#042: The Foundations of a Successful Nutrition Business w/ Nicole Aucoin

#042: The Foundations of a Successful Nutrition Business w/ Nicole Aucoin

We had such a huge amount of engagement and interest in last week’s show on creating a nutrition platform for your gym that we’re coming back this week with a more in-depth and advanced look at how you can actually create a successful nutrition business.

This week’s guest, Nicole Aucoin, will be sharing with us a bit of her turn-key approach which guided hundreds of gym owners and dietitians to see proven results in their clients. This show is a brief how-to guide for starting a nutrition business from the ground up. Nicole is the founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition and is also the owner of CrossFit HSN so her foundational steps allow her to effectively run both businesses.

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. PT on The Network where we’ll be airing live. Be sure to stick around for the live Q&A session at the end of the show so we can answer any questions you have.

This show was recorded live in The Network on Friday, July 20, 2018. Click the video to watch. 

In this article:

Image Credit: CrossFit HSN

The Foundations of a Successful Nutrition Program

4:00 Why should a gym owner care about this?

Nutrition is the foundation of the fitness pyramid and 99% of gyms don’t make it the foundation of their business. Their members aren’t seeing the results they potentially could have. They’re getting frustrated, deciding functional fitness isn’t right for them and moving on.

Member retention is incredibly important when you own a fitness business and having an additional revenue stream is beneficial as it improves the resiliency of your gym.

To summarize:

  1. Offering nutrition services provides your clients with the support they need to reach their health and wellness goals
  2. Additional source of revenue for the business
  3. Provide a opportunity for growth for a coach
  4. Expand the reach of your potential new clients

Image Credit: CrossFit HSN

6:00 How should a gym owner start creating a nutrition program?

As last week’s guest, Vince Vallez stated, you first need to decide what method will you use. What mythology do you want to do? Macro counting? Keto? Paleo?

Then dive deep into developing the roles and tasks for your nutrition coach. The protocol needs to be consistent and offer all things required to ensure your members see results.

Nicole’s business Healthy Steps Nutrition offers free samples of business models and multiple checklists and guides here with her Gym Owner Bundle.

She especially highlights the importance of refining how often your coaches are checking in with your clients. Accountability and support will be a priority in a highly-successful nutrition program. She suggests a pricing structured which is tiered based on how much accountability and support that client is prescribed.

Once you’ve refined your package (again visit her website for more information on how you can do this) you can think about the program in 3 phases:

Pre-phase 1:

Run a nutrition challenge which requires no customization. But don’t stop here! 99% of gyms stop here. Have an individual meeting with each participant at the end of the challenge where you spend 20 minutes to find out where they were strong and where they had challenges. This is your best opportunity to sell them into the program in a natural way.

You should also offer a free intro session for clients who are interested during other times of the year. Nicole has an iPad at the front desk where someone can sign up for a free intro session directly from the gym.

Phase 1:

Get your clients started on their program. Talk about fitness goals DURING the on-boarding of a new member, test biometrics if you can, then guide your new people towards the option that’s best for them which is bundled into their new gym membership. With this strategy, she’s not having to resell her members into nutrition because when they came in, that’s what they were looking for – someone to help them hit their goals, not sell them a gym membership.

Another option is a standalone nutrition program. Her standard package costs $250 which includes:

  • 1-hour consultation where they discuss goals, develop a plan, test biometrics, and get some nutrition education
  • Access to the HSN app which has weekly video automations and custom messages that are scheduled out

Phase 2:

Offer on-going nutrition coaching.

  • Consistent and doable coaching throughout the month
  • Coming in at the end of the month to retest their biometrics

Image Credit: CrossFit HSN

14:00 How do you go about marketing a nutrition program?

  1. You need a nutrition landing page. This is so that people who are interested in your service can learn more about it and sign up for it easily. The signup process must be as simple as possible. The marketing flow doesn’t stop there. Nicole also prints price sheets so, during the sales conversation, the transition from prescription to investment is as smooth as possible. When it comes to helping someone make a decision, you want to make sure it’s very easy for them.
  2. On Instagram, when you post about anything regarding nutrition, your CTA should be to “click the link in your bio” where your linktr.ee clearly has a place for people to access your landing page.

Nicole spends the majority of her marketing time creating helpful content and building herself up as the expert which is a GREAT strategy. She’s found that people who follow this strategy of content creation and over-education saw a dramatic improvement versus those who skimped in this area.

Image Credit: CrossFit HSN

26:00 Find coaches that are a good fit

A lot of gyms struggle with this. Trainers don’t always make great nutrition coaches. In fact, many timse the personalities of a functional fitness coach just don’t fit with nutrition coaching.

Nicole believes the coach should be extremely positive and find something good the client is doing no matter what. They have to find some kind of highlight to motivate them. They also need to be great and follow-through with check-inss, content creation, and must be passionate about nutrition. For example, nurses and teachers make great nutrition coaches because of their high-level of compassion.

Nicole and Markus also warn gym owners to be aware of the legalities around offering nutrition help as they vary from state to state. Nicole says she’s happy to help any gym who needs more information on this. You can reach her at: nicole at healthystepsnutrition dot com

Image Credit: CrossFit HSN

34:00 Create automation

Systemize as much as you possibly can because – God forbid – your program is actually successful!

Is it scalable? Are you destined to grow or implode? HSN’s app helps with the communications in a huge way. It also syncs with My Fitness Pal so she can see their food diary all in one place. For more information on how to scale you program, visit this page to get HSN’s Gym Owner Bundle which includes several great resources to learn how to grow your nutrition programs, increase profitability, and create lasting change in your clients’ lives.

nicole aucoinImage Credit: CrossFit HSN

About Nicole Aucoin

Find her on IG at @growyournutritionbusiness

Newsletter for gym owners

Jessica Depatie About the author

Jessica is the marketing maven here at Gymwright. She's a business consultant and holistic marketer for fitness businesses. She specializes in the decision-making psychology of what makes everyday people want to optimize themselves. She dives deep into how people seek out growth in the pursuit of living happier and healthier.

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