8 Tips on How to Market Yourself as a Health Coach
Reading Time: 6 minutes 15 seconds
The wellness industry is growing in the U.S. and throughout the world. This includes health coaching as well as fitness, nutrition, spas, and personal and beauty care. Statistics show the industry has grown 6.4 percent over the last few years and is now worth over $4 trillion worldwide (1).
If you love working with people and have a passion for health and wellness, you could be a part of this big, big industry. Becoming a health coach isn’t time-consuming, but you do need some foundational knowledge.
And, if you’re branching out on your own, as many coaches do, you’ll need to market yourself. Marketing is a skill, but it’s not difficult to learn. Use these tips to get started.
What is a Health Coach?
A personal trainer is really a coach, right? You guide clients to set and meet goals through fitness and training sessions. You provide motivation and education. The same is true of a health coach, but with a focus on nutrition, diet, and overall wellness rather than strictly fitness.
A health coach combines several skills to help clients set and meet health-related goals:
- Knowledge of diet and nutrition, and how they impact health
- Personal training and fitness expertise
- Coaching and motivation
- Behavioral science and psychology
As a health coach, a client may come to you with a general or specific need: to lose weight, to get healthier or fitter, to manage a chronic illness, or to improve their diet, for instance.
You would then use your background knowledge in fitness, diet, nutrition, and health to discuss setting specific goals. Together you talk about what holds them back, what motivates them, and the concrete steps they’ll take to meet their goals. Along the way, the coach evaluates the client’s progress, adjusts the plan as needed, and provides motivation.
Besides education, what does it take to be a successful and impactful health, wellness, and nutrition coach? We outline what you need right here.
Starting a Health Coaching Business
There are no formal requirements for working as a health coach. This lack of regulation can make entering the industry confusing. It can also get confusing for a potential client. One of your jobs will be to explain what you do and how you can help clients.
But first, to be a successful health coach, you should get certified. This means finding a reputable program that teaches you nutrition, fitness, and health. It may take more than one course or certification to get everything you need.
Getting certified is a bare minimum. Before you start out on your own, also consider getting some work experience. Intern with a health coaching business (or life coaching business); get a job at a gym; or work with friends and family for free before diving into your own self-sufficient business.
How to Market Yourself as a Health Coach – Essential Tips
You don’t have to take a course in marketing or a earn a degree to get clients. A few tips on selling yourself, networking, and finding your target audience are really all you need to get started.
Once you’ve launched your business and have some clients, take a look at these ideas for boosting sales and revenues.
1. Show off Your Coaching Certification and Skills
Before you begin any official marketing to get clients, be prepared to explain and show why you’re worth choosing as a coaching professional. You may get interest right away in your services, but if you aren’t prepared to explain your credentials and services, you could lose them.
Take some time to reflect on what you want to be able to do for clients, including specific services as well as your own special skills. Gather any references from past bosses and co-workers in the gym or related jobs. Also get references from any friends you’ve helped with meeting health goals.
2. Knowing How to Market Yourself as a Health Coach Means Knowing Your Audience
Understanding your audience is marketing 101. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, your efforts will be too broad or totally misdirected. Maybe you have trained and specialized in youth fitness and health. Should you use the marketing platforms targeted at middle-aged moms? Probably not.
Find your niche, which doesn’t have to be super-specific, and then figure out the target client. Is that client older or younger? Are they a senior? Is the client a mom or dad? Is your client hyper-focused on weight loss or more interested in holistic health and wellness? Know who you want to work with first, before doing any marketing and strategizing.
3. Do Some Market Research.
You may think you know your target audience, but do you really? What do they want in a health coach? What kinds of things do they want to change about themselves? This is what you need to know in order to focus your marketing efforts.
Ask your local gym if you can survey members as they come and go. You’ll get some rejections, but it’s worth a try. Most people will be willing to give you a minute or so to answer one or two questions. This will give you an idea of what people really want in a coaching service, and you can tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
4. Build a Website
Maybe you want to dabble in online coaching, maybe not. But what you should absolutely have is a website for marketing. Start by building a simple, well-designed site that outlines your credentials and services. Think of it like your storefront and the main representation of your brand. It’s important, so take time to design and implement a business website.
Then consider going deeper into SEO marketing. Search engine optimization is a set of strategies used to help a website or page climb higher in the rankings in search engines, mostly Google. SEO marketing is an entire industry in itself, and it can be daunting.
If you have the time and inclination, there are plenty of resources online to read. These will help you take steps to make your website appear higher on Google when potential clients search for health coaching. If you plan to work online, this can be general.
If you want to work locally and in-person, consider using tools like Google and Facebook ads. These are affordable advertisements that you can target to a specific geographic area. This narrows down your audience and they’re easy to use, even for beginners.
5. Leverage Social Media
One of the most useful platforms for reaching health and wellness clients is social media. Influencers in fitness, diet, nutrition, and coaching have major reach on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It takes time and effort to get that kind of reach, but you have to start somewhere.
In fact, you don’t even have to become a major influencer yourself to benefit from social media marketing. Get a small following going and share content relevant to health and wellness. Connect with local businesses and become a micro-influencer.
Contact bigger influencers in the same niche, share their content, and ask for links and shares in return. This is what modern networking looks like and will help extend your reach. It also establishes your authority in health and wellness.
6. Offer Some Free Content.
A freebie draws people in and may just get some clients hooked on your expertise and services. For example, host a free webinar about something specific, like how to improve digestive health with dietary changes.
Create a blog or newsletter that you can use to build an email list. Ask visitors to your website or social media pages to opt in. When they do, they get free content, and you get contact information to sell them services later.
7. Go Offline Too.
Yes, a lot of marketing, especially in health and wellness, is online, but don’t limit yourself. Especially if you will be working with local clients, utilize all your local resources. This means going to community events related to health, nutrition, or fitness; handing out fliers or cards at the gym; offering free introductory classes, and more.
Any way in which you can get in front of your target audience to show you how you can help them, do it. So, for example, if you are hoping to target female clients, don’t limit yourself to the gym. Go to pregnancy and motherhood events, bridal shows, and yoga classes.
8. Connect with Related Professionals
You may be competing with other health coaches, but look for professionals offering related but different services. Network with local yoga instructors, personal trainers, athletic coaches, and others in the fitness and health industry. You can share referrals to get more clients for targeted services. Be prepared to show these professionals what you have to offer so they feel good about sending clients your way.
Health coaching is a rewarding career, but you can’t just get certified and expect clients to land at your feet. Any type of small business requires focused marketing. Take the time to use these and other tips to launch a successful coaching career.
What’s the best way to jump start a health coaching career? Get the certifications that matter. Start with a well-rounded education in personal training. The ISSA offers a Certified Personal Trainer Self-Guided Study Program and a Health Coach certification. Together these give you the essential knowledge needed to be a coach.