Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Start Charging People for My Services?
I’m already the go-to person for health advice in my circle of friends and family and give tons of free tips. If I become a Health Coach, how do I actually start charging for this, since everyone is so used to coming to me for free? And how do I even begin knowing what to charge?
When it comes to launching your Health Coaching business, it’s natural to feel excited to start helping people but also unsure of how to handle the money aspect. I know it can be uncomfortable to assert your value and ask for compensation at first, but believe me, it will make you a more successful Health Coach and person in every way. Overcoming what makes you uncomfortable is a growth opportunity that will help you achieve your goals and boost your confidence long-term.
In the case of charging for Health Coaching services, it’s important to remember that you are changing your clients’ lives, and giving them valuable tools and insights that will last them a lifetime. By seeing you, they are saving all the money they would have wasted on diets, diet books, weight loss pills, medications, and expensive procedures.
Surprisingly enough, I found that my clients started taking the work we were doing together more seriously when I raised the rates in my own Health Coaching. Why? Perceived value. They felt compelled to stick with the advice I gave because the cost of ignoring it was too great. Anyone can take or leave free advice, but if we choose to invest in the information, that's a whole different story. Raising rates also weeds out the people who are serious about change from the people who will be a drain on your energy and resources.
When you go through the Health Coach training program at Integrative Nutrition you’ll learn how to close the deal, what to charge for your services, when to raise your rates, and what programs you can offer. IIN also gets you very clear on your target market, exploring options ranging from corporate wellness to consulting in schools, so you know where to focus your energies and what you can expect to earn in different areas. You’ll learn one-on-one coaching, group coaching, how to run online programs, how to link up with other practitioners, alternative careers for Health Coaches, and how to build your brand so that you can talk to your target market in an effective way while keeping multiple revenue-generating options at your fingertips.
You’ll also receive a preliminary certificate halfway through the program, which allows you get experience in the field, start earning back your tuition, and ask any questions that come up as you get started. When you are still in school, I advise sticking with IIN’s suggestion to charge about half of what you will once you are officially out there, which is a great way to get comfortable with charging and build up to increasing your rates once you have experience under your belt.
For me, a girl who had a fine arts background, I didn’t know anything about business before attending Integrative Nutrition. But after I completed the program, I felt like I had business savvy, confidence, and a clear picture of what I wanted out of my life and business. I graduated with 11 clients, started working at a wellness center, and developed life-lasting relationships with my peers. I know that if I could do it, you can too; it’s just a matter of trusting the process and taking that first step as soon as you can.
Do you have a question for Health Coach Shannon? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tweet it to us @nutritionschool with the hashtag #healthcoachshannon
Shannon Brennan-Cressey is a graduate of Integrative Nutrition’s 2008 Health coaching class and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked in wellness centers, with private clients, and coached other prospective Health Coaches as a member of the admissions team at Integrative Nutrition. Shannon supports woman is finding better balance in their lives and in finding peace with food. She also runs a health and wellness blog where you can find her posting about things like green wedding planning, body image issues, self-empowerment, and healthy delicious recipes.