In the early introduction of telehealth to healthcare, nutrition professionals quickly embraced virtual services as a way to conveniently connect with clients. Videoconferencing is now a popular way to meet with clients, and many nutrition practices are pursuing completely virtual businesses. Meanwhile, telehealth technology continues to redefine how healthcare professionals can reach clients and is ever-changing the types of services that can be offered remotely. With newer capabilities such as chat, webinars, virtual programs, and virtual groups, nutrition practices can expand their services to generate additional income through telehealth nutrition services.
Learn how to leverage telehealth nutrition services for creating additional income streams for your practice:
1. Offer more frequent “virtual” check-ins
When working with clients to create long-term change, it can be a challenge to “keep the ball rolling,” when there are several weeks between visits. In general, clients are able to maintain motivation and make progress towards their goals as they meet more frequently with their nutrition provider. Setting the cadence at which to meet is an important step in setting your client up for success.
For many clients, coming to in-office appointments with regularity can be a challenge, based on their jobs, travel and lifestyle. Therefore, offering virtual sessions are a convenient way for clients to attend their appointments with more consistency. They’ll be able to maintain their motivation and continue to work towards their goals, despite the challenges to their schedule. For your nutrition practice, having more client sessions every week/month directly translates into more revenue for your practice from client-facing services.
For insurance-based nutrition practices, you can still incorporate telehealth check-ins within your practice structure. By calling your client’s insurance provider directly, you can confirm whether telehealth nutrition services are covered within their plan. If not (or they have run out of covered benefits for the year), offering telehealth services as a self-pay option can be a great way to have more frequent check-ins. This dual, self-pay and insurance-based approach can also be effective in reducing client cancellations. If you have a cancellation policy (ie. $50 late cancellation fee for all sessions cancelled with less than 24h notice) — you can offer clients to do a virtual call in lieu of paying the cancellation fee.
2. Provider between session telehealth communicate for a subscription
Clients work with you in your practice because they are looking for support and accountability to help them achieve their wellness goals. Working together during sessions is one part of the support you provide, but the between session connections can be even more instrumental in the success of your clients.
With telehealth nutrition services, you can connect with your clients between sessions. By checking in on their progress and providing support goes a long way with client retention. Some ways you may want to connect with your clients:
- Check in and ask how their day/week is going
- Ask if they’ve been facing any challenges
- Help them focus on relevant goals for them to work on that day/week
- Provide a supportive word or motivational message, especially if a client is struggling
- Review food journal entries and provide feedback
3. Host group webinars for a fee
Taking the nutrition messages you communicate to individual clients, and reaching an audience is a powerful way to generate income from your practice. Many nutrition providers will host webinars for free in order to build an email list and generate an online presence. If your content is curated and educational, or designed for other experts, then charging a fee could be a way to provide valuable information for a fee. Market your webinar to existing clients or use it as a way to bring in new leads to your nutrition practice.
Here are some sample nutrition webinar topics, but always think of your ideal client — what information will be valuable to them?
- Nutrition 101: How to Balance Your Plate
- Are You Eating 5 a Day? Unique Tips to Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
- Nutrition Myth-Busting: 5 Myths to Stop Believing Now
- Ways to Build a Better Breakfast and Why
- How to Prepare For Healthy Back to School Season
- How to Start Your Mindful Eating Journey
- Eat to Beat Pre-Diabetes: 4-Week Series
- How to Manage Food Allergies When Dining Out
4. Create an online automated program or educational series
A tailored online wellness program provides a way to bolster client engagement between sessions. Your clients will be able to receive valuable information (and support) in a drip fashion over time. It will help maximize the success of your clients, enhance their experience and also offer support in-between sessions. Content in a program can include videos, e-mails, documents, surveys and quizzes, and links to external websites.
Programs can be used as lead generation tools (and given to clients for free), as a part of an encompassing online program, or as an add-on service that clients can purchase directly from you. Clients appreciate receiving guidance over time, in digestible formats that enable them to build successful habits or achieve specific goals.
Create a program that runs for a limited amount of time or creates an evergreen program that you can continue to market continuously. Although requiring a time investment upfront, online programs allow you to continue to generate passive income in the long-run.
5. Create a virtual support group via video and chat
Support groups can be an incredibly powerful way to provide more care, at an affordable rate for a larger group of clients. For many clients, having the support and feedback from their peers can help them feel motivated to work towards their goals. The overhead costs of finding and renting in-person spaces can be a challenge for nutrition practices. Many clients may be interested in the additional support, but finding the time to commute into another in-person session just doesn’t work with their schedules. Also, virtual support groups offer flexibility for providers and clients as well as saves on overhead costs, making groups more affordable for attendees.
With a larger number of attendees, and no over-head, nutrition providers can run support groups with regularity, and generate additional income for their nutrition practice.
6. Provide a completely digital monthly accountability subscription
Considering reaching more clients with your services, but finding your business at max client load? Some self-pay nutrition practices offer client accountability services as an option. In lieu of regular video or in-person counseling, clients can pay solely for the ongoing feedback of a nutrition professional and curated nutrition information, like receiving monthly meal plans, weekly recipes, food diary feedback and message support. Price these services individually or bundle them together for a monthly subscription rate to generate another revenue stream for your nutrition practice.
Telehealth nutrition care is redefining how nutrition practices can reach clients and deliver valuable services. As nutrition providers can begin to curate virtual services that work for their clientele, and establish additional streams for their practice.
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