Congrats! Whether this is your first or fifth career, making the decision to pursue a passion for helping others in their health and wellness journeys by becoming certified as a holistic nutritionist is more important today than ever. The hard work you invested by achieving your diploma is only the beginning as the real work is still ahead to leverage your newly minted diploma into your very own nutrition business.
Your own nutritional consulting business provides you the opportunity to work directly with clients, educating and advising them on specific needs and issues and maintaining healthy nutritional choices. To get and stay there, being a successful nutritional entrepreneur involves several aspects including having the proper credentials, a solid niche/speciality to focus on your target audience, a professional branded website and social media presence, a network of professional resources, and a commitment to your own professional growth as an entrepreneur in the holistic nutrition field.
Taking into consideration these various aspects outlined will help to get you started on the right foot and not waste time so you can be up and running and building your new holistic nutritional business and unleashing your awesomeness to those in need of your expertise!
Determine Your Speciality
When chatting with my own clients whether discussing their website needs or business coaching, this is THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE I come across. Too many folks simply have not niched their business - either at all or enough. They believe their new nutritional business will be broad to appeal to everyone so as to maximize their potential new clients and revenue. This thinking is understandable as you're starting out and trying to build clients and revenue from scratch - you don't want to turn anyone down attitude. In reality, there are likely several nutrition-based businesses (brick 'n mortar and online) in your local area. What will make yours stand out from the competition AND attract the right clients - those who are desperately needing your knowledge and expertise to solve their specific problem? Clients want to be served by an expert and authority in the field who can solve their specific issue be it digestive and gut health, diabetes, children, seniors, sports/atheltic, women- or men-only, etc.
Knowing your niche as you're progressing though your nutritional education will help to strengthen and hone it even more so you're ready to hit the ground running with your business on graduation day.
Have The Proper Credentials
Before venturing into a nutritional consulting business, it’s important to gain experience in the industry and acquire any training/certifications/licenses necessary to launch your own business.
There are several highly credible and professional diploma-granting nutrition schools and, in Canada, the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and Institute of Holistic Nutrition, are highly-recognized organizations with several programs.
To determine whether you need a specific form of training for your nutritional practice, check with your local authorities to ensure you’ve gained the right qualifications to start your business.
Having the right and up-to-date business liability insurance for nutritional businesses is often mandatory, depending on where you are for protection when working with clients.
Create Your Online Presence & Toot' Your Horn (to the right folks)
Your target audience is online and so too should be your business. Having a professional branded website is key in order that prospective clients can find you and determine whether you'd be a good fit for them. This is where demonstrating your niche is vital. A professional website should be clean and well-organized, easy to navigate (i.e. no more than five pages), provide a plain language overview of your services and pricing, have multiple ways for them to contact you (phone, email, text, online chat), and a simple way for them to quickly make a booking - which is the point after all.
In many cases, YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS , your brand, your image, your reputation. Your website needs to highlight this including your areas of expertise and credentials, and also your story. Clients want to work with an expert and they gravitate even more towards those who have felt their pain by being in their shoes. For example, if you originally became a holistic nutritionist to better understand and deal with your own gut health issues then decided to become an entrepreneur to help others, then say it!
Your marketing strategy will help you convert your target audience into happy and loyal clients who refer you to their friends and so on. There are several ways to offer your services. Referrals and word of mouth are ideal methods to attract the right clients . Also, building your resource network of professionals (e.g. chiropractors, health coaches, acupuncturist, homeopathist, doctors, etc.) will enable them to refer clients within your area of expertise to you (and vice versa as we'll see in the next section).
Using social media to your toot your own horn is an important way to market yourself and services, to drive traffic back to your website, and build your client base. When you niche and define your target audience, you will be able to choose on which social media platforms to use such as LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. For example, if your niche is meal planning and recipes for high-performance teenage female athletes, a more visual platform such as Instagram and Pinterest may be useful.
Join associations and community organizations (traditional and online) to spread the word about your expertise and services. Network with other people in the industry, local communities and businesses to provide informational resources. Stay abreast of any advances in nutrition to ensure you remain up to date on any changes in nutritional trends and practices.
Building Your Resource Network
Many traditional medical practitioners (e.g. chiropractors, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, massage therapists, etc.) refer their patients to nutritionists and monitor the nutritional therapy process. Networking with other health and wellness professionals and establishing a partnership to obtain referrals are excellent ways to build your clientele. When having an initial consultation with a potential client, you may realize that you are not well placed to address their concern and may wish to refer them to a more appropriate provider who could (examples above). When working with an existing client, you may reach a step along their journey where a complementary treatment (e.g. live blood cell analysis, nutritional deficiency test, etc.,) may be useful, or even something such as acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. to provide ab even more holistic support for them. Having this solid network of resources only makes you and your business more valuable to your clients, and those thinking of working with you!
Investing In Your Professional Growth
Leveraging your nutrition diploma into a entrepreneurship requires new and different skills and challenges including building a great website, marketing, accounting and payment, insurance, forms and templates, services and pricing...on and on.
Often I hear from clients that they just want to help clients with in being healthy and don't enjoy the myriad of business-related tasks necessary to get started and becoming successful. Some tend to lose focus and motivation and start to question their abilities and whether they've made the right choice. Some fret as they are not obtaining clients as quickly as they would like. Taking into consideration the various aspects outlined above will help to get you started on the right foot and not waste time so you can be up and running and building your new holistic nutritional business and unleashing your awesomeness to those in need of your expertise!
Do you have questions? Need more info?