One of the biggest advantages of having a side hustle is that it boosts your income and improves your financial stability. As a physician, you’re likely to be underpaid, so being able to make extra cash on the side is sure to be a welcome relief. Health coaching is a natural side hustle for physicians as the job involves using your medical expertise and health knowledge to motivate clients to improve their lifestyles. So, let’s find out everything there is to know about setting up a health coaching business on the side.

Getting started

Certification is the key to becoming a successful and respected health coach. To become certified, you need to meet the requirements of the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), which are:

  • Successfully complete an NBHWC-approved training program.
  • Carry out and provide a written log of 50 health and wellness coaching sessions.
  • Sit and pass the National Certification Examination.

The NBHWC also says that you must have an Associate’s degree or 4,000 hours of work experience in any field, which as a physician you should already have.

The journey to qualifying as a health coach can take anything from 3 months to 12 months. If you work the average physician hours of 40 to 60 hours per week, then it’s likely to take closer to 12 months to qualify as you need to invest a lot of time in completing the training program and the 50 health and wellness coaching sessions.

A growing demand

Now you know how to become a health coach, let’s look into why you should become one. First of all, there’s a high demand for health coaches, which means it’s easy to find clients and make money. A recent study found that 53% of US adults don’t have a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, 80% say they’ve taken steps to improve their health by doing things such as hiring a health coach.

Big issues facing the nation right now are obesity (42%), stress (75%), and chronic illnesses (50%). As health coaches help people to deal with these problems, as well as others, they’re highly sought after. This is backed up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which says they anticipate 16,000 new health coach job openings every year.

Setting your rates

Thumbtack reports that health coaches charge anything from $50 to $200 per hour. As a newly qualified coach, you should aim for the lower end of this scale to begin with. How much you make from your side hustle in total will depend on how many hours you invest into your business, as well as your marketing strategies.

Finding clients

Before you start seeking clients, the most crucial first step is to decide which niche you’re going to specialize in – nutrition, wellness, weight loss, stress management, or maybe somewhere else. But right alongside that is setting up your business legally. Many health coaches have wondered is LegalZoom good for LLC? And the answer is a resounding yes – they find services like LegalZoom to be good for quickly and easily establishing their business as an LLC, giving them legal protection and a professional presence. Once that’s in place, you can start marketing your business and getting potential clients interested. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Creating a unique brand identity – your brand should stand out, highlight what you do, explain who you are, and why you’re the health coach people should choose.
  • Getting your business online – the modern world is digital and your business must be too. Having a professional business website, social media profiles, testimonials, and an online business profile, is crucial for making people aware of your health coaching biz.
  • Utilizing content market – content marketing includes blog posts, videos, and podcasts. This content should demonstrate what you can provide to people looking for a health coach. Make sure you share this content online in as many ways as possible.
  • Offering free consultations to new clients – freebies are a common marketing practice because they work. They make people feel good and encourage people to reciprocate the gesture by giving something back, such as their custom. When you put your all into a free consultation, the client is likely to sign up for paid sessions.
  • Networking and collaborating with other health professionals and businesses – the professionals and organizations you can collaborate with will depend on which niche your health coaching side hustle business is in. But if it’s weight loss, for example, contact local gyms, personal trainers, and weight loss groups to strike a deal.

Your current physician career could help you land clients for your health coaching business, too. But you will need to run this by your employer before you start poaching any patients.

Maximizing your income

The Health Coaching Market Report states that health coaches typically make $50,000 to $100,000 per year. You may think that it’s not possible for you to make this much from your health coaching business when it’s merely a side hustle, but this isn’t true. An effective way to maximize your income is to maximize your business’s online potential and become an e-learning tutor.

One of the biggest advantages of this is that you’re not limiting yourself to local clients as people from all over the world will be able to access your services. You can also work from anywhere and it’s even possible to squeeze in an hour’s work during your lunch break from your main job. By teaching clients via an online platform, you can run classes with multiple participants which means you’ll earn more than you would during a one-to-one session. If that wasn’t enough, create your own health courses for clients to buy and download and you’ll make a passive income too.

Continually improve

Your health coaching side hustle will only stay profitable if you continue to improve it. A top priority should be requesting customer feedback and responding to it. For example, if multiple customers say they feel they should get more for their money, implement this into your business as quickly as possible.

Another way to improve is to expand your knowledge and skill set. Once you’ve been running for a while, you may think about taking courses so that you can expand into a second niche. You also need to keep your knowledge topped up so that you can provide your clients with the latest information. Remember, researchers and scientists are all discovering new things and it’s your job to educate yourself on any findings that are relevant to your business and your clients’ needs.

Learn from your mistakes

It’s common to make mistakes in business, especially when you’re running yours alongside your busy job as a physician. However, you must learn from these mistakes to keep your side hustle profitable. A simple thing you should do is analyze and reflect on mistakes and put steps into place to stop them from happening again.

Setting realistic financial goals is also essential. It’s common for new business owners to make the mistake of spending excessively on advertising and materials. But you must keep track of all your costs so you can assess where to make cutbacks and how to increase your revenue. 70% of small businesses don’t have an accountant, but this is a mistake too as accountants can minimize your tax liability and save you cash.

It’s common for physicians to experience financial difficulties. But there’s no need to worry about this when you start a side hustle as a health coach. With lots of marketing options and ways to grow your business to make as much money as possible, you’ll be running a profitable side hustle in no time at all.