C’est La Vie Wellness leverages digital to educate clients both online and in-person
In the holistic health and wellness space where trust forms the backbone of every interaction, being an expert in the field isn’t enough. Clients want to know you, they want to know your philosophy and where your values lie.
“It can be a vulnerable space for people – there's so much information out there and a lot of it is misinformation,” explains Dr. Sofie Desforges-Bell, a naturopathic doctor at C’est La Vie Wellness in Oakville’s Bronte Village. It’s further compounded by the fact that services like nutrition counselling and Reiki healing are private medical expenses and not usually covered by public health care.
This is why having a digital presence is key, a place where potential clients are able to do some research online before booking an appointment. It helps establish that level of confidence. “(They can) see what we're about and what might differentiate us from other practitioners and other clinics in the area,” she says.
C’est La Vie – which offers a range of nutrition counselling, naturopathic medicine, therapy, and alternative healing – had started overhauling its online strategy when it relocated from rented space at a clinic in Burlington to its new home in Bronte Village this past January. But finding time to focus on the digital elements of the business has proven challenging.
“It's hard to be able to be consistent with social media and make digital marketing a priority,” admits Desforges-Bell, who handles a lot of the social media. “We’re all practitioners and that obviously is our number one job, to take care of our clients and our patients.”
This winter, the Bronte Village BIA introduced them to the Digital Main Street program, which leverages grants and one-to-one support from the Province of Ontario and the Ontario BIA Association to help main street businesses across Ontario strengthen their digital and online capabilities. It was that extra push necessary to help relieve the team and offset the cost of hiring some outside help. C’est La Vie is in the midst of updating its website with a developer.
Through the Digital Main Street program, Desforges-Bell has broadened her understanding surrounding social strategy and developing content as well as set up the business’ Google My Business so they can tap into analytics to better understand how visitors are using the site.
In the coming months, C’est La Vie has plans to blur the lines between their brick and mortar space and online services by moving into new digital avenues like online workshops. Desforges-Bell says it will help them target a larger audience for the workshops they’re already hosted.
“People don't necessarily know (what) holistic nutrition is and that there are a lot of different ways to approach the practice,” says Desforges-Bell. “If you look at different types of practitioners, everyone has their own vibe – people get a good sense of who you are from having access to blog content and social media.”
Written by Andrew Seale
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages.
This case study was completed during a prior expansion of DMS in partnership with the Province of Ontario and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
In June 2020, a $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.