How To Take Your Health Coaching Practice Online
One of the biggest challenges health coaches face is the paradigm of trading time for money.
Whether you provide coaching by the hour, or customized packages, you’re still fundamentally limited in how many people you can serve.
If your goal is to help more people and bring your expertise to a larger audience, you must find ways to share knowledge — and motivate people to action — beyond 1:1 coaching or consulting.
One of the most powerful strategies coaches and other experts use to grow their businesses beyond the hourly billing, time-for-money model is creating online programs and courses.
For example, Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, points out four key benefits of creating online programs and courses:
- Courses create opportunities for multiple streams of passive or leveraged income. After spending the initial time to create course materials and videos, you have the ability to run the course multiple times to different clients, at little additional time or cost. Your eCourse can generate revenue with a much smaller ongoing time commitment from you.
- Having a product enhances your credibility with your prospects, your peers, and the media because it establishes you as an expert and sets you apart from your competitors. Having a full course and a large tribe behind it sets you apart from competitors in the same niche. You’re no longer just a coach offering “typical” coaching services — you’re a trusted expert with a powerful course brand. [For example, life and career coach Jenny Blake created a flagship course, Make Sh*t Happen, that sets her apart from numerous other life and career coaches.]
- Programs and courses can help you book more clients because they speed up your sales cycle. Health coaching isn’t a trivial investment for your clients. Since your services have a high barrier to entry, your potential clients may need some time to get comfortable with your approach. Having an online course to offer based on your services gives potential clients the opportunity to test you out without having to make a big financial commitment upfront. Once they experience the value of your expertise, through your course, they can upgrade. They’ll flow naturally into your higher-priced offerings: premium online programs, group coaching, and individual coaching.
To help you model this for your own coaching business, think about creating an “engagement funnel” of offers, ranging from free to high-price/high-value.
- It helps you grow a tribe. Participants in an ecourse can form the core of a tight-knit community. A tribe gets stronger through the connections that are built within it. Students given a space to interact online often find enormous value in helping each other. “It’s not been an uncommon phenomenon for people to come out of our courses and start a mastermind group or continue to have significant contact with some of their buddies from the courses one, two, three years later,” said Mark Silver, from Heart of Business. You can nurture this tribe, and grow the value of your relationships with these customers, over time.
- It gives you global reach. As a passionate expert or coach, many people across the globe would love to learn your expertise. With packed schedules and expensive travel costs, it may be impossible to physically meet and share what you love doing. Even Skyping can be difficult if you and your potential client is in a different time zone. A web-based course remedies this problem, and really lets you reach all of your target audience.
To see the potential impact on your business, consider Karen’s experience. Karen is a social worker and holistic health coach who specializes in helping moms and daughters develop healthy lifestyles. Karen began developing online programs, using ruzuku’s platform, in fall 2012. She has since released two major eCourses, The Un-Diet for Your Daughter and Lighten Up for Spring. She has run these programs multiple times, attracted over 100 participants, and generated thousands of dollars in revenue.
Moreover, investing in creating these online courses has allowed her to:
- build her brand
- grow her mailing list
- attract new clients
- and help more people improve their health
So now it’s your turn.
What’s YOUR idea for an online program that will help you scale your expertise and help more people?
Post your idea in the comments so we can inspire each other.