Integrative Nutrition Blog
Here’s How a Typical Health Coaching Program Works
At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we educate students about the many ways to thrive by balancing health and wellness in all areas of life.
And while not all graduates decide to health coach others privately, and there are a variety of professional paths you can pursue with your IIN education, today we’d like to share with you an example of how a typical one-on-one six-month health coaching program could work since this is the simplest, most effective way to get started with your business.
Please note, we’re not going to focus on attracting clients here, though marketing, social media, networking, and other business skills are thoroughly provided in the Health Coach Training Program for those who are interested.
Now let’s imagine that you’ve gotten in touch with someone who is seeking guidance and support in the area of personal wellness. They love what you have to say and want to work with you as a client. Great!
Here’s how the coach/client relationship works from this point:
1. Finalize all the details regarding your agreement, including:
- Specific areas of your client’s health that you are going to focus on (including reducing cravings, transitioning to a gluten-free diet, or losing weight).
- Payment agreed upon, and the means by which payment will be made (you might use PayPal or accept checks in the mail).
- Best days of the week or times of day when you’ll schedule your sessions over the next 6 months
2. Once you’re clear on these details, you can begin to organize a wellness plan for each client. Don’t worry, IIN will help you understand this better while you’re a student! You could write down the recommendations that you’re going to make and the sequence in which you’ll share them, perhaps including additional resources for recipes or worksheets you have. You don’t have to plan out the entire 6 months since health coaching is an organic process, but laying out a foundation to get started will help you feel and appear more professional.
3. Speak with your client on the phone or Skype approximately every two weeks, per the schedule you will have already agreed upon.
4. Calls follow a basic structure of starting with what’s “new and good” in your client’s life, followed by any challenges they’re having in the realm of wellness. You respond accordingly, with thoughtful listening, appropriate questions, and custom guidance. Calls should last approximately 45 minutes and end with 1-3 specific recommendations for your client to follow.
5. In between sessions, encourage your client to implement the suggestions given. You will choose your policy for handling questions or concerns that may come up between sessions. You could choose to send them additional resources or quick check-in’s to stay in touch along the way. Or offer unlimited email and text message support. Up to you!
6. Repeat the calls every other week for 6 months, gradually adjusting goals and benchmarks as you go along based on the needs of the client, always keeping their original wellness goals in mind to ensure that you stay on track and can show them just how far they’ve come!
When the 6 months are up, have an honest conversation with your client about whether they feel they have achieved their goals and are ready to move forward on their own, or if they’d like to continue working with you for ongoing support.
As you continue to work with more clients you will learn something new from every person you work with and will begin to adjust your unique coaching style, process, and services as you gain experience. The above is our tried and true framework that’s worked for thousands of coaches and is a great way to get started.
And if you’re wondering whether you’re really cut out for this health coaching thing, ask yourself if you’re already sharing wellness advice with the people in your life. If you can do that then you can be a Health Coach, it’s basically an ongoing heartfelt conversation!