Part of the guide

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

See other chapters
guide cover image
Starting an Online Nutrition Business
You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything. Beth Comstock

Starting an online nutrition business is very different from other businesses in that you must be trustworthy in order to gain the respect of your customers. No one wants to be advised by someone just looking to make a quick buck.

People can be incredibly skeptical of your business if you don’t use what you are offering or simply don’t look like their ideal body type. They want to believe that you have actual knowledge that they need to acquire and that you care about not only your own health, but their health as well. For this reason, marketing your online nutrition business will be slightly different than if you were to, say, sell sponges.

Let’s take a look at the ways you can get your name out to the general public in order for your online nutrition business to take off.

Starting an Online Nutrition Business: Marketing Tactics

1. Examine Yourself First

The first thing you need to do when touting an online nutrition business is to examine yourself. Do you follow your own advice? Do you use the products you are promoting? Have you overcome weight or health issues? Unfortunately, many people will take one look at you and decide if they want what you have to sell. If you are skinny and have lost a significant amount of weight, this will encourage them to seek out what worked for you. If you are still overweight though, it won’t convey the message that your regimen works.

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

You are going to be the biggest advocate for your business and in the nutrition business, your looks matter. Make sure you are at your optimal level of fitness so when your customers look at you, they see what they want to be. Use your looks to your advantage by getting professional photographs taken of yourself and integrate them into your online marketing strategy.

You can even post “before” pictures of yourself so people can see what has changed about you. Seeing is believing, so showing your customers how your plans, products, or recipes have worked for you gives credence to your claims about having nutritional knowledge.

2. Gaining Credibility 

Once again I must state that your online nutrition business is different than other businesses because there is an entire scientific community involved in the area of nutrition. There are ways to use this to your advantage though. If you have a degree in science, you could get yourself and your nutritional discovery published in a scientific journal. This would give you a name among scientists and help further prove that your nutritional knowledge is based in science.

Since many people starting nutritional businesses aren’t scientists, it is a good idea to get some type of certification in nutrition. There are a plethora of online courses that you could complete to at least be able to say that you have additional education in nutrition that the general public does not have. Here is a list of some of the top certification programs!

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

If you can’t or don’t want to go either of these routes, getting a doctor or two to verify that what you are offering has some scientific basis would be a major marketing victory. Having this reliable third-party verification will help convince your potential customers that you aren’t just a lone wolf making up nutritional advice as you go.

Having credibility in the nutrition field is a must, so really consider what you need to do to make yourself more credible and think about who you can reach out to that will verify what you are selling as beneficial to the public as a whole.

3. Social Media

When gearing up to launch your online nutrition business, you will need to set up social media channels for your business. Even if you don’t use them right away, it is important for branding purposes to pick a username that is affiliated with your business and use it across all social media channels. This consistency will really help your customers find you on social media and stay engaged with your business.

Another thing to keep in mind is the need to pick a username that is easy to remember. For instance, if you offer meal replacement bars and you want to use the handle MealReplace, that’s great! But don’t pick MealReplace2017 simply because you started your business in 2017. Your customers won’t remember that and when it becomes 2018, your social media usernames will seem outdated.

Another thing to remember about social media is that while it is a great arena to sell on, you can attract larger numbers of likes or followers by not posting about your business all the time. What do I mean? If you have an Instagram account and sell those meal replacement bars, instead of photo after photo being of your bars, you should be posting about related things like working out, being busy with no time to eat, maybe a meme about being tired at work, admiring a sunrise, etc.

Relating to your audience will cause them to become interested in what you are offering, so only posting about what you are offering once in awhile is enough to keep them informed. Check out Jessica Sepel’s Instagram page for a perfect example.

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

The final thing to keep in mind about social media is picking the right channels and not posting the same thing across all of your social media networks. Really do some research on whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, etc. are right for your business.

No matter what you decide, make sure each one has something unique to offer your customers so they aren’t seeing the same message over and over again. If you just post the same message across each venue, there’s no incentive to follow your different accounts. Keeping content interesting and tailored for each specific venue will increase your numbers, and ultimately your sales.

4. Cross-Marketing Promotions

Doing cross-marketing promotions with another business is a great way to get your name out to customers that already care about their health. For example, if you were able to get your meal replacement bar into a signi cant number of gyms or tness centers, you would be catering to potential clients all the time without having to actually be present to do so.

If you don’t have a physical product to offer, perhaps you could get your nutrition plan or blog mentioned in an upcoming news article or book. If you need help getting quoted or cited for a news article or magazine publication, you can sign up to be a source for journalists on

This site regularly helps match journalists to sources and could be a stepping stone in getting your name or blog mentioned in a major publication. Simply sign up for their daily emails and scan the lists of what sources are needed until you see one that you could fulfill. A timely reply and a well-written response are the keys to getting published, so take time out of each day to review these lists and see if you are a match for any of the journalists’ needs.

5. Guest Blogging

If your online nutrition business mostly consists of a blog-style format, consider guest blogging on other sites that have a much larger number of followers. You don’t have to stick with blogs related to nutrition either.

You can guest blog on a “Mommy Blog” and get thousands of new website visits. The only thing you need to ask yourself is how you will discover which blogs are most popular. Doing a little research first can ensure that you are getting the most return on your investment when writing an entire blog for someone else’s website. For the most popular blogs, they usually already have a tab or link setup to inform potential guest bloggers on how to guest blog for them. Just make sure when you pitch your topic, it’s related to what their site visitors would want to see and in the same style that they are used to.

For instance, if you are guest blogging on a really technical nutrition blog that typically uses a ton of citations, you wouldn’t pitch an idea not grounded in science and without sources. Cater your article to their audience and hopefully their audience will come on over to your website and see what you have to offer as well.

6. Email Newsletters

Keeping your name and online nutrition business in the forefront of your customer’s minds is easily accomplished with periodic newsletter emails. This will subtly remind your past clients and potential future clients that they care about their health and need to do something about it.

Keep in mind that your newsletter should be thoughtful, easy to read, and short. If you are sharing a favorite recipe, do just that and provide a link to more info on your website. No one will read your unrequested newsletter for more than 5 minutes, so take the time to condense what you have to say and make it useful to your customers. This will ensure a higher open rate on your next email campaign.

Here’s a great example of this from Instagram fitness and nutrition guru, Marie Wold. In this newsletter, she gave a quick summary of the topic at hand, included a clear call to action, and led you to her most recent YouTube video; a tactic that has led her to 201k followers on Instagram and 34,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel.

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

7. SEO and Advertising

Finally, two things your nutrition business needs that is like all others is search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. SEO is necessary to make sure your website gets found when someone does an internet search with terms related to what you are offering. If you are a meal replacement shake business based in Chicago, Illinois and I do an internet search for “meal replacement shakes in Chicago,” your business name better come up on page 1 of the search. If it doesn’t, you are missing out on an incredible amount of potential customers since people rarely go to page 2 or page 3 of internet search results.

Starting an Online Nutrition Business

To improve your SEO, you will either have to do a ton of research on how to implement it yourself or simply pay someone to help you. This is money well spent though since there’s no point in having a great business if no one can find it online.

Online advertising is also a great way to get more people directed to your website as well. From Facebook ads to Google AdWords, there are a multitude of ways to go about advertising online. Just do your research and set a budget that works for you. Again, this will be money well spent that will be returned to your pocket in the form of completed online orders.

Now that you know everything about getting your online nutrition business started, it’s time to get to it! Carefully pick your web host, design your website, ensure that you have credibility in the field of nutrition, network with other businesses, get social, get help with implementing SEO, and pay for some online advertising. Your business might take awhile to get started (all the good ones do!) but with lots of luck and hard work, I know it will be a major success!

Tons of resources

We're here to help you build your business