How to Make Money as a Health Coach by Offering 3 Core Programs
Whether you’re brand new or you’ve been at it for a while, you might be wondering how you can make more money as a health coach.
Maybe you’re getting a trickle of clients. But you’re wondering what it will take to make this really work, and prove to yourself that health coaching can be a viable way to make a living.
I get it. I felt the same way when I ventured into the world of health coaching almost 13 years ago.
When I graduated IIN, I was so eager to make my health coaching business successful. I worked tirelessly but I wasn’t earning enough money. I wondered if I’d ever be able to take my passion full-time.
After some trial-and-error, and some hard lessons, I found my footing as a health coach. I nailed down my offerings and my message, and found the marketing strategy that worked for me, and that trickle of clients turned into a steady stream.
At one point, I had 20 one-on-one clients!
I was earning enough money that I was able to leave my job and and serve my health coaching clients full-time.
When things started clicking for me, I felt like I had uncovered the world’s greatest secret! It was truly an amazing feeling to know that I could earn enough money as a health coach to support myself and my family.
Now I get to share that secret with you!
If you’re feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed, wondering “How can I make more money as a health coach”, then settle in with a cup of tea and a notebook. I’m dishing the whole process from A to Z so you, too, can take your passion full-time.
Step-by-step, here’s how to make more money as a health coach.
Plan Your Programs
If you’re a newer health coach, you may be wondering what types of programs to offer.
You want to offer programs that are enticing to potential clients AND get them results.
If you’ve been in business a while, you probably still ponder this question from time time. Heck, I’ve been in business for over 13 years, and I’m still always looking for ways to better serve my clients. I see that as a good thing!
How many programs should a new health coach offer?
The best advice I can give you is to keep it simple. All you need is 3 core programs.
I recommend 3 programs for newer health coaches because it gives your audience enough options for working with you, without giving them so much choice that they feel overwhelmed and can’t decide which is the best fit.
When I first started out as a health coach back in 2005, I offered a 6-month program because that’s what I learned while in school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
About a year in, I added on two additional offerings so I would have a lower priced 3-month program, a mid-range 6-month program, and a higher end 6-month offering.
As it turned out, the higher-end offering was by-far the most popular – it’s what 90% of clients chose – because it gave them the most support and that’s what they wanted.
Having those three options worked pretty well for me, but if I were starting over today, knowing what I know now, this is how I would structure my programs:
- A short, low-cost program such as a 14 Day Program
- A 3 month program
- A high-end or VIP package
Creating a mix of programs like this allows you to meet different health concerns and levels of support. Some people want support to achieve their health goals, but they may not be ready to invest in 1:1 coaching. Others will want and need lots of hand holding and be ready to invest in that.
Offering a mix of programs allows you to meet people where they’re at, so you can serve more people.
If you only offer one program, you’ll be missing out on a huge part of the market.
What does each offer look like?
A cleanse or detox
I didn’t start offering a cleanse program until pretty late into my health coaching practice, but it’s something I wish I had brought into the mix much earlier.
A Cleanse is what I call an EASY “YES” offer because it gets clients in the door quickly.
This type of offer is enticing for new clients because it’s a short time commitment but it can yield big results.
This means you’ll get quick wins and quick revenue.
A ‘bonus’ for you, as a new coach, is that short programs like cleanses and detoxes are easy to lead.
They’re a great way to get your feet wet, because there’s is a set program with a set protocol. This means you’re not having to customize a program for each client (like you might need to do when coaching one-on-one).
What should you charge?
Your short program can be priced around the $97-197 range. Because it’s a lower priced offer with big results, you can enroll 10-30 people in a short time.
Your mid-range offer can be a 3-month program that continues the support and learning from the short group program, but with one-on-one coaching.
I recommend offering a 3-month program (instead of 6-month program) for a couple of reasons. First, 6 months can feel like a long time commitment for new clients. Second, if you only offer a 6-month program, clients may feel that it’s going to take months before they experience results, and that may make them more reluctant to sign up.
With a 3-month program (which you can also call a 90-day or 12-week program) you can work more closely with clients. Instead of scheduling coaching calls every other week, set-up your program to have 3-4 calls each month. This will allow you and your clients to build momentum, maintain consistency and (most importantly) accelerate their results.
What should you charge?
A mid-range 3-month program can be priced from $997-1997.
High-End or VIP Offer
As I mentioned earlier, when I was a health coach, my high end offering was my most popular.
New coaches often fear that they can’t sell high end packages and should focus on only their low priced offerings, but that’s not always true.
If you’ve had clients go through your short group program and experience results, they may want to continue working with you with a lot more hand holding – and they are going to be willing to pay for it!
Some clients will want that high level of support so that they can gain momentum and get results much quicker than they could on their own. That’s why high-end offers are an important part of your mix.
Your high-end offer can be almost identical to your 3 month offer but with a few extras. This may be something you’ve never envisioned before, but allow yourself to get creative.
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about everything they would LOVE to have included in a program. What would their dream scenario be?
It might include…
- spending a day with you in the kitchen
- cooking classes
- including a 1:1 guided short group program at the beginning of the program
- meal plans with recipes
Sit down with a notebook and brainstorm and be creative about what this could look like.
What should you charge?
A high end program can be priced from $1997-2997.
I don’t recommend giving clients a ton of programs to choose from. When people have too many choices, it can cause confusion and overwhelm – and actually cause them to NOT sign up with you. But creating a mix of 3 programs will allow you to meet different needs and levels of support…..and make money as a health coach.
Your offers = your sales funnel
One of the benefits of structuring your programs this way is that it creates a natural progression for your clients.
You can think of your offerings like a sales funnel. A lot of clients will come in at the “starter” level, and some will continue to trickle down to the higher end, 1:1 options.
The reason is, short programs are easy for people to say “yes” to. This is also great for you because it will get you quick wins and quick revenue. You’ll actually be able to start helping more people – and put your passion and knowledge to work!
Once you lead clients through a short program (like an Intuitive Eating Program), you can keep the momentum going and enroll them in a one-on-one program.
After they experience working with you, some of the participants in your short program will be interested in taking a bigger leap to work with you.
Once your clients start seeing results and get a taste of what it’s like to work with you, many will be ready for more.
You can think of your short group program as a feeder for your other programs. Once your new clients have gone through your short group program, many will want continued support, which is when you can invite them into a one-on-one coaching program.
You may also find that some clients want to jump right into a 3-month or higher-end program because they’re serious about feeling better and want one-on-one support.
When should you offer each program?
For most health coaches, offering a short group program 3-4 times per year is the perfect amount to help them reach their goals.
This gives you ample time to promote and fill the group program, and roughly 3 months to work with the 1:1 clients you recruit from the group program.
In between your group programs, your focus will be on attracting clients to your 2 private coaching programs.
So what does this look like?
January– promote & run short group program launch and take advantage of New Year’s resolutions.
February & March – focus on attracting 1:1 coaching clients
April – promote & run short group program
May & June – focus on attracting 1:1 coaching clients
July – promote & run short group program
August & September – focus on attracting 1:1 coaching clients
October – promote & run short group program
Nov & Dec – focus on attracting 1:1 coaching clients
Should you make your own programs? Or use Done-For-You content?
When you have a small number of solid programs as your foundation, you’re able to spend more time working with clients and less time creating new content.
Starting from scratch to create a new program multiple times a year will drastically slow you down and leave you less time for getting the word out about your business (and making money).
In fact, you don’t need to let program creation slow you down at all – there are plenty of done-for-you options, like our Done-For-You 14 Day Intuitive Eating Program, that are available for health coaches… so you don’t have to waste any time before you can get started launching, promoting, and running your program.
Why I Recommend DFY Programs
A lot of coaches want to create their own custom programs from scratch because they feel like they need to put their unique process & teachings into a program made specifically for their clients.
But creating a custom program requires a lot of time, resources, and skills (like graphic design, copywriting, photography) that most health coaches don’t have.
The good news is that when you use a done-for-you option, you can launch a program in no time. Done-for-You programs come with everything you need to enroll and guide clients.
Plus, most can be completely customized to fit you and your clients – or you can use them exactly as is.
If you’re debating between creating your own group program or going with a done-for-you option, I have a few reasons why you should consider the latter.
Writing Your Own Group Program Is Time Consuming
Creating a program takes a LOOOOOOOONG time. I’m talking months.
It isn’t uncommon for coaches – even seasoned coaches – to spend 3 to 6 months creating a program.
A lot of coaches assume it won’t take very long to put what they know into a program, but there are so many aspects – some you may not have even thought of.
Marketing Your Program Is Easier With DFY Content
You want to be sure to think about creating marketing materials. This can include graphics to promote your program, posts for social media, email sequences, flyers, blog posts, and a sales page.
Effective marketing materials will help you reach and enroll more clients into your program, but creating them on your own is a difficult task if you’re not a professional graphic designer, copywriter, and photographer!
Done-for-you programs are typically created with the help of a team.
When I created our Done-For-You 14 Day Intuitive Eating Program, I brought in my designer, a whole foods chef, a recipe taster and food photographer, social media specialist, and drew on my copywriting, marketing and health coaching experience.
Make More Money With a DFY Program
The time you spend creating your own program (which could take months) is time you’re not enrolling clients.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example.
You use a done-for-you program that you sell for $97. You enroll 10 people in your first program (modest number). Two of them sign up for one-on-one coaching at $997 for 3 months. So you just earned $2,964 in your first launch.
You could potentially launch your program two more times by the time your from-scratch program would be complete.
In our example, that’s almost 9K in lost income while you are slaving away trying to create your own program.
If you’re looking to make more money from your health coaching business in the near future (which I know you are) it’s a much better use of your time to work on revenue generating activities, rather than get caught up in the details and grunt work of creating a program from scratch.
Customize It For Your Audience
You can use a Done-for-You program as-is, or add in your own customizations like my client Nita, who focuses on fertility. She took our Done-For-You 14 Day Intuitive Eating Programand customized it to create a Jumpstart Your Health & Fertility program. The options to make it your own are really endless!
Done-for-you programs are created by experienced wellness entrepreneurs and have been tested and proven to be effective. This means you know your clients will experience great results.
Plus, Done-for-You programs often come with marketing materials to help you reach and enroll more clients without you having to write custom emails and create your own graphics.
Bottom line – Using a Done-for-You program can help you launch faster and serve more clients, which will help you make more money as a health coach.
Make Money as a Health Coach
While you’re mapping everything out, take a minute to reflect on what you want to achieve.
How many clients do you want to serve? How much revenue do you want to bring in?
Let’s talk numbers to put this calendar into perspective.
So let’s say you’re following the calendar above, launching your group program 4x each year. You price your group program at $97, your mid-range 3 month 1:1 program at $997, and your high-end program at $1,497.
(By-the-way, if these prices seem high to you and you’re not charging anything close to this, don’t worry. As you gain experience and confidence, you’ll gradually raise your rates.)
If you enroll 16 people into your group program, that = $1,552.
After 16 people go through your short group program, let’s say 25% of them (4 people) want to continue working with you (a modest number).
If they all choose your mid-range program, that means you’ll earn an additional $3,998.
Now do this 4 times per year, and your revenue = $22,160.
The Added Benefits of Offering a Short Program
But the benefit of offering a short program goes beyond this.
My clients find that by promoting and offering a short group program, there’s a ripple effect.
They gain exposure and credibility even from those who don’t sign up.
People who participate in their program have such a great experience that they start referring their friends for 1:1 coaching.
They get more exposure in their communities and people start to see them as an expert and the go-to person for health and nutrition.
In the months that you’re not offering a short group program, if you sign on 4 new 1:1 clients per month for your mid-range program through other promotional strategies (like giving talks, referral partners, and networking) you’ll bring in $35,892.
Then your total income for the year would equal $58,052.
Some months you may only enroll 2-3 new clients, but keep in mind that my numbers assume that everyone is signing up for your mid-range program vs. your high-end program.
I wanted to keep the numbers conservative, but you absolutely will get people signing up for your high-end program – especially if you have a clear area of focus (or specialty) and can speak to potential clients with results-oriented language.
Now, if you’re thinking “this sounds great Amy, but I don’t know how to attract this many clients”, I want you to know that I hear you!
Getting clients takes work, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Market Your Programs
You’ve got your programs laid out and your promotion calendar set. Now you’re ready to start marketing your programs, finding clients, and making more money!
This is where the wheels fall off for many health coaches.
I’ll say it again: Getting clients takes work, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
I often see health coaches struggle because they’re trying to do too many things at once, especially when it comes to marketing strategies.
If you’re trying to market your business in lots of different ways at the same time, you’ll spread yourself thin. And you probably won’t actually be doing any of the marketing strategies fully or very well, because you don’t have the time time or the focus to really follow through.
This was my experience in my early days as a health coach. I was scattered and overwhelmed. Once I found focus and stuck to one marketing strategy, I was able to enroll more clients with less work and I was making more money.
This is why I recommend picking just one or two tactics and really dedicating your time and energy there.
When you’re brand new or getting your footing, my top proven strategies are:
- Organic Networking
- Forming Referral Partnerships
- Traditional Networking
If you’re not sure which tactic is right for you, start by reading this guide to get more insight and do a self-assessment.
Once you’ve chosen your one marketing strategy, use that to get people into initial consults.
Focus On The Consult
Getting the number of clients you want comes down to booking free consults.
People rarely sign up to work with you straight from your website or a social media post.
Seeing you do a Facebook live might attract someone to want to learn more, but they still need to hear the details of your offer, the benefits of working with you, and what they can expect, before they sign up for a 6-month program.
Plus there’s the “know, like and trust factor”. Beyond the specifics of your offer, they want to know that they will enjoy working with you and that they can trust you.
An initial consultation is the step that gets a new potential client to know, like and trust you. Once you’ve got clients in the initial consult, you can connect with them further and help them decide if your offer is a great fit for them.
The more initial consults you do, the more clients you’ll have.
And – the more initial consults you do, the more you’ll hone your skills, which means you’ll be turning more ‘maybe’s’ into ‘yes’s’!
Getting Comfortable With ‘Sales’
Getting potential clients to say ‘yes’ during your initial consultations is one of the best skills you can develop as a new coach.
It’s the difference between spending a lot of time giving out free advice, and getting to work deeply with one-on-one clients who appreciate you and pay you for your time.
As a wellness practitioner, you might feel resistance or discomfort with selling.
But being good at sales doesn’t mean you have to do anything icky, sleazy or dishonest.
What it really means for health coaches is connecting with the people who need your help, and giving them the confidence to say ‘yes’ to doing something for themselves.
This isn’t icky. When you learn the art of closing the deal, you’ll actually feel that you’re being of service.
Think Value, Not Sales
A big part of being skilled at leading a potential client to a yes is by articulating the value in what you offer and communicating the potential results they can achieve.
When you’re on these calls, you know how much you can help your potential clients if they choose to work with you. In that sense, if you don’t make an invitation for them to work with you, you’re doing them a disservice.
Closing the deal in an initial consult isn’t about making a pushy sale, it’s about presenting the best solution to your potential client’s problem so they can make the choice to get your help.
What it really means for health coaches is connecting with the people who need your help, and giving them the confidence to say ‘yes’ to doing something for themselves.
What I love about free consults is that they’re a sales tool that doesn’t have to feel…‘salesy’. With the right structure and a bit of practice, anyone can be completely comfortable doing these calls and turning prospects into excited clients.
How To Lead A Free Consult
The right way to lead the initial consult is to focus on the client and being of service to them. You’re learning more about them and sharing how you can help. You’re focused on providing value.
During the consult, take a bit of time to understand what your prospective client is going through. What are their issues or pain points right now? What have they tried that hasn’t worked? What’s holding them back? What are their big goals?
Once you know where they’re at, you can speak to how you can help them overcome their struggles and reach their goals. This is your chance to show them that working with you is the answer to their struggles!
You want the prospective client to leave that call feeling complete confidence in you and your ability to help them.
When you strategically plan your offerings, choose the marketing strategies that work for YOU and getting skilled at leading initial consults, you’ll see a HUGE boost in the number of clients you’re bringing in the door…which means more money in your bank account!
It’s not complicated – it just takes thoughtful planning and focus!
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What are you currently offering your clients and how might you change things up based on what I’ve shared in this post? Comment below or come join our Facebook Group to share!