The future of Nutrition & Health Coaching
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.
Most people will have a image of a Nutrition & Health Coach being someone who sits across from a client and works closely on their nutrition, what they eat and do, charging them a flat fee for the service and hoping like crazy that they will not only see that person again, but get referrals from them. But, that's nothing like my visions!
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:
Thinking outside the health coaching box!
So where are some of the opportunities? We can start with just some basic ideas:
Oh we can do better than that; let's upsell Nutrition & Health Coaching
A supermarket tour? Please explain!
Where is Nutrition & Health Coaching at present?
We are at the beginning of the iceberg, just the tip is visible. As part of the preventative health care movement, Nutrition & Health Coaching will be integral to reducing visits to doctors, health costs and improving not just longevity and health, but your daily functioning and personal growth and happiness. We asked one of our graduates, Meg Hester for her thoughts:
It's true that those with an accepted form of health or fitness qualification may have a market to tap into already, but my business coach some years back said 'don't see competition as a bad thing, see it as a potential opportunity' and she was right. There are new areas Cadence Health could delve into, but there are already others in this space doing fantastic things, so we use partnerships a lot. Opportunities lie not just in shouting out loud enough to find people but working with other professionals, tapping into others markets rather than competing with them. For example, in referring a patient you believe has a health issues beyond your scope of practice, may mean they come back to you for maintenance phases later (along with others).
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:
Health Coaching market
But wait... there's more, much more!!!
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
We all have a role to play in community health, the only question is how do we play this role? Through intelligent, evidence-based inquiry we can understand how to health coach to support others in taking on positive behaviour change.