You’re a Nutrition Professional: Stop Working for Free!

Two women nutrition professionals

You don’t become a nutrition professional overnight (not a legitimate one anyway). You work hard, learn the material, pay for your education, and earn your credentials…

No one gave you your professional diploma. So why is it that so many people give their services away for free?

We know that becoming a nutrition professional isn’t easy.

No matter what career path you choose, nutrition requires constant study to stay on top of the latest science and practices…

This knowledge is part of what you offer to your clients.

So every time that you give professional advice for free, you’re short-changing yourself.

You deserve better.

This is why we’re going to teach you how to say “NO” to that free advice, and to start maximising your earning potential today!

Keep reading to learn more…

Why are you tempted to give free advice in the first place?

Becoming a nutrition professional isn’t for everyone.

It takes a special kind of person who has a genuine drive to help others live their very best lives.

It’s this caring nature that can make it tempting to share your knowledge with your friends, family members, and even the nice lady you met in the grocery store.

Even if your intentions are good, you can undermine your own professional practice by doling out advice for free.

Consider this scenario:

Julia makes beautiful hand-crafted bracelets that she intends to sell to support herself.

But, when her friends ask for one, she feels like she’s doing a good thing by giving them one for free.

Then, Julia’s friends tell their friends, and those people start showing up and asking for free bracelets as well.

They tell their friends, and soon, Julia has a line of people who all want the same, but they don’t expect to pay for it.

Julia is feeling disheartened that her business is taking off. She has a lot of interest, but she’s not making any money to get by.

She reasons that no one wants to buy her bracelets and eventually Julia stops making them altogether.

Julia will go broke trying to be nice (what a shame!).

But she’s also cheapening her hard work and risking friendships in the process.

Even the kindest professional needs to draw a line between business services and personal advice…

And the same applies to nutrition professionals. So, why give away your advice for free?

The time and effort you’ve put into learning how to personalise nutrition plans (and help your clients) has genuine value.

Your ideal customer will understand this and be willing to pay for your services.

So, how can you avoid giving free nutrition advice?

Avoiding giving free advice is harder than it sounds, as we saw in Julia’s case.

It’s easy to slip into a conversation about personal nutrition without realising that you’re doing a full consult without the pay…

For that reason, we’ve put together some tips that can help you recognise and practice mindful communication in the future.

Define your services and your limits…

Whether you’re new to the nutrition profession or you’ve been practising for years, it never hurts to sit down and evaluate your offerings…

What you can do is list your entire process from the first contact to your daily interactions with an established client.

This list should reflect the entire scope of your services and include anything and everything that you charge for – including advice and general consultations.

Any time that a person asks for advice that falls under one of your professional services, refer back to your list.

Then, you can take control of the situation by scheduling a time to speak in a more professional setting…

Why a different setting?

Clients are less likely to walk into an office or appointment expecting free services than they are when they meet you under more casual circumstances.

Know what you offer and use that knowledge to set limits on what you will and won’t do for free.

Learn to recognise when someone is asking for free advice…

There are times when you may receive an email or a call with a broad or relatively ambiguous question, such as “Can you help me with…?”

The next thing you know, you’re giving out a full professional response complete with valuable nutritional insight.

The key term there is “valuable nutritional insight.”

It’s great to develop content that brings value to clients and to interact with those who might be interested in your services…

But, if you give too much away, then there’s no real incentive for them to book your services.

What works well is to prepare a set of questions as a way to qualify potential leads.

When someone is asking questions about what you offer, you can then take that opportunity to set up a consultation in a professional environment.

Because when you set appointments you set more professional expectations.

Make conscious decisions before you communicate…

This is a piece of (free) advice that can carry over into every part of your life.

Many of us are in the habit of immediately answering someone when they reach out to us.

If it’s via a phone call, you don’t have a lot of time to think your response through.

If it’s an email, you have a buffer to prepare your response to the recipient…

Try to take advantage of this. Even consider walking away from an email or text before writing a lengthy reply with valuable advice and hitting that “send” button.

During real-time interactions, try to figure out the nature of the conversation.

It makes sense to talk about nutrition with clients or other professionals, or even friends and family.

However, you shouldn’t be prepping a custom meal plan over coffee while you’re catching up with an old friend.

Gently steer the conversation away from professional topics and suggest that they schedule an appointment if they continue to ask for information you usually charge for.

Prepare your answer ahead of time!

Once you know how to recognise when someone is asking you for free advice, you need a “standard answer”…

Why?

Because this takes the pressure off you to come up with a response on the spot.

If the person asking fits into your target market, then direct them to your professional services. If not, point out some online or print resources where they can find some information at their own expense.

The key here is to anticipate their reaction. You’ll quickly see if they would pay for your services or not.

Also, never let anyone make you feel guilty for not providing them with free services.

There’s a very good chance they don’t work for free themselves, so it’s unfair of them to expect that of anyone else.

You’re a certified professional, and you deserve to be recognised for that!

Manage expectations for any conversations involving professional advice…

When you do set up a professional consultation, it’s helpful to set very clear expectations for the interaction right at the start.

Explain to your (prospect) clients exactly what you’ll be doing, what the cost is for those services, and what additional services incur additional costs.

Clients appreciate transparency.

To show you mean business (pun intended), you could create a standard itinerary or overview of your services. This creates a polished and credible experience.

It’s crucial to always be honest and very direct about the value of your advice. Nutrition is an essential part of our health and that’s incredible valuable in that – and your knowledge.

You can be a good person AND a good nutrition professional at the same time!

As a certified nutrition professional, you need to remember that your information and advice are an integral part of your services.

You’re running an advisory business and it’s necessary to make good financial decisions.

When you do this, you’re able to stay in business and to keep helping people in a meaningful way!

If you have a hard time recognising the value in your advice, make a list of where you excel compared to others, fold it up, and keep it with you.

Use it as a tangible reminder of your worth as a nutrition professional, and feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues.

What are YOU doing to improve your value so that you won’t need to offer services for free anymore?

Are you ready to invest in yourself? Click here to start your premium nutrition education and begin your professional evolution today!