Something You Said: Words that Alienate Your Best Health Coaching Clients

I have a friend and colleague who is a little more in-your-face than I am. She and I have different strengths about delivering our messages even though we have similar audiences and even services. 

She and I have a very similar programming foundation. We’d have to, right? It’s the same audience, same research, you can only come up with so many variations unless you’re using opinions. 

But people show up in my community who say, “I follow her too. But she’s intimidating. I can’t really relate.” 

Other times I’ve supervised dozens of fitness instructors. Many have attempted to motivate by saying things like, “ If you don’t squeeze your glutes no one else will.” 

On my YouTube channel of 170,000 organic followers so many comments, “too much talking, get to the workout.” Yet, they have the time to comment and thousands of other options to follow for free.  

I know these, “quick fix seekers” are not my people. But what you have to decide is, is there any truth to what they say? Is there another way to say it without alienating someone that could get me better results and still get the message across? 

Your job is to know what words will make your best health coaching clients – your prospective clients –  recoil and run the other way. Then to consider, if those words make them run away, is that a good thing?? 

Is it something you said?

Certain phrases, even single words that alienate your best health coaching clients could be hurting your marketing. 

In my own experience, some women who feel SO strongly about the use of the word “girl” or “girlfriend” will let me know it. They will write and say, You won’t do that with man and boy. Please stop. 

Others of us recoil at the term “ladies.” 

So what’s a savvy health & fitness coach to do when trying to attract more clients? 

The very words you use, as terms of endearment, or to connect and build rapport, could be turning them away. 

Here’s the kicker… you and not even they… may know it. 

So this episode isn’t going to solve world peace. It’s not going to give you a conclusive, “say this not that.” 

What it IS going to do is share with you the unique nuances that you may consciously choose to keep using if it’s a part of your brand. Or you may opt once you’re aware and sensitive to consciously change them.

I’ve mentioned terms like, girl, girlfriend, lady, ladies, or approaches like, aging gracefully, or women in their prime… all sit a certain way with us. How they sit is probably related to our own unique experiences, individuals who’ve used those terms we liked or didn’t in our past. 

“Ladies” for me just doesn’t work. 

I’m a “girlfriend” kind of person. And I’m not changing that. I’m going to be a “girl” til I die. I’m not going to be a “lady” much as I might try. I don’t have a desire to age gracefully, but “racefully” speeding to a halt having used up every reserve, exclaiming, What a ride! 

That’s me. What I have to decide is, is it also my brand? 

Potentially, this has already got you thinking about terms you use – much by default and how they may or may not be landing on people. 

And there’s more. This next side of the episode is about instruction and directives – not alone bad things… that could feel condescending at worst, or at least a little too close to school. Oddly, as much as we like to learn (or you wouldn’t be here), it seems that most of the adult population doesn’t like to be reminded of school when they were constantly told what to do. 

Marketing Words & Phrases that Alienate Your Best Health Coaching Clients

Phrases like: You Need to…. 

You can use “I needed to” and tell a story. You can use “we tend to” and tell some statistics about behavior, but unfortunately “you need to” 

Or: You Have to… 

So, you’re saying, in order to get more lean muscle mass you have to lift weights. 

It’s true. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, depending on your ideal client it often works best when they identify what they think they need to do instead of hearing from you. 

You can list facts and science without saying YOU have to do this. If you haven’t gotten to “you” from I and we… often you feels offensive to people new to you. 

You Should… 

Even if it’s, “You should feel proud of yourself.”  Ironically, that comment that may have intended to put them into intrinsic motivation and internal praise, you just “shoulded” on them. 

Health & Fitness Business Building Resources: 

Health & Fitness Coaches Business Scorecard: 

Marketing to Women Copywriting Course: 

Other Health & Fitness Business Episodes You May Like: 

Health Coaching Tips: Your Personal Stories:

Content That Creates Clients That Only Want You:

Save Your Spot for this Event (and Invite Your Clients!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top