What Successful Health Coaches
Have you ever found yourself looking at the Instagram profile of a really successful health coach and wonder how she got there?
How did she build such a booming business?
How has she been able to get so many clients and earn such a glamorous income?
You find yourself wondering what she’s doing that you’re not.
And maybe you feel a *little* jealous that ALL your hard work hasn’t gotten you the same results.
You’re in good company.
To be honest, I was *that* health coach when I was starting out.
I tried A LOT of things to keep my practice full and make a consistent income.
And I made a lot of mistakes along the way.
Mistakes that, at times, hampered my ability to get clients.
Mistakes that made me question whether I could make a living as a health coach.
Back in 2006, when I was a new health coach, there weren’t a huge number of successful health coaches out there. Eleven years ago, health coaching was still in its infancy.
And while that means there wasn’t as much competition, it also means that there weren’t as many people to learn from.
While copying someone else’s business never works well, there’s a HUGE amount of wisdom that can be gained by observing what’s working and NOT working for successful coaches.
Over the last several years, I’ve taken great interest in documenting what successful health coaches are doing differently.
While successful health coaches have definitely make their fair share of mistakes along the way, they’re ultimately able to create sustainable businesses because they dial in on the marketing activities that generate the best results.
They also know what tactics to avoid – those that take up time but don’t bring more than the occasional client in the door. This allows them to spend their time and energy on strategies that WORK.
I’m always striving to shorten your learning curve, so today I’m sharing 3 things that successful health coaches aren’t doing to grow their business, why they don’t work, and what they’re doing instead.
#1 They don’t do ‘passive’ marketing
‘Passive’ marketing strategies – like putting up flyers, and leaving business cards at doctors’ offices – seem like a good idea because they’re relatively inexpensive to execute. However,they rarely result in any return.
Here’s why – it all comes down to relationships.
When you use passive marketing tactics, there’s no real connection being made. No one sees you, hears you or has the opportunity to engage with you. It’s a medium that doesn’t build trust quickly.
Posting flyers or leaving business cards only works when you have the venue on your side. Without developing a relationship, they’ll have no reason to talk up your services or point their clients in your direction.
Successful health coaches are investing their time in ‘active’ marketing strategies such as giving local talks, networking, and forming referral relationships.
These kinds of strategies involve getting out there and meeting people. Forging relationships and being seen as a trustworthy and knowledgeable expert in the community is the key to getting more referrals and more clients coming to you.
While this may seem a little overwhelming, it’s really not that difficult once you know how to go about it. That’s why I put a lot of attention on teaching the nitty gritty “how to” of these active marketing tactics in The Health Coach Profit Lab.
#2 They don’t rely SOLELY on online marketing tactics
While you probably see the most successful coaches using online marketing tactics – like Facebook ads and social media – I can assure you they didn’t get to where they are today using these methods.
More likely, they filled their practice by meeting with people in person, giving talks, and building relationships.
Only now that they have spent several years building up their credibility and their audience online can they use these tactics with success.
Relying on online marketing alone before you’re ready is costly and ineffective.
You can post, tweet and run ads until your fingers hurt and your wallet runs dry, but if you don’t have enough people engaging with you on social media, you’ll be wasting your effort.
There is so much information being shared every minute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. You’re competing with tons of other people and business, both for people’s attention AND for a spot in the news feed.
Once you’ve built up your audience, people are both more likely to see your posts and more likely to pay attention.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that online marketing doesn’t work. I simply mean that for newer health coaches, there are other methods that work faster for getting clients.
If your online audience is still relatively small, you’ll find more success using strategies like giving talks and networking.
Once you’ve seen success with these tactics, adding online marketing into the mix will be a much better use of your time.
#3 They don’t try to serve everyone
Imagine going to a restaurant that wasn’t clear on what kind of food they served.
On the menu you see pizza, indian food, chinese food, sandwiches, and a vegan mystery option.
They’ve got a little bit of everything, to try to please every palate. They aren’t known for anything in particular, they don’t have a ‘must-try’ specialty.
You’d probably be confused – and maybe even a little nervous – looking at their menu. And there probably wouldn’t be very many customers in the restaurant because no one’s heard of it, no one’s talking about it.
Meanwhile, the place next door that only serves vegan fried ‘chicken’ has a line out the door. They only do one thing, and they do it well. They’re known for it. People know what to expect. People talk about it. And the people that are into vegan ‘chicken’ know where they need to go!
Successful health coaches are the vegan ‘chicken’ place, not the everything-to-everyone restaurant.
They pick an area of focus and they stick to it. They get known for their one thing. Yes, it might change or evolve over time, but they make it very clear who they help and what they do.
A lot of newer health coaches start out trying to serve everyone they can. I know how tempting this can be when you need clients, because any client seems like a good client!
Picking only one area of focus can feel like you’re cutting yourself off from other opportunities. But this mentality will keep your business from really taking off.
When you dial in on who you help, you can communicate to that audience in a way that makes them convinced that you are the person who can help them.
Say you’re struggling with IBS. If you came across health coach advertising, which of these messages would you feel more drawn to?
“I’ll help you feel slimmer and healthier than you have in years.”
“I’ll help you uncover what foods trigger your IBS and guide you on what foods to eat for relief.”
If you get specific, you can be like the line-out-the-door vegan restaurant.
Are you struggling to choose an area of focus for your health coaching practice?
Over the last 6 years, I’ve helped countless coaches define their niche. To help you get started, I’ve put together a short questionnaire that will allow you to start to hone in on an area of focus that’s marketable.
Remember, if you’ve been focusing on passive marketing, relying solely on online marketing tactics, or trying to serve everyone, it’s OK.
I don’t want you to beat yourself up.
What’s important is that you gain insight into why these approaches will hold you back from consistently attracting clients.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
If you’ve been making any of these missteps, what insights do you have that will change the way you market yourself?