5 Tips for a Successful Health Coaching Business


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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.

As a health coach who's been able to create a rewarding and successful health coaching business in just three years, I have 5 tips for success to share.

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).

As a health coach who's been able to create a rewarding and successful health coaching business in just three years, I have 5 tips for success to share.

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.

More Health Coaching Tips

4 Steps to Health Coach Certification

Why Integrative Nutrition Isn’t Just a Buzz Word

What Exactly is a Health Coach?

My Morning Routine: How a Health Coach Starts Her Day

If you’d like to learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the health coaching program I attended, take part in a sample class.

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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  1. Dear Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and journey as a health coach. CURRENTLY, I’m on the journey to becoming a health coach. Your sharing was very inspiring and you gave me ummphhh .God bless Lisa

  2. You are so generous and kind for sharing the tips and your experiences Lisa. This means a lot to us who are studying our way to become a health coach. Truly a gem! I am sharing this with other students too. Thank you very much! xx

  3. I just want to extend my gratitude and say thank you kindly for being an inspiration to me. For years, I’ve wasted valuable time working mindlessly, going from one job to the next, giving 110% of my energy, but in the end, I felt completely unfulfilled. I was aware that there was something deep inside of me that was waiting to come out, but I was stagnant and too comfortable with my situation, and I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. Until I turned 30, when I realized that it was imperative that I started living for me, turning my dreams into reality. I have always been health conscious and a huge advocate of exercising. So making the decision to pursue a career that’s catered around my passions seemed like a no brainer.

    I am very excited to begin my journey on becoming a Health Coach. And more importantly, I’m even more excited to change people’s lives.

    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Antoine – It makes me so happy to hear that I was able to provide inspiration for you to take on your dreams and also continue your journey into a healthier lifestyle. Making an impact on people’s lives and being able to help one another is always my goal – so I’m glad to hear that you share the same passion :)

  4. Hi Lisa!
    Thanks so much for this particular article, it touched me in a special way as I’m in the process of pondering health/wellness/life coaching. Tip #3 especially hit home with me because I’m an M.D. and I remember telling my Daddy that I wanted to go back to school and he replied, “to learn what?” Fast forward 13 years later and now I know, one should never, ever stop learning in order to continue to grow and evolve. Thanks again for the inspiration! 

    1. I couldn’t agree more Michele, I don’t think we should ever stop learning. :) Hope you find the right path for you!

  5. Hello Lisa!
    I was doing a quick google search and I’m so glad I came across your page! I recently joined IIN in hopes of switching my life, and the lives of others, around. I’m having a hard time motivating myself since many of the current health coaches I’ve found (or that have found me) are part of a MLM. I’m not against that kind of business, and while it’s been proven successful for many others, it’s not the type of work I want to get into. I want to build my business from the ground up. Thank you for the great tips! It’s been a lot of overwhelming emotions but I’m not stopping here. I will become a successful health coach!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed my post Maria! There are many avenues you can take to become a successful health coach, it’s just about finding the path that works best for you. :) Good luck!

  6. Dear Lisa,
    I just recently discovered you and I truly admire your personality, I find you very creative and highly inspiring. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge!
    Could you please share some sources you found valuable to learn how to self shoot and edit videos and what gear do you use for that?
    Thank you!

  7. very good article and very helpful for me. I will geat starting a personal coach carrer in the South of France. Getting people who want to loose weight, stop smoking and get for a couple of days out of the stressful big cities.

  8. I needed this post today! I am halfway through the IIN program and am feeling beyond overwhelmed at times. 
    I am looking forward to reading the Inspired Health Coach posts as well. 
    Thank you for the much need encouragement! And i LOVE that quote!

    1. So happy to hear you got a little boost of encouragement from this post Donna! And that’s awesome you’re halfway through IIN. Big kudos to you. Keep at it! :) x

      1. Lissa 
        Can you please tell what school did you go for the health Coach 

      2. Hi Myriam – I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It’s linked above. :)

  9. ” Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire”, author is screenwriter Jennifer Lee.