5 Tips for Building Confidence When Working with Clients as a Health & Wellness Professional

by Christina Gvaliant


It’s no secret. When you are confident in your coaching abilities, you inspire a sense of trust in your clients. 

Confidence in health and wellness coaching may look a little bit different than in other professions. In coaching, confidence isn’t only about speaking clearly and concisely, making eye contact, and having open body language. Building true confidence as a coach requires time and energy investment between sessions.

In this article, we give you five tips for building true confidence in your health and wellness coaching. 

Remember Your Journey to Becoming a Coach

At the end of the day, remembering why you got into this business in the first place may be one of the most powerful tools you can use. 

Think about your past and the key events that motivated you to find coaching. 

Remember the obstacles you overcame to take classes, buy your materials, get your certificate, and build your business. 

Think about a time where you felt validated by someone gaining a better understanding of their personal health and wellness because of something you said to them. 

You are a coach because you believed you could become one. And now you have the opportunity to offer your knowledge and services to others—and you can make a living from it! 

Admit Your Gaps in Knowledge

It is OK not to have all of the answers to complex questions your clients may present to you. 

While your ego may take a blow to accept you don’t have all the answers, it is never a good idea to make up an answer on the fly. Your clients come to you because they trust you to help guide them toward making decisions and taking actions that improve their health. 

So, when you make up or guess an answer to their question, you are misguiding them. While you might feel better in the short term knowing you were able to assuage their concerns if you misguided them, they will let you know—and that is not good for your ego. 

If you don’t know the answer, say so in the most confident way you can; make eye contact and don’t beat around the bush. You can say something like, “Wow, I’m so sorry to hear that you feel eating strawberries made you have trouble sleeping. To the best of my knowledge, there is no relationship between strawberries and difficulties sleeping, but I will look into the recent literature and I will get back to you as soon as possible.” 

By showing empathy, making eye contact, and admitting gaps in your knowledge, and then following up with your commitment, your client will gain a sense of trust in you. 

When you make up an answer or guess, your body will likely give away the lie. When people lie, they are more likely to speak faster, talk in circles, and avoid eye contact. 

While it may seem contradictory, admitting your limits of knowledge and experience will increase your sense of confidence. 

Make note of what you need to do after the session and follow through. 

Research Between Sessions

Researching between sessions is a natural and necessary step after admitting you don’t know the answer to your client’s questions. Make note of what you need to look into after your consultation with a client, and follow through as soon as possible. 

In general, don’t wait until your next session. Talk to your client as soon as you have a clearer answer to their question. When you follow through, not only are you showing sincere interest in their wellbeing, you are also building a sense of trust.  

Block out time to review your textbooks, recent literature, and official guidelines for answers, and then follow up with your client.

Taking the time to research between sessions is an important, but often overlooked component of the coaching process. Going into sessions with freshly acquired up-to-date information and tools related to their interests, health conditions, and wellness goals will help to build your confidence before taking off. 

Continue Your Education

As the saying goes, the more you know, the more you become aware of what you don’t know. If you let your realization of what you don’t know get to you, it can take a toll on your confidence. 

Make a plan to enroll in courses that can fill your gaps in knowledge so you can confidently provide the support your clients need. 

There are two other primary benefits to continuing your education after getting certified. 

First, the more specialized you are, the more competitive your coaching services become.  

Second, some courses may count toward continuing education credits (CECs), which you’ll need to keep your health and nutrition coaching certification active. 

Request Client Reviews

Are there clients you truly vibe with? Ask them if they would be willing to write a short review of your services. 

Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the result. Additionally, you can take your favorite reviews and, with your client’s permission, use them to promote your services! 

If you aren’t sure where to start, you can make a general announcement to past clients and offer them a discount on your services or products when they submit a review.

Did you get a not-so-positive review? Take it in stride. Rather than get mad or sad, look at it as an opportunity to reflect on different types of client experiences. It is important to be empathetic to your client, but also take it as an opportunity to forgive yourself and learn. If it is within your capabilities, you may even want to reach out to the client and tell them what you plan to do to improve your services. 

Main Takeaways

Confidence is key when building relationships with clients. While eye contact, open body language, speaking clearly and concisely, and listening actively are all ways to show confidence during sessions, building true confidence requires more time investment. Spending time between sessions to take courses, reviewing client information, and requesting reviews are some ways to build confidence in yourself as a health and wellness coach and as an entrepreneur. 

Remember, confidence in coaching doesn’t only mean that you feel you have the skills and knowledge to improve your clients’ health and wellbeing. Being a confident coach also means that you are empathetic, a good listener, imperfect, and open-minded. 

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