As an online RD nutrition coach, building relationships that produce referrals can be critical for the sustainability of your business. But what are the do’s and don’ts, and how should you go about getting referrals in 2021?
Before we dig a little deeper into this topic, allow me to introduce myself!
My name is Tony Stephan, and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. Before becoming a dietitian business coach, I was a dietitian nutrition coach. I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now, let’s review 3 tips to help YOU get referrals for your online nutrition coaching business.
Tip #1 – Getting Referrals By Focusing On What YOU Can Do For Them
Before you walk in and dump a ton of info about yourself and your services, find out what these people feel they need from you. Ask how you can make their work easier.
If you’re connecting with local doctor’s offices, they might say, “I wish I had more time to discuss nutrition recommendations instead of just giving them food lists and print-outs.” First, always mirror or echo back what you heard. This is an opportunity for you to build rapport. Then you can explain how you are able to offer individualized nutrition advice and ongoing support specific to their needs. Tie that into how this can improve health outcomes. For example, their patients may be more physically active and potentially wean off certain prescription medications over time. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship, so it’s important for you to position yourself in that manner.
If you’re connecting with personal trainers at local gyms, they might say something similar. “If my clients had more in-depth nutrition advice and expertise, they could see more progress in the gym.” Again, always mirror or echo back what you heard. Then explain how your services work and what outcomes or results their personal training clients might experience by working with you, too.
Remember, the idea here is to get them to realize how you can make their work easier. Show how you provide value!
Tip #2 – Getting Referrals By Increasing Your Visibility
Contacting you should not be difficult. It helps to have something your referral partners can provide to their patients or clients, too. Whether that includes business cards, flyers, or pamphlets, no one should have a hard time reaching you. You’ll want to include your email address and at least one social media page in the contact info section — this could be your Instagram or a Facebook group!
One way to increase your presence is to offer a nutrition talk or nutrition workshop. You can tailor it to the needs of their patients or clients. For example, if you’re talking to members of a CrossFit gym, you might review hydration, supplement safety, and pre/post workout nutrition. At the end of the talk, provide your contact information and add any interested parties to your email list (if you already have one!).
Tip #3 – Getting Referrals By Creating Raving Fans
This is one of the most effective things you can do as an RD nutrition coach! If your clients are raving fans, they will most certainly stay longer, pay, and refer friends and family, too. Same is true with your referral partners. You want others to bring you up if someone asks food or nutrition-related questions they don’t have the time (or expertise) to address!
This is huge when it comes to creating a sustainable business model for online nutrition coaching.
Establishing mutually beneficial relationships is key for building a referral network. Remember, the goal is to make their work easier. Figure out what you can do for them, build rapport around that, and get clear on the benefits of your nutrition coaching services.
After reading through this post, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously — I WANT to hear from you!
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If you’re a dietitian looking to start your own nutrition coaching business, you’re in the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! Check out some of our free resources below!