How Online Courses Increase Income for Health & Wellness Practitioners

August 25, 2022

Online learning is growing massively in popularity. According to the World Economic Forum, 92 million people worldwide are registered on Coursera alone. While many people think of online courses for higher education and learning new skills for the job market, people are increasingly signing up for health and wellness online courses as the way we learn changes. 

Consumers are gravitating towards digital wellness products and services, research from McKinsey & Co states. So, not only are online courses beneficial to your business, but more clients may come to expect them in the future. 

Luckily, technology has made it possible for health and wellness practitioners to easily create online courses their clients will love. If you’re a practitioner who focuses on 1:1 visits, courses can make your in-person or video sessions all the more valuable and can help grow your income sustainably. Read on to learn more about the benefits of online courses and for an additional gift from the Practice Better team!

Take a deep dive into how to wow clients with online programs: 

The Many Benefits of On Demand Training

A lot of important work throughout a client’s health journey happens in-between visits. During this time, clients are working on forging new habits and breaking old ones, which can be challenging and feel lonely. Ever had a client struggle when they’re the only one avoiding dairy and the whole family goes for ice cream? Courses are an extension of you, and so they can help. Offering on-demand online courses allows you to extend your support beyond 1:1 visits. On-demand courses can be a powerful tool for client education, supporting them and maintaining their engagement throughout your treatment protocol.

There are many benefits to courses. Check out our top eight below. 

1. Self-Paced Learning Gives Your Clients Flexibility

Courses make health and wellness more accessible to those with busy schedules who want to learn on their own time. Many practitioners work with high-achieving, busy professionals who balance many responsibilities, and courses can help a practitioner meet this type of client where they are, on their own schedule. After all, the training becomes more relevant and useful when people have the time to take it in.

2. A Virtual Program Can Fit Your Clients’ Personal Needs

While some clients thrive with the increased accountability and camaraderie that comes with group sessions, others may want more privacy. Many practitioners achieve great results with group programs, but removing the pressure of a group meeting can help some introverted clients focus on themselves. Online courses give clients that kind of flexibility. Since not everyone has time to coordinate group or 1:1 in-person sessions, some people will find the convenience of online courses to be appealing!  

3. Offering a Virtual Wellness Program Improves Client Buy-In 

Offering a virtual program is like your client having more sessions with you for a fraction of the cost. A course allows you to expand on ideas and concepts you want to teach your clients far beyond the 1:1 session. More education usually results in better adoption of the healthy changes you’re asking them to make. Courses also allow you to incorporate different learning tools than would be practical in 1:1 sessions, such as quizzes and questionnaires or assignments, reinforcing the healthy behaviors you want them to adopt. 

An online course is also the perfect place to organize assignments so that a client does not lose or forget them. With an online course, clients get reminders at regular intervals to complete their activities. 

Check out an example module from our 10-Day Self-Care Challenge – read on for a special access code:

An example of an evergreen program module

4. Health and Wellness Online Courses Complement Your Services

Have you noticed that you make the same core recommendations to all of your clients, like setting exercise goals, daily gratitude, or tracking sleep? Make those recommendations into a course they can complete before their first 1:1 appointment with you! This practice not only lays the foundations for the more personalized work you’ll do together, but it also gets them excited for their visit after all the build-up completing the course. This example is just one of many ways that you can incorporate courses in your practice in a way that works with your services; you can have clients go through programs before, during, or after their 1:1 work with you. We also have a Deep Dive Webinar with other creative suggestions for courses that we hope you’ll love. 

5. Virtual Courses Help Expand Your Reach

You aren’t just limited to clients in your city or country with online courses; you can potentially connect with people from across the globe. By getting in front of more people, you’ll be able to help them on their wellness journey and build your digital brand. Courses could help you live that digital nomad lifestyle you’ve been coveting.

One caveat: not all regulatory bodies allow practitioners to sell on-demand training courses to clients outside of their jurisdiction. If you’re a licensed professional,  check your regulations first before you invest in sharing your courses with the world. To learn more about legalities for online programs, check out our blog on Legal Considerations for Your Online Program.

6. Online Wellness Courses Attract New Potential 1:1 Clients

Once you begin promoting your online training programs online, in your practice, and via referrals and word-of-mouth, you have the potential to attract a whole new group of 1:1 clients. For new and potential clients, your online program may be their first introduction to your services, or factor in their decision to work with you. Online programs allow curious people to try out your services in a low-risk way to see if working together makes sense. If a client is satisfied with their experience, chances are they will continue to book other services with you. They’ll also be prepped and motivated to follow your recommendations because expectations have already been set in your course.

7. The Sense of Accomplishment After Course Completion Will Impact Client Retention

When it comes to learning, there’s no better motivator than that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve completed something. Nothing makes a client want to continue taking a virtual program, or following their overall wellness plan, more than succeeding with the first one. With Practice Better, you can tag those clients who have completed their course so you know who needs a follow-up. Try to reach out shortly after their course completion so you can help them while they’re ultra-motivated to stick to their goals. 

8. Online Programs Can Create Passive Income

After you spend time creating and promoting online resources such as courses or eBooks, you can use these materials to make up your next program. Unlike 1:1 visits, these programs are scalable; it takes similar effort to run a program with 10 or 1000 people. Scaling without burnout, after all, is what we’re all about.

Many practitioners search for additional ways to earn money beyond 1:1 visits while maintaining impactful client relationships, and online courses allow you to grow and automate aspects of your practice. With that saved time and energy, you can focus on making 1:1 visits more impactful. Want to find out more ways to earn passive income? Check out our blog.

Virtual Wellness Program Ideas For Your 1:1 Practice  

Sold on the benefits of programs? Still a bit intimidated? We hear you, and want to make it easier to get started. If you feel stuck, here are some of our top virtual wellness program ideas for inspiration:

  • 10-Day Self-Care Challenge – self-care allows clients to open the door to other healthy habits in the future. Our team has created a done-for-you program template to use with your existing Practice Better account. Click here to learn how to access this template from your Practice Better account. Not a Practice Better customer? Sign up for a free 14-day trial to try out Programs for yourself!
  • Program Code:
    program_5becd532627d1411a478e96d8d626427ed543704
Practice Better program share code
  • Fitness Program – are you a personal trainer? This is the chance to put together a fitness foundations program
  • 30-Day Gut Reset Program – because you and your clients can do anything for 30 days, and the gut, as we know, is at the center of our health
  • Better Brain, Better You Program – this program could appeal to high performers who want to age well and focus on their mental performance
  • 28-Day Whole Health Jumpstart Program – for those who need to get back into some healthy habits
  • Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program – this program can teach the foundations of managing blood sugar while you focus on strategic behavior change
  • Virtual Employee Wellness Program – this program could be marketed to companies, vastly increasing your reach

What Types of Online Courses Exist?

So what type of program to create first (or next)? Different program formats have distinct uses and benefits. It’s helpful to know what you want to accomplish before setting out to create a program.

Fixed-Date Programs

With Practice Better’s Fixed-Date programs, you can share your expertise with multiple clients at once—all from one safe and secure platform. Fixed-Date Programs run automatically from a fixed start date to a fixed end date. This type of program also allows you to automate your workflow and take some of that tedious manual labor off your plate. With all that extra time you’ll have, you can focus more on growing your business and coming up with more great courses to help build your practice. 

Evergreen Education Programs

Feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself? Evergreen education programs can turn that repetition into cash flow for your business. with Evergreen programs, you can house all of the educational resources you typically share with clients in an organized and streamlined manner. By automating this part of your process, you’ll not only save time, you’ll enrich your client experience as they’ll conveniently get to access program resources whenever they want. And unlike Fixed-Date programs, Evergreen programs have a flexible start date, allowing clients to register when it is convenient for them. 

Here’s an example of a registration page for an Evergreen program: 

Evergreen program registration page

Self-Paced Programs

Everybody learns differently. With Self-Paced programs, clients can make the best use of their time while meeting their health goals. Those who move at a slower pace have the opportunity to absorb the information on their own time without being rushed, and those who pick up things a little quicker can move ahead without feeling bored (and eventually disinterested). Self-Paced programs allow people to fit the training into their schedule. And as with the other programs, once you create the materials, you can train as many people as you want for modest (if any) incremental costs.

Email-Only Programs

Once new clients sign up to an Email-Only program, you can automate the entire process, from welcome email through the program journey. Email programs don’t lead to a platform, but deliver all the content a client needs right to their inbox. With email-only programs, you can send as many program emails as you wish, pre-programmed and ready to deploy at your disposal. Want to find out how you can create this program with Practice Better? Find out here. 

Start Growing Your Practice With Online Courses

There’s no shortage of benefits to selling your training courses online or unique ways to sell them. In addition to reaching more clients and keeping current clients happy, offering virtual courses can be a lucrative opportunity and a game-changer for your business. Not only are online courses a value-add to your practice, but they also showcase tangible resources that reflect your expertise. Online wellness courses are the perfect complement to your existing business or as the pillar of your practice!


Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.

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