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How to Become a Successful Wellness Coach in 2024

Want to become a wellness coach?

As a wellness coach, you help people achieve real, life-changing results while growing your own income. While creating more freedom and flexibility in your own life.

And today, you’ll get all the steps you need to become a wellness coach in 2024 and beyond.

Want to learn more? Read on. 

What is a wellness coach?

So what does a wellness coach do?

A wellness coach helps their clients achieve their health and wellness goals. Wellness is a broad term that includes stress management, self-esteem, a positive mindset, achieving work-life balance, and other health improvements. 

There’s a lot of overlap with health coaching–and sometimes the two words are used synonymously. However, the definition of a wellness coach is someone who helps their clients improve all personal elements that contribute to healthy living (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health). So wellness coaching could include stress or more spiritual coaching, whereas health coaching focuses on tangible things like losing weight or eating healthy. 

MarketResearch.com estimates that the health and wellness coaching sector is worth $7 billion as of 2021. In other words, it’s a growing industry with lots of potential. 

The best part is the impact a wellness coaching business can have. 

A 12-week study by Mayo Clinic shows that wellness coaching can improve stress levels, quality of life, depressive symptoms, and physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual functioning.

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Ultimately, wellness coaching can be a profitable avenue that offers a rewarding and flexible career. 

But just how profitable can it be? Let’s take a look. 

Can you make money as a wellness coach?

Yes! When it comes to a typical wellness coach salary, the sky’s the limit. 

The average coaching salary is, according to the ICF Global Coaching Study, $62,500. But that’s just the average–there are plenty of people who grow their businesses to six figures and beyond. 

For instance, many of my own students have done just that. 

Jamie helps stressed-out entrepreneurial women improve their energy levels with healthier habits. 

Simple Boost Wellness Website

And Cristina helps leaders overcome stress and gain a focused and calm mind.

Outsmarting Busyness website

Just think about it:

By selling high-ticket coaching packages, you can quickly offer profitable coaching packages at $1,500 and up. For example, by just selling three coaching packages a month at $3000, you’d be at the six-figure mark. 

I talk more about growing your coaching business to six figures in this short video: 

But do people want to work with wellness coaches? Here’s what you need to know. 

Are wellness coaches in demand? 

Yes! The wellness coaching industry has grown in the past couple of years

According to Marketdata, the health and wellness coaching industry was projected to grow by 2.7% in 2021 and 5.4% per year. Experts estimate that the sector will reach $8.87 billion by 2025, with almost 140,000 practicing coaches. 

That’s a huge slice of the overall coaching industry, which has grown 33% between 2015 and 2019. 

But who can start a wellness coaching business? Let’s take a look. 

Can anyone be a wellness coach? 

Though not everyone needs a degree to become a wellness coach (which we’ll talk about) you do need to have specific skills. 

In short:

You need evidence-based results that your method can improve your clients’ lives. 

For example, this could be because you have a medical or health background from your previous 9-5. Maybe you’ve worked as a nurse or as a personal trainer.

Just like my student Lorisa Leigh, who was a nurse for 10 years before becoming a plant-based nutrition coach. She uses her experience to help her clients. 

Outsmarting Busyness website

Or you’ve acquired skills on your own and used them to get results.

Like David, who learned how to use herbs for weight loss and now teaches others how to do the same. 

Wisdom Square website

But what exactly goes into wellness coaching? That’s what we’ll look at next. 

What does a wellness coach do? 

As a wellness coach, you would identify and assist your clients in achieving their health and wellness goals. Depending on your niche, your work could include: 

  • Positive mindset coaching
  • Stress and time management techniques
  • Exercise and nutritional advice for a better life
  • Advising on attaining work-life balance
  • Coaching clients through burnout and implementing routines to prevent future burnout
  • Exercise coaching through a specific practice or just providing accountability for maintaining an active lifestyle
  • Taking an integrative approach to your client’s emotional, physical, mental and sometimes spiritual wellbeing

Wellness coaching vs health coaching

These terms are so similar they are often used interchangeably. Or at least in the same sentence. It can be tough to tell them apart as health is part of wellness, right?

As we briefly discussed above, health coaching is more singularly focused on the body. So long-term physical and fitness goals would fall under health coaching. Nutritional planning and dieting can also be niches within health coaching. 

Wellness coaching takes a more holistic view of “health”. 

Wellness includes your mindset, routines and lifestyle. A wellness coach is more likely to focus on lifestyle changes as opposed to just physical ones. 

For example, let’s say a client wants to lose weight. 

A health coach would focus on the physical body. They’ll create a plan around fitness, diet and sleep to help their client achieve their goal. 

A wellness coach will approach it from a holistic angle. They’ll focus on stress reduction, self-esteem and daily routines as well as diet and exercise.

Wellness coaching vs life coaching

Many argue that wellness coaching is a type of life coaching. They’re not wrong! 

Technically every type of coaching is life coaching.

Life coaching is a broad term. And unless you want to be defined as a generalist in the coaching space tackling all angles, it’s better to niche down. 

Why?

Well, becoming a specialist helps you to attract the clients you can serve the best. 

Who do you truly want to help? How can your method help with their specific problem? 

In a world where there are thousands of life coaches to choose from, you can provide the solution to your client’s unique problem. 

How to start your wellness coaching business

Now you know what a wellness coach does, how do you get your business off the ground? 

Do you need credentials? A website? Experience? Let’s talk about it. 

Do you need a wellness coach certification? 

A common myth in the coaching space? That you need to get a certification to work as a wellness coach. 

The truth? It depends on your niche. 

If you’re coaching clients on specific health practices that involve medication or any regulated industries, you may need a certification to practice. Make sure you research your niche to know what rules apply.

But MOST wellness niches don’t need certifications at all. You do need to show knowledge and experience in your space, but not an academic degree. 

The important thing is your results with real-life people and knowledge of your niche. 

If you DO choose to get certified, here are some of the top wellness coaching certifications out there. (As coaching is unregulated, I compiled this list so you don’t waste money on a bad wellness coaching certification online.)

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Note: I haven’t enrolled in these courses myself. I am recommending them based on their reputation. Make sure you do your own research to find the best wellness coach certification for you. 

1. Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program

The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program is a 12-week immersive program that covers all bases of the coaching process. It’s also accredited by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching. 

Price: $4,900

2. Emory University Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate

The Emory University Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate is one of the best wellness certifications out there. It’s a rigorous academic program that prepares you for a wide range of health and wellness coaching niches. 

Price: $4,995

3. Duke University’s Integrative Health Coach Training

Duke’s Health and Wellbeing programs are highly celebrated in the field. Their certification covers how to transform your client’s health habits and create concrete results. 

Price: $5,500

4. International Association of Wellness Professionals Holistic Wellness Coach Curriculum

The International Association of Wellness Professionals offers an amazing holistic wellness coach certification. The modules span the 12 elements of human health and well-being to make you a wellness expert. 

Price: $4,950

5. Health Coach Institute Dual Life & Health Coach Certificate Program

The Health Coach institute is one of the best schools for wellness coaching. Their program involves advanced nutrition, habit change and life coaching teaching.

Price: $4,950

6. University of North Dakota Health and Wellness Coach Certification

The Univerity of North Dakota program focuses on hands-on experience to hone your wellness coaching skills.

Price: $6,700

7. Georgetown University Certificate in Health & Wellness Coaching

The Georgetown University Certificate in Health & Wellness Coaching gives you a well-rounded basis in health and wellness coaching practices that can apply to many niches. 

Price: $8,500

8. Institute for Wellness Education Wellness Coach Training Certification

The Insitute for Wellness Education Certification uses evidence-based practices to train you as a wellness coach.

Price: $895 

How do you start a wellness coaching business?

You’re ready to start a successful wellness coaching business. Where do you start?

Instead of spending money on logos, websites and business cards, let’s focus on what you actually need to get started. 

Choose a niche based on your ideal client

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you NEED to pick a niche (at least initially) to become a successful wellness coach. 

Not only because “wellness” is such a broad term, but because your ideal clients want to instantly understand what you can do for them. 

You can identify your niche with these two questions: 

  1. Who do I want to serve?

    Think about their age, gender, income, and pain points. For example, one of my clients, Jamie Bellew, decided to focus on stressed-out female professionals and entrepreneurs.
  2. How can I help them?

    What specialist knowledge do you have that can move the needle for your ideal client? To continue the example, Jamie focuses on boosting energy and lowering stress as her key unique selling points. 

Create a wellness coaching package

Before putting a price tag on it, let’s figure out what you’re offering. 

The secret to creating the perfect wellness coaching package is to focus on NEEDS, not wants. 

Your client may have a singular outcome in mind when they come to you. For example, in Jamie’s case, a stressed-out professional woman may say “I need more time in my life”. 

But Jamie knows that the process to get there is no quick fix! What the client really needs is a complete overhaul of how they structure their work-life balance and add activities that make their life feel spacious. 

Now over to you. 

What does your client NEED to get the result they want? Structure your coaching offer around those needs and be specific about your process. 

Here’s a video that might help: 

Pricing your packages

How should you price your wellness coaching packages? 

There are wellness coaches that do 1-to-1 work at every price point. Coaches are charging $3,000, $6,000, or even $10,000 depending on the length of the commitment and their experience. 

If you’re starting out, it’s better to start on the lower end and work your way up.

I typically recommend my students to start at $1,500 for a three-month commitment. 

That’s what I did, too. It was less than I was earning at my 9-5 but it helped me onboard those crucial early clients. 

For those 3 months, I recommend meeting your client weekly. This helps you gain momentum with your client’s results and hone your coaching skills quickly. 

After booking a few clients at the $1,500 rate and gaining testimonials, I raised my prices to $5,000. This allowed me to eventually leave my 9-5 and never look back. 

It’ll take time and work but you can build a 6-figure wellness coaching business if you’re passionate and build an offer that stands out. 

Building the business

Ready to sell? How do you structure your operations and get working?

To get started, you only need:

  • a laptop with a clear webcam
  • a Zoom account 
  • reliable internet connection

The legal structure of your business depends on your preferences. You have a sole proprietorship or an LLC. I go through these in more detail in this post about setting up an online business

What’s more, I recommend you get familiar with coaching agreements as these are essential for running an ethical wellness coaching enterprise. You can read my guide to learn more here

How do you get wellness coaching clients?

Now you’re all fired up to start coaching your first clients, how do you find them?

Your network

Wellness coaching is an amazing thing to offer your close friends and family. Everyone has someone in their circle that is struggling with their wellness, such as their weight or overall wellbeing. 

Just letting your network know that you are looking for clients to coach will provide opportunities for you. 

Make sure you’re clear about your offering and exactly how you’ll help the person from the beginning. 

Social media

Social media is a great tool to find communities and potential clients. 

Potential candidates for wellness coaching could be on:

  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Reddit

(My students have found clients on pretty much every platform mentioned here… so it’s all about finding that platform that works for YOU.)

For instance, here’s my student Cristina’s Instagram (Cristina is a naturopathic doctor), where she found her first paying client: 

Cristina Cantu Instagram

Long-term strategies for your wellness coaching business 

The first three strategies I mentioned are the easiest and quickest to finding your audience. But long term, there are other strategies to build into a successful marketing plan. 

Grow your email list

I am a huge fan of email. Growing your list means having an evergreen collection of contacts who love what you do and want to hear more from you. 

You can also build your relationship with your email list over time. Whenever you have a new coaching offer or a space opens up in your calendar, this is the perfect place to announce it. 

Consider group programs

Creating a group program helps you scale your offering to hundreds or even thousands over time. 

I don’t recommend you start with a group program as it helps to have 1-on-1 results first. With 1-on-1 work, you also hone your unique coaching process. 

But if you want to scale your business and impact the lives of many, group programs are a great way to do it. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Over to you!

Now you know what it takes to become a wellness coach.

The key to a successful coaching business is to help clients achieve transformation.

But how do you build a truly sustainable business? After all, that’s the type of business that offers you both freedom and flexibility and a great income.

Want to learn more?

Get my free blueprint to starting a six-figure coaching business.

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

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About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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