Health coaching is a growing field that offers a ton of versatility and options for multiple income streams. However, it’s probably a good bet that you got into health coaching because you have a passion for the health and wellness field – not for business.
One challenge many health coaches face is how to make enough money to not only survive but thrive, in the career that they love. The good news is that you don’t need an MBA to build a flourishing health coaching business. Learning and implementing a few best practices in your business and expanding your reach will help you create the financial stability you need.
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The Key To Making Money as a Health Coach
The key to making money in any business is to have paying customers. In health coaching, your clients are your customers. Most coaches get into health coaching because it’s a passion. We get it - you started this career to help people, not to profit off the very people you are serving… definitely not to become a marketing professional. This is always a challenge for every healthcare professional, even physicians. But the reality is, it’s ok to charge and it’s necessary to establish yourself as a professional.
However, if you want to earn a living to support your family, or even start a lucrative side job, you ultimately need to have clients, or people paying you for your services or products.
So how do you find clients?
This is every business owner’s challenge! A health coach is no different. The first step is to commit to becoming a business professional and learning about business and marketing. You have to spend a lot of time and money to learn your trade profession but it is equally important to invest your time in learning about marketing.
The good news, there are a lot of free resources online (youtube) to learn about marketing. So before you consider paying for business coaching, feel that you are stuck posting on social media, or start making cold calls, take some time to learn the fundamentals. While social media marketing and outbound sales calls are specific marketing strategies, there are many different types of strategies that may work better for you and your brand. For an overview of different types of marketing, check out “41 types of marketing”.
Marketing is not unique to health coaching or the wellness industry, so it can be extremely beneficial to learn from professionals outside the industry. Learn what strategies they use and why. You are looking for fundamentals, not ‘get rich quick’ promises. Remember, there are no overnight success stories. Businesses take time to build.
If you are looking for help to get your business online and in front of potential clients, you can set up your business using the Sofia platform. You get the business tools you need, a website, 2-way calendar sync for scheduling, payments, and client messaging. But the best part is – your services are listed on the marketplace where clients are searching for services.
Marketplaces help connect consumers with services and products. Think Care.com or Amazon.com for example. If you’re a product seller, you would definitely want your products listed on the appropriate marketplace to help drive sales. If you are a babysitter, you would want your services listed on care.com.
For more on how marketplaces can help you grow your business, check out our article “Best Sites to Sell Online: 10 Marketplaces for Selling Goods or Running a Business”.
Mastering the Business of Health Coaching
We’re going to break this into 2 parts. First, to get started as a brand new health coach, you only need your skills and a client. For initial business operations, you need to make sure you have a few fundamentals in place to protect you and your business.
- Your skills and the appropriate certifications
- A client
- Proper state license
- Business structure
Very simple. No websites or fancy marketing strategies are needed.
Second, For those who want to start building their practice either as a side business or full-time career.
It’s time to think about how you will ensure you are ready to take on more clients. Yes, we know everyone says to focus on a name and a niche first. But let’s think about being able to handle more than 1 client before we focus on brand and marketing. Plus figuring out your niche and brand is the fun stuff that can change over time as you get more experience. Remember, clients need your help and care more about what you can provide for them versus what your logo looks like! Don’t let this stop you from getting started.
When you are ready to grow, it’s time to look at business operations such as
- Handling inbound client requests
- Professionalism (do you have a basic website where people can learn about your services and book you?)
- Client documentation (do you need an EMR, shared google document, or an app?)
Once you get your fundamental operations figured out, you can turn to marketing to ensure your business has a steady flow of clients. After doing your research, choose a few different strategies you are interested in trying.
Marketing Your Business
Marketing is an iterative process. As a business owner, you will always be testing new strategies to see what works best for your business. In the meantime, we recommend being visible to clients in the places they are already searching for services. This means making sure your business is discoverable when clients go online to search for services and products like yours – be visible on Google and sites like Sofia.
When you have the infrastructure in place to take on more clients, you can turn your attention to marketing. Here are some tried-and-true methods for marketing your business:
- Blogging: Share tips, advice, and information on health and wellness topics to attract potential clients and establish yourself as an expert in the field. You can also share your blogs with other sites which could help build your backlinks and give you more credibility.
- Video Tutorials: Create engaging and informative videos on various health and wellness topics to share on your website and social media channels. Same as blogging, try to share with other high-profile and established sites.
- Social Media Posts: Regularly post relevant and informative content on social media to keep followers engaged and interested in your services.
- Infographics: Use visual aids to share information on health and wellness topics and help make complex information easier to understand.
- Industry Events: Attend conferences and trade shows related to health and wellness to meet potential clients and collaborate with other industry professionals.
- Local Business Partnerships: Partner with local businesses, such as gyms, nutrition stores, and private practices to cross-promote your services and reach a wider audience.
- LinkedIn Connections: Use the platform to network and build relationships in the health and wellness industry.
- Newsletters: Regularly send newsletters to your email list with updates on your services, new blog posts, and promotional offers.
- Promotional Offers: Create and offer special promotions and discounts to your email subscribers to incentivize them to book sessions with you.
- Educational Material: Share educational resources and tips on health and wellness with your email subscribers to establish yourself as an expert in the field.
- Targeted Ads: Use targeted ads on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Google AdWords to reach potential clients who are interested in health and wellness services.
- Relevant Keywords: Use relevant keywords in your ads to ensure they are shown to people searching for health and wellness services.
- Encourage Referrals: Encourage current clients to refer friends and family to your services by offering incentives, such as discounts or bonuses.
- Show Appreciation: Show appreciation to clients who refer others to your services by offering special perks or incentives.
- Partner with Complementary Businesses: Partner with other businesses that offer complementary services, such as fitness professionals, therapists, or nutritionists, to cross-promote your services.
- Joint Workshops and Events: Offer joint workshops and events with other industry professionals to educate and engage with potential clients and reach a wider audience.
- Other Providers: You can find other providers who share an audience with you but offer different products or services on Sofia Health. Create new collaborations with services and products to provide your current and future clients with more value.
- Workshops: Offer workshops or speaking engagements to educate and engage with potential clients.
- Group Presentations: Give presentations to groups, such as community organizations or corporate wellness programs.
Social Media Influencer Marketing
- Partner with Influencers: Partner with social media influencers in health and wellness. Be aware that most influencers with a significant following want a large sum of money in exchange for a post. You can start with smaller influencers if this is a strategy you want to try.
Regardless of which method you want to focus on first – don’t make the mistake of taking on too many at once – you should set aside dedicated time each week to market your business. Some entrepreneurs set aside an entire day for this — Marketing Monday — and spend the day focused on creating new avenues for finding new clients. The bottom line is you need to focus on providing excellent customer service and targeted marketing to make your wellness coaching business a success.
Ways To Make Money as a Health Coach
There's always enough business for people who are creative and dedicated to making it work. Don't box yourself in. Most successful health coaches have multiple income streams. Offering products and other services in addition to health coaching allows you to reach an even broader audience. Think of your audience as concentric circles that get smaller toward the middle.
On the outer circle, you have people who will follow you on social media and read your blog. This is the biggest part of your audience. You're providing value to them, but they aren't your direct customers. The next circle consists of your people who have bought in by signing up for your email list or making a minimum purchase. Even further in are people who buy your mid-level offerings, such as e-books, self-paced courses, or products. The smallest circle consists of your true fans. These are the people who are excited about everything you do. They've bought your most expensive offerings, and they're your biggest cheerleaders. They're the ones who will spread the word and bring you more customers.
You may not get everyone to sign up for personal coaching, but if you also offer an e-book or self-paced course, you'll sell to customers who might not otherwise be able to afford your services. You will also be creating your future customer pipeline. If someone buys your e-book today, they will be more likely to buy personalized coaching or your premium course later.
When you're designing your various income streams, think about the people in your concentric circles. Create products and services to reach customers in each circle. Some of the ways you can generate income as a health coach include:
Offering personal 1:1 coaching is a great way to get to know your clients and walk them through making the types of changes that will have a dramatic impact on their health. You may want to start with an initial consultation and a set number of follow-up visits. Another option is offering a set number of sessions for a fixed fee - or creating packages/programs.
Although 1:1 coaching offers a lot of benefits, it’s often not enough to sustain your career. One problem with this model is that you're exchanging your time for money. You only have so many hours in a day, so once your time slots are filled you'll have a hard time scaling your income. Also, the hours you spend in 1:1 coaching require a significant investment of time and energy, so you probably won’t be able to pack your schedule with back-to-back clients.
You can reach more clients at once by offering more generalized group sessions. Group classes and workshops can also provide an introduction to your services that will encourage participants to sign up for your 1:1 coaching sessions later.
With a group coaching model, each participant will pay less, but combined, they'll pay more than your one-on-one hourly rate. You can expand this option even further by offering Zoom coaching sessions with many people. Another option for group coaching is offering a monthly group support meeting for a particular health issue.
Online courses are becoming an increasingly popular option for health coaches to share their knowledge and skills with clients and students. With the rise of plug-and-play tech platforms, it's easier than ever to create and deliver online courses, making it a great way to reach a wider audience and grow your business.
Online courses will allow you to go into greater detail than you can during the limited time you have with in-person or real-time sessions. They also allow your customers to work through them at their own pace whenever it’s convenient for them.
Once you’ve invested the time and effort into creating an online course, you can continue to sell it indefinitely – creating a passive income stream. One popular option for creating online courses is to use pre-built platforms. These platforms, such as Kajabi, Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare, allow you to create and sell your course without any technical expertise. They provide a user-friendly interface for creating and uploading your course content. Once you have created the content, don’t forget to add these to your Sofia business site.
Digital Products: E-books, videos, guides
There are a wide variety of digital products you can create to share your knowledge, including:
E-books: E-books are a convenient and accessible format that can be easily shared and distributed online. An e-book is a great way to build your brand and establish yourself as an authority in your field. You can sell your e-book or you can give it away as a lead magnet when people sign up for your email list.
Videos: You can create a workout series, a healthy cooking series, lectures on specific conditions, or any other video content that your audience will find useful.
Guides: Creating a guide to help people with specific health conditions can be another income stream for you. For instance, you can create a multimedia guide to getting started on a low FODMAP diet that includes videos, audio, graphics, and other printables for a complete package.
You can also sell products to generate income in your wellness coaching business. These can either be products you buy wholesale or products you make yourself. You can offer these in conjunction with your coaching sessions, on your website, or both. Some examples of products you can sell include:
- Nutritional supplements
- Diet or exercise plans
- Fitness equipment
- Self-care and wellness products such as skincare creams
- T-shirts or other apparel
Next Steps to Build Your Health Coaching Career
So what is the best way to make money as a health coach? It depends! The various ways you can make money will depend on how much effort you are willing to put in and what you enjoy doing.
You can see that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to making money as a health coach. This career field is growing and offers health coaches the ability to set up multiple income streams. Plus there are great opportunities to work for companies, in clinics, spas, in hospitals. For a full list of opportunities, read “Careers in Health Coaching”.
Regardless of which income streams you set up for your health coaching business, Sofia Health is your perfect partner. Our unique customer acquisition platform was designed with the modern health coach in mind. You can check out other health coaches and see how they're running their businesses, and you can set up your own practitioner page so your ideal clients can discover you.
Take advantage of our like-minded community to set up strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships and learn from others who have walked in your shoes. Sign up today to get started with Sofia Health.