5 Ways To Stand Out As A Health Entrepreneur, From A Celeb Wellness Expert
Every so often, I'll have a burgeoning nutrition student or recently certified health care professional reach out to learn the secrets of my over 35 years in the health and wellness business.
These are usually ambitious, focused people who want to achieve that edge in their profession and sustain a long, fulfilling career.
As a health entrepreneur, you have amazing potential to help shape and improve people's lives. You also have a lot of competition to stand out in an increasingly noisy field. From the beginning, it helps to remember that you're running a marathon, not a sprint. Building a business takes time, dedication, support, and effort.
During my decades meeting and working with thousands of health entrepreneurs, I've identified a few unique traits that separate those who struggle and those who succeed. To stand out, you'll want to ask yourself these five questions:
From the beginning, get super clear about why you want to be a health entrepreneur. Really deep-dive, asking yourself: Why do you do what you do?
Your why is the reason you get out of bed every morning. Your mission statement (if you want to call it that) keeps you dedicated, motivated, and focused for the long haul.
Your why may come from personal experience. My why centers around identifying hidden food intolerances. After working with thousands of people, I saw how the same foods repeatedly contributed to symptoms like acne, headaches, and fatigue. My why also became helping people struggling with their weight.
Your why may evolve over time. But you want to be crystal clear about your mission from the beginning so you stay focused, particularly when the going gets tough (because it will).
What problem are you solving? In other words, why are you an authority in what you do?
Your what may arise from your why. Mine became helping people uncover their hidden food sensitivities so they could feel better.
Your what should also be that clear. Saying that you support healthy pregnancies or help people with autoimmune disease is a good start, but I recommend getting even clearer about a specific problem that you solve.
As a health entrepreneur, you can't serve everyone. Trying to be all things to all people—saying things like "I help people get healthy"—will make you bland and boring.
Besides, nobody Googles things like "better health" when they look for a health practitioner. They search for specific keywords. To stand out, your next question after why? should be who? Who are you serving here? You need to be very, very specific.
Your who might naturally follow your what. After working with doctors for years, reviewing hundreds of lab results, I learned that seven foods were the most likely culprits that created symptoms like fatigue and headaches, among other issues. My who focused on people with potential food intolerances who struggled with these symptoms.
Once you've determined your who, write down your customer avatar. Describe your exact person who may use your services and buy your products.
After knowing what problem you help people solve and who you serve, ask yourself how you solve their problem.
If your what is easing autoimmune symptoms, your how might include helping people eliminate potential food sensitivities that could be contributing factors.
My how developed from learning about the top foods that were hurting so many people. It focused on eliminating seven foods for at least 21 days and then reintroducing those foods one by one to connect the dots between the foods my clients ate and the symptoms they felt. That how became the basis for my first New York Times bestseller, The Virgin Diet.
Of course, your how may evolve as science evolves and you learn more from working with clients. That's fine, but having the how in place from the beginning provides the road map to best serve your community.
Once you've found your audience—after you've answered why you do what you do along with the what, who, and how—you'll need to figure out where these people spend their time. To build a business, you need to focus on building community with like-minded folks who you help—and who help you build your business.
Find out what platform they frequent, then build content that serves these folks. Maybe your dominant platform is Instagram. In that case, you'll want to create videos, pictorials, or other supportive content. Or perhaps your followers prefer you to deep-dive into content, so you regularly post articles on Medium.
Find that dominant platform and make it yours. Show up regularly. Spend time there interacting, really get to know your followers, and post consistently. Before long, you'll build a community that remains loyal to your brand as it evolves, just as you remain loyal to providing them valuable information.
The bottom line.
Employ these five traits. Revisit and refine them regularly. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing process, driven by a feedback loop from your community.
Before long, you'll discover you've built a strong community and created a long, satisfying career as a health entrepreneur.
JJ Virgin, CNS, BCHN, is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert who helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerance. A certified nutrition specialist, board certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Certified Exercise Physiologist, she is the author of the New York Times best-sellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days and The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast.