It’s a common question that I get from prospective clients. And the very short answer is that investing in your health coaching branding from the beginning helps you grow bigger quicker. Because in the current digital climate, if you want to get clients and build a loyal following you need a strong brand to do it.
The health coaching industry is expanding quickly, with an estimated market growth of $1.7 billion by 2022 according to Marketdata research. With almost 110,000 health coaches working every day with their clients and helping them find the best course towards their goals, you can definitely say it’s a very competitive market.
It won’t be easy to find your spot under the sun in a market with such growth projections and all the health coaches who are jumping at the opportunity.
That’s why branding for health coaches isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ anymore – it’s a must-have.
Everyone is offering similar services, and while you can argue the quality and methods are different, they are a lot of similarities across the board. Instead, you need something else that gives you an edge over your competitors. Branding helps you:
- Build loyalty – because clients know you and trust you
- Set client expectations – they know what they can expect from you
- Lower risk – if they are happy with the experience, they won’t be looking at others
- Build value – adds a new dimension on top of the quality of your services
- Shortens decision-making – a well-defined brand clearly communicates what customers will get from you
Health coaching branding can bring you so many benefits you should always prioritize it – you are more than just the sum of your services. It’s about the whole experience now!
The connection between branding and customer experience
Today, customers can choose between the products and services of so many brands, so how you position yourself with your branding is the only thing setting you apart from the rest.
People are looking for much more than price and quality now, according to Acquia’s Customer Experience Trends Report for 2019.
- 66% can’t recall when a brand managed to exceed their expectations
- 76% will move on from a brand after a bad experience
- 78% will be more loyal to brands that understand what they are looking to achieve
- 82% want better personalization efforts
Customers are looking at what you stand for, your goals, and your values as a brand. They are choosing brands they agree with, who hold values that align with theirs.
These values affect what they expect from you as a brand in terms of the overall customer experience – and their perception of good customer experience is based on what kind of expectations you have set for them through your brand messaging.
So, when should I start investing in my branding?
From the very beginning! That’s the only right answer. Since your branding has such a profound effect on the overall experience your clients have with you, you must set their expectations right from the get-go! You don’t want to give mixed signals and it’s much harder to change other people’s perceptions of you after the first encounter.
Building brands for health coaches means you must take the time to invest in it and determine the right message straight away.
What’s the alternative really? If you start later, you’ll have to change your messaging halfway through.
This puts a dent in the connections you’ve already built, not to mention you won’t be able to deliver on the expectations you’ve already set with your previous messaging!
Ultimately, changing your messaging abruptly means you’ll be losing clients, and remember, three quarters will NOT give you another chance, so it’s better to get it right from the start!
What should I do first?
Your brand is many things: how people recognize you, your logo, how you speak and interact with them, how people feel about your brand and service, and how it makes them feel.
Your brand has its own identity and personality – just like a person! I’ve talked about both concepts in an earlier post, so we won’t be focusing on that here. But instead, let’s look at some actionable steps instead.
#1 To know your branding, you must know your audience
I know you might have expected me to start with the design side of things, but your target audience is the first thing to look into. Without it, you can’t possibly determine what design you should go for.
Now, for the audience, get super-specific to create a well-defined brand. You might have a general idea that you want to target all the businessmen and women out there, but that’s too broad. They will have so many different things going on in their lives that you won’t be able to convey a message to all of them!
Instead, narrow it down and target only one specific group: businesswomen in executive positions, for example, or businessmen with families who need a better work-life balance!
That is much more targeted and will help you create a branding message that resonates with that group specifically, instead of a watered-down version trying to appease the whole business world.
#2 What do you stand for?
What is your purpose? Why do you do what you do? While making a living might be the logical answer here, it’s not what your clients want to hear.
They want to hear what inspires you to be a health coach, the reason why you get up every morning and help your clients.
They want to hear your vision, not your methodology! Of course, your methods are just as important, but they aren’t what sparks interest in your customers or motivates them to reach out to you. Your vision does that.
Incorporate it into your brand, into your mission statement, and make sure it’s crystal clear how it’s an asset for your clients.
#3 What is your voice like?
Every brand has their own unique voice: take Wendy’s and their social media presence, for instance – they are not afraid to stand out, be funny, and even come off as snarky when they need to be!
I’m not advocating that you should do the same – that doesn’t necessarily work well in branding for health coaches!
But I’m saying you need your very own unique voice that people will know you for. For coaching branding, go with the conversational, friendly, warm, but also professional note.
Use that voice everywhere: on your site, blog, social media, podcasts, guest blogging, and appearances.
#4 Do you know your competitors?
You’re not operating in a vacuum, and what happens around you has a big influence on how well you do. This is why it’s important to take a long hard look at what other coaches are doing! You can learn a lot from them – especially what works well and what doesn’t.
When you identify them, note down how they do things:
- Do they use paid advertising?
- How good are their pages?
- Do they have a blog?
- How about social media?
- What do reviews say about them?
You can find out what they might be missing or not doing well, and you can leverage that to your advantage! You can become the only health coach that solved an issue no other managed to do!
#5 Find your visual identity!
This is the last thing to do (but it’s as important as any other!)
Aesthetics are an important part of your brand, and fonts and colours can help you attract clients, or they can scare them away!
Always leave this as the last part because you need more intel on who your brand is for. How do you know what they like if you don’t know them first? Once you do know your audience, you’ll have an easier time determining the visuals.
You won’t be choosing the same colours for career women that have become new mums, or men with chronic conditions looking to adopt an active lifestyle!
Narrow down your choices first or you might get stuck in endless decision-making, which is frustrating, to say the least! Seek inspiration from other sites, collect typography and colours you like, as well as images, then narrow down to a few choice colours and fonts and test them out!
Try making a few designs in Canva, Visme, or similar tools and see how all the colours and fonts fit together. You can also use generator tools that can help you narrow down your selection. Coolors is awesome for quickly finding a few choice colours that make sense together.
Apply your visual identity consistently across all applications: your website, advertising, social media pages, content, images, videos, even your office and business cards!
To sum it up…
The only good time to start investing in your health coaching branding is right now! Your branding is the basis for everything else: your visuals, messaging, and the client experience with your brand.
If you’re struggling with a specific aspect of your branding, I can help you get things moving again! Get in touch today and let me find a perfect solution for you and your brand.