We interviewed Jeremy Fernandes, a part-time nutrition coach of 6 years on how his journey started, where it is today and what he’s looking forward to.
Let’s get to it 👇🏽
I became a personal trainer while in university, in 2011. It wasn’t intended to be a long term career. Then I found myself as a fresh new grad looking for a job. I had a lot of positive recognition for training, my clients seem to really enjoy working with me, so I decided to start applying to gyms.
I didn’t become a nutrition coach until a few years later where I realized that this is where I can help people make the biggest impact. And also, not work crazy hours on the floor while doing it.
I have my personal training certification, my kinesiology degree, a few nutrition certifications, and a lot of very specific courses and education around topics like neurokinetic therapy, motivational interviewing, etc.
I was making $800/month as a personal trainer, commuting across town, three hours a day, starting at 6:00 AM.
For a while I was driving to the gym at four something or leaving around five something, drive to the gym, train one person, get back on the bus, go back to the gym and then come back around seven or eight at night.
In 2016, when I first offered nutrition coaching as a service, I priced it at $99/month. And I pitched it to my personal training clients as,
“This is the price of one additional training session, and I’ll be able to help you on this other facet that’s super important”.
Over the course of 6 years, I’ve increased my price to $250/month.
I have 17 paying clients and 3 pro-bono clients that pay what they can.
Each client gets a program that they work through, plus a weekly 30-minute check-in.
They can also message me at any point for questions or support but I have a 24-36 hours response time.
If a good fit is determined in the first month, most of those clients will stay with me for 5-6 months.
I call it the initial coaching session or initial coaching call, for the idea that I want to plant the seeds that we've already started, before you've actually exchanged money with me.
There’s a lot of listening on my end that happens in the first call.
Some of the common questions that I’ll ask are:
As the call progresses, we identify some low hanging fruit:
At the end of the call, it’s important that we have a rough shared vision of the future.
I’ll summarize what I heard from the call, the parts that we’ll want to focus on, reiterate the low-hanging fruit opportunities and then see if we have agreement. If we don’t, then it’s an opportunity for me to ask more questions to find out where the disconnect is.
Then we have the admin part of the call:
I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I have connections to other professionals who will often send people my way. So other coaches and other healthcare professionals, like doctors.
The short term focus is doing more intentional branding and promotion. Right now, all my clients are coming to me from referral or word of mouth.
Long term, I love working with younger coaches to grow their skills and practice, so maybe a mentorship program. I’ve had 5-10 clients who are also coaches, and some of them have gone on to become really successful — that feels good to me.
💡 I'm not a calorie counting coach. But if that's the path that they want to take and I don't see any potentially harmful things in their past, i.e. they’re not someone who has a history of disordered eating. They're just someone who’s like, I'm curious about this and I want to learn more. Then great, let's feed that curiosity.
Legal is the least exciting part of a coaching business. But it's important.
We worked with our lawyers to create coaching contract templates, free for any coach to use. Plus, a couple of sample agreements.
Let us know where to send it: