You're interested in holistic health and nutrition, but you're wondering if you can actually make money in that field?
...plus, this would mean going back to school while still working your 9-5 job.
...and, you’re not sure what you’d even be able to do with your education, once you graduate.
Do any of these things sound familiar?
I was in this exact same situation a little over a year ago, and since holistic nutrition is a field that is quickly expanding, and can be taken in a variety of directions, here on my thoughts (and what I WISH I would have known) about how to start a career as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner - or any sort of holistic health practitioner. These tips are specifically for those people who want to venture outside the traditional “1 on 1 clients” business model.
When I first started this blog, I saw clients in a "1 on 1" setting for a number of months. Although this was extremely fulfilling and I loved connecting with people- as an introvert, I started to feel drained. Plus, the money was inconsistent. Some months I would have 5 clients, other months I would have none. Also, I felt like I was repeating the same information, over and over again to different clients. This got me thinking that I could start working smarter, and not harder…in order to reach a wider audience and help more people.
Since graduating from the NTA, starting a blog, starting a podcast, writing an e-book, creating an online course and making TONS of mistakes, here is my best advice to anyone wanting to leverage their passion for holistic health and turn it into an online business that actually makes money. (Giving away free advice isn't gonna pay the bills, sorry)
1. Get an Education
This one seems obvious, I know. But getting a degree, certification, or specific training often helps people feel more legitimate and able to effectively help their clients. I personally attended the Nutritional Therapy Association - an intensive 9 month program that is mostly online, with 3 in-person workshop weekends. It was definitely an investment, and I went back and forth about it for YEARS before I committed. I can honestly say this was the best decision I ever made in terms of finally helping me reach my career goals. The curriculum was very in depth, but still manageable while working a full time job. I learned an incredible amount, met amazing friends (and my biz bestie, Andrea!) and honestly wish I could go back and do it all again. Whether you choose the NTA like I did, or the Nutritional therapy Institute, Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Bauman, or somewhere else, there are tons of people who have created extremely successful careers after getting the proper holistic nutrition credentials.
2. …Or dont!
Seriously! I know this seems contradictory to #1, but I truly believe that some of the most knowledgable people in the field of holistic nutrition did not get that way from a University or course, but because of their own health journey. Say for example you used to struggle with painful cystic acne, but every doctor you went to just dismissed your concerns and put you on medication, when you KNEW there was another way. So you devoured every book, resource, and website under the sun for years and finally discovered exactly what to do to heal yourself from the inside out by using nutrition, supplements, an lifestyle changes. THIS IS SOME POWERFUL SHIT. Your experiences alone are enough to help people. If you’ve been through it personally, you can help others. And if you position yourself as an expert (i’ll get to this in #3) people will flock to you.
Your experiences alone are enough to help people.
3. Start a blog, like, yesterday.
Blogging is oversaturated, I know. I even felt “late” to the part when I started this blog a year ago. But blogging truly is the easiest way to begin to create an audience for yourself, even if you feel like your mom is the only person reading. (Hey mama!) Even if you don’t know what you want to talk about yet, my BEST advice is just to start. Start RIGHT NOW. Commit to a consistent schedule, even if that is only once a month. (1-2x a week would be best, but lets be honest, that’s ambitious). Write about topics that you are passionate about, or things that you have personally gone through. This will position you as an "expert" in your field, and your target audience will start asking questions, referring people to your site, and (eventually) buy whatever it is you're selling - because they trust you.
Start to give people "mini resources" in the form of your blog posts, that they can refer back to anytime their digestion starts acting up, they start breaking out, or their fatigue sets in again. Your goal should be to make your blog post juicy enough that someone would want to save, pin, or share the link on Facebook.
4. …Or a podcast
I’m a total podcast junkie, and it looks like the rest of the world is catching on, too. Unlike blogging, where you have to use SEO rich keywords to get noticed; or posting to Facebook (which changes it’s algorithm all the time) Podcasting is somewhat of the "last frontier" of marketing your own content (for free), which is why I love it so much. It isn’t ruled by algorithms, or sponsors, or keywords, or paid ads: your traffic solely depends on how good your content is, and whether or not people want to keep listening. How cool is that?
5. Discover your niche - “holistic nutrition" isn’t enough
So you’re passionate about holistic health and nutrition... but that’s not enough. How often do you think people google things like, “eating healthy” or “nutrition consultation” when looking for the answer to their health concern? (Not very often).
However, things like, “how to improve your acne with a paleo-style diet” or “adaptogenic herbs to help with adrenal fatigue” are much more specific, or niche, and will lead you directly to your ideal client. Focus your blog posts, social media posts, and podcasts around specific topics under the umbrella of holistic nutrition. In a field that is increasingly saturated, this is the ONLY way to stand out.
Also, don’t be afraid of telling your personal story. I’m always surprised when I see that the posts I think are too personal actually turn out to have the best engagement. If there’s anything i’ve learned, it’s that people like REAL. Think about the healthy things that you do on a daily basis, that a majority of the world would think is totally cray-cray…like supplementing with collagen, or turning zucchini into zoodles, or taking an ice-bath a la Shawn Mynar. Use these to your advantage! These are the things that make you interesting, special, and unique.
6. Start building your tribe
Start building your e-mail list by creating amazing free lead magnets/ opt-ins. (Like the one in this post!) Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re going to do with these e-mails yet, start collecting them from your target audience whenever they visit your site. Sign up for an e-mail marketing software (I personally love ConvertKit, but MailChimp is a good free option!) that can store all of your collected emails and send out newsletters to your audience whenever you have something to say. That way, once you decide to launch an e-book, paid workshop, or online course, you already have an audience full of interested people!
Join the Facebook group of Holistic Online Entrepreneurs (at every stage of success) HERE!
If you’re going to be blogging and podcasting about the things you love, you might as well make some money just for sharing the things you love…right? Sign up for affiliate accounts with all the companies you love and support on a daily basis. Some examples include Amazon, Thrive, Epic bar, Osso good bone broth, Vital proteins, US Wellness meats, Prep dish meal plans…and whatever else you can think of! That way, you can insert your affiliate link into applicable blog posts and make a small commission every time someone from your audience purchases through your link.
Another great way to diversify is through supporting businesses like Beautycounter, a company that works to remove harmful and toxic ingredients from skincare and cosmetic products. As a consultant, you can make a generous 30% commission on the products you sell, and if you have a passion for natural health AND use any skincare or makeup products, this one is a no-brainer. I can’t emphasize enough how easily their products sell themselves.
8. …But create your own shit
Affiliate commissions are great supplemental income, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on them 100% to pay your bills, especially if you want to make real money. Unless you have a massive audience (which most people don’t, starting out) affiliate commissions are probably not going to make things comfy enough for you to quit your 9-5.
Luckily for you , it is getting easier and easier to make money online, in your bikini (or pajamas, if you don’t live in Hawaii ;)) WHILE helping people improve their lives and heal with nutrition. The best thing you can do if you want to create a REAL career for yourself in holistic nutrition, without trading time for dollars, is to create a digital product. This could be an e-book, an online course, a monthly subscription service, a step-by-step guide, or literally anything else your mind can think of!
Having trouble thinking of ideas? Ask yourself these questions: Who is your audience? What are they struggling with? What are you most knowledgable about? What do people ask you about all the time?
The purpose of creating a digital product is to put all of the valuable knowledge from your brain into an amazing resource that you can sell, over and over, without having to do more work. How awesome is that?
Thinking about starting a career in holistic nutrition but don't know where to start?
- What questions do you still have about starting your own nutrition business?
- What's holding you back?