Growing Your Nutrition Program

nutrition program

Envision this scenario: You sign up a member at your Affiliate for an On-ramp/Foundations program. They want to learn about CrossFit, understand the basic movements, and start the path to a fit life. When you sign them up, you do not discuss the steps after the OnRamp/Foundations program ends. You do not address group classes or pricing. You don’t outline a clear path to success.

After completing the four sessions of OnRamp/Foundations, the member concludes they can do these movements on their own at a local fitness club. They leave after the four sessions because there was no expectation to continue. Is the person likely to be successful in this scenario? Probably not.

The same philosophy applies to nutrition coaching. Clients can only meet the expectation if it is clearly outlined from Day One.

Positioning Clients for Ongoing Coaching

A crucial element in growing any nutrition program is structuring the services you offer as a two-part process. The first part, or Phase I, is the initial four- to six-week package where the nutrition coach and the client set the foundation for healthy eating habits, realistic goals and steps to achieve their goals. During Phase I, the nutrition coach:

  • Takes biometrics, including body fat, weight and measurements
  • Determines the client’s baseline by asking about eating habits
  • Creates goals with the client
  • Creates action steps with the client to meet the goal
  • Teaches the client about the foundations of nutrition

After the first four- to six-week initial package, the client will move to Phase II. In Phase II, they receive monthly or bi-monthly nutrition coaching depending on their need. Phase II retention is essential to growing the nutrition program. While in Phase II, on a monthly basis the nutrition coach:

  • Takes biometrics to compare to the previous set
  • Discusses bright spots and challenges
  • Reviews and updates goals with client
  • Creates new action steps based on the challenges from the previous month

One way to smoothly transition clients from Phase I to Phase II is by offering a wellness membership that includes CrossFit plus Nutrition Coaching. Discussing pre-determined packages with the client increases the likelihood of moving clients to Phase II.

Growth Strategies

After you have outlined the process for Phase I and Phase II, as well as created packages, it is time to implement strategies to get potential clients in the door. These strategies will ensure you are seen as the nutrition expert in your community, and will grow your program. Here are four strategies for growing your program.

1.  Launch a Challenge

When marketed correctly, nutrition challenges can serve as Phase I for nutrition clients. A challenge positioned as Phase I will bring your clients long-term results, as they can opt to move to Phase II after the challenge ends.

2.  Corporate Partnerships

Corporations are constantly looking for ways to keep their employees happy and healthy. Tap into your bank of contacts and develop a corporate partnership as a way to grow your program. With a corporate partnership, you can run nutrition seminars on-site, run a challenge, and even encourage them to join fitness classes. Employees who successfully participate will be great success stories for others.

3. Free Content

While you want to ensure you are valuing your time, it is still important to provide free content to non-nutrition clients to position yourself as the nutrition expert. Free content can include a weekly recipe, a weekly nutrition tip and nutrition-focused “Questions of the Day.” Even if a member is not ready to sign up for nutrition coaching at the moment, having a consistent presence regarding the importance of nutrition and the services you offer will let them know that you are available when they are ready.

4. Content Marketing

The key to nutrition messaging is consistency. Whether you choose to send out a nutrition tip once a week or twice a week, you should stick to a predetermined schedule. You can also send out a message in various ways. For example, you can write a blog post detailing tips for staying healthy during the holidays. Then, you can turn that into a video. Finally, you can use the same content for an infographic for social media. Now, the same message has been shared multiple times in multiple ways.

A nutrition program, just like your Affiliate membership base, must be nurtured and grown. Nutrition clients will not walk in the door on their own. In most cases, potential clients looking for nutrition help do not know what to expect. You have the ability to set the tone of what a successful nutrition program looks like at your Affiliate. Start by making nutrition a priority with your current members, and then use those success stories to grow your client base.

​Nicole Aucoin is a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring. ​HSN Mentoring i​ s the largest nutrition-business mentoring program in the world. Helping over 2,000 gym owners and Coaches worldwide, HSN provides a turn-key solution to gym owners looking to take their nutrition program and offerings to the next level. Nicole has a podcast, G​ row Your Nutrition Business Podcast​, where each week she interviews fellow thought leaders in the community and provides actionable steps to help you build your business. Healthy Steps Nutrition is releasing a new stand-alone nutrition coaching course, which is a C​rossFit Preferred Course​, Basics of Nutrition Coaching, on August 18.