How to jumpstart your career and build an Online Presence
(Written by Katie Buemann, R.H.N. for CSNN Vancouver)
I remember the day so fondly. Ah yes, graduation. The sweet, sweet taste of freedom after the mountain of 15 case studies (my year was the last year where we had to do 15 of them) and a binder so thick it would challenge the width of the entire Harry Potter series combined!
It was no joke guys.
After studying like a mad woman for the final exam, coupled with a significant amount of test anxiety, my fellow classmates and I walked out of that exam room with a new found sense of accomplishment.
We did it! We completed the big scary exam, and now all that was left to do was wait for the results.
After snapping some photos of our gleaming/slightly exhausted faces and a much needed celebratory glass of wine (organic of course), we all headed our separate ways.
After the hype settled down, reality sunk in. Now what?
I knew I wanted to get started right away, so I set out to build a website. And holy smokes, let me tell you… that was an experience and a half. I very quickly learned that there was much more to building a website and online presence than just slapping a few words and pictures onto a web page.
Days, weeks, and months passed. Many of my fellow grads hadn’t gotten started because they were unsure of how to set up their online presence and get the ball rolling in real life.
As it turns out, I actually ended up having quite the knack for design. So I pivoted my career into web design and marketing. Which is why I find myself here talking to you now.
I totally get how intimidating it can be to start your business after you graduate. There are so many questions. Like “How do I build a website? What’s SEO? How do I get clients? How often should I be posting to social media? What should I be posting and where!?” And on and on it goes.
I also know how incredibly excited and driven you are to get the ball rolling and start putting your career as an R.H.N. into action once you graduate.
Which is why I’m here to help bridge that gap between graduation and a thriving career as an R.H.N.
Striking while the iron is hot and you have that freshly graduated motivation is super important and extremely helpful.
Now, full disclosure, I am offering a Web Design and Marketing Kickstart package exclusive to CSNN grads which you can learn more about at the bottom of this post. However, if you’re not into it or now is just not the time, I can most definitely leave you with some helpful tips to get you started building your online presence.
So let’s dig in like an R.H.N. digging into a perfectly ripe avocado. 😉
Just get started. Even if you’re not ready.
You’re never going to be 100% ready. Chances are conditions in your life aren’t going to be perfectly in order. It’s never going to be the perfect time for you to start your career as a R.H.N.
So just start! Expect failure and when it shows up, greet it with a calm and knowing presence. Say something along the lines of, “Ah yes, failure. I knew you might be showing up. In fact, I made you some tea you sneaky thing you! Sit down, let’s talk about what I can learn from you. By the way, have you been eating intuitively? You’ve totally lost some weight!”
Take your lesson from it, and move forward. That is how you’ll become an expert in your business. You might even surprise yourself at how resilient and strong you are. Unless you already know that about yourself, in which case you will just enjoy the reassuring feeling of your general awesomeness.
Your business will slowly take the exact shape it’s meant to. Things never look the same as when they started. Things evolve and so will you and your career. So, just start!
Before I go into the more tangible/technical stuff, we have to start with the very foundation of your business. And that’s you! Yes you, you gorgeous human you.
Getting in alignment means slowing down and getting still. Asking yourself what you need to be in alignment in that moment. Maybe it’s walking in nature, or having some tough conversations and clearing out things in your life that are out of integrity, or just a good solo dance and (organic) wine party on a Saturday night! No judgments 😉
It is then from this place of alignment that you open up the channels for inspiration to come through you. And once those channels are open, you will have a lot more power and truth behind your business. You’ll feel like you’re right on track because you’ll be doing work that comes from an inspired place within you. Not someone else’s idea of what you should be doing.
Get clear on your story.
Once you’re in an aligned place, it’s easier to get clear on your story. Why are you doing this work? What brought you to this point in life? What struggles have you overcome? What do you hope to bring to the world? What uniqueness do you bring to the table?
Sorry, did that feel a bit like an interrogation? If so, go grab some magnesium spray. I’ll wait.
Getting clear on your story, who you are, and why you’re doing this work will not only help you, but it will connect you with the type of clients you’re best matched to work with.
I totally get that doing this can sometimes be a very confronting and intimidating task. Just remember that nothing you write is etched in stone. You can always go back and delete or add on later. As I mentioned in tip #1, just get started. You can always adjust later.
Make your story visual.
Humans are highly visual creatures. Most of us learn better with the help of visual aids. I mean just look at the popularity of Instagram and YouTube! So why not use visuals to get clear on not only your story, but your brand.
I love using Pinterest for this. Go into Pinterest and create a secret board. Label it “My Brand-1”. Next go through Pinterest and pin any images that call out to you. Anything you think looks beautiful, or feels inspiring. Anything at all.
Once you’re done, take a look at your board. What colours stand out? What kind of style is most prevalent? What inspirational quotes have you pinned? This page will give you a visual representation of who you are and your style, which is a great entry point to creating your brand.
Next, I like to create a second board called “My Brand-2”. This board you will get a bit more refined and clear with your images. Now that you have a bit more of an idea of your brand, you can refine it by getting more clear on colours, font styles, and types of images you can use for your social media, and eventually your website.
Quick side-note, if the word/idea of having a “personal brand” makes you cringe, I totally get it. It makes me cringe too. But for this exercise, it’s really helpful.
Get your foot (or even just your toe) in the social media door.
Once you’re clear on your brand and name of your business, I would suggest, at the very least, starting an Instagram account. Especially if you aren’t planning on or can’t afford to setup a website right away.
Instagram is not only super fun to use (and mildly addictive), it’s also highly effective. More and more people are using Instagram over Facebook. So getting your profile started (if you haven’t already) is a super good idea.
When starting your account you’re going to want to select the option of a business account over a personal one. This will allow you to do things like add swipe-up links once you have enough followers.
Did that last paragraph make you sweat a bit? No worries! You don’t need to worry about that until much later.
All you need to do now is secure an Instagram name/handle, and post a few photos. If you’re feeling really frisky and brave maybe even an Insta story!
Don’t worry about too much. Like I said before, just get started, and just speak honestly to your audience. People can smell fakeness (not a real word) from a million miles away.
So just be you. Be honest, and be real. You don’t have to be perfect. People are drawn to people they can relate to. Not plastic robots who never experience real human life or frizzy hair on a rainy day.
*Bonus Tip* – Just be you!
One of the biggest mistakes people make that hinder their long-term success is trying to be someone they’re not. You are your most powerful tool when it comes to your career as an R.H.N.
There literally is no one in the world like you. NO ONE! Isn’t that crazy? You special snowflake you!
So in order to carve out a unique place for you in your career as an R.H.N, you simply have to be yourself. Play up to your strengths, be real, and embrace your weird self!
The more yourself you are, the more you will attract clients that need your specific guidance. Which also means your clients will be far more successful when working with you. Which ultimately means more clients for you in the long-run.
Which (who are we kidding) in turn means more trips to Whole Foods and spending your earnings buying things like organic spirulina powder and $5 bottles of kombucha! Just living the dream!
So go get it you unique bundle of awesomeness! You’re fan-freaking-tastical just the way you are. You are your secret weapon.
Ok! I hope that this helps and hopefully gave you a bit of a framework to get started. Take the baby steps and follow these tips and you will be on your way. Momentum is a powerful thing.
And remember to breathe and most of all be easy on yourself.
If you’re wanting some guidance to get yourself going, as I mentioned before, I am offering an exclusive package to CSNN grads, because, well, I get it! Haha! Included in the package is a 1.5 hour branding session, 1.5 hour social media and marketing session (both of which will be tailored to your skill set and the way you want to do business), as well as a highly functional and intuitive website that looks dang good!
I’m offering the package at a pretty big discount of just over $1000 off my regular price of $3000. So it’s just $1999. I also offer payment plans if you’re tight on cash. Pretty good deal I would say! 😉
Anyways, enough of the salesy stuff. It was an honour posting for you today and the best of luck on your journey as an R.H.N!
If you want to reach out about the offer, or if you have some questions you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.