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ISSA | How to Start a Health Coach Business in 7 Steps

How to Start a Health Coach Business in 7 Steps

Reading Time: 7 minutes


DATE: 2023-12-19

Health coaching is needed now more than ever. Sixty percent of adult Americans have at least one chronic disease, with 40% having two or more. (1) Chronic health conditions are also present in more than 40% of children and teens. (2) As a health coach, you can help all types of individuals live their best—and healthiest—lives possible. And one way to do it is with your own health coaching business. 

Here you’ll learn the seven foundational steps for creating a strong health coaching business from the ground up. We also share actions you can take to grow your business once it’s started. But first, setting up a health coaching business the right way takes time. That makes it important to reaffirm that this is what you want to do.

Signs That Health Coaching Is Right for You

If you’ve already been working as a health coach for another business, you may know that you enjoy helping clients reach their health goals. In this case, beginning your own health coaching business is one way to progress in your career.

For some, health coaching is an extension of other types of coaching. You might be a personal trainer, for example, and want to expand your services to include health coaching. Or you’re a nutrition coach and want to delve deeper into other areas with clients who have health issues. In this case, providing both nutrition coaching and health coaching can help these clients get higher-level results.

Others are new to health coaching altogether. If this is you, here are a few signs that you’re on the right career path:

  • You have a passion for healthy living and like to keep up on the latest health news.

  • You enjoy the idea of helping others learn and practice better health habits. 

  • Friends and family members often come to you for help with a healthy lifestyle change.

  • You look forward to devising your own signature health and wellness programs.

  • You have a positive mindset and believe that any challenge can be overcome.

Do you still feel like health coaching is a good career choice for you? Good. Then let’s get started on building your health coaching business.

How to Start a Health Coach Business: 7 Key Steps to Take

Ask any independent health coach the steps they took to start their business, and they’ll likely rattle off dozens, if not more. While it’s true that you’re not going to set up a finalized version of your health coaching business in just a few steps, some steps are so foundational that they’ll at least get you up and running. 

At that point, you can start providing coaching services, then add to your business as you go. So, what are the seven key steps to take right now, when first starting out?

Step 1: Decide If You Will Be an In-Person, Online Health Coach, or Both 

If you plan to offer health coaching in person, you’ll need to decide where. You could buy or rent a dedicated space, have clients come to you, or you could go to your clients. Any of these options will work. It’s more about deciding the best one for you and your future clients.

Maybe you want to offer online health coaching instead. In this case, you’ll need to decide what type of video platform you’ll use. You’ll also need to set up a space in your home where you can work. Of course, a good internet connection is critical when offering online health coaching services.

A third option is to offer both. You might see some clients in person and others online. This may be preferred if you like face-to-face interaction but don’t want to limit your client range to your geographical area. Or maybe you can leave the house for coaching sessions in the morning but not the afternoon. Offering both options enables you to continue to work as a health coach in the evenings without leaving home.

Step 2: Identify Your Ideal Client

The reason this is a foundational step is that you can’t effectively help a health coaching client until you know who they are. This includes figuring out what keeps them up at night, what their biggest challenges are, their education and income levels, and more.

Identifying your ideal client also helps you create a more effective marketing strategy. You’re able to talk directly to them because you know what they’re thinking and what is important to them.

It can be helpful to create a persona or image of what your ideal client looks like. Picture their age, gender, height, and weight. Also consider what makes them happy, sad, angry, or frustrated. Maybe they have a specific chronic health condition. The more you understand them and their pain points, the greater your ability to help.

Step 3: Create a List of Your Health Coaching Services

The next step is to decide what type of services you’ll offer as a health coach. These can vary from one client to the next depending on their situation, health challenges, and goals. 

Services to consider include those related to:

  • nutrition

  • physical activity or exercise

  • stress management

  • time management

  • quitting tobacco 

When deciding your services, you’ll also want to set your rates. The more value a coaching package offers, the more you can charge for it.

Step 4: Develop Your Signature Health Coaching Program 

Some health coaches like to offer their own specialized coaching program. If you want to do the same, now is a good time to develop that program (if you haven’t already) because it will help you when you get to the next couple of steps.

Start with a broad outline, then go back and fill it in. Decide what topics you’ll cover and in what order. If there are any handouts or forms that you want to include, create those now as well.

Step 5: Set Up Your Health Coaching Website

Even if you don’t plan to offer health coaching online, you still want a website. In 2022, 77% of consumers searched online for a business once a week or more. (3) If they can’t find your health coaching business in their search, they’re going to move on to your competitors.

When setting up your website, keep your prospective clients in mind. Consider the type of information they will want to know and make sure it’s prominent on your site. Incorporate important keywords, such as “health coach in (your city or town)” to climb higher in their search results.

You may even include a scheduling option on your site. This would allow current and prospective clients to book sessions with you easily and with greater convenience.

Step 6: Define Your Marketing Strategy

Once your website is live, you can move on to your marketing strategy. This involves deciding how you’re going to increase awareness of your health coaching business and program options. What will you do to better connect with your potential client?

Marketing avenues to think about include:

  • setting up a business page on social media sites

  • adding a blog to your website (it helps to create a content strategy so you can time your blogs with major holidays and events, such as promoting cardiovascular health in February, which is American Heart Month)

  • creating an email marketing campaign

  • setting up a booth at local health fairs and expos

  • holding seminars or webinars about what a health coach does and how they can help

Step 7: Set Your Business Up Legally 

Just because this is last on the list doesn’t mean that it is less important. It is incredibly important that you take the time to set your business up legally. This may involve registering your health coaching business locally and/or in your state if required. Getting adequate insurance coverage can provide protection as well. You’ll also want to open a new bank account solely for business purposes.

Also, talk to an attorney or accountant for advice about how to structure your business. While it may be tempting to skip or delay this step, doing so could put your health coaching business at risk. It can also put you at risk personally. Ask whether you should set your business up as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or use another structure. They can advise you based on your situation and needs.

Tips for Growing Your Health Coaching Practice

Of course, creating a successful health coaching business requires constant attention and effort. Once yours is set up, you’ll want to work on growing it. This increases the likelihood that you’ll be in business long-term.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Determine how many clients you can fit into your schedule, then aim to add 1-2 each month until you get to that amount.

  • Take at least one action each day to promote your health coaching business—even small actions count!

  • Continue expanding your marketing strategy over time, adding more avenues or pursuing certain ones more in-depth.

Taking additional steps such as these can help get you one step closer to being a successful health coach.

Ways to Stand Out in the Health Coaching Industry

Another way to increase your health coaching success is to find ways to stand out. There are an estimated 23,000+ health coaches in the U.S. alone. (4) This makes it important to differentiate yourself in a way that appeals to potential health coaching clients.

Some healthcare professionals stand out by offering a specific type of health coaching. Maybe you have an interest in holistic nutrition. Why not take this interest and offer services as a holistic health coach?

You can also stand out by completing health coach training. Taking this route serves a few purposes. One, it tells potential clients that you take your business seriously. Two, it also tells them that you know how to help them reach their health goals. 

Plus, when you can market yourself as a certified health coach, you are typically perceived as more knowledgeable than coaches who lack this credential. A health coaching certification adds credibility to your services. The continuing education courses required to keep that certification also help you expand your knowledge, which benefits your clients even more.

ISSA offers Health Coach Certification. This course is 100% online and teaches you the skills and tools needed for effective health coaching. You also gain access to a variety of templates you can use in your health coaching business.

Featured Course

ISSA | Certified Health Coach

ISSA's Health Coach certification is for personal trainers and other health professionals who want to help clients overcome physical and mental health barriers to achieve their optimal wellness.


  1. Chronic Diseases in America. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, December 13). https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/chronic-diseases.htm 

  2. Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Schools. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 20). https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/chronicconditions.htm 

  3. Paget, S. (2023, September 1). Local Consumer Review Survey 2023: Customer Reviews and Behavior. BrightLocal. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/ 

  4. Health Coach Demographics and Statistics in the US. Zippia. (2023, July 21). https://www.zippia.com/health-coach-jobs/demographics/ 

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