Does it feel as if you’re spinning your wheels as a health coach? Do your appointments with clients drag on for hours? Do you struggle to gather tailor-made resources for each individual client, only to discover, alarmingly, that you’ve omitted crucial information? Then stop right there. You need to learn how to create a health coaching program.
A health coaching program, also called a “signature system,” targets one problem that you want to solve – not 10 problems for 10 different people. It’s a single, generalized protocol that you develop for all your clients, rather than personalized protocols that vary from one to the next.
If you only have one program in your business, then that program becomes your business. A health coaching program shields you from overwhelm and burnout by giving you the laser focus needed for success.
Here’s how to put in place a health coaching program that effectively pinpoints one problem and its solution.
What is a Health Coaching Program and Why Do You Need One?
You want financial success. Who doesn’t? However, there’s no one-size-fits-all path to getting there. When you’re a health coach, you won’t be successful or acquire satisfied clients if you have 10 different programs that address 10 random issues.
You’ll be on a gerbil wheel of trying to keep track of which clients are in which programs and how each of them is progressing. Not fun and not effective.
You’ll achieve consistent, measurable success by selling your proven system to everyone who suffers from the one – I repeat, one – problem you’re solving. Ultimately, you’re selling an outcome. That’s it.
This way, you have one program you can sell again and again. You’ll do the groundwork a single time and use your signature system to effectively monetize your practice. You can home in on the most common issues your clients grapple with and craft your program around them.
For instance, your system could be about reducing sugar in clients’ diets, guidelines for radiant skin or how to reduce stress with essential oils. One of the great things about creating a signature program is that once you’ve completed the groundwork, 99 percent of your labor is done and can now run on autopilot.
If you don’t have a signature program, then you’ve constructed your business solely around yourself and your time. In order to grow the business, you must now put in even more hours. This isn’t how to create the life of your dreams. You must systemize the way you work.
A program done right is methodically organized and produces a targeted result. This not only satisfies clientele, but establishes you as an expert. Clients want to know you have a proven system, one that achieves consistent, positive results.
Now, you may find this a daunting task and hesitate to undertake it. But think of it this way: If you try driving across the United States without a map or GPS or cell phone, you’re probably going to get discouraged and overwhelmed. You’ll give up when you end up in Wisconsin instead of Florida. When you create a health coaching curriculum, you methodically lay out a map to reach your destination.
So, how do you go about creating a program? Well, one option for creating your signature system is a done-for-you (DFY) program, which is basically a health-coaching-program-in-a-box. But is that a good idea? Let’s take a look…
Should You Use Done-For-You Health Coaching Programs?
A DFY health coaching program is a template for a duplicable system to launch your health coaching career. A DFY is helpful for new coaches because it acts as a stopgap while you develop your own program (which can take months). Some DFY programs include:
- Thirty-day jumpstart
- Growing your email list
- DFY presentations
- An entire six-month health coaching program
Here are some pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking about getting a DFY:
- Saves time – You won’t have to create everything from scratch.
- Saves money – You won’t have to pay a professional writer to create content specifically for you.
- Eliminates overwhelm – You won’t drown in tedious work that prevents you from adequately helping clients or promoting your business.
- Comes with resources – Homework, handouts, PDFs, content, and marketing materials are provided.
- Low-quality products – Sometimes practitioners buy a DFY from a third party and fraudulently tweak it to resell as their own. You may unsuspectingly sell your clients an inferior product.
- Lack of personalization – The less personalized the program is, the vaguer it becomes. Other health coaches will have access to the same content as you, so you’ll still have to spend a substantial amount of time and energy making it unique. And not only will you have to personalize the materials, but you may have to spend time updating them, as well.
- Bad for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – DFY is duplicate content so you won’t rank in search engines like Google (unless you do an entire overhaul of the content).
- May not fit your vision – The program may not completely mesh with your approach to health. If you want the most seamless experience with a DFY you’ll have to be willing to compromise aspects of that approach.
At first glance, a DFY looks great, right? What could be better than a plug-and-play system already in place for you? Homework, handouts, and PDFs are generated and ready to go. Content is already provided.
Unfortunately, a DFY can hinder more than help. There’s a lot of basic work it doesn’t eliminate and you’ll end up bogged down with customizing. So you’ll actually spend time and energy revamping the same program that was supposed to free up your time and energy.
The solution? Your best bet is designing your own health coaching program. Below are some steps to help you through this process.
How to Design Your Own Health Coaching Program
Remember how we talked earlier about needing a roadmap to reach your health coaching destination? Well, here it is!
Identify Your Ideal Client
First, get very specific about who your ideal client is and the precise outcome they want to achieve. Determine:
- What do they struggle with the most?
- What motivates them?
Determine How Long You Want Your Program to Be
People may be more likely to commit to a weekly program than a 90-day program. On the other hand, if you furnish a 90-day program, you can offer clients the opportunity to stay on board for another 90 days. This strategy will boost your enrollment rate.
Decide How to Present Your Program
Do you intend to present your program in person, online or both? You have a lot of wiggle room because you aren’t legally required to see clients in person. Of course, you’ll have a longer geographical reach if you go digital.
Also, think about whether you’d like to deliver your lessons one-on-one or in small group sessions. Will you provide support between sessions? If so, how? Through email? Via a Facebook group?
Choose How Many Sessions to Offer Per Month
Many coaches provide two sessions a month so that clients have time to apply what they’ve learned. Others stick with weekly sessions.
If you go with weekly sessions, your signature program could, for example, be one in which you offer one restorative food and one manageable lifestyle goal per week for digestive issues. Also, decide how long those sessions will be and what you’ll cover in each session.
Pre-Prepare Your Sessions
Not only will pre-prepared sessions make you look more professional, but you’ll also save countless hours scrambling for resources. These sessions can address things your clients struggle with such as:
- Meal planning
- Stress management
- Craving sweets
Determine How to Structure Your Coaching Program
This is where you whittle your program down into a curriculum of manageable sections such as modules or lessons. In order to help your clients progress, you’ll need to design:
- A welcome pack that outlines your program
- Workbooks with key learning points for each session
However, be sure not to overwhelm your clients with tons of information at once. Take your client through the program in baby steps. Otherwise, he/she may become disgruntled and give up.
Offer Your Clients a Quick Start Guide
Right after they buy the program, but before it actually starts, offer your clients a quick start guide. Why? Because a lag may allow them to slip into “buyer’s remorse.”
A quick start guide gives them something to do, not something to learn. It could be breathing exercises, practicing good posture, meditation, keeping a food diary or monitoring water intake. Basically, anything to bide their time until your program starts.
Also, very importantly – be sure these materials and guides don’t suggest in any way that you’re “curing,” “treating,” “diagnosing” or “prescribing.” Health coaches can’t give medical advice or treat diseases. This is the realm of medical professionals. You could be legally liable if you do.
That said, you are allowed to “suggest,” “inform,” “offer,” “share” and “support.” You may even want to add a disclaimer to your educational materials saying, “For educational purposes only.”
Keep Your Clients Accountable
Formulate specific tactics to help clients stay with the plan and follow through.
Decide Whether to Offer Bonuses
Bonuses could include anything from grocery lists to supplement guides. Perks like these increase the perceived value of the program.
Determine How Much to Charge for Your Services
Here are some guidelines for what to charge:
- Your level of involvement – Are one-on-one or group calls part of your signature system? Are you presenting the coaching program live or supplying it via PDFs? The more immersed you are, the higher your pricing should be.
- The type of content you offer – Do you provide your own audio or video, as opposed to PDFs? Creating audio or video lessons requires more time and money and increases implied value.
- Program length – Calculate how much time and effort you’ll be investing each week.
Lori Kennedy of The Wellness Business Hub offers a weight loss program for women who don’t want to give up wine and chocolate (understandably!). Two of her modules for this program illustrate how pricing could be set up:
- Access to automated online program only
- No Facebook group
- No group coaching
- No access to the coach
- Access to automated online program
- Access to Facebook group
- Access to group coaching
- Six one-on-one private calls with the coach
Each client in these programs goes through the identical signature program and process. Only the components change. It’s a single, scalable methodology that’s offered in many ways.
It’s important that you learn how to create a health coaching program. It will give your business a laser focus that will draw clients and lead to financial success. You’ll have a perfect map for your signature system so that you’ll definitely end up in Florida instead of Wisconsin!
So, what are your thoughts about creating a health coaching program? Leave your comments below!Sources
This is priceless information you’ve just revealed! I know a great deal about massage therapy and would love to make money off it. The problem is I don’t know how to go about creating the program outline.
Thanks for letting me know that I can purchase DFY health coaching programs. I might just have to tweak them a bit to make them unique and suit my purpose. I intend to offer my sessions through a closed facebook group.
I have one question though: What can I do to automate the process of recruiting my ideal client without ever having to worry where the next client for my health coaching program will come from?
Thanks for chiming in! Please refer to this post about acquiring clients. Hope that helps!
I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a health coach for quite a while. This is my passion. At my old job, I was called the “witch doctor” due to my advice on health and meditation. You have given me some valuable tips on how to go about doing this. Especially the part about focusing on one aspect. I had so many things that I wanted to implement, I agree that it would not have worked. You’ve shown me how to be professional and organize. Great article.
This was a great read. While I am not in the field of health per se, I can still use a lot of your tips for my area of coaching. Also, my sister is into Herbalife Nutrition (MLM) and could use this information to better structure and service her clients. I will be sure to pass along this information to her. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Gevonna 🙂
As someone who is soon to be qualifying as a health coach, this information is really helpful! You’ve given me some really great pointers for getting started!
Glad to be of help Roisin!