Congrats – You’re a Nutrition Graduate. Now what?
Firstly, if you are reading this and you have graduated from CNM or ION or any other Nutrition course CONGRATS!! Those courses are seriously tough going and look at you all finished with a handed in portfolio. Celebrate that!
But then you sit down and think now what? I am by no means any expert but I have been working for a year now and I thought I would share my wisdom of which things have worked and not worked in the past 12 months working in this field of Nutritional Therapy and healthcare.
Some of you may choose to work for supplement companies or other NT’s who are already established but if you’re like me and enjoy a challenge you may be choosing to go self-employed and start your own business. Once again, celebrate that!
Starting your own business from scratch is hard, like really hard. I’ll put it out there, nobody tells you how lonely it is, but with lonely comes being able to lie in on a Monday morning because your first client is only at 1pm WOOHOO or finishing at 3pm on a Friday. You make the rules from here on out.
My mentor said one thing which stuck with me, the people who make it in this field are the ones who don’t give up. So wipe that as an option, giving up isn’t an option at this stage, you didn’t study for 3+ years to ‘try it’ for 6 months. Go for it, world domination!
1. NETWORK – you have to join a networking group, hey join loads (but be careful on how much you invest here) from day one I went to one local to me and it is once a month and it is only £5 each time and it is super friendly and laid back. Some I tried and were very corporate and so expensive. I’m not saying they don’t work but I wasn’t ready to invest so much so early on. Networking is so important to make friends, get your name out there and I have had a lot of opportunities come from it. I was the main speaker at an awards ceremony in a local high school, I have been on the radio, been able to do talks, I bought a great car (oh wait that was to the car dealers benefit but hey its a great car). It’s all about relationships. (And take loads of business cards).
2. Find an office/workspace which works for you – I knew I didn’t really want to join in with another clinic I wanted to work alone for a little while so I rented an office. I recommend this if you have the capital. It was great to have a place I could see clients whenever I wanted rather than trying to rent a room, it meant I could furnish it how I wanted to and make it a place I wanted to work. I had herbal teas I could make for clients and it was a great space to set up to make you look established and professional. (I since built my office into my garage when I had a big enough client base).
3. Make connections with local magazines – I think over the last 12 months my biggest winner was writing for Lancashire Life. Their outreach is huge, all over Lancashire and I was being paid to write for them and again, get my name out there. I contacted the editor to see if he wanted to run a piece on me and my story and he say yes. Woohoo. (Also, if you have a ‘story’ then make the most of that!)
4. Do your website – Oh my goodness, do your website now! Where else will people find you? I know personally before I see someone or pay someone my money I like to visit their website and see what their vibe is. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but what is their ethos etc. a website is where people will come and check you out to see if they like the look of you. And plus its a great space to blog and post loads of free content for your followers.
5. Get a mentor – I don’t know what I would of done without my mentor when I began. Mentors are defiantly worth investing in! We bounced ideas around and she was my support system at the beginning. I chose my college director but it can be anyone, in the same field as you ideally.
6. Say yes – to any opportunities, any coffee dates, any collaboration ideas, say yes and be open to working with new people and different things. I sometimes would think, what can I possibly gain from this but some of my best ideas or friendships have stemmed from an invitation so say yes.
7. Get on social media – If your a business owner in the year 2016 I think it kind of goes without saying you have to be social media savvy. Thats where your potential clients are hanging out, on Facebook and Instagram.
Seven points? Who does a seven point plan? Oh well those are my key pieces of advice. Let your business grow organically. Things come along.
Also. Don’t be hard on yourself. You have got a Nutrition diploma and we all know that is no mean feat so be kind to yourself and be the example to everyone that living a healthy lifestyle is awesome and the future.