Making Money In The Health/Nutrition Sector

Chammy

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I thought I'd put this out to the TMS hive mind, you're all so amazing.

So, I'm about to head into my 2nd year at uni, studying Nutrition and Public Health. This can open me up to a range of careers within the NHS, food corporations etc etc but I'm currently thinking about continuing on to do a Masters in Nutrition with Obesity and Weight Management - helping others with their food, diet and weight etc. However, this could change. Last year I was focused on teaching :p

I'm currently building up my professional website, ready for graduating and I'd love to be able to make a side income or even a full income online through my knowledge and education BUT I think regular online diet stuff has been done to death and I personally don't believe in a "one size fits all" type system for my potential clients/customers. I'm in many groups where you'll see members annoyed that they find a recipe they like the look of but it's then behind a paywall/membership. They'll input their stats for a "custom plan" and BAM [Please enter credit card details].

I hate the whole Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Supplements, Diet Shakes thing because it does nothing but wreck your body so I don't want to be pushing those as an affiliate income.

There is the free plan route, which people like but a) it takes a lot of time without any guaranteed returns and b) I again don't believe in just the one diet fits all mantra. Another route is offering a personal plan, coaching etc but many people don't want to fork out £100's for this kind of thing...I know I'd be reluctant to.

So, is there anything this area is missing? Anything you wish you could access with regards to health and nutrition? Is it really possible to offer something for free and still earn a living from it without flooding inboxes with affiliate link after affiliate link?
 
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Jon

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I think the issue you have is that MLM folk have ruined it for you

You have nutrition and fitness experts who CAN charge for their experiences and below that is multi level marketing who will sell you cannabis oil over or weight loss shakes over facebook with miracle claims and they have sort of taken up the market and ruined it as far as I can see when it comes to selling your expertise online!
 

Chammy

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I think the issue you have is that MLM folk have ruined it for you

You have nutrition and fitness experts who CAN charge for their experiences and below that is multi level marketing who will sell you cannabis oil over or weight loss shakes over facebook with miracle claims and they have sort of taken up the market and ruined it as far as I can see when it comes to selling your expertise online!

Tell me about it.

I know that a regular career in say, the NHS, is going to be a struggle because I don't agree with current the current nutrition advice (food pyramid or healthy eating plate) so my approach to helping people is going to be different. I'm hoping that is enough to entice people over to how I think they should be eating.

I wonder if the "free" help route is the best but I don't want to inundate people with links and ads but I still need to make a living from it. You never know, the guidelines might change in 2-3 years and I'll be all good in a regular job haha
 

Jon

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Hmm

For now I suppose you could just write content and affiliate that to amazon or whoever and stay out of the weight loss area and like you said be more into the healthy lifestyle one instead

Or just go cray cray on Facebook and make Chammys Money Making and Weight Loss Babes Facebook group and look forward to your members from papa New Guinea and Nigeria....
 
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Jon

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@doz1990

You sell health products / weight loss products on Facebook and stuff.

What issues do you have around regulations and standards so that people don’t feel you are just giving them “advice” to sell products and that you get long term repeat business from them?
 

katykicker

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I'd recommend looking into things like 'Matt Does Fitness' on Youtube. He has great content and he seems to offer paid plans that look popular too. They are supposedly tailored for people wanting them gains etc, but he has some interesting content, as do others in that feed about eating for volume and it doesn't all seem to be based on bingeing, starving or super strict calories.
 
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domravioli

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Team RH - that is how you do it, and do it well. £5 a month, or £50 for the year, and the videos are hysterical. Have a look at them on facebook, because they have an extremely loyal following, because it is completely no nonsense, you can eat a kit kat if you want one and not feel awful.
 

Chammy

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I'd recommend looking into things like 'Matt Does Fitness' on Youtube. He has great content and he seems to offer paid plans that look popular too. They are supposedly tailored for people wanting them gains etc, but he has some interesting content, as do others in that feed about eating for volume and it doesn't all seem to be based on bingeing, starving or super strict calories.

Just visited his YouTube for a nosey and don't really understand the point of most of his videos other than for people to watch him eat a ridiculous amount of food that no "normal" person can possibly eat.

He's a bodybuilder and gym nut so his TDEE is already massive which allows him to eat 3,500 a day with no issues so binging for a YouTube video is going to do nothing to him. His metabolism will go "WOAH NELLY" that's a hell of a lot of energy so let's burn some of that off say, as heat, and the next day he's back to normal...maybe he'll eat less to balance it out. But there is no reason behind it?

Compare it to another YouTuber I follow. She ate 3000 calories in just double cream for a week to prove she could still lose weight with all the science behind it.

I took a look at his plans and they look ok, but I can't see how the diet plans are fully personalised for that little amount. I mean, if I approached him would he be able to plan me for the week to hit 2,500 calories a day with 250g of fat and only 20g carbs? It can take me HOURS to do my own weeks meals so there is no way he can do that for everyone who signs up which makes me wonder if he just has generic plans for xx amount of calories for a female/male. I mean, I could be wrong.

This is not something I want to do. I want it to be specific to a person's nutritional needs which should come first. I'm not a fitness person, fitness is good but it's not what I'm going to be qualified to do...I'm going to be qualified to advise people in what they eat.
 

Chammy

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Team RH - that is how you do it, and do it well. £5 a month, or £50 for the year, and the videos are hysterical. Have a look at them on facebook, because they have an extremely loyal following, because it is completely no nonsense, you can eat a kit kat if you want one and not feel awful.

Yeah, I've seen a lot of their stuff and have friends who are doing it too. Again, they seem to be a one diet fits all kind of people. A Kit Kat would hurt me, I mean it'd be worth it but I'd still bloat and then have to spend days getting back into ketosis.

This is why I want to be different. Not everybody processes nutrients in the same way. I'm insulin resistant due to PCOS and self-diagnosed prediabetic (we did an experiment at uni which confirmed both of these). So, the more carbs I eat the higher my insulin levels are which force my body to store carbs as fat. Same happens to many diabetics. A regular diet as adviced by the NHS and Public Health England of eat 6-8 portions of grains, 5-10 portions fruit and vegetables and 1 portion of fat just doesn't work for me and my metabolism.

For others, who have no underlying health issues, a diet high in carbs and low in fat is perfect and their body processes it without a hitch.

This is what I want to tackle and not just tell people to count calories because it just doesn't work long term. You reduce calories and it's great at first but then your metabolism catches on to what you're doing and lowers it to match your intake, so you either lower it more, plateau or start to gain again. Your body wants to remain at its optimal level, it's called homeostasis, and it manages everything else such as body temperature, blood glucose levels etc...so trying to manipulate it just isn't viable in the long run.

Ok, I need to stop - or put all this into a blog post hahaha
 

David Says...

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Health & nutrition is going to be a tricky side hustle to crack for three reasons.

Firstly, it's very saturated. People like Michael Mosley and Joe Wicks have created massive brands which dominate the sector. The 'Diet Doctor' offers low-carb/Keto videos, guides, recipes and so on. All these offer a 'one size fits all' approach, without any real assessment of whether it's appropriate for the individual.

Secondly, a lot of people are drawn to 'quick wins' - losing weight for a holiday or wedding, for example, or riding the fitness wave in January. Changing their mindset to a healthy, balanced approach is a whole different mission which probably exceeds a side-hustle.

Finally, Google has slapped down a lot of health-related sites in recent updates. That's a good thing - there's a lot of dodgy advice out there - but breaking into the sector is going to be harder. You'll probably need to focus more on paid advertising, social and establishing authority links from trusted health-related sites.

So what value can you offer which could cut through?

Your professional instinct seems to be to offer assessments and plans, catered to the individual. This is more of a job than a side hustle, though, and expensive for the average punter.

You could attempt to type nutrition requirements (perhaps for your masters!). If you identified (say) 8 nutritional requirement types then you could create corresponding plans - not quite as personalised as individual plans, but at least in the right broad area. You could create an online test asking about underlying health, activity levels etc and recommend the appropriate plan.

The key benefit for the customer is that you are providing the right plan for them, so they don't have to burn through half a dozen random plans before they find the right one. And you can still target the pain points that people are looking to solve - reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, reversing pre-diabetes, more energy etc.

You could test the market for this by doing the typing and online test, then recommending the appropriate Mosley/Wicks/Diet Doctor plan for them via affiliate links. If you're getting commissions through then scale up by writing your own plans.

Key to establishing credibility will be your academic credentials. Mention your name and qualifications, and pepper your content with citations - but obviously write the main content for the lay person.

I reckon you could easily charge £40-80 for a decent, well written PDF, and it would run almost on auto-pilot thereafter. And you could offer premium personal consultations as an up-sell (Phone/Skype/in person): as the author of the plans you would have additional credibility in the eyes of the customer.



ALTERNATIVELY - create just one plan for an under-served (no pun intended) nutritional type (e.g. "Stay healthy in a sedentary job"), or which targets a particular pain-point ("Eat healthily for more energy"). Perhaps identify where nutrition intersects with an obsession ("Eating for Runners/Cycling").

Target any marketing specifically at the given type. This would probably be an easier side hustle, but the scope is much smaller. Re-package content as videos, blogs posts etc, all with the aim of selling a PDF.
 

doz1990

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@doz1990

You sell health products / weight loss products on Facebook and stuff.

What issues do you have around regulations and standards so that people don’t feel you are just giving them “advice” to sell products and that you get long term repeat business from them?
I tailer the products to the customers needs.
 

Jon

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I tailer the products to the customers needs.
But I just don't get how the Multi Level Marketing world is qualified to give out 'diet pills', 'weight loss wraps' 'skin improvement cremes' etc.

Like if someone used one of these products that you promote nad sell and had an awful medial reaction to it how are you trained by your upline to deal with that situation?
 

Chammy

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But I just don't get how the Multi Level Marketing world is qualified to give out 'diet pills', 'weight loss wraps' 'skin improvement cremes' etc.

Like if someone used one of these products and had an awful medial reaction to it how are you trained by your upline to deal with that situation?

Unfortunately "Nutritionist" isn't protected term like Doctor, Dietician and such. "Registered Nutritionist" is however and you must have a degree and be registered with the Association for Nutrition to be able to use it - which I will be at the end of my degree.

Anyone can spout or sell "health" advice/products and call themselves a nutritionist/life coach and such but it's just a word and the general public don't know any different.

Most people who sell MLM related "health" products have little knowledge of nutrition or how the body actually works other than what they're dictated by upline. Even the majority of personal trainers who peddle this gumpf have minimal nutrition education as it's all about exercise and fitness so they tend to either believe that it's good or don't care and just want to make extra ££ and have the client base to do it.
 

BreeziOG

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ALTERNATIVELY - create just one plan for an under-served (no pun intended) nutritional type (e.g. "Stay healthy in a sedentary job"), or which targets a particular pain-point ("Eat healthily for more energy"). Perhaps identify where nutrition intersects with an obsession ("Eating for Runners/Cycling").

@Chammy Along the above lines, what really stuck out for me was when you mentioned your PCOS - I'd love to see some content and eating plans based around combating some of the delightful symptoms we've been dealt.

I could see it starting off as free content through a blog or something, with relevant affiliate links (amazon for example for recommended snacks or keto friendly items etc), maybe incorporating youtube if you're happy doing videos, then moving onto offering additional content with extra benefits (maybe an facebook group or example menus...). Just thinking out loud here.

You could even tie in self-publishing low content books on amazon, making nutrition journals/period tracker printables etc.
 
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Jon

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Unfortunately "Nutritionist" isn't protected term like Doctor, Dietician and such. "Registered Nutritionist" is however and you must have a degree and be registered with the Association for Nutrition to be able to use it - which I will be at the end of my degree.

Anyone can spout or sell "health" advice/products and call themselves a nutritionist/life coach and such but it's just a word and the general public don't know any different.

Most people who sell MLM related "health" products have little knowledge of nutrition or how the body actually works other than what they're dictated by upline. Even the majority of personal trainers who peddle this gumpf have minimal nutrition education as it's all about exercise and fitness so they tend to either believe that it's good or don't care and just want to make extra ££ and have the client base to do it.

Interesting..

I just don't get it.

You wouldn't go into a chemist to get some help with a skin condition and when the pharmacist tries to advise you you go 'nah, it's OK, a #bossbabe told me on Facebook I just need to take xyz' because you would look like an absolute loon!

The people 'selling' these products online have no earthly idea what long term damage they could do to someone who takes them but ya know, that doesn't matter because JOIN MY UPLINE GIRLS and THIS IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY THAT ENDS TODAY etc etc

From the outside looking it the only people who ever seem to respond to those MLM folk promoting health products are other people IN the same MLM system so that it looks like they are busy and they just end up bigging up the products

whole world's gone mad lol

Either way, it's unregulated and I don't like it!!!

It's one thing to advise someone to sign up to a survey site it's another to go 'here, take these pills they will change your life forever while you look at the inspirational photos I got off pixabay!'
 

Chammy

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Interesting..

I just don't get it.

You wouldn't go into a chemist to get some help with a skin condition and when the pharmacist tries to advise you you go 'nah, it's OK, a #bossbabe told me on Facebook I just need to take xyz' because you would look like an absolute loon!

The people 'selling' these products online have no earthly idea what long term damage they could do to someone who takes them but ya know, that doesn't matter because JOIN MY UPLINE GIRLS and THIS IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY THAT ENDS TODAY etc etc

From the outside looking it the only people who ever seem to respond to those MLM folk promoting health products are other people IN the same MLM system so that it looks like they are busy and they just end up bigging up the products

whole world's gone mad lol

Either way, it's unregulated and I don't like it!!!

It's one thing to advise someone to sign up to a survey site it's another to go 'here, take these pills they will change your life forever while you look at the inspirational photos I got off pixabay!'

And yet they'll still peddle them. Some of the pills sold have killed the people who have taken them. Many and I mean MANY of the people who peddle my favourite MLM have ZERO idea about health and claim that their fruit, veg and berry pills help with the likes of diabetes or their shakes (the second ingredient being sugar) will help reduce their blood sugar levels....no love, all you're doing is creating a calorie deficit so large that the person's metabolism has no idea what is going on which is why as soon as they come "off-plan" it's all gained back.

Nutrition and allowing your body to work as designed should be the goal, weight loss should be a side effect.
 

David Says...

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You wouldn't go into a chemist to get some help with a skin condition and when the pharmacist tries to advise you you go 'nah, it's OK, a #bossbabe told me on Facebook I just need to take xyz' because you would look like an absolute loon!

I wouldn't, and you wouldn't, but a socially anxious acne-ridden hermit will be more likely to be taken in with a 'magic' cure online. Same with weight loss, hair loss, and other conditions which are, for right or wrong, considered embarrassing.

Sellers are exploiting anxiety.

Some may be taken in because they feel disconnected from or distrust official sources. Sometimes people are right to take official advice with a pinch of salt - why believe over-simplified public health advice? The problem is that some people (e.g. anti-vaxxers) aren't able to make proper, reasoned decisions.

I wouldn't ban the sale of products, but I'd crack down on false claims.
 
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rninja

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Part of the issue is also people's perceptions of others and our own self-image. I don't believe that references to a distressing skin condition and hermits helps. I think we should learn learn to accept ourselves and others.

I also remember years after I graduated, a local guy was trying to get me involved with Herbalife (does that still exist?). Overall thoughts were that it sounded poor.

There is a customer need for services in the health and wellbeing sector, but in a genuinely useful, helpful and compassionate sense rather than trying to make money out of people sense.
 

David Says...

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Part of the issue is also people's perceptions of others and our own self-image. I don't believe that references to a distressing skin condition and hermits helps. I think we should learn learn to accept ourselves and others.

I appreciate that tone can sometimes get lost online. FWIW, I deliberately chose provocative terms to highlight irrational thoughts that might lead to irrational decisions. Recognising that some people feel anxiety - or even distress - about body image is different from saying that they should, hence the non-judgemental "for right or wrong" in my reply.

As I said, some sellers are exploiting anxiety. And as I also said, Chammy's USP is clearly a research-backed programme of customised advice - the antithesis of cheap placebos which might at best sate anxiety for a day or dangerous pills which could kill.
 
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rninja

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That's cool David.

With regards Chammy's original question, I'm probably not your target demographic (30s male). However, IMO from a potential customer's view, I wouldn't mind getting emails with affiliate links - providing they are good quality and relevant.
One barrier is that people, myself included will be reluctant to shell out say £100 in one go.

It'll be interesting to see where you take this, and good luck with your continuing studies.
 
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