It seems easy enough right? Especially if you are one of the many of us who is health-minded. Take a few Instagram pics of your lunch, post a blog or two, get a following and hey you can be a Wellness Coach! Bring on the collaborations and book deals.
Well, there’s a little more to it than that – here are some things you should consider before you get started.
Education and accreditation are a must.
Anyone can call themselves a coach, and a lot of people do without any training or specialised knowledge. Maybe they like to exercise, or drink smoothies, or can rock a bikini…
But to truly be an expert in wellness you’ll need a lot more than good genes and an expensive blender. It requires education from a governing body that teaches its students about health, wellness, ethics and science, preferably from a leader in the field. It also needs dedication.
I was a group exercise teacher for over a decade before I started coaching.
I understand exercise is more than just how fun it can be; I’ve learnt what it can and can’t do for our bodies and the biomechanics behind it. I am often asked about my credentials when discussing a potential opportunity, such as a podcast interview or a speaking role, as well as when chatting to my clients, so my multi-faceted background is a plus.
Am I perfect everyday? No. But I try to practice what I preach as much as I can.
I exercise 6 times a week, I try to get 7 hours of sleep every night, and eat as well as I can. My BMI is normal, I have had 2 kids and I am in my 40s.
In wellness, the way we look and live is part of our brand, more so than other industries. When I speak or write on the dangers of sugar, or the need for more green leafy vegetables, I know I come across as someone who practices what they preach. So while not everyone is going to have a six pack, living a healthy lifestyle and walking the walk is essential.
I knew nothing about Instagram when I started.
In the modern day and age, getting clients isn’t as easy as opening up a wellness store like Lucy van Pelt from the Peanuts – it requires a lot of time and commitment and above all, a strong social media presence. A year and a half ago my then 11 year old daughter was essentially my social media manager, until she left for summer camp! At which point I had to hire someone to manage my website and create graphics.
The more my social media following grew, the more opportunities I had for doing collaborations, speaking at events or writing for publications. It’s important to remember you won’t see results overnight – it takes a huge amount of time and commitment to grow your following – so be patient. There have been times when I’ve scheduled a Facebook Live, a video and a blog post every day for several months. So it’s not easy, but you will see results over time.
Never underestimate the power of guest posts and speaking opportunities.
One of the best ways to raise awareness of your brand and spread your message is to seize every guest post, podcast and speaking opportunity thrown your way.
Pitching an article to a wellness blog can be a daunting prospect, but you won’t get anywhere unless you try. Plus, the only way to get better at pitching yourself to others is to keep doing it.
Podcasts are also a great way to get your message across and most hosts are looking for guests! It’s free to feature and the contact information is readily available on their websites – plus it’s really good fun to have a friendly chat in front of a mic.
Perhaps the most daunting of all are speaking opportunities, but as with the guest posts, you will become more comfortable with the process once you start doing it. Having been a fitness instructor for several years, I didn’t have an issue with speaking in front of strangers, but I did have to get accustomed to having audience members that can ask anything. And they will!
It can get lonely at times.
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging things I have ever done and putting yourself out for scrutiny can feel so raw and lonely. It’s so much safer to work for someone else, where the money is guaranteed and you have co-workers that you can go to lunch with.
The first year is often the hardest and it’s normal to experience self-doubt, especially when discussing prices or dealing with difficult clients.
Clients don’t just come to you, and setting up a website or posting something on Facebook isn’t enough. I had to start hustling and I felt way out of my comfort zone!
I started writing posts where I was vulnerable to my own struggles, sharing with my audience that my own wellness journey was not perfect, nor was my life. Once I started doing this, everything started to click into place.
Knowing I will help improve the health of my clients and my readers makes it all worth it.
Becoming a wellness coach is like any other profession, it has its ups and downs. There are days when I am so excited I can hardly go to bed. Then there are others when I wake up, look at my jam-packed calendar and remind myself never to schedule calls for 8 hours straight again!