Ep 204 – How One Coach Niched and Found Her Voice – with Elana Israel

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Episode Transcript

Rhonda Hess:

Hey, coaches, this episode is a celebration of one of my own milestones … I just passed episode 200 a and also 175,000 downloads, and I’m pretty excited about that. Thanks so much for listening to my podcast and sharing with other coaches because not only do you help me, you help those other coaches, so I’m really grateful for that.

And today I’m going do something kind of special. I think it’s really helpful for coaches to hear other coaches’ experiences of niching as an example and of deciding how they’re going to market.

I am so excited to share with you a human being who I had the privilege of working with in my 5-month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program earlier this year, and I’m so excited to introduce her.

Her name is Elana Israel. She has a business called — and also a podcast called the same thing — Partnership Aligned. She is a relationship and intimacy coach, helping moms with little kids reach greater happiness with their life partner through self-empowerment, better communication, and deeper intimacy.

And Elana and I have had a chance to reconnect and chat with each other. And now we just want to share some details with you about her business and her experience podcasting. So Elana … welcome!

Elana Israel:

Thank you, Rhonda. Thank you so much for having me. It’s, I know that you’ve worked with a lot of clients and have helped a lot of coaches start their business and make money. So just the fact that I get to come on here and share my experience with you on your podcast is so fun for me.

Rhonda:

It’s so meaningful for me to see my clients thrive. And, for you, some of the things you’ve shared with me about your podcast, I know that it has been a really wonderful way for you to go.

I want start with talking about your audience and niche.

How did you choose to work with moms to reach greater happiness with their life partner?

Elana:

Uh, well, mostly with you, <laugh>. Um, yeah, I mean, I signed up for your 5-month VIP program and I had some different ideas of the niche that I wanted to do.

If you remember, I came to you and I said, I want to help Jewish women deal with in-law issues. And yeah, we both loved it. It was specific and it was targeted but you luckily had me do a bunch of informational interviews. And what we found was that, unfortunately the masses who would be that target weren’t really interested in working on it. Yeah. They were interested in complaining about it, but they weren’t interested in working on it.

And so it didn’t end up being a viable audience. And then, well, I know that — before I came to work with you — I was trying to target single moms, and unfortunately that didn’t work out either.

So anyway, you asked me some really important questions and you were able to pull out of me that I really have always loved talking to people about their relationships. And, you know, I was a therapist for a long time and now I’m a coach, so I’ve been helping people with relationships for a long time. But even before I did it professionally, I was the girl that everyone came to, to talk to about their relationship. That was me and you were able to pull that out of me. And so we went with that.

I knew I wanted to work with women. I more recently decided that I wanted to niche down more to moms, because that just seems to be what I’m attracting.

I get a lot of fulfillment out of working with mothers because there’s a ripple effect to the children. I see that very quickly as the mother becomes more mentally healthy and her mindset, um, becomes more stable and her relationship becomes more stable, the children become more stable as well. And so for me, it’s just really fulfilling and I feel like it’s the most good that I can do. Yeah.

Rhonda:

Earlier in this conversation today, you came to the decision with such strong decisiveness that you are going to narrow your audience to moms with little kids where, where before it was women.

You are not abandoning your niche at all. It’s still around the idea of improving and finding greater happiness with their life partner, but the addition of narrowing to moms with little kids gives you this chance to cover more of the really specific issues that those moms face and in their partnerships and outside of their partnerships and around their partnerships. So it’s pretty exciting.

Elana:

Yeah. You know, the truth is that the work ends up being the same. Yeah. I mean, I can help anyone with anything, not because I’m so amazing, but because I understand the human mind and I know that a lot of obstacles that people face really just comes down to the way they think about themselves and the world.

And so it was really just a matter of finding an audience that had something at stake and had the motivation to work on it. And, you know, so, so that’s really where you came in and really helped me pinpoint that because, uh, I’ve always been good working with people, but I’ve never had my own business before and, you know, I just, I really needed some help.

Rhonda:

And there was something interesting too about just how close you were to it. You know, you had had this idea of working with single moms and taking off the single part, now attaching with little kids and then focusing on the life partnership and everything that surrounds that.

So sometimes an audience can be close to what’s going to be viable, but coaches just need a little bit of help to package it in a way that’s going to attract attention and be lucrative. That’s the goal.

Okay. Well, so let’s talk about podcasting a little bit.

Why did you choose to have a podcast as opposed to some other form of quality content that you put out to attract your clients?

Elana:

I love words as you know, I love to write. I love to talk, I love to put words together in a way that really puts a message out there. Podcasting — I think for me — it just felt like the most natural form of expression.

Like, I want to educate, I want to empower, I want to help women really understand that the answers to whatever problem they’re looking for really do lie within them. And for me, and the way my brain works, the best way to say that is to like grab a mic and just say it. <laugh>

You get to hear my tone, you get to hear my passion, you get to hear my inflection, you get to hear where I’m coming from. You get to hear the pauses that I take when I’m thinking about something. You get to hear maybe a little bit of vulnerability in my voice. It really just helps you connect to me and it helps me connect to you.

Rhonda:

Really well said. And I just have to say, when we were working together in the 5-month VIP program, one of the things that I noticed about you is that you convey quite a bit of authority, but also sort of this spiritual love that comes across. And I think podcasting is such a great way for you to get your voice out there in all that it brings.

Elana:

Thank you. That’s a huge compliment for me, <laugh>. Thank you so much. Yeah,

Rhonda:

You’re so welcome.

How has podcasting helped you get in front of your audience?

Elana:

So the thing about podcasting is, you know, let’s say there’s a mom with little kids and she just got into a fight with her partner and she’s just driving the kids to school and she’s really going through it. If she’s someone who likes to listen to podcasts, which is, you know, growing more and more and more — in fact, now I think it’s rare when people don’t — she can go on Apple Podcasts or wherever and see she can search.

So for example, my most popular episode is actually only the second episode that I ever did. And I think the exact title was: The Secret to Ending the Conflict with Your Partner. And so, you know, that mom in that moment might go and search for a podcast with the words of like, conflict with partner or something like that. And that episode came up and I’m thinking that’s why it’s such a wildly popular one is because it might be something that people are searching for.

So it helps me get in front of an audience in that way. So I promote everything that I do like on social media and everywhere else. Basically, I would say 75% of what I promote on Instagram is the podcast that came out that week in different forms.

So I, I try and drive a lot of traffic in that direction because I think that, you know, moms with little kids, they’re looking for information, They’re looking for empowerment. They’re looking for someone to say something to them in a way that gets them to have a different perspective and feel a little bit lighter and more relaxed about their relationship.

Rhonda:

Yeah. That it is such a wonderful medium, I think, for coaches to get a message out, providing a little piece of value in each episode that helps their audience have an aha, but also that gently in a non-promotional way, helps them say to themselves! I really like Elana. I’m going to go check out her website. I’m going go check out her program. I’m, I’m curious about what it would be like to work with her.

So there’s this natural progression through nurturing that podcasting really helps, I think, in all the ways that I’ve tried — because I’ve been in business over 20 years — in all the ways I’ve tried to attract my clients, podcasting for me has been the most effective.

And it’s so interesting because people will say to me constantly when I get on a discovery call to enroll them into my program, they’ll say, “You sound just like your podcast!” And what I take from that is there’s this reassurance, there’s this sort of sense of they’ve built some sort of a relationship with me already before we even have a conversation that’s live.

Elana:

Absolutely. And I mean, that’s how I found you <laugh>, um, was through your podcast. And one of the things that drew me to signing with you was that I got to hear you over and over talk about different things in different ways. And through all that I felt like there was this, this honesty, this integrity about you, which is of value to me.

Um, and that matters to me. And, you know, if I’m going to make an investment and spend five months working with a coach, I want to like you <laugh>, you know?  [Rhonda: Well yes!]

And so hopefully that’s, that’s what I’m giving to my audience too, is they get to know me when I talk to you. You’re going to get a flavor of what I’m all about. And you can get that in other ways. But I think when you really hear my voice, um, and hear me say things in a, in a certain way, you really get to know me and what I’m about. And at the end of the day, my coaching is going to come with a lot of tools. It’s going come with, you know, all kinds of, uh, exercises and videos and workbooks and all of that stuff that, that I provide.

But really what it is, it’s, it’s my style and it’s, it’s the way that I see the world and it’s the way that I see how you can improve your relationship. And so if you like what I’m saying on my podcast, you’re going to love the way I coach you.

Rhonda:

Yeah. I’ll just go one further on that and just say, for me, what I love about podcasting is that it helps me attract the clients that are absolutely ideal for me. And in the kind of business I run and the kind of business I recommend my clients run, — that other coaches run — you know, this Simple Coaching Business Model concept. It’s about working with less clients longer term.

And so yeah, like you just said, it’s, you want to attract the people who already get you like, you like what you have to say, and to some degree understand your philosophy. So they’re following you because they relate.

Elana:

Yes.

Rhonda:

And connect.

Elana:

Yes, yes. And you know, that’s why moms with little kids are drawn to me cuz I’m a mom with little kids. Yeah. Or, or a little kid. <laugh>. Let me not get ahead of myself here. <laugh>. And there’s a very strong spiritual side to me. I don’t necessarily, uh, explicitly talk about it all the time, although sometimes I do. But if you are a spiritual person, you will feel that from me because you’ll resonate with it and, and we will have a stronger connection.

Rhonda:

Good. So my last question is, what have you learned about yourself through learning to be an excellent podcaster?

Elana:

I learned that I can figure anything out <laugh>.

Rhonda:

Yeah.

Elana:

Because I don’t know if you remember Rhonda, but I had some tech issues trying to figure it all out. Not actual like tech issues, just issues with the way I think about myself in relation to tech. Yeah. Um, I really needed some coaching from you around, I’ve never podcasted before. I don’t own a mic, I don’t have this, I don’t do that. You know,

And your, the fact that your program included a step-by-step podcast launching feature was huge for me. And I didn’t even know when I signed up that that was included or that that’s what I wanted. To be honest with you. It wasn’t part of my decision, but it’s part of my, you know, massive amounts of gratitude that I went through your program was because I did, I did decide to do a podcast. I decided that early on and knowing that by the time I was done with you, I would have like three episodes out and know what I’m doing was monumental for me.

Rhonda:

Yeah.

Elana:

Yeah. So I learned that I can figure anything out because I had no idea, Not even the slightest. I, I remember I told my girlfriend a few weeks after I started, I was like, Oh, I started a podcast and she just looked at me and she was like, How do you do that <laugh>? And I was, and I was like, I understand your question and now I know. And it was so empowering, you know?

Rhonda:

Yeah. I love what you said about you can figure out anything and I just really trust that with all my heart about you, about me, about any coach who wants to really make this happen. And yeah. I mean, you may get help in the form of a resource like me, but ultimately it’s your wit, it’s your creativity, it’s your willingness, you know, to face the big scary of technology and then to realize, Yeah. You know, that wasn’t a mountain to climb, that was a hill of a climb and I did it. It’s second nature, which is what I hear when I listen to your podcast. This is just so you

Elana:

Yeah. And I’ve learned along the way. Like you get that initial foundation from a resource like you, and then along the way you get to, you know, tweak.

Rhonda:

Well, beautiful.

Is there anything else that you want to share with other coaches that you think would really help them around the idea of niching … anything?

Elana:

My biggest challenge with the whole, uh, niche thing was, and still to some degree is, but I’ve learned to swallow it because I know it’s not true anymore, is I really had this idea of if I get specific, I will miss out on clients because I didn’t have any clients yet and I didn’t know what I was doing and I had never been an entrepreneur. And there’s a lot of fear and insecurity that goes into that, even if you know how to do the work.

And working with you was so helpful to be able to really understand, because you’re very educational when you coach, how kneeing down actually will make me prosper more. And this whole idea of if you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to, no one, it was a really difficult thing for me to wrap my head around.

I had a lot of scarcity and working with you and doing my own mindset work really helped me get into a more abundant mindset, a more trusting mindset where I could kind of trust myself, trust my coach, trust the process.

And so I think that if anyone’s listening and they’re having a hard time figuring out like, what is my niche? What should it be? Is it, you know, going through the process with you — i was so methodical, It was so systematic. It was so organized that I didn’t have to figure out a thing. I just had to kind of follow directions and then put my own, my own pizzazz into it, if you will. Um, and it really, I ended up coming out of it just feeling, you know, confident with this new baby of mine that I now get to nurture.

Rhonda:

Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience of working with me, but also I wanted to emphasize the part about putting your own pizzazz in, because that is really critical.

You’ve gotta have a business that is you. [Elana: Yeah.] It’s really exciting to see your success and I’m so grateful to have this time with you today. Thank you so much.

Elana:

Yeah, Thank you so much for having me.

Rhonda: You are so welcome.

Stay inspired and make things happen!