How I Turned My Nutrition Practice Into A 6-Figure Online Business

How I Turned My Nutrition Practice Into A 6-Figure Online Business

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be running a 6-figure/yr. online nutrition business while spending my days at home in sweatpants or taking long midday hikes with my dogs, I would’ve thought you had officially lost your mind.

Seriously, five years ago, things were not looking good for me and my fitness and nutrition business. Even though I’ve already spoiled the ending and you know it’s a happy one, let me fill you in on the whole story.

How I Turned My Nutrition Practice Into A 6-Figure Business

How My Business Started

In January 2013, I put in my two-week notice to quit my personal training job in the big box, corporate-y gym I had worked in for the past 8 years. I was d-o-n-e. I was sick of working for someone else, abiding by rules that didn’t make sense, following scripts and sales goals instead of doing what was best for my clients. I knew I was meant to do something bigger.

Two weeks later, I was officially a business owner. I had no money in my bank account, no previous entrepreneurial experience, and no business plan. What I did have was a passion for helping others and the determination to never work for someone else again.

I contacted some past clients and offered to come to their homes and train them at a fraction of what it cost for personal training at the gym (big mistake…didn’t realize how badly I was undercharging at the time). Soon, I had a decent client roster and was driving all across the county as an in-home personal trainer.

Shawn Mynar headshot from 2013
My first “professional” headshots taken by my sister

My 3-Year Ride On The Strugglebus

I spent the next three years in a cycle of charging my clients too little, spending too much time driving and not enough time working, and spinning my wheels trying to get more clients. By the end of 2016, I was $20,000 in debt and burned out with a bad case of adrenal burnout.

On the upside, during this time I also officially became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and added virtual nutrition consultations to my offerings for clients. (Because I know I’ll get this question…I went through the Nutritional Therapy Association and I absolutely, highly recommend it. Best nutrition certification hands down.)

I LOVED it! It was so fun to help people in this way and to do so from the comfort of my own home—a way better business model than spending hours per day in my car! But, I was still struggling to find clients and make enough money to fully support myself and my new online nutrition business.

The Rock Bottom Moment

Before you have a moment that changes everything, there first must come a rock bottom moment where things couldn’t possibly get worse.

For me, it was in the fall of 2016. I was about a year into dealing with mold illness and the accompanying awful symptoms that left me feeling exhausted, depressed, foggy, and in pain. I was on a treatment plan, but the healing was slow and the medical bills were high…very, very high.

I found a place to live that passed a mold inspection but also happened to be twice as much rent than I’d ever paid in my life. I couldn’t pass up on a safe space to heal (shockingly hard to find) so I committed to finding a way to pay for this new place.

At the same time, my symptoms had gotten SO bad that I didn’t have the strength or energy to continue doing my at-home personal training business. While it was the one piece of my business that was bringing in a steady, reliable income (albeit low), it was also the piece that I was no longer passionate about and was ready to move on to working solely with nutrition clients virtually in my online nutrition business.

Let’s review—$20K in debt, astronomical medical expenses, pricey rent…and now quitting the piece of my business that’s actually bringing in income.

Yeah, I was bold (read: crazy). But also, deep down, I knew I would be fine.

The Shift That Changed Everything

Not more than a month went by before I reached the pivotal moment that changed everything. I was taking on more one-on-one nutrition clients and really enjoying the work I was doing with each of them in my online nutrition business.

Except something about it just didn’t seem right.

I found myself saying the same thing over and over to each client, feeling energetically drained after each day of 1:1 sessions, and still not making the income that felt appropriate for the profound work I was doing to help these people heal their bodies.

On a walk one day I got an idea: “Why don’t I take the things I’m saying over and over again to my clients and put it all into an online hub where they can go through it as a group?”

It made perfect sense. I could help more than one client at a time—especially with the foundational work that every client needs at the start—and wouldn’t have to spend all day repeating myself to one person at a time. My clients would get the help and support they needed from me and would also get the camaraderie of a close-knit group of people that were going through something similar.

At the time, I didn’t know what an online program was, I just knew this idea I had wasn’t something I could ignore. It sounded like the perfect situation for me, my business, and my clients. I got home from my walk and immediately started Googling to see how I could make it happen.

How I Turned My Nutrition Practice Turned Into A 6-Figure/Year Online Business

I joined Kajabi (the BEST platform out there for all things online business) and spent the final two months of 2016 taking my notes from all of my one-on-one clients and organizing them into a framework that would help the masses.

I launched my very first signature program in January of 2017, recruiting 30 people to be founding members and test it for me. The initial group was a huge success and I felt a twinge of confidence that this little idea for an online nutrition program could actually be a hit.

Curious how I built the program and got people to buy it? I’m spilling all my group program secrets in my FREE masterclass “Burnout-Proof Your Business With A Group Program” Click here to save your spot. It’s free!

I spent the rest of 2017 re-launching my program every few months while growing my audience full of people who would be a perfect fit for the program through my highly-targeted podcast, blog posts, and social media.

By the end of 2017, that ONE program had made $150,000 for my business. Remember how not even a year earlier I didn’t know how I was going to afford my rent? Yeah, this was a BIG deal. I also had transitioned to only doing high-level one-on-one nutrition consultations, so I had most days completely free of any appointments or obligations. I’ve got one word for how I was feeling at that moment…FREEDOM!

In 2018, I continued to build my audience full of people who would be perfect for my program with weekly podcast episodes and continued to host groups in my program every other month. I then created two more specialized group coaching programs for those that were on a more specific healing journey.

By the end of 2018, I had three successful online nutrition programs that totaled $435,000 in revenue for that year. I was spending less time working than I ever thought possible. I was traveling a ton and bringing my work along with me when I wanted (which really just meant having my phone and laptop nearby for an occasional check-in), and I was helping thousands of people feel well again. It truly was a dream come true and something I never thought would be possible for me only a few years earlier.

Online Programs: The Most Sustainable Business Model

I’m writing this post 3 years later having created 3 more signature programs (6 total in 5 years!) and continuing to reap the benefits of this business model. It truly is the most sustainable business model, especially for nutritionists, health coaches, personal trainers, therapists, and other wellness business owners.

Having one-on-one clients is great, but it is very hard to give top-notch service to the number of clients you need to make a decent income. It takes a lot of time and energy, and your income will always be capped by the amount of time and energy you have for those clients.

What creating these online programs did for me and my business can be the case for yours too. You can create a super impactful, really professional group program that will provide even more value to your clients than working with you one-on-one and at a lower price point. Plus, they get the added benefit of connecting with like-minded people who are on a similar journey.

You, on the other hand, get a wide-open calendar with more flexibility in how you spend your days, unlimited income potential as your groups grow, and the confidence that you’re making a real difference in the world by helping more people at one time.

The Best Business Move Over

Having that random idea (I call it an intuitive nudge.) back in 2016 to take what I knew and turn it into a group program was the absolute best thing for me and my online nutrition business. Now, it’s your turn.

PS…You don’t need to have a big audience, a ton of money to invest (Remember, I created my program in the middle of major money struggles.), or a full client roster to make it happen.

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Ready to add a signature program to your business? Get a jumpstart on the first three critical steps to make it a reality with my FREE Signature Program Starter Kit!

6 Steps To Build Your Own Signature Program

6 Steps To Build Your Own Signature Program

Let me take you on a trip down memory lane. It was September 2016. I had just made the decision to build my own online coaching program. I was ready to take what I knew—both as a nutritionist and as someone who had personal experience using food to heal—and turn it into an online educational hub and community for my nutrition clients.

I was excited…I would finally have my own online program!

6 Steps To Build Your Own Online Coaching Program by Shawn Mynar

I could see my future so clearly (Yes, I was already into visualization back then.)…tons of people coming into my online program and getting the help they needed (even though, at the time, my audience was minimal), my calendar freed up, and my $20K in debt paid off.

I was also…frozen.

Not out of fear (OK, maybe a little.) but because I literally had no idea how to build that online coaching program and make it a reality.

🤔 What do I include in my program and how do I create all the content?

🤔 How do I make sure it’s actually doable and helpful?

🤔 How do I organize it so it makes sense for my clients?

🤔 Where do I host it so it’s user-friendly and professional?

🤯 HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO JOIN?

These were just a few of the questions keeping me up at night.

The Thing That Changed My Business Forever

In the months that followed, I slowly learned the answers to those questions and went on to build my first online coaching program and launch that signature program out into the world.

That little program ended up being a massive hit and the thing that changed both my business and life forever. (Shout out to the Fat Burning Female Project!)

I know I’m not the only one that has ever been in the position of wanting their own online program but stuck in the, “How do I do it?” phase, soooooo I created a framework for you to use as a guide during the program creation process. It’s the EXACT process I’ve used to build 6 programs in the past 5 years.

build your own online coaching program

6 Steps To Build Your Own Online Coaching Program

Let’s break down each of the 6 steps to building your own signature program:

STEP 1: 💭 DREAM IT!

The DREAM IT! step could also be called the DECISION step because you have a lot of decisions to make right away:

1) Who does your coaching program help? (AKA your dream client)

2) How does your program help them? (the ONE topic of your program)

3) What are the price point and income goals for this program?

Take all of the ideas you’ve ever had for an online program and get them out of your head and onto paper (or a Google doc). Doing so allows the best program topic to come through and the contents for that coaching program to take shape. Through this brain dump, you’ll also be able to extract the details of your dream client which will become very important as you move on in the program-creation process.

Believe it or not, this is also the perfect time to start thinking about the price! This way, you can be sure to create a program that exceeds the criteria for that price point so your dream clients feel like they’re getting a STEAL by investing in your program.

The final piece to the DREAM IT! puzzle is to get proof of concept for your program before you put any more time, effort, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into it.

Do your dream clients actually want and need that program?

The best way to find out? Directly from your audience! Take a poll on your social media, ask former clients, do some market research to see what else is out there.

STEP 2: 🗺 MAP IT!

It’s time to take that brainstorm and make sense of it! This is where your ideas take shape and your program gets structured. In the MAP IT! step, you’ll organize your coaching program into actionable steps (modules, steps, pillars, etc.) and decide exactly what content you’ll include, how you’ll deliver that content (video, audio, written lessons?), and what other components will be offered (live calls, a private community, 1:1 coaching?).

This is also where your program becomes truly signature—something unique to you and your work. How? With your very own framework! You’ll take those actionable steps you just discovered and organize them into a visual “map” for your clients. Here’s an example of a framework I created for my signature business coaching program, Unstuck Entrepreneur.

Flow and Grow Framework from my signature program, Unstuck Entrepreneur.

I used a Canva template to come up with the design and then added my own pillars, colors, and fonts to make it unique to my program!

No one will have your unique visual framework which means your program will stand out from the crowd in your industry, no matter how saturated it is!

STEP 3: 🎨 DESIGN IT!

After all of those decisions and organization, it’s time to have some fun! The third step in the program-creation process is to brand your program and bring it to life visually. The branding for your coaching program will include its name, logo, and tagline plus the colors and fonts that best represent the vibe of your program.

Branding takes real, intentional thought. It’s not just about picking a clever name and some of your favorite colors. Branding IS marketing!

When it comes to a name for your online program, the goal is to have your audience know exactly what the program is about and who it’s for…just by reading the name. Yep, the name of your coaching program is that important, and coming up with that name is a very intentional process.

What name, tagline, colors, and fonts clearly convey the message you’re trying to send to your dream clients, letting them know this program was made specifically for them?

STEP 4: 🛠 BUILD IT!

Things are about to get REAL! This module is where the rubber meets the road and your signature coaching program becomes a reality. Now that you have your plan and design, it’s time to create ALLL the content that will go into your program.

Pro tip: Do NOT let this step overwhelm you. Chunk up your tasks, plan them out in your calendar, and stay organized as you go.

Video lessons? Shoot them.

Audio lessons? Record them.

Written lessons? Write them.

Guides, worksheets, templates? Design them.

Once everything is created, upload it all into your online course platform of choice. (BIG KAJABI FAN HERE!🙋‍♀️)

Then, take a step back and give yourself a high five…you, my friend, officially have your very own signature coaching program!

building your own online coaching program

STEP 5: 💰 OFFER IT!

While having your own online program is definitely something to celebrate, it’s not enough to make it a smashing success. You still need to market and sell this masterpiece you just created!

The OFFER IT! step is all about the marketing of your program. Knowing buyer behavior (We humans are so predictable when it comes to buying stuff. I love this book about it.), how can you create an offer for your program that makes investing in your program a no-brainer for your dream clients?

With the right ingredients included in your offer, your clients will be lining up, waiting to get into your program before you’ve even told them the price!

The most important ingredient to any offer is messaging. How are you communicating about your program to your dream clients?

STEP 6: 🚀 LAUNCH IT!

This is IT! The final step in the program-creation process is to get your coaching program out into the world and into the hands of the people that need your help.

It probably comes as no surprise that launching a paid program needs a specific strategy. It won’t be enough to just write an email and post a few social media posts to get people to pay you for your program. (Again, buyer behavior is REAL.)

The keys to a successful online program launch are preparation, excitement, awareness, communication, and consistency.

Where will you show up to communicate with your dream clients? How often? What will you say? What free event can you use to build excitement and awareness around your launch?

You officially have your own coaching program!

There you have it…the 6 foolproof steps to building your signature coaching program!

While it seems like a lot right now, with a little planning and organization, you can absolutely go from brainstorm to beta-launch in 8-12 weeks. (I have ALL the time-saving, organizing, planning, and launching tools in one place for you inside Signature Program Lab!)

If you’re ready to take this dream business of yours and make it a reality, then you MUST check out my FREE Masterclass “Burnout-Proof Your Business With Your Own Group Program.”

In it, I’m sharing the exact steps to take to build your program AND build an engaged, “perfect fit” audience that’s primed and ready to buy as soon as your program is ready!