5 Steps to Adding Nutrition Coaching to Your Fitness Business
A Simple, Actionable Guide for Coaches & Fitness Entrepreneurs
You either own or manage a fitness business. Now, you’re considering taking the natural step forward and adding nutrition coaching to your services.
Before we say anything else – congratulations! Fitness is an $8.5b industry in Australia, and if offering fitness and nutrition services is a smart way to maximize your slice of the pie.
Having said that, there will definitely be some challenges along the way. For starters, there’s a dearth of information on how to actually run a profitable nutrition business.
Tens of thousands of them are just one person with an Instagram account and/or a blog. These folks do well for themselves – but they don’t have a set of replicable, scalable operations that they can teach to others
On the other hand, you’ve got your nutrition “behemoths” whose processes are so complex that they’re impossible to replicate.
So what’s a fitness biz owner to do?
In this article, we’ll answer that question with an extremely simple but profitable formula for adding nutrition coaching to your business quickly and easily.
Step number one is…
- Figure Out What Your Strongest Assets Are
It’s extremely important to be realistic about what you can and can’t offer. For example…
- If you’re a certified nutritionist – great. You can more or less offer anything you’ve got knowledge in.
- If you’re a yoga instructor that lives full-vegan, you may find it hard to fulfill a meat-eating bodybuilders’ needs.
- If you’re an expert on intermittent fasting, try sticking to clients who also want to practice I.F.
These are hard-and-fast rules, but the point is to figure out what you’re good at so you can stick to it. You can train all kinds of people later on – but you want to start by making money using what you know already.
Also, consider your own looks and results. Are you lithe, flexible and slim? You’ll find it easy to attract people who want to look lean and toned. Are you a powerful, explosive weightlifter with some serious muscle? The same applies. You’ll find it easy to attract a certain kind of clientele.
Remember: people want leaders who’ve already achieved what they aspire to. You may not like it, but that’s how it is; factor it into your assets.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to…
- Decide How You Can Help People
You know what your assets are. Now, think about how you can use them to deliver results to your clients as quickly as possible.
This does not mean getting people to do what you think is best.
It does not mean getting people to achieve perfect results.
It does not mean getting people to drop bad habits that they’re not interested in dropping.
Of course, all of these things will ideally happen in the long run. But for now just try to understand how you can help people by using your assets.
For example: if someone is obese, they may simply want emotional and moral support as they slowly turn their habits around. Commanding a person like that to change everything they do immediately is likely to break them (and lose you a client).
This isn’t a time to be idealistic; it’s a time to be pragmatic. If you’re not sure how you can help folks, here are a few ideas:
- Ask your friends that you’ve helped or inspired
- Consider how you’ve changed your own life around
- Think of all the little tips, tricks and life hacks you use on a daily basis
These exercises should give you some ideas to play with. Once you’re done, move on to the next step.
- Choose a Format that Works
There are many ways to coach. The 3 most popular ones are:
- Individual coaching. This is a natural fit for a personal trainer. If you already see your clients 1 on 1 to train them, why not offer them an extra service that’ll improve their results drastically? It’s an easy sell, a natural fit and an easy way to deliver excellent results by focusing on one person.
- Group coaching. This is a smart choice for group class coaches. The most common format is to offer group sessions with brief personal calls or meetings in-between. Delivering great results is a little trickier but you’ll be able to help a lot more people this way.
- Online coaching. On the internet, you can offer both individual and small group coaching. The great thing is that you can coach your in-person fitness clients online while also having access to hundreds of thousands of potential customers from around the world.
There’s no one right way to do things here. If you spend a lot of time on social media and the internet, you may want to focus on doing everything online.
If you’re an old-school soul that likes to do everything in person, the reverse applies.
Optimally, we suggest combining all 3 methods. Use individual coaching for clients that can afford to pay premium prices; group sessions for most folks; use the internet to sell coaching services and e-products.
Having figured out how you’re going to coach, take the time to…
- Pick a Freebie that Entices Prospects
You know what you can do to help people. You know how you’re going to deliver it. The next step is promoting your services – but before you do that, we recommend coming up with an irresistible freebie.
Because a clever freebie shows people you’re qualified to help them. It makes them feel their needs are understood and catered to. Most importantly, it shows that you know what you’re doing.
This latter point is especially important, because you want to be seen as an expert in your new field; not as someone dipping their toe in the proverbial water.
What can you give away as a freebie?
- Free nutrition seminars/presentations/webinars
- Free assessments (in-person or based on photos and self-measurement)
- Free consultations
- Free e-books
The point with these isn’t to overwhelm your prospects with new information. It’s to show them that you’re qualified to help them fulfill their needs and desires. The name of the game is tease and release – not educate and overwhelm.
Here’s what we mean. Imagine a fitness client feels they’ll never lose their stubborn stomach fat. Because of this, they aren’t even remotely interested in your services. But if your e-book, assessment or seminar convinces them that it is possible to get rid of that extra weight (with your help), voila! You now have a new customer. That’s how freebies help drum up your first customers!
The younger your nutrition business is, the more aggressive you can afford to be with your freebies. A busy coach may not have time for free assessments – but as a beginner, you can offer as many as you can give without burning out.
Once you’ve figured out the freebie(s) you want to give, make sure to…
- Set Realistic Expectations & Lock Down Contracts
Folks that hire you as a fitness coach will see an immediate difference in the quality of their workouts, their week-to-week performance and the efficacy of their training plan.
Nutrition is different, because it can take months for some clients to see results. For example – folks who’re already in decent shape need a few months to see results. Going from 10% to 8% body fat happens very slowly.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got folks who’re in such poor shape that their dietary habits need months of correction.
Either way, nutrition coaching is a long game – and it’s important to do 2 things right off the bat.
- Set realistic expectations. Explain that the end results will be glorious, but that it can easily take months to attain them.
- Ask people to commit to medium and long-term contracts. You don’t want people quitting before you’ve had a chance to make a change in their lives!
Realistic expectations and long-term contracts go hand in hand. They’re fair and considerate to your customers, but also important for your business.
You don’t have to make the contracts ironclad, of course. We’re all human; give folks a chance to opt out on fair terms (e.g. for 1 month’s worth of fees). Just make it clear that you expect clients to stick around for at least 3-6 months.
At this point, you’ve got a simple but effective plan for adding nutrition coaching to your fitness business. Let’s take one more look at it to recap:
- Identify your assets
- Decide how you can help people
- Choose a delivery format
- Choose a freebie that entices prospects
- Set realistic expectations & lock down contracts
Follow these steps and you’ll have a combined fitness and nutrition business in no time. The only thing that’s left is to promote your new offer past your immediate circle of friends and active clients.