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How To Become A Nutrition Coach: 7 Steps To Success

how to become a nutrition coach

So, you want to know how to become a nutrition coach (UK)? We have 7 steps to success here covering everything you need to know including: 

From start to finish, we’re here to help, but before we get straight into step 1, if you’re ready to get qualified already, why not find out more about our level 4 in advanced sports nutrition course? Find this and many other health and fitness courses in our downloadable course prospectus. 

Step 1 - Secure The Right Nutrition Coach Qualifications

become a nutrition coach

Your first step like in any job is making sure you meet the requirements as a minimum. Here are the qualifications you need and the ones that would be helpful to contribute to your CV.

Level 4 in Advanced Sports Nutrition

In order to become a certified nutrition coach, you’re going to of course need the certification, but what kind?

Well, you’ll need a Level 4 in advanced sports nutrition, but not to worry though this is a level 4 course, you don't need any prerequisites to sign up. This course entails the necessary information so that you’re able to advise potential clientele on ways to make healthier choices in order to reach their goals. Once you have completed the course, you’re then able to begin advertising yourself as a qualified nutrition advisor. 

It is within this course that you’ll learn the likes of:

  • Macros and Micros
  • Understand Nutrition Legislation
  • Understand the Relationship Between Nutrition and Physical Activity

These are a deeper dive into what most people know as their diet, and it will qualify you for more holistic health coach based roles, like this one:

how do you become a nutrition coach

This job in particular is looking for a minimum of level 3 qualification in a relevant field, whereas our nutrition course is actually a level 4 so you may just tip the scale in your favour!

Not to mention the fact that this works hand in hand with the personal training clients, which is why this is such a popular complementary course to personal trainers - but more on that next.

Useful Additional Qualifications

Personal Training 

By becoming a personal trainer, you will learn a certain level of nutrition during a module of “applying nutritional principles to personal training”. This is due to the sheer importance of gaining knowledge on the relationship between exercise and food. Though it will help you to know this, it isn’t necessary to become a nutritionist.

Nonetheless, it is hugely beneficial to take this knowledge further and combine both a level 3 diploma in personal training and a level 4 in advanced sports nutrition. Though often many fitness professionals will progress onwards from the personal training course to nutrition, there is no reason why you can’t progress the other way too. 

If your main focus is on how to be a nutrition coach above all else, there is a direct link between the food your clients eat, their energy intake, and their energy expenditure (exercise). It isn’t necessarily unusual to see this combination either, for example, take a look at this job advertisement below:

how to become a nutrition coach

You are required to have a nutrition certification and have experience in 1-2-1 check ins and calls. The only way you can train and coach on a 1-2-1 basis is to have a PT qualification, meaning both of these certifications will work incredibly well together.

With that in mind, it is a good idea to gain this PT qualification to not only get more knowledge behind you, but to also maximise your income and have a more fulfilling fitness career. 

Step 2 - Decide How and Where You’ll Conduct Your Nutrition Coaching

how to become nutrition coach

There is more than one route you can take when it comes to a career in nutrition. Here, we will discuss a few of the career routes you can take, including how to be an online nutrition coach, how to work as a freelancer and how to work in-house at an existing facility.

Work as an Online Nutrition Coach

A popular approach is working virtually as an online nutrition coach, since it can work nicely alongside any other commitments like personal training clients.

This way, you wouldn’t need to worry about securing a location for consultations or meetings! You can operate solely from your phone or computer, opting to communicate via messaging services or by arranging video calls via Zoom or other platforms. 

become a certified nutrition coach

This would include sending weekly diet recommendations through text and holding check-ins to monitor client progress whenever and however you see fit. 

The ease of access to get started makes this a popular choice for nutrition coaches to operate.

Conduct Your Nutrition Coaching as a Freelancer 1-2-1 

One of the more traditional routes of nutritional coaching is to have 1-2-1 sessions with clients of yours. This would include you sitting down on a regular basis and assessing your clients diet.

This is arguably a more reliable method of getting to the root of any nagging dietary habits that could be having a negative impact on progress, but it is subjective to each client’s preference. If you want to do this there are some things you need to prepare.

You should have the correct equipment such as tape measures and body fat measures. These will help you to get more accurate results when tracking progress and meeting with clients. 

Typically, you should meet up with your clients around once a week, depending on their goals and situations. This is aside from being contactable at other times during the working week too.

how to become a nutrition coach uk

You also need to find out where you’ll conduct your 1-2-1 session. An office or consultation room is a highly professional option. Operating out of an office that is private so your clients feel comfortable sharing any personal details with you.

It’s worth noting that this is standard for the likes of registered dieticians who can offer more in-depth and hands-on work with clients rather than a coach. As a nutrition coach, there isn’t the necessity to have in-house coaching since there are limitations to what you can offer.

A more casual alternative is to operate from a neat space in your own home or even to travel to your clients (provided they’re close enough). With this, you may lose a sense of professionalism but you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money that would otherwise be spent renting out an office space. 

 

Become a Nutrition Coach with OriGym!

Kick off your career with OriGym by enquring about a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition today.

Become an In-House Nutrition Coach

Though it isn’t a common approach, you may find yourself wanting to become a nutrition coach within an institution or company. 

Nonetheless, do note that when these jobs do arise or you’re searching on job boards, you wouldn’t be qualified to opt for a ‘nutritionist’ role.

It would either be advertised as a ‘nutritionist coach’ or a holistic ‘health coach’, like this example below:

how to become a certified nutrition coach

If this is the kind of job role you want, ensure you’re looking for the word coaching, this is important since if they state ‘nutritionist’ it's likely you’ll need a degree not a vocational course.

The rest of the article will be focused on starting a nutrition coaching business as a freelancer working in person or online, which won’t be relevant if you intend to work in-house- in that case, check out sites like Indeed to look for relevant job listings!

How to Start an Online Nutrition Coaching Business

become a nutrition coach online

Online nutrition coaching is a much more accessible approach, since you have the ability to keep in touch with clients more regularly and after the pandemic many industries were forced to move their services online and realised that this can still be a very fulfilling career.

With that in mind, you might want to consider how to become a certified nutrition coach online. First, the steps whether you’re an in-house or online nutrition coach are the same - you need to set up a business and ensure that you have the aforementioned qualifications behind you. 

The beneficial thing about online coaching is that you can design the approach however you wish, for example, if you want to have clients on a 1-2-1 basis the same way you would in-house, this is certainly possible. 

You can use the likes of Zoom to contact clients and have a meeting in the similar way you would in-house. However, with the development of apps and the ease of getting professional looking graphic work, having your services online can actually offer more. 

For instance, accountability is a huge aspect of staying on track with food and diet and to help your clients tackle this, you could utilise the likes of group chats filled with like minded clientele that can encourage one another. 

This keeps the momentum going and essentially, keeps them around as clients. However, if you want to take a different approach you can offer a package that is versatile to sell as a product. For example, take a look at this nutrition coach that does this below:

how do i become a nutrition coach

This can be a great way to get customers since there isn’t a commitment, but how do you ensure that you sell this package?

If you go for this online approach, you should be thinking about how you’re going to provide some level of incentive for customers to buy in the first place. This nutrition coach does this well, as you can see below:

how to become a fitness and nutrition coach

You can see that among the other benefits you get with this, there are “New recipes added on a regular basis”. This is incredibly important since you want to provide more than a one off recipe book that they could get in a book shop. 

To make it a valuable purchase, you should keep it updated, get in contact with clients and prove why you should invest into your coaching rather than your average recipe book. 

Step 3 - Conducting Effective Market Research Is A Key Part Of Being A Nutrition Coach

become nutrition coach

So we’ve answered your initial question of how do you become a nutrition coach? But now you have your qualifications in place and you have decided whether you want to coach clients online, in-house or as a freelancer, you can start to begin to build your brand. 

In order to build a successful business, you need to conduct research on your competitors and what is / isn’t working in your industry. Going in with no indication of what works and what doesn’t will not serve your business well. 

Your first step and arguably one of the most important steps of building your brand is to conduct some competitor analysis. 

This is essentially researching other nutrition coaches in your area so that you can assess factors such as:

  • Their pricing structure
  • How they structure their business model (e.g; one off payment or monthly rolling)
  • Whether they offer in-house or online coaching
  • Where they’re located & how this influences their pricing
  • How they market their services

 

Become a Nutrition Coach with OriGym!

Kick off your career with OriGym by enquring about a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition today.

So how do you go about finding these things out? Here are two main ways of doing this:

Google My Business

A good place to start is by utilising GooglemyBusiness. You probably use this more often than you realise, but when it comes to competitor research this is a free way to find out a lot from a little.

First off, think about your location. This is a great place to start to distinguish the standards currently set in your area, for example, if you search “Nutrition coach in Liverpool'' these are the first couple of GooglemyBusiness listings you will currently come across:

how to be nutrition coach

This is a great place to start, since there are some insights that can help inform your business choices. For example, within a GooglemyBusiness page, you can expect to find:

  • Address
  • Business site
  • Social media pages
  • Contact number
  • Opening hours
  • Questions and answers
  • Reviews

The most important features that will inform your market research are the likes of the business, opening hours, Q&A’s and reviews

One of the more important sections is the Q&A’s and reviews since this is going to provide a raw look into the business.

Reviews can tell you where the business needs improvement and thus, where you can fill this gap for potential clients. Similarly, questions and answers can show you what customers are asking, are they asking for a particular service to be brought back? If so, you could make sure you offer this. 

Try to find out as much as you can from limited resources since this is a budget friendly way to see past the advertisements the business owner posts.

Analyse Nutrition Coach Websites in your Area

Becoming a nutrition coach means scoping out your competition, business sites are the perfect way to do this. 

For example, you can see below an example of a business that offers nutrition coaching and how they make their website actionable. 

become a nutrition coach uk

Not only is their site instantly actionable, but it stays consistent throughout while being descriptive about what they offer. 

They are clear about the fact that they do not offer a dietician, which is important so you’re not  confusing clients with what a nutrition coach is, since it is not a position in which you can prescribe meal plans.

As you can see on this example, they state they provide advice and support. While they also have an FAQs section which makes this abundantly clear, you can see that below:

become a nutrition coach in the uk

This is a great place to do some market research since you can see what is done well. For example, you might want to have a similar structure to a website like this so taking note on how they advertise their services is super important.

As well as this, you can expect to find pricing information on business sites.

This is why it is important for you to search for competitors in your area since location plays a huge role in determining pricing, but more on that later.

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If you want some more resources on a career in the nutrition industry, why not take a look at these articles below:

Step 4 - Secure The Right Legal Coverage For Your Nutrition Coaching Business

how to be an online nutrition coach

Ensure you get Insurance to Run a Legitimate Nutrition Coaching Business 

Insurance when you work in the health and fitness industry is vital, it is what will protect you, your employers if you have any, your business and of course, your clientele.

The key policies you need to look for are:

  • Professional treatment liability insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Personal accident insurance

Providers such as Hiscox offers insurance for nutrition coaches, you can see below in their words why you need these policies, we’ve highlighted the most important snippets of each policy:

how to be an online nutrition coach

Even if you’re not a dietician or a degree level nutritionist, if you’re working with any member of the public even if it is just informed advice they’re paying for your service. Thus, at the minimum you’ll need Public Liability insurance.

Register Your Nutrition Coaching Business

Secondly, if you’re in the UK and you have gained your nutrition coach qualifications, you need to register your business.

This stage is probably a lot easier than you think, first, you just need to head over to the UK government website, you can find the relevant page here:

It looks like this below:

how to be a nutrition coach

You can go through this process step by step, they take you through each essential task that you need to complete in order to register.

First you do need to decide whether you want to practise as a sole trader or as a limited company, a limited company is likely to be the better option since your business becomes a separate entity to you personally. 

If you do decide to go as a sole trader, though this isn’t necessarily the wrong thing to do, in fact it is a popular route, you should keep in mind that you’ll be personally liable for anything that happens to do with your business.

With that being said, below you can see the steps in order to register your limited company:

what qualifications do you need to be a nutrition coach

If you want to find out more about registering as a sole trader, you can find the relevant page here, if you’re just starting out this might be a preferable option since it is pretty easy to get started, you can see below what you need to do to set up as a sole trader:

what do you need to be a nutrition coach

It is pretty straight forward, so once you have decided which route you think is best for you and what stage you’re in your career, go ahead and follow the step-by-steps on the Government website.

 

Become a Nutrition Coach with OriGym!

Kick off your career with OriGym by enquring about a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition today.

Step 5 - Your Nutrition Coach Career Starts with An Effective Business Plan

how to be nutrition coach

The next step when figuring out how to start a nutrition coaching business is to write a thorough business plan which can help you to find your starting point and actually get the ball rolling when it comes to setting up a business.  

We have broken down the more detailed steps that your business plan needs to include in our extensive article on how to write a nutrition business plan here, but we will touch on the basic factors to consider below, such as:

Writing an Executive Summary

Your executive summary needs to include a formal introduction into your business and why you project its success. It is here that you’ll include your mission statement, say why you’re building a nutrition coach business and how you expect it to grow. 

becoming a nutrition coach

Description of your Company

You should be more specific in this section, it's here you’re able to lay out your potential consumers and how you’re going to fill any gaps in the market in your area. Think about any specifics that make your nutrition coaching business different from your competitors.

Market Research Analysis

We spoke earlier about how you can go about market research, present your findings from these aforementioned researching tactics and describe how you’re going to solve any problems you see in your local market.

Management / Legal Structure

This is when you can get into the legalities that we spoke about earlier. Here, talk about if you’re a sole trader or limited company and why. Also, the insurance policies you hold and if you’re going to be hiring employees.

how long does it take to become a nutrition coach

Marketing Strategy

We will talk about how you can market your nutrition coach business in more detail soon, but you need a strong marketing strategy in place - this will be a big percentage of your business plan.

Financial Projections & Funding Request Details (if necessary) 

A formal business plan in this way should not just include financial projections for your sake of planning, but if you require funding and need investors, you should put here why they can trust your business with an investment. Are your financial projections viable?

You can of course add in any other details that are relevant to your business plan, the more useful details the better like dates and accurate projections but avoid filling it with fluff.

Step 6 - Implement An Effective Pricing Structure To Maximise Your Nutrition Coach Profits

how to start a nutrition coaching business

Now, it’s time to put your market research into use and come up with a sensible yet effective structure to maximise your income. 

There are some things that you need to be thinking about when deciding on a pricing strategy. Remember, it should be a strategy not a number plucked out of thin air. 

Start by thinking about your outgoings for your business and your life. The end goal with starting a nutrition coaching business is to make profit, so don’t sell yourself short. 

Your typical outgoings will include the likes of:

  • 1-2-1 office rental & bills (if necessary)
  • Insurance 
  • Creating a programme (graphics, logos etc.)
  • Pay for your labour time
  • Any necessary equipment (e.g. scales, body fat measures etc.)

As well as this, you need to anticipate how many students to expect, for example, do you already have a client base from personal training perhaps? Or are you new to the health and fitness industry all together? 

starting a nutrition coaching business

While you make all of these decisions, you should still be keeping in mind that you want to offer a competitive price compared to other nutrition coaches in your area.

Something else that will factor into your pricing would be your deciding method of coaching; online or in person? Online will ultimately have less outgoings since you won’t be paying office bills or rent. 

You must use your market analysis to inform this and also compare it to relevant businesses. For instance, if your plan is to operate from an office setting 1-2-1, avoid using examples of people who have become a nutrition coach online. 

Our recommendation is to look at more evergreen choices of pricing, like membership packages. 

By offering your services on a rolling basis, you will have the opportunity to retain clients for the long haul and make consistent new goals to keep them on board. For example, take a look at this coach that does this:

starting a nutrition coaching business

Once you press sign up, you’re taken to a payment screen where you can find the price, you can see what this looks like below:

starting a nutrition coaching business

This continued commitment is beneficial for you and the client, so it is worth taking this approach with a competitive price that can increase when you feel the demand requires such.

 

Become a Nutrition Coach with OriGym!

Kick off your career with OriGym by enquring about a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition today.

Step 7 - Start Marketing Yourself As A Nutrition Coach

how to start an online nutrition coaching business

The final step is to bring all of your planning together and start selling your nutrition coach services. Below, you can see some ways to effectively market your business from budget friendly ways to ones that require a little more investment.

Ask People to Refer Their Friends & Family

Asking your peers to support your business is an opportunity that you may overlook, but it can go a long way. 

This can work similarly to a referral programme in which you can offer some level of incentive for those who share your business among their friends and family. For example if you decide to use a referral method, you’re only going to have any outgoings if you already have a strong lead that is definitely going to become a client. 

For instance, you could create a programme in which you offer a current client a referral code and if their referral signs up to a membership, they both get their first month 50% off.  

This is a prime example of how you can get more strong leads that are actually likely to join. 

Build A Website

Building a website may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but with plenty of softwares being accessible it has become a lot easier. 

You can use the likes of Wix, GoDaddy or SquareSpace. These can help you with templates and take you through the steps of setting up your website with consideration as to what your goal is. 

For example, if you want a booking system and SEO help, you can access this through these website builders too. 

If not, you can always use sites such as People per Hour or Fiverrr to hire somebody to do this for you, it will take a little investment but when it is complete, it will really help to drive traffic to your business and ultimately, make conversions. 

nutrition coaching business uk

Use Social Media to Reach New Students

Social media should always be a priority since it is a free way to maximise your engagement. 

It can take some time to build, but by creating a business account on Instagram, you’re able to assess your engagement levels in terms of:

  • How many people are seeing your posts
  • Posts with the most engagement
  • Other competitors

This is also a good place to put your contact information like an email address and phone numbers. You can put a face behind the brand here too, making it more personal and potential clients will appreciate this since to be a nutrition coach you should build up some level of trust. 

how to create nutrition coaching business

Create a GoogleMyBusiness Page  

We spoke about how you can use Googlemybusiness as a research tool, but using it to your advantage as a business is just as important. 

You can create a listing for free, all you have to do is create a business profile and follow the steps by filling out the information we spoke about earlier, such as:

  • Your business address
  • Your business website
  • Social media links
  • Contact number
  • Opening hours
  • Questions and answers
  • Reviews

By optimising these features, you can work your way onto the search-engine-results-page (SERP) and get noticed more. This will help your business and ultimately improve your professionalism.

Before You Go…

Now that you have all of the tools to become a nutrition coach, it is time to get your career on the road and take the first step in the right direction.

If you’re ready to get qualified, start by taking a level 4 course in advanced sports nutrition here at OriGym. Find this and many more health and fitness courses in our downloadable course prospectus here.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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