A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. As you embark on your journey as a health coach, that single step is usually finding your first client.
While landing your first client is an exhilarating achievement, many hopeful health coaches struggle to reach this milestone. It’s not easy nor straightforward, seeking out potential clients. However, as difficult as it may seem, getting your first health coach client is possible.
We’ve interviewed 11 successful health coaches and asked them how they found their first clients. Their answers are outlined below.
Landing Clients as a Health Coach via Online and Social Media Strategies
While the health coaches we’ve interviewed offer a variety of ways in which they found their first clients, among the most popular methods, is through the use of the web and social media.
“I posted on a local healthy living Facebook Group asking them if they could suggest any places or ideas for me to let people know about my new health coaching business. I explained what I do and asked for any suggestions. I got people calling to learn more, and I scheduled health histories out of it. One person signed on as my first client. I definitely did the happy dance.” – Karen Grosz of Inner Savvy Wellness
“I got my first client through social media marketing (my Facebook business page).” – Claudia Petrilli of Claudia Petrilli Health Coaching
“I work in a healthcare office, and most people think that that’s how I get my clients, but not so! I get very few clients from being in an office. I’ve gotten them by being generous and helpful on social media.” – Maria Claps of Nourish and Flourish with Maria
While social media offers ample opportunities for health coaches just starting their careers, online advertising is yet another web-based channel that may offer a healthy return on investment:
“I built a website and created Facebook and Google ads. [My first client] found me through one of my ads.” – Graciela Dixon of Project Wellness
And while social media is a great place to reach out to strangers who may become future clients, never underestimate the importance of reminding those you consider friends or family what you offer as a health coach:
“I found my first client through a friend who read one of my posts on Facebook.” – Penny LaForest of Health Happiness and Whole Foods, LLC
Find Your First Health Coach Client By Reaching Out To Existing Contacts In Your Life
As you can see from the comments above, social media and online marketing can work wonders for your health-coaching career. But this type of new media shouldn’t replace the age-old approach of reaching out to the people you know.
“Someone I knew, who knew what I did, told my client about me after a conversation they had.” – Elizabeth Plant of Springtime Holistics
“She was actually a friend of mine that I helped in the past with a few things. She had heard and knew I was doing something different. We talked, and she signed up. It was an amazing experience, and she actually extended her sessions to 6 months after working together. She gave me the confidence booster I needed. I owe a lot to her.” – Kristy Breen of The Wellness and Cravings Coach
Reaching out to your existing clients isn’t just about leveraging your friends and family. Don’t forget about the professional contacts you’ve accumulated along the way. They may become your first client or send you invaluable referrals.
“I found [my first client] through another business I was working with at the time. It was more of a fitness-based business, but it was a great fit for me to work with others on the deeper, more complex aspect of their life.” – Jo Grobbelaar of This Great Life
“I got my first paying client by affiliating with another health coach who included a free coaching session with me in an online package he’d designed. I had some interest, and then my first sign up.” – Ania Nowicki of Vitality & Food
“Through a referral from a local business which I’d given my information to previously. Most of my business is through referrals.” – Maureen Carlomagno of Your Wellness Coach
Persistence Is Key
Whether it’s through social media, personal contacts, or referrals, one common trait among health coaches who have landed a prospective client is persistence. Many people out there just aren’t ready to take that first step on their own, or they’ve forgotten about what you offer. They need you to show them the way.
“I persisted in my follow-up. It was a former tenant who rented from my husband and myself during his first year of graduate school. We had conversations about his health (high stress / anxiety and lack of self-care). He knew that I was a health coach and expressed an interest in doing a program in the fall. He moved out in June, and I contacted him in September, then October. Although I had left a couple of messages, I never heard back.
Three months later, I thought to follow up with him. When I called, he actually answered. And the timing – for him – happened to be right. Following up is key. But establishing your follow-up strategy is a bit of an art. You want to avoid coming across as a desperate stalker!” Kathryn Matthews – Workplace Wellness With Kathryn Matthews
How Did You Find Your First Health-Coaching Client?
While the 11 health coaches quotes above offer helpful insight into how they found their first client, there are surely countless other ways to kick start a career in this field. Let us know how your career began by sharing with us the story behind your first health-coaching client.
Small Tips and Tidbits to Remember as You Land Your First Clients
Narrow Niches. You have probably heard this before, but to help set yourself apart from the competition and create more value for potential clients, you need to focus your attention on a particular niche. However, that doesn’t mean you are limiting yourself to just one. Think of your selected niches as branches on a tree. Make the benefits clear to your clients and show them how you can help solve their problems.
Offline Promotions. While everything seems to focus online, you should also consider going offline to promote yourself and find new clients. This is also a good way to build your credibility and make connections in the real world.
You can do this by attending community events and other opportunities where you can meet community members that may be interested in what you have to offer.
Group Workshops. For even more awareness in your community and to land clients, you can also consider hosting group workshops. Find a wellness center in your area where you can teach a class or offer a coaching program, for example.
Online Coaching Business. Another way to grow your coaching business is by finding what your target audience is looking for online. When a potential client lands on your website, for example, they are there because they searched for something specific, and your landing page is where they ended up.
So, to establish your online coaching business, you need to keep everything up to date, join groups and forums relevant to the health and wellness industry, and optimize your site. You can also use Facebook ads to gain more exposure, along with a social media marketing strategy.
Coaching Tools for Health and Well-Being. Finally, to land your first clients and appeal to your target audience, you need to have the right coaching tools in place for health and well-being.
Continuing education is important for any health coach as you look for new ways to continue to focus on a sustainable and healthy lifestyle while teaching others to do the same.
You need to be knowledgeable and armed with the right information to grow your wellness business and succeed in wellness coaching.