So you’re wondering how to make money as a health coach.
Perhaps you’re thinking of it as a new career or even already working as a health coach and want to find a way to increase your income.
Well with health coaching emerging as a $6 billion market over the last few years, the news for you is good.
The market for your service is growing and there’s money to be made if you know where to look.
Plus there’s ways of making money as a health coach, no matter your personality or style.
Whether you’re an extroverted socializer who loves meeting more people or a more introverted reserved character, this guide is packed full of first-hand strategies, tips and tricks to start growing your business immediately.
So keep reading if you really want the answers to the question – how do health coaches make money?
How to Get Clients as a Health coach
The most common way to a good income as a health coach is building a base of regular 1 to 1 clients.
People paying for your knowledge and expertise in individual coaching sessions. A little bit like a personal trainer or private tutor.
For most this is the bread and butter of their business, just like the basics of any business – providing a service or product in exchange for money.
Sounds simple, right?
But you probably understand that part, the real question is how.
How do you get clients as a health coach?
Get Training (but not too much)
The first thing you’ll need is knowledge and expertise. Without this, you’ll struggle to create a service that people love. Fortunately, there’s now a massive choice of courses you can take to fill gaps in your knowledge. You can even study online in your spare time!
Here’s a few of the best health coaching courses and certificates:
Institute of Integrative Nutrition – Teaches you holistic health and nutrition plus you how to change lives, including your own.
Dr Sears Wellness Institute – Provides a rounded look and wellness and has no prerequisites or barriers to entry.
Precision Nutrition Level 1 – A course helping you to master the science of nutrition and how to coach it to others.
Often new health coaches struggle to make money at first and it can be tempting to blame it on lack of knowledge and training. From experience, I can tell you that simply doing more training once you’re qualified is rarely the answer to making more money.
If you’re confident you know you’re stuff then the answer is taking care of your business NOT your knowledge.
Building a client base takes time through consistent work, good results and marketing.
The ability to gain a steady stream of regular customers is what makes a successful health coach.
Marketing Yourself as a Health Coach
It’s all very well and good being told to market yourself but if you’re not used to running your own business this can be tough.
Sometimes it feels like feast or famine.
One minute you’re super busy and have no time for marketing.
And other times, it’s just crickets. No emails, no phone calls, nothing.
Or even more frustrating none of your marketing efforts ever seem to work.
But don’t worry, you just need to know where to look and how to position yourself for a never-ending stream of customers.
Create your niche
The first thing to do is to work out your niche – either what you’re best at or what customers want.
Your niche can be built from multiple factors to help you stand out from the crowd. The first and easiest place to start is location. Picking an area you want to target and be known for your services helps you to focus your efforts.
Even better, picking a local town or village with little competition enables you to be the only business in town. Make yourself the go-to for local communities. Maybe instead of targeting a big busy city, try smaller clusters of villages where messages are easier to spread.
A tip for you – many villages are quiet places where people talk, a lot. Word spreads quickly, especially if there’s anything new in town. Get in front of the local school mums, local community centres and related businesses for an untapped customer base.
When growing a business and trying to attract new customers it’s tempting to try and cast your net as wide as possible. Offering every angle of health coaching to make everyone happy.
In actual fact this could have the opposite effect, distracting you from having a core skill set or expertise.
If you are particularly strong in a certain area or notice customers who want a particular thing then shift your niche towards this.
This has the added benefit of creating your own style and blend over time that people come to love and know about.
Put simply when people ask you what you do, what is your answer?
Or Plant-based nutrition and mindfulness health coaching to bring energy into your life.
The second more ‘niche’ example is likely to have a far stronger connection with people and immediately establishes you as an expert in the subjects.
So for finding your niche is all about location and expertise.
Now you’ve defined where and what you do, you’re still going to need to put regular time into finding customers. The biggest secret to marketing is consistency. Even the biggest most well-known brands in the world continue to put millions of dollars into marketing.
Simply doing a social media post or sending some emails is not going to be enough. In all honesty, it’s going to do nothing.
Word of mouth
Your biggest weapon in marketing yourself as a health coach is human relationships and word of mouth.
If you’re just starting out the quickest way to start spreading word of mouth is to get out there and meet people. Get out from behind your computer into the real world.
There’s plenty of places to meet new people in both social and business environments. Plus the great news is – people ALWAYS ask about what you do for work! It’s hands down the quickest way to start marketing your business.
You can find networking and social events on almost any subject on Meetup.
Did you know that 77% of people are more likely to buy something new when learning about it from friends or family?
And that 83% of people are willing to refer after a positive experience—but just 29% actually do.
That tells us one clear thing.
People like to buy things people tell them about plus your customers will happily recommend your service. You’ve just got to give them a little nudge.
If you’ve got happy customers, ask them to recommend you to friends and family who might be interested. More than likely they’ll be happy to do so. While you’re in referral mode get them to post a 5-star review on Google of your business.
The third major angle to use in finding customers is the internet. Whether it’s ranking at the top of Google, social media or live chat the internet is now a crucial part to almost every business’ marketing efforts.
I’ve seen all manner of successful and failed online marketing attempts over the years, including my own. From marketing both my own businesses and other peoples I have gathered some tips to help you succeed with your efforts:
- Consistency – Simply posting one or two messages out on your Facebook page is probably going to do very little to draw in customers. Whichever platform or search engine you want to appear on, it is always about posting regularly and consistently.
- Find your voice – Be authentic in what you are posting. After a while, you will start to see what people enjoy and what people ignore.
- It’s not everything – Marketing is all about word-of-mouth and human relationships. While the internet is a great marketing tool, I always find things like social media far more effective when someone has a personal relationship with you or your business. Unless you offer something different or groundbreaking, it can be really tough to find a lot of new customers online from day 1. But it can be amazing to build brand loyalty and awareness. Over time you will start to see results.
- Rinse and repeat – Once you find your successful strategy keep tapping into what’s working!
If you’re serious about marketing yourself online I highly suggest educating yourself on the subject. Things have got so busy and complicated on the internet that learning a little more about how to go about digital marketing is a gold mine in the long run. A good place to start is these guides from Buffer and Neil Patel. Plus take the time to see what your competitors are doing. What works and what doesn’t work?
Other Income Streams to Consider
One tried and tested way of making money for health coaches is creating a website that generates revenue. The concept is simple but how do actually go about building a website that generates traffic and makes money.
Well, the first step is creating something that draws people into your website. Happily, there are some very handy tools to help you with this, the best of them being Google and Pinterest.
We all know about Google, it’s the place to go when you want to find information. All you have to do is fill gaps that people are searching for or provide better information than competitors.
Another great place to drive traffic to your website is Pinterest. Many people call the platform a social media but in actual fact, it’s a visual search engine which is perfect for the health and wellness niche your working in.
If you want to learn how to create content to get search traffic on Google then the best place to start is this beginners guide to content marketing and the Backlinko blog for some more advanced guides.
So once you understand how to get visitors to your website, how do you make money?
After all, when you read something online it’s not often you pay money to a random website. If you’re like me, you’ll search for something, if it’s a product read some reviews and then buy it off Amazon.
Not to fear though, there are a couple of easy ways to make money with little financial investment. You’ll only need to invest your time and learn as you go. You can use affiliate links and display advertising to generate money.
Understanding these concepts is simple:
- Affiliate links – You build a website recommending products within the content. The recommendations link to websites selling the products who pay you a commission for sales. It’s probably the quickest way to start making money plus Amazon even have an affiliate scheme to give you a world of products.
- Display advertising – You place adverts on your site generating you income when someone clicks the advert. This is a great way to monetize any website with decent web traffic. Google Display Network enables you to easily start doing this!
Check out these guides to using affiliate links and display ads.
One final thing to say is that this method will take time to see results. If you are starting a website from scratch then it will take at least 6 months to start generating any decent traffic from Google and probably a year or 2 for the revenue to follow. So get started now and be patient.
Corporate work is an awesome way to expand your customer base and build bigger revenue. For one, companies will be willing to pay more for your service than a 1 to 1 client.
The trade-off is that it may not be regular steady work more like one-off ad hoc events. In the corporate world public speaking, group workshops, team building and retreats could be a big market for you to tap into.
Finding corporate work
It might seem intimidating at first.
You might even be thinking, what company is going to pay me to give health coaching to their staff.
Well, you’d be surprised.
Companies now look to foster a positive team working environment and use all sorts of methods like gym memberships, wellness days and team building.
Services that you could provide.
Once you work out what you can offer, perhaps a group health coaching workshop, you can approach some companies.
If you want to build some expertise and reputation try approaching small local companies to offer a free session to test the water.
Then use business networking events to find potential clients. The beauty of networking events is that you’ll often be meeting tons of business owners at a time. You could even start public speaking at business events on the benefits of health coaching for a company. Try finding a business meetup or event and offer to speak one week. You won’t be paid for speaking but you’ll be in front of plenty of potential clients!
Add value to existing clients
It’s always easier to keep an existing customer rather than find new ones.
If you’ve already got a regular client base then have you thought about offering more services to increase your income?
Your 1 to 1 health coaching customers might be interested in more sociable group sessions or even intensive workshops.
How about a weekly group cooking session that teaches about the importance of nutrition and how to cook up a healthy diet. It’s a valuable skill many people are missing plus a great social event!
Or even go one step further with an intensive health week delivering a session every day that incorporates all the aspects of healthy living – food, exercise, mental health all packed into an intensive workshop.
Partner with another business
I love this method for growing a business, it often sprouts amazing new products and services.
You might have a particular niche or set of expertise which could complement other businesses and individuals.
If you focus on cognitive and mental processes to develop wellbeing then why not partner with a personal trainer to help provide more physical benefits to engage people in behavioural changes.
Online courses are an amazing way for you to expand your reach as a health coach. It creates an opportunity for you to teach people from across the whole world. It’s become an ever more popular way for people to learn. Online health coaching could be done in live 1 to 1 video call or with complete courses for people to do in their own time.
You don’t need too much to create a course simply a camera, tripod and microphone is enough. There are a number of education marketplaces for you to advertise a course too such as Udemy.
If you want to find out more about starting your own course then here a great article from Learnworlds.
Write a Book
Writing a book is another method that requires your investment of time and knowledge but could pay off big in the long run.
It might not be an instant earner but could start making you money while you sleep.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up in the morning, check your phone and see you’ve sold copies of a book?
Yes, it would.
Writing and publishing an ebook might seem like an impossible task but it’s easier than ever thanks to publishing platforms like Kindle.
Making money as a health coach: Final Thoughts
Most successful health coaches have multiple income streams.
It enables you to diversify your income so you are not reliant on one single thing.
For example, should your 1 to 1 health coaching clients disappear you still have money coming in from corporate gigs or a website?
Finding clients for your business takes time and consistent effort.
Using the methods we discussed earlier should help you on your way with a nice mix of in-person and online marketing.
Finally, keep learning and get on with it. The best way to build your income is to learn new skills to compliment your business.
Don’t just take ‘health coaching courses’ explore business, marketing and digital skills plus learn as you go.