Nutrition is a major factor when it comes to health and fitness.
All trainers worth their salt will agree that it’s more about what you put in than how you work out.
Having a solid nutritional game plan impacts someone’s health goals more significantly than physical activity.
And that’s not a slight on getting good exercise.
The two go hand in hand for sure, so implementing both is the key to success, but nutrition is often overlooked.
So this is where you come in and spot the opportunity. And the best place to fully take advantage of this opportunity is as a nutrition coach online.
Online nutrition coaching has exploded over the last few years.
I’m going to help you become that human operator, and show you how you can maximize your business activity in nutrition over an online platform.
The steps on how to become a nutrition coach are not as difficult as people think.
Also, make sure you stay tuned for updates on some premium content I’ll be releasing about making it big in online fitness.
10 Rules On Becoming A Successful Online Nutrition Coach
Rule #1: Get The Right Credentials
I can’t stress enough how getting a nutrition coach certification is the first port of call when entertaining any thoughts of being a professional in any health and fitness category.
When it comes to nutrition, certification and credentials are imperative.
If you want to be taken seriously both by the professional community and by prospective clients, you will want to get the right certifications just as a matter of authenticity.
Outside of legitimizing your stake as a nutrition coach, going through the process of certification will ensure you gain the right sort of insight into the practice of offering effective nutritional advice.
Even if you have a sound and factual knowledge of nutrition as a science, there is a lot of nuances related to the practice of nutrition or macro coaching that you just won’t get by winging it and striking out on your own.
Motivating good nutritional habits requires a lot of psychological rewiring, and as you will learn when taking a nutrition course, change psychology is a big component of the whole process.
I suggest you gain certification from one of the big certifying agencies such as NASM, ISSA, NSCA, ACE or ACSM.
They are among the best nutrition certification programs online you can be proud of at any time.
I prefer ISSA in this regard since it goes in-depth into the process of actual coaching and operating a nutrition business. The other certifying agencies offer nutrition as well, but more on just the science level.
They all offer fitness and nutrition certification for personal trainers.
You can read more about my 6 top-rated nutritionist certifications in this article.
Another great nutrition certification platform you can gain expertise from is Precision Nutrition.
This certification not only offers great knowledge and valuable training in delivering nutritional services, but it also allows access to a suite of useful tools and systems that will significantly assist you in launching your nutrition empire.
You can check it out right here.
Another route you can go if you have the time, commitment and extra investment is a college degree.
You can study and graduate as a registered dietician by obtaining the necessary college degree then completing a medical internship.
Being a registered dietician is the highest credential you can look at obtaining in the nutrition game.
That’s because, unlike a certified nutritionist, who can only dole out advice and programs for people to follow, a dietician can offer therapeutic treatment to health issues from a nutritional perspective.
Certainly, having this level of qualification will set you above most, but it’s not necessary.
You can gain tremendous success as a certified nutrition and health coach if you do bother to position yourself correctly.
Rule #2: Position Yourself As A Nutritionist
As I just stated, positioning yourself correctly as a certified nutrition coach is tantamount to your recognition and success with prospective clients.
But how do you do this? Allow me to explain.
It’s all in the approach, how you draw in clients and the story you tell about what you do.
Present your services in a way that displays that you are focused on assisting with nutritional goals.
If you want to land nutrition coach jobs, you need people to know that nutrition is your job.
When you speak of your services, when you display your branding, the copy in your social media profile and website, as well as the content you put out online, should all signify your entrenchment in the nutrition space.
Whether you refer to yourself as a diet coach online, a certified nutrition specialist or an online weight loss coach, you should have something in your title that speaks to what you do.
A good way of positioning yourself as a nutrition expert is to place the focus with prospective clients on how nutrition is the more pivotal aspect of their health and fitness goals.
This can be a bit more tedious than selling workouts which is why not too many trainers have developed a knack for selling themselves as nutritionists or a macro coach.
That’s because exercise is more immediately engaging, rewarding and is often enjoyable, whereas nutrition is not.
But don’t let that fool you into foregoing the golden opportunity to position yourself as a nutrition pro.
Having said that, you shouldn’t bury your ability as a fitness specialist under your prowess as a nutritionist. The two go hand in hand, and being the go-to person for a complete lifestyle service is what you should be aiming for.
Rule #3: Prove Your Expertise
The next big rule is to prove your expertise.
Outside of gaining the necessary credentials, you also want to show your practical skills in delivering effective nutrition coaching both on and offline.
Displaying your expertise is achieved both before and after the journey a client undertakes with your guidance.
When you draw your client in, you obviously want to speak with confidence and a wealth of knowledge that allows them to pick up that you are indeed an expert.
You want to use correct terminology and comprehensive details of what the process needs to be to achieve the goal in mind.
Be careful not to overdo it with the technical jargon and textbook terminology. You are after all targeting the general public and not your peers.
Your expertise will also shine through based on the results you display.
You want to keep a record, both in terms of stats and figures as well as visual representation, of what your clients managed to achieve under your guidance.
Put this data up on your social media platforms and website.
When people see results, they see an expert.
Rule #4: Display Your Nutrition Lifestyle
I’d like to expand on the rule of displaying your expertise with another rule.
This rule pertains to the practice what you preach principle.
If you want to be a stand out nutrition coach, then you should naturally be able to live by the same standards, if not stricter, than the ones you promote and sell.
Show people that you are as serious about good nutrition as your programs and products suggest.
Show what you eat on a regular basis. Give nutritional breakdowns of the food that fuels your lifestyle, and of course, some colorful #foodblogger style posts won’t hurt.
Speak about supplementation, how it assists you and which ones are effective as well as which ones to avoid.
Learn how to cook too.
Most effective nutrition strategies involve equipping clients with the skills to prepare meals from scratch which often involves cooking.
If you can’t cook yourself, how are you the right person to teach others to do it?
Rule #5: Network With Nutrition Peers
Once you become a nutrition coach, it doesn’t stop there, you need to network.
Networking is probably somewhere there on the etched in stone commandments of business success.
Your network is your networth as they say, so get yourself involved in some good networking.
Communicate and share knowledge with other nutrition coaches, find and learn from a mentor and attend events.
Networking online means exchanging ideas and discussions with others in the game.
Sure, they are ultimately your competition, but where there exists opportunity and mutual benefit, everyone wins from the experience and grows the pie so to speak.
Networking by attending functions, keynote speeches and tradeshows can open you up to some potential big business too.
Lastly, you should be actively networking with your clients and online audience.
Respond to well-meaning requests, suggestions or queries. Engage with the people that will ultimately be your source of revenue and your business and reputation will be better for it.
Effective networking happens through effective communication and constant presence.
You must present yourself as someone who has more to give than take and always show belief and confidence in the vision you’re pushing.
Rule #6: Get Your Admin Sorted
Now comes the boring part, admin.
But unfortunately, it is vital and will count in your favor.
What I mean by admin is essential all the paperwork and background processes you need in place in order to effectively (and legally) execute your business.
You should also check what documentation and requirements need to be fulfilled in order to set up and operate your business in whatever state or region you are based in.
You first want to establish your business, so the first thing to do is to register it as a company along with everything that comes with getting that done correctly.
Next, you must register a domain. Chose a domain name for your future website that is both easy to search or type, but also has maximum relevance to your online nutrition brand.
Registering a domain is fairly easy and inexpensive provided the name you’re going for hasn’t already been taken.
Once you have a domain, it is time to build a good website. A good website is one that draws in clicks and views and encourages conversions.
An eye-catching, visually consistent site with strong but not jarring brand placement and good content is the name of the game.
You will also need to consider liability insurance. Most nutritional certifications provide easy access to insurance options so make sure you follow up on this in order to cover your back.
Rule #7: Provide Value
Sure your goal is to promote and sell your nutrition services, but you can also provide value that works as a sampling of what client prospects can expect if they sign up for the full breadth of your products and services.
Social media is a great place to do this.
As I mentioned earlier in Rule #4, you want your audience and clients to recognize that you do indeed live the life that you promote you can help them achieve.
Walk it as you talk it so-to-speak.
One of the ways you can effectively do this is by offering value through the various online portals you’ve established.
Giving quick, easy to read list guides on a specific area in nutrition can allow you to give your clients a valuable kick in the butt and a craving for more in-depth knowledge.
Recipe guides are also great especially on Instagram’s quick consumption format.
On your website, having an active blog that provides detailed information on certain topics of common interest will also help your clients and audience access value in such a way that they will want to explore further through your premium offerings.
You need to balance providing free value with the value that comes at a premium of course.
If you give away all your best stuff for free, you won’t have anything to sell and no one will need to buy into your online services.
Think of it as a cologne tester vs the actual full bottle of cologne, or a movie trailer vs the full film.
Give useful but not conclusive tidbits of value, and also, don’t get tricked into giving up a full value service by someone who asks for a bit too much advice.
Offering value also extends from Rule# 3: Proving Your Expertise.
Rule #8: Be Patient With Your Clients
Being patient with clients is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.
You would think that everyone who is coming to you for your expert advice and services as an online nutrition coach is doing so in the hopes that you will completely guide the process.
But you’re forgetting one thing, they are the customer, and many operate on that tired notion that the customer is always right.
This is taken to mean by some that they can actually describe to you what it is they want and need.
Such clients can be hard to deal with, you know, the know-it-all, smart-asses that exist in this world.
They will often spew a stream of incoherent jargon they picked up after binge-watching Dr. Oz and have decided to hire you as more of a servant than a guardian expert.
When dealing with such clients, it’s important to temper your own ego and gauge where they are actually coming from.
Such an obnoxious demeanor is not very common though, so you don’t need to be on constant high alert for it.
Where your patience will really be tested is when dealing with clients who have no clue and their cluelessness in itself has the potential of offending your knowledge capacity.
Ignorance can be hard to handle, but understand that it is your role as a more knowledgeable expert to turn ignorance into enlightenment and an improved standard of life rather than feel offended by it.
With so many myths and misinformation around nutrition, it’s common for people to come at you with a bunch of pseudo-sciences and specifically ask for more of it from you.
Be humble in your approach and don’t allow your ego to govern your reaction, be the hand that guides and not the voice that judges.
Rule #9: Set Up Your Online Delivery Platform
With all the practical and technical stuff waxed, its time to engage all systems and start churning out your services as a weight loss coach online.
Your website should be ready at this point, so now all you need to do is optimize and promote it.
You can optimize your website with good marketing and SEO strategies.
I will be bringing some of those to you in a premium format so stay tuned.
You also want to set up your eCommerce and payment systems so you can get those tasty online conversions and actually start bringing in some revenue.
There are many ways to do this based on what sort of website you build.
I prefer WordPress and plugins such as WooCommerce for online sales.
Stripe and Paypal are your best payment platforms in this regard.
Your pricing model should also be developed at this stage.
I have an article on how to effectively price your personal training services here, so check it out if you want the low-down on that.
Products and services you can offer should range from programming, nutrition coaching, and counseling and information products such as supplements guides and recipe eBooks.
In order to increase traffic to your website, a great SEO strategy, paid advertising and linking through your social media accounts is a great place to start.
Delivering service and earning revenue from your online platforms isn’t limited to just the services your clients can buy or subscribe to.
With enough patience and clever marketing, your website and social media accounts can be revenue generators in their own capacity.
Take Youtube, for example, this is a platform where you can actually generate income simply through the content you produce.
I also suggest you make use of peripheral tools that will help boost your business and marketing.
For example, email marketing is a biggie. Using a platform like MailChimp to boost your reach through email newsletters is a great idea.
Other tools you can make use of include:
- Google Analytics
- HubSpot (the free version)
Ultimately, you want an online business that allows you flexibility, gives your clients a great user experience and allows you to benefit from both active and passive income streams.
Rule #10: Continue Learning
Bringing it back to the beginning, I would like to stress the point of continuous learning.
And when it comes to nutrition and online business, there are few spaces of advancement that are as rapidly evolving as these two.
If you don’t keep up with the trends, innovations, and research, you will fall behind and find it hard to get back up to speed.
Technology and online applications are changing every day. The way media and content are consumed, how people experience the internet, and the rise of A.I. all behoove you to stay on top of things and move with the times.
Social media algorithms are always changing and new rules and terms of service are constantly cycling through meaning your game plan has to constantly adapt to an online world in constant flux.
On the nutritional side of things, advancements in technology and research practices mean new discoveries are being made every day.
A lot of these discoveries are so groundbreaking that they completely upturn some of the most grounded understandings and strongly held beliefs in the science of nutrition.
As an example, many supplements thought to provide certain benefits are now proving ineffective or perhaps effective, but in ways previously not thought.
On the issue of continuous learning, you should also consider your actual credentials as many of them require renewal and in order to renew them, you need CEUs.
CEUs or continuing education units are credits you earn by participating in learning and practical activities on an accredited platform of your chosen field of qualification.
These credits allow you to renew your certification when it comes time to do it, usually every two years.
Learning in this regard is important when figuring out how to become a nutrition coach online and continue to do so.
It’s not just a matter of professional integrity, you actually have to do it.
Conclusion on becoming an online nutrition coach
Becoming a successful online nutrition coach begins with your credentials and then displaying those credentials through how you work and how you live.
From there its simply a game of mastering the technical aspects of online business and eCommerce as well as keeping up with the trends.
Ultimately you want a combined approach of both a fitness and nutrition coach for a complete online health and lifestyle service.