When I first started my nutrition private practice I remember feeling on top of the world. At the ripe age of 26 I finally felt like a grown up because I had my very own business with a website, brochure and business cards.
I had just graduated from my holistic nutrition program and the letters after my name – R.H.N. helped me to feel more confident and prepared. I was excited to help people overcome the same digestion hell that I’d gone through. Except their healing protocol wouldn’t have to include invasive tests and blanks stares from the Doctors who all told me there was nothing wrong with me except for a little acid reflux.
I wish I could find my first free seminar poster… it would give me a big laugh now.
No one showed up to my first 2 free seminars. The third time I held my free seminar my mom brought some friends. That wasn’t embarrassing at all!
Fast forward 8 years later… my webinars are always full and 300 people attend my 3-day annual live event. The best part of knowing HOW-TO start a holistic health practice that actually makes money is that I was actually making money.
In this article I’m going to share 5 steps that you can take right now to start your holistic health private practice so that you CAN coach as many people as you want AND make really good money without burning yourself out or going into massive debt.
Step 1: Pick A Niche & Dive In Deep
Birds of a feather flock together.
Who told you that you HAD TO BE everything to everyone? Who told you that in order to make money and serve you HAD TO SAY YES to everyone who wants your help? Who told you that you your business had to be a “general store” where you sold everything?
What do you want to be known for? How do you want people to talk about you?
Picking a niche market and diving in deep is not limiting your options or your ability to get clients.
How many women go through menopause, have anxiety and pack on the pounds?
How many men are diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and are afraid of having a heart attack?
How many children have behavioral problems because they eat too much processed “health” foods?
How many couples suffer from infertility?
Unfortunately there are enough niche clients to keep you busy for decades. The fact that you don’t know how to get clients or make lots of money doesn’t mean they aren’t out there or that you can’t make money… all it means is that you don’t know how to do it yet.
Pick a niche. Enter the conversation they are already having in their heads. Create solutions for their problems. Put yourself in front of your ideal client constantly. It’s our responsibility to make sure they know about us… not the other way around.
Here are some ways to dive into the psychology of your ideal client so you can use their language to reach them.
- Interview them and ask them what they struggle with, if there was a magic solution or pill what would it do for them, what challenges do they face now and in the past, how can you help them, what value would they put on that solution etc.
- Read the magazines, blogs and newspapers written for your ideal client – note down any repetitive language, phrasing and themes used. Model them in your own writing and marketing
- Participate in events with your ideal client – volunteer at charity events, attend seminars, go to networking groups, sit in the audience at lectures.
Step 2: Start Right Now.
Don’t wait for anything to be ready before you start your holistic health private practice.
You have a name – use that as your business name until you find the right business name (or better yet always use your real name – just brand different programs).
You have an email list – how long have you used email? How many contacts do you have on your personal email list that you could send a “hey, here’s what I’m up to now letter” too?
Remember to include a call to action in the email or letter – I have 5 openings this week for complimentary discovery sessions. Reply to this email and let me know if you’d like to schedule one.
The faster you start the faster you get to help people, bring in cash flow and grow your business. The cash flow can be re-invested back into your business to build your website.
Believe me, no one is going to say to you “I’m sorry you can’t help me overcome the painful acid reflux I’ve been having for months because you don’t have a business card and your website isn’t ready.”
Your clients won’t care about those things. Only you do and you are putting your focus and energy in the wrong spots. Your focus and energy should be on putting yourself in front of as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
Step 3: Create Program Option A and Program Option B
Would you like to get started with option A or option B?
Decision paralysis is a very real thing. Offering more than two ways to work with you is dangerous and will likely lead to no decision at all.
Start your holistic health private practice with two ways to work with you.
Option A: a short-term low priced option.
A 28-day program with a program fee under $200.
This is program should provide the basics. It’s your “jump-start” program that lays the foundation for the deep work you will do with you client when they’ve gotten to know, trust and like you.
Giving your potential clients an option to join a low price, short-term time period program alleviates the pressure of having to make a real commitment that comes along with making real (perceivable hard) changes.
Option B: a long-term higher priced option.
An 8 to 12 week program not less than $1000.
After clients go through your jump-start program they will want more. They want to continue to work with you and are now ready to dive in deep and create real and lasting change.
So you renew them and enroll them into your “signature” program. This program is what you are known for and creates client transformations. It’s likely that some clients will want to start with this program which is why you offer them option A or option B in your enrollment conversation.
What do you talk about each week in your 12-week program?
Each week in the program you educate on a different challenge that your ideal client faces. Each week you only focus on ONE THING with one co-created goal.
You know what your ideal clients challenges are because you’ve spent time walking in their shoes. You’ve take care to dive into their psychology and build your holistic health practice around serving them.
Step 4: Ask For Referrals
Ohhh, the dreaded request for referrals. Here’s the deal… your mindset is holding you back.
You have a program that actually helps transform your ideal clients lives, why aren’t you proud to share it?
You have an ethical and professional responsibility to inform every single ideal client that is currently suffering that YOU have the solution for them.
Keeping your greatness to yourself because you don’t want to bug anyone or feel “salesy” is selfish and egocentric. It’s not about you… it’s about the hundreds or thousands of people you can help who don’t yet know you exist because you are too afraid to introduce yourself to them.
In my experience all happy clients would be thrilled to give you referrals – they just don’t think of it or know how to do it.
Give your clients a referral tool so they can become your unpaid sales force and refer you their friends. Remember birds of a feather flock together.
Go to Vistaprint.com and create a 5 x 7 recipe card or whatever type of card you know your ideal client would derive value from. The recipe cards are acting as a gift card but are less cheesy.
- Add your business name, logo (if you have one), contact info
- Recipe or useful content
- Offer for a 60-minute discovery session
- Client testimonials on the back
- Offer for a 60-minute discovery session on the back
- Contact info on the back
Give 10 of these cards to each one of your clients to keep in their purse, desk or briefcase etc. This way when they start talking about you they can pull out their referral tool and give value to a future client.
Step 5: Have An Irrational Amount Of Belief In Yourself
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Ghandi
It’s scary to do something you’ve never done before. It’s frightening to put yourself out there in a way that opens you up to potential failure. You feel physically uncomfortable and vulnerable at the thought of self-promotion. Your fear is overwhelming and likely holds you back from playing full out.
I get it. I felt like that for a very long time.
I was able to change my mindset because I stopped thinking about my fears and my insecurities and started to think about my ideal clients suffering.
Whether or not I failed became irrelevant. Mixed in with my perception of failure was my intention to serve and be helpful. Why do you do this work? What lights a fire under your ass?
How many people like awake at night in pain because you are allowing your fear to hold you back… sitting behind your computer posting on Facebook, crossing your fingers and hoping for some new clients.
The only way you can fail is if you quit.
The only thing that’s holding you back from financial and personal success is your lack of belief in yourself.
Those of us who have figured it out, are making money and are hustling daily to serve our clients have a high level of irrational belief in ourselves that we must serve… that we must continue to get our message out there… there is no other choice or alternative.
No Plan B as I like to say.
The only way to push past fear is to start doing the very things you are afraid of. Do them a couple of times and they aren’t so scary anymore.