Melbourne naturopath Roberta Nelson learnt firsthand about the power of social media as a marketing tool when vitamins giant Blackmores contacted her out of the blue with an enticing offer after becoming a fan of her Instagram account.
What started as a one-off opportunity for Roberta to apply her artistic flair by creating three recipes for the Blackmores blog quickly turned into a broader partnership.
Today the 26 year old dreams up every recipe featured on Blackmores’ website, with Roberta’s name and creations regularly shared with more than 120,000 people through the company’s Facebook page.
“It was such a shock when Blackmores contacted me to tell me they loved my work. I didn’t have to sell myself because they already had such a good sense of my message and style,” said Roberta.
“I’ve always been interested in recipe creation, so it has been an incredible opportunity to launch into that area relatively easily. It takes me to the kitchen a few days a week and allows me to be paid for doing exactly what I love, and it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Roberta said being degree qualified helped her stand out from the crowd of wellness personalities vying for commercial partnerships.
“A lot of people create food but aren’t necessarily qualified natural health practitioners, so I always felt my Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) gave me a solid platform to talk from. Blackmores also liked the simplicity of my dishes – I always make sure they are well presented, healthy and yum!”
Opportunities to collaborate have come thick and fast, with Roberta creating recipes and articles for hip hop yoga studio Yoga 213 in Richmond, and designing tea blends for women with Bambala Tea after being recommended to the tea brand’s creator by fellow Endeavour graduate Reece Carter.
Equally committed to her career as a practitioner, Roberta operates her own practice out of the Naturopathic Collective of Australia in Prahan and works parttime alongside renowned naturopath and reproductive health guru Ruth Trickey as an assistant.
“When my clinic supervisor Jenny Adams put me forward to Ruth as someone to consider hiring, it was life changing for me. I owe Jenny the world for that gesture,” said Roberta.
“Ruth’s clinic is extremely successful and it has been an honour to learn from her. It has shown me the business of naturopathic medicine and how it can support IVF and fertility medicine.”
Roberta said Ruth had strongly influenced her style as a practitioner for the better.
“Ruth has taught me the importance of doing your research and leaning on that to draw out your own understandings. Working with Ruth made me feel so positive about finishing my degree and knowing you can build a very successful business if you put your mind to it.”
Having completed a Masters in Public Health and with plans to cement her place as a reproductive and mental health specialist, we expect to be hearing much more from this beacon of positivity in the future.
Roberta’s take – putting yourself in the best position for that big offer
Stay on message – Spend a lot of time trying to clarify what you stand for and the message you want to put out there. You need to pin that down before establishing your brand because it is what people tap into, particularly when you’re on social media. And make sure you maintain a consistent message and voice.
Network…a lot – Keep talking to like-minded people and develop a genuine interest in their journey. Every authentic conversation you have with someone in the wellness industry will get your name out there. I would talk to people who were up for a chat at yoga or even my friends in the industry about wanting to get into writing and recipe creation, and before you know it people will start to carry those conversations with them.
Keep a positive mindset – I work hard to keep an open and positive outlook, and expect things to come my way. At first it wasn’t easy, as there can be a lot of self-doubt that comes with entering a profession that was so new. But I find that positivity rubs off on people and good things start to happen.
Be selective in your partnerships – Make sure you only work with people who align with your message, because your audience will quickly become confused and disillusioned if this isn’t the case.
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