How To Get Motivated Clients Who Stay, Pay, And Refer

by | May 10, 2021

As a dietitian nutrition coach, you’ll work with all kinds of people (which is a great thing)! However as we all know, some clients are more ideal to work with than others. In our line of work, finding motivated clients who are ready to make the commitment to change matters.

Finding Motivated Clients: Two Sides To The Same Coin

If you have been in the nutrition coaching realm for long, you will have experienced two ends of the spectrum in particular with clients:

  1. The motivated client that works hard, listens to your advice, and becomes your biggest fan from getting the results they were looking for.
  2. The kind of client that doesn’t put the effort in to see results, doesn’t listen to your advice and then tries to put the blame on you for not reaching their goals in the end.

Which type of client would you rather coach? It’s fair to say we would all choose option one! In this article, we are going to talk about how you can get motivated clients who stay, pay, and refer! But before we get into the bulk of it, first 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. However before I became a dietitian business coach, I was an RD nutrition coach (just like you). 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 allow me to share with you everything you need to know about how to attract motivated clients who will stay, pay, and refer.

How Do I Find Motivated Clients?

As dietitian entrepreneurs, sometimes we feel as if we must serve EVERYONE who approaches us for help. Afterall, that is how it works in a more traditional RD job setting. In a traditional RD job setting, we serve everyone who comes our way (and that is a great thing!)

However being an RD nutrition coach is very different from working in a traditional RD job setting. As an RD nutrition coach and entrepreneur, it’s actually best if you DON’T serve every single person who comes your way.

Here is WHY:

  1. Your time is precious. As a dietitian nutrition coach, you are spending MONTHS working with the clients you take on. It’s important to verify that the clients you take on are READY to commit to change.
  2. If you serve everyone, you end up serving no one! As an RD nutrition coach, you need an ideal client, a niche to serve. Through identifying your ideal client, it will set you up as the expert in that particular area AND it will help you identify when you should refer a potential client out to other RDs who specialize in areas that you don’t.
  3. Lastly, it’s your nutrition business. YOU choose who you work with! If a potential client doesn’t seem ready to work with you or is being disrespectful, you absolutely don’t have to work with them. You can always refer them out to another RD or nutrition professional.

Attracting Your Ideal Client

Now that you know WHY you don’t want to work with just anyone as a dietitian nutrition coach, we will now talk about what you can do to attract more motivated clients.

If you want to attract more motivated clients, there should be a client application process for prospective clients to apply to work with you. When there is a process for potential clients to go through, it shows them that you are serious about the work you do and that your time as a professional is valuable. Another function of a client application process is to help determine who REALLY wants to work with you. If someone doesn’t bother to go through your application process, it indicates that maybe they weren’t the most ideal client to start with!

How Do I Get Clients Who Stay?

So you’ve attracted the clients that you want, but how do you get them to stay? It’s common to see clients excitedly start out with a dietitian nutrition coach to reach their goals and then LEAVE within a few months because they believe they have “learned all they can”. In our dietitian nutrition coaching certification, we recommend aiming for a client retention rate of 6 months since that is about the time it takes to create a transformation. 

So how do you convince clients to stay when they start getting ansty to leave after a few months?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep Them Looking Forward To The Future

When you keep your clients looking forward to the future, it helps them understand that there is more to come! 

     2. Be Up Front With How Long You Anticipate They Will Need to Work With You 

Let them know how long you anticipate they will need to work with you to meet their goals right out of the gate! When you do this, it helps them understand that your program is long term!

Through these tactics, you can assure your client that they have so much to look forward to beyond just a month or two of coaching with you!

How Do I Get Clients Who Pay?

As RDs, sales and client attraction are things that we were not taught in the dietetics curriculum. So today I’ll give you a few tips on how you can get clients who pay. 

My first tip for getting paying clients is that if you want to sell, you first must be sold on yourself and your program! Confidence is KEY to getting potential clients to convert into paying clients. And you need to have confidence in BOTH yourself and your offer! When in doubt, remember that YOU are the RD and you have so much to offer to the world in the realm of nutrition coaching. You are in demand and you should have great confidence in your abilities!

My second tip for getting paying clients is to avoid from undercharging what you’re worth! Especially if you’re a newbie dietitian nutrition coach, it can be so easy to undercharge for our coaching services. But contrary to popular belief, selling your services for cheap doesn’t help the client. The reason is because when people pay, they pay attention. So do yourself and your clients a favor by not undercharging your coaching services. When we sell our services at a fair price, everyone wins!

Getting clients who pay can be tough at first, but in the end, you have to remember that there are people out there who NEED you that are happy to pay you for your services!

How Do I Get Clients Who Refer?

Why is getting clients who refer so important? It’s because word of mouth is the BEST, FREE advertising you can get! When you have a happy client who got results from your program, you essentially have a walking, talking billboard for your nutrition coaching business. However with all this said, getting client referrals is not a piece of cake, so allow me to give you a few tips on how you can make your coaching client your raving fan!

If you want motivated clients who stay, pay, and refer, you first have to show them how much you care. A client coaching relationship is called a client coaching RELATIONSHIP for a reason! As your client stays throughout their journey with you, you need to be their biggest cheerleader. As I tell all RDs who go through the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, very rarely does anyone care about the credentials behind your name unless they know how much you care. When you are their biggest supporter and help them reach their goals, they become your biggest fan and refer you to others!

If you’re looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle, 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! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to set their dietitian nutrition coaching business up for success so that they get motivated clients who stay, pay, and refer.

Check out our FREE resources below to get started.


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