Laurentiu Nicolae of Nutritio tells us how to grow and scale a nutrition business.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Laurentiu Nicolae: We are doing well, enjoying the summer and the good weather.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Nutritio.
Laurentiu Nicolae: A few years back, I was talking with a friend, MD, who specialized in diabetes and nutritional diseases, and I asked her: “What do you use to work with your clients?” She said, “Pen and paper.” I thought she didn’t know how to search online, but when I searched, I couldn’t find good software at that moment, so my partner and I decided to build one and bring the innovation we had learned previously in other fields to the nutrition world.
How does Nutritio market its product/services online?
Laurentiu Nicolae: Our product is a SaaS (software as a service) that helps nutrition professionals to grow and scale their business. It is a platform that saves them a lot of time, improves the communication between them and their patients/clients, and increases the trust of their clients in the nutrition professionals.
We are promoting it through a few channels:
1. SEO and content marketing. We optimized the website from the beginning to respond to some queries searched by nutrition professionals that are at the bottom of the funnel (they know they have a problem, are looking for a solution, and are committed to fixing it quickly)
We then started doing some content marketing coupled with SEO. We published yearly an article about nutrition conferences in that year, which is most of the time one of the first 3 results when you search for “nutrition conferences” or “nutrition conferences 2022”. This has brought us a lot of traffic and a pretty good amount of leads in the funnel.
2. Email marketing. We have created a lead magnet – a PDF titled “10 ways to get more clients as a nutrition professional in 2022” and put it on all blog pages. Visitors are then subscribed (with their approval) to our newsletter and get product updates and content that helps them start and grow their practice.
3. Nutrition schools – we gave their students the app for free while in school.
4. Academic research – our app has been used in a few scientific studies for free. We were mentioned in a few scientific articles, like the ones below:
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Laurentiu Nicolae: The pandemic caused a few clients to close their subscriptions because they did not have clients, especially those meeting the clients in person, but it made way more people look for solutions that would allow them to work online with their clients. We built the app from the beginning with the online work in mind. During the pandemic, we added more features to it like HIPAA-compliant video calling, the ability to receive payments from clients, and coaching programs on autopilot.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Laurentiu Nicolae: We use an open-source CRM called Mautic to handle our leads, clients, onboarding emails, and newsletter subscriptions, and we use Trello for our internal management, along with Google Docs and email. We try to keep everything as simple as possible.
We outsource some parts of the marketing to other people, and our go-to place is Fiverr and Upwork (but we already have a network of people we worked with before).
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Laurentiu Nicolae: We have a few competitors. A few of them are Nutrium, NutriAdmin, and ESHA. We are focusing a lot on automating the processes of nutrition professionals, allowing them to spend the time on things that matter. We also offer a very high level of customization (Whitelabel web portal and mobile app for their clients).
Your final thoughts?
Laurentiu Nicolae: The nutrition world needs to keep up with the innovation from other fields, and we are working hard to bring the innovation from other fields into this field that has a lot of potential for improving the health of millions of people.