Optimized: How Magen Banwart Fine Tuned Her Niche
Magen Banwart has been a MBODY360 pioneer, serving as one of our product advisors from the beginning when MBODY360 was just an idea. As a highly successful and sought out coach with a unique mind-body program serving a specific niche, Magen’s been an ideal product advisor pushing us to make MBODY360 robust, flexible, and customized to each coach’s style.
We reached out to Magen to learn how she grew a successful business, and advice she has for coaches on finding their niche…
I work with high achievers
I created the Optimal Mind Body Program to empower people to live in a state of optimal health: mentally, physically and emotionally so that they can thrive in all aspects of their life. Optimal health as I define it is a result of more than simply eating well and exercising. It requires us to get quality sleep, practice mindful awareness around our thoughts, how we communicate and consume, so that we can live a happier, more peaceful, harmonious life with ourselves, others and the environment.
I have a unique brand of clients – they’re all high achievers and are either in the top 1-2% of their chosen career, excellent parents, exceptional friend. They want to look and feel their best and live their best life, which often means having even more sustainable energy, better focus at work, more patience with their kiddos, and being better partners to their spouse.
Typically these are people who understand what they need to do healthy-living wise, and they are disciplined, but they’ve gotten out of balance and want to get back into their “flow.” In the same way professional athletes depend upon their coaches, my clients understand the value of having a well-designed game plan and an expert at their side to provide structure, accountability and guidance to break old habits and develop/re-energize sustainable, healthy habits.
New clients find me via word of mouth, and they come to me when they feel out of balance in one or more areas of their lives.
My programs and techniques help them manage stress, relieve pain, and swap bad habits for good ones that promote wellbeing.
Three ways to find a great niche
#1: Do what you know
I was lucky. My parents were really into healthy living, so I started practicing what I preach very early in life. I was in multiple competitive sports (swimming, soccer, ballet from aged five), and practicing TM transcendental meditation at age 7.
When I was 15, I attended my first Tony Robbins seminar (which is where I first started to understand the unlimited potential of our mind). And at 16 years old, I started studying various Eastern religions and incorporating Buddhist and Taoist based practices such as mindfulness meditation into my daily routine. So my Optimal Mind Body Program is an extension of my life practices and my clients.
#2: Do what you love
Learn all you can about those topics that excite and interest you by identifying respected “experts” in that area. Read their blogs, attend their workshops, and get to know these people and their fans. Get involved with the related network of experts and once you become an “expert” in that area and cultivate a program and/or practices that allow you practice and share what you know.
For example, one of my first known areas of expertise (20 years ago!) was working with pre- and post-natal women. I amassed a very loyal and relatively large following for my pre/post natal fitness classes. While I’d never been pregnant, I took every class and workshop and read every book I could find on the subject. More importantly, I interviewed and met with countless OBGYN’s and worked with hundreds of first and second time mothers.
Recommendation: Offer your assistance at workshops with experts in the field of your choice in exchange for tuition. Once qualified, offer your services at a reduced rate to get the experience with desired clients. Continue studying and learning and get as many different certifications as possible.
#3: Quench your thirst for knowledge
Read everything you can in your chosen niche. Listen to podcasts and watch TED talks. Consume everything you can get your hands on that has been just published by respected sources in that area.
I spend 1- 3 hours on average, per day, on research: reading medical studies, books, blogs, listening to podcasts, etc. I follow a wide range of “experts” not just in health and wellness, but also in business, like Ray Dalio, Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet, to name a few. If you want to run a great business, listen to what the business bests have to say about management.
MBODY360 helps reinforce better habits automatically
The MBODY360 app has been a game changer for me! I don’t even know where to start in terms of listing all the things I love about its creator, Kari T and what it has done for me and my clients.
Perhaps one of the best features of MBODY360 is that everything can be customized for your program and for each particular client to reflect your unique style.
For example, the reminder messages can be written in your words so that they sound like you. And they can be customized to meet your client’s specific goals, sent at times and with a frequency that matches your desired pacing of their program.
If a client is experiencing a certain challenge or hurdle they’re trying to overcome, you can add in customized messages to reflect this. And you can send real time “Way to go!” cheering messages when they record a win. This is part of what will make you indispensable as a coach. And it is something that no other app can do or will ever be able to do – i.e., speak to your client in their language, and ebb and flow with their unique needs.
You can customize so much of the experience in the app
Another feature you can use to customize the experience: You can upload all your program files, recommended videos, meeting recordings (and more), so that they’re all in one place for your client.
There’s also a feature where the client can take a photo of a meal and upload it. Clients love having the option to take a photo rather than enter what they’re eating sometimes. My old school clients (mostly over 50 years old), who still love to hand write into a journal, love the photo upload option. They can take a photo and I can read all their logs and notes that way. It’s so easy, and they feel immediately more connected than if I required them to log into an app exclusively.
Again, this is where the average modern day, automated fitness app will NEVER be able to compete. There will always be clients who, for many reasons, prefer to write rather than type their entries and knowing a real person is reading them makes all the difference.
I can spend more time on listening and coaching
Your client hires you not just because of your credentials. They choose you because of your personality and hopefully because you have cultivated exceptional listening skills.
The app gives you a way to stay connected and more importantly for your client to feel connected and taken care of when you can’t meet face to face or voice to voice. This is everything to the busy client with a full life because, of course, you need consistent reinforcement to develop new, sustainable healthy habits.
Bottom Line – Whatever a client’s needs, schedule or other restrictions, we all want the same thing. We all want to be loved.
Think about it: how often in this busy, scary world of ours these days does someone really want to know (and if they want to know, do they really listen) when they ask: “How are you doing today?” “How are you feeling?”
The more consistent and compassionate, patient but persistent you can be, and the more effectively that gets communicated by ‘listening’ and responding in kind, the more likely you are to be effective as a coach…Because the net result is that the clients feel loved and cared for.