When most of us think of healthcare, we think of the reactive sort. This, for the most part, follows a familiar process. We notice a problem with our health and consult a GP. They might then prescribe a treatment, or refer us to a more specialised professional.
There are limits to what a GP can do for us, however. While they can offer preventative medical advice, like ‘eat plenty of fruits and vegetables’ and ‘get two hours of exercise a week’, they lack the time to actually monitor these behaviours on a day-to-day basis and gradually adjust them.
However, a range of professionals can offer this, ranging from nutritionists to dieticians to personal trainers. A Health Coach is a term for a person who takes a more holistic approach to preventative healthcare. They have knowledge of the body and what it needs, as well as the soft personal skills necessary to actually change a client’s behaviour.
But what does it take to become a successful health coach in the UK?
Gain the Required Qualifications
Anyone in the UK can advertise their services as a Health Coach and begin practicing without any prior training. But if you’re going to be offering nutritional advice, you’re likely to benefit from a degree in nutrition, or preferably a master’s degree.
In the UK, an organisation called the Association for Nutrition maintains a register, which distinguishes competent nutrition practitioners from the rest of the pack. All registrants will need a degree in nutrition science or peer-reviewed professional nutrition experience.
Understand your Legal Responsibilities
In the UK, dieticians are the only professionals in this field with legal hoops to jump through. They are regulated by a body called the Health & Care Professions Council. Other professionals are largely free to practice as they see fit.
Create a Successful Business Card
Being able to present would-be clients with a business card is an extremely powerful method of marketing. Your target might happen upon the card months, or even years, down the line. Cards are incredibly inexpensive and can be produced en masse. They tend to convert more effectively than social media (which is not to say that social media should be neglected).
Printing specialists, instantprint, recently conducted research to discover the science behind an impactful business card. Essentially, there are 3 factors that contribute to a winning card. These are colour, logos, and text. Yellow, white, blue, and green colours are favoured amongst consumers and businesses. Classic fonts are essential for translating your services to the consumer. But remember to leave room for your logo, as instantprint found that fitness coaches tend to have a business card with their logo as the focal point, usually making it large and placed centrally. They also found that many fitness coaches have a very bold design, so make sure you have a winning logo!
Diversify your income
During the first few months and years of your career as a health coach, you may struggle to build the client-base needed to make it a full-time job. You’ll attract a broader range of clients if you offer your expertise in different forms. You might supplement one-to-one coaching with classroom-based coaching, and devise custom nutrition plans and personal training sessions for customers who show an interest in what you have to offer. The greater the range of services you offer, the less vulnerable you’ll be to volatility.