Starting your own business can be intimidating, but this cheat sheet can help. It was created to guide you with clarity about how to make your business thrive without leaving you feeling overwhelmed. And the less overwhelmed you feel, the more you can focus on effectively coaching your clients.
To get started, you should:
- Determine which structure best suits your business (e.g., a limited liability company or other designation).
- Register your business in the state in which you live and work. More information on this is found at your Secretary of State’s website.
- Set up a Federal EIN (Employer Identification Number).
- Get a checking and savings account set up for your business to keep finances separate.
- Acquire some type of business insurance.
NOTE: All of the above should be discussed with a legal and tax professional to confirm that you are set up legally and correctly.
After establishing the framework for your business, your next step is to acquire your first client (or keep a steady flow of clients). This is where this cheat sheet will come in handy, as it provides an outline of what you need to do and how to do it to earn your first clients and keep additional clients streaming into your business so you can help more people.
As you read through these tips, remember two rules:
- Establish relationships. Be genuine in your desire to coach people; work to build a connection with clients to establish meaningful and trusting relationships. This helps to set the stage for open and honest collaboration between the client and coach.
- Deliver meaningful coaching experiences. Offer the best coaching possible and make every interaction client-centered. And always seek excellence in your coaching by asking your clients how you can better serve them and make their experience better.
Here are the first major steps to building your health coaching business:
1. Identify your ideal client
If you try to help everyone, then you will likely help no one. You will have a more difficult time helping people, because your focus will be too spread out across client types. Instead, having a clear understanding of who your ideal client is makes it easier to seek out the clients you can help the most.
Ask yourself the following questions to create an ideal client avatar for your business:
- Who are the ideal types of clients I would like to coach?
- What are the main issues they have when it comes to their health?
- What is the average age? Gender?
- What do they do for a living? Are they full-time employees, entrepreneurs, students or retired?
- What are their hobbies?
- What activities do they enjoy?
- What are their common goals when it comes to health? What is the number one thing you will help them with in their coaching journey?
Once you answer these questions, it will give you a clear idea of the kind of clients you will pursue in your health coaching business.
2. Find out Where Your Ideal Clients Like to Hangout
Looking at your ideal clients’ hobbies and favorite things, where do they like to spend most of their time in-person and online? What are their favorite shops, grocery stores, retail locations, brands, social media platforms, etc.? Identify at least one or two favorites in each category and start connecting with these places or with the social media group pages related to these things and offer advice if questions are asked. Of course, be sure to follow the groups’ rules or risk being banned or presenting yourself as disingenuous instead of as someone wanting to help people (remember rule number one, above).
3. Create Content that Answers your Ideal Clients’ Questions About Health
Sit down and think of at least 20 questions that your ideal client has about health and fitness — all of these questions are ideal topics for your content. The key here is to create social media content for your ideal clients’ questions, and not to create content for your peers. You are seeking to establish trust with your ideal clients, not impress your peers and other coaches. Remind yourself of this often.
4. When your Clients get Good Results, ask for Testimonials
Do not hesitate to ask for testimonials from your clients. To prove that you help provide results, you need to have a body of proof, and testimonials are a great way to earn trust from others. Ask for referrals as well. This is one of the best ways to build your business, because friends trust their own friends and will more easily contact you for coaching upon a friend’s recommendation.
5. Thank your Clients Often
Working with a coach is a personal journey that requires trust, patience, acceptance, and open communication to be effective. Your clients have likely opened up to you during the coaching relationship about personal challenges and successes they may not share with others. Be thankful for sharing in this experience with them. Offering a small token of appreciation, such as a journal, your favorite book or something that reflects something the client loves can add to the overall experience and may set you apart from other coaches.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it is enough to get you started in the right direction. Start with identifying your ideal clients and you may be surprised at how much clarity that offers you going forward.
Interested in becoming an ACE Certified Health Coach?