Let me start with a hard truth: Being passionate about what you do is not enough to get nutrition clients and succeed in business.
There, I said it.
And like every other new entrepreneur out there, you’ve quickly realized that getting new clients for your business is one of the most important things you need to start doing.
But you’re running into some roadblocks…
First, no one ever taught you how to get new consulting clients. It’s scary, intimidating, and frankly, you’re not even sure where to start.
Then, everybody is trying to sell you on email lists, webinars, and expensive programs.
What are these people thinking??
You’ve literally just finished school: You don’t have a list, let alone hundreds of dollars to spend on Done-For-You programs.
All you really want is to start working with clients so you can help them improve their health and live better lives. You’re eager to apply the knowledge you acquired and use all the amazing skills you learned in school.
Luckily enough, I’ve already gone through the grind of starting a new business from scratch (twice, actually!). In this article, I’m going to share with you my 7 most practical and actionable strategies to help you get nutrition clients for your young business.
How To Get Nutrition Clients When Starting Your Own Practice
Here’s the deal:
The strategies listed in this article are all very cheap to execute (most of them are absolutely free) and can be put into action right away.
All you need from here on out is a phone/computer, and basic liability insurance to cover you as a nutrition practitioner (don’t skip over that one!).
But before we go any further, let me tell you this:
Although these tactics are easy to implement, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get to just sit back and see your new nutrition clients come rolling in, one after the other.
You’ll have to spend time reaching out to people.
When fear wants to take over and make you stop, you’ll have to keep moving forward.
You’ll have to spend time learning from your mistakes.
Nothing will happen if you don’t put in the work.
Now that you’re all fired up and ready to commit, here’s what I want you to do:
1 – Skim the headlines until you find a tactic that catches your attention
2 – Read that tactic, and nothing else!! Let’s stay focused here.
3 – Put in the work. Go out into the world and APPLY what you learned!
4 -Don’t give up too soon. Unlike what Facebook Ads promise you, success isn’t built overnight.
5 – Get new clients for your nutrition business (HOORAY! Celebrations are mandatory here)
6 – Come back to point #1 and repeat the process with a different tactic.
By following this process and NOT reading the whole article at once, you will avoid the TMI Syndrome (Too Much Information Syndrome) that leaves you sitting on your bum crying and unable to do anything.
So get skimmin’ those headlines and good luck to you!
1. Ask Your Friends & Family Members
This is the FIRST thing you should do when looking to get nutrition clients, especially if you’re fresh out of school and are just starting your nutrition practice.
You’ve spent months (if not years) building relationships with your friends and family members.
These people know you, like you, and trust you already.
All you have to do is reach out to them and inquire about how they are doing. If you haven’t spoken to them in a while, add a personal touch by scanning their social media before you send the email. Then, simply mention a recent event they posted about. People LOVE IT when you tell them that you read their posts!*
*(for simplicity’s sake, avoid commenting on status updates like the one shown above)
Throughout the exchange, stay focused on asking THEM questions, and make sure you listen carefully and answer appropriately.
When they ask about you, tell them about your new nutrition business and how passionate you are about helping people achieve their health goals. Mention that you’re currently taking on a handful of new clients and that you’d be happy to hop on a call with them if they were interested in learning more.
I bet you have at least 150 people sitting in your contacts that you could start emailing right now.
So what are you waiting for?
Let’s get emailing, young grasshopper!Tactic #1 to get more nutrition clients: Ask your friends and family members. You've already established trust with them, all you have left to do is reach out to them! Click To Tweet
2. Start Conversations On Twitter
You might be wondering:
It’s true that Twitter might not your favorite hang-out spot. After all, everybody’s talking about Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat these days.
But guess what:
People actually use Twitter to ask questions and seek out help!
Don’t believe me? Check this out:
With a simple search like “need a nutritionist”, I found 5 relevant tweets from the last 24 hours, 4 of them asking for help.
Sure, these might be humorous tweets… But it doesn’t prevent you from engaging with these people and make yourself known!
Later on, when they have a REAL question about nutrition, guess who they’ll reach out to first?
You can get creative with your searches but start by combining one “A” word and one “B” word to get the ball rolling.
“A” words: “Nutritionist”, “Nutrition”, “Diet”, “Food”, “Nutrient”, “Health”
“B” words: “Help”, “Advice”, “Question”, “Support”, “Need”
If you want to go the extra mile, create a spreadsheet listing the handles of the people you tweeted at, the date, and the topic you discussed. Check-in with these folks every 4-6 weeks to see if they need any help with nutrition advice.
When I started my personal training business (without a list, a following, or even a gym to train out of), I went all-in on Twitter with this exact tactic. Within 2 months, I had 5 personal training clients, training with me once or twice per week on a 6-month contract. All of these clients came straight from Twitter.
If I can do it, you can do it too!Tactic #2 to get nutrition clients: start conversations on Twitter! A lot of people are looking for help and asking questions here. Simply provide the answers they are looking for! Click To Tweet
3. Answer Questions On Quora.com
Before you go ahead and use this tactic, make sure that your Quora profile is up to date. You should display a quality profile picture, as well as a complete biography and your list of credentials.
Quora.com is a question-and-answer site that has been on the rise for the last few years.
Here’s the best thing about Quora.com:
While it’s popularity is growing rapidly, there are still a lot of unanswered questions on there.
One quick search for “Gut health” showed multiple results with only 1-2 answers. This is your chance to shine!
Spend some time searching for the topics that you are most familiar with. Then, proceed to give the most complete and thorough answer possible. Your goal is to become the #1 reference for your area of expertise.
You can even take it a step further by creating a short video response that you post on your Youtube channel. Embed the link in your answer for an extra-personal effect!Tactic #3 to get nutrition clients: Answer questions on Quora.com. Search a topic you're comfortable talking about and provide the best answer possible! This is an easy way to become the trusted expert in a given field. Click To Tweet
BONUS TACTIC – Donate A Package To Your Favorite Charity
by Maddie Devlin at Maddie Elise Nutrition
“Look for charities that you LOVE and that ideally fit your target niche.
If you focus on women, look for women’s shelter support groups.
If you specialize in mental health, you might donate to the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association).
But before you contact anyone, create a flyer with Canva outlining what your gift package includes (I often offer 2-3 sessions with a meal plan).
List the retail value of your offer, along with a photo of yourself and a logo or website link. Canva has preset gift certificate layouts for free, so this shouldn’t take you very long!
Once you’ve found the charities that you want to work with, send them an e-mail detailing your offer. Ask them when their next event will be held and whether or not they would consider using your gift at that time.
Your email might look something like this:
Hello [Charity name],
I’m a nutritionist locally [add a little about yourself, your business and your values].
I’ve been looking into [insert cause] and I’d love to contribute to your [association/group]. I would like to donate [list your package details] to be used at your next fundraising auction. (See flyer attached)
I look forward to working together.
Many fundraising auctions promote their goods on social media, community platforms and at other events. Showing up at these events is a great way to make valuable connections.
The person who ends up winning your package will often continue to choose you for their nutrition services, and refer their friends to you as well! This is an opportunity to break into a new market and meet people who share your values – a beautiful thing to have in common with a client.
And if that wasn’t already good enough, you’re also contributing money to a worthy cause. By using this tactic, you’re changing the lives of multiple people at once while doing what you love! It’s truly a win-win situation.”
4. Lunch-And-Learns With Local Businesses
The hardest thing to do in marketing is to break through the noise and get peoples’ attention. You can easily set yourself apart from the competition by becoming the nutritionist of reference for companies in your area.
Use your Facebook network to send out your offer. Ask your friends to mention it at work, and do what’s necessary to follow up and book a few dates.
A lunch-and-learn event can be done in many different ways, but here’s my advice on getting the most out of it when you’re just getting started:
● Aim to solve a specific problem. Your talk should be focused on a topic that’s relevant to your audience (recent news break? Tips for busy professionals? Etc…). Always have a single takeaway point that you come back to multiple times throughout the presentation.
● Make your presentation fun and engaging. Know your lines, look people in the eye, ask them questions, and wear that big bright smile on your face at all times.
● Keep a 1:1 ratio of presentation to Q&A time. That might sound like a lot of question time, but in reality, people would much rather have their questions answered than have someone speak to them for an hour.
● Have a small incentive for the first 3 people who ask questions (i.e. a box of organic tea, etc…). This will help get the conversation started.
● If people are still having a hard time getting started with questions, trick them into talking my asking them questions yourself.
● Have a special offer for the group or a complimentary consultation for those interested in learning more about your services. You can raise your chances of booking a consult by limiting the number of spots available.
● Collect emails for follow up questions and future offers
If you want to get nutrition clients from these events, you have to focus on providing as much value as possible during each interaction. Become indispensable to those people and reap the benefits!Tactic #4 to get nutrition clients: Offer lunch-and-learn talks for local businesses. Become the person of reference for all things nutrition in your area! Click To Tweet
5. Contact Local Clinics & Naturopathic Doctors
This is a great way to establish strong connections in the industry and secure a steady stream of referrals and potential clients for your nutrition business.
The best part?
This simple tactic is overlooked by the majority of nutrition professionals.
Offer to do a free talk, organize a workshop or provide informative handouts to local clinics and build positive relationships with the managers.
If they ever need to refer someone out to a nutritionist, you’ll be at the top of their list!Tactic #5 to get nutrition clients: reach out to local clinics and naturopathic doctors. If you can foster good relationships with these people, they might need your services for some of their clients down the line! Click To Tweet
6. Organize Workshops For Local Schools or Cafés
Workshops are a great way to get involved with your community, share your passions and get more nutrition clients for your biz.
Nutrition Workshop In Schools
Approach local schools and offer to organize an hour-long workshop for the parents. You could show them how to create a family meal plan for the week, or help them come up with healthy snack ideas for the kids.
Have a stack of informative handouts available for the parents to take home with your business card attached.
Parents always want what’s best for their children, but time is often limited. They might require your help to build the meal plans for them or even show them how to get organized to meal prep on the weekend.Tactic #6 to get nutrition clients: Organize workshops in schools and local cafés. Everybody learns better with hands-on practice! They'll also remember you if you can have a positive impact in their day-to-day life. Click To Tweet
Nutrition Workshops In Cafés
More and more local cafes are offering small workshops on healthy eating and sustainable living. This is your chance to showcase your expertise in front of a new audience and potentially get nutrition clients signed up.
Just as you would do with a lunch and learn event, make sure you show up prepared and with a relevant topic to tackle.
Make your workshop as interactive and engaging as possible: it’s been shown over and over again that people learn (and remember) more when doing something, rather than just listening to a talk.
7. Volunteer With Established Nutrition Pros
If you’re interested in running your own group events one day, you should start by learning how more experienced nutritionists do it first.
The easiest way to do this is to volunteer to help another practitioner deliver their class/workshop.
Use Eventbrite or other similar websites, and search terms like “cooking class” or “nutrition workshop”. See what pops up in your area!
You can then use this email template to reach out to them and set up your first volunteering experience.
Hi [Practitioner’s Name],
I studied holistic nutrition at [insert school name] and graduated on [date].
While searching for cooking classes in my area, your website came up and was highly recommended.
I would like to make myself available to assist and help out with one of your events. My goal is to gain experience so that I can one day run my own classes.
I’m available on [insert dates of next 1-2 events] to help out with your next cooking classes.
You can reach me at [phone #] or [email address] if you would like to discuss this in person.
I look forward to hearing back from you!
Often times, nutrition pros who run successful group event have TOO MANY prospects and don’t have time to work with all of them.
As a result of this, a possible side effect of being a good volunteer is that they might need you to take on clients that they don’t have time to work with.Tactic #7 to get nutrition clients: Volunteer with experienced nutrition practitioners in your area. Assist their cooking classes or workshops. When they get an overflow of clients, guess who they'll turn to? Click To Tweet
Take The Next Step
As you start working with more and more people, take advantage of our free online consulting forms. You can easily send them to your clients via email and will receive the results directly to your inbox. These forms are easy to fill out online and will upgrade your practice by saving you time while providing your clients with a better experience.
It’s Your Turn To Play!
Which tactic did you pick? What action are your going to take today to get more nutrition clients? Share your #1 pick in the comments below, and we’ll check in with you in a few weeks to see how you’re doing!