Are you passionate about health and wellness but unsure how to turn that passion into a career?
Consider obtaining a health and wellness coaching certification and use that passion to help clients overcome health challenges and work toward better overall wellness. If you already work in the healthcare field, adding health and wellness coaching lets you take a more wholistic approach when helping your clients.
Whatever your reasons for certification, we’ve got some great tips to help guide you on your path.
1. Research Your Options
Before you do anything, research a few potential certification training programs by searching online or asking other health coaches about their training.
The right program can make a huge difference in how you get started as a health coach. Consider your learning style as you investigate each program. Do you learn better by reading or writing? Do you prefer in-person or online training? How flexible is the program for your schedule?
As you conduct your research, keep these considerations top of mind so that you find a program that can truly meet your needs.
2. Compare Programs
Once you find a few programs that seem like a good fit, compare them as best as you can. Look at the instructors, professional credentials, and coursework. Give them a call and talk to a real person to get a feel for the personality and style of the training. Pay attention to their customer service, willingness to take time to speak with you and how quick they are to answer your questions.
Look for testimonials from people who have already gone through the certification to learn if the program worked well for them, or what didn’t work. Of course, everyone’s experience will be a bit different, but it helps to learn from other health coaches.
Getting as much information as you can will only make it easier for you to know exactly what to expect once you enroll in a course. If you don’t like the coursework or other aspects, you’ll know to keep searching for programs.
3. Consider Your Budget
Find a program that fits your budget, and identify how much you’re willing to spend to start your health coaching business.
That said, don’t just look at the price and nothing else. One program may cost a bit more than another but might also offer more lessons or be a longer program, thus increasing its value.
Sometimes, it’s worth spending a bit more to get a program that will help support your goals. You may need to pay extra now, but you might also be able to charge more, so you can earn back your investment.
4. Determine Your Goals
It also helps to consider your reasons for getting wellness coach certification. Do you want health coaching to be your entire career or business? Or do you want to expand on a current business model? Maybe you just want to learn about the field and improve your current services.
Consider the following reasons why you may want to get a health coach certification:
Expand Your Knowledge
Health coach certification can be an excellent way to expand your general knowledge of health. Whether you already work as a physical therapist or a dietitian, you may want to learn more about overall health so that you can better help your existing clients.
If you’re struggling to get clients, you can use a certification to help set yourself apart from other professionals.
Knowing as much as you can about health can help you be a better coach or doctor. You don’t need to get another degree to learn and improve your skills.
Grow Your Practice
Perhaps you want to grow your practice so that you can serve people better or provide new services. Becoming a health coach is an excellent option for established health professionals.
For example, a physical therapist can continue enhance their services by encouraging clients to participate in coaching following discharge from PT or by offering coaching services to the community.
You can also use this certification to simply focus more on health coaching in a partner setting. One partner can focus more on the physical therapy, for example, while you focus more on health coaching in addition to therapy.
Earn Continuing Education Units
Another way health coach certification can benefit providers is through continuing education. If you’re a physical therapist, you may need to earn continuing education units to maintain your license.
Of course, you can earn those credits in multiple ways based on what works for you. But completing a health coach program will fulfill your continuing education requirements and help you grow your practice.
5. Create a Schedule and Stick to it
Once you select and enroll in a health coach certification course, make sure you have time for it. Create a schedule that you can follow for the entire program, and plan for both regular study time and coursework.
Maybe you dedicate an hour each day to study and review, or you reserve a weekend day to complete your coursework for the week and review previous work.
Either way, consider what schedule makes the most sense for you and your other obligations, block it into your calendar and stick with it. You don’t want to cram your studies into the last month or week of the program, and feel rushed and unprepared before your exam.
6. Ask Questions
If you can, ask the experts and instructors questions throughout your certification program. Even if a question seems trivial, you may learn something crucial by asking the question.
Asking questions also helps your fellow students in the course. That way, everyone can learn, and you can have as much information as you need to study and prepare for your certification exam.
Between meetings, write down any questions that come up in your studies so that you have them at the ready for the next opportunity.
7. Take Good Notes
Throughout your health coach training, you should take good notes – not only during any class meetings but also during your independent study sessions.
The better your notes are, the easier they will be to review when you go to study later. Consider how you learn best, such as if you need to use words or drawings in your notes, so that you can review them more effectively later.
You’ll enjoy studying more, and you’ll learn more efficiently.
8. Find a Quiet Area
Find a quiet place in your home or elsewhere for both study and coursework. Ideally, this would be a room where you can close the door so that others know not to disturb you.
Another option is to tell your family when you plan to study so that they know to leave you alone and let you focus.
If you don’t have a quiet space at home, consider going to the library or a coffee shop. Those locations are almost always quiet, so you can focus on your work.
9. Practice Your Coaching Skills
You can only learn so much by listening and reading materials. If you learn by doing, consider practicing your new skills on people you know and who trust you.
Ask your friends or family if they’re willing to have a coaching session with you. Explain that you don’t have your certification yet but that you want to get some experience and implement some of the concepts you’ve learned.
Doing a bit of practice may even help you with exam prep.
10. Start Getting Clients
As you reach the end of your health coach certification program, you can start looking for clients. Odds are, it will take some time before you find people who want to book a session with you.
You can also start by booking clients a few months out so that you’ll be working with them after finishing the certification. In some cases, you don’t need to pay for marketing to get your first few coaching clients, as word of mouth from friends and family can be more effective.
11. Develop the Business Side
In addition to finding clients, you need to focus on the business side of your coaching practice. Consider writing a business plan to organize your marketing, financials, and other efforts.
You may also want to hire a lawyer to draft a coaching contract for your clients to sign when they hire you, which will protect you and your business.
Another important thing to consider is where you’ll do your coaching. If you already have a business in the health field, decide if you want to work out of the same practice, or set up somewhere else.
12. Consider Niching Down
Something that can help you choose a coaching certification program or help you after the fact is choosing a niche. Having a niche within health coaching can help you attract your ideal clients.
For example, maybe you’re already a nutritionist, so you decide to focus on health coaching revolving around food and healthy eating habits. Or maybe you want to work with busy single moms, so you target your practice towards those people.
You can be a general health coach, but that can make getting clients more difficult. If you have a niche in mind, you can make sure the certification program you choose will help you work with the people you want to help.
13. Connect with Other Coaches
Both as you’re working toward and after you earn your certification, try to meet other health coaches. During your training, meeting other coaches can help you find study partners to help you prep for the exam.
Meeting coaches can also help you get clients or start a business. You could partner up with another health coach and combine your efforts to find new clients.
Networking with other health coaches can also help you get clients through referrals. If another coach has a full schedule, they may send prospective clients your way.
Which Health Coach Certification Program Will You Choose?
Getting a health coach certification is a great way to start a new career or expand on your current responsibilities. Considering your own needs and comparing different programs is the best way to find a program that meets your goals. Soon enough, you’ll be coaching clients and helping them achieve better overall wellness.
Are you ready to become a health coach? View our certification programs to decide if one is right for you.
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