You’ve researched and explored holistic nutrition, and now you’re ready to turn that passion into a profession. But when it comes to working with clients and sharing your insights, where do you begin?
Landing that first client can set the tone for how you conduct business long-term. Establishing yourself as knowledgeable and approachable in the holistic nutrition field can turn that first-client engagement into a full schedule and numerous client relationships. Get to that starting point by considering these steps:
Earn a Certification
Clients appreciate firsthand expertise, but they also want to know that the professionals they hire have education and credentials. A certification assures your first client—and all subsequent ones—that you have training from a program that meets standards for accreditation from nationally recognized organizations.
Spread the Word
Even before you get your certification, let others know about your direction. That way, when you ask for referrals later, they won’t be surprised—and may even have some names already lined up. Telling others about your goals will also make you more inclined to follow through with earning your certification and landing your first client.
Determine Your Client Type
Are you going to seek corporate clients or individuals? Will you specialize in online consultations or one-on-one? Sometimes, finding that first client is a matter of knowing exactly who that might be. Narrow down some specifics on your preferred client type. You won’t be locked into this for your career, but it can be helpful for landing initial clients and building your client base.
Ask for Referrals
Every business, particularly consulting, relies on referrals to stay strong. Word-of-mouth recommendations are much more powerful than ad campaigns or marketing blitzes, so now is the time to start building a referral network. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances about referring others to become clients or even becoming clients themselves.
Advertise Where Your Clients Are
Consider where your clients might shop, work, or frequent, and find ways to advertise your services there. For example, if you have wellness spas or yoga studios nearby, you could advertise in those online newsletters. Is your goal to start a location-independent holistic nutrition consulting business? Identify what social media platforms and blogs your ideal clients frequent and be active there.
In addition to traditional advertising, see social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as opportunities to build your brand. That means posting tips about nutrition, optimizing health, lifestyle options that can support healthy eating, organic food, and seasonal eating. You can also pepper in some posts about how you’re now accepting clients and the process you take a client through to achieve optimal health.
Potential clients like to know what they might be getting if they sign up with you, and that’s what makes workshops a valuable entry point toward assuring them that you offer the insights they need. Contact establishments where clients might be—co-ops, gyms, community education programs, yoga studios, farmers markets, and other places that have workshops—and offer to teach a session on a hot topic. For example, you might talk about Paleo and vegan diet plans, demystifying nutritional research, or nutrient density. At the end of your talk, hand out business cards and let the participants know that you are taking clients.
Sweeten the Incentive
Once you have a couple clients, make it worth their time to think about giving you leads. It’s a good chance that they have a friend or family member who is interested in living a healthier lifestyle. Tie an incentive to holistic nutrition—for example, you could offer a $50 gift card to a local co-op or farmer’s market if a referral becomes a client.
Landing that first client can be challenging, but by emphasizing your education and skills and becoming visible in the places where potential clients shop and workout, you can start establishing yourself as a holistic nutritionist.
Need a bit more guidance before getting started? Download our Nutritionist Job Titles Guide for insights on educational paths, certifications, and important terms to know.