5 Tips for a Successful Health Coaching Business
Updated Jun 27, 2020
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
As a health coach who’s been able to create a rewarding and successful health coaching business in just three years, I wanted to share a few tips. There are many types of holistic health coaching jobs and many times no two are alike, but these tips are foundational to your success.
I receive dozens of emails weekly from prospective health coaches asking how I’ve built Downshiftology to a six-figure business in three years. And I have to be honest – it wasn’t easy breezy.
It took heaps of tenacity, long-hours and hard work, pursuing something I was unwaveringly passionate about.
But in saying that (and to not deflate your excitement in starting your own health coaching business), I’ll also say this. Nothing I’ve done in the last three years required any special connections, advanced degrees or extraordinary monetary investments. There was no secret sauce or private member club. Nope. None. In other words – it’s all replicable.
So I’ve been pondering this for the last few week and considering how I might distill my health coaching business knowledge into a handful of salient tips. Tips that, in hindsight, I feel to have been the most pivotal to my success. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Creating a Successful Health Coaching Business
Tip #1: Act Confident
Seems basic right? Well, it is. But if you’re anything like me, you were probably the opposite of confident when you graduated with your health coaching certificate. Instead, you likely felt insecure, unprepared and reluctant to dive right in and take on clients.
So let me reassure you. That’s 100% normal.
An old boss once told me, “If you ever take a new job position where you think ‘I’ve got this!’ – that only means you haven’t reached high enough.” And boy was she right. Because in that uncomfortableness is your growth potential.
So here’s what you do. Act confident. Visualize what you can achieve with confidence. Bust through comparisonitis (no one’s got time for that and there’s more than enough to go ’round). And change your words and body language to project more confidence.
Low and behold, over time you’ll actually become more confident. In fact, three years from now you’ll chuckle to yourself and wonder why you were so nervous to begin with.
Tip #2: Be Unwaveringly Passionate
One of my favorite quotes is this: “Be relentless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” It’s a powerful, emotive and inspiring quote. And it stirs something deep inside most people when they read it.
Now, notice the quote didn’t say, find a job you love. Or kinda like. Or one where you think you’ll make lots of money (hint: If you’re pursuing health coaching solely for the money, perhaps you should re-read my Should You Become a Health Coach article).
No, of course it didn’t say those things. Because those aren’t driving forces that will keep you going when everyone and their mother says, “hey, maybe you should consider pursuing something else.” And trust me, they will (I still love you mom).
Successful entrepreneurs are fanatical and unwavering in pursuing what lights them up. Because it’s their passion that drives them forward when there’s setbacks and it’s their passion that helps them stay motivated when success takes longer than they imagined.
Your health coaching business will not come easy or without bumps. Just know and accept that now. But if you’re relentless in what sets your soul on fire, you WILL find a way to succeed.
Tip #3: Never Stop Learning
When you graduate with your health coaching certificate you will have studied numerous dietary theories, learned from world-renowned researches, doctors and scientists, practiced coaching clients one-on-one and gained valuable business training.
But I’m a firm believer that learning never stops. And those who are successful know this too.
So what does that mean for you? It means that once you graduate, you continue to pursue education in areas that would be most valuable for you and your business.
For me, that included taking online and in-person food photography courses. It included reading every single article I could find online about SEO and driving traffic to my website. It included learning how to shoot and edit videos and starting a YouTube channel. And it included reading numerous books on nutrition, business and accounting. Just to name a few.
But I’d say learning also includes community building. It includes reaching out to other health coaches to form true, sincere friendships and leveraging their strengths while offering up yours. It’s understanding that there is no competition, only collaboration and that a rising tide raises all ships.
In fact, just last week I was chatting with my friend Sapana from Real and Vibrant. We’ve never met in life, but we’re kindred spirits and have had a beautiful online friendship for several months. Sapana is a rock-star at building a thriving community on Instagram and I’m a rock-star at building a thriving community on YouTube. So we share information freely and support one another.
In short, learning never stops. Pursue it on your own and pursue it with others (for a little more fun).
Tip #4: Diversify Income
This tip is from the former corporate executive in me – always (always) diversify your income. Meaning, never rely on just one source of revenue if you’d like a little financial stability (and a heck of a lot less stress).
As a new graduate you’re likely only thinking of the revenue you’ll make from health coaching individual clients. Or what I’d call, trading time for dollars. And if you’re great at marketing yourself and the services you provide, you may do exceptionally well at this single revenue stream.
But what happens when those 12 clients you had one week turn into 9 the following week? Well, the short answer is you’ll make less money. You’ve put all your eggs in one basket with a single revenue stream and volatility with that revenue stream translates to volatility with your income.
So here’s what I recommend. Think of at least three solid and diversified revenue streams for your business. In other words, how could you make money in addition to seeing clients?
Maybe that’s selling an ebook. Maybe it’s by selling on online e-course. Maybe it’s by writing a hardcopy cookbook. Maybe it’s through selling advertising space on your website. And the list goes on and on.
To pull back the curtains on my business, I make revenue through three main sources – advertising income, affiliate income and brand partnerships. And income on those is diversified again through my four platforms – my website, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
I should also note that I no longer take on health coaching clients, due to the significant growth in these other areas over the last two years. But I could always add that back in for another revenue stream.
But here’s why diversification is important. Nothing is static. Clients move. Algorithms change. Traffic fluctuates. So if you build your entire brand around one revenue stream, the only thing you’re guaranteed is volatility – and that’s no fun.
So diversify your revenue streams for not only more stability, but the potential of earning more revenue through scale.
Tip #5: Be Flexible to Evolve
When I signed up to become a certified health coach I only envisioned one health coaching job – coaching clients one-on-one. But then a funny thing happened two years into my business. A few recipes on my website started to take off and my website traffic grew.
So I thought to myself, hmmm, if I do more recipes can I garner even more traffic? And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. So I pivoted. I spent more time and effort on the website and reduced my individual client time.
Then, over the next year my readers mentioned that they’d love to “see” more of me, in the form of videos. Now, mind you I had just learned to shoot my camera on manual mode, so I knew zilch about videography. And I’m an introvert who gets anxious at the thought of even being on camera. But I started to learn and grow out of my comfort zone.
Well, fast forward and today I’m a full time blogger, influencer and YouTuber. And to be honest, I chuckle that that’s my job title. Am I still a health coach? Absolutely. But I inspire and coach others in a way I never even envisioned three years ago, because I was flexible and allowed my business to evolve.
My friend Kelly Leveque is an author and celebrity health coach whose primary business is coaching clients one-on-one. My friend Sapana Chandra is a health coach who’s primary business is leveraging Instagram as an influencer. And I have other health coaching friends who are also packaged food CEO’s and yoga studio owners.
So there’s a big moral to the story here. And that’s this: there is no “one” way to become a successful health coach. Be flexible to evolve, grow and morph as new opportunities arise. That’s how you solidify your success.
I hope you found these tips beneficial and because there are so many different ways to become successful in your health coaching business, I’m highlighting amazing health coaches in my new series – Inspired Health Coach.