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5 Ways to Create Passive Income in Your Nutrition or Functional Medicine Practice

5 Ways to Create Passive Income in Your Nutrition or Functional Medicine Practice

Yes, you can create passive income for your nutrition or functional medicine practice! Whether you’re a nutritionist, dietitian, integrative practitioner, functional medicine doctor, or coach – there are tried and true ways you can free up your time while making passive income. In this article, I will share my top five strategies to help you add this new revenue stream into your practice in 2023.

For health and wellness professionals, increasing your nutrition or functional medicine practice’s bottom line usually means seeing more clients (or raising your prices). That’s one way to garner more income, right? But the problem for most of us is that we eventually max out on billable hours in a day to see clients. Adding passive income to your practice can increase your revenue without spending more time working – and who wouldn’t want more of that?

WHAT IS PASSIVE INCOME?

Let’s start by defining passive income. Passive income is an income stream that doesn’t take time, nor does it require that you actively show up to deliver a service. Instead, you will likely invest time, energy, and money upfront to create the asset you can sell – typically via automated sales funnels. So, once you’ve created your income-generating passive income product or service, it keeps working for you with little to no input on your part. That means your nutrition business works for you even while you’re sleeping, on vacation, or working with other clients in your private practice!

Not only does having passive income streams help you increase your nutrition practice’s bottom line, but they are also very effective as a marketing tool to attract new clients and eventually upgrade your existing services. Often a passive income product is positioned as a first step for your audience. Once they know, like, and trust you by matriculating through the content you’ve created in your product, they’ll be eager to move to the next step (often a higher-end, platinum/VIP level investment or perhaps a maintenance program in the form of a membership opportunity). 

The reality is that successful nutrition and functional medicine professionals know that having diverse products, plans, and offers at varying price points sets you up as the go-to expert within your niche. You’re missing out on potential revenue and the ability to serve more people if you don’t have automated DIY products, supplement protocols, meal plans, or other client programs that you can deliver to your clients without taking up time in your busy schedule.

So how can you create passive income for your nutrition practice? 

Here are five passive income ideas to get you started!

OFFER DO-IT-YOURSELF TOOLS & RESOURCES

If you’ve been in private practice for any length of time, you know your target audience is looking for solutions to help them solve their challenges and struggles at various price points, depending on their budgets. Some want lots of hand-holding and support from you through 1:1 services, while others may want a DIY, self-study approach they can do on their own time. 

Bundling your solution into a DIY offer can be as simple as a 30-day collection of recipes and meal plans for “Men Over 40” with a video overview or a three-module downloadable mini-course on “Maximizing Your Thyroid Function Without Meds.”  Or, how about a “21-Days To Increase Your Energy, Focus and Productivity Through Improved Blood Sugar Regulation” downloadable mini-course with corresponding handouts and support materials? You could even include supplement recommendations for each condition or checklists to add additional value to the DIY product. The options are limitless! 

Not only are these great as a passive income source for health professionals, but they also help your client base move forward in their health journey so that they will be more likely to become clients for your high-ticket offers and programs. (think about what’s next in the client journey after they’ve completed the digital program experience with you). 

You’ll also want to consider how you’ll sell these digital products! After all, without sales, you won’t benefit from passive income! For example, you can add these products to your website for purchase and drive traffic to the website via social media and your email list via a series of “launch emails.”  All in all, this is a great way to boost your income while increasing your online presence. Double whammy! 

AFFILIATE SALES AND MARKETING 

You can dramatically increase your income over time by adding affiliate marketing to your business plan. Depending on the opportunity, affiliate partnerships mean you earn a commission (anywhere from 10%-50% or more) when someone purchases a recipe book, books a personal trainer, or even “done for you” meal plans from your preferred list of providers or organizations. 

For example, you might consider Amazon’s affiliate program. Do you have a list of Amazon products that you love to recommend when people are working with you? Consider opening an Amazon Affiliate store. It’s Amazon’s own affiliate marketing program where you can earn commissions from purchases and programs. Their commission rates top out at 10%, but it’s passive income that you wouldn’t be making otherwise, right?

At Lesli Bitel International, I offer an affiliate program for many of my group programs and courses. Typically, I ask my affiliates to promote the “free” event (precursor to the paid program) via a unique, trackable affiliate link. Then, if any of my affiliates’ people sign up for the paid program, they will earn a nice commission as a thank-you, which is a win/win/win all the way around. I benefit because I can serve more people in my business (free and paid programs), and often, these are folks that I otherwise would not have access to without the help of my affiliates helping me spread the word. Hint: you can create an affiliate program for your products too!

While there are thousands of marketing strategies, email, social media, and content marketing are valuable tools to promote your affiliate opportunities and products. You can also promote your most popular tools and products in a YouTube video.

YOUR ONLINE PRODUCT PORTAL

Maybe you’re a registered dietitian or functional medicine professional who wants to generate more affiliate income in your business. Another great way to accomplish this is by creating your online marketplace (via your website), where you sell products such as private-label supplements, meal replacement shakes, specialized meal plans, weight loss systems, and more! 

Often, you can earn a higher commission percentage with white-labeling (selling someone else’s products branded under your business umbrella). I see lots of functional medicine practitioners doing this with white-label supplements! The only caveat is that you are responsible for fulfilling these orders (but that’s a topic for another blog). It’s very doable!!!

Alternatively, you can add a portal for Fullscript directly on your website for easy ordering access for your clients. You’ll earn a 35% commission for each sale through Fullscript, and you do not have to stock the product or be involved in the fulfillment process. Many supplement companies, including Fullscript, drop-ship the products right to your clients’ doors! You may even consider passing along a little discount as a special bonus for your private clients or membership program. If you don’t have a free Fullscript account yet be sure to set yours here! You can use it for clients, on your website and for friends and family.

Passive Income Nutrition Practice

DIGITAL PRODUCTS

Downloadable digital products are another great way to generate revenue. For example, an easy way to write a digital ebook is by compiling your top blogs on a specific topic into a book format you can sell. Many nutritionists and dietitians have great results in selling recipe books for a particular condition (such as autoimmune, heart health, or blood sugar regulation). 

Another idea for an ebook is to give the reader an overview of the steps in your treatment process. Or you can pick one of your steps and dive deeper into educating your reader on that topic.

Here is an example of one of my most popular ebooks ever: https://leslibitel.com/objections/.

Checklists, templates, fillable worksheets and workbooks, protocols (diet, exercise, supplements, etc.), ebooks, and meal plans with corresponding recipes are all great options! 

Not only is this a lucrative business model, but it also helps increase your authority in your niche.

Think of catchy titles like “Healthy Eating for the Holiday Season” or “Menu Planning for Millenials.” Titles that are compelling and outcome-oriented help to illustrate the value and result in more sales.

Note that your digital products are not necessarily a full-on nutrition program. Instead, they are digital information or educational products that help your people see the bigger picture while also growing your list of email subscribers. Hint: focus on the WHAT and WHY behind the conditions you treat. 

Digital products are the perfect tool to give your audience a taste of what it’s like to work with you at a low barrier to entry price point. 

You can further boost your revenue by including links to your favorite affiliate products. 

ONLINE EDUCATION SERIES

An online education series or an online program like a group coaching package is a great way to serve your ideal clients without trading dollars for hours. Yes, this program will take time from your schedule to deliver the live calls, but instead of one-on-one, you’re working with people in groups in the one-to-many model. It’s like a personal trainer who virtually leads a whole room of people versus just one person. Much better, right?

Your educational series might look like a group of 6-10 people who all share the same struggle, such as difficulty regulating blood sugar or implementing an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle for people struggling with Lupus. One of my favorite delivery modalities is to include pre-recorded videos or training materials (focus on the content you repeat throughout the day with clients!) and have live group calls to answer questions once or twice monthly. This type of program gets massive results, and your participants are excited to share their progress via testimonials, which helps you fill your program the next time!

Another way to offer online education for your nutrition or functional medicine business is to have a paid webinar series in the form of a “course.”  A webinar series is similar to a group coaching program but omits the time you would spend meeting with the group. Note that you could offer this live webinar series as a pre-recorded “course” or via a live event. If you provide it live – it’s easy to package up the recordings and sell them as an evergreen product in the future!

The benefit, of course, is that you’ll have more time to serve your one-on-one clients while your passive income stream works for you behind the scenes. 

MULTIPLE REVENUE STREAMS FOR YOUR PRIVATE NUTRITION or FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE PRACTICE

Is your dietitian or functional medicine business 100% online, 100% in person, or a hybrid of the two? As you’re transitioning your business model, adding passive income and multiple revenue streams to your nutrition or functional medicine practice is a great way to amplify your business results and profits. 

By adding these five passive income strategies into your business model, you will be well-positioned to generate more passive revenue without sacrificing more time by showing up to deliver additional services. You can easily create high-demand digital products and services that expand your reach and help more people without wasting time. You may focus on making passive income through affiliate sales opportunities, another highly recommended strategy. 

With the power of online marketing, you can set yourself up as an authority in your niche while increasing your bottom line. Passive income is the perfect tool to help you realize your financial and business goals.

Lead Generation for Passive Income (and more!)

If you’re ready to find more clients, supercharge your referral network, help more people and make more money, I’ve got the perfect gift for you.

It’s 7 FREE lead gen tools especially for RDN’s, nutritionists, NDs, and integrative practitioners. 

Go to LesliBitel.com/lead-gen for your free download.

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Lesli Bitel, MBA, RDN, LDN, is a sought-after Business Strategist and Mentor specializing in guiding integrative and functional medicine professionals through the complexities of practice building.

Her mission is to unravel the confusion associated with the business side of running a successful private practice. Lesli focuses on real-world marketing and client attraction strategies to seamlessly integrate multiple income streams into the private practice business model, including

  • 1:1 coaching to online courses
  • Group programs
  • Online courses
  • Passive income products
  • Memberships
  • And more

In her work, Lesli draws on her experience running her own 6-figure functional nutrition practice, specializing in helping patients with neurological disorders. She also has a 13-year tenure in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic testing industries, where she excelled in marketing and sales, eventually reaching high-level executive roles.

For over a decade, she has empowered practitioners to overcome business challenges, attract ideal clients, and diversify income streams for thriving practices. Lesli offers private coaching, classes, webinars, and more, dividing her time between Salida, CO, and Lake Geneva, WI.

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