How to Be Relevant Tip: Be Willing to Turn People Off

An excerpt from my book...

Secret #1: Rockstars of Wellness are irresistibly relevant. Their message, their vision, and their work is timely, original and intimately tied to their tribe’s deepest yearning. 

I've always thought marketing is a lot like dating. First, you put out the "I’m available vibe" and wait to see what happens in the dating "marketplace." However, as soon as you decide to start looking for a partner, it seems all viable candidates disappear. So you work harder at becoming more desirable and it gets worse, and desperation sets in. Soon enough you find yourself going out with anyone that looks friendly and has a pulse.

The same is true for your wellness business. You tell your friends, family and associates you can help anyone get healthy, get to the next level or [enter general thing you do] for clients. This is the equivalent of saying "I'll go out with anyone." In this place of desperation, you attract clients that drain your energy, time, resources and cost you money.

In Fast Company Magazine, authors Dan and Chip Heath make this point clear (and not without a few laughs) in their article, "Polarize Me.” If you want people to like you, first decide who needs to hate you."  Brothers with careers in business (Dan is a consultant at Duke Corporate Education and Chip is a professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business), their article shares insights into why people in the online dating world don't have headlines next to their picture that really zing and get noticed. They draw compelling correlations to the same phenomenon in marketing a business.

"Why do some headlines suck so much?" write the authors. "Fear. Fear of saying too much. Fear of saying something clever that someone might think is stupid. Fear of saying something revealing that might turn someone off. The headlines try desperately not to exclude anyone. In doing so, they succeed at boring everyone."

Are you afraid to turn people off? Are you trying to serve everyone? To truly attract clients that are right for your practice, you first must get clear on what you do not want. The next step is to clarify what you DO want to attract. And finally, you must be willing to stand for what you want, put it out there, and face your fear that no one will like what you're offering. And finally, be willing to no longer accept less than what you desire.

"Some singles have figured this out," write Dan and Chip. "Here's a brilliant example [from a headline]: 'Athletic math nerd seeks someone to hum the Seinfeld intro music with.' While excluding, he's simultaneously becoming more interesting to potential soul mates. Another appropriately polarizing headline reads, 'I might just Bite!' Well done."

If you aren't willing to turn off some people in your business marketing, you'll never be able to differentiate yourself from a sea of similar professionals (or in this case, potential life partners). You must stand for something and face your fear in order to truly create programs, products and services that reflect all that you are and what you're here to do.


Like what you read? Then you’ll love my marketing and work-for-yourself lifestyle tips for wellness pros here. Check it out:

About the Author and Karin Witzig Rozell has been teaching health and wellness professionals how to grow their business since 2003. She started as a nutrition counselor who knew a lot about nutrition, but not a whole lot about business and marketing. After learning some tough lessons she cracked the code and now her passion is transforming practitioners into profitable business owners who have a great quality of life too.

She is the founder of Wellness Professional Network, the go-to place for practitioners to learn the real-life business skills they didn’t teach in wellness school.

Karin is the author of The Fast Start to Clients Program and the forthcoming book: Rockstars of Wellness: Super Simple Ways to Stand Out, Get Hired and Become Irresistibly Relevant to Your Tribe.

Karin lives in Upstate New York, in the beautiful foothills of the Adirondacks, and enjoys working from home with her husband and son.