By Kristin Barton
You’ve taken the classes, gotten certified, purchased your equipment and supplies, and rented a relaxing office space. You’ve taken out ads in your local newspaper, created your business Facebook page, and designed glossy brochures and business cards. Maybe you’ve even established a good flow of clients and gotten rave reviews for your services. What’s the next step in establishing your professional presence on the wellness scene? The answer is simple. Get your name “out there” as an expert in your field. Becoming perceived as an expert not only increases your client base, it leads to other income streams and opens doors to great opportunities.
Even established wellness professionals sometimes aren’t aware of the easiest ways to create a platform from which to launch their careers to the next level. The first thing that many body workers and wellness professionals think when they imagine being an “expert” is that this involves being known for a particular technique or for being “the best in the biz.” Of course, technique and skill are very important, but being an expert isn’t just about getting more clients. It’s about establishing a niche following from which your knowledge alone becomes a thing of value.
Ready to get your name recognized? Here are some suggestions:
- Teach. You might say to yourself that you can’t teach because you’re “too new” in the industry, but not all classes that are pertinent to others involve instructing in core subjects. For instance, you might be proficient in using some great software that revolutionizes the way body workers organize their client data. Or perhaps you know adjunct therapies that go well with basic body work and add value for the client and income for the therapist. Think ear candling, Bach Flower Remedies, singing bowls or cupping…often wellness professionals simply do these extra things and don’t realize they can teach them to others for income and reputation building.
Opportunities to teach abound. For instance, take a look at the World Massage Festival, which offers “fast track” teaching options for skill enrichment courses and allows you to place your brochures in participants’ “goodie bags” free of charge http://www.worldmassagefestival.com/2012/instructor.html
- Write book reviews and short informative articles for publication. Often trade magazines will provide free books to reviewers who are knowledgeable about the book’s subject matter and will pay a small wage along with providing a link to your website in their web publication or a listing in print magazines.
Local wellness publications often provide opportunities to promote your expertise. Minneapolis-St. Paul’s “Edge,” for example, will publish well-written articles in exchange for listing experts’ contact information or websites. Check to see if there is such a publication in your area.
- Get interviewed. Try www.prleads.com to get interview leads tailored to your field of expertise. When you land an interview, stipulate that your website address be given at the beginning and end of the interview.
- Use venues such as http://answers.yahoo.com/ to build a reputation. Just go on the site and search key words to find questions people ask about your area of expertise and answer them, including a link to your website. Another good site is http://JustAsk.com which even pays you a small amount for answering people’s questions as an expert. This will allow you to build name recognition and build your search engine scores.
- Start a podcast. If you’ve got something to say about health and wellness, why not share it with the world through free podcasting? Try http://www.podbean.com/ . You can even make money!
- Give to charity. Often non-profit organizations host fundraisers that include donated prizes. Consider offering gift certificates for services or discounts on classes you teach as a charitable donation for one of these events. Rubbing elbows with local philanthropists is a great way to get your name known in the community and boost your clientele!
Once you become known as an expert, not only will you command much higher rates for your services, you will be able to reach a large group of people who can benefit from your wisdom about wellness. And isn’t that what it’s all about?