Among health practitioners, I’ve noticed a common trend. Many of us are afraid of being a health expert – even though that’s what we are!
There are many reasons for this. Some of it is about the subtlety of knowing we’re never going to know everything about the human body. But for others, it can be a fear-based mindset that can hold us back from becoming visible and showing up as the best practitioner possible.
So let’s have a look at the fear of being a health expert, and how to work around it for your business and marketing.
Tackling The Fear Of Being A Health Expert
What does it take to embrace this title? Most of it comes down to a few points of logic and a shift in mindset. These are the same steps that I took to overcome my own fear of being a marketing ‘expert’ in the health field. Hopefully they can inspire you to embrace your expert status!
Newsflash: you are an expert compared to your clients
Even if you’re a brand-new graduate, you are still an expert. It’s so easy to come out into the big wide world of health and feel like we know nothing compared to everyone else.
And to be fair, we do know nothing compared to everyone else WHO IS A HEALTH EXPERT.
But you’re not working with health experts. You’re working with everyday people who might have a little bit of general knowledge about health at best. Even the ‘professional patients’ that some of us see as health pracs can still get some of the information from their research or health professionals confused and distorted.
So the general rule of thumb is this. As long as you know a little more than your clients do, you’re the expert in the situation.
Be a contributor
This one comes from the lovely Denise Duffield-Thomas, and I LOVE it.
Back in 2016, Denise came forward and told us that she gave herself permission to simply contribute to the conversation instead of being the ‘guru’ – and this changed everything.
We can put so much pressure on ourselves to know everything and to always be on top of things. But if you’re contributing to the conversation about health instead of hiding away in fear of being considered an expert, you’re going to make more of a difference.
FYI – you can be a contributor and still allow others to refer to you as a health expert. Experts realise that their say is just one piece of the bigger picture!
The more you niche down, the more expert you become
I might have mentioned the idea of niching about a million times by now. But there’s a reason for it. And this is just one of the reasons!
When you’re trying to be an expert on every single process in the human body from birth to death, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you’re also adding in other processes such as psychological, environmental or even spiritual, you may as well quit now.
But if you niche down, you’ll be more of an expert. It’s easier to be an expert in the nervous system than it is to be an expert in the human body. It’s easier to be an expert in first-time mothers than it is to be an expert on anyone who has ever given birth.
As an example, I am considered to be a nutrition expert in the fields of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and systemic scleroderma. Why? Because I’ve spent most of my time working with these conditions and learning about them. And once again, I know more than the average person with EDS or scleroderma.
You don’t have to niche down to 1-2 conditions. But it is easier to feel like an expert if you can dive deep into a specific area.
How to build your profile as an ‘expert’
Whether you’re ready to embrace the term, or you just want to build your reputation as a practitioner, here are some tips to get you started.
- Decide that it’s time to get visible. If your mindset isn’t right, you’ll play small and hide away. Remember that the more you build your profile, the more people you can help.
- Get your name out in front of other audiences. You might only have a small following, but as a practitioner, you can give value via other platforms. For media opportunities, sign up for Sourcebottle emails. Reach out to others in a similar niche and pitch a guest blog, Facebook live or interview each other.
- Talk about what you do. Seems simple, but very few people do it! When someone asks what you do, be very clear about it. Instead of muttering ‘I’m a naturopath’ followed by you shying away, say ‘I’m a naturopath who works with stressed and overwhelmed mums’. By embracing that niche and verbalising it, people will start to remember you as that person.
- Have a media page on your website. Anytime that you are mentioned on a website, in a magazine or even run a workshop, put up evidence. It might be a link, a clip of you in action, or even just the front cover of the publication you were in. That way, people who come to your site sees you as an authority. If you need a tech to add this to your site, give my girl Shonelle over at Tech For Pracs a holler.
If you’re reading to embrace being a health expert and get yourself out there, I’m here to help.
Book a 1:1 marketing support session here. Together, we can craft a plan that makes building your profile and business a breeze.