Hey Beyond Macros Heros, Matt here with another video to help you grow your coaching business by learning the tpo 5 Mistakes Nutrition Coaches Make. 

An unfortunate reality is that most nutrition coaching certifications don’t teach you how to practically apply your knowledge or run a business.

If you’re like most of the new nutrition coaches who I talk to, you are probably making one of these 5 common mistakes.

In today’s video, I will teach you about each of these mistakes, and give you tips to avoid them as you are starting out.


The Top 5 Mistakes Nutrition Coaches Make

  1. Working for Free
  2. Being Afraid To Sell
  3. Saying too much
  4. Social media without a strategy
  5. Ignoring who they know


Working for Free

The first mistake I see new nutrition coaches making is that they try to give away their services for free. I’ve talked extensively about why this is a mistake in another video. However, I’ll cover the bullet points in this video as well. See Related Video: Never Work For Free – How to Price Your Coaching Packages.

I understand that when you’re first starting out, you aren’t confident in your services. You might feel like an impostor charging to coach someone. This is especially true when you’ve never done it before. You think that coaching someone for free means that you’ll get experience as a coach. You’ll have a testimonial that you can use when you eventually start charging for your services.

But, working with a client for free is a disaster for so many reasons. 

First, chances are that whoever you’re working with for free is a friend or relative. If they don’t follow your coaching cues this sets the stage for resentment. It’s as likely to set you up for a rough patch in your relationship as it is for you to help them make a life changing transformation.

Second, if people aren’t willing to pay you for your coaching services, they aren’t in enough pain to receive your coaching services. If you ask them to make a change in their life, but it feels difficult to make that change they are far less likely to find the willpower to make the change. The pain of changing outweighs their desire to reach their goals.

It’s Risky Business Working for Free

Overall, it’s risky. The chances that your client makes a transformation worth sharing are low. If they don’t stick to your process, you don’t come out the other end of that coaching experience knowing if you have a process that works.

And you’ve now just spent 8-12 weeks coaching someone for no pay. You have no experience and no transformation story or referral to help you sell your service moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE to help someone for free or to foster a life changing transformation, and to get referrals and a transformation story from it. But I’ve mentored and supported LOADS of nutrition coaches and the vast majority regret working for free at first for one of the reasons I’ve highlighted.

In the video I did about why you should never work for free, I pose a few alternative options for coaches who are just starting out.

My advice if you’re new to nutrition coaching

Charge a respectable rate for your services, and offer a full refund IF the client sticks to the program, checks in with you each week, but still doesn’t get results.

This removes the client’s risk because if they don’t get results, their financial risk is removed. This removes your risk because either they do the work and make a transformation, because when people are consistent with a nutrition plan they will see results. OR they don’t follow the plan at all but at least you got paid and learned that people ARE willing to pay for your nutrition coaching services.

Being Afraid to Sell

The next common mistake I see new coaches making is a fear of selling. Usually this fear manifests in the form of free initial consultations. 

Seasoned coaches who close clients on autopilot know that the initial consultation is a fact finding meeting, and that the real life changing transformation happens when a prospective client enrolls in your program.

But new coaches who are afraid of selling and lack confidence in their program turn the initial consult into an hour of attempted coaching. 

A veteran coach who knows how to sell their services will spend the initial consultation with their ears open and mouth closed. They will ask the prospective client about their desires, their current situation, what’s holding them back from their vision, and why they feel they need nutrition coaching. 

They collect enough information to know how to close the gap between where the prospective client is and where they need to go.

And in recognizing that there’s no way in a short one-off meeting they can solve all of the client’s problems, the veteran coach offers their services as a solution to the problem.

The difference with new coaches is that  instead of spending the initial consultation asking questions, they feel as if they need to “provide value” and prove that their coaching will be worth it.

So they might ask questions about the client’s goals and what they’re struggling with. But they forget to keep their ears open and mouth shut. When the prospective client answers, the new coach spews a bunch of solutions to each little problem the prospect brings up without having a clear picture of the prospect’s needs.

This leads to the prospect feeling confused about what they need to do next, or overwhelmed with what it will take to reach their goals. And that fear about beginning a complicated process means that the prospect is not likely to contract your services. It seems too hard.

Don’t forget to Position The Value & Benefits

The new coach who is afraid of selling also tends to forget to position the value and benefits of their services. In a fearful state at the end of the meeting they realize they better pitch the prospect. And instead of artfully explaining how their services will bridge the gap between where the prospect is currently, and where they want to go- they explain a few features of the coaching.

“We check in each week via email, we have weekly calls, and I’ll send you recipes. Sound good?”

And then the price question.

This is where coaches who are afraid of selling go wrong. Instead of dropping the price and shutting up, they often bury the price in with a bunch of other information or say it without confidence.

And when you aren’t confident that is your price and that you deliver on your value, the prospect picks it up and will not enroll.

There is no quick fix to a fear of selling. But the best thing I did was sell memberships at a CrossFit gym, and over time refined my sales process. This in person selling made closing nutrition clients in person and online effortless. It reduced my fear of the sales process and helped me realize that I was helping people make a decision that would change their lives for the better.

I re-framed my own internal beliefs about selling, and through practice also improved my ability to be relaxed in a sales setting.

So in short, inner work plus practice is the answer.

Saying too much

The third common mistake new coaches make is that they just say too much. And not just in the sales setting like I just described! But also when working with clients.

The most common way I see this manifest is when a coach has not properly assessed a client’s level of knowledge and is describing the science behind the changes that the client needs to make. 

I know from experience this is because of an insecurity about your own knowledge. When I first started coaching I felt that I needed to prove to every client that I knew what I was talking about. This unnecessarily complicated my coaching cues and process.

I also felt that I need calls and meetings to last a long time, or for check in emails to be a book because clients were paying me.

In my mind I thought I was getting paid by the word like a Victorian novelist, and didn’t recognize that I was actually getting paid to synthesize the information into bite size actions that made my clients’ transformation easier.

Let’s Try This Example

One example that might occur is telling a client that doesn’t know broccoli from kale and considers ketchup a vegetable that, ““we need to maximize muscle protein synthesis in the post exercise period. This can be achieved with a high quality protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. I read a study that you can either consume the amino acids before or after a workout. The study was cool and also showed that muscle protein synthesis is higher when you consume a larger dose of amino acids. There’s also some research that suggests consuming the amino acids either 1 hour before or 1 hour after the training period is optimal”

When a way more effective way to communicate this message is “you need to drink 40g of whey protein powder after your workout. You can buy some at this website, and just mix the powder with 12oz. Of water in a blender bottle and shake it” 

If you’re a new coach, it can be a helpful practice to read over any written check ins you give your clients and evaluate every sentence of text asking yourself “am I saying this because it will help my client take action? Or am I saying it because it shows how much I know?”


In the Beyond Macros Certified Coach program, we teach coaches a few key values to combat this issue.

They include:

  • Have 4 ears and one mouth.
  • Collect the dots before you connect the dots.
  • Ask one more ‘why’ than feels comfortable.
  • “Tell me more about that.”
  • More questions, less statements.

It’s that important, and that common of an issue that we actually created 5 values statements to combat it.

Social Media Without a Strategy

The most common struggle I hear new coaches vocalizing is that they just don’t know where to find clients. They aren’t sure what the secret is to attracting clients. But they see that other coaches and nutrition coaching companies use social media. And you might have read an article that social media is the best way to market in the fitness industry.

So you post on Facebook and Instagram every day hoping it will lead to clients. Unfortunately, those posts barely get engaged with. And you wonder if the only way to get clients from social media is to have a huge following.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, we have put very little focus into social media marketing at Beyond Macros. It might be a huge missed opportunity, but we have other areas that generate a waitlist of clients so social media only gets intermittent attention.

But when we do put a focus on social media, we do it with a strategy. And it does provide us with leads when we focus there.

The problem I see with new coaches is that they expect leads and followers to magically appear if they consistently put out content on social media.

But there are 3 major mistakes new coaches make with their approach to social media.

  1. They don’t know who they’re talking to
  2. They don’t have a clear call to action
  3. They use social media as a billboard instead of as a conversation starter

If you don’t know who you’re talking to, and just post generic nutrition information and tips that people have already heard before, your ideal clients will scroll right past your feed. Your content is unlikely to land with them.

And even if the content you post lands with your ideal client, does it ask them to do something? Every social media post should call the viewer to action as the first step in a conversation. This might be asking the viewer to comment, send you a message, or follow a link.

And to drive this conversation point home, posting on social media like it’s a billboard doesn’t lead to conversations. You need to make sure to engage with the people who engage with your post. If you call them to action and invite a conversation instead of just shouting information at them, you’re more likely to end up booking an initial consultation and closing a client.


The last mistake I’ll talk about for today is a critical one. I’ve seen a number of coaches in one of the certification graduate Facebook groups I’m a part of talking about how they haven’t managed to work with a single client yet. Some have even held the certification for a full year without finding any clients.

And I’ll be honest, the language I see being used by these people is one of being the victim. As if earning a certification that OVER 100,000 other people also earned means they deserve clients. And as I often talk about, an inner shift needs to happen in order for these people to move from a victim mentality to a position of creative power.

But I think strategically they’ve also made one major mistake. And that’s ignoring who they know. I see too many new coaches trying to “find clients online”. 

But it’s a major mistake. It takes a lot of groundwork to establish enough authority and trust to convert a stranger online into a client. But if you already have a network of people who know, like, and trust you that is where you need to be looking for clients.

One of the first exercises in our Certification Program gets coaches to create a plan to find clients in their existing network. And most of them didn’t even realize the goldmine of prospective clients right in front of their face.

If this is you, then we’ve got an exercise linked up in the description that could get you your next 5 clients this month without spending a dollar on ads.

But even before you do that exercise I want to explain the difference between the two types of niches for coaches.

You have your local niche and your personality niche.

The local niche is where I recommend coaches start. Your local niche is anybody in your community who wants to lose weight, gain muscle, or achieve whatever result you’re promising. It could be parents, single professionals, athletes, desk jockeys. As long as they’re in your local community, they’re in your niche.

The personality niche is what online coaches must establish. Your personality niche is the types of people you work with. Your ideal clients who want the specific result you are promising. For example “busy moms who want to improve their stamina for tennis”. The more specific with your personality niche, the easier online coaching becomes.

By focusing on your local niche, you can leverage the fact that people can see you, in person. It’s way easier to establish knowing, liking, and trusting in person. You can leverage relationships with complementary businesses, or the community at your gym. And you can find clients way more easily.

It also gives you the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and sort out WHO you love working with. That way, as you move your business online, you can identify your ideal client and carve out your personality niche based on real experience.


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