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As a personal trainer, you know nutritional coaching is a huge part of your fitness client's success. A question to ask yourself is, "Am I taking advantage of building nutrition into my business?" For a lot of trainers and coaches, the answer is no, and not because they don't want to but because they don't know where to start.
If you think about it, you charge for your fitness coaching, so why would you not want to provide nutrition coaching at that same rate?
Here are five ways to get your nutritional coaching started that you can implement right away.
You already have fitness clients; the first step is to obtain a nutrition certification. The nutrition certification is important when it comes to coaching clients, they want to know that you have your education and that you are credible. Take a look at the ISSA Certified Nutritionist program.
Once you have your certification, you can then start offering services to your current personal training clients. This takes almost no marketing outside of talking to your current coaching clients.
Initially, to get clients interested, you can even offer an introductory rate for the first 5 to 10 clients that take advantage to create that urgency. In exchange for the introductory rate, you will want to request testimonials from those clients on their success. You can then use those testimonials as marketing materials in the gym. You can also use those testimonials to advertise your nutritional coaching services on social media.
Like small group personal training, you can offer small group nutritional coaching. When creating groups, it is advised to have a target audience in mind, you don't want to end up with someone who wants to lose weight in the same group as someone who wants to gain muscle mass.
You can run a few different groups initially based on interest. Some common groups that coaches start with are general weight loss, women's health, and men's health.
Coaches commonly run a group program for anywhere from six to twelve weeks with a set plan each week for success. The most successful programs teach the clients new habits each week, help them reach their individual goals, and incorporate accountability.
The accountability is most important for clients. Knowing they are accountable to the new habits they are forming will lead them to success. Without that accountability, the chance of them completing the program decreases. That accountability can be in many different forms, such as an accountability partner, to the group in a discussion format, or to you, the fitness professional.
You can then create levels to your groups. As clients progress, they can then move to the next appropriate coaching group for their goals.
Nutrition challenges are not only fun for clients but also help them achieve their goals and bring you more coaching clients.
Ideally, you will want 20-30 participants to make your challenge a success. You can run this either in your gym or online, or even a mixture of both.
You will need to do some planning and create a marketing strategy for success. Include marketing both in your gym and on social media. It's also important to include some sort of prize in that strategy. The prize can be anything from cash to free services to even getting a sponsor to provide the prize.
Next, choose the timeframe of your challenge based on your marketing strategy. This can range anywhere from 1-6 months. The length of your challenge should determine the entry fee—the longer the challenge, the greater the entry fee.
It's also important for the participants to understand what's in it for them. Each week your participants should learn new habits and have weekly accountability. When your participants see success towards their goals, you will be surprised how many of them will then continue with either a group or individual nutritional coaching.
As a coach you know there are always the people that will come up to you in the gym with "a quick question on nutrition." Most of those questions are not just a quick question and require more of a coaching consult to be able to answer them effectively.
When this happens it's a great opportunity to market yourself for nutritional coaching. You can do this without the person even realizing that you are "selling" your services. Use this chance to do some motivational interviewing. Finding out what their goals are and what has been holding them back from getting there. Then give them a quick tip or habit that they can implement and follow up with them to see how it's going. You will be surprised how far that can take you and how easy it can be to earn yourself a new client!
Finally, one area that coaches simply don't take advantage of enough is coaching corporate groups. To see success in this area it really comes down to networking and marketing your expertise.
Corporate health and wellness are growing rapidly and that includes nutritional coaching. A great place to start is to chat with your clients. See who they know that might be looking for someone to come in and work with their staff on nutritional coaching.
Corporate groups can often be easier to coordinate, with companies usually doing the organizing and then you get to simply coach the employees. This setting is a great place to use your nutritional challenges. You can offer them multiple time per year and the company will typically provide the prize for employees.
Corporate wellness is an area that sometimes gets forgotten by coaches but can be very profitable and simple to manage.
All these options are quick and easy to implement into your personal training business. If you are not yet certified in nutrition, you will want to take that step first before marketing your services. Check out the ISSA's nutrition course for more information on how you can maximize your career and help clients achieve their goals.