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10 Common Mistakes Aspiring Health Coaches Make

Choosing to become a health coach can be an extremely exciting and lucrative career path. New coaches are entering the field every day, and this $2 billion industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

But just like any other career endeavor, the difference between widely successful health coaches and those who struggle to get their feet off the ground boils down to their ability to establish good habits that consistently move the business forward.

In fact, some of the worst mistakes that lead to bad habits in the industry are also the most common, even among relatively successful health coaches.

Luckily, knowing this is half the battle. Keeping these common mistakes in mind as you venture through your journey will help you avoid them altogether and thrive as a successful health coach.

10 Common Mistakes Aspiring Health Coaches Make

Are you struggling to maintain a steady source of income from your new coaching practice? Perhaps the biggest challenge budding health coaches face is maintaining a consistent flow of new clients.

Here are 10 of the most common mistakes aspiring health coaches fall prey to.

#1) Not Promoting Yourself Enough

As a budding health coach, not having enough clients to work with is most likely your biggest concern.

Many people who are just starting out in the field make the mistake of assuming they will have clients reaching out to work with them just because they received their health coach certification. The truth is, if you don’t have current connections in the health industry, getting clients will require consistent prospecting and marketing.

Promoting your services is especially important as a beginner when nobody knows about you or what you can do for them.

If you believe that having a great coaching program is all you need for clients to start reaching out to you, this may be your biggest and most costly mistake.

Here’s the solution:

Change your viewpoint on sales and understand that the process doesn’t have to feel “sleazy.” Marketing is about attracting the people who see the value in your services and establishing mutually beneficial relationships.

It can also be a simple and fun segment of your business! With the increased usage of technology and social media, there are various ways to promote your services to your target audience.

Making a regular marketing schedule helps you stay on track with your promotion efforts. Choose the promotion channels you enjoy most and spend time every day working toward them.

#2) Not Building an Email List Right Away

This is one of the biggest client acquisition mistakes many beginner health coaches make at the start of their career. They put email marketing on the backburner and consider it a low priority task. But this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

In fact, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to land clients. Reports from Adobe have the stats to back it up. They found that 83 percent of consumers prefer brand communication through email rather than social media.

Here’s the solution:

Build your email list from day 1. This will help you build trust with prospects long term.

No matter how small your list is, emailing your current readers on a regular basis and providing them with valuable content will not only establish a closer relationship with them, but it will also help you establish yourself as an authority figure.

The more value they get out of your emails, the more credible you become as a health coach. This way, when they’re in the market for a health coach, you’ll be the first person they think of working with.

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Learn How to Start a Fulfilling, Impactful Career as a Holistic Health Coach

You’ll learn:

  • Why holistic health matters
  • If holistic health coaching is right for you
  • What career opportunities exist for health coaches
  • And more!

#3) Trying to Please Everyone

Trying to create an online presence that pleases everyone appeals to no one. The rapid growth of social media has given prospects the opportunity to shop around for the health coach they resonate with best.

If you aren’t focused on providing services to a hyper-focused audience, potential clients won’t see the value in working with you when there are other health coaches who can provide an exact step-by-step program to help them reach their goals.

Here’s the solution:

Find a specific aspect of coaching that you are passionate about. If you get more satisfaction from helping older women get in shape rather than a younger demographic, consider crafting your marketing message on every platform to cater to your ideal client.

When your social media posts, correspondence, and promotions have a tight message that displays your interest to a specific audience, more prospects will resonate with you and the chances they want to try your services out increase.

#4) Not Specializing in a Niche

A jack of all trades is a master of none, and this holds especially true as a beginner health coach. Choosing a niche that’s too broad will make it difficult to land clients when you’re up against thousands of authorities in the space.

Specializing in a niche means targeting a small segment of your audience that shares specific needs, preferences, and characteristics that you choose to market to.

Here’s the solution:

Instead of trying to promote your coaching program to anyone who wants healthier eating habits, consider choosing a specific demographic such as women 55+ who need help with following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.

The more laser-targeted your niche, the more you are seen as an expert in that specific market and competing against other coaches becomes much less of an issue.

#5) Not Talking to Clients at Their Level

If you’re having difficulty growing your health coaching business, it may be because you’re talking about certain concepts that your ideal client doesn’t fully understand. For example, if you’re speaking about the importance of gut health and building muscle to an audience who only cares about weight loss, prospects may steer away from your services.

While it’s important to have a good understanding of the various aspects of health and fitness, often times going a little too deep will end up confusing prospects and losing their interest.

Here’s the solution:

To attract your ideal clients, a little bit of research goes a long way. Spend some time in forums, Facebook groups, and other places they hang out and take note of the words and phrases they use. This will give you a better understanding as to what their main goals are and help you create a more appealing marketing message when promoting your services. Find out what goals they have and consider using words such as more energy, weight loss, or build muscle to motivate them to want to work with you.

#6) Believing You Need to Have All the Answers

As a health coach, the primary goal is to be a supportive mentor who motivates and guides your clients into making positive behavioral and lifestyle changes to help them reach their health goals.

One mistake budding health coaches make is assuming they need to have all of the answers to the questions they think their future clients might have. This leads to obsessing over completing as many certifications as possible and often ends up stalling your business progress.

Here’s the solution:

Even the best medical professionals don’t have all of the answers. Accept that you only need to know a little more than your client to help them reach their goals.

If you are certified and already have helped someone transform their health, then you already know enough to help others.

#7) Focusing on the Wrong Promotion Channels

Spending time promoting your services online and offline is one of the most important aspects of growing your health coaching business, especially when you’re just starting out. But before you start seeking out clients, it’s important that you do some research to ensure you’re promoting on a channel where your audience actually hangs out.

If your ideal clients are on Facebook but you’re mainly promoting on Pinterest or Instagram, your marketing efforts could feel like an uphill battle.

Here’s the solution:

Spend some time researching where your target audience spends most of their time online. Visit forums and different social media platforms and research where other health coaches are most active.

Once you determine where your ideal clients hang out, provide as much value as possible by answering questions and demonstrating your expertise on that platform. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, focusing on just one or two promotion channels can help you achieve rockstar status with your coaching business sooner rather than later.

#8) Looking for the “Perfect Formula”

All too often, health coaches waste time searching for the perfect cookie cutter approach for their business. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially in the coaching industry.

Your definition of a successful practice is likely different than others in the space. This means you simply cannot follow a specific framework and hope to achieve your revenue goals with your coaching business.

For example, many successful health coaches spend a good portion of their day on social media to connect with potential clients. But if social network platforms aren’t your cup of tea, you may find a better use of your time writing articles or attending workshops and networking with prospects offline.

Here’s the solution:

Decide on the business model you can see yourself working on in the long run.

Just because you know successful health coaches who built their practice strictly from Facebook doesn’t mean it has to be the same way for you!

#9) Assuming You Can Do Everything Yourself

Choosing to run your own health coaching business shows that you’re independent. You get to decide how many hours you want to work each day, who to work with, and what tasks to work on each day.

Marketing, accounting, content, and creating programs all become your responsibility.

While this may be exciting and opens the door to career freedom, it can also be a recipe for burnout. At the beginning of your health coaching journey, you might be able to get away with doing everything on your own.

But to successfully advance and become an authority in the coaching industry, it’s crucial that you get some help.

Here’s the solution:

If you’re worried about not being able to afford help at the start of your health coaching practice, just know that you don’t have to hire a full-time employee right away!

With the growth of the “gig economy,” hiring freelancers as subcontractors is an extremely cost effective and efficient way to get the help you need to take your business to the next level and become a successful health coach.

#10) Selling a Long-Term Program Too Soon

Health coaches who are new to the field commonly make the mistake of selling their biggest program way too early in the sales cycle.

When a prospect first learns about you and your services, there’s a good chance they’re just browsing around to see who’s the best fit for the health goals they’re trying to achieve.

Attempting to sell a large program right away will only steer them away from working with you.

Here’s the solution:

Potential clients will only consider signing up for your long-term coaching program if they know, like, and trust you. It’s your job to gain their trust, establish a closer personal relationship, and prove to them that you’re an authority in the space.

Provide prospects with valuable content and show them the value of working with you. Publish educational articles on your website. Stick to a regular posting schedule on social media and encourage your followers to interact with your content.

Not only does this help you connect with potential clients, but they will also get to know more about you. The chances they sign up to your premium coaching program increases significantly once they’re familiar with who you are and see the value of your services.

Keep These Health Coaching Mistakes Top of Mind to Help You Avoid Them Altogether

As an aspiring health coach, landing your first handful of clients is likely a top priority. But when no one knows about your services, this may seem like a difficult challenge to overcome. And with the increasing competition in the health coaching market, it’s your job to show potential clients the value of working with you.

Creating good habits of publishing valuable content and sticking to a regular promotion schedule is a great place to start. The more people get to know, like, and trust you, the more you begin to stand out as an authority in the health coaching industry.

Enroll in an accredited health coach course with AFPA and become a certified health coach.

woman wearing a headset smiling and looking at a laptop computer

Get Your Free Guide

Learn How to Start a Fulfilling, Impactful Career as a Holistic Health Coach

You’ll learn:

  • Why holistic health matters
  • If holistic health coaching is right for you
  • What career opportunities exist for health coaches
  • And more!
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