Laura Peill, Health Content Specialist, @ Article-Writing.co
April 5, 2018
In a digitally driven, fast-paced society running on social media feeds and the latest trending wellness solution in the news, it can be hard to get ahead in the health and fitness industry. Even though you have found your niche, foster authenticity within your brand, and stay true to your values, it can seem as though there is still not enough clientele and business to go around in the field. This is where being an example lets you step up so that you can stand out.
To Speak From Experience
As a health professional, much of your day to day interaction and work is done through clients, where you are tasked with the job of helping them become healthier. Whether that is helping them learn how to nourish their body and understand appropriate food choices, to corroborate with them to create a fitness and active living plan, or coach them through a mindset shift around body image and wellbeing, the underlying factor is the same: the capacity to offer knowledge, insight, and advice to help someone else on their journey.
While much of that comes from formal education adopted by you as the professional, or from reading and understanding research and content, there is also a significant portion of it that comes from experience. It comes from having tried out the programs you are prescribing to your clients, or having experimented with the different fitness courses, classes, and procedures that you teach. It comes from having had your own challenges within the health and wellness field and realm of study and seeking out appropriate solutions to address them. It comes from you having personal familiarity with the situation, condition or struggle that your client is presenting with, and then being able to use this to help them. Indeed, at the root of any strong, empowering fitness and health professional is someone who can genuinely say, “I have been through that,” or “I have tried that,” and speak to their experience as a compelling contributing factor to spur a client towards success.
In fact, in many cases, clients come to be a professional for this very reason: they have personal experience. Their personal experience speaks to their ability to act as an example, as they have come out on the other side. This experience factor is a huge drawing point for new clients in the early stages. As Katherine Edgecumbe explains, it helps “clients relate” to you and see you on the same level as them, and they leave with a renewed sense of confidence feeling as if you “actually understand them.” This self-confidence and sense of shared connection is a critical stage in fostering client relations, and as Edgecumbe says, is “half the battle,” towards reaching success in the industry. Half the battle indeed. And its the first level towards building trust and creating formidable client rapport, which will carry on and grow, allowing you to nurture your business and build increased success. Edgecumbe says, “I’ve found,” the best thing is to share “my real, day to day struggles with nutrition and fitness.” In doing so, it shows clients that as a professional you have experience and can act as an example, and offers a level of connection achieved only through vulnerability and simply giving a real life picture. Because really, when it comes to speaking from experience, many clients just want to know that even for those trained in being healthy and who lead the way in fitness endeavours, it’s not always easy. We are all only human.
To Be at Your Best
Part of this human condition, is the fact that, despite working in the health and fitness industry and striving to lead a healthy lifestyle, when it comes to being real and living real life, there are always the bad days in amongst the good. Being in the industry doesn’t mean those days don’t happen or aren’t allowed to happen, it simply means you are transparent with the fact that they do happen.
We need to bring truth to the fact that even with practice and professional knowledge and education standards, there are still days that are hard, days when things fall off track, or days when you eat peanut butter by the spoonful. And that’s okay. Because being an example means recognizing and sharing that you don’t always have it all together. It means offering a realistic picture for your clients, through the content you create, the image you portray, and the examples that you offer, that you are striving for balance. Each day is a practice where you are working to have things meet your definition of balance in an effort to show up as your best, be at your best, and deliver the best for your clients in return.
In many instances, it’s not about everything you are doing, as much as it is about the things that you consciously are not doing. As Les from The Balanced Berry notes, at some point, being your best and being an example is being able to say no. It’s about “having a social life,” outside of your work, “adopting flexibility with your plans,” and “interacting with people to know how people interact” and to know what the example is that you need to be. You certainly aren’t much of an example or being your best when you are stressed out, tired, and lacking in the balance that you are asking your clients to try to achieve.
“In many instances, it’s not about everything you are doing, as much as it is about the things that you consciously are not doing.”
To Improve Credibility
All of this aside, perhaps the most commonly sought after and reputable reason for being an example is the fact that it does wonders for your credibility. There is validity behind the statement “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.” If clients are going to look at you with respect and look up to you as a mentor, they need to know they are doing so from a trusted and credible source. This is applicable industry over, whether it is in fitness and nutrition, mental health and wellbeing, or when you go to your bank asking for assistance in planning your financial future.
The influx of information available online – for free and with increasing convenience – has made it easy for non-credible sources and individuals to hide behind a screen, maintaining anonymity or a false identity, providing in-authentic, inaccurate, and sometimes completely dishonest information. But these people aren’t the ones who get continued success from clients. These people aren’t the ones who build rapport and build client trust and relationships; these aren’t the people who work to develop themselves professionally, creating content and cultivating experience that allow them to build their brand and foster their industry success. Instead, these are the people who fall to the wayside, one displeased client at a time, eventually losing all credibility, and never really being an industry example in the first place.
It’s time to not only take the lead to be this example in your industry, but to put yourself out there, give the evidence, and form the relationships that quantify you as the example. You can think of it as the proof and validity behind what you do – that you are walking the walk as much as you are talking the talk. You can make this happen through the content that you offer your clients. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can create valuable, relationship-building content that will allow you to connect with clients, build up a client base and build up a business. And if you need it, we can give you lots of examples of how we have done just that.
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