Fitness and health pros: Here’s how to build a track record (and demonstrate your excellence).

By John Berardi, Ph.D.

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There’s only one foolproof way to convince clients you know what you’re talking about: Provide overwhelming evidence that you’ve helped others — just like them — accomplish the same goals they want to achieve. 

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In today’s article I’ll show you how to do just that: Build a track record and demonstrate excellence in your own practice. I’ll also share one of the tools that’s helped Precision Nutrition build our own remarkable track record.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that our industry-leading coaching platform — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening soon.

Tested with nearly 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to anyone who needs it… from paying clients, to family members, to co-workers, to loved ones.

It’ll help you grow your business while working less, getting better results, and living life on your own terms.

Want to coach in-person? Online? Or a combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

To understand ProCoach you first need to understand why it was created, and the key problems it helps health and fitness professionals overcome.

JB shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to 50,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how the ProCoach software works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

 

In summary, ProCoach delivers — to your clients, on your behalf — a total coaching solution, complete with daily lessons, habits, check-ins, and more.

Plus, as their coach, you’ll support them by answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through special ProCoach software.

The good news? On Wednesday, November 29th, we’ll be opening ProCoach to our Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates around the world.

When you enroll, you’ll be able to use this ground-breaking software and curriculum in your business — with your clients — to deliver world-class results… the kind that build your track record, grow your brand, and create a waiting list to work with you.

You’re an excellent coach? Okay, prove it.

Talk is cheap.

If you’re a top athlete, you don’t tell me you’re good.

You don’t tell me about all the great facilities you’ve trained in, or all the blogs you’ve read about your sport.

You show me you’re good, with your performance.

If you’re a top sprinter, you show me your 100m time.

If you’re a top powerlifter or weightlifter, you show me your best lifts.

(Maybe you’ve even got these on video, so there’s no doubt.)

So, if you had to prove to an employer (or to a colleague) that you’re an excellent coach, how would you do it?

Would you…

  • mention your degrees and certifications?
  • talk about which seminars you’ve attended?
  • list who you’ve mentored or interned with?
  • share how many years of experience you have?
  • describe where you’ve worked?

That’s a good start.

An employer might be impressed, just like another athlete might be impressed that you ran on a famous track or trained at a famous strength facility.

But what if you had to prove it to a client?

You know, someone who doesn’t know what those acronyms stand for, who John Berardi is, or why it’s great to attend the Perform Better summits.

How would you show a client that you’re an excellent coach?

Prove you’re someone they should listen to? Demonstrate you’re someone worth hiring when they need help?

Clients don’t care what you did (or didn’t) study in college. Which seminars you’ve attended. Whom you’ve mentored with. That you can spell “coccyx” or “mitochondria” correctly.

Clients don’t care about all that you’ve learned.

Clients want you to help them.

Clients want to see other clients, just like them.

They want to be able to relate to those clients. Hear their stories. And, as a result, believe that they, too, could make changes in their own lives.

Clients want proof that you can help them make progress.

Because often, when clients start, they don’t believe it. They think progress happens to other people. They’re feeling discouraged, alone, frustrated, lost and/or like the only weirdo that can’t improve.

You need to show them what you can do.
You need to make it real.

Sort of like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Getting results is a great start. Of course, it’s the biggest part of your job.

Yet you also have to find ways to:

  • document that amazing progress,
  • show those results to others,
  • present those results to clients in a way that lets them “get it”, and
  • help them really see, feel, believe in the power of your coaching.

How do I begin documenting results?

One of the most common things I hear from professionals is:

“Dr. Berardi: You’ve been doing this for a few decades.

But I’m new. It’ll take forever to build a track record like yours.

I don’t even know where to start.”

Relax. You don’t have to “catch up”.

It’s taken us 10 years to build our current database. We have thousands of success stories, which we’ve built one client at a time. You don’t need that much evidence. Even a handful of case studies will be enough to get started.

Plus, no one knows how to do this at first.

That’s a significant advantage for you. Because today, I’m going to show you exactly how. Follow this advice and you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition.

Step 1:
Start collecting data.

Numbers and photos talk loud. Make data your friend. Right away, start building a regular program of collecting client measurements and other data, and organizing that evidence.

This includes:

  • Taking progress photos every few weeks, or every 1-2 months.
  • Collecting body weight, skinfold, and girth info every few weeks.

Going beyond standard body composition measures, you can also start:

  • Tracking workout consistency week by week.
  • Tracking nutrition consistency week by week.
  • Collecting subjective markers of progress once a month or so.
    (mood, energy levels, sleep quality, pain, overall wellbeing, etc.)

Digging even deeper, you can track improvements in things like:

  • How much do my clients know about nutrition?
  • How well can they apply what they know?
  • How are my clients feeling about their progress?
  • How are my clients feeling about my coaching?

If you like, you can also look for the stories behind the numbers. We try to capture these with client profiles, such as these:

Clients who aren’t “numbers people” may relate better to stories, especially stories about “people like them, just a little better”.

Imagine having this arsenal of data at your fingertips.

Imagine if you could show clients — new and current — about how your program will:

  • change their bodies in ways that you can see and measure,
  • improve their mental and emotional health,
  • boost their confidence and happiness,
  • make them more informed and knowledgeable about nutrition,
  • help them be consistent with habits and life-changing behaviors,
  • help them take pride in personal accomplishment, and
  • make them feel satisfied with you and your services.

Imagine if you could share stories about how your clients can now:

  • Start a family when their poor health initially prevented them from doing so.
  • Take fewer medications, less of those medications… or even get off medications completely.
  • Take control of their lives — to become more resilient, to take productive risks, to try new things and activities, to have cool experiences, to get out of bad situations and try new, more helpful and affirming ones.
  • Improve their relationships with partners, family, friends and colleagues… even find new love as a result of their increased confidence.

Now, PN can’t promise that your clients will become better parents.

Or dump their medications (or crummy jobs, or unsupportive friends, or…).

Or crush a cholesterol test or sports competition.

Or go on to live more exciting and fulfilling lives full of health, joy and adventure.

But we can show — with our clients’ data and stories — that it’s possibleAnd eventually, as you collect your own client’ data and stories, you’ll be able to show your clients the same things.

Awesome.

With these data and stories that you collect, you don’t have to brag, “sell yourself”, or “hustle”. In fact, you don’t have to talk much at all.

Your clients’ documented results do the talking for you.

Step 2:
Create a system for reliable data collection.

Of course, you want to make sure that all your data and stories are well-organized and easily accessible.

That means:

  • Have a trusted system.
  • Have a long-term commitment to building and maintaining that system.

Just like you tell your clients: There’s no quick-fix. No magic bullet for weight loss. Likewise, there’s no miracle “hack” to build a sizeable track record. There’s only the routine application of basic principles.

Luckily, the concepts are simple. All you have to do is practice them.

Create a schedule for progress tracking.

  • Some things will happen every day.
    (Checking off whether a client did their daily habit.)
  • Some things happen every week or two.
    (Weighing and taking tape measurements, or a weekly analysis of behaviors.)
  • Some things happen every month or two.
    (Taking progress photos, or re-evaluating whether a given program is working.)
  • Some things happen every few months.
    (Re-assessing client goals, or looking at how well their skills are developing, or checking their blood work, or testing physical performance.)

Create a system to collect and store data.

  • You can go old-school, with written forms and questionnaires built into progress-check sessions.
  • You can do it digitally, with online forms and questionnaires delivered automatically to clients at key intervals.

It doesn’t matter, as long as you have a system you trust.

Use that schedule and system consistently.

Within a year, you’ll end up with plenty of data, including:

  • before and after photos,
  • body change data,
  • performance data,
  • consistency data,
  • survey data, and
  • compelling testimonials and stories.

With that arsenal of data, now you’ve got some powerful ammunition — and more importantly, the legitimacy and credibility you deserve.

Step 3:
Tell the story of your results.

You could call it “marketing”. We think of it as telling a good story.

So you’ve done Step 1 — create and maintain a system — and Step 2 — gather the data. Good work. Now, package them up and tell a good story about them.

A quick tip:

  • Some people will be “numbers people”.
    These are your engineers, scientists, accountants, and tech people. They’ll love graphs, or columns of numbers, or percentages. Have those numbers on hand for them. Let them swim in the data.
  • Most people won’t be “numbers people”.
    They’ll be more moved by images and stories. So have some compelling pictures and narratives to share, perhaps even videos.

One of my favorite ways? Photo books.

Using a service like Blurb.com, you can pull together:

  • client details (first name, age, height, weight),
  • before and after photos,
  • body change data (weight, inches, and fat lost or gained),
  • body change graphs,
  • consistency data (% nutrition and training adherence),
  • improvement scores on nutrition information assessments,
  • powerful quotations from surveys,
  • collected testimonials, and
  • a summary of the client’s experience.

Bam.

With online photo book services you can create, organize, and print one-off, super high-quality photo albums based on this information above.

Organize your first book by age, gender, goal, or whatever category you think is important to prospects. Over time, as you collect more data, each category can become a separate book.

Not much of a graphic artist? No problem. Just hire a local designer to help.

You provide all the information and tell them what you’re trying to create. They’ll lay it all out for you (on Blurb or using their own design software) and provide you with a custom book.

Here’s why that’s so cool.

Imagine me walking into your gym or training facility.

It’s my first meeting with you.

I don’t know much about who you are or what to expect. I’m nervous.

Will this work for me?

Will this help me?

Does this coach have experience with people like me?

I meet you. We shake hands. You smile nicely.

I’m slightly reassured. But only slightly.

Then you hand me the photo book.

Wow.

I’m blown away.

I see pictures of people just like me, who got incredible results.

I see numbers and infographics — whoa, look at that weight graph plummeting downward!

I see stories from your clients, who think you’re awesome and rave about how much better their bodies and health and lives are now.

And — let’s be honest — my subconscious critic is also noticing that you took the time and effort to produce high quality materials, which is an indicator of how you treat your business. And me.

I grab a Kleenex. I’m feeling a little choked up. (In a manly way.)

You can help me.

I can feel it. I believe it.

What more needs to be said?

Of course, there are other ways to do this. Instead of printed books you can create digital ones that prospects can flick through on an iPad or mobile phone. Or a website. Or videos.

In the end, it doesn’t matter which format you use.

What matters most:

Collect data constantly and turn it into compelling marketing stories to help sell your services to prospects and clients.

How Precision Nutrition collects data.

Over the last decade we’ve coached and mentored nearly 150,000 people in 100+ countries through our research programs, professional education courses, and personal coaching groups.

We’ve built — earned, really — an excellent track record.

Lots of people consider us the world’s leading experts in nutrition coaching.

This includes companies like Nike, Apple, and Equinox as well as professional sports teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Carolina Panthers, and dozens of Olympic athletes and their coaches.

We’ve written for, or been featured in, these leading publications.
And we’ve consulted with these organizations.

In fact, Precision Nutrition is so uniquely successful that Fast Company recently named us one of the most innovative companies in fitness.

Image 10
Precision Nutrition was named one of the 10 most innovative companies in fitness by Fast Company magazine.

Just like we’ve suggested you do, we collect lots of data every few weeks.

For instance, clients can upload their photos into our coaching software.

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.
One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

Clients can see those photos within their “Progress” area of our coaching app.

Client's progress update page
One client’s progress page.

Clients can record their body weight and girths in the same way.

One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.
Girth measurements can be recorded here.

Again, clients can see these data in their progress area.

Client's measurement graph
One client’s measurement graph.

We also keep tabs on our clients’ exercise and nutrition behaviors — without having to personally ask them about these every day.

Habit and workout tracking cards
Example habit and workout tracking cards.

They can see how consistent they’re being with particular habits.

Client's habit and workout progress page
One client’s habit and workout tracking page.

When clients start coaching with us, we ask them a host of nutrition knowledge and application questions.

Client intake questionnaire.
Client intake questionnaire.

We also regularly ask them how they feel about their progress in our 5-minute “How are you doing?” questionnaires.

Multiple choice questions about how are you doing
Example questions from our “How are you doing” surveys.

Not only do some of these questions include rating scales, we also include open-ended questions.

Open-ended questions about how are you doing
Example open-ended questions from our “How are you doing” surveys.

We regularly ask them how they feel about the job we’re doing in our 5-minute “How are we doing?” questionnaires.

Image 44b
Example questions from our “How are we doing?” surveys.

And, as with our “How are you doing?” questionnaires, we also ask open-ended questions.

Image 44f
Example open-ended questions from our “How are we doing?” surveys.

Is your head spinning with all this data? Good.

Now you can see what it’s like to play in the big leagues.

Maybe you can imagine how amazing this could be for your clients.

But maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, even anxious.

How could PN coaches possibly gather and track all of this?

Simple really. Our system does the data gathering and tracking for us.

It’s built in, reliably delivered on a known schedule, and 100% automated.

Cool.

How Precision Nutrition shares these data.

Now that we’ve collected all this fantastic information, here’s how we use it.

Client images and testimonials are included on sales pages.

PN-Blog-Images-Track-Record-5a PN-Blog-Images-Track-Record-5b PN-Blog-Images-Track-Record-5c PN-Blog-Images-Track-Record-5d

Client quotes and feedback are built into articles and info pages.

PN-Blog-Images-Track-Record-6

We have two big body transformation contests every year and give away over $250,000 in prize money to our best clients.

To get people excited about the contest, we announce our male and female finalists each round and let our community vote on who they think should win.

And then we announce our big prize winners.

Client stories, testimonials, before/after photos are included in videos.

Before and after compilations are included on the site, Facebook, YouTube.

And we maintain a ‘Hall of Fame” of all our coaching program finalists organized by gender and age.

Want help doing this yourself?

Yep, there’s a lot to consider here. But this doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

In fact, if you’d like some support doing all of this in an automated, scalable, and reliable way, we can help.

ProCoach has dozens of features built in to help you collect client data and then turn those data into compelling marketing materials.

For example:

We’ve built progress tracking right into ProCoach.

On their own, or with your help, your clients will regularly:

  • Report body weight
  • Record body girths
  • Upload front, side, and rear photos
  • Include subjective progress markers
  • Report on consistency
  • Complete feedback surveys
  • And more

It’s all built right into the software.

These data and stories will show the kind of results people get while working with you.

They’ll help keep your clients on track, and keep you informed about everything that’s happening when they’re not with you.

But they’ll also serve another purpose: proof.

With ProCoach you can download printable reports and turn these into hardcopy (or digital) booklets to share with prospects.

Here are two examples of our ProCoach-generated reports:

Client marketing report.
Men’s case study report.
Women's marketing report page.
Women’s case study report.

Use our stuff. We’re happy to share.

By using Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach in your business, you can borrow our track record while building your own.

That’s right, since you’ll be delivering our curriculum, using our software, you can reference our results (with proper attribution, of course) to demonstrate what’s possible for your own clients.

This can fast track your own process by a few years.

We’ve done the hard work of building a system, so you don’t have to.

And the results speak for themselves.

In June of 2016, we opened ProCoach up to a small group of health and fitness pros outside of the Precision Nutrition team — specifically our Certification students and graduates.

We wanted to let them test drive the program in their businesses. The response was overwhelming: We ended up selling out every spot in a few hours.

We launched again in November and, same thing, we sold out within hours.

Even more exciting, those first two groups of ProCoaches went on to:

  • enroll nearly 50,000 new clients,
  • help them lose nearly 400,000 pounds, and
  • collect nearly $30 million in revenue.

All that in just about a year. I can’t wait to see what happens with our even larger group of ProCoaches and their clients in 2017.

If you want to try this research-proven, client-tested, reliable system for coaching nutrition with your own clients — helping you get better results while working less, growing your business, and living + working on your own terms — consider joining us on Wednesday, November 29th.

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list. Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we like to reward the most interested and motivated professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. To launch this in a very controlled way, we’re taking a small group of fitness and health pros for this round. (And we probably won’t open up additional spots till mid 2018). Last time we sold out within minutes, but by joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

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