It’s no secret that more people care about what they eat and the role food plays in maintaining and improving their health. The nutrition industry is expanding, and the need for qualified nutrition professionals is expected to increase over the next seven years.
With more certified and qualified professionals entering the field, the need to stand out is also on the rise. Make sure that your business does not get lost amongst the others so that you can continue to help improve and maintain your client’s health with these ideas to differentiate your nutrition business from the crowd.
Name your business well
What to name your business is a big decision that can set you up for success or make finding and attracting clients difficult. Make sure that you balance being memorable and standing out with being within industry. Be different for the right reasons. You don’t want to be remembered for a name with an accidental negative association or a difficult spelling, but you do want to be remembered for a name that is fun to say, easy to find, or captures you and your business well.
One way to stand out is to orient your name to your physical location, as long as that makes sense for your business. If you are working from an area known for its health and wellness, then make that a part of your identity. If not, that’s okay too. You can still explore a variety of ways to name your business for real results and stand out from the crowd, without being too catchy, cheeky, or difficult to remember.
Know your niche
Who is your ideal client? Do you want to work to help people with specific goals? Maybe you like working with a certain age group or a specific health concern or diagnosis. If you know your ideal client, you can write that into your content and copy to help differentiate you from other coaches.
When you are first starting out, this suggestion might feel limiting. Just keep your client’s perspective in mind, and the ease of doing business with your ideal client. If you try to force yourself to work with a less than ideal client who isn’t quite the right fit, you will end up not delivering the best services. And even worse, your client will not have the best experience working with you. When you forego working with a client who is not the right fit, you can not only refer them to a better fitting coach (who can return the favor and refer clients to you), you can also keep space open for your ideal clients.
But to get those ideal clients, you have to know your niche and tell them you are there for them. You can integrate this information into your business name, or your tagline. Think about which would be more attractive to someone who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and wants help with changing their eating lifestyle and habits: The Balanced Plate: Nutrition Coaching for Diabetes or Online Nutrition Coaching by Claire. While Claire might be a great fit for someone with diabetes and even regularly work with that clientele, we have no way of knowing this from her business name or tagline. Incorporating your niche into this information can help you immediately differentiate your work from the crowd.
Have good, accurate branding
You want your branding to be cohesive and, most importantly, you want it to accurately reflect and express your brand statement. Your brand is your promise to the world. Make sure that how you do your work and what you do is fully captured in your brand aesthetic, and that it is also readable and easy to engage with. Don’t shy away from hiring a professional to help you with this part of the job. You will not regret having your visual presence match your work, and seeing it all come together and feel accurate is a big motivator to continue your work. Afterall, you want to look at your website, business cards, and email signature and think, “YES! That IS me, and that is what I do!”
When your branding is accurate and cohesive, it conveys that you are truly a professional. You know who you are and how you work, and you have all your loose ends tied up. In other words, you are open for business and working well. Accurate and cohesive branding also makes you stand out by default, because one of its functions is to do just that--help express what makes you different and why people should choose you over other nutrition professionals.
Know your process
Another way to stand out from the crowd is to know how you approach your work. Have you developed your own process? It does not have to be fancy or complicated, but being able to give potential clients an idea of what their experience will be like working with you is an excellent way to highlight how you are different from other nutrition professionals. Maybe you start with a discovery process, work up a goal plan, and then have weekly check in meetings. Or perhaps you have a survey you send clients and set specific meetings from the start. Knowing your process and sharing that process helps set you apart from other nutrition business professionals and can help your ideal clients easily identify you.
What do you bring to the job? Not all nutrition professionals work the same way or bring the same energy to their jobs. Knowing yourself in relation to your work can help you explain these differences and make you stand out from the crowd. Are you direct, goal-oriented, and straight-forward? Maybe you can promise tough accountability and guarantee specific results. Are you very flexible and offer highly individualized services? Or maybe you have a set menu of services with set prices. Do you want to offer services on a sliding scale to ensure your work is available to people with with all income-levels? Do you bring a rebel energy and want to help people bust through habits and create new lifestyles?
Answering these questions can help you determine what you bring to the job and send out a signal to attract your ideal clients. And attracting those ideal clients keeps them happy and keeps you doing the work you love.
Do the work
As a nutrition professional, you want to show and demonstrate what you believe; practice what you preach. It is absolutely crucial that you wholeheartedly believe in the work that you are doing and that you also do the work.
It is also just as important to let everyone know you are doing it. That does not mean you have to go full pursuit to being Insta-famous. But you can share things like what you are eating and how you are exercising. Read on for tips on showing more and telling less.
Show how you stand out with videos
Like offering free samples of food to entice people in for a meal, use your communications channels to give sneak peeks and show some behind the scenes work by making quick short videos. The best news about the importance of video marketing? You don’t have to develop professional videos or high quality promotional videos. Think simple, authentic, and real.
Don’t like seeing yourself on video? One way to work through that is to have a trusted friend screen them for you. Ask for feedback and reshoot if need be, but chances are that if you’re keeping things real and sharing in real time, you can just make a video, post it, and move along with your day. Remember, top-notch quality is not what makes you different. Really doing what you are doing and sharing it earnestly will make you stand out though.
Tell your differences in words
You can also stay on top of research and fads and help your clients and potential clients differentiate between the two by hosting a blog or simply writing notes and long captions on social media posts. Similarly, you can share your professional opinions and your personal experiences. When you are able to be honest about which lifestyle habits are easy or difficult for you or pull tips and tricks from your own experience, clients will find you to be more relatable, and this will differentiate you and your business from other nutrition businesses.
Network and know the crowd
In addition to staying on top of industry trends and research for your clients, stay on top of trends and practices for yourself. The better you know the crowd, the easier it will be to see how you are different from them. Keep up with what other nutrition professionals are doing so that you can make informed decisions about which trends you want to follow and which ones you want to leave behind.
You can always expand your offerings or learn more about your industry. Get an additional certification and offer more services, attend a seminar to stay on top of trends, or attend a conference or summit to learn new ways to grow and market your business, even if you are still offering the same services. There is always more to learn!
If you are working as a solopreneur, the lack of staff to give you feedback means you must rely on clients and on yourself. Schedule time to reflect on your business and how it is working and ask previous clients to fill our surveys. Also, follow up with clients to see how they are doing. Determine what is working well and what needs to change in your process. You might stumble upon some ideas for working in new and different ways that can help differentiate you from other nutrition professionals. But, without taking time to reflect on the process, you cannot notice the things that require innovation. Identify problem spots and get creative with your problem-solving skills. Coming up with new ways to do things will surely set you apart from the crowd.
Be confident in your style
When you are showing how you do the work, be confident doing it your way. People want to find you relatable and unique, so show them how you’re researching those trends, doing those exercises, and even having occasional doubts and fears about your work and your efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Whether you are just starting out and need to find the right name or you have been working for years and want to level up and get creative within your industry, be confident, practice what you preach, and show and tell how you love the work and get the job done. Truly, you do you, and those differences will naturally emerge so that you stand out from the crowd, attract your ideal clients, and maintain a successful nutrition business.
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