Choose The Right Marketing Tactics For Every Stage Of Your Health Coaching Business

Marketing Tactics for Stage of Business - Featured

With all the information out there about getting health coaching clients and marketing your business, do you feel frustrated because you don’t know where to start?

Or maybe you’re trying different tactics but aren’t getting the results you hoped you would.

You see successful people share that that they got clients from doing ‘x’ or made a bunch of money by doing ‘y’.

Maybe you’ve tried these strategies but you just aren’t seeing the clients and revenue rolling in.

It may leave you wondering, “What am I doing wrong? Why are these tactics working for others but not for me?”

What most successful entrepreneurs don’t share is what stage of business they were at when these tactics worked for them.

So you might be trying these things and assuming something is wrong with YOU when they don’t work, or that you just need a bigger audience, or you just need ‘x’.

It feels like a constant struggle for very little reward.

I was a health coach for 5 years and have been helping coaches for the past 6 years.

In my 11 years in the industry, one thing I’ve learned is that the most successful coaches focus on the strategies that align with the stage of business they’re at.

Because something that works for a coach with a list of 5,000 people or a big social media following probably won’t work for a brand new coach just out of school.

So today, I’m breaking down what marketing strategies I’ve seen work for hundreds of coaches at each stage of their business.

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Brand new

How to know if this is you

You’re just starting out. You’re either still in nutrition school or you’ve just finished. At this point, you may have worked with a few people, but not more than 10.

The feelings you’re probably having at this stage

You’re a feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start. You have this newfound knowledge and you’re excited to help people, but there is so much information out there about starting your practice and marketing yourself, it’s all a little much!

You just wish someone would give you a step-by-step plan that breaks down exactly what to do. You’re eager to get things moving in the right direction, but you’re also juggling your job, family, and other commitments while building your practice, so you’re pressed for time and worried about getting it all done.

And on top of all that, you’re worried that your new business may not fly financially. Will you be able to make enough money doing this work? Will you ever be able to leave your day job? Is doing the work you’re passionate about really going to support you and your family?

The right strategies for you

When you are just getting your start, speaking is a great strategy to start ‘putting yourself out there’. I used this strategy myself when I was a new health coach. I gave my first talk in the basement of a gym – and got 2 of my very first clients from that talk!

I typically recommend speaking as a great tactic for new coaches because it doesn’t require a big list or audience. The venues you work with will do a lot of the marketing for you, so you can focus on delivering your talk to their existing customers or clients.

Another reason I love speaking is because it gets you in front of a crowd of people that are pre-qualified. Just by showing up they’ve already raised their hand to say “yes! I’m interested in your topic!”

For example, if you specialize in weight loss for new moms and you host a talk titled “Why The Body Holds On To Weight After Pregnancy And What To Do About It”, you are definitely going to attract new moms who are struggling to lose their ‘baby weight’ and looking for a solution.

Speaking is also one of the fastest ways to connect with people. It is far more personal than advertising or social media, because your audience gets to see and hear you in person. This helps to build a know, like, and trust factor more quickly.

And the last reason I think speaking is such a great place to start is because it requires very little setup. It can be a low-tech strategy, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about having a website or landing pages or an email marketing system.

Not sure if speaking is for you? I believe there’s a form of speaking for almost everyone – no matter what your comfort level is with public speaking, presenting, or technology! In this post I share 5 types of speaking gigs I used when I was growing my health coaching business that you can try too.

Organic networking is something you can start doing right away. It doesn’t require any extra setup time – you do it while you’re going about your regular, daily life!

While you’re going about your everyday activities, like going to work or the gym, talking to other parents or teachers, you can casually mention what you do.

Listen for opportunities to talk about health and wellness, and bring up your health coaching practice.

If you get the vibe that the person you’re talking to wants to know more, continue the conversation. You don’t have to do a “hard sell”, just talk to them about what you do and who you help. If they seem uninterested and you start to see their eyes glaze over, drop it and move on.

Organic networking is something so natural. This strategy will work for you at every stage of your business. Think about how often the question “what do you do?” comes up in everyday life – pretty much every time you meet a new person! So don’t be shy.

Getting your footing

How to know if this is you

You’ve been working with clients for several months and you’re getting the hang of things, but you still feel like you could be more organized with your marketing. You don’t have a full client roster, or you have trouble keeping your client roster full. At this point, you may have offered a short term, easy “yes” program like a cleanse or a detox.

The feelings you’re probably having at this stage

You’re making a difference in the lives of your clients and it feels great. You just wish things were a little more consistent and sustainable so you could quit your day job or stop worrying about money. You want a marketing system that keeps a steady flow of clients coming to you, but doesn’t require a whole lot of additional work.

The right strategies for you

Referral partners are key people to build relationships with. These are people in complimentary fields who are a great fit to refer clients to you. I love this strategy because I’ve seen clients of mine fill their practice with only a few good referral partners.

Who can you approach to be a referral partner?

  • Yoga instructors
  • Wellness centers
  • Therapists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Personal trainers
  • Yoga or pilates studio owners

Brainstorm a list of people in your local area and start building relationships with them. Approach them for a meeting or a coffee and discuss how you can help each other.

This strategy is great at this stage because you’ve already had success with your clients, so you can confidently talk to potential referral partners about your experience. When they see that you’ve already helped several people, they’ll trust that you can do the same for their referrals.

Unlike organic networking, traditional networking requires a bit more forethought. The networking I’m referring to here isn’t about injecting your story into everyday conversations, but rather seeking out networking events or groups which either your ideal clients or ideal referral partners are likely to attend.

I personally went to networking events to meet potential referral partners.

One huge win I had was meeting the owner of a busy acupuncture clinic. She hosted me for several talks and referred clients to me.

If you’re on the introverted side, networking can be very draining. That’s why I encourage you to be thoughtful about the groups you choose to attend. It’s always nice to return home feeling like the event was worth it, rather than feeling like you want to hide under a blanket for the rest of the week!

If you aren’t sure where to find groups in your area, try or You can also do a Google search for “networking groups [your city]”. And once you go to one, the attendees will be happy to tell you about more events and groups in your area.

You’re booked

How to know if this is you

You’re at capacity with 1-on-1 clients. Hooray! It feels great to have a flow of steady clients and cash flow, but at this point you might still be feeling like you want to take things to the next level. You’re ready to scale your business, but maybe you’re not quite sure what that really means.

The feelings you’re probably having at this stage

You feel amazing about the success you’ve been having, but you’re working really hard (maybe a little too hard?). You want to help more people and boost your income, but you know that if you simply try to work harder you’ll probably burn out. You feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to ‘scale’ and you might even have trouble picturing what that looks like. You just wish you could make extra hours in the day to serve more people.

The right strategies for you

When you’re completely booked with one-on-one clients, there are two ways to make more money:

1. Raise your prices – if you’re consistently booked out, it’s a good sign that it’s time to raise prices.

2. Offer a group program – with a group program, you can begin serving multiple clients at one time, meaning you need less hours in the day to serve more people. This also provides a lower-cost way for clients to work with you. This means that people who can’t afford one-on-one coaching will have an option that’s accessible. Win-win, right?

Offering an easy ‘yes’ program, like a cleanse or detox, works really well for all stages of business. But at this stage, I recommend also offering a longer, in-depth program that runs 4-6 weeks.

When you’re ready to promote your group program, strategies from the first two stages will come in handy. If your program is online, consider also taking your speaking online with webinars.

Another great strategy to add is using promotional partners. Similar to referral partners, promotional partners share information about you to their customers, clients or audience.

What differentiates a promotional partner from a referral partner?

A promotional partner isn’t referring you to one person at a time. It’s more about getting you in front of their audience. This can be done through joint webinars, guest blog posts, features on their website or newsletter, or social media posts.

This is a great strategy because you’ll be expanding your reach to new audiences, and a recommendation from a person or business someone knows is more trusted.

You’re casual

How to know if this is you

This category can coincide with any of the above stages, in theory. The difference is that you don’t rely on your income from your health coaching practice, so you don’t need to have a steady stream of clients coming through. In fact, you may not be able to handle a steady stream of clients.

You either have another job, another business, or another source of revenue. You’re in this category if your goals are more centered around long-term growth, building a community or movement, or slowly building up a business online.

The feelings you’re probably having at this stage

You love making a difference in the lives of your clients, but you know that a small one-on-one client business isn’t for you. You’re so excited by the idea of building a community or a movement and you’re willing to put in the time to see this grow. You want to know what you can start doing now to reach your long term goals.

The right strategy for you

To get started building your online business or community, invest your time in creating content and making connections with other online influencers and business owners. A few areas you can focus on:

  • Blogging, guest posting, & getting interviewed – grow your list and get your message out to the world on your own website and other sites by blogging and getting interviewed on podcasts
  • Social media – is your audience on Instagram? Facebook? Pinterest? Find out where they are and how they love to consume social media content. Focus on their favorite channel and post regularly. Spark up conversations and start to build genuine connections. If your audience is on Facebook, starting a free closed Facebook Group is a great way to build a community.
  • Facebook Live Streaming – live streaming is a great way to reach a lot of people with your message at once. Turn your camera on and start talking! Like speaking or webinars, live video can build a really fast connection with your audience. (This also works on Instagram Live if that’s what your audience prefers, though it’s less popular.)

Now that you have a better sense of which marketing tactics are most effective at each stage of business , my hope is that you feel less overwhelmed by your to-do list.

There are probably several items that have been weighing on you to start doing.

Now you know that you can hold off on many of those things for a while.

This will give you the freedom to simplify and focus on 1 or 2 marketing strategies that will truly move the needle in your business.

As you move forward in your business, keep this in mind: If something feels really overwhelming or just isn’t working, it might be an indicator that the strategy is too advanced for the level you’re currently at.

Now I’d love to hear from you:
What stage are you at right now? Have you been inadvertently “skipping” a level with your marketing efforts? What’s one strategy you want to focus on in the coming months?

Would you like to receive weekly emails, where I break my favorite strategies into simple, actionable steps that can help you grow your online business?

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