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What Can You Do as a Holistic Health Coach?

Today, half of all Americans are battling a chronic disease, and one in four has multiple chronic conditions. By 2030, these chronic conditions could cost impact the global economy to the tune of $47 trillion in healthcare spending. What is the factor that weighs heaviest in chronic conditions? Habitual behaviors. 

Changing habits can be hard, and for most people, one habit alone isn’t to blame. This is where the holistic health coach plays a powerful role, by helping clients reframe and change a host of social, psychological, spiritual, and physical habits. 

With plenty of passion and the right training, a holistic health coach can help create lasting change in countless lives. 

What is a Holistic Health Coach? 

A holistic health coach uses an integrative approach to lifestyle, diet, and fitness changes in order to help clients achieve their health goals. Most importantly, holistic health coaches look beyond diet and exercise in order to evaluate and create an overarching plan based on a client’s psychological, spiritual, social, and physical goals.  

In a traditional medicine model, patients often see a series of specialists, each of whom may treat one specific symptom or issue. A holistic health coach takes a different approach. While a holistic health coach does not treat or diagnose, they can complement traditional medicine by creating a wellness plan for the whole person. The holistic approach honors the reality that the body is a complex and interconnected system of many parts that can benefit from sustainable client-led solutions. 

What Does a Holistic Health Coach Do? 

In general, health and wellness coaches have the skills, training, and passion to help improve health outcomes by crafting personalized plans for their clients. In fact, health and wellness coaching has been shown to be an effective strategy for individuals battling obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Holistic health coaches in particular, have many tools in their arsenal, including: 

  • The power of positive psychology: By focusing on a person’s strengths (not weaknesses) to encourage behavioral change, a holistic health coach can help a client maintain a positive and healthy mind-set while working toward health goals. 
  • Skills to promote habit reversal: A holistic health coach encourages clients to make healthy choices in order to reverse bad habits and promote healthy eating, increase physical fitness, manage stress, get plenty of sleep, and more. 
  • The ability to motivate: By encouraging their clients to prioritize self-care, holistic health coaches help them visualize and work toward achieving their goals based on their unique experiences. 
  • Supplemental services: Holistic health coaches also often take supplemental certification courses to provide other services, such as counseling, gut health support, nutrition support, yoga, healing touch, or reiki. 

To become a holistic health coach, all you need is a commitment to helping others, a love of healthy living and fitness, and training such as a certification from a nationally recognized certifying organization. 

What Can You Do as a Health Coach?  

For holistic health coaches, the job opportunities are endless. Certified coaches can work in gyms and fitness centers, private medical offices, corporate environments, and more. In addition to consulting one-on-one with clients, holistic health coaches also put their passion into practice by: 

  • Assisting clients in exploring healthy food options 
  • Lecturing or speaking on holistic wellness and behavior change 
  • Hosting wellness retreats 
  • Creating health and wellness blogs or YouTube channels 
Your Guide to Becoming a Board Certified Health Coach

Learn How to Set Yourself Apart as a Board-Certified Health Coach

What a Health Coach is Not 

Although holistic health coaches are knowledgeable in countless health and wellness topics, they are not licensed nutritionists, registered dietitians, or certified personal trainers—unless they also have certifications and qualifications in those fields.  

Additionally, a health coach isn’t a licensed therapist, although many do offer supplementary counseling services. If you don’t have the credentials for creating a fitness plan or for providing counseling services, you could be opening yourself up to liability issues. Be sure to work within your scope of practice and pursue supplementary certifications if you’d like to help your clients with additional services. 

While a holistic health coach can provide valuable guidance and support to individuals seeking to improve their health and well-being, there are certain things that they should not do. Here are some examples: 

  • Diagnose or treat medical conditions: Holistic health coaches should not diagnose or treat medical conditions. They can provide support and guidance, but it’s important to seek appropriate medical care from a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns. 
  • Provide nutrition, health, or fitness advice that is outside their scope of practice: Holistic health coaches may provide nutrition, health and fitness advice and support, but they should not provide advice that is outside of their scope of practice. For example, they should not prescribe supplements or recommend specific diets for individuals with medical conditions without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. 
  • Encourage individuals to disregard medical advice: Holistic health coaches should not encourage individuals to disregard medical advice or to stop taking medication without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. 
  • Claim to have all the answers: Holistic health coaches should not claim to have all the answers or to be able to solve all of an individual’s health concerns. They should be transparent about their scope of practice and when to refer individuals to other healthcare providers. 
  • Violate ethical guidelines: Holistic health coaches should adhere to ethical guidelines and maintain appropriate boundaries with clients. They should not engage in dual relationships or exploit clients for personal gain. 

Overall, it’s important for holistic health coaches to provide guidance and support within their scope of practice and to refer individuals to other healthcare providers when appropriate. They should prioritize the safety and well-being of their clients and adhere to ethical guidelines. 

What Are the Benefits of Getting Certified? 

Getting certified helps boost your clients’ confidence in your abilities and commitment to excellence and professionalism, and opens doors for further certification and accreditation by important health and wellness governing bodies. In fact, if you receive your Holistic Health Coach Certification with AFPA, you’re eligible to become an American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) board-certified practitioner. Plus, you can benefit from the following associations: 

As more and more people approach being “healthy” as living the most vibrant life possible and not just as the absence of disease, holistic health coaches are playing a greater role than ever. Download our Holistic Health Coach Guide now, and learn how you can launch a career that allows you to help others achieve optimal health by embracing healthy, holistic, life-changing habits. 

Discover your potential as a health coach with AFPA’s health coach certification program. 

How Do Holistic Health Coaches Make Money? 

Holistic health coaches may earn money in a variety of ways, depending on their business model and scope of practice. Here are some common ways that holistic health coaches make money: 

  1. In-house coaching for health, wellness, and medical companies: As knowledge about the importance of health coaching in providing support across the health and wellness continuum increases, many companies are hiring in-house coaches. 
  2. One-on-one coaching: Many holistic health coaches work with clients one-on-one, either in person or remotely, and charge a fee for their services. The fee may be charged by the hour, session, or package. 
  3. Group coaching: Some holistic health coaches offer group coaching programs, which can be more cost-effective for clients and allows the coach to work with multiple clients at once. 
  4. Online courses and programs: Holistic health coaches may create and sell online courses and programs on a variety of health and wellness topics. These courses may be self-paced and can include group coaching or support. 
  5. Speaking engagements and workshops: Holistic health coaches may earn money by speaking at events, leading workshops, or hosting retreats. 
  6. Affiliate marketing: Holistic health coaches may earn a commission by promoting and selling health and wellness products and services, such as supplements or workout gear. 
  7. Book sales and publishing: Some holistic health coaches may write and sell books or publish articles on health and wellness topics. 

While many holistic health coaches may earn a full-time income from their work, some may also work part-time or as a side business. It’s important for holistic health coaches to set fair prices for their services and to communicate the value of their work to clients. Additionally, they should prioritize the safety and well-being of their clients and adhere to ethical guidelines. 

How Do Holistic Health Coaches Get Clients? 

 There are many ways that holistic health coaches can get clients. Here are some common methods: 

  • Referrals: Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and many holistic health coaches rely on referrals from satisfied clients to grow their business. You can also create a formal referral program for your business.  
  • Networking: Holistic health coaches can network with other health and wellness professionals, attend conferences and events, and join professional associations to connect with potential clients. 
  • Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter can be a great way for holistic health coaches to connect with potential clients, share their expertise, and promote their services.  
  • Email marketing: Generating an email funnel and communicating regularly helps to influence potential client purchase decisions.  
  • Blogging and content marketing: Holistic health coaches can create and share valuable content on their website or blog to attract potential clients and establish themselves as experts in their field. Check out AFPA’s guide to content marketing 
  • Paid advertising: Holistic health coaches can use paid advertising methods like Facebook ads, Instagram Ads, Google AdWords, or sponsored posts to reach potential clients. 
  • Collaboration with other professionals: In addition to networking, holistic health coaches can collaborate with other health and wellness professionals, such as yoga instructors, nutritionists, or therapists, to expand their reach and connect with potential clients. 

It’s important for holistic health coaches to identify their target audience and tailor their marketing strategies to reach that audience. They should also prioritize building relationships and trust with potential clients and providing value to their audience through content and educational resources. 

What Can You Do as a Holistic Health Practitioner? 

 As a holistic health practitioner, there are many things you can do to support individuals in achieving optimal health and wellness. Here are some examples: 

  1. Conduct health assessments: You can conduct assessments to identify clients’ health concerns, goals, and lifestyle habits. This can help you create personalized wellness plans for your clients. 
  2. Provide nutrition information: You can provide guidance on nutrition and dietary changes that can support overall health and wellness. Note that you cannot prescribe diets or diagnose nutrition issues unless you have the accreditation to do so.  
  3. Offer stress management techniques: You can teach stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises, to help clients reduce stress and anxiety. 
  4. Encourage physical activity: You can encourage clients to engage in regular physical activity, and provide guidance on appropriate exercises based on their health status and fitness level. 
  5. Recommend lifestyle changes: You can recommend lifestyle changes that can support overall health and wellness, such as improving sleep habits, reducing alcohol consumption, or quitting smoking. 
  6. Address emotional well-being: You can support clients in addressing emotional well-being, such as by helping them develop healthy coping mechanisms or referring them to a mental health professional if necessary. 
  7. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals: Health coaches should know when and how to refer clients to other providers. This isn’t only ethical, it can also be good for business. You can collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as medical doctors, chiropractors, or mental health professionals, to provide comprehensive care for your clients. 

It’s important to note that as a holistic health practitioner, it’s important to adhere to ethical guidelines and work within your scope of practice. You should continue to educate yourself on new research and techniques to provide the most up-to-date and effective support for your clients. 

How Do I Sell My Services as a Health Coach? 

Selling your services as a health coach involves marketing yourself and your unique value proposition to potential clients. Here are some steps you can take to sell your services as a health coach: 

  • Identify your target audience: Determine who your ideal client is, and tailor your marketing and services to meet their specific needs. 
  • Develop a clear message: Develop a clear and concise message that communicates the benefits of your services and what makes you unique as a health coach. 
  • Build your online presence: Create a professional website that showcases your services, experience, and client testimonials. Use social media platforms to connect with potential clients and share valuable content related to health and wellness. 
  • Offer a free consultation: Offer a free consultation or discovery call to potential clients for a taste of what it would be like to work with you and to help them understand the value of your services. 
  • Develop packages and pricing: Develop clear and compelling packages that meet the needs of your target audience, and set fair and competitive pricing for your services. 
  • Network with other professionals: Network with other health and wellness professionals to build relationships and refer clients to each other. 
  • Collect client testimonials: Collect testimonials from satisfied clients and feature them on your website and marketing materials to build credibility and trust. To maintain client confidentiality, remember not to include names or any other identifying information without consent.  

Remember that selling your services as a health coach requires patience, persistence, and a commitment to providing high-quality services to your clients. It’s important to be transparent, ethical, and to always prioritize the well-being of your clients. 

How Much Should I Charge as a Health Coach? 

There is no “right” answer to how much you should charge as a health coach. However, it is important to note that many health coaches who are starting out tend to undercharge for their services because they do not consider the expenses it takes to keep their business running, as well as pay their own salary. AFPA has published a guide for how to confidently set your coaching rates. 

Is It Difficult to Get Clients as a Health Coach? 

Getting clients as a health coach can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Health coaching is a growing field, and there is a high demand for holistic health and wellness services. However, there are a number of factors that can influence how difficult it is to get clients as a health coach. 

One important factor is experience and training. Clients are often more likely to work with a health coach who has relevant experience and training in their area of concern. The more experience and training you have, the more likely it is that potential clients will choose to work with you. This is particularly important if you are focusing on a specific area of health coaching, such as nutrition or stress management. 

Another important factor is marketing efforts. Health coaches who invest time and resources in marketing themselves and their services are more likely to attract clients. Consistent and strategic marketing efforts can help you reach your target audience and communicate the value of your services. This can include creating a professional website, using social media to promote your services, and offering free resources such as webinars or e-books. 

Competition can also be a factor in how difficult it is to get clients as a health coach. Depending on the area you are located in, there may be a high level of competition among health coaches, which can make it more challenging to get clients. It is important to identify what sets you apart from other health coaches and communicate that unique value proposition to potential clients. This can include your training, experience, and your approach to health coaching. 

Client budget is another consideration. Health coaching services can be a significant investment for clients, and some may not have the budget to afford them. Offering payment plans or sliding scale fees can help make your services more accessible to a wider range of clients. It’s also important to communicate the value of your services to potential clients and help them understand the long-term benefits of investing in their health. 

Building a referral network with other health and wellness professionals can also help you reach potential clients who may not have heard of your services otherwise. This can include partnering with yoga studios, chiropractors, or naturopaths to offer complementary services. 

Getting clients as a health coach can require time and effort, but with persistence, dedication, and a focus on providing high-quality services, it is possible to build a thriving health coaching practice. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and research in holistic health and wellness and to continue learning and growing your knowledge and skills. By doing so, you can provide the best possible services to your clients and build a reputation as a trusted and effective health coach. 

Is There a Demand for Health Coaches? 

Yes, there is a growing demand for health coaches. With the increasing interest in health and wellness, more people are seeking out guidance and support to help them achieve their health goals. Health coaches can provide personalized guidance, education, and accountability to help clients make sustainable lifestyle changes. 

The demand for health coaches is driven by several factors. First, many people are turning to natural and holistic approaches to health and wellness, and are seeking out experts who can help them navigate these options. Second, healthcare costs are rising, and people are looking for ways to improve their health without relying on expensive medical interventions. Health coaches can help clients make lifestyle changes that can prevent or manage chronic diseases and conditions, potentially reducing healthcare costs in the long run. Additionally, there is increasing evidence showing how health coaches can work in conjunction with standard care to improve health outcomes. Finally, many people are simply looking for guidance and support to help them achieve their health goals, whether that’s losing weight, reducing stress, or improving their sleep. 

According to the International Coach Federation, the health and wellness coaching industry is projected to continue growing in the coming years. The organization estimates that the industry was worth over $7 billion in 2020, and that it will continue to grow at a rate of around 5% per year. This suggests that there is significant demand for health coaching services, and that there is room for new health coaches to enter the market and build successful businesses. 

Overall, the demand for health coaches is expected to continue growing as more people seek out natural and holistic approaches to health and wellness. Health coaches who can provide high-quality services and differentiate themselves from competitors may be well-positioned to take advantage of this trend and build successful careers. 

Do You Need a Qualification to Be a Health Coach? 

Many health coaches choose to obtain a certification or qualification in order to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise and to stand out in a crowded marketplace. AFPA’s health coaching programs covers topics such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, and behavior change. These programs can provide health coaches with the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively with clients, as well as guidance on best practices for running a health coaching business. 

Can I Call Myself a Health Coach Without Certification? 

There is no legal requirement to have a specific qualification or certification to be a health coach equivalent to passing medical board exams or registration exams for dietitians. But people who call themselves health coaches and charge for their services without having the proper knowledge and training may risk legal liability. 

It’s important to note that many clients may prefer to work with a health coach who has obtained a certification or qualification, as it can provide reassurance that the health coach has received the necessary education and training to work effectively with clients. In addition, some professional organizations or associations may require that their members hold a specific certification or qualification in order to be considered for membership. 

How Do I Start a Career as a Health Coach? 

Starting a career as a health coach can be a rewarding and fulfilling path for those interested in helping others achieve their health goals. Here are some steps you can take to get started: 

  1. Get educated: While there is no legal requirement to have a specific qualification to be a health coach, it’s important to have a solid foundation of knowledge in health and wellness, as well as training in coaching and communication skills. You can start by researching and learning as much as you can about health and wellness, as well as the skills needed to be an effective coach. There are also many certification programs available that can provide more structured education and training. 
  2. Gain experience: In addition to education and training, it’s important to gain hands-on experience working with clients. You can start by offering your services to friends and family members or volunteering at local organizations. This will help you build your skills and confidence as a health coach and gain valuable experience. 
  3. Define your niche: It’s important to define your niche as a health coach. This could be a specific health concern or demographic, such as working with clients with diabetes or focusing on women’s health. Defining your niche will help you differentiate yourself from other health coaches and attract the clients you want to work with. 
  4. Build your network: Building a network is essential to growing your health coaching business. You can start by attending local health and wellness events, joining online communities, and reaching out to other health professionals to build relationships and establish yourself as an expert in your field. 
  5. Market yourself: In order to attract clients, it’s important to have a strong marketing strategy. This could include creating a website, developing a social media presence, and networking with potential clients and other professionals in your field. 
  6. Continuously learn and grow: As a health coach, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest research and trends in health and wellness. This means continuing to learn and grow your knowledge and skills, as well as staying connected to the latest research and trends in your field. Additionally, to retain your certification, you have to complete a certain number of continuing education credits every one to three years, depending on the certification organization.  

Starting a career as a health coach takes time and effort, but with dedication and hard work, you can build a successful and fulfilling career helping others improve their health and wellbeing. 

Main Takeaways 

A health coach is a professional who works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals, using a holistic approach that takes into account all aspects of a person’s life. Health coaches can work in a variety of settings, including private practice, healthcare organizations, corporations, and community centers. 

Health and wellness coaches can provide a range of services, including one-on-one coaching, group coaching, educational workshops, and corporate wellness programs. Some key skills and qualities for success as a health coach include good communication skills, empathy, and a passion for helping others. 

To become a health coach, you do not need a specific qualification or certification, although obtaining one can be beneficial for demonstrating knowledge and expertise to clients and standing out in a crowded marketplace. 

In order to build a successful health coaching career, it’s important to define your niche, build your network, market yourself effectively, and continuously grow your knowledge and skills. 

Learn How to Stand Out as a Top-Tier Health Coach in 5 Steps

Your Guide to Becoming a Board Certified Health Coach


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