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February 23, 2023

How to Create a Certification – FitBizU Episode 260

Listen to the full episode HERE!

[Transcript starts at 1:00]

What is up y’all. Welcome to another episode of FitBizU. I’m your host, Jill Coleman, and today we are gonna talk about something that I really feel like is something that is sort of on the, uh, it’s the next sort of big thing or one of the next big things I feel like in our space, and that is certifications. And people like you and me being content creators, being coaches, being able to put out a certificate program or a certification for other people to get certified. Now I wanna walk through sort of what is required, who should do this, who should maybe not do this, what does it look like? And then actually how to do this. Um, so to give you a little bit of background, Jill Fit started its first certification in the Moderation 365 nutrition philosophy in 2020.

However, we put that program out as B2C, or Business to consumer, program called Food Obsession Bootcamp in 2014. So I think you guys, some of you guys know my history with, uh, being a fitness model and a competitor and having a lot of sort of all or nothing thinking around food. And it was in 2011 that I decided to do something about it.

And so I was starting, Jill Fit and or Jill Fit was already started, but I was like, I really have to figure out how to have a better relationship with food and not think about it so much for me. I was just sick and tired of food and eating and exercise being a full-time job. And so from 2011 to 2014, I spent those three years just really trying to figure out how to eat moderately, how to learn and teach myself mindfulness.

And, uh, a lot of the tools and strategies that I just, that weren’t really out there that no one was really talking about, like intuitive eating wasn’t a thing. That wasn’t a common phrase. I’d never heard that before. Um, at that time it was very much like macros were very big in this space.

And, uh, meal plans and food lists and stuff like that. And of course, at Jill Fit, the first couple years we were doing that as well. But I started realizing that there’s an opportunity here. There’s a lot of my clients and myself included, just could not stay on these meal plans. And I had a, a metabolism that had stopped responding and I was having to cut calories even more and do even more exercise.

And a lot of these kind of now metabolic damaging type things that we talk about that in 2011, like no one’s really talking about that. So I remember feeling like, okay, as much as I want to like be leaner, I want to, uh, be on a meal plan, or I want my eating to be super tight. If I want this business to be successful, I have to figure out another solution.

And so again, over the course of three years, I sort of self-taught, uh, these tools and strategies and psychologies and concepts around food that then I took and literally like made these into tools and strategies and put them into our very first nutrition. Psychology course called Food Obsession Bootcamp.

We launched that in 2014 and we ended up, I think, bringing in, uh, having a couple people enroll that first time. And of course since then we’ve had over 10,000 people go through one of our Moderation 365 courses. So it wasn’t until 2020 that we actually created certification out of this. And not only that, But I’ve helped plenty of clients create certifications over the years, so I’ll just drop some names that maybe, you know, Jesse Mundell is in the postpartum and pregnancy space, helped her create her certification back in 2014.

Um, Eve Guzman, who has the macro, uh, mentorship. Helped her put that together in 2018. Um, trying to think of some other ones. Casey Joe, who has a mindset certification, it’s called Health Coaching Mindset Certification, HMCC, helped her put that together in 2020. And so, you know, these are people who now have certified hundreds, if not thousands of people in their methodologies.

So I’ve done this not only at Jill Fit, but I’ve done this for a lot of my clients who now have super successful certifications. Um, and so I wanna talk about this and the first point I’ve sort of already made, which is you need to make. That this framework, this IP, your intellectual property, you need to make sure that people get results with it.

So you can’t just come into this space, be a brand new trainer, put together your IP and say, Hey, this is, this is the thing that works. Right? We took thousands and thousands of people through the Food Obsession, Moderation 365 core curriculum. And tested it out, gathered testimonials, got success stories, got social proof, got people their life back, and we were able to prove the system.

And this is the, the first piece of it, which is you have to make sure that the framework that you have in place. We’ve done separate episodes on like how to create your unique methodology in moderation. 365, we have something called the mad nutrition model. It’s MNAD. It stands for moderation, mindfulness, abundance mindset, and DNCs or daily nutritional commitments.

And so those are the four big pillars under each one of those pillars are additional tools and strategies. It’s not just like mindset shifts, right? Like abundance mindset’s a little bit of a shift. So it’s a little bit more sort of cerebral, but the rest of ’em have like tactical tools, like how do you teach yourself mindfulness?

What does it. To be mindful. How do you know if you’re doing it right? What does moderation look like? Here’s a tool for you to practice to learn how to do these things. So number one is create the framework. Number two is prove the framework. Prove the system. Prove the methodology. Remember, someone’s not gonna be certified in a bunch of random tips, right?

They’re gonna be certified in a system, and that system needs to be tried and true. System needs to be some kind of proven methodology. So I guess all of this to say is that you have to get people, regular people, a lot of transformations before you move to a B2B model. A certification is B2B, it’s business to business.

And so without, uh, getting their reps with just a regular customer, regular client, we don’t know if this thing is actually gonna hold up. Now, when we exponentiate the curriculum, like, is this thing viable? So number one is create the framework. Number two is get results. A lot of results with the B2C offer first, right?

With the business to consumer offer. First, I told you it took us about six years and I think we probably could have created the certification sooner. People were definitely asking for it. Uh, but it took us six years of getting people through the first course to go, yes, I believe that we can certify people on this.

Uh, the next thing to think about when you have the idea of coming up with certification is realizing that knowing something and knowing how to teach something are two different things. So for example, I couldn’t just take the Food Obsession Bootcamp course and then just give it to trainers and be like, okay, here, now that you know this, Now go teach it.

Right? I had to teach them how to teach it. Does that make sense? I had to teach them how to teach it. So teaching something and then teaching how to teach are two different skillsets. And this was even challenging for me back in 2020, is I was like, yeah, how do I say this so I’m not just teaching the concept of intermittent sampling.

I’m not just teaching the concept of preemptive cheats. I’m not just teaching the concept of exposure therapy. Instead, what I’m doing is I’m teaching them how to teach it to a end user, right? To an end user, to a client, to a customer. And so there’s a second level that has to be had, and that’s a different skillset.

So maybe you’ve never trained professionals. So ask yourself like, what language do I have to use? And, and the, the other piece of this, of course, is quality control is a, as soon as you start putting out the IP, the intellectual property, the system, the methodology, and now have other coaches learning it, other professionals learning it, how are you keeping track of how they’re, you know, how the quality is being controlled.

So this is not my first foray into certifications. I actually headed up this certification department at a company called Metabolic Effect, which was how I got my start in online business. It was my ex-husband’s previous business, and I started with Metabolic Effect in 2006, and I think we did our first certification in 2007.

And it was interesting because Metabolic Effect was a workout for the gym. So it was a group fitness workout and it was a 30 minute. It was very formulaic. Like, do this for the first five minutes, then do this for the next five minutes, then do this for the next five minutes. And it went through and it, it was a 30 minute sort of templated workout.

And we used a lot of like EDM music, right? So we taught them, taught the exercises and things like that. They had a whole list of exercise that were like exercise they could use, right? So we gave them some, some freedom to create their programming, but within a template. So then we added this like music component and we were like, you know what?

Let’s just do more like techno type, EDM type music. And this is again, back in like 2007. And I think we just assumed that everyone would understand that, right? Again, it’s the first time we’ve done this. We just sort of assumed that everyone would do this. So every once in a while we would go to different gyms that had our this is like, think about like body pump, right?

Or Les Mills programming. Same exact thing. So we would go to gyms and check in on these certified professionals. And I remember this one time we were at a gym and the person was teaching and the workout was great, but the music was like this hardcore, like gangster rap.

And like for me, I love that shit. Like, I love working out to that. But it was like, it was all, it was like tons of cussing and like derogatory towards women and stuff like that. And then I remember just looking at, at the time, my ex-husband and being like, okay, we have to figure this out because as much as we wanna give the the instructors freedom, like this isn’t, Upholding our brand, right?

This isn’t upholding our brand. And so from then on, we actually went in, we created templated music for them and we gave them new fresh music all the time. And that was exactly what something like the Les Mills does, or a spinning does or something like that. So it was a franchised sort of workout, but it’s similar to you have a certification and then once you’re certified, you’re able to go and then use this system.

Same thing with Moderation 365. Once someone is certified, they’re able to use our materials. They’re able to use our materials. So for example, we have worksheets that they give to their clients. We have scripts that they use in their coaching calls. We have assessments that they have to take. We have lesson plans.

We literally lay out for them a 12 week coaching container where like if you’re gonna take on a one-on-one client and you’re gonna take them through the moderation 365 curriculum, this is how you do it. On call one, do this, on call two do this. And part of the the testing of the Moderation 365 cert is that, you know, they have to take an assessment and they have to have a case study client.

So we ask them to go and actually do a six week minimum case study with an actual individual and they have to type out and they have to write this whole thing. And like a lot of these case studies end up being like 15 to 20 pages of them recounting the coaching. And so we do have, uh, the assessment at the end of the certification is partially, uh, a written exam where it’s just multiple choice questions.

And the other part is this case study. And for us, we wanna know, do you know. Do you know the strategies inside and out? And the exam is not all that easy. I would say probably two thirds of people don’t pass the first time, and that’s not to be a dick, but I really want people to feel like they’re getting even more of an in-depth education than they would if they were just following, you know, the Moderation 365 Instagram account.

I wanted people to understand it on a deeper level so they could be proud of their certification. I don’t want it to be a gimme cert. That’s part of our, our marketing for it. And then in addition to that, they have to show their soft skills. So when you have a call with your client, what happened? How did your client respond to this?

How well did they implement this? How do you feel like you communicated that lesson? And so we have a lot of sort of parameters and a lot of sort of quality control that goes into it. So I wanna see, you know, what are your soft skills of coaching? How effective are you at communicating these new ideas?

Because maybe these professionals aren’t just learning something new. Not only do they learn it, it’s funny, we have a lot of pros that say like, wow, this is really helping me with my eating , right? They’re like, wow, I’m learning a lot about my own eating psychology. And then the second piece is, do they know it in well enough to then teach it to their clients?

And that’s, I think, the additional thing. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that a certification is like, oh, I just have this great information I wanna get out there. It’s like, no, is this information tried and true? Is it organized into a system that’s replicatable and can I have a, a degree of quality control over the people who are certified?

So I know that, cuz remember if someone’s out there saying, I’m a Moderation 365 nutrition consultant, I wanna make sure that they’re representing my brand right because that’s my reputation out there. And so there’s an assessment piece, there’s a skill piece, and we also require a CEU. Now from a business perspective, a couple of things.

This probably sounds all great, but you’re like, okay, Jill, what does, what does this mean for like, you know, in terms of revenue, what does this mean in terms of how do we get people in this thing? So a couple of things here. Number one, the way it works for us is that when people get certified, their certification lasts two years.

And for us, we want them to feel. Like, I don’t know, proud of their certification. So we have a directory on our website where everyone who’s actively certified in MOD 365 gets their, they get their picture up there, they get their credentials up there, they get their social media handles up there so that if someone is looking for a Moderation 365 coach, they can go right to our website and find someone.

Who does that, right? Everybody can work with us, but they can find someone else who’s certified and they can pick and they can use that. And so that’s one big piece of it. The second piece is we give them, we feature them on our Instagram account. So we, we put up there cause we want, we wanna promote them as well.

We want to help get them business. And then after the two years is over, they have to take an exam to continue to have their certification. It’s a super, super low, low cost, uh, continuing. And it’s just a written exam. They have to actually watch some trainings and then they have to take another exam. But the exam is just different stuff.

It’s additional, I think for us it’s actually more like coaching skills and like soft skills of coaching. It’s about retention and, uh, customer compliance and client compliance and stuff like that. And so this builds in for us at Jill Fit number one, we get the, the sort of tuition up front, right? I think we, we charge, I think it’s $800 for the certification, so it’s an $800 cert.

And then after two years, in order to maintain their cert and to continue being promoted by us and be able to use the materials and the templates and the worksheets they have to maintain their cert to be able to call themselves a Moderation 365 nutrition consultant. They have to be able to keep that.

Then we get a little bit of cash on the backend for them to keep their cert, and it’s not for us to make a ton of money, like honestly, I mean, I love the certification. For me, it’s really more about the impact that it makes. Yes, we, this is definitely like a significant revenue stream for us at Jill fitt.

But it’s more so that I can feel the ripple effect. Like I can see the ripple effect of having something like this. If you think about it, if you just have a course, you’re just servicing the people who take that course. If I have a certification, now I’m certifying 10, 20, a hundred people who can then go out and serve 10, 20, a hundred other people.

And the ripple effect is magnified because again, it’s B2C. And the other thing I would say, and I think if you’re going to create a certification, this is the last piece of it. If you’re gonna create a certification, I’m a big fan of, I usually say, a credential is only as good as its ability to increase your bottom line.

Okay? I’m gonna say that again. A certification or a credential is only as good as its ability to increase your bottom line, meaning you’re gonna spend $800 on the certification. Are you going to make more money? As a result of that, are you gonna make more money? Are you gonna be able to position yourself differently in the space?

Are you gonna be able to stand out in a saturated marketplace because you have a different or better credential than someone else? I always talk about, especially in like beginners to online business, most coaches online have around the same level of credential. They, they’ve around the same level of certification, right?

Everyone has like a general personal training cert, maybe a nutrition. How are you gonna stand out? So having something like Moderation 365, it’s a very niche cert. It’s about food relationship. It’s not weight loss necessarily. I mean, some of our clients do lose weight as a result of fixing their relationship with food, but that’s not how we sell it.

It’s not macro counting, it’s not food list, it’s not recipes and meal plans. It’s a food psychology course, and that’s how we talk about it, and that’s how we help our certified professionals talk about it. So in the Moderation 365 course, it’s 12 modules. The last two modules are business modules. Because we want people to know then how to use this and this falls right in my wheelhouse, right?

Cause I’m like, cool. Now that you have this certification, I’m gonna teach you how to market yourself as a certified nutrition professional with Mod 365. And so I, I like the idea of you guys adding some kind of business track. To your certification, whether it’s an upsell, whether it’s an add-on or something like that, or it’s just part of the certification like it is for Moderation 365.

So this is a lot of information. There’s a lot more that goes into this. In fact, we’re probably gonna be creating a course to help people create a certification, because I do believe that this is sort of where industry is going. What we have at Moderation 365 is we have our courses. . Um, they’re approved by industry institutions.

So it’s approved by ACE, it’s approved by NASM. It’s approved by ISSA, it’s approved by AFA. So certifying bodies in our space have looked at and have done a deep dive on our course and said, yes, we will give you CEU credits for doing Moderation 365, which is great for us. And by the way .

FBA, or fitness business accelerator, our business course is also approved by all of those bodies as well. So even if you wanna do learn business, you can still have that go towards continuing your certification with someone else. Does that make sense? Okay. I’m gonna stop there cause it’s getting a little bit long. And I know this is a lot of information.

I just wanted to put this out as like a, like a teaser. I wanna put this out as like a, a sort of high level, 30,000 foot view of what a certification might look like. But always ask yourself number one. Is this for me and two is this for me right now? Like, is this, does this make sense for my business?

Does this make sense? Are my methods proven? Have I had enough people go through my B2C offer? Do I have a lot, like a ton of results in me for Moderation 365? I think we have literally thousands and thousands of testimonials, so we know that this works. Our tagline is our, our, our first tagline is for like B2C is learn how to eat the same on Saturday they do a Monday.

And that’s really important to us. And that’s sort of like our tagline, but we also want, wanna give people their life back. We actually have that right on Instagram account. Like we give people our life, their life back when they learn this stuff and they master this way of interacting with.

They literally changed their life, right? Change your relationship with food, you change your life. And so, and we don’t say that in like a throwaway, I’m like, I say it in like a real way, like a day-to-day moment. And I know for me that was obviously, so here’s the deal. It’s probably gonna start with your own personal transformation, right?

That’s what’s going to maybe start out and to create your methodology. Then you need to test it. So you need to get a lot of people doing it and getting a lot of results. And then you can decide is this certification worthy? Is there something here? So for me, I’m confident that someone can get certified Moderation 365, go out and coach someone just as well as I would.

And that’s where quality control comes in, is like it’s replicatable, right? I don’t need to be, it doesn’t need to be Jill in order for it to make sense. And we do, we have people, in fact, we have three Moderation, 365 coaches at Jill Fit that probably coach it better than me at this point because they’re just coaching people. Right?

I do mostly business coaching and so it’s really cool to see, but look at like the high level perspective, right? I started this in 2011 with my own personal journey. We published it as a course in 2014, which is. What’s that? Eight years ago, nine years ago now, right? Nine years and now we’ve had the certification for three years.

It’s a long time. That’s a long journey with that intellectual property. So I don’t, I don’t know if it needs to be that long for you, but you definitely need to make sure that you’re getting results of people first before you turn into a certification. Cool. All right y’all, that is all I have for you. I wanna give a quick plug to the Moderation 365 certification.

Uh, we’ll have the link in the show notes as well as the wait list for FBA, which is coming up. That’s our next big launch, is Fitness Business Accelerator. It’s our beginner to business course, and you can find the wait list at That’s

And you guys can, uh, when you put your name on the interest list, it is not committing you, but it is giving you the opportunity to get the early information to get any exclusive discounts and bonuses. And I will also just shout out the Moderation 365 website as well. If you guys are interested in even just seeing how we set it up.

It’s And you guys can see even that’s, that’s our sales page. You guys can see like how we position it, how we talk about it. Uh, and I would love to hear if you are thinking about doing a cert.

I know some of my clients that I have now currently are thinking about doing it. It can be really, really fun and it, but I, it is a lot of moving parts and you definitely have to be ready for it All y’all, that’s all I have for you. I hope you have a great rest of your week and I will talk to you soon.

Related Links:

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Get on the waitlist for FBA:

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