When you’re a health coach, getting clients is like a courtship ritual. You have to know where to meet them, how to approach them, how to endear yourself to them, and how to get them to say, “I do.” This may seem daunting, but there are many ways to get clients as a health coach – and keep them. Here’s how…
Is Your Health Coaching Business Ready to Take on Clients?
You’re passionate, excited, and you want to say “yes!” But before welcoming clients onboard, you’ll first need to methodically lay the groundwork. Here are the main ways to accomplish this in case you haven’t already:
Specialize in a Niche
Standing out in the oversaturated coaching market can be difficult. If you find your own special niche, which is a market that targets a smaller, focused audience, it can set you apart from the competition. For example, instead of, “I’m a health coach,” you can say, “I’m a health coach who helps pregnant women incorporate more veggies into their diet.”
To learn more about finding your niche, check out our dedicated health coach niche guide.
Understand Your Target Market
Once you’ve determined your niche, you’ll need to identify the problem you’re trying to solve. To achieve this, you’ll need to determine your target market. If you aim your services at 10 people with 10 different problems, you’re going to miss the mark. Instead, pinpoint the perfect customers for your service and then aim all your sales, marketing, and advertising toward them.
You can find your ideal customer in the following ways:
- Define your service from your customer’s viewpoint – What problems does your service solve for your ideal customer? An effective way of finding out is by interviewing several people from your target market.
- Define the ideal customer for your service – What’s the person’s age, gender, education, and income?
- Define the benefits your customer wants from your services – Which benefits offered by your service are most important to your ideal client?
Have a Story to Sell
When you share your personal struggles and victories, you present yourself as a real, relatable human being. Clients with similar challenges will identify with you and appreciate that you “get it.” You’ll give them hope that if you can surmount or manage these issues, so can they. The About page on your website is the perfect place to present this information.
Prepare an Enticing Elevator Pitch
After you’ve nailed your niche, you’ll be in a better position to prepare an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch refers to a quick, persuasive sales pitch that can be delivered in a hypothetical 20- to 30-second elevator ride. It addresses what you do, not who you are and is crafted to spark interest in doing business with you.
To learn more about preparing an elevator pitch, check out our dedicated health coach business plan guide.
Learn How to Close Prospects
Closing nudges potential clients toward making a sale. According to marketing psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Rule of Seven, a prospect needs to see or hear a message at least seven times in an 18-month period for it to land and stick. More broadly, this means you can’t just deliver your message once and give up.
It’s important to sell the transformation potential clients will experience, not the service itself. For example, instead of, “You’ll be doing yoga,” you’ll frame it as, “You’ll be doing yoga to get fit and reduce stress.” Remember, many people are leery of the possible risk in doing something new, so you’ll need to assure them that you have their best interests at heart.
Get Your Support Network Onboard
You’ve heard the expression, “You can’t exist in a vacuum,” and client prospecting is no different. To make inroads in this business, you’ll need the support and acceptance of those who love and value you along the journey. They’re in your corner to care, encourage, advise, and even hold you accountable if your performance slides or you become discouraged.
“Persistent” isn’t the same as “pushy.” When you’re pushy, you’re annoying, off-putting, and even intimidating. When you’re persistent, you’re pleasantly but firmly showing prospects you’re dedicated to assisting and connecting with them. Believe in yourself and don’t take a “no” personally. This will keep you from quitting or becoming mired in frustration.
Once you’re confident your health coaching business is ready to take on clients, you’re ready to actually find clients. Here are some tips that could work well for you…
Top Strategies to Find Clients as a Health Coach
We all know clients don’t just show up at your doorstep, you need to go out and find them yourself. But how? Your best bet is to first search “offline,” since growing your reputation online may take considerably longer. Here’s how:
Tap into Existing Contacts
Reaching out to friends, friends-of-friends, family, and other people you know in real life is the best offline strategy for getting your foot in the door with new clients.
Also, consider tapping into your existing business contacts. For instance, your hairstylist may mention you during a conversation with one of her customers. Since these people already know, like and trust you, they’re more likely to give you a referral.
Give Live Talks/Workshops Regularly
After tapping into existing contacts, live talks is our second-best strategy for snagging leads. Being face-to-face with your audience and giving them the opportunity to ask questions and interact with you can create an immediate bond.
Give your presentations free of charge, and you’ll draw more attendees. Afterward, collect email addresses and offer your audience reduced coaching rates.
Like any profession, the success of your health coaching business relies heavily on your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. You can give live talks and workshops in countless settings including:
- Yoga studios
- Women’s networking groups
- Holistic grocery stores
If you’re phobic about public speaking (many fear it more than death!), don’t despair. You can challenge your fears by attending Toastmasters or a public-speaking Meetup group.
Join Groups and Actively Participate in Them
By consistently participating in a group, you’ll establish a presence and meet other business people who can give you referrals. Here are some groups you can benefit from attending:
- Industry groups
- Health-related expos
- Volunteer organizations
- Mothers’ groups
- Mastermind groups
Pair Up with Local Services That Complement Your Business
A complementary business offers services related to yours but doesn’t take the place of them. It provides products or services that, together with yours, may be useful for your clients.
Possible complementary businesses in your neighborhood could be florists, gyms, juice bars, or wedding planners. When you pair up with a complementary business, you can gainfully bundle your services with theirs.
Advertise Your Services Offline
In this digital age, you can still use offline advertising to effectively promote your business. One of the best ways is by posting your business cards on public bulletin boards anywhere your ideal client may see them such as:
- Supermarkets/health food stores
- Yoga studios
- Doctors’ offices
- Massage parlors
Print publications are an underestimated advertising resource. You can promote yourself through trade publications and inexpensive newspaper ads. You can also offer to pay a reduced price for advertising space that a publication is unable to sell.
Another method that’s still effective is a traditional advertising strategy known as direct mail marketing, which involves mailing unsolicited advertising materials to prospective customers. Direct mail marketing materials include promotional postcards, brochures, and newsletters.
Let’s now shift gears and dive into the different ways to find clients online, which should also be part of your overall strategy…
Create an Awesome Website to Sell Your Services
A branded website is one that specifically conveys what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and establishes your credibility. If you want marketplace success, a professional website is a must, especially since it can persuade potential clients to contact you. Moreover, since most businesses now have websites, potential customers will automatically assume you have one too.
Your website should include:
- Info about services offered
- Case studies
- Before and after stories (and photos, if applicable)
- Powerful blog content
- Instructional guides
- Informative newsletter
- Compelling About page
Bear in mind that website traffic takes a while to build because search engine optimization (SEO) is gradual. SEO is a means of driving traffic to your site and can help you increase its Google search rankings. When done right, SEO takes about three to six months to get off the ground and start producing results.
To learn more about creating a website, check out our dedicated health coach website guide.
Join Social Media Groups in Your Niche and Start Contributing
Joining social media groups is an essential part of your business. The world is plugged into them, so you need to be too. Most likely, you can find specific groups focused on your niche, where you can start establishing your presence by being helpful and answering questions. This way, your reputation will steadily grow until you’re regarded as an expert. Once you’ve established yourself, you can then introduce your services.
The most popular and powerful social media platforms are:
- Facebook – Facebook is the biggest worldwide social media platform, with 2.3 billion monthly users. It’s an excellent place to communicate with your target audience on a personal level. Start or join groups in your niche, as well as related niches. For example, if your niche is plant-based healing, you can network with dietitians and massage therapists.
- Instagram – Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that draws 1 billion monthly users. But it’s more than a place to post cute pictures of your new puppy. You can post images related to your business, such as a selfie of you working in your garden or preparing a delicious and nutritious meal. Your Instagram posts should focus on the solution you offer, not the problem.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is used by 260 million people per month. It used to be a place where hopeful job seekers parked their resumes. And while that’s still true, it’s grown to be much more. It’s now a terrific networking service where you can cultivate connections that lead to publicity, drive brand awareness, grow revenue, and inform potential clients about your services.
- Twitter – Twitter draws 335 million users per month. It’s a microblogging service that allows you to connect with followers in 140-character blasts. Twitter can help grow your business by:
- Growing your brand awareness
- Providing responsive customer service
- Connecting you with potential clients and influencers
Be sure to create several professional social media accounts, and don’t ever use your private accounts for social networking.
To learn more about promoting your services via social media, check out our dedicated social media guide for health coaches.
Run a Facebook Challenge
A Facebook challenge is one of the best and fastest online strategies for drawing qualified prospects and compelling them to want to work with you. Essentially, it’s a free, virtual contest that lasts a certain number of days and turns participants into leads and signups by luring them with a prize.
Each day the group is challenged to do something new that brings them closer to the contest’s goal. They also get to see your advice actually working.
Possible Facebook challenges could be:
- The 30-Day Flexibility Challenge
- The 20-Day Junk Food Detox Challenge
The best challenges are ones in which the win is the final step before buying your services.
Run Online Contests for Free Enrollment
Who doesn’t want to win or get something for free? You can use this to your advantage by running online contests to gain free enrollments to your coaching programs.
All you need to do is encourage your social media followers to share your contest info via incentives such as free health coaching spots. Having a contest will also help grow your mailing list since people will have to provide their contact information to enter.
Advertise Your Services Online
Paid advertising can be a great way to quickly pump up your traffic and bring in leads. That said, advertising online can be expensive and your tech skills need to be somewhat advanced to set things up, tweak your campaigns, and track your results. Here are some popular ways to advertise online if you decide to go this route:
- Facebook Ads – Facebook ads allow you to laser-focus on your target audience, increasing the likelihood a visitor will convert to a lead. It’s an easy platform to connect you with ideal clients, through advertising based on interests, behavior, and demographics. However, these ads can take a bit of pricey tinkering to get them just-so the first time.
- Google Ads – When buying a Google Ad, your website will pop up in search results when someone searches for one of your chosen keywords. It’s a very straightforward way to get leads, provided you use the most effective search terms.
- LinkedIn Ads – At a minimum daily budget of $2 a day, advertising on LinkedIn is incredibly kind to your wallet. It’s more a business platform than Facebook or Google, so if your health coaching niche is more business-oriented – such as helping female executives de-stress – it could be a good fit for you.
Become a Guest on Popular Podcasts, Radio Shows, and YouTube Channels
Being a guest on a podcast, radio show or YouTube channel offers you a free opportunity to build your network, establish your expertise, and market yourself and your business. It also lets your personality shine through, which is especially important since people want to work with people they like.
That said, getting booked on well-known, far-reaching media outlets can be tough. Top health-niche podcasts, such as The Paleo Solution, for example, have months-long waiting lists for guests. So think about appearing on lesser-known shows at first until you gain some traction and work up from there.
Create an Online Course to Acquire New Leads
Position yourself as an expert and acquire new leads by creating health-related courses specific to your niche. You can offer your courses on respected sites such as Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera, for example. Direct users back to your website so they can sign up for a free consultation or be added to your email or newsletter list.
Okay, you’re almost there! To wrap things up, here are some general guidelines for finding clients and growing your business. These few tips apply to any type of strategy, whether offline or online…
Offer Complimentary Coaching Consultations
If you have potential clients who vacillate about whether to come on board, consider offering them a free 15-minute discovery call. You’ll have enough time to engagingly yet concisely describe what you offer and how it can benefit them. It’s a good idea to have a scripted list of questions so that you both stay on-topic. Consultations close prospects.
Ask for Client Referrals
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. If your clients are satisfied with the progress they’ve made, simply ask them in a non-salesy way whether they know of anyone else in their inner circle who might also benefit from your services (don’t be shy!) Just make sure not to pop the question too early in your partnership, allow enough time for your clients to recognize the gains they’ve made first.
Stay in Touch with Previous Clients
If some of your clients have been out of the loop for several months, give them a check-in call to find out how they’ve been doing. Be lighthearted and conversational, rather than sales-y. The point is to be genuinely interested in their health and wellbeing so you’ll remain on their radar as a trusted expert they can reach out to.
As a health coach, you envision a fully booked schedule and non-stop calls from satisfied clients. First, you’ll need to follow specific steps to get clients as a health coach. With planning, diligent follow-through, and a support network, you’ll be on your way to landing the client of your dreams!
So, what are your thoughts about finding clients as a health coach? Leave your comments below!Sources
Omg great points Debbie!
All I could think of is to build a website and start creating content with an additional free consultation on YouTube by touching on questions people ask on. I wouldn’t want to spend on pamphlets because people tend to throw them anyway and it’s harmful to the environment but joining focus groups, that’s brilliant! Can’t wait to start, what’s your favourite way to market yourself and get a client? 😀
Thanks Riaz! If I had to choose one method to start with, I’d go with giving live talks/workshops. It’s a powerful way to get clients fast. 🙂
Your post is thorough and informative and a great blueprint for anyone wanting to enter the coaching business!
I’ve been a business person for 20 years (newspaper publishing) and have incorporated many of the strategies you outline. One of those strategies is networking in business groups where you have the potential to meet new clients. Another is persistence and how you can be dedicated to promoting your product or service without being pushy or obnoxious.
Health coaching is so necessary in this day and age of fast food, stress and overwork.
Thank you Christopher 🙂
I have two outdoor businesses where I provide camping and hiking services. After reading this article, I’m thinking I could also add the coaching element to this. Perhaps, the niche you speak of could be, “I help coach women over 40 to lose weight with hiking” What are your thoughts on this? Regarding my story… I have never been overweight so would this be a barrier? Your suggestions are great. Thank you so much for the inspiration to add this to my business.
Hi there, I think your idea is a bit too niche in this case. You might have a tough time finding women who’d want to lose weight strictly through hiking. Never having struggled with weight can also be a detriment. I’d stick to problems you’ve personally overcome. You’ll be much more relatable that way. Hope that helps!