Today I will walk you through the steps it takes to build and scale a nutrition coaching business so that you stop feeling overworked. 

 

This is critical to understand because the sales, marketing and client management processes that work for your first 5 clients will break down when you scale to 10. 

  • The processes that work at 10 clients will break when you hit 20 clients. 
  • The processes for 20 clients will break when you have 40. 

In my experience, every 5-10 new 1-1 clients you gain increases the likelihood that your systems will break. But if you set up your business to scale from day 1, you will be just as effective at managing 5 clients as 50. 

The first major problem I see all nutrition coaches facing when growing their business is getting their first 5 paying clients. That’s why I put my top strategies to QUICKLY get your first 5 clients front and center in the Build Mentorship for Nutrition Coaches.

 

Your first 5 paying clients…

…are SO SO critical for a few key reasons

  • Before you hit the 5 client mark, you might spend an INSANE amount of time over-delivering to your clients.
    • Since you’re only working with a few people they’re the most important thing in YOUR world so you’re likely to overcommunicate which can actually turn them off.
    • Most people think they’re busy, and don’t have time to read long emails or texts from you every day. Plus, clients need to struggle a little bit to grow. You can’t cottle them.
    • You also overwork yourself for very little, or no pay if you aren’t charging your first clients…which is a mistake.

5 client mark there are some key things that change

First, we’ve found that about:

  1. 30% of new coaches clients will not follow through with their programs despite the coaches best efforts.
  2. About 20% of their clients will get results worth sharing, and
  3. The remainder will fall somewhere between low compliance with average results and high compliance with good results.

This means out of 5 paying clients, chances are one will be an all star with a transformation story that will help you sell more coaching, and be a major potential referral source. 

With less than 5 clients, there is less than 1 in 5 chance that you are working with an all star. 

Second, if you charge the right price for your coaching, 5 clients means you’ll have a healthy side-income. 

Last but not least, with 5 clients you will just start to feel the pressure of any sloppy systems or poor organization you have with clients. 

You’ll either be overworked and wondering how you can possibly scale past 5 clients OR it means you will have to revamp your business systems and client organization tactics.

5 Clients Create Sustainability

So getting your first 5 clients will set you up to create a sustainable business, validate that this is a venture worth your energy and build confidence that you CAN make this your full time gig one day.

  • And you will be able to sort out your business systems.
  • From here, the next level is when you hit 10 clients.
  • When you hit 10 clients, that’s 2x the workload.
  • But you’ll also have some assets on your side which will help you scale.

At this point you will have your first round of transformation stories (social proof for the win!)

You’ll have client referral sources, and possibly local business referral sources. 

Additionally, you’ll have stress tested your coaching process – so now you have a better idea about how to provide a high-value coaching experience that gets your clients results.


BUT….

Is It Time To Leap?!

You probably still have your “other job” and you’re not sure how to make the leap to coaching full time. You are already overworked. However, not yet making enough yet to sacrifice your reliable income.

And even though you’re more confident, you still question yourself and your abilities. You might be afraid to raise your prices. You’re still struggling a bit with sales and marketing.

 

So let’s talk out some of these obstacles.

  • If you’re still working full or part time at another job to pay the bills you’re in a catch-22 position.
    • You have more clients which means more time spent on check ins.
    • Your admin work load swells, which means marketing and sales suffer.. And chances are your business will contract if you don’t continue working on finding new clients.

At this point you’ve probably come close to tapping out the potential of your personal network and audience. To grow from here takes a bit more effort in marketing and sales.

  1. So do you quit your full time gig for this new venture and go all in? 
  2. Do you overwork yourself burning the candle at both ends to support your clients, and market yourself? 
  3. Or do you just pray that things change without action?

How about, none of those. 

Review/Standardize Your Processes

At this point, you should have teased out some of the most frequently asked questions from your clients. 

  • You should know what admin tasks take the most time. 
  • And you should start seeing which marketing channels are getting a response.

This is the point where you can start to systematize and automate your business more effectively so you can still deliver value to your clients and audience without doubling your workload.

Your lack of time can be an asset and means that you have to STOP ineffective marketing and focus on what’s working.

The Critical Point

At ten one on one clients, this is the point where your business is at a critical point. 

It either contracts and overwhelms you to the point where it’s a permanent side hustle. 

Or it is a growth point where your business feels easy to run, leads flow in reliably, and you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Quitting or reducing your hours at your other job and making nutrition coaching your full time gig is so close you can taste it!

And by the time you hit 20 clients, that’s when you have to make the decision. 

Are you all in? Or are you happy here?

Because this is where you need to leave your other job. 

You need to build your sales and marketing chops.

You need to invest time and money into growing your business.

You have to expand outside your local community and figure out how to attract and convert clients who don’t already know you.

You have to consistently create content with the right message, start conversations with your ideal clients…and most importantly…you need to continually audit and improve your client experience.

Because there are millions of nutrition coaches now.

Over 100,000 people have a PN level 1 and they’re not slowing down. 

In my opinion every single coach who is doing this as a side hustle, or who isn’t continuing to educate themselves about how to run a business and differentiate themselves in a crowded market is either

  1. Going to be replaced by artificial intelligence 
  2. Be outsold by a more experienced coach who has invested more time and money into growing as a coach and business owner.

I’ve created a massive free training about how to attract clients at every stage of your journey as a coach. It really gets into the weeds.

 

Join the conversation at the Online Nutrition Coach Community:  how many clients are you working with right now? How many do you want to work with?