How to Become a Virtual Nutrition Coach in 2021

Thinking of becoming a certified virtual nutrition coach? Nutrition careers are multiplying as more people become interested in a healthier lifestyle. According to ZipRecruiter, online coaching jobs in the nutrition field earn an average of $47,349 per year – some even make over $100,000 annually!

So, how do you start a nutrition business online? More importantly, how do you succeed? In this day and age, having the ability to work one-on-one with a nutrition coach in a virtual setting is in high demand, so you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to become a virtual nutrition coach. We’ll give you the steps to get started, where to get educated, expert tips to use along the way and secrets for your success. 

First, let’s talk about what to do before you dive in.

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Understand Who You Want Your Clients to Be

When starting any business, it’s always best to begin your journey by understanding who you want to target as a client and how you’d like to help them. 

But remember, in this business, nearly everyone can use some form of nutrition advice. Nobody is perfect! So, the key is not to define your audience too specifically, or you’ll lose out on potential clients (and money!)

Most people interested in nutrition coaching have some of the same longings. They want to lose weight, get healthier, eat better and feel great. Their obstacles are generally the same. Some don’t understand what’s healthy and what’s not. Others struggle with time and having to eat on the run.

All in all, there are many types of people that may need you to help lead them in the right direction. So it would be best if you didn’t market yourself towards a specific subset of people and potentially leave out someone that could have been a great client.

Eventually, you may realize your market naturally narrows to the types of clients for whom your services have been most effective. For example, you may notice that your nutritional advice to senior citizens has been so exceptional that you find yourself specializing in this demographic.

So initially, it’s important to consider everyone a potential client. Until you have a good understanding of who will be the most interested in your nutrition coaching and who will best benefit from your service, keep your market broad.

Earn Your Online Nutrition Coach Credentials

Sure, you can call yourself a nutrition coach without having any education. But what kind of nutrition coach would you be if you did that? And what would your answer be when a potential client asked about your training background?

And most importantly, you want to know all the answers and gain respect from your clients for having a vast plethora of knowledge.

Nutrition courses, like the Certified Nutrition Specialist, generally cover topics that include metabolism, digestion, sports nutrition, macros and micronutrients, and nutritional assessments.

Fitness Mentors offers a more in-depth Virtual Nutrition Coach course that takes training one step further (actually, many steps further). The course is entirely online, including the exam. 

In this course, not only will you learn everything you need to know about nutrition, but you’ll also learn how to actually run your nutrition coaching business virtually. 

In addition to the nutrition topics above, a sample of other topics include:

  • Preparing for your business
  • How to Take Your Business Online
  • How to Generate Leads
  • Creating Sales Copy
  • Power Questions in the Sales Process
  • Pricing Structures
  • Closing Sales Statements
  • Caring For Your Clients

Whichever course you choose, make sure you take your time. Don’t cram everything into a couple of days. Spread your training out and make sure you have a proper understanding of the material before considering launching your business and putting yourself out there.

Earn a Reputation as a Certified Virtual Nutrition Coach

So you’ve gone through the training, you’ve been certified. Now it’s time to gain exposure. But you don’t want to always come across as “salesy” and pop in unsolicited to people’s social media timelines.

It’s helpful at first to join communities and online groups where people are asking for help. Let them get to know you and offer advice on topics without trying to sell yourself. Selling your service will come naturally if you’re saying the right things.

Offering advice that others read and think, “Wow, that guy/girl knows what she’s talking about,” is the kind of thing to get you positively noticed in an online community.

Here are a few pointers on your online reputation:

  • Potential clients will base your reputation as a virtual nutrition coach on knowledge and results. It won’t matter that people can click your picture and see you’re physically fit. They want to witness your education on their screen in words.
  • Be prepared to have some negativity cast on what you say. The negative comments will not reflect on you as a virtual nutrition coach but instead on the general population’s desire to pushback. 
  • When it comes to any comments, positive or negative, remember you are building a reputation, and you should always reply to everyone respectfully.
  • Don’t state your opinions as facts. As time goes on, you may find yourself having a view on particular health topics. For example, if you aren’t a fan of the keto diet, avoid telling people, “it doesn’t work.” This gives everyone a chance to pick apart your knowledge in a negative way.
  • Be empathetic. Don’t come off like someone who knows way better than everyone else (even if you do).
  • Save your advice. If you gave a great bit of advice to someone or posted a very educational topic, archive it. These are fantastic pieces to return to when you get a question and excellent knowledge resources for your future clients.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend money to make money. Lead generation is an excellent way to gain clients on social media, which will, in turn, further enhance your social media reputation.

Starting a Virtual Nutrition Consulting Business

You’re certified, you’re building your reputation – but what about actually starting a legal business? If your company already exists, great! But if this is all brand new to you, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Decide what your business structure will be. You can be a sole proprietor, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. You can read about these differences here. You’ll likely be starting your business as a sole proprietorship, but some may choose an LLC for tax purposes.
  2. Check your state’s rules to see what paperwork needs to be filed. You can find the information on what each state requires here.
  3. Open a bank account that is specifically for your business. Don’t co-mingle with your personal funds. Keeping your profits and expenditures separate will not only help you tremendously at tax time but in many cases, it’s legally required.
  4. Get insured. You’ll want liability insurance that protects you from any claims against you. As a business owner, anything can happen that someone may try to fault you for. You can get liability insurance through your own local broker.
  5. Create a website. You may opt to strengthen your website later by hiring professional web designers, but you can use any website builder to get started. Be sure to include information about yourself, your pricing, links to follow you on social media, and multiple ways to get in touch with you. Your site will also be a great place to blog, as well as offer before-and-after photos of your clients’ successes.
  6. Build your business. A great place to get information on how to get started is by taking a Business and Sales Course like the one here.

One thing to remember is that your website is essentially your virtual storefront. While a Facebook business page is also a great thing to have, a website adds an additional layer of credibility and professionalism and can ultimately help you obtain new clients.

How to Gain Nutrition Clients and Be Successful

Clients don’t generally fall into your lap (or if they do, you’re very fortunate!). We talked about building a reputation and how lead generation can help continue the reputation building. But there’s so much more to know – and so much more we can teach you!

Fitness Mentors Virtual Nutrition Coach certification not only teaches you the ins and outs of nutrition – but how to be successful in your online business. Learn how to generate leads for your nutrition coaching, run your business online, what nutrition software to use, how to qualify clients, how to close the sale, and so much more.

To get started on the road to helping people with their nutritional goals, all while earning financial freedom, launch your career today. 

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