10 Tips for Success of a Nutrition Program in a Health Club
Working in a health club can be a very rewarding experience and if structured and marketed correctly a very positive thing for RD’s (and you can make a good living as well!). Here are a few things I did to build a successful program in a health club.
*Note – with any endeavor we take on, it takes a team working together to reach ultimate success, rarely is anything great every created alone. If you do want to build a nutrition practice in a fitness center, make sure you have a team that supports you!
1. Be visible and around for members to meet you. This is VERY important for the success of any business – especially a new one ;)! Set up food display tables, have a meet and greet session, or have a taste test for new smoothies the club is serving. The key is to show the members you are approachable and your services are available to help them reach their goals.
2. Offer a teaser of some sort to get members in the door. I had a system that was very effective in converting new members who the club offered a “free 30 minute nutrition assessment” into paying clients – and many became long term paying clients. And to this day, I still receive referrals from these same clients, because I have stay connected with them through my nutrition newsletter.
3. Build relationships with the trainers. Talk with them about nutrition and instead of “preaching” why the dietitian knows best – show them – show them by listening and then when the time is appropriate share your knowledge in a creative, non-threatening way. Remember, in a health club many of the trainers are also working on a “paid by client” only basis so they are a little nervous about someone else possibly taking away their “client” (i.e. revenue). But if you show them how working together will enhance the member experience and results then they will more likely feel comfortable referral to you. Give these relationships time, nurture them, and eventually the trainers will be your best referral source.
4. Provide education to the trainers on nutrition. This will help open dialogue between both of you and build your own respect, credibility, and trust with them.
5. Have fun with food! Do something fun and creative to draw people in and want to talk “food” with you.
6. Offer promotions. But do so very cautiously – NOT every month – so strategize when it might be best.
7. Have a follow up system. Follow up with all people who come in for your assessment – send an email about 7 – 10 days later “checking” often times if they did not book an appointment with you after the initial assessment they will at this time because they realize they need help. Follow up with every client you meet with and create a schedule that you can stick with and keeps your relationship / connection with your clients strong.
8. Show how you can help them. This is part of your marketing – you do need to sell why is someone going to meet with you over reading a book. What sets you apart? What makes you unique?
9. Implement a nutrition newsletter. One of the most effective and affordable ways to consistently market and brand yourself – provide valuable content – educate and share on new topics or provide seasonal information – include recipes – and then always include what may be going on in your “nutrition department” – do you have a seminar to share, a testimonial, a promotion or new product.
10. Be positive and have fun! Generally speaking, the people who work in the health club industry are very positive, nice, and fun people to be around. Enjoy it and enjoy the team around you. There are days I miss working at Telos Fitness Center because of all the wonderful people I had the opportunity meet and worked with!
Join me and social media guru Teresa Pangan, on Thursday, June 20th for a free Teleseminar: Connect & Grow as we share with you 10 tips to connect with your clients and grow your business! This is an excellent seminar for anyone looking to grow a nutrition practice within a health club.