You probably entered your field with one thing on your mind: helping others through the practice of nutrition. But the reality of owning and operating a nutrition business can be overwhelming. Most nutritionists have never been business owners, and all of a sudden we’re told we need to market, sell, and build a website. Marketing, alone, can be a struggle as we don’t want to come off as sleazy or unapproachable. This blog will explain the approach I take to client-centered nutrition marketing.
My approach to nutrition marketing can be summed up in three points:
- Get clear on your ideal client—the people you really want to work with
- Think through marketing tasks and prioritize the timing of your communications
- Create efficient processes that allow you to easily communicate with your clients and potential clients, including outsourcing
Get clear on your ideal client.
The first step to nutrition marketing is figuring out who you want to work with. This can be a massive roadblock for some health and wellness practitioners, so I want to explain how I approach the task.
First, if you’re unsure about the specific niche you want to focus on, such as thyroid autoimmunity, digestive disorders, or female athletes, that’s ok. I simply want you to consider who you want to see in your practice every day. Who will make you the happiest to work with when you log on to Zoom or when you enter your office? Begin to imagine this person—someone willing to try your suggestions, engaged in the process of their healing, and conscious of their strengths and weaknesses.
From there, slowly build on who this person is. Are you imagining a past client? What are their main symptoms or diagnoses? What are their goals and dreams? What are the most significant challenges that keep them from living the life they want to live?
This process is called creating an ideal client avatar. It’s a common nutrition marketing practice, and you can even download a free worksheet for this process made especially for health and wellness professionals.
You may have filled out one of these worksheets before and asked yourself why it matters. And that’s a great question!
Try to be as thorough as possible when imagining your ideal client avatar so that you can craft the words on your website, in your blogs, newsletter, and social posts, and even your class curriculum or service descriptions to speak to this person. To center your client in your nutrition marketing, you need to know who they are and what problems they need help with!
In the video above, you’ll hear me speak about how much I despise the term “pain points.” And I genuinely do hate this long-used marketing term that describes the painful problems a customer suffers from. But if we approach “pain points” from an integral, loving perspective—as the symptoms, diagnoses, and loss of function that our potential clients need help resolving—we can market to those who need us in a way that supports them versus reeling them in. Getting clear on your ideal client allows you to accomplish this aspect of nutrition marketing.
Prioritize your nutrition marketing tasks.
Managing your own nutrition business can be wildly overwhelming. Marketing is just one aspect of the many pieces you juggle each day. So, prioritize.
First, consider where your ideal client hangs out. Are they on Facebook or Instagram? Are they at a coffee shop or in a board room? Are they shopping at Whole Foods or Safeway? This focus will help you get your message to potential clients.
Second, remember that your website and online presence can be tools for clients to find you. Regular publication of blogs containing information that is valuable to your clients, newsletters and social media posts that announce these blogs or other subjects your ideal clients care about, or even videos speaking to your clients about how you might be able to help are a few ways to market your business.
But which is most important??
At the beginning of your practice, prioritize just two marketing methods, such as semi-monthly blogging and social media or creating videos and sending out practically useful newsletters. Pick two ways and do these well. Then you can expand.
I recommend blogging regularly as this helps your website be easily found when potential clients search on a web browser. But, if that feels overwhelming, pick two marketing steps and just get started!
For nutritionists who have been in practice and are revamping their marketing, consider how most of your clients find you and then market to that source. Do lots of people make appointments based on your local networking membership? Market to that group! Do a majority of people make appointments from referrals? Set up a referral rewards program that fits your business focus.
Create efficient nutrition marketing processes.
This section is essentially a short primer on how to market smarter, not harder. And the first step is automation.
Services such as NurtureDash, MailerLite, and ConverKit allow us to set up emails and social posts that speak directly to our potential clients while we work on other tasks. This is key—automation acts as a virtual assistant, sending out emails and scheduling clients while we focus on making the money needed to keep our business afloat.
As you start planning your nutrition marketing, make three lists: the first list will be all the duties you have to do in the moment that cannot be automated, such as coaching clients. The second list will be all the duties you can automate, such as scheduling, posting and even classes taught via prerecorded video. The third list is the duties you either need or want help with, which you will outsource. For me, these include help with my finances, the creation of website content, and tech support. Continue adjusting these lists as you learn what options are available to you. My two cents—get as many items as possible in the “automation” list.
Need extra help with nutrition marketing?
I currently teach a 5-week course called Foundations in Practice that helps you develop your nutrition marketing, along with your mindset, time management, financial skills, and network building. If you need extra help honing your nutrition marketing, check it out! And you can always email me with any questions!