Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any health program.
Regardless of whether you are intrigued by marketing or hate it, having an online presence is essential if you want more clients to find you and hopefully book a consultation with you.
If you're a complete newbie when it comes to digital marketing for your health coaching practice, we suggest you read this guide thoroughly to help you gain a better understanding of what you need to do to make yourself visible online. If you are more experienced with marketing your health coaching practice and are looking for some new insights, use the Table of Content to skip to the information that's most useful to you.
What to expect from this guide:
- The different types of marketing strategies you can use as a health coach
- Why having an online presence is essential
- Tips on how to get started with marketing your health coaching practice
- Additional insights that most health coaches overlook when it comes to marketing
Now that we've covered what you can expect from reading this guide, let's get started.
Why is marketing important for health coaches?
Marketing is crucial for the success of any business, but as a health coach, you have an extra layer of difficulty because people don't always realize they need your services. As the health coaching profession is relatively new you need to help people understand the value that you can bring to their lives.
Think about it this way, when someone is sick they will automatically visit a doctor because they believe that's the best way to get better. However, when someone wants to improve their lifestyle or make healthier choices, they might not even consider seeing a health coach because they don't know such a profession exists.
It's your job to raise awareness and show people that health coaches can help them achieve their desired lifestyle changes. The best way to do this is by marketing your services online in a way that will make you visible to your target audience.
We'll get into how to market to your target audience in a moment, but next, let's go over why deciding on a niche will take a lot of the guesswork out of marketing.
Finding your niche
You've probably heard that you need to find your niche over a thousand times before, but in case you're still not sure what this means, let's break it down.
Your niche is the group of people that you want to work with and that you feel most qualified to help. When we say find your niche, we don't mean that you should only work with one type of person, but rather that you should focus on a specific group of people that you want to attract.
For example, if you want to work with men over the age of 50 who are struggling with weight loss, that would be your niche. Another example could be new moms who are looking for guidance on how to eat healthily and exercise while caring for a newborn.
When you serve the people within your niche well, you will attract more health coaching clients like them, and eventually, you will become known as the go-to health coach for that specific group type. You've heard the saying "work begets work", and this is especially true when you focus on a particular niche.
Note: Just because you're deciding on one niche now, doesn't mean that you can't branch out and work with other types of clients in the future. It's just easier to start small, build trust and then expand later.
Speaking to your target audience
Once you've decided on your niche, now it's time to get to know them. The better you understand your target audience, the easier it will be to market to them.
The first step is to identify the persona of your potential clients. This simply means creating a fictional character that represents them. You can give them a name, an age, a job, and interests.
For example, let's say you want to work with busy dads who are interested in health and wellness. Your persona might look something like this:
Job: Manager of a small business
Interests: Health, fitness, and nutrition
The more specific you can make your persona, the better. This will allow you to really zero in on their needs and wants.
Once you've outlined your client persona, the next step is to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they might be searching for online. For example, Chris might search for things like "how to manage stress" or "how to stay healthy with a busy schedule".
Keep in mind that people are more likely to search for things like this by using specific keywords rather than typing in "health coach" + their location. This is why it's important to use SEO keywords that your target audience is actually searching for. We'll talk more about this later.
The goal here is to become an ally to your potential clients and to become an ally you must understand their pain points, struggles, aspirations, and goals. Only then can you provide them with the solutions they seek.
Before we wrap up this section of the guide, we'll leave you with some ideas you can use to gather information on your target audience:
Join relevant Facebook groups
Find and join a Facebook group or groups where your potential clients might be and instead of trying to market to them within the group, just observe and take note of the types of questions they're asking and the problems they're facing. This will give you clues to the types of problems you might be able to help them solve.
Check out the comments section on YouTube videos
Type in keywords that you think your target audience might be searching for on YouTube and see what kinds of videos come up. Click on one, and then scroll down to the comments section and see what people are saying. This can give you some insight into their needs, wants, and pain points.
Go through Reddit and find relevant subreddits
This is similar to checking out Facebook groups but on Reddit. Look for relevant subreddits where your target audience might be hanging out and read through the posts and comments to see what they're talking about.
If you have an existing audience on a social media platform or on your email list, you can conduct surveys to get feedback from them directly. It doesn't matter how big or small your audience is, any feedback is better than none. There are different tools out there to create and send out surveys.
By gathering this information, you'll be able to get a better understanding of your target audience and what they're looking for. This will come in handy later when we start talking about creating content and marketing your health coaching services.
Building your brand
We've talked about identifying the persona of your potential clients, but now it's time to focus on the persona of your brand.
When you hear the word "brand" what comes to mind? Some people might think of giant companies like Nike, but a brand is really just the way people perceive you, your business, and your services. It does not have anything to do with how big or small your company is, It's how you want to be seen and represented in the world and specifically to your target audience.
Imagine your brand being a person. What do they look like, sound like, and how do they act? How do they dress? Are they serious or laid-back? Do they use a lot of jargon or keep things simple?
Now imagine people interacting with your brand. How do they feel? Do they feel at ease or intimidated? Do they feel like this is a brand they can trust?
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when you're thinking about developing your brand. Your answers will help you determine the tone, voice, and overall personality that you want to have. You want people to instantly know what your business is about and what you stand for the moment they land on your website or social media profile, or meet you in person.
Your brand persona should align with that of your target audience. This way you can speak their language and connect with them on a deeper level.
For example, if you're targeting older adults as your main clientele, you'll want to make sure your brand comes across as trustworthy and reliable. On the other hand, if you're targeting millennials, you might want to focus on making your brand more relatable and personal.
Your brand should be unique to you and no one else. It should reflect your values, passions, and who you are as a person/company.
Some questions you can ask yourself to get started are:
What do I stand for?
What are my core values?
What do I want to be known for?
Who am I trying to attract?
What are their needs, wants, and pain points?
Now let's talk about the building blocks of your brand.
Brand building blocks
There are three main components to every brand:
Visuals - This is everything from your logo to the colors you use on your website and social media profiles.
Content - This is both written and video content on your website, blog posts, social media posts, etc. It's the way you communicate with your audience.
Experience - This is everything from the way people interact with your website to the way they feel after they've worked with you.
All of these components work together to create a holistic brand experience for your target audience. We'll now break down the components into 3 different steps.
1. Creating a visual brand identity
Your visual brand identity is made up of all the visuals associated with your brand. This includes your logo, colors, fonts, and any other images you use on your website or social media profiles.
Your visual identity should be consistent across all platforms. This means using the same colors, fonts, and style on your website as you do on your social media channels, letterheads, etc. Consistency will help people easily recognize your brand no matter where they see it.
It should also be cohesive. This means all the visuals should work together to create a unified look and feel. For example, if you're going for a clean, and modern look, your logo shouldn't be too busy or cluttered. The same goes for your website design, social media posts and any other brand assets you may have.
2. Creating compelling content
Your content is the second building block of your brand. This is everything from the text on your website to the videos you might post on social media.
Your content should be well articulated, concise, accurate, and helpful. It should also be in line with the overall tone and voice of your brand.
For example, if your brand is more serious and formal, your content should reflect that. On the other hand, if your brand is more lighthearted and informal, your content should be too.
3. Creating a great client experience
The third and final building block of your brand is the client experience. This refers to the way people engage with your brand, from the moment they first discover it to the moment they become a client and beyond.
You want people to have a positive experience every step of the way. This means having a well-designed website that's easy to navigate, providing helpful information and resources, and making it easy for people to contact you and ask questions.
It's also important to think about the overall feel of your brand. Do you want people to feel motivated and inspired? Or relaxed and rejuvenated? Your brand experience should reflect the emotions you want people to feel.
Putting it all together
Now that we've gone over the three building blocks of your brand, let's talk about how to put it all together.
Create a mood board. This is a visual representation of the overall look and feel you want your brand to have. It can be a physical or online board using tools such as Miro or Figma.
To create a mood board, start by gathering images, colors, and fonts that you feel represent your brand. You can use anything from stock photos to magazine tear-outs to screenshots of websites you like. Once you have a good selection, arrange them in a way that feels cohesive and represents the overall tone of your brand.
Create a brand style guide. This is a document that outlines all the elements of your brand, from your logo to your color palette to the tone of your content.
Creating a style guide will help keep your branding consistent and cohesive across all platforms. It's a good idea to include both visual and written guidelines in your style guide so you can reference them when creating new content or designing new marketing materials.
If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of templates and examples online. Once you have your style guide created, make sure to keep it in an easily accessible place where you can access it when needed.
One last tip about branding
One very important thing about branding that we didn't cover above is choosing your health coaching business name. This is a vital part of creating your brand and something you should put some thought into.
When deciding on a business name, it's important to choose something that is:
- Reflective of your brand
- Available as a domain name and social media handle
- Easy to spell and pronounce
- Not too similar to other businesses in your niche
- Not too long
Keep these things in mind when brainstorming business name ideas. And if you're struggling to come up with something on your own, there are plenty of tools and resources available online to help, like this business name generator from tools like namelix.
Next, we'll discuss developing the assets you need to market your business effectively.
Developing your assets
Alright, so now you have an understanding of finding your niche and building your brand, now it's time to get started on building your marketing assets.
Below we'll go over some key marketing assets you should have for your health coaching business as well as some tips on how to create them.
Your business website is one of the most important marketing assets for your business. It's often the first place potential clients will go to learn more about you and what you do.
It is a living, breathing online document that should be updated regularly with new information, articles, services, products, etc.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating or updating your health coaching website:
- Make sure your website is responsive, meaning it looks good on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Include clear and concise information about what you do and who you help.
- Share your story (people connect with people)
- Use strong calls-to-action (CTAs) to encourage visitors to take the next step, whether that's signing up for your email list or scheduling a consultation.
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate and includes an intuitive navigation menu.
- Include testimonials, case studies, or other social proof on your website to build trust with potential clients.
- Ensure your website is secure by adding an SSL certificate. This will help protect your site from hackers and also give you a ranking boost on Google.
- Include reviews from past clients
- Make your pricing/health coach packages clear as day (if you want to include them on your site)
- Stay away from cursive typography as it can be very difficult to read (think accessibility)
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to creating or updating your website, consider working with a web designer or developer.
Bonus Tip: websites that don't have the current year in the footer of their website make them look outdated. If you haven't updated your website in a while, make sure to add the current year to your footer to let people know that the site is maintained regularly.
A good headshot/imagery
Remember how we mentioned your brand and how it makes people feel? Well, you are the brand and your headshot should represent you and your business in the best light.
Your headshot is often the first thing people will see when they visit your website or social media profiles, so it's important to make a good first impression.
Ideally, you want to use a high-quality headshot that was taken by a professional photographer. But if that's not possible or not in your budget, you can also take your own headshot with a smartphone with a decent camera. Just make sure the lighting is good and the background isn't too busy.
Once you have a few good headshots, update your website and social media profiles with them.
Health coaching bio
Your bio paints a picture of who you are and what you do for your clients. It's often the deciding factor before a potential client decides to book a consultation with you.
Your bio should be clear, concise, and informative. It should explain who you are, what you do, and who you help.
Here are a few tips for writing a great bio:
- Keep it short and sweet. Ideally, your bio should be one or two paragraphs at most.
- Use simple language that's easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages people to take the next step, whether that's signing up for your email list or scheduling a consultation.
- Write in the first person. For example, "I help people lose weight and feel confident in their own skin."
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to writing your bio, consider reaching out to a professional copywriter on a site like Upwork.
Another key asset for your health coaching business is an email list. When you collect email addresses, you can then use them to send marketing messages, announcements, or other important information to your subscribers.
Building an email list should be a priority for your business because it gives you a direct way to reach and stay in touch with your audience. And unlike social media platforms, you don't have to worry about algorithm changes or whether or not your messages will actually be seen by your followers.
There are a few different ways you can grow your email list, but some of the most common methods include:
- Adding an opt-in form to your website
- Running social media ads
- Hosting a webinar or other lead magnet
- Collaborating with other businesses in your niche
- Asking current clients or customers to refer their friends or family
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to growing your email list, consider working with a marketing consultant or agency.
Note: When building an email list, it is important that the email you send your emails from is from a custom domain and not a generic one like firstname.lastname@example.org, instead it should be something like: email@example.com.
Social media platforms
Okay, so this one can be overwhelming because you might think that you need to create an account for every social media platform out there. This is not true and we discourage trying to be on all platforms because it's just not realistic or sustainable.
Instead, focus on creating a presence on the platforms where your target audience is most active. For example, if you're trying to reach working moms, Facebook and Instagram would be a good place to start. But if you're trying to reach college students, TikTok or Twitter might be better.
Once you've identified which platforms to focus on, it's time to start creating content. But before you do that, we recommend coming up with a content strategy. This will help ensure that your content is aligned with your business goals and that you're not just posting for the sake of it.
Not sure where to start when it comes to creating a content strategy? Consider working with a social media marketing agency.
Offering freebies to potential clients is a great way to capture their information so you can add them to your email list. But it's also a great way to give them a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
Some freebies you could consider offering include:
- Cheat sheets
- Resource lists
- Mini courses
- Infographics with valuable information
Let's be honest, no one really uses business cards anymore. However if your ideal clients are older adults they might prefer if you hand them a card. Business cards can also be useful if you're attending networking events or conferences and want to quickly exchange information with someone.
If you decide to create business cards, we recommend including:
- Your name
- Your title (e.g. Health Coach)
- Your website address
- Your email address or contact information
- A short tagline or CTA
- An image or logo
Be sure that business cards for your health coaching business make sense before investing the time, money and energy to create them.
Decide on your marketing strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of what you need to do to develop your marketing assets, we can now talk about deciding on a marketing strategy.
We won't get too technical here, but when we talk about marketing strategy we're simply referring to the overall plan for how you'll promote your business. This is important because, without a strategy, you'll waste a lot of time, money, and effort on marketing activities that don't actually produce results.
The key here is to pick a strategy and stick with it until you see results. Of course, if you feel like your strategy is not working after some time it's okay and even encouraged to pivot and try something new.
Below, we'll list some of the strategies you can use to reach the people you want to serve with your health coaching business.
Some common marketing strategies include:
Blogging is a powerful way to market yourself online. It's almost a surefire way to attract new clients through Google's search results. However, this strategy takes time and effort that most people are not willing to commit. The effort you must put in to see results is high, but it is worth it. Imagine having organic traffic coming to your website without having to pay for ads.
To make this strategy work, you need to be creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience on a consistent basis. This could be once or twice a week depending on how fast you want to see results. The goal here is to blanket the topic that you want to rank for by building your knowledge graph around that topic so Google deems you as an expert.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a big part of why blogging is so effective. It's the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in Google's search results. While this can seem complicated, there are some simple things you can do to improve your SEO.
Here are some tips:
- Do your research to find the right keywords
- Use those keywords throughout your blog post
- Include a call-to-action in every blog post
- Make sure your website is fast and responsive
- Create interesting and shareable content
- Use social media to promote your content
This is probably the most popular marketing strategy for coaches. Paid ads allow you to put your message in front of people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer.
The downside of using paid ads, however, is that they can be very expensive. And even when you get traffic from your ads, you'll have to continue paying in order to sustain that traffic, and even that's not guaranteed because there is something called ad fatigue. This is when people get annoyed with seeing your ads too often and they start to ignore them.
The best way to use paid ads is to combine them with another marketing strategy, like email marketing or retargeting ads. This way, you can reach your target audience in multiple ways and increase the chances that they'll take the action you want them to take.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can sometimes be a roll of the dice. It's hard to predict what content is going to perform well and get in front of your target audience.
However, social media should still be a part of your marketing strategy because it's a great way to connect with potential clients and build relationships.
Here are some tips for using social media:
- Pick the right platform - use only the platform(s) you need.
- Know your audience
- Create shareable content
- Use relevant hashtags
- Engage with other users
Email marketing is considered one of the most effective marketing strategies because it allows you to reach your target audience directly in their inbox.
With email marketing, you can nurture potential clients until they're ready to buy from you. You can do this by providing valuable content that's relevant to their needs and wants.
Some tips for email marketing:
- Build your email list
- Create great content
- Segment your list
- Clean your list
- Send emails regularly
- Track your results
Podcast listenership has been growing steadily over the past few years, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down.
Podcasts are a great way to connect with your target audience because they can be very personal. You can share your story, your journey, and your knowledge in a way that is relatable and engaging.
And the best part is, you can reach people who are commuting, working out, or doing chores around the house. They can listen to your podcast while they're doing other things, and this makes it very convenient for them.
Some tips for starting a podcast:
- Outline your topics of discussion
- Build a podcast guest list
- Purchase quality equipment (nothing worse than bad-sounding audio)
- Create a consistent schedule for your audience to follow
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, so it's a great place to reach your target audience.
People go to YouTube to watch videos on just about any topic imaginable and with health coaching being new and all, this could be a great way to answer questions that potential clients are searching for to help them better understand what health coaching is and how it can help them.
Some tips for using YouTube:
- Create interesting and informative videos
- Use keywords and tags to help people find your videos
- Optimize your titles and descriptions
- Promote your videos on social media
This is a great marketing strategy once you actually have an audience. Whether that be through an email list, YouTube channel, podcast, etc. The reason this is an effective strategy is that almost everyone is more inclined to read/respond to a text message over any other form of communication.
You could use this to send reminders, links to new content, or special offers.
Some tips for SMS marketing:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Include a call-to-action
- Make sure your offer is valuable
- Only send to those who have opted in
- Be sure to include an opt-out option
Lastly, here are some bonus tips for marketing your health coaching business:
- Create a Google Business Profile (so locals can find you)
- Create a word-of-mouth referral program
- Utilize offline marketing
- Host a wellness retreat
- Host in-person workshops
- Host local community events
- Build a community online and offer valuable information/motivation
- Build relationships with other professionals like doctors, chiropractors, other health coaches, etc.
- Write wellness blog posts that share your unique perspective
These are the marketing strategies we recommend for health coaches. But there are many other options out there. It's ultimately up to you to decide what works best for you and your business.
This guide is long enough so we will cover some of the best tools that can help you with marketing your business in other articles. But for now, we just want to let you know that we live in an age that makes it easier than ever to reach the people you want to serve online. You just have to choose the right tools for the job and be consistent with your marketing efforts.
You can check out the articles listed below to explore the different marketing tools we've compiled that can make your marketing journey easier.
Health coach marketing tools:
- Best website builders for health coaches
- Best tools to automate your health coaching business
- 103 tools health coaches can use to manage their business
Final notes (must read)
Growing your business will take time. There's no way around it. But if you are determined and have a strong foundation, are consistently marketing to your target audience, and offering them value, then your chances of running a successful coaching practice will be a lot higher than if you're just winging it.
As a health coach, you are in a unique position to improve the quality of people's lives, and when marketing yourself and your health and wellness business just keep in mind that you have something powerful to offer that is more valuable than most things people are willing to spend money on. Show them that. Be open and honest with your communications, create memorable experiences, and most importantly, don't give up.