It's hard to believe Ana-Maria, RHN from Nourished Little Munchkins reached out only a few months back - sharing that she was just starting her nutritional practice but was looking for ways to scale her efforts and in particular a way to quickly curate client meal plans.
Today, Ana-Maria's business of helping moms nourish their babies and kids - from teaching how to introduce solids, helping with picky eating, addressing mealtime challenges, teaching mom’s how to navigate their kid’s allergies, or how to deal with frequent cold and flus - her passion has now become a financially successful venture.
As one of our first Meal Garden Professional users, it's my pleasure to have Ana-Maria share the life-lessons she's gained through the ups and downs of building her wellness business. I hope they'll guide you to make smart decisions fast - and perhaps save you from making some (understandable) "mistakes". Eagerness is valuable and important. Efficiency and marketing intelligence is absolutely necessary to stand out in this saturated market and truly help the people you know you can - at large!
Here are 3 essential learnings to grow a healthy practice from Ana-Maria herself...
#1: FIND YOUR TRIBE.
I remember after graduating, I was so excited and I knew I can help anyone that came my way. And while it is true that we can help individuals from all walks of life, the first lesson I learned is that when it comes to your marketing communication: If you try to talk to everyone, you talk to no one. The most important thing you can do is choose a niche to specialize in. It took me a good year to figure out what I love talking about. What could I talk about all day everyday. Or better put, what I could talk about for free and still be very happy. But I needed that year to venture out and try different things. The big take away, is to not be afraid to start somewhere and give yourself time to explore. Make a natural pivot into a niche when it feels right.
#2: FIND YOUR STORY.
My second take away is to embrace your own story. The backstory you share in your business is an important element which can serve to further connect with your audience. The second tip I can share revolves around taking the time to craft that story.
- Why did you choose this career path?
- Why do you like to help others with their nutrition needs?
- What discomforts did nutrition help you overcome?
Once I got the courage to be comfortable enough to put my story out there, I literally felt like there was this huge burden lifted from my shoulders. Everyone struggles with one aspect or another when it comes to their health, and connecting with this truth will help you attract an audience who resonates with you and your message.
#3: FIND THE PROBLEM FIRST (THEN SOLVE IT).
The third lesson I learned is also one that was a huge game-changer for me. Always think in terms of "problem --> solution". When you start talking about and advertising your programs, focus on the emotional struggle that comes with having problem xyz. Regardless if a client is struggling with weight loss, cancer, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, endometriosis, or how to feed their family allergy-friendly foods - each of those problems come with an emotional burden your client has to work through. Make sure you tap into how it's like to live day-in and day-out with the problem your program solves. The more emotional you can get, the more you will show your audience that you get them. That you understand what's it's like to walk in their shoes and you know how to pull them out of that pain and into a solution.
How Ana-Maria Uses Meal Garden...
Besides the fact that I can create customized meal plans, entire programs, home pages for each of my clients, the main reason I love it is because it's a tool that actually adds value to my Clients. I was never able to use any other meal planner tool because most stop at adding recipes in designated meal slots during the week. Meal Garden knocks it out of the park with the flexibility yet simplicity of their design.
Let me give you an example of a typical wild week in a family's household...
If mom is on a "balance-your-hormones-after-baby" diet, she can import her weekly menu and assign it to herself. If baby needs pureed foods, Meal Garden lets you add (essentially overlapping) this meal plan and assign it to your baby while still giving you the option make extra portions to freeze. If dad only needs a few modifications to the elimination diet mom is on, for dinners only, we can easily double the dinner portions of the elimination diet and add a few extra foods for him. Wait! Triple those dinners because their toddler also needs to eat! If Saturday is little Jimmy's 4th birthday, either individual foods or entire dishes for the event can be quickly added in the weekly plan. And of course, while mom is at home with the baby, her lunches might look different than the lunchbox lunches little Jimmy gets. And yes you can totally add lunches specific for Jimmy to the weekly menu plan.
See the best part? If mom is following the homorne balancing diet, all she has to do is import it into her weekly schedule and plan her family's meal around it. Visually, it's incredibly easy to see everyone's meals at a glance, and takes the burden off of your clients trying to piece together the rest of the family's meals (which are otherwise scattered in baby food recipe books or in Pinterest Pins).
Let's face it: We are asking our clients to make changes to their diets and lifestyles and that's not easy. I love how Meal Garden is the closest tool I've ever come across that actually mimics how real-life really happens. For our clients this is golden! I can't recommend Meal Garden enough.