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How to Start an Online Health Coaching Business

Reading Time: 5 minutes 15 seconds


DATE: 2023-06-21

The health and wellness industry is booming. According to statistics, healthcare support careers have increased by 34% since 2019 (1). The health coaching industry is currently worth an estimated $7 billion and is expected to continue growing. 

If you are passionate about wellness, nutrition, and fitness, and enjoy working with people, health coaching is a smart career option. It’s a flexible career that allows coaches to work virtually with fewer costs and greater reach. Here’s what you need to know about launching a business working as an online health coach. 

What is Online Health Coaching? 

A health coach is a guide, cheerleader, motivator, and more. They work with clients to help them set, work toward, and achieve health goals. They help their clients make positive, healthy behavior changes, such as sleeping better or improving nutrition. 

Health coaches meet with clients to evaluate their lifestyles and health and to develop goals. They then provide the clients with education, tools, motivation, and accountability to increase the chances that they will meet those goals. 

An online or virtual health coach simply does this work online. Some coaches use a combination of in-person, telephone calls, and online contact to work with clients. Others work completely virtually, using a website, chat groups, or apps to connect with clients. 

Why Choose Online Coaching? 

One of the great things about working as a health coach is the flexibility. You can seek a position with a company and work as an employee or strike out on your own and start a small coaching business. You can work full time or as a side hustle. And, you can choose to work online. Here are some reasons to choose the virtual option as a coach: 

  • Online coaching has fewer start-up costs. You don’t need to rent space or redesign part of your home to meet with clients. 

  • Online coaches are not limited to finding clients in their local area. You can literally work with anyone in the world, which opens up so many opportunities. 

  • You can potentially earn more as an online coach. While pricing for each client might be lower, you can work with more people at a time. 

  • An online coaching program is generally better for client retention. You can connect and respond better to clients when working online, which improves the perceived value of your services. 

How to Start an Online Health Coaching Business – Taking the First Steps

An online business is fairly easy to maintain once you have it up and running, but it starts with a good foundation. Spend some time setting up your business now, so that it is easier to run and more successful in the long run. 

Start with a Health Coach Certification

Before working as a health coach in any format, you need to be qualified. This means getting certified. While states do not regulate health coaching, clients are unlikely to hire a coach without credentials or training. 

You need to be able to show potential clients that you are knowledgeable and skilled. A good health coach program will teach you about health and wellness as well as the art and science of coaching. Take a course in health coaching and earn at least a basic credential before launching your business. 

Define Your Business 

It’s tempting to jump right in and get started once you’re certified, but it’s worthwhile to take the time to launch your business thoughtfully. This means determining all aspects of what defines your business and sets it apart from others. Ask these questions: 

  • Who is my ideal client? 

  • What is my specialty? 

  • What kinds of services will I offer? 

  • What is my philosophy of health and wellness? 

  • What can I offer that competitors do not? 

  • What is my brand and what business name communicates it best? 

If you feel a little lost at this step, spend some time researching other online health coaches. Find out what they offer, who they target, and how they provide services. This will get the wheels turning. 

Part of defining your business is knowing your audience. This guide to people who could benefit from a health coach is a good place to start. 

Build a Website and Social Media Presence

Perhaps the most important thing an online coach needs to invest time and money in is a website. Without it, you don’t have a business. Even if you do all of your coaching through a mobile app, clients will learn about your business through a website. Create a user-friendly and informative website that is in line with your brand, coaching philosophy, and service offerings. 

Nearly as important is a social media presence. Create accounts for your business on all the major platforms and put them to work reaching clients. Keep the accounts active, post valuable content regularly, and connect with influencers in the industry. 

Keep in mind that building content and connections on social media takes time. Focus on quality, though, as this is what will bring clients to your pages. For instance, you can share before and after stories and pictures, personal stories of success, health tips, and educational videos. Successful content is useful and valuable to potential clients. 

Develop Pricing and Packages

As part of building a website, you’ll need to determine how you will package and present services to clients. They will come to your website for this information. There are a lot of different ways you can structure online health coaching services: 

  • One-on-one sessions with clients

  • Group coaching and counseling

  • Self-paced educational wellness programs

  • Hourly sessions and rates

  • Package deals with discounted prices for purchasing multiple sessions

  • Subscription rates for monthly or annual packages

Once you decide how you want to offer services, set prices based on your qualifications, services offered, and your competitors’ pricing. 

Invest in Apps and Software

This is so important for working online. Review and learn about software programs and apps that will best support your work. There are software programs designed specifically for the industry, which can help you manage clients and payments. Apps are useful for connecting with clients and giving them access to tools for their health journey. 

Find Health Coaching Clients 

This is the lynchpin of your business, but often the most difficult step. It can be frustrating to wait for your business to take off, but if you put in all the groundwork, it will happen. 

Putting time and effort into making your website and social media sites visible is crucial to this effort. Consider working with a professional to build a high-quality website that shows up in search engines. This will get you a lot of views with your target audience and potential clients. 

Another way to get clients is to network and connect with people locally. Even with an online business, it’s important to get out there in your area to find people looking for your services. You might want to consider working part-time at a gym, for instance, to meet people who could benefit from a health coach. Local gyms might even let you hand out fliers or business cards. 

Gyms are just one source of potential clients. Make connections at local community and recreation centers, spas and wellness centers, and any large companies that might have employee wellness programs. 

If you’re not sure an online platform is right for your coaching business, check out these ideas for employment as a health coach

Beginning a career as an online coach is exciting. You’re probably eager to jump right in and start working with clients, but preparing the groundwork first is the key to success. Plan your business, build your online presence, and network to build for future success. 

Start your coaching career off on the right foot with ISSA’s Health Coach Certification Program. The online course gives you everything you need to launch an online or in-person 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. Scheinbaum, S. (2022, May 16). Council post: How to run in the Bullish Market for Health Coaching. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/05/13/how-to-run-in-the-bullish-market-for-health-coaching/?sh=6427bbd794d8 

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