Now that you've found your passion as a holistic practitioner, you must now figure out how to turn that passion into profit – the first step is BRANDING! Before any business can be successful, you must first identify and develop your brand. Your brand represents your core values; in other words, you are your own best brand!
The dictionary definition of branding is a collection of experiences and associations connected with a service, person or other entity. On paper that probably does not mean a whole lot to a holistic health practitioner, but in the same way big corporations invest in their brand, holistic health practitioners can benefit from the same strategic investment. Creating a business brand is important for several reasons.
1) It lets your clients know who you are and what kind of product / service you provide,
2) Your brand sets the tone for your business environment, and
3) Your brand (if done correctly) will absolutely attract more clients – and is not that really the goal ?!
Identifying your brand starts with you and knowing your personal values. The first part has already been done – you've found something your passion about and want to pursue it full-time. Next decide what message you want to convey to your target market. A brand creates an emotional connection with your audience. Just as your values are an extension of you, so is your brand.
Once you've identified your brand, you must now develop it. There are four things to keep in mind when developing your brand:
1. First and foremost, decide who is going to be your ideal customer? Really pinpoint in detail what that client looks like; ie, gender, income bracket, marital status, age, etc. Without knowing exactly who that is, your brand message will be lost. It's great to want to be able to coach everyone, but until you've specified a niche, you can not effectively coach anyone.
2. Next, focus in on what makes your services unique. Being a naturopath is not in and of itself a unique occupation; however, because you've already identified your personal values and niche market, you know exactly what aspects of your business make your practice unique.
3. Create a brand strategy incorporating the most effective marketing tools to reach your target audience. For instance, do you have a website? Is it easy to find and easy to navigate? Are you good at on-line social networking, blogging, article marketing, etc? Or maybe you're more comfortable with off-line marketing such as public speaking or teaching. Whichever way you decide to go, understand that a significant amount of your time will be sent on this step – your brand exposure can never be overdone.
4. And finally, continue to take inventory of your brand. Are you reaching your target audience? Can they say without a doubt that you are providing a unique service, one that they find invaluable? Ask your clients for specific, quantitative feedback and be flexible while staying true to your brand. Above all else, keep your message consistent!