What it REALLY Takes to Succeed as a Health Coach
As a health coach, you are passionate about helping people change their lives for the better. What you might not have really considered is that you are now also a business owner. I see many health coaches that feel completely overwhelmed about what to do to build their practice. It’s a mindset shift to realize if you want to have a successful health coaching practice; you have to treat it as a business – not just a hobby.
When I started out as a health coach, I was a bit clueless, so I totally get it. We all start out as beginners right? I made it a goal to learn as much as I possibly could so I could implement the strategies that would have the biggest impact on my business.
Today I’m sharing my top tips about what it really takes to succeed as a health coach. I’d love to hear any of your tips as well, so be sure to leave me a comment,
Let’s dig in, shall we?
1. Determine Your Goals and Your Vision
What is your vision for your business? What do you want to achieve? Why did you become a health coach?
Take some time to set some goals for your business. When you know what your goals are, it makes it easier to make a plan to achieve them. Without a goal, it’s easy to get distracted, lose focus and get frustrated. Yes, I’ve been there too.
Let’s look at one example. If your short-term income goal is $2,000 a month from health coaching, your plan may look different than if your income goal is $5,000 or more per month. Let’s say your initial goal is $2,000. How many clients do you need to achieve that income level? Could you achieve half of that amount with 1-on-1 coaching and half with online coaching perhaps? Brainstorm, and see what you come up with. A successful business starts with planning.
Other than your income goals, think about how you want to work. I did all of my coaching either via phone or online, and this allowed me the most flexibility with my schedule. Consider what would work best for you so you can fit your business into your life.
Take some time to write down your income goals for the next 6-12 months, and what actions you will take to get there. If you need ideas, keep reading.
2. Know who it is that you want to help
The more specific you can get on who you want to help, the better. I know it may sound counter intuitive, but If you’re too vague, people won’t realize that you have the solution to their problem. There are thousands of health coaches out there, so think about what makes you different and unique. What makes you stand out? You probably won’t know the answer when you first start out, and that’s okay. Work on defining who is your dream client, so you can market to them much more easily.
Let me give you an example so you can get an idea that may spark some brain storming. If you tell people that you’re a health coach, and you help people have more energy, lose weight and eat healthy, that’s way too general (and not overly exciting). But, if you tell people you help moms lose their baby weight and teach them how to prepare simple meals their family will love, people will understand exactly what you do. They’ll think about what moms they know, and maybe they’ll even be able to connect you with some of them.
What are you most passionate about as a health coach? What struggles have you been through? These are some ideas to get you started on figuring out a niche that you can help.
3. Have a Comprehensive Coaching Program in Place
Let me ask you this – If you had a new client sign up with you today, would you feel ready to coach them, or would you be freaking out a little after you did your happy dance? You will feel more confident and ready when you know your coaching program is exactly what you and your clients need.
If you have a fantastic program all laid out and ready to go (that you can also use for online coaching), then fantastic! If you don’t have a transformative coaching program in place yet, and you’re not sure how to put one together (or you’re wondering how you are ever going to find the time to create one), you can check out this done-for-you health coaching program HERE.
4. Get the Word Out (Market Your business)
As a business owner, you have to let people know about you, and how you can help them.
If the idea of ‘marketing’ makes you want to go hide under a rock somewhere, reframe it to ‘sharing your message with the people you want to help’. People can’t find you if they don’t know about you, which is exactly why you need to market your business.
If you don’t let people know what you do, and you don’t invite them to work with you, you won’t have a business – it’s as simple as that.
The wellness professionals that have successful businesses are consistently marketing their business to the right people.
Here are a few ideas to get you started (don’t let this list overwhelm you – just pick one or two things at a time):
- A free offer on your website to grow your email list and stay in touch with your subscribers. Promote your free offer on a regular basis (several times a week on your different social media platforms, and explore the option of using Facebook ads for promoting your free offer).
- Send high-value content to your email subscribers on a regular basis to build the “know, like, trust” factor. Sharing helpful hacks and information that your target audience would love (maybe yummy recipes from time to time too) is perfect. Think weekly emails rather than a lengthy weekly ‘newsletter.’
- Post on social media platforms where your target market is hanging out – helpful tips, blog posts, videos, and motivational quotes are some ideas.You also want to promote your free offer a few times each week, and then promote your paid programs or services from time to time. Your goal with social media is to build the know, like, trust factor and then have them sign up on your email list so they can hear from you at least once a week.
- Get in front of the people you want to help – live workshops, networking, webinars, finding referral partners, joint ventures, etc. Getting your articles in online publications (like MindBodyGreen) can be great too.
- Start a Youtube channel and create short videos (3-5 minutes) that your audience will find valuable. Post your awesome videos on social media and occasionally share your videos with your email subscribers. People will feel like they know you when they see you on video. Be sue to include a call to action (for a free offer you have, or other action you want them to take).
- Start your own online community. Create your own Facebook group. This is one way to add credibility and attract people to your tribe so they can get to know you. I started my first Facebook group back in 2010, and that was how I gained my first few clients (for both 1-on-1 coaching and online coaching). For a great post on this topic, CLICK HERE
Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Just pick one or two strategies to focus on at a time, and then add more as you have others put into place. Each strategy can build on the next.
5. Be Consistent
Building your business takes time, focus and consistency. It will probably take at least a year to see growth in your business; it doesn’t happen overnight. Here are a few ways you can be consistent in your business.
- Make list-building a top priority. This way, when you have programs and promotions to share, you’ll have a warm market that are more likely to invest in what you have to offer.
- Post regularly on social media. Posting at least twice per day on at least one platform is a great way to maintain consistency. Share your own original content and be sure to share other valuable wellness information. If you want to automate your social media posts, you can schedule them ahead of time (Hootsuite or MeetEdgar are two good choices to consider for this).
- Decide on the frequency of your content. If you have a blog, decide on the frequency of your posts. Once a week, once a month or somewhere in between. Providing valuable information on your blog is a great way to maintain consistency and showcase your expertise. You can turn one blog post into several social media posts, so you can get a lot of mileage out of one piece of content. You can also use your blog posts as inspiration for your weekly emails to your subscribers.
6. Stay Focused
Distractions will kill your focus AND your business. We are all being bombarded with ‘sparkly objects’ every day. It’s a challenge to stay the course when you are being pulled in a million different directions.
When you know what your goals are and you have a good plan in place, you’ll have an easier time putting your blinders on. One question to ask yourself is “Will this help me reach my goals right now?” If the answer is “No”, then move along. That sparkly object will probably be there later if you decide to come back to it.
Have a million ideas? What I have found to work best for me is when I have an idea, I write it down, and then ask myself if this idea fits into my plan right now. I can’t tell you how many times this has kept me on track (rather than getting me side tracked). If your idea doesn’t fit into your plans right now, that’s okay – write it down and revisit it next time. I keep a folder in Evernote labeled “Future Projects” so I won’t forget about it.
7. Set a Budget
Yes, you are going to have to spend some money if you want to build a business. Free resources are fine to start out with, but decide where you need to invest in your business. Here are some areas to consider making an investment.
- Email marketing provider (Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse).
- Website and landing page design (opt-in pages)
- Graphic design
- Facebook ads
- Sales copy for your sales pages and opt-in pages
- Done-for-you coaching programs and resources
BONUS TIP: Delegate
If you want to have a successful business (and not lose your mind in the process), you can’t do it all. If you are spending most of your time ‘in the trenches’ of your business, you are missing out on the things that can have the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Here are a few things you can delegate:
- Scheduling social media posts
- Finding great stock images for your website
- Managing your bookkeeping
- Creating an editorial calendar
- Posting your content to your blog
- Creating graphics
For a more detailed list, and great ideas for outsourcing, check out this post HERE
Pulling it All Together
When you go from asking the question “Can I build a successful business?” to “What can I do to build a successful business?” your outlook and mindset are likely to change. Who can you look to as a role model to get inspiration, and actionable steps to implement in your own practice?
Remember, success leaves clues, so commit to learning from the best in the industry, surround yourself with like-minded people, and put your plans in motion. Success also takes time – it doesn’t happen over night.
To be a successful health coach (or to succeed in ANY business) you’ll need to get help and support where you need it, learn the right systems to put into place to build your practice, and invest in your business where applicable. Yes, it can be done. It takes time, action and a good plan.
Goals and intentions are great, but ultimately, taking action is what gets it done.
BONUS TIP: Be sure to connect with other like-minded people that share similar goals so you can get ideas, inspiration and support.
Join our awesome private Facebook group for certified health and fitness professionals.
I provide awesome free trainings in the group, as well as great resources and an amazing community of support.
Hope to see you there!
Oh, and did you know I have a podcast for health coaches? Check out The Wellness Business Podcast for a weekly dose of business-building tips and strategies to take your practice to the next level. My co-host, Karen Pattock, and I give you practical, bite-sized information you can implement in your business to see real results. Be sure to subscribe!