For many entrepreneurs entering the health field, their career goals include starting a private practice or health company. With the various forms of technology, marketing strategies are easily accessible and can be used to gain more clients and recognition. As someone in private practice in the nutrition field, there are a few suggestions that can be helpful in starting your practice and marketing it successfully.
Have a Professional Website and Social Media Appearance
One of the biggest marketing tools to take advantage of is the internet. It is important to have a professional website to direct potential clients to and to have social media accounts that mirror your mission. If you are not tech savvy, it can be helpful to hire a website developer that can create an attractive website. It can also be helpful to connect with someone in marketing who can help you with your social media accounts to make sure they are relevant and will attract the clients that you want to work with. I worked with a brand strategist who was also a photographer to get started and it made a huge difference!
Find a Niche
While it can be exciting to work with all types of clients, having a niche is helpful in narrowing down and becoming an expert in a certain area of nutrition and health. This will draw specific clients and organizations that will rely on you to share your expertise on this subject. Think about your areas of interest, where your services can be reached, and focus on how to market your specific target group.
Connect with Like-Minded Practitioners
As a dietitian focusing on mindful and intuitive eating, I knew that my clients were a certain target group. To get referrals, I would need to work with like-minded practitioners and organizations. For me, therapists and yoga studios are most in line with my philosophy, so I make sure to form relationships with these practitioners so that I can refer my clients to people that I trust. Think about your niche and which people and organizations you will benefit most from connecting with.
Beyond meeting with like-minded practitioners, it is important to network with anyone who might benefit from your services or knows someone who will. Nutrition is important regardless of anyone’s profession or lifestyle, and everyone can benefit from your services. Take advantage of networking opportunities and get your name out there!
Do Things for Free (In the beginning)
In the beginning, it is important to make a name for yourself by attending events and sharing your expertise. This sometimes can mean doing things for free to market yourself, such as by creating presentations, news articles, workshops, etc. As you gain a following you can be more selective, but as you are starting out, this can be a great way to network with people.
Gather Testimonials and Have Clients Leave Reviews
Once people know of your services, it is important to have clients and to have anyone you have worked with leave reviews. These will show up on your Google searches and make clients feel as though they can trust you and rely on you to be a worthwhile practitioner. Add these testimonials to your websites and newsletters and show how much your work has been valued.
Hire or Work with a Mentor
Private practice is exciting and rewarding, but it can be challenging and there are many questions that will need to be answered. One of the best things I did when I started out was hire a mentor to help me create a vision for my business and answer any questions I had. They are a great support and also end up being your biggest cheerleader!
Most importantly, have fun with this new endeavor and take risks!
About the Author
Allison Tepper is a Registered Dietitian licensed in both Washington, DC and Maryland. Prior to coming to American University, she had both counseling and food service roles at Georgetown University working with students, faculty and staff with a range of needs including food allergies, general healthy eating, sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, eating disorders and more. She specializes in intuitive and mindful eating and helping clients have a healthier relationship with food.
If you are interested in learning more about the online Master’s in Nutrition Education and how you can help educate others on living healthier lives, contact us at 855-725-7614 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or request more information.