Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast: Episode 36 5 Strategies To Avoid The Challenge Trap

In today’s episode, Ashley Osterman, our director of nutrition education and I talk about 5 strategies to avoid the challenge trap.
There is a workbook to go along with this episode so click the link below and download the workbook.
In this episode, we talk about:
  • How to build a nutrition program beyond a challenge
  • Why it is so important to set up individual meetings with every challenge participant
  • What are the differentiators between a challenge and individual coaching
  • Lastly what a good conversion goal is to support clients beyond a challenge

This is part two of the three part series on nutrition challenges. 

Part 1: Episode 35: How to Build a Successful Nutrition Challenge >>LISTEN HERE

Part 3: Episode 37: 3 Strategies to Market Your Nutrition Challenge >>LISTEN HERE 

Additional FREE Help Related To
Building A Nutrition Program In A Gym

  • LISTEN: How To Price & Package Your Nutrition Program HERE
  • LISTEN: How To Build A Nutrition Program Into A CrossFit Gym HERE
  • LISTEN: Nutrition Made Simple Podcast – CrossFit, Nutrition & Your Health HERE
  • HSN Mentoring Client Highlight: Meet Rob & Beth Young, Owners of CrossFit Rockland, How A 11-Year CrossFit Affiliate Changed Their Business Model To Prioritize Nutrition & Health Of Their Clients HERE

What The Challenge Guide Includes:

  • Planning Checklist
  • How To Structure Your Nutrition Challenge
  • How To Continue Your Nutrition Program Beyond A Challenge
  • Additional Resources To Plan A Successful Challenge All In One Place

Episode Transcript:

Nicole Aucoin (00:02):

Welcome back to the Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast. I’m your host, Nicole Aucoin, founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring, where we believe something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn’t be complicated.

Nicole Aucoin (00:15):

Our mission is to empower gym owners and coaches to feel confident when talking about nutrition to their members and their community. HSN Mentoring provides a turnkey solution to help gym owners save time and not reinvent the wheel. Before we dive into today’s topic, I have some super exciting news. Tomorrow, Healthy Steps Nutrition is launching the first ever standalone nutrition coaching course, called Basics Of Nutrition. Coaching. This course teaches the fundamental skills to become an effective nutrition coach and apply theory into practice. We are so excited to announce that this course has been recognized as a CrossFit preferred course. So if you are a CrossFit trainer and you’re looking to obtain CEUs, this course, as well as every single training in HSN Mentoring will allow you to get CEUs.

Nicole Aucoin (01:10):

All right, let’s get back to today’s topic. Today is the second episode in a series of nutrition challenges. A challenge is a great way to kick start a program and gain excitement about nutrition with existing members. The problem is, the nutrition program at most gyms ends at the end of a challenge, we call this the challenge trap. We know that you need to be supporting your clients with nutrition beyond just a challenge. Today, Ashley Osterman, our director of nutrition education, and I talk about five strategies to avoid the challenge trap. There is a workbook to go along with this episode, so head over to\blog, and click today’s episode and download the workbook to get the most out of this episode. In this episode, we talk about how to build a nutrition program beyond a challenge, why it is so important to set up individual meetings with every single challenge participant, a mistake I made for many challenges, we didn’t do that. And what the differentiators are between a challenge and individual coaching. Lastly, we talk about a good goal for conversion to ongoing coaching, to support your clients after a challenge. Don’t forget to click the link in the show notes and download that workbook at Enjoy.

Nicole Aucoin (02:33):

Welcome back to the Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast. Today, we have Ashley Osterman back, our director of nutrition education, to continue the conversation on nutrition challenges.

Ashley Osterman (02:43):

Yes, one of our most popular topics and we get so many questions about challenges.

Nicole Aucoin (02:50):

Everyone loves a challenge. I think people are excited by the idea of a challenge, but you really have to think about what is going to happen after your challenge is over. Last week on the podcast, we talked about how to run a successful nutrition challenge. So if you miss that one, go check it out. Today, we’re talking about the challenge trap.

Ashley Osterman (03:08):

Nicole, what exactly is the challenge trap?

Nicole Aucoin (03:12):

Well, I’ve fallen into the challenge trap for many years. You know, when we first started at HSN, I would run nutrition challenges and people would see amazing results. I would line people up and have like, “Okay, I’m going to be at the gym from X time to X time, come in, do your biometrics at the beginning,” I would wonder why I would have a 50% fall off rate at the end. Then the people that did come in, I would just have them do the same thing. Like, “I’ll be at the gym from this time to this time, come in do your biometrics and then I’ll announce a winner at the end of the challenge.”

Ashley Osterman (03:46):

So really just lacking that clear direction of what happens during the challenge and after the challenge.

Nicole Aucoin (03:52):

I didn’t build enough time to … and really understand what is it going to look like after the challenge? How can I support people? We know that people are going to regain the weight if they don’t have support and accountability. I was essentially fostering that environment because I wasn’t providing that support and accountability. People ended up falling through the cracks.

Ashley Osterman (04:13):

Or they’re left waiting for when the next challenge starts.

Nicole Aucoin (04:15):

So essentially, the challenge trap is your nutrition program ends at the end of the challenge. The truth, is you’re never going to build a successful nutrition program, only running nutrition challenges at your gym, or just nutrition challenges in general if you’re not in a gym. You need to have ongoing support because your clients are going to see better results and they really need that support to see amazing results.

Ashley Osterman (04:40):

Yeah, sustainable success is achieved through habits and focusing on one thing at a time and having that support and accountability for when you do fall off track. We all do, even nutrition coaches need nutrition coaches. Having that support and that accountability and having the help to reach the long-term goal is really what’s going to help you get that engagement and that retention from your ongoing clients.

Nicole Aucoin (05:02):

Absolutely. So we want to be talking about, the support is not going to end at the end of the challenge. If you lay the groundwork first, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to convert people to ongoing coaching and truthfully, you have to be comfortable with the conversation. Role-playing is something that we’re huge fans of at HSN. We role-play during mentoring calls to just get nutrition coaches feeling comfortable with the conversation and new nutrition coaches need to practice even more.

Ashley Osterman (05:32):

Absolutely they do and challenge is a great time to have new nutrition coaches get their feet wet.

Nicole Aucoin (05:37):

Absolutely. So let’s talk about five strategies to avoid the challenge trap. Strategy number one.

Ashley Osterman (05:44):

Strategy number one, and we kind of started talking about it, but not clearly defining the client journey, not talking about the role of the challenge. What happens after the challenge, before the challenge actually starts. People need to be given a path, they need to be guided to what they need. If you don’t do that, they’re just left confused and waiting for the next challenge.

Nicole Aucoin (06:05):

So when you’re thinking about your client journey, you need to think about what options are going to be available for clients to have after the challenge is over. For us at HSN, we recommend a three month commitment. After you finished a challenge, we want you to commit for three months of ongoing coaching with us, you’re going to have a financial incentive. So you’ll be able to bypass the initial 179 per month for three months and go right into our ongoing coaching rate. The reason why we do this is the initial consultation, the initial month working with a new nutrition client, there’s a lot more questions.

Ashley Osterman (06:41):

Lot of time, lot more time.

Nicole Aucoin (06:42):

You’re spending more time with that client. If someone’s coming from a nutrition challenge, you’ve already met with them individually twice, hopefully. You have that time to learn a little bit more about them. They have some of the foundational habits set in place already. You’re not going to have as much time that you’re spending with clients if you have them coming from a nutrition challenge.

Ashley Osterman (07:05):

Yeah and it’s also that great incentive of a discount to go ahead and convert to ongoing coaching. So who doesn’t love to save some money?

Nicole Aucoin (07:12):

And a financial incentive, for sure. We’re not lowering the price even more than our ongoing coaching rate. It’s just a clear path. You can either start with a challenge or you can start with three months of individual coaching. Either way, we want a three month commitment to ongoing nutrition coaching if you’re going to come from a challenge. This is important because you don’t want to feel like you’re having to sell a client every single time they come in. Most nutrition coaches, most gym owners don’t like selling. I get it, but you’re not really selling people when you’re talking about ongoing nutrition coaching, you’re really providing them the support that they need to achieve long-term success.

Ashley Osterman (07:48):

Yes, absolutely. You know, I actually had a conversation with one of my clients the other day who had just finished her first three months of coaching and was converting to ongoing coaching. It was like a no-brainer to her. I was like, “Okay, well now we’re converting you to ongoing.” She was like, “Oh, okay. Yeah.” Because she knew that I’m built into her long-term plan. So me telling her that we needed to convert her wasn’t even like a second glance.

Nicole Aucoin (08:09):

So you want to have that clear path. You want to make sure that it’s easy for someone to get signed up right at the end of that challenge. So we’ll upgrade their membership to include nutrition and fitness, depending on whatever software you’re using. You want to make sure that it’s easy, the nutrition coaches know how to get someone signed up. They can do it right then and there at the end of a nutrition challenge.

Ashley Osterman (08:33):

Yeah and I think that takes us to our second strategy for avoiding the challenge trap. That’s understanding the role of the challenge.

Nicole Aucoin (08:41):

You know, nutrition challenges are really great way to kickstart a nutrition program, getting existing members engaged, getting past clients re-introduced to your program, maybe getting spouses, significant others, family members on board with your nutrition program, but it’s a kickstart.

Ashley Osterman (09:02):

Yeah and it’s not something that we want to do all the time.

Nicole Aucoin (09:04):

Absolutely. So if you’re running six challenges a year, one every other month, it’s going to be tough for you to convert people to ongoing coaching because they’re just going to wait for the next nutrition challenge. So you want to think about, “Okay, when are good times for us to run nutrition challenges?” We talked a little bit about this last week on the podcast episode, but at the beginning of the year and fall tend to be pretty good times when kids are back in school. After the holidays are over, for nutrition challenges. People are more likely to sign up for a nutrition program on a Monday.

Ashley Osterman (09:39):

At the beginning of the month.

Nicole Aucoin (09:41):

On the 1st, or during a birthday. So, one of our mentoring clients was like, “I keep track of all of my past clients’ birthdays and I check in with them like, ‘Hey, happy birthday, just checking in with you.’ One, to let them know that I’m still thinking about them. Two, knowing that people are going to sign up around the milestones.” So let’s say it’s someone’s 60th birthday and they have not gotten in better shape over the past 10 years. They are more likely to sign up because they’re hitting a milestone than any other month during the year.

Ashley Osterman (10:11):

Yeah, what a great idea. Kudos to that nutrition coach.

Nicole Aucoin (10:14):

Absolutely. So, all right, we need to know, running one to two challenges. Ideal time, we figured that out, in the beginning of the year, or during the fall is a good time, but understanding your challenge is a kickstart. Your challenge is a great way to get people excited. It’s the first time that people might be seeing your nutrition program, especially if you’re brand new to HSN, launching your a nutrition program with a challenge, you need to make sure that client experience is amazing. One of the things that I like doing is having a staff challenge before the challenge starts. So have your staff be a part of the nutrition challenge, especially if you’re building something from scratch, let them be your test clients, let them see the content, get exposed to it, and then they can more educatedly talk about it because they’ve been through it themselves.

Ashley Osterman (11:03):

Yeah, that’s a great idea. Also then you have that consistent message from all the staff members. So if we’re talking about something that’s habit-based or looking at doing a new action step, the members are all going to be very fluent with that program and be able to talk about it educated and also in the same voice.

Nicole Aucoin (11:22):

It’s important that there’s a consistent message. So if you are running a nutrition challenge or plan to run a nutrition challenge, make sure that your entire staff is on board, knows the talking points, knows how to get someone signed up. We talked about this with marketing your challenge. We had a webinar for our members, but having a physical presence in your facility about your nutrition challenge, having just a signup board at HSN HQ, we have a signup board right next to our wads and people can just write their names. Then the nutrition coach goes back and follows up with them. “Hey, I’m going to charge your card, saw that you were interested in that challenge.” So it’s a real easy way for people just to write their name on the board. I always start with all of the staff’s names on the board because no one wants to sign up for something that no one else is doing.

Ashley Osterman (12:06):

Yep, that’s right. Then slowly but surely everybody starts setting up and you have those members who are friends and they’re, “Hey, are you signing up? I’m signing up,” or, “Hey, let’s do a little challenge with this.” Then before you know it, people are having to write their names on a piece of paper next to the board because it’s so filled up.

Nicole Aucoin (12:22):

Exactly and you could do 10 spots left, five spots left to make it easy. So we need to understand the role of the challenge. Number three, on five steps to avoid the challenge trap is the individual appointments.

Ashley Osterman (12:35):

You know, this was one of our top two most common mistakes that we hear from nutrition coaches, from gym owners when doing a challenge, is they’re not taking the time to meet people individually.

Nicole Aucoin (12:48):

You have to meet people individually so that you can build yourself into their long-term plan and really establish that rapport with them. It starts at the very beginning. We set up 15 to 20 minute appointments at the beginning of the challenge, just to test their biometrics, help them set goals, short and long-term goals because I don’t just want to talk about what happens at the end of the challenge. If you’re only talking about short-term goals, then they hit that short term goal. At the end of the challenge, they’re going to write you off and say, “Okay, this was successful. Great.” But if you set a short-term goal, what you can accomplish during the challenge and a long-term goal, “Oh, you want to lose 10% body fat. During this challenge, you might be able to lose 1% or 2%, but expect another eight months of ongoing nutrition coaching to help you reach that long-term goal.”

Ashley Osterman (13:35):

Yeah, so you’re building yourself into their long-term plan. So it’s become second nature to look for you for the accountability and support as they’re reaching and striving for those goals. At HSN, we do two meetings. We have an initial goal setting meeting at the beginning of the challenge. During that meeting, like Nicole said, we’re determining what’s working for them, what’s not working for them right now and want to provide a clear path for consistency and find one thing they can commit to. One really important point when you have your initial goal-setting meeting is you want to book the appointment for the final challenge meeting during that initial meeting.

Nicole Aucoin (14:10):

I can’t tell you, and I had the same struggle when I used to run nutrition challenges back when we started Healthy Steps Nutrition, and even before when I was at another private practice, how many people would fall off. I’m sure gym owners, coaches listening to this, you’re thinking “Yeah, I’ll be lucky if 50% of the people that started the challenge complete it.” Why is that? It’s because they just get lost in a group setting. It’s easier to get lost if you have those individual touch points. If you book that final meeting at the end, you’re just going to do better. You’re going to train harder. It’s kind of like signing up for a competition. I’m going to train harder if I sign up for a CrossFit competition, then if I just say, “I’m going to compete.” If I have that follow-up visit on the books, I know I’m going to be meeting with you, Ashley, and you are going to be looking at everything that I’ve done. We’re going to be testing biometrics. I’m more likely to not let life get in the way and fall off the wagon.

Ashley Osterman (15:03):

Yeah. You have that extra layer of accountability because there’s that end date.

Nicole Aucoin (15:07):

Absolutely. So we’ve got that initial meeting. We’ve set up the end date. We have that. Even if people say, “Hey, I might have to change this,” not a big deal, we at least have an appointment on the books. I always have follow-up visits on the books, even for individual clients. Outside of the challenge, you should be setting follow-up visits on the books during the current meeting.

Ashley Osterman (15:28):

Absolutely. Every time that’s what I spend my last few minutes doing, is I put them in the calendar and make sure we have a follow-up date. Let them know if they need to reschedule, just let me know but always having that next meeting on the books is so important.

Nicole Aucoin (15:40):

Absolutely. So let’s talk about that final meeting.

Ashley Osterman (15:42):

Yeah. So we also want to have a final challenge meeting. This is what we’re going to wrap up the challenge. We’re really going to highlight the bright spots, look at what they did, what they were successful on, what these great accomplishments happened over the last 28 days or six weeks. Also talk about that ongoing coaching. Explain the personalized support and the accountability and how it’s essential for achieving and maintaining those goals. The goal is to convert them to ongoing coaching during that final challenge meeting.

Nicole Aucoin (16:11):

Absolutely. You want to make sure that you’re talking about all the successes that they’ve had, dealing with any struggles that they might’ve had, retesting biometrics and then handling any objections before we’re showing them, “Okay, here’s the option to upgrade your membership,” or, “Here’s the option to continue with nutrition only.”

Ashley Osterman (16:30):

Yeah and when you’re converting them and talking about that conversion onto the ongoing coaching, you really want to touch back on the long-term goal, bring up what that goal is and talk about how you can help them by supporting them to achieve that goal.

Nicole Aucoin (16:45):

Absolutely. You want to look at not just what that goal is, the why behind that goal. So if my client wants to lose 10% body fat because she wants to fit into those skinny jeans, why do you want to fit into those skinny jeans? It’s going to likely come down to confidence. “I feel better. I have more confidence when I fit into those clothes.” Okay, great. So now I can bring it back to an emotion and say, “I know your end goal is you really just want to feel confident in those skinny jeans and I want to continue to help support you on your journey there.” Sometimes it’s talking about the mistakes before, “I know you’ve done challenges in the past and I want this time to be different. I want to help you and continue to support you and really make sure that you have all these solid foundational behaviors in place to continue to see amazing results.”

Ashley Osterman (17:37):

Absolutely. I also like to talk about what’s coming up in the next year for them. Talking about the holistic approach again. So what are some things that you might be facing in the next year or so that could potentially derail your progress? Let’s talk about how I can help support you when those times come.

Nicole Aucoin (17:52):

Absolutely. So looking at the time of year and making it relevant to them, those challenge ending meetings, you should be converting people on that meeting. You’re going to have a much better conversion rate than people saying, “Oh, let me think about it. Let me get back.” Let’s get this appointment in the books. If you are a nutrition coach who doesn’t have a ton of availability, set a limit. “We only have 10 spots for ongoing coaching. Lock in your spot today, I want to make sure that we can help support you.” If you’re reaching capacity.

Ashley Osterman (18:24):

That’s a great idea. Then Nicole, at the end of this end challenge meeting, we want our clients to convert to ongoing coaching. That is the ultimate goal, but what happens if they don’t want to convert?

Nicole Aucoin (18:36):

So, I think there’s a couple things, a couple of reasons. “One, I want to try it on my own.” “Okay, no problem. The door is always open. Let’s just set up a touch base call in four weeks just to talk and make sure, see how things are going.” I’m in the gym. I like to ask people, “Hey, how’s it going since you stopped ongoing nutrition coaching?” They’re at some point then, and tell me, “Nicole, I fell off. I need to get back on.” “All right, let’s just get you signed back up with ongoing coaching. It’s not that big of a deal, we all fall off, I get it.” Some of the most engaging emails that we’ve written and posts that we’ve done are times we’ve screwed up. We’re all human. People think that nutrition coaches eat perfect and do everything perfect. Hey, we all struggle. It is okay. Even coaches need coaches. That could be a great thing for you, especially if you are a nutrition client of one of your coaches. Talk about that.

Ashley Osterman (19:33):

Yeah, absolutely. You can be very relatable by talking and emphasizing with your client. So one of the things you mentioned, Nicole is if they don’t convert, we do want to schedule a follow-up date. That is so important. Check back in with them, see how they’re doing and just let them know that the door is always open.

Nicole Aucoin (19:49):

Yep. A goal-setting session, a quick call, just to check in, asking them in classes or while you’re running into them at the gym, “Hey, just checking in on you. How are things going?” That’s going to show them that you really care. That’s what separates a micro gym and a nutrition business from a big global gym.

Ashley Osterman (20:08):

Yes, absolutely.

Nicole Aucoin (20:10):

All right. So we’ve really dialed in individual appointments. Our mentoring clients have a whole template with this, like a document that they can just use and run with to ensure a consistent experience. If you have multiple nutrition coaches, you need to make a document so that the same questions are being asked and it’s a consistent experience between nutrition coaches with their clients because in a gym setting, your clients talk to each other.

Ashley Osterman (20:33):

They do, they do. If you’re doing one thing different from somebody else, Susie’s going to talk to Amy and Amy’s going to find out that she didn’t get her biometrics, or a follow-up appointment wasn’t asked for her. You don’t want to have that happen. You really want consistency for the best client experience.

Nicole Aucoin (20:48):

All right, let’s talk about the client experience and strategy number four. Don’t show all of your cards.

Ashley Osterman (20:56):

You know, this is such a common mistake. As nutrition coaches, we just want to help people and to share all this awesome information and knowledge that we have and just give them 110% all the time. But it’s so important not to show all your cards at once. This is specifically important during a nutrition challenge.

Nicole Aucoin (21:13):

You know, if you are trying to get people to change too much at one time, they’re not going to be successful. They’re going to get overwhelmed. They’re going to be frustrated and they’re not going to convert to ongoing coaching. But if you have clients that say, “This was easy and I saw success.” “Okay, awesome. I want to continue to help you and dial in the details with individual nutrition coaching.” It also goes with pricing. If you are giving too much information at one time, doing daily check-ins during a challenge, how are you going to be able to keep that up with individual coaching and charge what you’re charging. You have to value your time as a nutrition coach. So planning out your content, making sure that there’s a consistent experience between clients, setting a check-in day or if it’s completely in a group setting, if you didn’t build in individual time and the price of your nutrition challenge, then setting up scheduling messages to go out so that you’re talking to people within a group setting, that would be what we would recommend instead of just pouring out too much individual attention with nutrition clients that are doing a challenge.

Ashley Osterman (22:21):

Yeah and when we talk about looking at our content for a challenge, you want to keep it easy. You want to keep it very basic, beginner nutrition coaching strategies. You don’t want to overwhelm, like Nicole said, you want it to be easy, success leads motivation. If they continue to be successful, see those bright spots, they’re more likely to stay with you for the long-term.

Nicole Aucoin (22:39):

Absolutely. So don’t show all of your cards at once. Really think about what you want people to accomplish over the course of a nutrition challenge. We focus on one habit a week, simple strategies. We do nutrition talks. That was something that we’d started during the shutdown. When we ran a 100% virtual challenge and it worked out perfectly fine, it was awesome. It was great engagement and we had our sponsors, local partners that we drew attention to, donate some prizes. So that’s a great way for you to keep engagement during a challenge, give mini prizes each week based on participation, not based on results. That’s another thing you want to look at when you’re figuring out your challenge winner. It shouldn’t just be the person that lost the most amount of weight.

Ashley Osterman (23:25):

No, no, no, no.

Nicole Aucoin (23:26):

It needs to be even playing fields. I care more about people who are actually participating, actually engaging in the program than the person who lost the most amount of weight, or just fasted the last couple of days to win the biggest loser contest. That’s not the way we run our nutrition challenges. If you are running a nutrition challenge that is Biggest Loser type thing, you want to make sure that you’re doing a percentage weight loss, not the actual number. So it is an even playing field.

Ashley Osterman (23:54):

Right, because it can be very dramatically different between different individuals who are doing a challenge in weight loss.

Nicole Aucoin (24:00):

Exactly. One of the things we do with our challenges is have people fill out a weekly reflection form.

Ashley Osterman (24:05):

Yes, yes. So, we encourage them to talk in the chat, share photos, let us see what recipes you’re making. Click off those daily and weekly habits, come participate in our nutrition talk, but how we actually do our raffle is we have them fill out a Google form once a week. We would have the winner for the raffle drawn from anybody who filled out the Google form. It was just really reflective for them to see how the week was going and see how their participation and the challenge has been going too.

Nicole Aucoin (24:32):

Perfect. So make sure that you plan out … again, don’t show all your cards at once, plan out your experience and now, avoiding challenge type strategy number five, is really helping people understand the value of ongoing nutrition coaching.

Ashley Osterman (24:52):

I always say individualized nutrition coaching is where the magic happens. Doing a challenge, we’re giving group recommendations, group action steps, group habits, and these are all very generalized. But when we work with a client one-on-one and we do that individual nutrition coaching is where the magic happens because we actually can help support them and tailor our information, our resources, and our support based on what is happening specifically in their life and on their specific goals.

Nicole Aucoin (25:25):

Absolutely. So you want to think about what is the client journey for individual coaching? How many touch points are they going to have? We have weekly individual check-ins with our ongoing nutrition clients, depending on what type of accountability they have. It’s either every month or every two weeks, they have a touch point with the nutrition coach and the rest is done virtually through the app. You can schedule messages in there. So that is really helpful when you’re thinking about, “Okay, what is the value?” So you have to be talking about this value prior to the ending meeting. People need to know how it’s going to help them. So if you have people on individual ongoing coaching, I’d be sharing the heck out of their success stories leading up to the final meeting.

Ashley Osterman (26:13):

Yes, absolutely. That’s a really great strategy. Towards the end of a nutrition challenge would be the time to start pumping out those success stories, show it on your social media and your emails. Talk about them. If you have a nutrition board at your gym, make sure you’re posting those stories, really highlighting the heck out of the people who have done so awesome because people are going to relate to that and say, “Hey, if she did it, I can do it.” Or, “If he can do it, I can do it too.”

Nicole Aucoin (26:39):

You know, a challenge is a really great way in making sure everyone has a really good client experience and converting people to ongoing coaching is a really great way for you to build brand advocates so they can go into their own groups and circles of people and talk about the nutrition program. If you think about your business right now and I asked one of your members, “I’m interested in losing some weight. Do you know anyone that can help me?” Would your members say, “My gym has an awesome nutrition program?”

Ashley Osterman (27:13):

That’s a great self-assessment to take.

Nicole Aucoin (27:15):

If they don’t say yes, if you can’t … Or just ask them. Ask your members, “Name the services that we provide.” If they don’t say nutrition as one or two, I think that you should be thinking about … obviously if you’re a CrossFit gym, they’re going to be saying CrossFit is number one but if they’re not listing nutrition coaching in the top three, then you need to do a better job talking about nutrition, explaining how you can help people with nutrition.

Ashley Osterman (27:40):

Yeah. You need to be talking about nutrition, posting about nutrition, emailing about nutrition, doing blogs about nutrition, really putting yourself out there as the expert, because then people will see you as the expert, before they even meet you.

Nicole Aucoin (27:55):

You know, you want people that are coming in for free intros to know that you already offer nutrition and even better, seek you out against your competition because you offer nutrition. We did, during the Nutrition Business Workshop, which anyone can have access to all of those replays for free, one of the things that we did in the owner side is some self-assessments.

Ashley Osterman (28:17):

Yeah, absolutely. What are you looking at when it comes to your business? What is that message on your website? What are people seeing before they actually come into your doors? If they’re not seeing all of the services that you offer accurately, then you definitely need to do an assessment.

Nicole Aucoin (28:34):

You need to figure out what are the goals for your nutrition program? If you’re looking to grow your nutrition program, it needs to be a consistent part of your message. So think about that and go back to that question I asked you, if I were to ask one of your members, “Do you know anyone that can help me with weight loss and nutrition?” If you don’t think that they would say, “Oh my gym,” then we need to revamp what your process and your brand looks like so that you can build another revenue stream and help people that are not just gym members. So many mentoring clients of ours say one of their goals is to get 30% at least of their revenue coming from nutritional-only clients and I think that’s a great goal.

Ashley Osterman (29:17):

And it’s so possible.

Nicole Aucoin (29:17):

It is so possible, especially right now. Almost all of the new clients that have signed up with HSN over the past three weeks are nutrition-only clients.

Ashley Osterman (29:25):

Nutrition-only clients.

Nicole Aucoin (29:27):

They’re nutrition-only clients and why is that? People are realizing that they need help with nutrition even if they’re not comfortable coming back into the gym and you can help provide them support. So wrapping up this challenge trap webinar, I think it’s important to set. I love setting goals. If you are a brand new nutrition coach, number one, you need to be practicing that conversion conversation and really be comfortable and confident guiding people to what happens next and talking about it before the end, but setting a goal of converting at least 50% of your challenge participants to ongoing nutrition coaching is a good goal. For existing gyms that are running HSN, I would expect closer to 75% of your-

Ashley Osterman (30:08):

Oh easy.

Nicole Aucoin (30:09):

… people to convert to ongoing nutrition coaching. If it’s not there, then we need to go back and figure out what happened. Did we talk enough about nutrition coaching, were you really confident, or did we not confidently guide people to the best option or make it super easy for them to get started with nutrition coaching after the challenge was over?

Ashley Osterman (30:28):

Yeah. If that is you, definitely book your mentoring call, let one of our awesome leadership team mentors help you when looking at your strategies for avoiding the challenge trap.

Nicole Aucoin (30:39):

If you are listening to this and you are not an HSN Mentoring client, I’ve got a couple of things that I would love to give to you. One is the nutrition business virtual workshop, access to all of those presentations and application videos with Ashley and I for free. It is amazing content, you can get that for free. Again, just go to and you can get access to the replay. The other thing is book a free call with us. If you have fallen for the challenge trap, if you’re thinking, “Nutrition is a missing piece of the puzzle in my gym, and I need some help building a successful nutrition program,” book a free call, I want to help you. I talk to every single person that does free calls. I love talking to gym owners and just opening their eyes to the opportunities that you can have when you build a successful nutrition program, not only to diversify revenue streams, but truthfully, to provide your clients with the support they need to achieve the goals they’re looking to achieve.

Ashley Osterman (31:38):

Yes, that’s all we want to do. Nicole, you give so much free help and we give so many things to all of our listeners. If you guys are really thinking that this might be something that can help benefit you, I really urge you to book a free call.

Nicole Aucoin (31:54):

All right, Ashley, as always thank you for coming on the Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast. Next week, we will be diving into challenges a little bit more. Tune in.

Nicole Aucoin (32:05):

Challenges are a great way to kick start a program. For your clients to see lasting results, you really need support beyond a challenge. If you are looking to build a nutrition program beyond just a challenge, we can help. HSN Mentoring provides a turnkey solution and a comprehensive nutrition business platform, giving you all the training, tools and resources to build a successful nutrition program. The HSN Mentoring training includes actually the Basics of Nutrition Coaching course, that CrossFit preferred course, plus all the business support and one-on-one mentoring calls to ensure you are doing it right.

Nicole Aucoin (32:45):

Gym owners and coaches are getting through the training process in as little as four weeks because they are so motivated to get their nutrition programs up and running. If you are ready to build a successful nutrition program and don’t want to reinvent the wheel, the first step is to head over to and book a free call with me, the founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, today.