While I was in the Health Coach Training Program, I remember the idea of signing up my first client being bit daunting. Okay, who am I kidding – it was totally overwhelming to me.
Other than an initial interview for my teaching job many years earlier, I hadn’t needed to “sell” myself or anything else, for that matter. I had no clue about how to market myself and sign up that first client.
This is why I was so grateful that a valuable part of Integrative Nutrition’s curriculum is business and marketing. The tools and strategies I learned were what helped me actually get myself out into the real world and help people as a Health Coach.
But knowing and doing are two different things. Getting started as a Health Coach meant I needed to take action and use the tools and strategies I learned in the program. It didn’t always feel easy, but because of the way the material was presented in the context of the whole program, it all felt doable (well, most days anyway.)
When I started back in 2005, it made most sense to me to reach out to health-oriented business people who did not offer nutrition services but would be interested in offering this added value to their clients. I explained what I was doing and how I could help their clients reach their health goals more easily and quickly and how that would mean happier clients. My very first clients came through my yoga instructor. I rented a small space from her and offered to take her through my 6-month program at no charge. Very quickly she saw the value in what I was offering and started telling her clients they needed to set-up an initial consultation with me.
Those initial consults took time and not everyone ended up signing up, but enough people did that I was motivated to keep right on going. With each consultation and with each paid session, I gained more confidence. I learned more about listening and about coaching. People got results: Weight loss. Better energy. Fewer digestive issues. Better sleep. More joy.
Those initial clients are how I started building the business I have today, though it looks very different from those early months of coaching. I couldn’t have envisioned then what I have built today. I am Skype with clients from around the U.S. and even overseas. I am run virtual programs for hundreds of clients. I speak in schools and for community groups. I work alongside medical doctors, chiropractors and nutritionists. I collaborate with other health coaches online.
It all started in a small room of a local yoga studio, sitting across from my yoga teacher and supporting those first clients that she helped me get. For me, getting started is about building relationships, being authentic, and having the courage to take those little steps that lead to something big. Before you know it, you have a Health Coaching business that you couldn’t have imagined even if you tried.
Angelle Batten, IIN Class of 2005 (Live Program) and 2012 (Distance Learning Program), is the founder of AngelleBatten.com, where she teaches moms to feed their family healthier one manageable step at a time. She enjoys hanging out with her husband, three kids, and big black dog Oliver. You can connect with Angelle on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.