#254: Creating Recurring Revenue as a Health Coach

creating recurring revenue as a health coach - Michelle Leotta holding up 3 fingers

It’s one thing to sign a client that pays you for a specific period of time. It’s another to continue earning, month after month, year after year, from the same happy customers. In this episode, Michelle shares 3 ways to create that recurring revenue.

Looking to add more clients (and revenue) to your practice in the next 90 days? Get our Healthy Profit University blueprint completely free at: Healthcoachpower.com/blueprint.

Mentioned in this episode:
Online Courses For Health Coaches – Join the waitlist here
Free event with Fullscript on 8/22/23: How To Turn Supplements Into an Income Stream…Without Joining an MLM

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Creating Recurring Revenue as a Health Coach

Recurring revenue is a smart business model that relies on repeat purchases from customers. 

But unfortunately, this isn’t always the norm with health coaching.

You go through all the marketing work. A client signs up and goes through your program. And then they’re done. They move on. They just pay you once.

That means you’ll always be hunting down new clients. It’s a lot of time and effort, and it’s unpredictable. You spend more time marketing than you do coaching.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could get more out of each client? In this post, I’ll cover three ways to segue into a recurring revenue model in your health coaching business.


I’ve had a Netflix subscription since it was a mail-order DVD service. That means I’ve been paying them a monthly fee for years – they’re getting recurring revenue from me. That’s how a membership model works.

But you’re not Netflix, with tons of content at your fingertips. To keep members in your health coaching program, you need to create fresh content on an ongoing basis.

This is hard! I’ve tried it. I see other coaches try it. You’re committed to delivering the goods month after month, no matter what. It can be a bit of a grind.

Memberships can work, but…proceed with caution. If you’re thinking about launching a membership, I suggest taking a step back to strategize how you’ll make it sustainable for the long haul before you start. That way, you won’t end up tied to a schedule that’s more work, not less.

Online courses

Online courses can be a one-and-done deal, but if you’re smart about it, you’ll have repeat customers – and recurring revenue.

For example, coaches who go through the Healthy Profit University Core Curriculum frequently sign up for my Online Courses or Copywriting programs. If someone buys a course and it works – they are likely to become a repeat customer. With this model, you can offer a suite of courses designed to serve the same target market.

Or, you can create a way for the same person to buy the same course over and over again. I used to do this with a 5-day detox program. I’d run it a few times a year, and the same people would come back each time (and bring friends, too). This works great with experiential-type programs (like a detox or a challenge). 

If this idea interests you, the waitlist for Online Courses for Health Coaches is open now – and I’ll show you how to create both types of programs described above.

Affiliate marketing commissions

Sales and affiliate marketing can be a great revenue stream for health coaches– especially when it’s something people need on an ongoing basis. 

Think about things that you use up and buy again, like supplements and skincare products (I talk about how I do this with Annmarie Skincare in episode #245). 

When someone buys a product repeatedly, either from you or using your affiliate link, you get credit for it every time. That’s recurring revenue.

Supplements are a great product for health coaches to consider because friends and clients always seem to be asking for guidance. Of course, we don’t prescribe specific doses or formulations, but we can help point clients in the right direction.

I love using Fullscript for this. Their 350+ brands have been vetted for quality, so you can feel confident sending clients there. And they have filters and search tools to help clients get exactly what they need. The best part? When you send clients to your Fullscript dispensary, you earn a commission up to 35% on every purchase. It’s a win-win. 

(Pssst…join me for a special session with Deborah from Fullscript on 8/22/23 – she’ll go over how this works and the significant benefits available to you and your clients. Register free at HealthCoachPower.com/supplements)

Keep yourself in business

Now you have ideas to help make your health coaching business sustainable and profitable this year, next year, and the year after that. Go build some recurring revenue streams so you can keep doing the work that you love and serving the people that need it most.

Full transcript:

Hello there, health coaches, thank you for joining me. Today we are going to be talking about creating recurring revenue. And listen, first of all, I know that none of us got into health coaching in order to become billionaires. I know I didn't. Did you? That's like the last thing on our minds when we go to health coaching school, we're doing it because we want to help people. That's why we're in this profession. So it's like, why do we care about revenue? I was thinking that even though as I'm putting this episode together, why am I talking about recurring revenue to a bunch of people who like me, or I just want to see the world stop consuming so much garbage and needing so many pharmaceuticals and just getting sicker and sicker by the day? Here's the thing, last night, bear with me, I'm going to go on a little tangent right now, and then we're going to circle back to the main topic last night.

I'm talking to my son, he's 12 years old, and I'm like, Hey, why don't you try out for the soccer team next year? And he's like, no, no, I can't. Nope, don't want to. And I'm like, why you love playing soccer? You keep asking your little brother to play soccer with you. You wanted to play soccer with everyone when we were on vacation earlier this year? Why not just try out for the team? Nope, nope, nope. Want to? I don't care about soccer. Well, you know what it is? He's terrified because he's the one into seventh grade and he's never been on the soccer team before. So I said, alright. I'm like, let's just hit pause on this conversation. And what I did was I went online. I started asking around in our local groups and I'm like, let me find someone to give him some one-on-one lessons, just a handful, something that will bring him up to speed with his peers so he doesn't feel silly if he doesn't know all the rules of the game or whatever.

And I ended up connecting with a professional soccer player who played, I don't know anything about soccer by the way, but I think he plays for the NYFC. And anyway, he is from a town very close to mine and he does lessons. And I was just texting with him last night at 10:00 PM and sure enough, he's available to do a lesson today. And he said, that's no problem if he's never played before, we'll just have some fun. And I thought this would really boost his confidence. And when I told my son about it this morning, he cracked a smile. He actually cracked a smile at the thought that he's going to get to meet and play with a professional. And he thought that was really cool. So now maybe he's going to ease into it. Maybe we can build his confidence. But you know what? In order to book that session, it costs money. I had to on the fly, it was the only day I was going to be able to make work. He had one day on his calendar that he could offer this lesson, and I was just like, boom. Yes. And I signed up because I know I have the income sitting in my bank account.

And it's just like one random story. I know you have stories like this in your life too, of the types of things. They come up all the time or you just need a little burst of cash. I could not do that if my business was struggling. You cannot do these types of things for the people that you love in your life if you're just scraping by. And that is why recurring revenue is so very important to not only the health of your business, but to your health and your happiness in your life. You have to be able to live comfortably so that you can continue doing this work. And we do need you out there doing this work. By the way, the story that I just told, it also relates to sometimes how we feel when we're starting our health coaching business.

Have you ever felt hesitant, shy, just like my son? Oh, I could never. Oh, I kind of want to secretly, but no, no, I'm nervous. I'm embarrassed. Right? That might be how you're feeling when you're looking for your first clients or putting yourself out there for the first time as a health coach, and it can keep you from ever getting started. Yes, no, listen, you can take a page out of my parenting book. I do not mind. You don't have to track down a professional sports player, but you can reach out to get support from someone who has been in your shoes and in that act, this is what my son needs so badly in that act, you give yourself permission to learn permission to not be perfect right away. You won't be. And I said this to my son, it would be unreasonable if you were an amazing soccer player right now because you haven't really done it before. For anything that you haven't done before, it would just simply be unreasonable.

So there's no reason to feel embarrassed about that. You just have to get the skills that you don't have and practice. And that's how these things work. And this is exactly what we do inside Healthy Profit University, by the way. We help coaches get comfortable, take the next steps and create a real income doing the work that we love. So if you're looking to add more clients to your practice in the next 90 days, you can get our free Healthy Profit University blueprint at healthcoachpower.com/blueprint. But as for today, let's get back to this idea of creating recurring revenue. I'm going to give you three ways to do it in your business. And if you are here with me live, please tell me if you've tried any of these things or if you've thought about doing any of these things.
We'll kind of talk through the pros and the cons of these various approaches. And I'll start here. What is recurring revenue? I mean, it sounds good, revenue earning that happens again and again. Yeah, I want that. So recurring revenue is a business model that relies on repeat purchases from customers across any industry. But health coaching, like the very basics of health coaching, that doesn't usually happen because usually we go through all the marketing and all the efforts and all the steps to sign a new client and we're very excited and they buy our coaching package, whatever it is, and then they go through it and then it's done and they move on hopefully healthier and happier because of everything that they've done with you all your work together. But many times we have clients that just pay once. That is not recurring revenue. So how can we bring in these repeat purchases?

How can we bring in money month after month after month, year after year so that we're not always having to hunt down brand new clients? That takes a lot of effort. It really does. So much of the work you're going to do in your health coaching business is the marketing, is the securing the client in the first place. So once we have someone that we love working with and they're getting great results, I mean, wouldn't it be amazing if they could continue to buy from us over time so we don't have to find new people? Anyway, so you get it, you get it, right? This is just an inherent problem with a standard health coaching model. So I'm going to talk about three different ways that you can segue from one-on-one coaching into that recurring revenue system or model. The first. I think this is what comes to everyone's mind immediately when you think recurring revenue or how can I get people to pay me again and again, a lot of coaches think about offering some type of membership model, and there's a lot of different ways to do this, but let me explain.

A membership model is like Netflix. We all understand Netflix, right? You sign up, there is a monthly fee and you're going to just keep getting charged that monthly fee until you cancel. And if you're like me, I've had a Netflix subscription since back in the old days when they used to mail the DVDs, remember? And you'd have to mail them back. That's how long I've had a Netflix subscription. How about you? So I signed up and month after month after month for how many years now? I don't even know. 13, 14, I've been paying Netflix. So they are creating recurring revenue off me for sure. There are ways that you can do this in your coaching business as well. However, you got to remember that you are not Netflix. You don't just have a bunch of movies sitting around that other people made and you bought the rights to rent them out.

And that's going to be your content month after month. When you are a health coach, you've got to create content every month that's going to keep memberships in some, I'm sorry, your members in a membership program. So this is a difficult way to go. I'm calling it out first. I think it's the most obvious and I've it. I see health coaches trying it. They go, yeah, I'm going to start a membership. It's going to be great. And let me tell you, three months in, you're going, oh boy, what am I going to create for my members? Oh, if some of my members are leaving now I got to find new members and each member isn't paying that much, so I have to have a certain number in here to make it worthwhile and it's so much work, I've got to keep up with it and then I'm going to go on vacation in a couple months and what am I going to do?

Then It can be a bit of a grind. So don't start a membership. That is my take home message to you. If you want to do something like this, it can work. I have found it to be the most difficult way to earn income. Hands down every time I've tried it, there are a lot of logistics involved because it is just ongoing. It never ends. There is no break. You don't get to stop and then figure it out and then re-strategize and start all over again. No, every month you're on the hook. So you really want to think it through and have strategy first. There are resources out there that can help you do that. Again, I think this is advanced. I would not be thinking about a membership unless you are years into your practice, you've worked with many, many private clients and you have some time to put together a lot of thought into what you would offer in a membership and how you could make it sustainable for yourself in the long term.

Okay? So even though it sounds really good, people are going to pay me every month to what? Get your recipes, get your shopping lists. I mean, maybe how many months are they really going to stick with you? Why would they do it for more than two or three months? I believe three months is the industry standard. And I'm not talking the health coaching industry, I'm talking the member membership model. Industry. People usually stay for three months. So how do you keep them with you longer if it's really going to become profitable? So big warning on memberships, if you're thinking about it, do think about it, but proceed with caution. Maybe it's something that you will do in a while. You could just keep that on the back of your mind. So I'm going to give you two other ideas that work and I think they are much easier and I think there's something that you can implement with more success now.

So the first is online courses. Now, an online course could be a one and done deal. Somebody signs up for your online course, they take the course, they're done. Goodbye. They're out the door, you never see them again. That can happen, but you also can create a scenario where you have clients that buy several courses from you. This happens in my business all the time. Somebody signs up, for example, healthy Profit University's core curriculum and they're like, Hey, Michelle, when is your next copywriting course going to be? Or when is fast track coming up? And we end up with people who like what they buy the first time. So then of course they're going to buy again. And we have lots of coaches who've purchased many of our online courses. And same thing in my own health coaching practice. So either you have the same client that buys several online courses, so that's repeat purchases from the same customer, or you could do something where you have the same clients buying the same course or experience over and over and over again.

An example of that would be something like I used to run a, oh my gosh, so many years ago, but I used to run a 21 day detox, and then at one point I had a five day program, but these were experiential programs. These things, they weren't a lot of money, but I'd get a whole lot of people signed up for them. So it became a pretty good income stream. And then I'd lead everybody through this five day or 21 day or whatever it was thing, and they would lose weight and they would have more energy and they would be like, this is the best thing ever. They were actually able to stick with a certain eating plan for a certain number of days, so they felt great. And then when I held it again in the fall, they would sign up again. And when I held it again a few months later, they would sign up again.

And so I had some people who have repeated that program with me like five or six times. They would invite their friends, their friends would repeat. They would do it together as a group. So this is another way that you can create recurring revenue in your practice. Now, if you are interested in creating an online course, we do have the wait list open for the next time that we're going to be running online courses for health coaches where I'll teach you how to put together not only the type of course where people can repeat buy from you and you run it again and again, but courses that are a little more substantial, courses that people may buy at just one time. But you can create several and in this way create recurring revenue for yourself. So if you would like to join the waitlist, you can.

It is at healthcoachpower.com/onlinecoursewaitlist. We would love to see you there. Jennifer's saying, I only do memberships with ongoing clients, and I don't know how you're finding that, Jennifer, but like I was mentioning just a minute ago, memberships can be a lot of work. You got to do the thing every month. You got to come up with something new online courses. On the other hand, you create the thing one time, you give your clients a selection of things to choose from, and maybe the same person doesn't stay with you for 11 months, 12 months, 13 months, years and years and years. But there is this opportunity for them to make multiple or repeat purchases. Okay? So that's the second one that I wanted to share with you guys. First, we had the membership. Second, we had the online courses. And again, if you want to join the wait list to create your own online course, it's at health coach power.com/online course wait list.
Of course. Could we even come up with a more obvious URL for that? The last idea for recurring revenue, and of course there's other ideas out there. These are sort of the top three that come to my mind when I think about this topic though. The last that I want to talk about today is all around supplements or insert product here that people need repeatedly. So if you sell something or if you are an affiliate for a product or in a brand and it's something that people need over and over and over, then that can be another way to create recurring revenue. I did an episode, gosh, a while back now, but if you go into the archives, you can find an episode. I did all about affiliate marketing and I talked about Anne-Marie Skincare. So that was an example of recurring revenue for me in my health coaching practice because when you buy Anne-Marie Skincare like cleansers and toner and facial oils, you tend to not just buy it one time because they're amazing, and then you end up like me and you've been using it for 10 years.

So every time someone makes a purchase through my affiliate link, I earn. And then a month or two later, they buy more product and I earn again. So that is one way to create recurring revenue. Now, as a health coach, any product that you can become an affiliate for or that you can sell can work like this if it's something people are buying repeatedly. And one that I want to share with you today has to do with supplements because I think practically every health coach out there ends up being asked questions about supplements. Tell me in the chat if this has happened to you. You have a client who goes to their doctor and the doctor's like take vitamin D, or you need iron or whatever, and that's all they say. And then a client would come to me and be like, my doctor said I should take vitamin D because my vitamin D levels were low, but which one should I take?

It is outside of our scope to say, take this one, take this much to prescribe anything ever. But if someone knows that they're supposed to be taking something or a client just comes to you and says, Hey, I'm interested in adding vitamin C to my routine. There are just so many times when it comes up and they want us to tell them what brand they want, the recommendation because it is confusing. I get confused looking at supplements. The thing is, I know health coaches, we have various levels of education and certifications and things like that, but still, I'm going to just throw out a number. I'm going to say 95% of us do not have in-depth knowledge about supplements. I cannot point to a brand and tell you why this is the right brand of vitamin C for you and back that up with a whole lot of science.

That's not what we do as health coaches, but still, it comes up constantly. And in my practice, I always like to have a way of giving someone a push in the right direction without being prescriptive, without trying to pretend I'm an expert in something that I'm not. So there is a platform out there called Fullscript. When I found Fullscript, I was like, this is what I've been waiting for. This is what my clients need, this is what I need, because everything on the Fullscript platform has been vetted for quality. So there's that assurance, and then there's all these filters that you can use to find the right product for you. Do you need something? Do you need vitamin C that also has whatever they have ways of finding the exact right product that's going to work for you, for your client? So full script also allows you to earn recurring revenue because what happens when somebody buys their iron or their vitamin C or their peppermint oil?

I have a client who started buying peppermint oil through me this way, I dunno, five, six years ago. I still see every two months transaction goes through that. She got her auto ship of peppermint oil, she's still using it all these years later. I'm still earning from that. Multiply that by all the clients that you've had, multiply that over many years and it can really start to add up. So again, don't necessarily need to be suggesting supplements to your clients. Maybe like I said, it's a skincare product or it's any kind of consumable, yes, consumable product that someone's going to need again and again. But if you're interested in Fullscript, I highly recommend it. I'm going to give you a link now because we have Deborah from Fullscript coming to join us in just a couple of weeks to share more about how the platform works.

I know we have lots of questions. So if you go to health coach power.com/supplements, you can go to a page and register for a special session with Deborah where she's going to go over all of the details with us and teach you how to earn this recurring revenue without, in this case, what I really love is you're not joining any kind of MLM, you're not choosing one brand that you always have to suggest to your clients. Fullscript offers so many different brands and all very good ones. I've almost never looked for something and then couldn't find it on Fullscript. They have almost every brand that you've ever could want. So join us again, if you're interested in more on this through Fullscript, you can earn up to 35% of every sale. That's amazing. Just think about that because supplements are not cheap. You know this.

So somebody buys their whatever, their fish oil, their vitamin C, their probiotic, their iron, that order's going to be, I don't know, a hundred dollars or something, and you're going to earn 35% of that. It's a phenomenal source of recurring revenue for health coaches. So again, if you want to learn more about it and how you can get signed up, it's totally free to join. It's free to take part in. There are no minimums. It's a really great thing that exists. Join us for that with Deborah. It's at healthcoachpower.com/supplements. I think you'll be really happy with it. It was one of these aha moments in my health coaching business where I was like, this exists. This is too good to be true. And then actually is it is not too good to be true. It is true, and I still use it to this day many, many years later.

Okay, so today we talked about three different kinds of recurring revenue and I've given you my suggestions, the pros and cons. Let's do a quick recap. Memberships careful, just be careful with those strategize before you get into it, before you jump in. Second, online courses, online courses can be an excellent other income streams, multiple income streams for your practice, something that people can buy again and again. The wait list is open. Now, if you want to join us and learn how to put together your own online course and supplements or any kind of product that needs to be purchased again and again, align yourself with that brand, align yourself with that company and Fullscript is one way to do it. Again, I hope you'll join us. It's August 22nd that Deborah will be with us for that very special session so you can learn more. You can figure out how to get yourself approved for a full script membership.

Again, it's entirely free. And that's at health coach power.com/supplements. I hope this helps your bottom line, not just this year, but next year and the year after that and the year after that. You guys have been doing this for 14 years, and as the breadwinner in my household, I can tell you, recurring revenue is key. This episode is brought to you by Healthy Profit University, and if you're looking to add more clients to your practice in the next 90 days, get our free Healthy Profit University blueprint at healthcoachpower.com/blueprint. Have a great week everybody, and I'll see you soon. Take care.