Should I Do a Group Nutrition Coaching Program?

by | Dec 29, 2020

If you’re a dietitian entrepreneur, whether you’re new to the game or you’ve been around the block you’ve probably considered doing group nutrition coaching. We all have!

First and foremost, the BEST program you can offer is the one that works for you AND your clients. So if you’re interested and PASSIONATE about a group nutrition coaching program, here are some things to consider.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

The first thing you need to ask yourself is HOW will your group program and 1:1 coaching program be different from each other? 

HOW will you take 20 women with different metabolisms, different weights, different past dieting histories, different medical histories, different goals, different biochemistries, different medications, different supplementation routines, and different stress levels and produce results? WITHOUT giving 1:1 attention.

Because that’s the whole point of a group program right? You’re working TOGETHER and you’re working in a GROUP. There are no 1:1 sessions or 1:1 calls. That’s not to say that you CAN’T offer 1:1 calls within your group coaching, but if that is something you are trying to steer away from, it’s an important factor to consider!

Another factor to consider is if you are wanting to offer 1:1 nutrition coaching separately from your group nutrition coaching, you could potentially end up competing against your 1:1 coaching. What I mean by this is that if you are offering both services, clients may not want to spend three times as much on your high ticket coaching package if they can get the same exact service at a lower price in your group program. So, make sure you can explain to your potential clients HOW they are different from each other.

But you also don’t want your group program to be the cheapest option, right? The minute that you start becoming a commodity, which is when people start shopping on price, it will be that much harder to compete with the big names out there. Think about it. Most of us could never be able to compete with StrongerU, the Jillian Michaels weight loss challenges, and especially not the big box gyms. 

I literally just got an email the other day advertising a $19 weight loss challenge at Anytime Fitness. It would be extremely hard to go up against that, and why would you want to? To be the lowest priced option, you would need hundreds of thousands of people on your list, and you would need to shift from a quality program to a quantity program. Most RD’s have under 10,000 followers and most likely don’t have an email list. And if they do, I would guess that it’s under 1,000 followers, so there’s no way to support being the cheapest option for the lifetime of your business without the massive audience size to back it up.

You also need to ask yourself WHY you want to run a group coaching program. If you think you need to because you will run out of time doing 1:1 coaching, that’s not necessarily true!

If you have a large client base, you will eventually run out of time. But in my experience it is the easiest, lowest hanging fruit to get started with. It was the easiest way to make money and to help people. Plus, there are other ways to combat the problem of running out of time.

People will ALWAYS pay you for one one one support and attention, and it’s the easiest way to build your confidence. If you can coach someone confidently in a 1:1 session for many months, then you can surely coach someone in a group! 1:1 coaching is a great skill builder to start with, but again, it ultimately comes down to your preferences and business plan. 

What I recommend to my clients to do would be to start with their low hanging fruit, build up a clientele base, build up social proof, build credibility, build confidence, and THEN they can ask themself: “Can I just scale this and start to bring on other coaches who will help me with the 1:1 coaching, continue to make the high ticket coaching dollars, help more people, and eventually take myself out of it?” THAT’S a way to scale!

“Can I just sell educational group programs instead of coaching?”

Again, it all depends on what YOU enjoy and your own goals for your business. Something to consider though is the amount of education that is easily and readily available on the internet today. With the amount of information that is already floating around the gram and YouTube, it may be harder to market and sell your program. It’s not impossible by any means, but you will have to compete with the hundreds of thousands of educational materials that already exist for free online. 

Now, if you have 100,000 REAL followers, yes! You probably could. If you have a loyal follower base and people are begging you to make a course, by all means you should do that. But, again, most of us RD’s do not have that kind of following. I don’t even have that! I can’t just sell education when it comes to coaching RD’s, I have to sell APPLICATION.

“But Tony, don’t YOU offer group coaching in your Ignition Program and Mastermind?”

Yes, but here’s what I tell my students when they come to me with that same question. These programs were predicated off of TEN years of coaching people 1:1. I became so good at coaching people 1:1 that I knew I could scale it into a group. Plus working together in a business coaching environment is much different than working with individuals nutrition and health goals.

It KILLS me to see RD’s paying money for courses, hiring coaches who have never successfully built a successful group coaching program or successful 1:1 program. When you are looking to start doing something and you want someone to help you, ASK them. Have they actually done it? How long have they done it for? How many people have you done it with?

Listen, there’s not a right way or wrong way to do nutrition coaching. Anyone who says there is only one way to create success is a liar. Doing a group nutrition coaching program could be a GREAT option for you, but make sure you consider the above questions first.

And if you’re hiring a coach to help you with this, make sure that your coach has walked the walk when it comes to creating a successful group program. The last thing you want to do is waste money on a coach who can’t deliver you results.

The bottom line:

There are many RD’s making the switch to doing group coaching these days. But be careful not to fall into the comparison trap here. Just because you see someone else doing it doesn’t mean that you have to go do it too. If you want to start with 1:1 coaching so that you will have the revenue and the client base to SCALE your business into whatever you want it to be, then great! If you want to start with your group coaching program first and then transition into 1:1 coaching or selling courses, that is great too! Whatever you do, make sure it will be fun and enjoyable for you instead of doing what others are telling you to do! Only you can make that decision!

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