Do you post on social media daily, write blog posts, and share healthy recipes but then don't see any results in terms of selling your services?
If this sounds like you, we feel your pain! Nothing is more frustrating than working long days with no payoff.
When it comes to growing your nutrition practice, getting actual "real life" clients should be your main focus. While there is undoubtedly value to growing your social media following, blogging, and building awareness of your brand – locking down paying clients must come first.
Luckily, with a few shifts in where you target your efforts, you should be able to book at least five new clients in the next 30 days. No fluff or shortcuts to the top. Each of these tactics will take some planning and work on your behalf. But as with anything in life, you will get out what you put in.
So are you ready for the challenge?
Here are our favorite proven strategies for generating actual bookings:
1. Give a free talk.
Make a list of established businesses in your area that have a health-focused customer base. Here are some great businesses to look for:
- juice bars
- health food stores
- baby accessory stores
- organic hair salons
- food co-ops
- community centers
- grocery stores
- farmers markets
Next, reach out to every single business on your list with a proposal to provide a free talk to their customer base. The content of the talk should be relevant to their audience and provide value. Do NOT frame your talk as a commercial for your services, but rather a chance for the business to provide value to their community.
Here are three great examples of valuable topics:
- Starting solids with baby.
- What to eat for healthier skin.
- Pre and post workout nutrition 101.
Focus on packing as much value into your talks as possible, and don't forget to end the talk with a call to action. What do you want the participants to do next? Asking them to follow you on your favourite social media channel or sign up for your mailing list is a great call to action, as then you can stay in touch.
Tip: Use That Clean Life to create a meal plan or a collection of recipes related to your talk and email it out to participants after the talk. This is a great way to follow up with value and keep the conversation going.
For every talk you do, you should aim to gain at least one new client, plus great networking, relationship building and list growing, which will only benefit you down the road.
2. Reach out to friends and family.
If your first client was your mom’s best friend, you might be tempted to think it “doesn’t count” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that most successful businesses start with people you know personally, who will then refer someone close to them.
Your mom’s friend talks to her daughter, who talks to her volleyball coach, who talks to his niece. Soon you’ll have strangers contacting you, but it all starts with a personal connection! The people close to you are most likely to support you in the beginning, and the most likely to refer others to you as well.
So go ahead and reach out to friends and family to let them know about the services you offer and how you help people. You might consider offering a “friends and family” package, but don’t be afraid to charge for your services, no matter how close the relationship. People are more likely to follow advice that they paid for, so you’re building your business while actually improving their outcomes.
3. Offer a solution to a specific problem.
Re-read the first strategy on giving free talks. You will notice that all the valuable topic examples were very specific. Broad topics like “How to Eat Less Sugar” are far less likely to result in actual client bookings.
People need to see themselves in the content you’re presenting. When you offer a solution to a specific problem, you might not be appealing to everyone, but the people you do appeal to will be more likely to book a session.
Strangers are unlikely to pull out their wallets and pay money just to “get healthy.” However, someone with alopecia is extremely likely to seek out a solution and book an appointment with an autoimmune expert.
A common mistake new nutritionists make is trying to help everyone, which tends to dilute their message so much that it doesn’t really resonate for anyone.
Tip: Pick a topic and position yourself as the expert.
4. Plan a class or workshop.
Classes and workshops are a higher cost and time commitment than talks, but they are also great because you can monetize them upfront. Selling tickets to a class or workshop will help put money in your pocket while also connecting you with potential clients.
If you are worried that no one will come to your workshop, see strategy #2 and invite your mom’s book club or another group of people you have an existing relationship with.
For inspiration, here are some fun workshop ideas:
- Energy ball making workshop
- How to make mason jar salads
- Healthy mocktail making class
- Kombucha brewing or fermentation class
- Meal prep Sunday class
- Sprouting workshop
You can use That Clean Life to create materials to guide your class. You can also use That Clean Life to create a free gift like a meal plan or collection of recipes for participants to take home with them.
5. Ask for referrals.
Referrals are one of the most effective ways to attract new clients. However, a lot of practitioners don't ask their past and present clients for referrals as it can feel awkward. This is a big missed opportunity!
You can ask clients for referrals by email, over the phone, on zoom, on social media or even on your invoices. For the best results, be direct.
Tip: To encourage more referrals, include a referral incentive such as a free customized meal plan or recipe collection.
You can also create a referral program with other practitioners who aren't in direct competition for you. For example, you could set up a referral program with a personal trainer. You would refer clients to them that are looking for fitness support, and they would refer clients to you that need nutrition support.
6. Run a free challenge.
Running a free challenge is a great way to attract paying clients. Choose a topic that you know would appeal to your ideal clients then use your social media channels and email list to get your community signed up to participate in your challenge.
When the challenge is complete and participants are feeling great, have a solid call to action that tells them how to get more. Perhaps you could invite them to your paid program, or offer an exclusive discount on your one-on-one services.
Here are a few free challenge ideas:
- The one pan dinner challenge for busy moms.
- The 2-minute smoothie challenge for healthier mornings.
- A 5-day plant-based challenge.
- A 5-day sugar-free challenge.
- A 5-day meal prep challenge.
Tip: Use That Clean Life to create the materials for your free challenge - whether that is a meal plan or a collection of recipes.
You’ll notice that none of the above strategies focus on social media or ongoing marketing efforts. This isn’t because those strategies are unimportant, but they require trial and error and can take time to pay off. If you want to book clients right now, it will most likely require you to get in front of people, face-to-face.
We recommend choosing one or two tactics off this list and commit to implementing them ASAP. As we mentioned, these tactics will take work, but we promise you it will pay off. Clients won't magically fall into your lap, so put yourself out there.
Don't forget to always celebrate the small wins. Every client you do book can lead to more referrals, so focus on creating an amazing client experience to build a thriving practice.