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How to Get New Clients as a Fitness or Nutrition Coach

strategies for getting referrals and more clients as a nutrition coach or personal trainer

Education Options for Nutrition Coaching and Fitness Training

Your first step in launching a successful nutrition or fitness coaching business is earning your education and certification. And, at the same time, remembering that education is ongoing. Please don’t think for a second that after you earn your certification, you’re done learning. That is simply the foundation for your lifelong journey of education and personal growth. The more you learn, the more you earn. People who are at the top of any industry are constantly learning and lifelong students. That’s the way it has always worked. That’s the way it always will be.

Your first certification is most likely the NESTA Fitness Nutrition Coach. If you are also teaching fitness, consider the NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification.  If you want to go the group exercise route, learn about the NESTA Group Exercise Instructor Certification. Then it could be followed by the Spencer Institute Holistic Nutrition Coach. Next would be the NESTA Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist Certification. From there, you could specialize in more of a holistic approach, wellness approach or fitness approach.  Still, in other cases, you might want to focus more on working with athletes. In that case, you would want to invest in the NESTA Sports Nutrition Coach Certification.

How to Get New Clients as a Fitness or Nutrition Coach

Once you have your primary certification(s) out of the way, you can focus on building your client base. Remember, any of the programs we offer also include an incredibly comprehensive business, marketing, and client acquisition success system. Yes, we give all this to you for free just for enrolling in any of our courses.  

Let’s Get You Some Clients

Ask for Referrals

We understand that this is basic, fundamental, and hopefully obvious. Yet, ironically, it’s often overlooked. Or, if it’s not overlooked, it is not structured in any way. Rather than haphazardly asking friends or family or existing clients for referrals, you need to have a structured system. 

One thing you can do is tell your brand-new clients that referrals of friends and family are appreciated even on their very first session. This way, your new client knows from the very beginning that this is part of the process. There’s no reason to wait a month to ask a client for a referral. In fact, they will probably be so excited when they first start your program, they will be more likely to share with people they know anyways. So, ask them when it’s new, fresh, exciting, and top of mind for them. 

Another way to ask for referrals is at the conclusion of any type of educational video you put on social media. As an example, you may go live on Facebook. You may talk about the benefits of foods rich in vitamin C. At the conclusion of the video, you can say something such as… “If this has been helpful to you, and you’d like nutrition coaching, please send me a DM. If you know others who would also benefit, please refer them to me. They can reach me  by direct message, email, or by filling out the form on my website.”  Of course, there are other ways to phrase this, but you get the idea.

Add Value on Social Media

Far too many trainers and coaches post random and nonsensical things on social media, including political rants, which add no value, and can even distract, from building a successful business. First, talking about politics will likely alienate 50% of potential new clients.  So, that’s not smart. 

Your presence on social media should be positive, entertaining, and educational. And, when you are posting something about training or coaching or personal development etc., it needs to have value. You should not simply post a picture of you flexing in the mirror as an example. We cannot think of one time when a guy is flexing in the mirror while swinging a kettlebell, and it made a client want to work with him because they thought he could add value to their life.  Boasting about being smart without sharing how to increase brain power is the opposite of properly using your brain. Discussing how much money you made without teaching a strategy for investing is not wise either.  Sharing the fact that you are eating pizza is a waste of a post, unless you discuss healthier pizza options, such as a better crust, lower fat toppings, or an oil that has fewer health concerns.

Social media, regardless of the platform, gives you endless ways to share, teach, instruct, share your expertise, and then ask the viewer to learn more about your offerings. Scheduling social media posts can help you with the necessity of adding value. You can have a theme for your education, or value-added post, each day. You can focus on one topic on Monday, another on Tuesday, and yet another on Wednesday, etc. You may decide to go live on Facebook one day a week focused on a specific topic and invite people to ask questions. This is the perfect opportunity for you to talk about your programs, gain authority, entertain, and educate and build your business.  In short, don’t just post to post.  Have a plan.  Be THE source of quality and helpful information.

Go to Local Community Events

This is obviously more effective when you have a location-based business as opposed to one where you serve clients around the country or world online.  Depending on the type of event you attend, you may find people who are key to referring others. These are leaders or connectors.  In other situations, you will meet many people who will directly become your clients.  So, which groups are great places to start?  

Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. They often have networking events for their members. Another great way to meet other business owners in your community is to attend grand openings of other businesses. The Chamber of Commerce will often have a grand opening celebration for new businesses that open in your community. They may offer a ribbon-cutting ceremony. You want to get involved in those events and opportunities.  They are filled with affluent, smart, and well-connected people. 

You can also work with the local PTA/PTO. You can offer a 10-, 20- or 30-minute presentation on a specific and relevant topic of interest to the audience of this group. It could be related to weight loss, detoxification, stress management, enhancing your sleep, reducing back pain, eliminating fatigue, etc.  Without a doubt, when you are done speaking to this group, many people will come up and ask you more questions. This is your time to build rapport, answer questions further, and invite them to work with you as a coach or trainer.

Here’s something you may have never considered.  Throughout the year, in your community, or a neighboring community, there will likely be several fitness, sports, community or other events such as a walkathon, 5K run, 10K, or marathon. There could be other physical activity events as well.  Communicate well in advance with the event organizer. Offer your services. You can do a fun and entertaining dynamic warm-up for the event. This creates camaraderie and unifies the group. It can also buy some time for the event organizer if things are running late, and if everyone is well warmed up, there is less likelihood of injury. Any time you can reduce injury, and any related potential legal issues, as an event organizer, this is a good thing.  In some cases, depending on how much you help with the event, the event organizer may give you a sponsor booth for free, or at least for a discount. And because you were the person who bonded everyone at the beginning, it makes it easier for you to drop people to your booth after the physical part of the event, when the party, music, and celebration begin.  Of course, it’s imperative to have all your current clients in the front wearing your apparel showing solidarity. And, you will want to make sure all of this gets captured with hundreds of photos and lots of video. You can use this for days, weeks and months into the future….. possibly even years.

Where Can You Learn More About Building Your Business?

Be on the lookout for future articles about more ways to get an endless stream of clients for your training or coaching business. You will also want to search through the archives of our blog because there are many other articles that go into great depth about dozens of other ways to get clients.

Here are a couple that we suggest: 

3 free ways to get more coaching clients

101 Ways to attract new fitness and nutrition coach clients

That’s it for now.

Take action!

NESTA | Spencer Institute

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