One of the top questions we're asked in relation to Nutrition & Health Coaching (NHC) is 'what will I be able to do with my qualification?'. If you have had a chat to us you'll know that the health coaching sector is one of the fastest growing and the options are only limited by your ability to spot gaps (needs) and fulfill them. But where exactly are the gaps? What is the potential? And, what is the vision? Director of Cadence Health, Leanne Cooper, reveals her visions of the opportunities for Nutrition & Health Coaches and where the future may lie.
If it were me...
I'd be exploring a few areas. Now in part we are looking at a business model here and focusing on finance, the reality is you can't help others if you don't look after yourself, so we have to be unashamed about looking at the money side. You also have to 'walk the talk', so your business model has to work for you and your family. And, we are looking at how best to support clients in reaching their goals, which will be one of the measures that your clients will use to assess your offerings and decide if you are worth sharing with their friends. Getting results speaks for itself!
Firstly, let's be reminded of a few factors:
- You are just one person, there are only so many hours in the day, so unless you are happy to make a limited income based on these two factors you will need to build scale some other way beyond a standard consultation model.
- Health coaching is a new health model and while very popular, being so new it will take a while for the community to get to grips with its true value. We can liken it to the personal training industry, 10 or so years ago few people would part with $70 or so to have someone run them ragged, and now look, every park, beach front and netball court has groups of people working out with their much loved PT. Health coaching will move through a similar growth pattern in my view, so get in now and be ahead of the throng I say!
- Health coaching is a collaborative model, our program involves lifestyles also and with that in mind we should try to support clients beyond goal setting, nutrition support and health living. You could almost say you are a clients PA, if you consider all the possible factors in a day that contribute to a 'lifestyle' there are many many areas that you can work with!
Thinking outside the health coaching box!
- The group option - this can build scale, create more support channels for clients, make it easier financially for people, of course be very motivating, plus it means you are marketing to a larger audience
- Corporate programs and pitches to companies likely to be receptive to Nutrition & Health Coaching on the basis of reduced absenteeism, improved motivation and perception of company care, and increased production
- Pitching your ideas to your boss and take on the roll of Nutrition & Health Coach at work (as per above benefits)
- Adding products to your services, such as commerical programmers, planners, diaries, lifestyle products, books, and so on. I know she isn't a health coach as such but have a look at someone like The Organised Housewife. Katrina Springer has built an empire out of helping others get organised and is now one of Australasia's most successful bloggers with over 500,000 peeps connected to her on social media.
Oh we can do better than that; let's upsell Nutrition & Health Coaching
Or you can create more novel models, for example, and this is just one example, you have a Nutrition & Health Pack which goes a bit like this:
Hi Five Wellbeing Package includes:
You can purchase single packs or group packages making it motivating, fun, supportive and cost efficient. Every step of the way we have fun, no calories counting, just good ole fashion healthful eating and living.
A supermarket tour? Please explain!
I know, the mere thought of having to go to the supermarket is boring, but I bet Nutrition & Health Coaches can make the process a whole lot more efficient, so your clients will spend less time there but coming home with much more for their money!
Plus Lifestyle Food and Wellness Coaches know that most of us have a shopping script that means we buy the same foods week in week out, which may not be helping us at all!
Our shopping tour starts
Investment ranges from $75 to $150 depending on location and group size, one family member is free to join per participant, we know that when the family are in on changes it makes life so much easier!
Don't forget it's about more than just super nutrition!
Now this is the tip of the iceberg, I haven't even gone into the areas of:
Imagine the programs you can build for a small group. A 'lifestyle PA' at their doorstep, which clients then go on and become for each other! Awesome stuff!
Hi Five x 2 Lifestyle Pack... what would that look like if you designed it from here?
Where is Nutrition & Health Coaching at present?
"I think that since this area is somewhat emerging, when I speak about what I've been studying, people are a bit unsure of what coaching is really about. I've made comparisons such as you go see a Financial planner for advice - it's more of a personal health & wellness approach in terms of looking at the changes they wish to make to reach that improved/best self. Other comparisons are like a Health/Wellness Concierge or sorts - we have to be versed in a range of fields - and being part of a greater team of support for the individual/client. We kind of are in a bit of a grey area, we're not just looking at food (dietician/nutritionist), exercise (PTs), Mental Health (counselor), disease (Health professional) - we're a bit of a mixed bag."
It might be slow progress at first, and you may have to be very creative with the ways in which you meet the needs of clients, but the potential is huge! Meg puts it this way:
"... but, really how do we reach the individuals so many of us crave to work with; the true interest of why we've taken this path. I know I personally have come to this as it truly resonates with me, I've been in those moments where changes look like Mt Everest, daunting, riddled with obstacles, slippery slopes and it feels very isolating. How I learned the value of a support team, and know the true importance of having the positive cheerleader, along with the education, the desire, all coupled with the accountability. My desire for this change in my career path is that I want to be a Sherpa to people; to help guide and support someone along their trek."
Health Coaching market
Now even this vision is a small start, there are so many ways in which a Nutrition & Health Coach can create a successful path. I started Cadence Health from one small nutrition course that I taught as a six week face-to-face community course, and look where it's ended up. Literally everything that landed in my inbox gave me ideas, for example I sent Huggies samples of my fact sheets on kids nutrition without notice and now our nutrition content fills Huggies webpages around the world.
Consider that as a Nutrition & Health Coach you have a triangle of areas you can tap into. Anything, and I mean anything related to:
that happens to cross your path is a potential source of inspiration and expansion! What doesn't fall into one of those categories? See the potential now? HUGE!!!!
To all our Coaches out there, please keep the communications going and let us know your experiences as you go! To our current and new students and those considering this path I hope this sparks your passion and inspiration for the potential impact you can have on peoples lives!
Eat well, laugh hard and live long