May 29, 2023
min read

What People Look for In Health Coaches

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When it comes to gaining more clients, how do you know if you’re offering what people actually want? The truth is, you could spend weeks perfecting your offerings, but if nobody’s interested, nobody will buy.

Knowing what consumers want is essential making sure your messaging stays on-point and in ensuring that your business is headed in the most lucrative direction possible.

That’s why we did research on what people look for in health coaches and nutritionists.

Health coaches should make themselves accessible to their clients via tech.

According to a Salesforce Research Survey, 82% of patients shared that it was important for health coaches and other health practitioners to offer personalized web portals. Web portals (like the one we offer here at Meal Garden) enhances communication between health coaches and their clients, and helps clients adhere to their coaching plan.

But offering web portals isn’t the only way clients want nutritionists and health coaches to be tech-savvy.  55% valued live chats or instant messages with their health coach, and 38% called for video chat options.

What this means:

People want their health coaches to be accessible to them. Throughout the week, they might have questions or need extra support when it comes to sticking to their health routine.

Furthermore, health coaches that leverage tech tools make it easier for clients to make sense of their path forward. Making it as easy as possible for clients to stick to the plan means better outcomes for everyone.

Do you need the agility of a personalized web portal to help your clients succeed? Start your free Meal Garden trial today! Our personalized web portal makes it easy for wellpreneurs and nutritionists to create meal plans and share them with their clients.

Health coaches should be skilled at enacting behavior change in their clients.

According to the physicians at Iora Health in Boston, consumers (and medical practices alike) care increasingly more about whether a coach can help a patient change daily and weekly behaviors MORE than they care about a health coach’s background in nutrition science.

Coaches need to be the behavior change expert. Understanding what motivates a person, how to involve them in their own decision-making,  and breaking long-term goals into achievable baby steps are essential health coach skills.

What this means:

The most effective way to build any coaching business is by ensuring that you’re actually involving clients in decision-making, creating motivation, defining goals, and helping your client implement the plan in a positive way. Read our article about how to enact powerful behavior change in your health coaching clients to learn how to become better at empowering your clients to change.

Coaches should take a non-judgmental approach and become their client’s partner in health.


In our research, we kept running into the same common theme. As a health coach, empathy is the most important skill you can develop. Consumers believe that a good coach is one that is empathetic, humble, and has the ability to “get out of the way” and really listen to the needs of her clients.

Customers want a coach who can help them make sense of their overall health picture. Achieve this by believing that your clients are conveying their problems accurately. Believe that your clients have the power to turn their behavior around — with your help!

According to Laurent Renard, in his PhD dissertation for the American University of London, one of the top reasons that coaches fail is because they don’t display sufficient empathy for their clients. Coaches fail when they underestimate the severity of their client’s concerns.

When coaches lack interest in their client’s problems, they end up not being very helpful at all. Imagine that!

What this means:

Never assume you understand what your clients are going through. Stay present in the moment when your clients are speaking to you, and make sure you understand their perspective before you jump in to help.

According to Psychology Today, “When you discover suggestions or have the urge to give advice, you’re no longer attending to what they’re saying. Empathize first. Reflect what you hear and see in their expressions if they feel heard.”

It’s also important for health coaches to validate the emotions of their clients. Many health coaching clients experience pain or chronic illness, so it’s essential to acknowledge the person’s right to their feelings.

They want coaches with a proven track record.

In a world full of ratings and reviews, this should come as no surprise.

More consumers are using quality ratings and testimonials than ever before. Before hiring you, your clients have to believe that working with you is actually going to, well, work!

What this means:

Health coaches and nutritionists should have every client take intro and exit interviews. This way, health coaches can read (in their client’s own words) the pain they were experiencing before coaching, and how far they’ve come in their ability to follow a healthy lifestyle.

For your intro survey, ask clients why they’re signing up for coaching, and what they hope to gain from the experience. Ask them about their most pressing challenges. Ask them what’s holding them back from improvement. (HINT: this information is a gold mine for creating content, so pay attention to common themes that pop up!)

In the exit interview (when you’re done working with them), ask them about the progress they’ve made. What have they accomplished because of your work together? With your client’s permission, these statements can be used as a powerful testimonial.

Helping Health Coaches and Nutritionists Achieve Client Success

Meal Garden is here to help heath coaches, nutritionists, and dietitians achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients. That’s why we provide a personalized web portal that can help you easily find, organize, and share meal plans while connecting with your clients.

Sign up for your free trial today by clicking this link!

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