An online wellness portal helps you keep your business up and running even when your clients can’t reach you. And even though the circumstances are less than ideal right now, that doesn’t mean that long-term it can’t be an excellent opportunity to leverage.
An online portal can really enhance what you offer your clients, so before we plunge into the nitty-gritty of creating it, let’s discuss some of the basics first.
Do I need an online wellness portal?
Yes, you do!
And right now is the perfect time to design a scalable online system for easily storing, sharing, and distributing your wellness programs, so why would you skip such a great opportunity?
It will take your service to a whole new level, and when you have these online portals in place, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel with every new client that you get. Perfect for scaling, and means you’ll have more time to actually help your clients when you work directly with them.
Think of your online wellness portal as a required step to future-proof your business and improve your reach. After all, when you’re online, you are not limited to local clients only anymore.
An online wellness portal is only as good as your program
An online wellness portal simply refers to all the tools that you use to set up, manage, and track your wellness program online.
For your online wellness portal to be successful, you need to nail your wellness program itself. How do you do this?
Choose how many different programs you’ll offer
What’s the length of your coaching program? Will it be a 30-day, 90-day or a six-month program? It’s important to delve into the details about the program, making sure you know who you’re doing it for and how it helps them. For this to work, you really must know your audience and what their pain points are!
It’s all in the name
The name of your program is the next important milestone to success, because it will also form as the headline when you’re trying to market it.
Giving a generic name, like “Healthy 30 program” doesn’t really say much. What is the 30 for? Does it stand for the duration, or is the program meant for those in their thirties?
Take this name for example: “Healthy eating 30-day program with complete meal plans for busy work-from-home parents.” or “30-day healthy eating program for work-from-home-parents (including meal plans)”
Names like this tell us:
- Who it’s for? Busy parents who work from home and take care of their kids too
- What does it include? A 30-day healthy eating plan
- What does it help with? Making better choices when you’re too busy to cook elaborate meals every day
- How does it do that? Includes meal plans that are easy to follow and quick to do.
See? And you got all of that just from the name of the program!
Choose the type of content
The next thing to decide is how you’re going to structure the program for your online wellness portal. Will you share slide decks, create videos, live stream, or do a combination of all of these?
Start with an introductory video that will motivate your attendees and give them a good overview including what the program covers, what they will learn, what they will get out of it, the results, and a detailed action plan.
Don’t overcomplicate with the video – do it quickly by facing the camera yourself and explain everything. Sure, you can create slide decks long-term, but it will take much longer and getting content out quickly is the name of the game when you start.
What types of sessions are the best?
Live sessions are a great choice for one-on-one coaching. You can start immediately if you do them via Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. All of them have very robust platforms that make video sessions a breeze and even have presentation features where you can share your slide decks too.
If you’ll be doing online programs and courses that involve multiple participants, you can go for live streams, and webinars or record videos in advance and upload and share them with the group.
Hint: Consider having a Facebook group for this, as it allows you to upload basically all the content you can think of: videos, handouts, worksheets, documents, PDFs straight to your audience.
If you want your videos outside of Facebook, you can record them with Zoom and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. Just keep in mind that YouTube tends to throw in ads between videos, which can be annoying to some of your clients if they are paying for a course or playlist. Instead opt for Vimeo if you want to avoid ads altogether.
Now, as with every other type of online content, you need a way to deliver it!
Full-feature platforms are not a bad choice
Facebook, YouTube, and other tools get the job done but they aren’t specifically geared towards health and wellness so they lack crucial features like progress tracking and billing!
Luckily, there are platforms that cater to health and wellness that cover everything you need!
Take Practice Better as a good example – it has all the bells and whistles like availability calendars, recommendations, session documents and notes, video chat and messaging options, even scheduling and billing. It takes care of HIPAA, PIPEDA, and GDPR compliance on top of all that so you don’t have to waste time on that as well.
That said, there’re lots of different business platforms to look into, like Kajabi, Kartra, or even Teachable, which have readily available templates for your courses, options to quickly create products and services, setting up pricing and rolling out your courses and one-on-one sessions.
What to look for in an online wellness portal
Not all portals are the same and they largely depend on the type of services you offer. A portal for one-on-one coaching will be different from a portal designed around group sessions or online courses only! When choosing where to set up your online wellness portal, make sure you have access to all the features you need to put your program online.
Generally speaking, you’ll need to include the following elements:
- Health evaluation options – This is where your clients can report on their health. It’s great to help them become health-aware and pinpoint issues so they can work on resolving them to keep accountability and show how you’re helping them.
- Education hub – Here you can have all the resources that you will provide that helps your clients on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Participation tracker – Track the progress of each of your clients and see which parts of the programme they might be struggling with.
- Incentives or milestones – Keep your clients motivated and engaged with cool milestones and celebrate their success.
- Ease of setup for products and offers – The best portals will help you easily create your programs and start offering them.
- Integration options – Ideally, you might want to look into portals that have marketing and email integrations, as well as sales. This way, you can access and control everything from a single hub.
Remember to put a Disclaimer and Terms of Service (ToS) so that everyone visiting your portal knows exactly what they can and can’t do with all the content you have.
If you’ll do one-on-one coaching, you’ll need to draft client agreements too! You can get disclaimers, ToS, and client agreements from Lisa Fraley.
Get into the sign up game
Getting clients on board means having a way for them to sign up – so make sure you have sales and signup pages up and running so that prospects can become clients with a few simple clicks and a streamlined payment process.
Kajabi, Kartra, and Practice Better all have sales/signup pages included! Alternatively, you can go for an email management system that has page templates readily available (like Mailerlite or Convertkit).
How to keep clients after successfully getting them on board
Getting them to convert and buy your wellness programme is just the beginning, however! Now you need to keep them interested and engaged. One of the best ways to do this is to keep in regular contact. Send a minimum of one email per week to your new members where you will explain what resources you have and what you’ll cover each week.
As well as going for platforms, a Facebook group as I mentioned before is an excellent way to engage and provide support for members! Many members appreciate the ease of social media support, and it’s also an excellent way to show off your expertise and develop a ‘tribe’ or following that fosters loyalty.
It’s also an excellent way of getting direct feedback and insight! If you get a lot of the same questions you know which parts of your program need tweaking or where on your wellness portal to provide some frequently asked questions.
Get professional help setting up your online wellness portal
There’s a lot to figure out and it can be overwhelming, particularly if integrating everything together is not your strong suit! As someone who’s both in website design and the health and wellness industry, I have a unique insight into what makes a successful online wellness portal,, combining best practices to create a pleasant and positive experience for you and your clients.
So if you need any help, give me a shout.