Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast Episode 64: How To Find A Great Nutrition Coach In A CrossFit Gym

Who makes a great nutrition coach?
After training over 3,500 nutrition coaches and gym owners, it’s obvious who makes a great nutrition coach and who doesn’t!
Gym owners wear too many hats; adding the nutrition coaching hat is not feasible for most! Instead, we need to find a great fit to help you run your nutrition program.
In today’s episode, Ashley Osterman and Nicole Aucoin discuss:
– What key characteristics do amazing nutrition coaches have
– The process for hiring internally
– What to do if you don’t have a good fit to run your program
– How to hire a nutrition coach externally
– What to do if your coach isn’t the best fit

 

Did you know that you get CrossFit Continuing Education Units for all of HSN Mentoring?

Here’s the breakdown:
  • 30 hours for the HSN Mentoring Initial Training Course
  • 9 hours every 6-months for ongoing mentoring
  • 10 hours for the kid’s course (advanced course for only the main training graduates)
  • 12 hours for the Basics of Nutrition Coaching CrossFit Preferred nutrition course
  • And NOW a FREE course for 3 CEUs!
 
Basically, you can get all of the CEUs you will ever need from HSN Mentoring if you are a CrossFit Level 3 or Level 4 trainer.

Who Makes A Great Nutrition Coach?

Key characteristics that amazing nutrition coaches have

  • A passion for nutrition – passionate in the same ways that align with your philosophy.
  • The coach must practice what they preach
  • They are good with follow-through
  • They have soft skills – nutrition coaching is all about relationships and to build a relationship with the nutrition client, you have to build trust and rapport.

The process for hiring internally

Someone in your inner circle at your gym could be a potential good fit for a nutrition coach position.
A great nutrition coach could be a member that has gone through a transformation of their own. They can speak from experience, have empathy and practice what they preach.
It is so much more relatable when a nutrition coach can speak from their own personal experience.

What to do if you don't have a good fit to run your program

If you don’t have a good fit internally, you’ll need to look to other hiring outlets to find someone who is a good fit for the position externally.
Post the position on Linkedin, Indeed and Social Media. A great way to get initial information when hiring is to use a Google Form. You can then post the form to social media, Linkedin, etc.
When hiring someone new, you’ll want to make sure that they practice what they preach and check to see that their social media pages match the philosophy of your business.

How to hire a nutrition coach externally

When hiring externally, the owner needs to be involved, and the head coach because they’re going to be the one handling the new coach.
When we post positions for HSN HQ, it’s very clear – what are the expectations? What are the hours? Ask what their why is?
We want to see if they’re a good fit for us, but we have to be a good fit for them too.
When we hire for HSN HQ and HSN Mentoring, we first see how we work together before we grow the relationship. 
It’s best to do 2 interviews. We recommend to do an initial 1:1 interview and then a second interview with the owner and head nutrition coach.

 

What to do if your coach isn't the best fit

You’ll want to ask these questions to see if the coach is a good fit:
  • Is your coach retaining their clients?
  • Are they having a client for one month and then the clients are falling off?
  • Are their clients sticking around for years and years?
  • Are they renewing memberships?
  • Are they converting clients from a challenge to ongoing coaching?
  • Are they converting clients from the first three months to ongoing after that?
  • Is there a roadblock in the way and there needs to be some more support for that coach?
As far as training, if they’re not completing their homework or timeline as discussed with the laid out expectations in the on-boarding call, then we’re going to have a red flag.
Maybe you decide that that nutrition coach isn’t the greatest fit. If this happens, then you’ll need to start looking for another good fit for the position.

Additional FREE Help Related To
Nutrition Coaches

  • LISTEN: Inside The Nutrition Program At CrossFit Brighton & How Nutrition Coach, Darcie Helped Brent Lose 100 Pounds 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 Nikki Graham, Owner of Graham Strength & Conditioning, How Nikki Graham, A Gym Owner, Built A Thriving Nutrition Program & What Her Clients Say About It HERE

Free Course:
Building A Nutrition Program Into A Gym

Earn Three CrossFit CEUs By Taking This Nutrition Course

Did you know that HSN Mentoring has a turn-key solution for gym owners to build a nutrition program in-house?

HSN Mentoring is the largest nutrition mentorship business in the world, helping thousands of gym owners and coaches build successful nutrition programs.

All training and ongoing mentoring is approved for CrossFit CEUs

Join The Facebook Group:
Nutrition Made Simple For Gym Owners

Past Webinar Recordings

Live Q&As

Simple tips to help you build nutrition into your gym

Connect with other gym owners who are looking to build nutrition programs

Episode Transcript:

Nicole Aucoin (00:01):
Welcome back to the Grow Your Nutrition Business Podcast. At Healthy Steps Nutrition, we believe something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn’t be complicated, which is why we focus on a simple habit-based approach when working with clients. We help gym owners and coaches build successful nutrition programs without reinventing the wheel. I’m your host, Nicole Aucoin, a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring. I’m also the author of The Basics of Nutrition Coaching, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course. I’m going to teach you how to take one step at a time to building a successful nutrition program, where you finally feel confident talking about nutrition to your members and to your communities.

Nicole Aucoin (00:49):
Today, we are talking all about finding an amazing nutrition coach. This is a question I get asked on almost every free call that I do with gym owners. As a gym owner, I get it, we wear way too many hats, and adding the role of a nutrition coach is not feasible for most. Instead, we need to find a great fit to help support this role where you’re just supporting the nutrition coach and the nutrition coach is doing the day-to-day operations to build a successful nutrition business.

Nicole Aucoin (01:22):
In this episode, Ashley and I discuss what key characteristics do amazing nutrition coaches have in common, the process for hiring internally, what do you do if you don’t have a great fit to run a nutrition program on staff, how to hire a nutrition coach externally, and what to do if you hired a nutrition coach and then at the end of the day, they’re not the best fit. You are going to really enjoy this episode. We will get to it right after this message.

Nicole Aucoin (01:57):
As promised, I have an awesome announcement after this podcast. Did you know that you get CEUs, continuing education units, for all of HSN Mentoring and our ongoing training for CrossFit? Here’s the breakdown: you get 30 hours for the initial training, nine hours every six months for ongoing mentoring, 10 hours for the kid’s course, which is an advanced course only for people who’ve graduated the main training, and 12 hours for The Basics of Nutrition Coaching, CrossFit Preferred Course. Basically, you can get all the CEUs you’ll ever need from HSN Mentoring if you are a CrossFit level three and level four trainer. Stay tuned because we have a really awesome announcement at the end of this podcast. All right. Enjoy this episode on finding a great fit to help you run your own nutrition program.

Nicole Aucoin (02:56):
Ashley, welcome back to the Grow Your Nutrition Business podcast.

Ashley Osterman (03:00):
Hi, Nicole. Thanks for having me. Always a pleasure to be on.

Nicole Aucoin (03:03):
Today, we are talking about how to find an amazing nutrition coach in a gym. And this is the number one reason why programs are super successful, or the reason why they’re not so successful.

Ashley Osterman (03:20):
Yeah, we get a lot of questions when talking to gym owners, “How do I find a great nutrition coach?” And there are some defining qualities that you can look out for when looking for an amazing nutrition coach in your gym, and I think we’ll share those today.

Nicole Aucoin (03:36):
I think as a gym owner, when you’re looking to add a new program, you immediately go to the people that are closest to you, right?

Ashley Osterman (03:42):
Right.

Nicole Aucoin (03:43):
Who’s my gym? Who’s my head nutrition or head fitness coach? Who’s the other coaches on my staff? But the problem is if they don’t have these defining qualities and you’re fitting someone into a role that they’re not best suited for, you’re not setting your program or your business up for success.

Ashley Osterman (04:02):
Yeah, there are some amazing fitness coaches out there and they just do an absolutely incredible job. But just because you excel at coaching fitness, doesn’t necessarily mean you will also excel when it comes to nutrition coaching.

Nicole Aucoin (04:17):
I remember one of our gyms running our program, Brian Shrimp, was on a podcast a few years ago, and he was saying how his nutrition coach is this amazing person, Buffy, she is absolutely wonderful. But he said, “It takes a special person to be a nutrition coach and Buffy has all of those qualities,” and I completely agree. But he’s right. If you are putting someone into a role that they’re not best-suited for, you’re not going to set your program up for success. So I want to talk about the first thing that we look for and we just hired a dietitian in the past week, what do we look for when we are bringing someone on to the nutrition coaching staff and what do we recommend when gyms are adding a nutrition program? The first thing seems really obvious, but a passion for nutrition.

Ashley Osterman (05:05):
Yes. They have to be passionate about nutrition, and you want to make sure that that passion also aligns with your philosophy, right? Because there’s a lot of different aspects and areas in the nutrition field. And just because someone’s passionate about nutrition doesn’t necessarily mean that will align with your philosophy. For example, we know a lot of people are really passionate about ketogenic diets, right? There’s so many people who just live and die by these diets and that’s amazing, good for them, but that philosophy doesn’t necessarily align with the philosophy at Healthy Steps Nutrition. So we’re looking for someone who is not only passionate, but they’re passionate in the same ways that align with our philosophy, which is focusing on wholefoods first, keeping it super simple, and helping support our clients as a whole, focusing on a holistic approach one step at a time.

Nicole Aucoin (05:57):
I think another common scenario that we see is people who are posting pictures of donuts and ice cream every day, or pimp my whatever, right? They’ve got this extravagant food that they’re posting about on social media, but then you’re telling your clients to eat whole foods. You’re not going to build authority if you are not practicing what you preach. So we all have our own struggles with nutrition, our own journey with nutrition, but at the end of the day, the philosophy has to align with the nutrition philosophy of the gym. And if it doesn’t, the program is not going to work.

Ashley Osterman (06:31):
That’s one of the first questions that we ask potential candidates for nutrition, coaches or dieticians at HQ is, what is your nutrition philosophy? What is it? And the first thing we ask, we want to hear what they’re passionate about. And that’s a great way to open up the conversation and start to determine whether this person would be a good fit for that role.

Nicole Aucoin (06:52):
So when you’re thinking about bringing nutrition programs into your business, you obviously are going to look at the people closest to you first, right? Who on staff, do I have anyone that’s passionate about nutrition? Let’s start there. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a coach. We have a lot of people that are front desk people or salespeople that have a passion for nutrition, maybe they’ve been through their own transformation themselves, they make amazing nutrition coaches. But if you’re thinking, “Nicole, I do not have anyone on my staff that’s passionate about nutrition. Who do we go to next?” And that brings us to our next point, what are the characteristics of someone that’s a great nutrition coach? Number one, someone that’s very good with follow-through, right?

Ashley Osterman (07:35):
Absolutely. Follow through is so important as a nutrition coach, they have to be able to have follow through and timely follow through too.

Nicole Aucoin (07:43):
Part of your role as a nutrition coach is to be that accountability and that support for your clients. And if you can’t follow through when you’re most excited about getting a job, then I don’t really know that it’s going to be the best fit. So jobs that have to have really good follow-through, nurses have to be good with follow through, right? And teachers make really great nutrition coaches. So if you’re thinking, “I don’t have anyone on staff,” maybe you have a nurse or a teacher in your community that goes back to point number one, they’re passionate about nutrition, they’re good with follow through. The other thing that we have to look at as those soft skills and Ashley, we’ve focused a lot on that as we bring in interview people to see if they’re a good fit with our team.

Ashley Osterman (08:24):
Yeah, absolutely. Because we know that nutrition coaching is all about relationships and to build a relationship, you have to build trust and rapport. And that comes down to the soft skills. Are they a good people person? This is a really easy thing to pick up on first and foremost, especially when you’re talking to somebody in person, are they actively listening to you? Are they making eye contact? Are they nodding their head? How is their body language? This is all really, really important because those soft skills are what’s going to help that nutrition coach or potential coach build relationships and have long lasting customers.

Nicole Aucoin (08:59):
We talk a lot about building rapport, right? Building that relationship, building that rapport. And it starts on day one. And the problem is if you have a coach that does not have great soft skills, right, they are not going to build that rapport with that client and then the client’s not going to end up telling them the truth and there’s not going to be this open communication between the coach and the client, which is not going to help them see good results and then they’re not going to stick around for long. So these skills are really important and yes, you can learn some soft skills, but at the end of the day, does someone make you feel good when you talk to them?

Ashley Osterman (09:33):
Yeah. Do you feel like you’re heard, your opinion is valued and that they truly care? I think that is so important because without that, you’re not establishing that groundwork for the trust. Another thing that we look at when potentially finding a nutrition coach is, do we have someone in our member group that has gone through a transformation of their own? Because it is so much more relatable when you can speak from own personal experience.

Nicole Aucoin (10:03):
We have quite a few nutrition coaches that are nutrition coaches for a gym running our program that are past clients, right? They were a client, they saw a great transformation, they completely believe in the process because they’ve been through it themselves, they can speak from experience, they understand what it takes to lose weight because they did it. And they’re really relatable.

Ashley Osterman (10:25):
Yeah, and they want to help other people find the same success as they did. I mean, first person that comes to mind for me is Mary Cook.

Nicole Aucoin (10:32):
Oh man, CrossFit swarm, we had her on the Nutrition Made Simple podcast, she lost 200 pounds, I have goosebumps thinking about her, she is now inspiring other people in her community and her clients. I mean, she’s grown an awesome nutrition program just a couple from months of launching, but she has been so open with her story, her struggles and how she has been able to lose weight to inspire others to do something similar.

Ashley Osterman (10:58):
Yeah. It becomes so relatable and so many other people are going to be inspired and want to go through the same process and same transformation that she has as well. So when looking for an amazing nutrition coach in your gym, look and see if you have any members that have gone through a transformation. I think that would be an awesome potential nutrition code.

Nicole Aucoin (11:20):
All right. So one of the things that we do during free calls, as I talked to gyms, they have to, not have to, but it’s ideal that a coach and an owner go through the training together, owners wear all the hats, like let’s get someone to help support the role of the program. So we kind of map out, all right, who are the people let’s set up meetings with them individually and talk to them about what the expectations are with coming on board as a nutrition coach and what the opportunity looks like? And from there is where it gets interesting. And what we recommend is that you ask them, “Write me 400 words, write me three to 400 words about why you would want to be a good nutrition coach or why you want to help people with nutrition.” That does one really important thing for you as a gym owner trying to hire a coach, you can see follow through, how quick do they get back to you with that?

Ashley Osterman (12:10):
Yeah. And also, make sure you give an expectation on when that is due. It’s great if they get it to you by the due date, but I’m looking for those who are getting it to me way before the due date. I want to see how excited they are and how that follow through really comes trough.

Nicole Aucoin (12:23):
Yeah, sometimes I won’t set a date on purpose because I want to see how long it takes them. And if it takes too long, I’m like, okay, yeah, I’m not going to be babysitting you to get through the training. I’m not going to be the one to like, yes, I’m here to support you, but I need you to be taking ownership of this, right? So let’s just see, are they good or are they not, right?

Ashley Osterman (12:46):
So Nicole, we’ve talked about a couple of great ideas. If you have somebody in your inner circle, in your membership, that you could have a potential good fit for a nutrition coach. But what if we don’t have anybody with a passion? What if we don’t have any members with awesome transformation or people who align with our philosophy? What then.

Nicole Aucoin (13:05):
Yeah. So now it comes down to posting a position and I personally like to hire within first if we can, but realistically, sometimes you don’t have someone and now what? Well, we’ve had really great success with Indeed. We’ve had awesome success with posting jobs on Indeed. We also have a Google form that we always have up on our website to constantly capture people who are interested in working for Healthy Steps Nutrition. So I usually have a pool of people that I can go back to and see okay, we have a new dietician job opened, let’s see who’s applied in the past, who didn’t make the cut last time, maybe someone has applied since I’ve looked and they might be a good fit.

Nicole Aucoin (13:47):
Honestly, that’s exactly what happened this last time we just hired another dietician, Brittany, and I looked at through our sheet of all the people that have applied recently and she stood out. And what I’m looking at, I don’t know, not that we’ve Facebook or Instagram stalked people, but I’m looking at their social media.

Ashley Osterman (14:06):
Yeah, you need to.

Nicole Aucoin (14:07):
Do you practice what you preach and does your philosophy and what you show online match what I want? If you’re posting pictures half naked or inappropriate things, I don’t want that in my business.

Ashley Osterman (14:23):
Absolutely. And I feel like that is so important. You need to screen before you invest your time in a Zoom or in-person interview.

Nicole Aucoin (14:31):
Yeah. So I look at her social and we ask on the Google form, it says, “Give me your social media handle.” So I look at the social media handle and see okay, can I see some video content? Do they talk in a way that we would want someone to talk? Right? And Brittany stood out out of all the applicants that we have so I set up an interview, she emailed me within an hour of emailing her saying like, “Hey, I got your application and we have a job opening. I’d be interested in setting up an interview. We had some other interviews lined up too.” And so her follow through was really great, got on a call and it was just me, the initial one, right?

Nicole Aucoin (15:10):
And then I was like, okay, the next step is to have a call with me and Ashley because I don’t want to be the only person that is having this decision. I want you involved. You’re the one that runs the show at our HQ location with our nutrition coaches. I want to make sure that you think she’s a good fit too. So if you have a head nutrition coach and you’re bringing someone else on, the owner needs to be involved, but also that head coach because they’re going to be the one handling that client or that other coach.

Ashley Osterman (15:34):
Yeah, I am directly involved with her training, her homework, making sure she’s on track. And I also am very appreciative that you include me in the process too, because that gives me more buy-in with our staff, right? It makes me feel like I have ownership with our staff and who we’re choosing to represent Healthy Steps Nutrition at HQ. Nicole, I really love that we do that Google form on our website. I think that’s such a great idea because you can also take that link and you can post it to social media in a post, you can post it to LinkedIn, you can post it to any other place as well to get potential more candidates, to see and come to your website and fill out that application.

Nicole Aucoin (16:16):
At the end of the day, I want a pool of people who are interested in our organization, understand what we do, right? If I go to an interview, an initial interview, and someone has no idea what we do, what our philosophy is they haven’t dug deep at all or even looked at all because our stuff is so clear how we talk about nutrition and what we do. So I feel like people screen themselves when they go to our platform and see what we do and then is this a good fit or not? And then we can decide on our end, do we think it’s a good fit as well?Because it is a mutual relationship, right? We want to see if they’re a good fit for us, but we have to be a good fit for them too.

Ashley Osterman (16:52):
Absolutely.

Nicole Aucoin (16:53):
When you think about bringing on a nutrition coach, the way I have always brought on employees at Healthy Steps Nutrition and mentoring is with a little bit, let’s see how we work together and then let’s grow the relationship or maybe it doesn’t grow and that’s fine too, right?

Ashley Osterman (17:11):
Right. Yeah. You kind of need to have that initial test time, I feel like, and we actually have language in our contracts that say our position starts at X amount of hours with room to grow because we’ve found so many amazing staff that have come on and started smaller and are now full time and that really shows us that they’re invested and they want to grow with the company.

Nicole Aucoin (17:34):
And sometimes they don’t, maybe a lot of nutrition coaches, it’s a second job, maybe they’re a nurse and they love nursing and they want to do this as a second position, awesome. But the expectations have to be set really, really clearly. And we do that in the even Indeed application on our website when we post positions, it’s very clear, what are the expectations? What are the hours? We recommend starting with a four hour block once per week and once you build that or fill that up, then you add another block. I mean, Amanda, one of our lead dieticians, she started off one four hour block, now she has two and a half full days of just seeing clients, client facing time every single week. And she’s jammed up. There’s no availability for her. But I think it’s important that you are valuing the coach’s time, right? So having that block where you can book clients back to back and then grow it as the client load grows in setting those expectations of, “We want a minimum of this many hours per week.”

Ashley Osterman (18:33):
Yeah, absolutely. So when we’re thinking about hiring from the outside, I think our top tips are make sure that you’re doing two interviews. I mean, for us, that’s the best part because Nicole will have the first interview and then she wants me to come on as well too, to make sure it’s a good fit. And then making sure that we’re asking there why, we’re getting that why back in a document. Looking at the follow through as well, how quickly are they getting back to us? And then being very clear about the expectations and the homework. I do a homework document with all of our new hires that clearly defines the dates when everything should be done. I want to make sure that they are completing their training and all required homeworks and everything for the onboarding process in a timely manner. And we agree on the dates and then it’s their responsibility to make sure things are done on time.

Nicole Aucoin (19:21):
I think this is one of the biggest struggles we see with gym owners, right? Especially with mentoring, right? So you sign up, you add a coach to go through the platform, but there’s still a responsibility of the owner or head nutrition coach to help make sure that you’re setting that new coach up for success. So yes, we have the training, yes we provide all the training, but it’s on you to make sure that they’re adapted to your facility and that there’s buy-in and they understand the support from you.

Nicole Aucoin (19:51):
So setting up those meetings, Ashley, you meet with our new hires once a week until they’re done with the training and then it goes to bi-weekly and then monthly after that. And if it’s a new coach, when we bring on dieticians, it’s a little bit last time, but new coaches, brand new nutrition coaches are meeting with you way more than that to ensure that it’s a consistent experience and that they feel supported throughout the training process.

Nicole Aucoin (20:15):
And goodness, we have some gyms I have signed up nutrition coaches to go through our training months ago and the coaching still isn’t done. To me, that’s a really big red flag, right? When you’re adding a new coach, when you’re adding a new dietician to your team, they should be really excited, right? So you want them to get through the training and use that momentum to start onboarding, to start helping you grow your nutrition program. Because at the end of the day, if you have more coaches you’re able to expand and more people grow your nutrition program, add more revenue.

Ashley Osterman (20:51):
Absolutely. Nicole, you brought up something I want to kind of circle back to, the red flags. What is a red flag? What are we talking about when we’re looking at potential issues with nutrition coaches?

Nicole Aucoin (21:04):
I think there are so many different ways that you can look at this. One is, are your coaches retaining their clients, right? Are they having a client for one month and then the clients are falling off? Are they sticking around for years and years? Are they renewing their memberships? Are they converting from a challenge to ongoing coaching? Are they converting from the first three months to ongoing after that? Or is there a roadblock in the way and there needs to be some more support for that coach? I think that retention is a red flag for me.

Nicole Aucoin (21:37):
Follow through is another really big red flag. But at the beginning of the training process, how long is it taking them to go through the training? We give owners updates bi-weekly with the progress on the course, right? So it takes 25 hours to go through the training course without all of the mentoring calls when you add a new coach to go through the training. In my opinion, it should not take longer than a month to get a coach up and running. It just shouldn’t.

Ashley Osterman (22:02):
Yeah, absolutely. Even a brand new coach who has no experience with nutrition coaching at all, I say a month is more than enough time.

Nicole Aucoin (22:10):
So when you are thinking about adding a coach, what I would do, you need to have some systems in place, there needs to be some training, but then they need to be shadowing the current coach because in a gym setting, if you are not having a consistent experience, your program will devalue so quickly because your clients talk to each other. So Ashley, you and I have our own nutrition clients, and maybe your cues are a little bit different than mine and we talk to each other about some of the situations that have happened and I get some great ideas from you.

Ashley Osterman (22:41):
Same with you.

Nicole Aucoin (22:42):
And it’s a similar experience no matter who’s coaching our clients and that is one of the biggest and most important things to me, I want there to be consistency because consistency means scalability.

Ashley Osterman (22:56):
Absolutely consistency is key. And that’s why it’s so important that we’re having our new coaches not only go through the training, meet the expectations, but also shadow whether they’re shadowing live with clients, watching recordings and then doing those mock consultations. The head nutrition coach, owner, other nutrition coaches on your staff, we should be having these initial and followup visits done in a mock setting so we get the new nutrition coach comfortable, and we have that consistency.

Nicole Aucoin (23:26):
Ashley, recently on the podcast, we had Jay, he owned Strong Body Fitness and it was an interesting conversation with our core team and we were talking about how much more successful nutrition coaches are and gym owners are when they go through our program and they’re actually clients of ours first. They understand what the gold standard is, because they’ve been through it themselves as a client, which helps them be able to replicate it in their own facilities, even going through the training. And I think you and I both went to school to be dieticians, when you learn something in a book versus actually doing it, it’s two very different things.

Ashley Osterman (24:00):
Very different things. Absolutely.

Nicole Aucoin (24:02):
And one of the things that really stuck out to me that Jay said, and I got goosebumps when it happened, he goes, “Nicole, Amanda’s incredible. She’s our main dietician.” And I said, “I know, I think she’s one of the best dieticians I’ve ever met.” And he said, “She follows the play.” And he said it twice before I caught onto what he meant by that. And he basically was like, you’ve laid out the map, you’ve laid out the play and she’s running the play. I know exactly what she’s going to do because I’m learning it in the training and then I’m seeing it happen in real life. It makes it so much easier for me to really comprehend what’s going on. And I was like, yes, yes, that’s it, that means scalability and that means a consistent experience and that’s exactly what we would want. But going back to our red flags, if you’re not having a coach that is moving along and you have to babysit, as a gym owner, I don’t have time to babysit.

Ashley Osterman (24:57):
No, no one has time. That is definitely a red flag. If they’re not completing their homework, they’re not completing their timeline as we’ve already talked about and laid the expectations out in the onboarding call, then we’re going to have a red flag. Again, like Nicole you said at the beginning too, another red flag for me, even before getting on a call and potentially hiring somebody, what is their philosophy? What is their social media looking like? If it’s not something that’s in line with my business and our message, that’s a red flag off the get-go.

Nicole Aucoin (25:31):
It’s interesting, I had a conversation with a gym owner not too long ago and she didn’t have the best fit as a nutrition coach at her gym and she knew it. And I had a conversation with her, I was like, “Okay, you understand you don’t have a good fit to run the program, but you can’t really pinpoint why it’s not a good fit.” I said, “Well, why don’t you talk to the past clients that have dropped off and see what they say about this coach? How has she helped them? What did you like? What did you not like? What would you like to see the program improve? And see what’s actually going on from a client’s perspective.” I think that gives you some insight. As a manager of a nutrition program, owner of a nutrition program, you have to understand what’s the client’s perspective and how can you constantly improve. Because if you don’t have that growth mindset of always wanting to do better and to improve, then you’re going to get stagnant and someone else is going to come by you and do it better than you.

Ashley Osterman (26:22):
Yeah. I think that is so important, making sure we’re getting that feedback and that way you can help support that nutrition coach, or maybe you decide that that nutrition coach isn’t the greatest fit and we start looking for somebody else.

Nicole Aucoin (26:34):
At the end of the day, I think John Maxwell says it best, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Ashley Osterman (26:42):
Absolutely.

Nicole Aucoin (26:42):
And if you are a gym owner that thinks even signing up for our program, “Hey, I’m going to pay this $2,000 initial investment and I’m going to pay you guys monthly to help me run my nutrition program and you’re going to make this magic thing happen with my nutrition coach and grow this program in my gym,” yes we have all of the tools, yes we have the mentoring support, absolutely everything is there for you. We have gyms bring in over a hundred thousand dollars a year on nutrition. It is there for you. But when I look at the most successful gyms, gym owners are involved, meeting with their coaches on a monthly basis, talking to them, helping support them. And when you have that support from that owner, it increases the buy-in with the coach in that is so important.

Ashley Osterman (27:30):
That is what is going to not only set your business apart, but it’s going to let you grow and grow to your desired potential.

Nicole Aucoin (27:38):
Absolutely. One last thing I want to talk about before we wrap this up with how to find a great fit is a tough conversation that you might have to have with a potential new hire. For us, I don’t want someone who has their own nutrition private practice be working for our business as a nutrition coach, it’s going to get very gray at some point, like, did the lead come from us or did they start following you from us and then they went to your personal link instead of coming through us? If we’re giving a coach an opportunity to grow as a nutrition coach or dietician with us, I want them to be under our umbrella and have all of the clients to be funneled through us. Amanda, our lead dietician, she had her own private practice and you can’t assume what someone has and what they love and what they don’t love and what I love about Amanda, she’s amazing at coaching clients, right? She’s absolutely amazing.

Ashley Osterman (28:34):
Best dietician I’ve ever worked with, for sure.

Nicole Aucoin (28:36):
She does not love the business side. And that’s great because I do absolutely love the business. I am so passionate about building successful businesses. So I had an honest conversation with her, “Hey, I know you have this private practice, but if we give you an opportunity to grow with us, I want us to transition your clients to us over the course of three to six months, and anyone new comes through us to go to you,” and she completely understood, she completely got it. With the same conversation with Brittany, she understood as well. I think it’s just those conversations need to happen at the beginning before you hire someone then after, because then that’s when it gets sticky.

Ashley Osterman (29:19):
Yeah, absolutely. Same thing goes if you’re hiring a nutrition coach who has a second job, you need to be very clear at the beginning with expectations, number of hours, time blocks, days, things like that that’s going to help support your business at the beginning. That way there’s no misunderstanding or potential conflict on the backend. Have those tough conversations, be clear with our expectations from the get-go before the contract is even signed, that will set you and your potential coach up for a successful relationship.

Nicole Aucoin (29:50):
Awesome. So many great tips here to finding a coach to help support the role of a nutrition program in a gym.All of these things are so important, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out what works well for you, right? It’s going to differ depending on you, your business, your situation, what your needs are. So really figuring that out, ironing it out, that way you can set yourself up for success and grow your business. Thanks, Ashley.

Nicole Aucoin (30:15):
I hope you enjoyed that episode on finding a great fit. So many nuggets in there. Click the link in the show notes where we wrote out all the steps that Ashley and I discussed in this episode. At the end of the day, someone might be a really great interviewer, but when it comes time to actually start working with clients, there’s something missing. Yes, you can teach them some skills to help them feel more confident, but the personality and the innate drive to follow through is not necessarily something that you can teach someone. So if you don’t have a great fit to run your nutrition program, don’t give up, find that great fit to help support the role of a nutrition program, because it is so important and your clients need that help.

Nicole Aucoin (31:02):
All right, now is time for the announcement. If you are a CrossFit level three or level four trainer, we have free CEUs for you. That’s right, we have released a free course that you can get three CEUs for. Click the link in the show notes, and you’ll get immediate access to this course, Building a Nutrition Program in a Gym. After completing the course, you’ll receive three CEUs. You have to of course submit them like our normal process for getting CEUs for CrossFit, but you get three free CES. We have an amazing relationship with CrossFit and we’ve had it for years and it’s our time to give back to those trainers who are struggling to get CEUs, or they’re just looking to support their clients with nutrition. This course is probably one of my favorite things that we’ve released. It’s so simple and actionable, and I know you will get benefit from it. If you are a current HSN mentoring coach or owner, yes, you can take this course and get free CEUs too. A lot of it is going to be all review, but you can get those CEU if you would like them.

Nicole Aucoin (32:13):
I hope you enjoyed this episode and I hope you enjoy this podcast. Our goal is to make nutrition coaching simple for gym owners and coaches. If you are a gym owner or a nutrition coach looking to save time and not reinvent the wheel when it comes to building a nutrition program, HSN Mentoring has a turnkey solution for you. We provide the owner and the coach the training to get the system set up and the nutrition coaching education to become an effective and confident nutrition coach.

Nicole Aucoin (32:46):
What separates HSN from all the other courses out there on the market is that we have everything in one place: the business support, the systems, the app to manage our clients, all of the social media content and the one-on-one support from our mentor team to set your program up for success. But the truth is, the support does not stop at the end of the training. Every single month, you have ongoing support to help you grow your nutrition program. And you aren’t paying us per client, it’s one flat rate per month. Click the link in the show notes to learn more about how it works. And most importantly, get that free CEU course that we made. We’re so excited to hear your feedback. If you’re interested in the turnkey solution for HSN Mentoring, it’s pretty easy to get started. Book a free call with your owner if you’re a nutrition coach to see if it’s a good fit for you. And if it is, you can get your program up and running in as little as four weeks.

Nicole Aucoin (33:45):
Did you enjoy this episode? Make sure that you subscribe. So you don’t miss another episode again. Until next week.

About the author

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N

Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN & HSN Mentoring

Author of Nourish & Healthy Kids Cookbook

Author of The Basics of Nutrition Coaching Course, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer