Becoming a holistic health coach can be a rewarding and satisfying long-term career. Coaching people to achieve higher levels of health brings personal meaning to your work as you apply your research and experiences in nutrition to improve the lives of others.
But like any coaching venture, having the passion and appropriate training is just one part of the work. The other is being able to create a sustainable business built for growth. Here are some tips on developing a holistic health coaching practice that’s geared toward success.
Create a Business Plan
All business owners—even independent consultants—should have a working business plan because it helps establish your purpose. That can be helpful in case you need a loan, want to take on a partner, or simply wish to clarify your goals. The American Nutrition Association has a sample business plan that can give you a good starting point for developing your own.
Sharpen Your Brand
As you write your business plan, you’ll likely be led toward thinking of answers to questions like: What sets you apart from competitors? What type of clients are looking to attract? How are you using your insights to build your business? The more specific you can get in defining your brand, the easier it will be to attract clients who are looking for those qualities.
Automate Every Process
No matter what level your business might be at, you have to be ready for growth. And for that to happen, you need systems in place to streamline your business. Invest in tools that track expenses, schedule client appointments, create client progress charts, and provide templates for email follow-ups and newsletters. The more you can automate your processes, the more time you have to focus on clients and marketing efforts, instead of day-to-day bookkeeping.
Use Social Media Wisely
Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be a boon, but they can also take a tremendous amount of time. Instead of trying to use them all, choose one that seems especially popular with your clients. For example, they may check Instagram 10 times per day, but only look at Facebook a few times per week. That makes it worth putting more energy into Instagram to establish your brand. When you do post, remember that you’re representing your business. You could add some personal pics to be more relatable, but on the whole, it’s better to share your expertise than your vacation photos.
Expand Your Online Offerings
Creating blog posts that get traction is great, and there’s no need to stop there. Brainstorm creative ideas of what else you can offer. You might create infographics, e-books, podcasts, and videos. More specifically for example, you could even run an “online workshop” to break down a holistic health topic into several components. The point is to diversify your income stream by expanding your product line. For an online coach, that means developing more online resources that are a mix of free and paid content.
Share Your Knowledge
Nearly every podcast needs expert guests, so research some that could use your insights and contact the moderator. This not only gives you an opportunity to build your brand, but it also expands your reach; ultimately, that can often lead to more clients. Be sure to promote the podcast on your website and social media so your existing clients can listen in too.
Continue Your Education
Getting certified as a holistic nutritionist is a great step in your career; however, to be successful, consider a certification as the starting point, not an endpoint. You might want to specialize based on your areas of interest, such as weight management, sports nutrition, or youth nutrition. This greatly expands your client base and keeps you engaged with the subject matter at the same time.