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What Are the Biggest Mistakes Health Coaches Make and What to Do Instead

health coach business Feb 14, 2022

The health profession is an amazing field where health coaches have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of their clients. They help their clients achieve their health goals, whether it be managing an autoimmune condition or simply becoming more mindful of their eating habits. However, there are a few mistakes that health coaches commonly make.

In this article, I'll outline the biggest mistakes health coaches make and what to do instead. So without further ado, let's get started!

 

1. Not Tailoring Their Message to Attract the Right Clients

When many health coaches are first getting started, we often struggle to grow a successful health coaching practice. The reason is that we are not crafting messaging that will attract the right clients for our business.

For instance, when I was first starting out I had a tendency to use “budget-friendly” and “weight loss” in my marketing. That language tended to attract women who were looking for free resources and quick fixes - two things that I had no interest in providing.

When I started to get clear on who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to serve them, it was much easier to attract the right clients to my business. And, repel the rest.

 

2. Not Debunking Common Myths About Health and Wellbeing

This should go without saying that misinformation is rampant in the health and wellness space. This means that it would behoove you as a health coach to be proactive in debunking the common myths about health and well-being.

By way of illustration learning more about the Health At Every Size® (HAES®) approach has been vital in helping me address some common myths about weight and health. Whether it’s challenging the use of weight loss as an obesity intervention or recognizing that people differ in size, HAES presents the prospect for us to create a more weight-inclusive environment. [1]

Once I started to talk more confidently about the benefits of HAES it helped me have a much greater impact on the health of my clients. That translated to improving the health of my business.

 

3. Not Speaking to Your Clients in a Language They Can Understand

There are many ways to become a more effective health coach, but the thing that we must be mindful of is speaking to our (prospective) clients in a language that they can understand. What that means is that we should be conscious that the terminology we use can either serve to include or exclude.

Take, for example, I tend to use the terms “HAES” and “intuitive eating” in my marketing materials because those terms are more widely recognized. In comparison, I often describe HAES as a “weight-inclusive approach” since that term is not as widely known.

Either way, it’s important that we do not assume that our clients or prospective clients are as well versed as we are in our industry. By removing the industry jargon we can better attract prospective clients and serve the ones that we already have. 

 

4. Not Taking Into Account Individual Needs and Circumstances

It’s essential that we do not assume that every client is looking to achieve the same health goals. Even though some clients might be looking to achieve a quick fix, there are going to be other clients that are looking to achieve sustainable changes. That’s why we must take into account each client's individual circumstances.

To be specific, I was working with a client who was pregnant that was really struggling with morning sickness a few weeks after we started working together. Instead of pushing forward with the original plan we outlined, we worked together to craft an updated plan based on her new circumstances.

Not only did the client feel really supported, but they had such a positive experience that they left me a very glowing testimonial that has helped me attract more clients like them. Taking into account your client's individual needs is key for improving client retention and making more money in your business.

 

5. Not Building Trust with Clients

Being seen as credible to your (prospective) clients starts with trust. While trust is something that can take time, this is something that you shouldn’t overlook as a health coach. When your prospective clients know, like, and trust you it will increase the likelihood that they will want to buy from you.

Case in point, sharing my autoimmune health journey has opened up many opportunities for me to work with business-to-business (B2B) clients. It was through creating an Instagram Reel of about one of my favorite autoimmune protocol (AIP) friendly products, Sip Herbals, that led to a paid sponsorship a few months later. Because I was open to sharing my story and how their product fits into that story, which created this amazing opportunity to get on the radar of a client that knew nothing about me prior to that Reel.

Therefore, building trust with your clients is essential. Whether it’s sharing your story or helping them see their story, trust is an essential part of a relationship with your clients.

 

If you’re serious about becoming a health coach, or if you are already one but want to do better at your job, take heed of these five mistakes. If any of them sound familiar to you, don’t despair! There is always room for improvement and learning new skills. The key to success in this industry is being able to adapt quickly so that no matter who walks through the door with their unique set of needs and circumstances, they walk out feeling confident and ready for whatever life throws their way.

Source

Dennett, C. (2020, May 1). Thinking about your weight? What you might be getting wrong about the Health at Every Size approach. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/thinking-about-your-weight-what-you-might-be-getting-wrong-about-the-health-at-every-size-approach/2020/04/30/a5cc6f8e-5418-11ea-9e47-59804be1dcfb_story.html

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