How to Start a Health Coaching Business
When you’ve qualified as a health coach, what are the steps you need to take to get started? Should you set up a website, or hire a coach? What should you do first? It can be really confusing, especially if you’ve never run a business before. By the end of this episode, you will have an outline of how to start a health and well-being coaching business, so that you can get clear on your priorities and start taking action.
Before you start your business
While this episode outlines how to start a health coaching business, you need to consider a few important factors if you want your business to be successful!
In this episode, I’ll talk about
* Before you start your business
* The first three essential, foundational steps
* Developing your marketing materials and sales funnel
Imagine your business is a new puppy. It needs to be fed, toilet trained, cuddled, trained and nurtured so it can grow into a happy, healthy dog that knows how to behave.
Think about the responsibility involved in raising a puppy. If you want to succeed in your business, you need to clear the same amount of time, space and effort in your life to dedicate to your business and ensure it works.
A lot of people are ok with planning in business, but they struggle to implement perhaps due to life circumstances, personal trauma, trying to do too many things at once, or simply not dedicating enough time or being realistic about what they can achieve.
Others don’t research, define or commit to a niche and a clearly defined problem, which means they don’t have a clear value proposition and that their marketing efforts are ineffective.
If you want to start a business, make sure you have set aside at least 6 hours per week, increasing over several months, to start and develop your business.
The three foundational steps
1. Define what your business stands for (vision and values)
Like any good roadmap, you need to start with the end in mind.
If you know what your business stands for and what it brings to the world in terms of the results and outcomes it can create, you will be able to attract the right clients, and get your daily work priorities right and feel motivated to show up each week.
For me, my vision and values create the compass that helps me work out whether something is worth pursuing or not – be that a program I develop, a contact I am introduced to, or a client enquiry.
2. Define your value proposition (what will they get from your program?) and offer (what is the thing they buy?)
This is really important for explaining the value of what you do and feeling a sense of value in your own work, and confidence in your ability to invite clients to work with you.
In the words of one of my recent Passion to Profit students, who worked on her value proposition:
“I have actually enjoyed it; I go back to it regularly just checking in on some of the points. It centres me back into the why and what. Kind of helps get those creative juices going, thinking of how to place together information for marketing.”
Each service you offer has its own value proposition.
For example, an 8-week coaching program might have a value proposition that is about creating a transformation of some kind and a path to rapid change.
In contrast, a monthly membership that follows the program might have a value proposition about helping people stay on track and be consistent and develop deeper insights and changes that help them step into their future self.
These are very generic examples, and you would want to be way more specific and relevant to your niche. But what you can hear is that the value of each is very clear and will appeal to different people depending on their stage of change.
In order to get your value proposition right, you need to speak to your target market and understand the results and support they want, need and will pay for. Your value proposition is based around that. You can do this in casual conversations, free coaching sessions, or social media conversations.
3. Outline what you will charge per program/membership and how many you need to sell to meet your income goal (simple math)
The third foundational step is to be really clear on what your income will be and also the timing.
For example, there are many ways you can earn $100,000 per year.
You can sell 2 x $50,000 programs (they’d be one year long for that price, and highly transformational).
Or you can sell 10 x $10,000 programs (probably also around 12 months long and transformational, or very personalised).
Or you can sell 100 x $1,000 programs, which might be a series of groups each school term and/or a few individuals.
Or you can sell 208 memberships at $40 per month (assuming 12 months).
Or it could be any combination of these. These are examples, but it’s important that you get clear on what you’re offering initially.
It will likely be one core program that you offer, with a group and 1:1 pricing, and you’d focus on selling that and becoming good at it, and known for it, and learning more about your audience.
Once you have these steps mapped out, you can get on with other business-building tasks.
Developing Your Offers, Marketing Materials and Sales Funnel
Once you know who you are talking to and what you are selling, you are ready to develop your marketing materials and sales funnel.
4. Create a splinter/taster service – low-risk way for people to try before they buy (< $100)
The marketing gurus say that if someone spends as little as $1 with you, they will more likely buy something more expensive.
Your splinter service is your first, lowest-cost offer. It should be priced between $27 and $97, and it should offer tangible value to the audience. That value is likely to be creating an aha moment (the first condition of change), and perhaps an outline of the steps they need to take.
With this information in hand, your target market will be positioned to decide if they are ready, willing and able to change right now or not – and whether they want to do it with you.
5. Decide on your free thing (is it a FB group, a challenge, a webinar you run or talk you do regularly etc?)
Most people need to spend time getting to know you before they will spend anything with you, especially for a personal service like coaching.
Create a free thing that gives people the chance to get to know you – this is your free, no-risk offer.
Make sure your free thing is something that plays to your strengths so you can keep showing up and offering value. E.g. don’t do a group if you hate FB. If you love speaking, do Youtube or Insta reels or live workshops or challenges instead.
Make sure it offers value to the audience. Don’t give away everything, but help them start forming a specific habit, such as giving up alcohol, developing a meditation practice, or something else that will help them achieve their ultimate aim.
If they can get some quick wins on this free thing, they are more likely to want to continue the journey in your full program, or at least consider your splinter service.
6. Create a marketing schedule for VISIBILITY/awareness
Once you have your offers mapped out you are ready to create a marketing schedule. This schedule has three aims:
- To help you become visible and build awareness of how you help people,
- To ensure you show up consistently with your marketing so that you build trust, rapport and interest that lead to enquiries, and
- To ensure you are regularly making free and paid offers so people have something to try or buy.
Depending on whether you are marketing online or offline, your marketing schedule should include:
- Regular posts or content that offer value to the niche and/or
- Regular networking events that introduce you to your niche or niche referrers (and book follow-up coffee chats)
Don’t try to do 100 things in 100 places, just start with one or two tactics for at least 6 months. Give it enough time to see what works, and test and measure as you go.
Focus on building connections first to build the audience over 1 – 3 months, then start promoting offers once you have an audience.
When you do these activities, you will be experimenting to see what sticks. You will shape your content around that feedback and then start building your audience.
Then when you have built the audience you are ready to start making offers (not before – know the audience first to fine-tune the offer so it is relevant – and give first in order to receive).
After you have built some trust and a following, you can do fortnightly to monthly promotions for
a. Your free lead magnet (e.g. challenge, group, webinar, talk etc), and
b. Your program/membership or whatever your core service is.
Remember that people who sign up for your lead magnet should be offered the next level of service after the lead magnet has been delivered.
For example, if your lead magnet is a downloadable ebook, you would make another offer e.g. for a good fit call within a few days.
If your lead magnet is a live challenge or a workshop, you would make the next offer e.g. for your program at the end of the challenge or workshop.
Notice that trust, rapport and relationship are built more quickly in a live environment so it’s easier to make a bigger offer.
With some careful planning, you could do an ‘intake’ (offer with a start date or week) so that you can manage your work time if you are working at the same time as building your business.
E.g. you know you can handle one group on a Saturday morning, so you promote that, fill the group, then run it and use feedback to refine the program if needed.
Then, decide if you will take paid or unpaid leave for the next group – or run two on a Saturday morning and afternoon.
7. Make sure your systems are in order to deliver the above elements.
Finally, once you have these elements in place, you can look at the systems you will need to deliver the essential parts of your business, such as:
- Email systems
- Invoicing and bank reconciliation systems
- Client onboarding processes
- Program delivery processes
- Feedback and improvement processes.
This overview covers the key things you need to do at a high level to build a successful coaching business.
If you want to build a successful health coaching business, you need to get a few things in order.
You’ll need to complete some foundational tasks to make sure you are ready and committed to building your business.
Then, you’ll need to do some research and foundational tasks to create a vision, and mission and define a viable niche that is ready, willing and able to spend money with you to solve their problem and meet your business and income goals. By doing research with your target market, you will be able to create some specific value propositions for each service that you offer.
Finally, with a clear knowledge of who you are speaking to and how you help them, you are ready to create your offers, marketing materials and sales funnel to help people get to know you, like you and trust you enough to work with you.
If you feel like you are ready to do this now, check out my Passion to Profit course which starts on 27 September.
Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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