The awesome (and scary) news about the wellness industry

Have you heard the latest numbers on how big the wellness industry is now?

 

In 2018, the Global Wellness Institute stated that the global wellness industry was worth $4.2 trillion—yes, trillion with a T.

Knowing this huge number, how much do you think the industry is worth now?

Would you guess that the latest numbers (released in 2023) show that it’s grown to a whopping $5.6 trillion?

I have another big number for you, this time from the most recent Future of Wellness survey. If we were to focus only on the U.S., would you guess that the U.S. wellness market is worth $1.8 trillion this year? That’s almost 1/3 of the global market.

These are wildly big numbers, and year after year they keep getting bigger.

Before we dive into what these numbers and wellness industry reports can mean for you as a health pro running a practice, let’s gather a few more facts about what consumers are expecting from wellness products and providers, and the areas that are most important to them in 2024:

  • 82% of consumers consider wellness an important, or even top, priority in their everyday lives.
  • The top three factors consumers look for in wellness products are: 1 – Is the product effective/Will it work for me?; 2 – Is it well priced?; and 3 – Is it high quality?
  • The top five trends in 2024 are: 1 – Home testing/diagnostic kits; 2 – Biomonitoring and wearable devices (including apps); 3 – Personalized products and services; 4 – “Clinically effective/proven” is edging out “clean” (especially for supplements); and 5 – Avoid “health washing” and move toward healthcare recommended.

Here is a bit more intel from the Future of Wellness survey—the seven wellness areas where consumer interest is growing:

  1. Women’s health – Including menstrual care, sexual health, menopause, and pregnancy
  2. Healthy aging and longevity – Preventive medicine, health technology, and anti-aging (this is popular for all age groups, not just older people)
  3. Weight management – Including exercise, nutrition, and medications
  4. In-person fitness – Including going to a gym, attending in-person classes, and getting personal training
  5. Gut health – Probiotic supplements and foods, at-home microbiome testing, personalized nutrition recommendations
  6. Sexual health – Including products
  7. Sleep – “Despite consistently ranking as the second-highest health and wellness priority for consumers, sleep is also the area where consumers said they have the most unmet needs.” Consumers want optimal cognition and to address high stress.

According to McKinsey (authors of the 2024 Future of Wellness survey):

“As consumers take more control over their health outcomes, they are looking for data-backed, accessible products and services that empower them to do so. Companies that can help consumers make sense of this data and deliver solutions that are personalized, relevant, and rooted in science will be best positioned to succeed.”

These trends make me both excited (from a big picture perspective) and scared for individual health pro entrepreneurs (from a more detailed perspective).

Don’t get me wrong—it’s fabulous that the industry is growing. I’m pumped that there’s an increasing focus on wellness and more and more people are spending more and more money to improve theirs.

I’m also very pleased that the focus and expectations of savvy consumers is moving toward data-backed clinical effectiveness rooted in science, and away from things that are “healthwashed.” (Healthwashing is “the strategy of presenting genuinely unhealthy products in a misleading context of fitness, sports or other activities related to a healthy lifestyle.”).

This is amazing!

(From a big-picture, public health perspective.)

At the same time, I’m seeing the industry becoming consistently more and more difficult for each individual one of us to stand out and be remembered (or even recognized) in this market. There still seems to be an abundance of people offering health products and services (have you seen the “health & wellness” section of any bookstore lately? It’s huge!). And many of those people are unqualified and try to sell all kinds of products and services that have little to no chance of helping people reach their health goals because they’re healthwashed and not science-backed.

But, as a trained health & wellness professional, have you asked yourself:

How can I grow my health practice by showing my credibility, standing out, and being recognized as the expert I am, while taking 2024 wellness industry intel into consideration?

So, I wanted to share some ideas and strategies to pivot toward recent trends and hopefully take a bigger piece of the $5.6 trillion global wellness industry pie.

Done for you pre-written health content

*ad

1 – Really niche down

 

In an episode of Amy Lippmann’s Marketing for Health Coaches podcast (episode 2: How to specialize and stand out), Amy says . . .

“By defining a specialty, you don’t have to worry so much about competition because you’re setting yourself apart by stating what you help people with.

When you get really clear about exactly who you help and what you help them with, everything in your business starts to flow.

Not only that but you become magnetic to the people who need you the most.”

Honestly, this is so true. There are so many wellness professionals out there who could be so much more successful if they niche down and focus. Especially in such a massive industry.

How do you niche down? Pick an ideal client avatar and a specific health goal they want to reach. If you’re stuck on what to choose, look at the top seven growing wellness niches listed above and see if one really resonates with you. (Those growing niches again are: women’s health, healthy aging/longevity, weight management, in-person fitness, gut health, sexual health, and sleep.)

Once you’ve chosen a niche and ideal client, every time you write, record, publish, or share a piece of content, keep that ideal client in mind. You can imagine that young adults with skin problems aren’t going to resonate with the same words and images as competitive athletes, who aren’t going to have the same goals as those who want to age well into midlife and beyond, nor stressed out caregivers who need lifestyle coaching before they truly burn out. Keep your content true to your brand, niche, and ideal clientele.

Non-scary takeaway: As Amy says, “Your specialty lays the groundwork for everything else you do in your business.”

 

2 – Become THE credible go-to expert in your niche

 

Imagine being your ideal client and looking online for the exact right person to help you reach your health goal. How would you find a credible go-to health pro like yourself?

Being THE expert ideal clients choose is exactly why focusing on one specific niche and sharing content that speaks to one client avatar will help your ideal clients find you. You can build a reputation and get others in your network to recommend you as their go-to for that one specific health goal.

Once you’ve niched, this will also allow you to get and stay up-to-date with the latest breaking news and cutting-edge studies in that one area.

As of yesterday (June 10, 2024), when I searched PubMed for all high-quality, indexed studies that mention the word “wellness” published in the past year, I get 95,059 studies! And those are only high-quality, clinically relevant ones, like clinical trials (including randomized controlled trials) and reviews (including meta-analyses and systematic reviews).

Not that anyone would be expected to have time to read every study, or even every 10th one, and remember it. But, that large number makes it seem almost impossible to even begin to keep up with the general overview of what’s going on in the latest science. That’s because it contains every niche under the umbrella of wellness.

However absolutely impossible it would be to keep up with 95,059 studies each year, imagine a sigh of relief when you can knock that number down significantly. It would be so much easier to at least keep up with some of the top trends if you had a few hundred studies to choose from, all within one niche. That’s how much easier it is to become the go-to expert in an area when the area is so much smaller and laser-focused.

For example, when I change the keyword from the overarching “wellness” to these seven top niches for 2024, the number of studies changes to:

  1. Women’s health: 888 studies
  2. Healthy aging and longevity: “Healthy aging” 408 + “Longevity” 900 = 1,308 studies
  3. Weight management: 368 studies
  4. In-person fitness: “Fitness” = 1,315 studies
  5. Gut health: 198 studies
  6. Sexual health: 392 studies
  7. Sleep: 4,453 studies

If you’re not interested in finding, reading, and deciphering studies yourself (it’s time consuming for sure!), there are some other ways to keep up with the research in your niche. I am the first to admit that scientific research papers are usually not accessible, not written in understandable English, and not fun, light reading, so I totally get it! There are a few ways you can ride the waves of someone who is already finding and summarizing studies, so you let them do it for you.

Want a quick and easy way to keep up with some of the most cutting-edge studies in the wellness space without having to read through the studies yourself? If so, you can sign up to get a specially curated sample of new health studies covering several areas of wellness by joining my email list for regular installments of Health Scoop News or go through the archives yourself to see what types of studies I find, summarize, and share via email newsletter. Simply click the green “subscribe” button at the top and enter your email address to get those valuable research updates.

Putting studies aside, you can also keep up with new research by keeping up with updates to credible websites that summarize and reference studies. This post on health topics has a number of science-based sites that I personally recommend and use as references for many pieces of content I create for my 1:1 freelance clients.

Non-scary takeaway: As you can see, in light of the 2024 wellness industry trends based on what consumers want, it’s much easier to become and remain the credible go-to expert in one niche area of wellness, rather than all of them. Plus, there are several trusted sources to keep up with new research, whether it’s PubMed, the Health Scoop News, or other trusted sites.

 

3 – Show up online like the expert you are

 

Again, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. When they don’t know you or get a personal recommendation from a family member or friend, what information do they use to assess if you’re the go-to health pro for them? Your online content!

When it comes to content, the internet is getting saturated. AI is making this so much worse, with it’s poor-quality content riddled with errors. Here’s an example of ChatGPT explaining why crushed porcelain is good in breast milk, “porcelain can help to balance the nutritional content of the milk, providing the infant with the nutrients they need to help grow and develop.”

According to content and search engine optimization experts Yoast, quality content is important because:

“First and foremost, you should make good content for your users. People are unlikely to stick around for long if your website is full of bad content. But that’s not the only reason; low-quality content is bad for SEO too.”

Instead of publishing boring or superficial content that’s generic and forgettable (e.g., 5 reasons to drink more water), what would your ideal client think if they instead saw something interesting, timely, and specific to their health goals? Like, 5 nutrition strategies to enjoy a cooler perimenopause or The 5 worst things about inflammaging . . . and what you can do to stave it off right now.

Don’t forget about repurposing content you already have so that you can use it on many platforms for consistent messaging!

Non-scary takeaway: Your blog, website, and social media feeds are your 24/7 online business cards. The quality of your content reflects directly on the quality of your expertise and brand.

 

4 – Be real and get personal

 

Having an evidence-based practice is super respectable and confidence-building, but that alone won’t make you stand out. You also need to be YOU.

You need to be human and share your personal stories, ideas, and perspectives. Be honest and let people know why you do what you do. Teach your audience what you’re learning so they can learn with you.

If you do invest in done-for-you content to help save time and outsource what you don’t love doing, be sure to customize and personalize it so that it reflects you and speaks to your audience in your unique voice.

Non-scary takeaway: Make sure your brand and all of your content reflect you as a person first; health pro second.

 

5 – Show people you truly care about them

 

People don't care

You can be the super-smartest most experienced niched down real and personal health pro, but if people don’t think you care enough to help them – “G’bye!”

They’re not sticking around. And why should they? Is all of your hard-earned knowledge and experience worth anything to potential clients if you’re not truly in it with them?

Nope!

This blog post is an example of me sharing relevant, recent industry information so that you can use it to grow your health practice in 2024. Do the same for your audience by sharing relevant, recent health information to help them reach their health goals.

Non-scary takeaway: Choosing a wellness niche and ideal client avatar that you care about makes it so easy to show your audience that you truly do care about them and their goals.

 

6 – Network and meet amazing people

 

By “amazing people” I mean your audience, potential clients, current clients, everyone that helps you with your business (i.e. writers, VAs, social media strategists, etc.), colleagues, and even potential competitors.

Here’s a #TruthBomb from Tina Forsyth:

“Relationships are the most important asset of my business.

I daresay they are more important now than ever for all of us. Especially in today’s overcrowded marketplace. Especially in a world where trust is at an all time low and it’s getting harder to know if we are talking with a “real person” or a bot. AI is going to make this even more challenging in the future.

And best of all – relationships don’t cost a dime.”

You can network live and in-person, or online!

Try reaching out to them (the right way), inviting them on your blog (the right way) and being a guest on their blog, vlog, or podcast. Even publishing reviews of awesome in-person events or products your audience would love (and tagging the hosts/authors in your social shares of that post).

Non-scary takeaway: There is no substitute for meeting people, whether they’re potential clients, colleagues, or collaborators.

 

Last, but NOT least:

7 – Do what works for you—it’s your health practice

 

Do you remember days before Instagram stories and Facebook lives?

Ya, me too – because that was just a few years ago!

Just think about how fast the online world changes. Now it seems like you have to have some level of content marketing mastery in order to have a significant number of engaged followers (beyond only your besties from waaaay back). Not to mention how AI might actually start getting good at doing things over the next few years.

But, you don’t have to jump on every new marketing and sales bandwagon. Do what you enjoy and what resonates with your audience of potential ideal clients.

In a recent episode of Racheal Cook’s podcast Promote Yourself to CEO (episode: 6 Lessons to Work Smarter, Not Harder), Racheal says the #1 thing to do to work smarter and not harder is . . .

“First up, do less with more focus. Do less; that might sound so opposite of what many of us think we need for success, especially because we are in a world where we are told we have to do all the things. We have to show up everywhere, we have to try every marketing strategy, we have to have all these different things happening in our business. But I’m here to tell you that when you do less with more focus, you get exponentially higher return on that time and energy.”

Honestly, this is so true. There are so many health pros out there who could be so much more successful if they niched down and focused on only one or two ways to market themselves authentically. Especially in such a massive and growing industry like wellness.

Non-scary takeaway: Keep your pulse on what your audience is engaging with and give them more like that. As Racheal says, “Think and ask yourself what are the things that get the best results for you that you could laser focus on and let go of all the rest.”

Final thoughts on the wellness industry

 

As a bit of a public health nerd, who’s always got that intention to earn an MPH degree one day, this paragraph from the Fast Company article from a few years ago really resonated with me:

Wellness, in its many mutable forms, is often viewed as a luxury commodity, mostly accessible to the wealthy or avid Goop readers. During the three-day Global Wellness Summit, 650 industry leaders, government representatives, and entrepreneurs addressed not only the issues surrounding exclusivity, but solutions on how to utilize wellness for the masses. How can companies and public health officials ensure health practices reach lower income communities? Can wellness better address chronic health issues and fill in the gaps left by traditional healthcare? How can we utilize technology to better serve our physical and mental well-being?

In the grand scheme of the world, being that niched, credible, caring, networking health pro and wellness expert should ultimately help not just our audience and ideal clients. We should be working toward a movement of better health for everyone—even people who can’t afford our products and services. Let’s keep putting out great trustworthy research-based content so everyone online can learn from it and be inspired by it.

That’s why I’m in this industry.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Do these wellness industry numbers excite you or scare you? What do you plan on doing to be an expert that stands out in a $5.6 trillion wellness industry? Do you have other pieces of advice to share?

I’d love to know in the comments below!

Originally published Oct 2018, updated with more awesomeness June 2024.

References

 

https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/industry-research/2018-global-wellness-economy-monitor/

https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/the-2023-global-wellness-economy-monitor/

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/the-trends-defining-the-1-point-8-trillion-dollar-global-wellness-market-in-2024#/

Heiss, R., Naderer, B., & Matthes, J. (2021). Healthwashing in high-sugar food advertising: the effect of prior information on healthwashing perceptions in Austria. Health promotion international36(4), 1029–1038. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daaa086
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405248/

Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist

Use your health blog to grow your audience, subscribers, and sales.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
Done for you pre-written health content

Instantly Download 60+ Health & Wellness Blog Topics

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Save time and build your authority with consistent trustworthy health content!

Let me do the research and writing for you so you can spend your time working with your clients.

Featured products for your credible health blog:

 

202110 – Doom-scrolling tanks your mood

Pre-written mini-article to customize and share





Click here for preview

2021 Aug Longevity diet

Pre-written mini-article to customize and share





Click here for preview

Sustainable food article

3,494 words in 3 parts – 28 references





Click here for preview

 

These articles are trust-building because they're expertly researched (I read the studies!), written and edited. Just download, customize, and publish as your own.

NOTE: I cap the sale of each one to a maximum of 73, so every single practitioner with a blog will NOT have these articles!

Want a different topic?

What’s the latest health research for your nutrition, fitness, or health coaching practice?

Find out in the weekly Health Scoop News 📑email updates. See some of the latest studies (with Leesa's "in other words" explainers) here. Sign up if you want to be first to know new research:

I’m Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.

Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.

I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the very good content. I am about a year in on my blog and have done a ton of research on content strategy and have noticed that this article is well thought out. I am also a health professional and would love to connect or collaborate sometime. My background is Physical Therapy with an interest in public health as well.

    • Hey Jennifer, It’s great to hear that you’ve been researching content strategy–it’s often a huge missing piece for most health professionals who do online marketing. Perhaps we can connect sometime in the future. All the best with your blog!

  2. Robert Curtis

    Great article, Leesa! So inspired by this, and your take on it. Definitely resonated with the idea of us extending ourselves to the betterment of health for all, too.

    • Thank you so much, Robert! I appreciate your shared interest in public health and am honoured to collaborate with you on research-based health communications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *