Are you excited about helping people to transform their lives through health coaching?
While personal trainers focus on providing fitness guidance to individuals or small groups, health coaches apply a big-picture approach to everything that can improve a client’s wellness over the long term.
A logical starting point for your own career is to ask established health coaches how they run their businesses. Let their insightful tips become a springboard to your success:
1. Identify With Your Clients
“You need to specialize and understand your prospective clients very deeply,” says Jeff Popoff, founder of the online business The Healthy Executive. “It really helps if you are authentically ÔÇÿone of their tribe.’ If you try to be everything to everyone, you will wind up being nothing to nobody.”
2. Share Your Experiences
“I am a mother of three boys,” says Stacy Rae Mednick, owner and health coach at OC Fitness Mama. “I have had my own health issues and injuries as well as other life experiences that I can draw from to help coach clients. Sharing some experience, strength and hope with clients when it is appropriate goes a long way to open up the conversation with them.”
3. Ask for Help
Seek out free support services for new businesses in your area, advises ACE-certified health coach Megan Merchant, MS, owner/educator, Dramatic Wellness in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Small Business Development Centers often provide a checklist and assistance to guide you through obtaining licenses, permits, and required federal and state tax accounts.” (See sba.gov to find a center or learn about business courses.)
Once you secure your business paperwork, request a business mentor from Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE), score.org. “A SCORE expert will mentor you by answering specific questions about sales, marketing, loan acquisition, branding and record keeping,” says Merchant.
4. Work on the Business, Not Just in the Business
“To become successful, you must focus time on ÔÇÿrunning’ a business,” says Andrea Stewart Roa, MS, a health coach in Plano, Texas. “You need to understand privacy practices, collections, outsourcing and customer service and know how to handle refunds, taxes, disgruntled customers and more. You also need to think about growth and how you will expand as time goes by.”
5. Continue Your Education
“As health care evolves, health coaching will continue to gain traction,” predicts Amber Long, MEd, ACE-certified health coach and executive director of wellness and recreation services at the University of Colorado, Denver. “Continue to learn, network, and navigate relationships and opportunities with partners, colleagues and organizations. Your certification is just the beginning. Continuing education will help you grow and increase your overall value in the market.”
For more information on how to build a successful health coaching business, see “Starting A Health Coaching Business” or the June 2019 print edition of Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at 800-999-4332, ext. 7.