Networking Tips For Introverted Registered Holistic Nutritionists
Being able to network is one of the crucial skills you need in order to be successful in business.
But most of the networking advice out there is geared toward extroverts, and that might not be you.
If you’re a registered holistic nutritionist thinking of opening their own practice, networking might be one of the most powerful tools to help you do that.
At the Edison Institute of Nutrition, we provide holistic nutrition training, of course, but we also help prepare students to put that into training into action.
When we see students that have graduated and turned their knowledge into a successful career, we know with pride that we helped create the right conditions for that success.
Let’s talk about how networking works for introverts.
What Is An Introvert?
An introvert, as defined by Carl Jung, is someone who prefers minimally-stimulating environments.
While extroverts love to be the center of the party in order to feel recharged, introverts recharge by carving out alone time.
That being said, almost every introvert has some elements of extroversion in them, just as extroverts may be introverted in certain circumstances.
Introversion is not a disease to be cured – it’s just how you’re wired.
However, when your livelihood requires you to be social – and even a little outgoing – then you need to find ways to adapt in order to be successful.
There’s a lot to do when it comes to setting up a business – figuring out what insurance for RHNs you need, knowing what sustainable low-budget nutrition options there are for your clients, and much more.
But networking is a big one, too.
How To Tell If You’re An Introvert
Many introverts love to help their clients, so there’s no need to question your choice whether you should go to registered holistic nutritionist college.
If you think you’re an introvert, ask yourself:
- Do you have only a few close friends?
- Do you prefer working alone?
- Do you prefer to take the night off alone, as opposed to go out?
- Do you feel more deeply than some of your extroverted friends?
- Do you prefer writing over talking?
- Are you more introspective and curious?
These are all ‘classic’ signs of introversion, but they don’t make an introvert any less valuable or worthy than an extrovert.
Knowing you’re an introvert and owning that fact will allow you to powerfully leverage the traits on that list above as strengths to achieving your desired success.
Networking Tips For Introverted Registered Holistic Nutritionists
When you launch your holistic nutritionist practice, you’re going to want to find places to network – especially at the beginning as you build your client base.
Once you’re established, you may get away with doing this less and focusing on other tactics – like referrals – to build your book of business.
To get you started, we’ve listed some tips below.
1. Remember That You’re Not An Extrovert
As your mom probably told you on your first day of school: “just be yourself.”
Don’t try to assume the mantle of an extrovert in networking situations; it will likely come across as insincere.
Remember: 51% of people identify as introverts, so there are more of you than there are of them – go find your people.
2. Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a best practice, anyway, but it’s also a very helpful tool for an introverted registered holistic nutritionist.
When engaging with others at a networking event, introverts often get tongue-tied when it comes to making small talk with a stranger.
Active listening asks you to listen to what the other person said and then rephrase it to ensure understanding.
Active listening gives the speaker a chance to elaborate on any points that weren’t clear.
Besides, if you give them the opportunity to wax lyrically about what they love, they will remember you for that fondly.
3. Set A Realistic And Attainable Networking Goal
Another way to look at this one is: “quality over quantity”.
If you look at networking as billable hours, then you’re aiming for best return on your time investment.
Remember that even if you only connect with one or two people at an event, what you do with those connections – especially afterward – is where your true power lies.
4. Consider One On One Conversations
As a registered holistic nutritionist, most of your daily conversations will be one on one: when you’re meeting with clients.
In networking situations, you may not have complete control, but when you can, aim for one on one conversations.
This will allow you to focus your energy and make the best possible impression.
5. Be As Approachable As Possible
Introverts are often very sensitive to body language in other people.
Well, it’s time to use that insight to your advantage.
You know that a smile will make you seem more approachable.
You know that it’s better not to cross your arms or legs, and to lean in.
Throw in a little nod here and there, and people will feel you’ve already engaged them, before you’ve uttered your first word.
6. Bring Someone With You
Bringing a guest is a great way to feel automatically more at ease – in fact, you might even want to bring a classmate from your time at Edison.
If you have a friend who’s interested in networking and is also an extrovert, all the better – let them help you with the introductions.
But be mindful not to hang onto your friend too much.
After all, the point of networking is to meet new people, not to catch up with your pal.
They are there to do their own networking, and to be a port in the storm when you need a few minutes to cool down, nothing more.
7. Don’t Forget Online Networking
Online networking can be a great middle-ground for introverted holistic nutritionists.
By joining an online networking group, you can be in familiar, comfortable surroundings.
You will be able to stage your environment in advance as well – many introverts like having a little extra control over their surroundings, and this provides that peace of mind.
Online networking can also provide more opportunities than in-person networking.
You may have a wider reach or a more targeted audience (the affordability of online networking allows for better targeting of clientele).
8. Work On Your Elevator Pitch
One thing about networking is that you will need to have your ‘elevator pitch’ tuned to the hilt.
When you introduce yourself, you have a chance to hook your audience’s attention.
If you’ve never heard the term before, an elevator pitch is basically a brief summary of your company or business – in theory, in the time it takes for you to ride the elevator from your office to the lobby.
The concept is a good one – you should have a clear enough image of your business that you can summarize it in a couple of sentences.
9. Remember – Your Knowledge Will Genuinely Help People
Introverts often succumb to ‘imposter syndrome,’ where they feel all the extroverts in the room are better and more knowledgeable than they are.
They forget that many introverts are very well read and have a depth of knowledge that only comes from hours spent with a cup of tea and a stack of books.
Your knowledge, expertise, and insight – as a holistic nutritionist, as an introvert, as a business owner – is being sought by many people out there.
Don’t be afraid to share it – you may be surprised about how many people want to listen.
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition
At the Edison Institute of Nutrition, we’re huge supporters of entrepreneurs in the holistic nutrition field, and we work hard to help you succeed.
Our post today has been chock-full of sayings, so here’s one final one for you: your success is our success.
We’re here to help YOU – contact us today to get your questions answered and get you on your way to your new career as a holistic nutritionist.