In this blog post, we explore 5 easy, proven marketing strategies for dietitians and dietetic students.
Want more information on marketing strategy for dietitians? Check out The Dietitian Success Podcast!
If I told you that half of your business success was going to be dependent on sales and marketing strategies, would you believe me?
Some surveys suggest that small business owners spend about 20 hours a week on marketing (this would be half of your time if you’re working on your business full-time). Sales and marketing strategies for dietitians are essential pieces to building a successful, sustainable and profitable business.
However, dietitians and nutritionists often feel confused about the topic because we rarely learn about it in school.
Consequently, effective dietitian marketing strategy can be used in all areas of practice from helping you land new jobs, make money as an entrepreneur and even get into an internship or a masters program!
It’s all about how you present yourself to the world and how you are able to successfully communicate the value that you and your services provide.
What is a Marketing Strategy for Dietitians?
The purpose of marketing is to get potential customers and clients interested in your products and/or services.
Simply, good marketing strategy for dietitians means that you are able to communicate ways that you can make peoples lives better with the work that you do. In turn, this leads people to know, like and trust you enough to want to work with you!
Marketing does not just mean sales, it means using creative ways to showcase how amazing and knowledgeable you are.
Some examples of digital marketing for dietitians include: creating recipes, writing blog posts, publishing a podcast, posting valuable content on social media, posting work/research that you’ve been involved in, etc. We can also think about in-person marketing strategies, like making connections in the community and building referral networks.
5 Proven Marketing Strategies for Dietitians and Dietetic Students
Now, let’s walk through 5 proven strategies that you can get started with TODAY to start marketing yourself as a professional (for free!)
1. Define your personal brand
Dietitian nutritionist branding is the process in which you create visual signals (like your business name, logo, brand colours or fonts) that are recognizable as being associated with you. Branding also includes how you portray yourself online – ie. what type of language you use, how you speak to your audience, etc.
*Check out episode #19 of the Dietitian Success Podcast on Creating Your Personal Brand with Avalon Mohns, Brand Photographer and Strategist
Why is branding so important for your dietitian business?
- Branding changes how people perceive you and what you have to offer.
- The process of branding helps streamline your creative process so you know EXACTLY what to post on your website, blog, social media, etc.
- Having a cohesive brand makes you look more professional, which drives business and increases brand awareness.
- Brands get recognized! When people remember you by your brand, they’re more likely to refer to you in the future when they may need your services.
How do you start with the branding process?
Ask yourself – how do you want to be perceived by your audience? Write down some of those attributes and come up with 3-5 descriptive words to help you describe how you want to be perceived.
Some examples of descriptive words might be “nurturing, humorous, serious, approachable, feminine, masculine, empowering, self-deprecating”. This should really be the backbone of your personal brand and will really help to inform how you write and how you portray yourself online.
So let’s say that Kyle has his own dietetic private practice that is centered around helping 20-something year old guys with fitness nutrition. Because he knows that his target market is 20-something year old guys, he might pick words like: masculine, powerful and motivating.
Now that Kyle knows this information, it will help him understand how he is going to communicate to his audience. When he’s designing his graphics to post on Canva, he’s picking colours and fonts that communicate to his target market and that convey power, masculinity and motivation. He also now knows that his messaging should be speaking directly to those 20 something year old guys.
See what I mean? The power of branding can be incredibly powerful if given just a little bit of consideration and attention.
2. Get active on social media
I would encourage anyone interested in building a business to get active on social media as part of their marketing strategy. Regardless of whether or not you get clients off of social media, it helps to ensure that you are more visible and searchable to potential opportunities.
It also helps with social validation. For example, if a potential client finds you on your website, likely they will look you up on social media as well when deciding whether they want to work with you.
More and more people are looking to social media for health information. If dietitians are not on social media, then that is a huge MISSED opportunity. As we all know, there are many unqualified people talking about nutrition on social media, so dietitians absolutely NEED to be there.
LinkedIn can also be a fantastic marketing tool. By sharing projects that you’re working on, papers that you’ve published or blog articles that you have written, you are exposing more people to the work that you do. In turn, this helps potential employers or clients understand the value that you can provide to them or their organization.
One key message I want you to remember when it comes to marketing – do not assume that people know the value that you have to offer, you HAVE to show them. It’s not bragging.
3. Build a website and use SEO strategically
A website is incredibly important for giving people the opportunity to discover you organically or learn more about the work that you do. I like to say that social media is like a highlight reel, whereas your website is your home. Your website acts as a one-stop-shop to ensure that someone can get all the information they need about you in an accessible way.
However, we want to make sure that our website is easily found in Google. To do this, we use a tool called Search Engine Optimization to rank higher in search engines like Google.
Although SEO can get complicated, an easy place to start is to make sure you include keywords that people use to search for services like yours throughout your website. We use a tool called KeySearch for keyword research.
We talk much more about SEO and dietitian marketing strategy in the DSC Nutrition + Business Membership.
4. Define a niche
When it comes to running a successful business, I am a firm believer that you HAVE to have a niche. But when I say “niche” I am not only referring to a nutrition-related condition like diabetes, digestive health or food allergies. A niche can be more broadly applied to a group of people or age group that you’re really interested in helping.
We have a course which walks you through the step-by-step process of defining your niche in the DSC Nutrition + Business Membership.
A niche does not mean that you are limiting yourself – I am a firm believer that when you’re not talking to someone, you’re talking to no one. Having a niche helps you understand who your ideal client is and what their challenges are (which you can help solve).
Having a niche also helps you attract your ideal client. When you show that you have a unique expertise in a specific area, it proves that you can help to solve someones unique challenges (which they will be much more inclined to pay you to do!)
5. Make your strategy about THEM, not YOU
When it comes to marketing ourselves, we want to make sure we’re always asking the question – what are the challenges that my target audience needs help solving?
Too often we craft our marketing messages around things that we think are interesting instead of putting ourselves into our target market’s shoes.
Ways that you can figure out what your target market wants to know more about:
- Find people in your target market and do some research – who else are they following? what sorts of topics are they posting about? what struggles do they have in their lives?
- Pay attention to the types of questions people are asking you
- DM them and ask! – for example, I often us instagram stories to come up with polls and ask my audience what they want to know more about
- What is your “competition” doing well/not well? and do you want to do differently?
There you have it – 5 proven marketing strategies for dietitians and dietetic studets. Effective marketing can be used in all areas of practice from helping you land new jobs, make money as an entrepreneur and even get into an internship or a masters program! It’s all about how you present yourself to the world and how you are able to successfully convince people that they are in need of you or your services.
Dietitian Success Center provides high quality, evidence based professional development for dietitians and dietetic students in Canada, the United States and worldwide.
Our mission is to make it easier for dietitians and dietetic students to build expertise. We do this through evidence based online nutrition courses for dietitians, a community to network and ask questions and ready-to-use dietitian client handouts. Plus – we give you the tools to start and grow your dietitian private practice!