first three phases of marketing before selling are to attract leads, capture leads, and nurture leads. Let me repeat that, attract leads, capture leads and nurture leads.

If you’re just announcing that your events or classes or services are available for sale or for signups, you’re skipping all of those steps of attracting leads, capturing leads and nurturing leads. You’re going straight to selling. I call that selling to strangers and I usually say don’t sell to strangers.

So today I want to talk about a really important concept to help you attract leads, capture leads, and nurture leads. It’s called the stages of awareness. This was a concept created by an old school copywriter named Eugene Schwartz and it’s a really powerful concept for a wellness practitioner like you, that provides transformation for your clients. That’s what we’re talking about today;. how to get more leads using the stages of awareness.

But first I want to make sure that we’re opening up two new cohorts of the Business Revolution Academy right now, this fall and spots in the academy are limited. Truly, that’s not something I’m just saying. They’re very limited. These are small intimate groups. If you have been thinking about working with me, I’m talking to you, if you’re not brand new to this podcast and you’ve been following me, then this would be the time to schedule a discovery call and see if the academy is right for you. There is an application process to get into the academy and you get the application by scheduling the call.

Just a reminder, the academy is for established practitioners who have clients and have been in business for anywhere from a couple years to 10 or 20 years. In the academy, we help you create more client success in your business, create steady monthly income and streamlined systems. So you can visit the programs page on my website for more information on the Business Revolution Academy and you can schedule a consultation with me there as well. Of course, I’ll put those links in the show notes so that you can just click there to get right to it.

Okay, let’s get into the show.

Let’s say you help people with their gut health, or maybe you help people regulate their nervous systems. Maybe you do somatics work or Ayurveda or human design, or some kind of interceptive proprioceptive work or Zee health or brainspotting or any of the cutting edge and effective modalities being developed from the growing body of neuroscience research. All of that is so cool because these are modalities and tools that you know and you’ve experienced can create major breakthroughs for people.

The problem is that when you market what you do or how you do the work that you do, when you lead with that, particularly with the names of the modalities, or even the general term like gut health or somatics, when that’s what you’re putting out front and center in the world to market your business, you say something like: I help you heal your gut, or I help you with your gut health, I help you resolve your past trauma, I help you regulate your nervous system, I provide a RT, I provide somatic experiencing.

When you’re leading with that kind of language, sharing, how you help people, your message is only going to land with the people who already have the knowledge and understanding of what those words mean and have already determined that that’s what they need to solve their problems and reach their goals. We call this a late stage of awareness.

The problem there is that’s going to severely limit the number of people reaching out to you for help. When you’re marketing to a late stage of awareness, by putting how you do the work you do up front and center, you’re severely limiting the number of people that will reach out to you for help.

I chose some of those examples, for example, gut health, trauma, work, nervous system regulation, those are examples that I’m choosing specifically because all three of those have really made it into the mainstream. Gut health is all over headlines, trauma is being really used widely these days and so you might be thinking, well, that’s not just a practitioner speak. People out there know what that means and they’re looking for that.

In fact, in your business, people may be coming to you for help specifically, because they were looking for that. They were looking for nervous system regulation tools, or they were looking for somatics work. So I want to say if that’s you, if your leads are coming to you because they are looking for that particular modality, this episode is still for you. I want you to stay with me because I’m going to show you how to get more leads than what you’re getting right now in leading with the solution you offer.

There is a way to still make this a lot better. On the opposite side, when you know that people have never heard of the modalities you use and don’t understand what you do and so you feel like you have no idea how the heck to communicate the power and potential of this work that you do, if they’ve never heard of, and don’t understand it, this episode is for you as well.

I’m going to show you how to get leads, how to get more leads using the stages of awareness and to get more leads you are not going to talk about your modality or your solution until you’ve brought your audience through the earlier stages of awareness. So let me break down the stages of awareness. As I explain these stages, I want you to be thinking about who your ideal clients are, because we’re not trying to attract everyone and anyone.

We’re trying to attract the people that you love working with, and that will see the best results from your services.

We’re trying to attract the people who are in the perfect situation to benefit from what you offer. If you haven’t listened to season one, episode two, it’s all about your ideal clients. That’s who I call the bullseye of your target marketing. So I recommend that you queue that up to listen to next, if you’re new to the podcast and haven’t heard that yet. All right, season one, episode two.

As I’m explaining the stages of awareness, think of your bullseye clients and their stages of awareness before they came to you, I’m talking about actual individual clients. Think about, as you listen to me, explain the stages, think about the people that you’ve loved working with and what the stages of awareness they went through were before they came to you. So here are the stages of awareness and I want you to know that I’ve tailored them for us as wellness practitioners. So if you look this up, if you Google stages of awareness, there’s a million resources out there. It’s a marketing thing. But I’ve renamed and will be explaining them in the context of a wellness business.

The first stage of awareness is called unaware.

This is when someone doesn’t even realize that what they have perhaps totally normalized in their life is in fact a problem. Let’s say that someone only sleeps five hours a night because they go to bed really late and wake up really early. Or maybe they’re only sleeping five hours a night because they just have poor quality sleep and even though they give themselves ample time to sleep, they don’t fall asleep early enough, or maybe they wake frequently in the night or they’re still not getting much sleep.

This is just normal to them. They don’t think of it as a problem yet. They don’t know that not enough sleep raises cortisol levels that lead to weight gain or that not enough sleep shortens their lifespan or creates chronic inflammation.

They’ve normalized what you know is actually a problem. They’re not experiencing necessarily, they’ve gotten used to their discomfort, let’s say that. So you could come up with many other examples.

Other examples might be around eating habits or might be around their dynamics and relationships. In this stage what I want you to do is think about what your ideal clients are doing or experiencing that’s a problem, but they’ve normalized it and are not recognizing that it’s a problem. This would obviously have been happening before they came to you before they recognized that they had a problem that they wanted to solve. Think about that. Think about what that earliest stage of a problem they have, that they’ve normalized.

The second stage of awareness, we’re going to call pain aware.

You could think of it too as symptom aware. They’re aware of their symptoms, they’re aware of discomfort, they’re aware of the pains they’re experiencing. For health and wellness and transformation work, this is someone that is experiencing some kind of pains and problems and they are aware that they’re uncomfortable with it.

They know there’s a problem, they have symptoms of this problem, but they’re unaware of what is the root cause or how to fix it. They don’t know what’s going on and therefore they don’t know what to do. They just know that they’re in pain or discomfort. We see this all the time.

Someone has chronic back pain and they don’t know what’s causing it. They may be in this stage just trying to manage the symptoms at this point. They’re aware of the pain, in this case is actual physical pain, but they’re unaware of why they’re having it, what’s the cause and what to really do about it. So that’s a physical problem.

You could say the same for other physical problems It could be shoulder pain, hip pain, whatever physical pain someone is experiencing. In the more emotional and mental realm, you might have someone who’s feeling, I mean, we can make it as broad as like feeling unfulfilled in life, feeling lost. They know they don’t feel right, maybe they’re experiencing anxiety, they know something’s wrong.

They know they’re uncomfortable, but they don’t know what’s going on and therefore they don’t know how to fix it. So that’s stage two, they’re aware of their discomfort. They’re aware of their pains and the symptoms of something, but they don’t know what the cause is or how to fix it.

The third stage of awareness, we are going to call the diagnosis stage.

For health and wellness and transformation work, this is when someone has been experiencing these pains and problems. They become aware that they have, something’s going on and now they’re seeking to understand why, what’s the cause of this and how do I fix it?

So they may be reading and researching to try and self-diagnose the problem and or they may already be seeking out experts to diagnose their problem for them and tell them what the solution is. This is a really important stage to pay attention to because this is where our people often start going down the wrong paths or the paths that don’t serve them.

Let’s say a middle-aged woman in para-menopause is experiencing insomnia and anxiety. She’s really uncomfortable. She decides to take action to deal with this going, like, what is this, what’s going wrong? So she does what she’s used to doing, which is schedules an appointment with her doctor. What the doctor does is diagnose this as depression and prescribes anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants or something like that.

That is a path that may be from your perspective, the wrong path. Let’s say you do functional medicine with a focus on women’s hormone, health and hormone balance. Then you may be hearing that and know that addressing her nutrition say, could potentially solve her problem much more effectively than medications that are just dealing with the symptoms. To you the root cause is hormone imbalance and the solution is balancing hormones.

This happens all the time. I mean, amongst my clients that I work with all the time, they can tell me stories of their ideal clients and the kind of wrong paths they’ve taken. People are experiencing pain and discomfort, and they’re seeking and find a solution that doesn’t really address the root cause.

So your job here is to think of examples of this in your market, what wrong paths do your clients go down before they finally get to you? What wrong paths do they go down that often just treat the symptom rather than the root cause? Really, really important stage to think about.

The fourth stage of awareness, we’re going to call the real solution.

So just to recap, stage one was unaware, they are unaware they’ve normalized their discomfort and pains and problems. Stage two is pain aware. They’re aware that they’ve got some problems and they’re uncomfortable. Stage three is the diagnosis stage where they’re trying to figure out what’s going on here. Why am I having these symptoms? Therefore, what’s the solution? That’s the one where they may go down different paths that don’t actually address the root cause.

The person with the pains and problems that you help address gets introduced to your solution, whatever that is. This is where ideally you get to explain to your market what the real solution to their pains and problems is and why. This is where you get to explain why the other diagnoses and solutions didn’t work, why those other paths they took didn’t work for them.

You get to explain the real cause, the root cause of their problems and how the real solution, which is what you provide in your services, will address their pains and problems. The real solution, it’s where you are teaching your market what it is that you do and why it addresses the root cause and how it works.

The fifth and final stage of awareness is what I’m going to simply call, they get it stage.

This is when someone has already been through all of those other stages, and now they fully understand that your solution is the real solution to their pains and problems. They get it and ideally at this stage, they could even explain why it works to someone else.

Now that I’ve explained the stages of awareness, let’s look at your marketing and see how you can use the stages of awareness to get more leads. But first, I do want to make sure that you can see why sharing what you do doesn’t work very well. When you share your solution, like your modality or modalities you’re assuming that someone is already aware of their problems, has already correctly diagnosed their problems, already knows that your solution is the real solution and on top of all that is seeking someone that provides that real solution.

Do you see how many stages in someone’s awareness you’re skipping when you go straight to offering your solution or offering your modality or offering your service?

What we want to do instead is use your marketing to educate leads and carry them through the stages of awareness so that they get it and understand why your solution is the real solution and then schedule a consultation to inquire about working with you.

If you have an email list, you can write emails that do this. If you write blog posts, do this in blog posts. If you write posts on social media, do this in long form, social media content. If you have a private Facebook group publish this kind of content there. If you do reels or videos or whatever, all the ways there are to publish content these days do it there. If you record videos and publish them on YouTube or social media, wherever, do this in your videos. If you have a podcast, do this in your podcasts. You can do this in a workshop or a webinar.

The medium totally doesn’t matter. What we’re talking about here is the messaging, the message, it’s the message that’s going to hit home.

Use the stages of awareness to help you really effectively attract a great audience of leads and prospects, educate them about their problem and the root cause of their problem and then introduce the real solution to them. Is this landing? I hope so. So you might be going well, how do I do that?

A simple way to get concrete is to start telling stories. You can tell the story of an actual client or a hypothetical anonymous client, tell their story from the early stages of awareness, through the late stages, through their work with you and where they are now, but you move through each of those stages. I mean, make sure to spend time talking about those earlier stages.

For example, many of your clients probably tried other solutions before they came to you, solutions that didn’t work for them and didn’t resolve their problems. That’s so important to talk about. That’s so important for your leads and prospects to hear. So if you’re telling the story of a client, you can share first that they went to the doctor who told them this and prescribed this and what the results or lack of results were for that client, so then they tried this other solution next, and you talk about what that was like for them.

Then you get to introduce the real solution, which is what you offer and you get to explain the real solution, why it works when the other ones didn’t.

Often the paths that our clients take before they get to us are just addressing symptoms but not the root cause or the root cause was misdiagnosed. You get to explain all of that in a client’s story or a hypothetical client’s story. Or maybe that’s your story, your personal story.

You can simply speak first person and tell your story through the stages of awareness. You can share your story in all the trials and tribulations you experienced before finding the real solution. You can share the paths you went down. You can share the research that you did. You can share the mistakes you made. You can share the other modalities. You tried that didn’t work and why.

A little note that I want to say, when you’re doing this is you can speak directly to the people in your audience saying the word you. That’s very much my style just to get meta here. If you’re on my email list, you’re listening to this podcast, I’m always in my writing and in this podcast, I’m talking to you. I say you, the practitioner. I say, you want committed clients and steady income. You can help more people if you learn how to set your business up properly.

This is what I mean if you’ve heard me say that the message of your marketing should be, I see you. I understand the pain or discomfort you’re in and I know the mistakes you’ve made trying to find a solution and here’s why those other solutions didn’t work for you because the root cause of your discomfort is actually this and the real solution is this.

Marketing this way is both empathetic and educational. So my big message in this episode is stop offering your solution to people and trying to sell it until you’ve educated them about why your solution is the real solution for them. Stop offering tips and tricks of your trade to people until you’ve educated them about why those tips and tricks are part of the real solution. Show them the big picture. Now I’m hoping that this is a big reframe for you about how to call in your people. I hope that you can see more clearly how to do that now. I’m guessing that you may want to start doing this, applying this right now. I hope so.

My main advice to you is just start trying, just start trying. Please don’t get hung up on the right way or the perfect way or making the perfect video or the perfect email. Just try, try writing something to your email list no matter how small your list is. You might have just 50 past leads and clients on a list.

Cool. Start writing to them, showing them that you see them. You have a profile on Facebook or you have an Instagram or LinkedIn account.

Cool. Try writing and publishing some posts using the stages of awareness. You teach a class at a local studio somewhere?

Cool, try opening or closing your class with a story that carries people through the stages of awareness.

You belong to a local networking group? Great.

Use your share time in the group to speak about a specific pain or problem your market has and carry the audience through those stages of awareness. Be courageous, and just start trying to do this. This is not something that you do once and expect a bunch of leads. It’s something you build as a regular activity in your business.

It’s a regular part of the messaging you put out as a business owner. You need to communicate with your audience regularly and attract, capture and nurture leads. You tell stories like this or snippets of stories like this over and over regularly. You are the leader of your business, and it’s up to you to get your message out and to show your people that you see them and you understand them and how what you offer will help them reach their goals.

You do it by using the stages of awareness in all the phases of your marketing. They’re not going to buy from you, sign up for services with you until they understand that you have the real solution to the pains and problems they’re experiencing.

So show them that you do by first teaching them about their problems about the root cause and why other solutions didn’t or don’t work and why yours does. When you’re doing this on a regular basis and your people understand, they feel seen and understood by you, they understand that you understand them, and they’ve learned that you have the knowledge to help them, that’s when they understand why your services are the real solution.

Then when you do put out a call-to-action to schedule a consultation with you, or promote a special event or class, you will get way more leads. Get more leads using the stages of awareness in your marketing.

Now, if you don’t already have my Marketing Life Cycle Framework, I’ll put the link to download that for free in the show notes on my website. That’s it for this episode. I really hope that this gets the juices flowing for you to make your marketing better, to get more leads. Bye for now.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast and you want to apply what you’re learning here in your business, did you know that you can meet directly with me and ask me questions and get my help when you come to the Practitioner’s Business Round Table?

The Practitioner’s Business Round Table is a free gathering for innovative practitioners that I host each month. We meet live via Zoom and when you sign up for a spot, you have the chance to submit your questions beforehand, to get them answered by me at the round table discussion. You can grab a seat for the next Practitioner’s Business Round Table by going to joannasapir.com/roundtable.

Let’s go deeper. Come learn more about how to build a fulfilling and profitable practice with long-term clients and stable income. I hope to see your face there.