When it comes to business, credibility is everything. Clients want to know they’re in good hands, especially when it comes to their health. They’re sharing personal information, and putting their trust in you to have a positive impact on their health and their lives.
So how do you work towards establishing yourself as an expert in your field, especially if you are just starting to build your practice? Like anything worthwhile, it takes time. With a few actionable steps, you’ll be walking the walk in no time.
Project a Healthy Amount of Confidence
While this seems obvious, it can be one of the hardest things to achieve when starting your practice. We all have that little voice telling us we can’t do it sometimes – it’s called low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and negative self-talk. While this voice can often feel like a never-ending argument with yourself, it’s important to keep fighting back. You’ve finished school, you’ve done the work, you know your stuff. Your knowledge and skill set are invaluable. But no one will believe this if you don’t believe it. Half the battle of establishing yourself as an expert is exerting yourself as an expert to everyone you encounter. That positive buzz will catch on and spread.
Before You Set Your Fees, Revisit Them
Make sure not to low-ball when setting your fees. This is a common occurrence for many when starting their practice. After you’ve done the math and set your pricing, set the task aside and put your mind on something else. Revisit it in the few next days with fresh eyes. Then, take a deep breath, and price yourself a little higher than your gut is suggesting. While you don’t want your clients to overpay, chances are that you’ve undervalued your offerings the first time around. This will send a message – that you are brand new, that you don’t take yourself seriously, or that you can’t find any clients! The right clients for you won’t scoff at your mid-range pricing, they will simply assume you’re worth it. (and you are!)
Show Off Client Testimonials
At some point in your journey, you’ve been given positive feedback. Maybe it was through a LinkedIn recommendation, a handwritten note, or even in person. Make these compliments work hard for you by sharing the testimonial so other people can see it: on your website, social media, when you’re talking about what it’s like to work with you, etc. There’s no better way to look like an expert than having other people vouch for you.
A glowing recommendation can go a long way. While these testimonials can remain anonymous, it’s a best practice to ask permission before you put anyone’s words up online.
Share Some of Your Expertise With the World
Content is King these days – and more content on your website means better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to encourage traffic. Have you considered starting a blog or a newsletter? Blogs, for example, are frequently used by health and wellness professionals to share information in their area of expertise that potential clients would want to know. Think about what they’re searching for at their desks or when they can’t sleep at night.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – write what you know. Start with simple ideas for your blogs:
- Common questions you are asked regularly
- A few life hacks that you are always recommending to people
- What topics inspire you and your audience
- Search for general terms in one of the many free online keyword tools like Google Trends or Keywordtool.io
Not ready to start your own blog? No problem! You can also pitch ideas to industry publications. Do a little research to figure out where your writing would be a good fit and go from there! If you put your expertise out into the world, your voice will become a trusted one.
Once you’re in the research rabbit hole, you should also consider being a podcast guest with other thought leaders. You might not have the time (or desire!) to start your own podcast – you have enough on your plate! However, there’s no denying the cultural impact of podcasts at the moment. On your search engine of choice, type in “Podcasts on [insert your specialty or industry here]” and see what’s available. They’re likely looking for experts to interview or something interesting to discuss. Once you make a list of wellness and health podcasts, reach out through email with your elevator pitch and see what happens!
It can be a challenge to be your own publicist (what, another job?), but sharing your knowledge with the world can be another important clientele stream.
Be Active On Social Media
Do you have business accounts on Facebook and Instagram for your practice? If not, this is a great place to start. Facebook and Instagram are two of the most commonly used social media platforms for businesses and personal brands. Give yourself about 15-30 minutes a day to post something meaningful to each platform, and make sure that you’re connecting with your friends, family, and acquaintances – potential clients will come once you’ve built your followers a little bit.
Much like blogging, simply post about what you know: industry news in the health and wellness space, something new that you learned, a tried and true tip that you think would help people, a blog post that you published online, a conference you are attending.
Get creative and let your personality shine through. Don’t overthink each post, but try to provide value in everything you’re posting by asking yourself: “Why would my potential clients care about this post?”
Another important thing to remember is that you can’t just post into the void and expect results. Social media is social. You don’t have time to sit on your phone all day, but after posting, take a few extra minutes to search hashtags, follow some relevant accounts, and engage by commenting on other posts. Engagement and consistency are key when building a loyal following – and the more your name pops up, the more people will recognize you as an expert.
Design tip: Use a website like Canva to create beautiful graphics without having to be a graphic designer – they’ve got thousands of templates at your fingertips!
You hold a lot of power in your hands. To establish yourself as an expert, you have to believe you are one, and then act like it. It’s important to remember that no one feels like an expert all the time – but to project trustworthiness, you have to first believe in and trust yourself. Your current and prospective clients won’t know what you know until you tell them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share some of that knowledge – both in-person and online to become an industry expert.
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