The field of health and wellness is rapidly expanding as people focus more on their own health and well-being and seek out all the information available on these subjects. If you find yourself passionate about living your best, healthiest life and enjoy helping others do the same, becoming a Wellness Coach could be the right path for you.
There are many facets to being a Wellness Coach, and getting started can be overwhelming when looking at the big picture. But by breaking it down, getting started in the field of wellness coaching can be both rewarding and simple!
What is a Wellness Coach?
Wellness Coaches (or Health Coaches) are supportive mentors and wellness authorities who help people to feel their best. They can do this in a number of ways, including encouraging and guiding clients to explore food and lifestyle changes that help them meet their personal health and wellness goals. Wellness Coaches often meet one-on-one with clients, but can also work with clients in a group setting.
Flexibility is the name of the game in health and wellness coaching. Because it’s individualized to each client, learning to be flexible in how you provide your services is a crucial skill to have. Healthy living isn’t one-size-fits-all, but instead focuses on what we at IIN call bio-individuality, or the idea that everyone is different, needs different things to thrive, and responds to different wellness and lifestyle approaches.
At the foundation of their work, Wellness Coaches work with clients to teach them how to fuel their bodies, live a holistic lifestyle, and find exactly what works for them.
How to Become an Online Wellness Coach
Before you begin the process of becoming a Wellness Coach, ask yourself why. Your why will drive everything you do in your business, from the program you select, to the clients you take on, to the type of services you offer, and everything in between. Your why can be considered your passion and driving force for wanting to pursue a role as a mentor in health and wellness. Once you figure out your why, you can really begin the journey to becoming a Health Coach.
People interested in pursuing a career in health and wellness typically enroll in degree programs that focus on a particular area, like nutrition, biology, nursing, or physical therapy. The courses that one would study in a particular degree program helps to lay a solid foundation for any future courses or certifications you complete.
While earning a bachelor’s or higher education degree will be helpful in your journey, many programs do not require a degree to enroll. If you have an interest in health and wellness, and love connecting with others about it, then you can pursue a career in wellness coaching!
Wellness Coaching program
Finding the right training program for you is the best way to begin your journey as a Health Coach. There are several factors to consider when researching and selecting a health and wellness coaching program, including the length of the program, costs involved, and post-graduation support.
Most programs range from six months to one year, though some can take significantly more or less time. While completing coursework quickly sounds great, you should consider whether you’ll be getting the well-rounded, complete education you deserve and that will set you up for success after graduating.
The cost of wellness coach training programs varies widely depending on the type of training, whether it’s in-person or online, the type of support offered, study materials provided, the duration of the program, and much more. Depending on your personal goals, career aspirations, and budget, cost is something you’ll factor in when deciding whether to pursue health coaching as a career.
Certification is not required to become a Wellness Coach, but as the profession moves towards more regulation, that may change. Pursuing certification currently allows Wellness Coaches to maintain a competitive edge in their field, as it demonstrates their dedication to the practice, as well as competency of their profession.
If certification as a coach is important to you, check to see if the training program provides a legitimate path to certification. Many training programs will claim that graduating from their program alone will allow you to call yourself “certified,” but the growth of the health coaching field has necessitated stricter guidelines around who can call themselves a certified coach.
The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) was established with the goal of creating a gold standard for health and wellness coaching education, which includes the creation of a national certification exam to demonstrate competency in the field of health coaching. Many schools (including IIN!) are approved by the NBHWC, which means graduates from those schools can go on to become eligible to apply to sit for board-certification.
What is an Online Wellness Coach?
Where wellness coaching offers flexibility, online wellness coaching also offers freedom. Just about everything today can be done virtually – doctor’s visits, family reunions, and job interviews, to name a few. Online coaching can benefit both the coach and client immensely.
Low overhead costs – With no need to meet in person, coaches can save on gas and the costs associated with renting office space.
Convenience for coach and client – Online coaching leaves more time for scheduling flexibility since there’s no need to commute anywhere.
Increased geographical reach – Coaching online also allows for a larger client base. With no need to meet in person, you can work with people around your state, country, or the world!
Steps to Becoming an Online Wellness Coach
Wellness coaching is an extremely flexible career option, with more and more coaches opting for an all-online business model. Starting an online wellness coaching business is a lot like building an in-person business, with a few key differences, particularly in the areas of marketing and social media. Before starting your online wellness coaching business:
1. Do your research
Before you jump in to any new endeavor, it’s important to focus and be thoughtful about your goals. Take a look at successful Helath Coaches or other wellness entrepreneurs you follow and note what you like about them. What kinds of services do they offer? How do they connect with their clients? Do they have a blog or Instagram account that supports their business? Use search engines to your advantage and take stock of the health coaching and wellness industries to see how and where you fit in.
2. Build a business plan
Starting a new business without a business plan can lead to mistakes, cost money, and impact relationships. That’s not to say you need to be perfect to get started, but having a plan is very helpful!
Starting with set business goals, financial objectives, marketing strategies, and other targets help keep your brand and business on the path forward. You may even consider hiring a business coach or someone who is well-versed in building a business that can help you as you get started, or even hire someone full-time. This is often more cost-effective, as it’s saving you time that you could have otherwise been spending on getting new clients!
3. Network, network, network
Online networking opportunities are crucial when you first start your health coaching business. Most of the time when Wellness Coaches struggle with getting clients, it is through a lack of clear communication. IIN's Health Coach Training Program provides detailed resources for sharing what you do in genuine ways that are also strategic. Having things like a unique niche in wellness, an elevator pitch, a good web presence, and a little creativity can go a long way!
The most successful Wellness Coaches often offer introductory workshops, attend virtual networking events, or align their coaching practice with complimentary offerings such as teaching or writing. Ensuring that existing clients have the best possible experience is crucial – word of mouth is the most effective marketing tool you have!
Be fun, but professional
People love to know the person behind the brand, especially when services are as personal as they are in wellness coaching. Keeping your online presence fun yet professional allows potential clients to get to know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. This balance helps to build a deeper connection with potential and current clients.
Find your niche
Defining what your niche in the wellness space is allows you to target exactly who you are looking to help. If you advertise yourself as someone who helps with weight loss, potential clients may shy away because they may not be sure what you’re offering meets their specific needs. Finding your niche, as well as using language that accurately explains your services, allows clients to feel more comfortable seeking you out.
Invest in technology
Investing doesn’t have to mean pouring money into physical technology – spending time really learning the ins and outs of the tools you have at your disposal can be extremely valuable. We may live in a digital world, but health and wellness coaching happens through real, human communication. Taking learning one step at a time will help you develop technology skills if you don’t already have them.
The most important thing is to avoid getting overwhelmed by thinking you need to set up everything all at once, because you don’t! Start with something as simple as a basic wellness blog, or even just a simple web page that says who you are and what you offer.
Having updated and organized resource files, a clear schedule to follow, and the ability to stay focused on the priority at hand is one of the most important skills you need as a Wellness Coach. IIN’s Health Coach Training Program supports students in setting up their business simply and effectively so that they can spend more time doing what they love—coaching!
Keeping on pace with the business objectives and keeping aligned with strategies you developed in your business plan will show clients and potential clients that you’re the one they need to help them on their wellness journey
The Online Wellness Coach Experience
As a Wellness Coach, you aren’t limited to working with clients in person. It’s been proven that we can learn, teach, celebrate, and hang out online – so why not help others live their best lives completely online? You can support your clients from virtually anywhere! Build an online community through Facebook, Instagram, and blogging. Coach clients online through Zoom, Skype, or Teams. Or, create online group programs where people can interact virtually with each other.