144: Behind the Scenes of Launching a New Program (Part I)

Dietitian Success Center Podcast Cover Photo 22
We’re launching a brand new program and we want to take you behind the scenes on exactly how we’re doing it. In this series of 3 episodes, we’re going to cover:  Can’t wait to bring you along on the journey! ...

We’re launching a brand new program and we want to take you behind the scenes on exactly how we’re doing it. In this series of 3 episodes, we’re going to cover: 

  • How to come up with a program idea 
  • How to conduct market research and an environmental scan + using that information to inform your program components 
  • The tech involved in program development 
  • Pricing strategy 
  • Sales & marketing 
  • Online course development – our start-to-finish signature process 

Can’t wait to bring you along on the journey! 


  • Join the waitlist for the DSC Nutrition Counseling & Coaching Certificate Program here: https://dietitiansuccesscenter.lpages.co/nutrition-counseling-coaching-certification-copy/ 

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the dietitian Success Podcast. Here at dietitian Success Center. We’re all about making it easier for you to build your confidence and expertise. So whether you’re a dietitian or a dietetic student, we’ve got something for you. I’m Krista, your host and the founder of D S C. Now, are you ready to ditch the imposter syndrome and join our incredible, vibrant community?

If so, let’s jump in.

Hey there and welcome to a new episode of the dietitian success podcast. I have been just waiting to publish this episode or to record and publish this episode. Because these types of episodes are some of my favorite ones to do. Where I actually take you behind the scenes on something that we are actively working on and actively doing and give you a bit of that insider’s perspective. And a behind the scenes perspective of what it looks like to. Create something to launch something. We often see the finished product, right? When a business. Launches a course or a new program or whatever, but I find it so interesting too. Peel the curtains back and look at what were the steps that were involved in actually creating that final product. And so I did a similar strategy back when I first launched dietitian success center. If you go back to episodes, 35, 36 and 37 of the podcast, you can listen to the, behind the scenes of launching DSC, where I talked about why I was launching it. What the process was for creating it. The tech that I use, the marketing strategy pricing, all of that good stuff. There’s so much information in there. Just with regards to creation and strategy. And I still get people saying, Hey, I love those episodes. And so I wanted to do that again for this new program. That we are launching under the umbrella of dietitian success center. It’s actually a program that’s going to be. A standalone. So it’s not a part of the membership. It’s a standalone program. I’ll talk about why that is and what it is in a minute. But I wanted to take you behind the scenes on that whole process and walk you through, what does it actually look like? To take an idea and turn it into something concrete and what are all the steps that are involved along the way? Let’s jump into it over the next three episodes. I’m going to cover. How we knew that this was a program that we needed to create. How we conducted market research and did an environmental scan in order to validate the idea. And in order to inform what we’re actually teaching in the program, what the program is all about. I’m going to talk about why we’re doing it as a standalone offer versus something that is included within the DSC membership. We’ll talk about our pricing strategy and why we’re pricing it the way that we are. We’ll talk about what are the components of the program and how did we decide. On those different components. So what’s actually included within the program. How we came up with the curriculum for the program, what our whole development process has looked like. So part of the program, as I’m sure you can imagine is an online course. And how do we actually go through the process of deciding on what information that we’re going to teach? Conducting the research, compiling the research, putting it into scripts. Creating slides to go with those scripts, filming, recording, uploading all of those different components. We’ll talk about tech and then we’ll also talk about marketing and sales. So there’s going to be a lot that we’re going to cover. And the next three episodes, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. So today I’m going to talk more about some of the background on the course development. So let’s get into how we knew what, how we knew that this was a course that we needed to, or a program that we needed to create. I’m referring to it as a program because. To me program feels more comprehensive than a course. A course to me is a. A virtual, like video based or audio based step-by-step course that you actually watch or listen to, whereas a program. I believe has multiple components. There’s a course, but then there’s also different things that are included in the bundle of what you purchase. So that’s why I’m referring to it as a program. But anyways, I’ll talk about the background of the development. So how did we know, how did we do an environmental scan? How did we do some market research and also what were some of the findings from the market research? Because I do think that. It’s pretty interesting to hear about. And then how did we use that information to actually come up with the different components of the program? So what exactly was going to be involved? And then we’ll finish off by talking about pricing. Okay, let’s jump into it. So starting with, how did we know. This was a program, first of all, what is the program? And how do we know that this is something that we needed to create? The program, the title, as it stands right now is nutrition, counseling and coaching. It’s the nutrition, counseling and coaching certificate. So essentially what was happening is we were getting a. Lot of feedback from. dietitian success center members saying. I need more with regards to counseling and coaching skills. I feel and I’ll get into some of the exact data that we collected. But there was a lot of feelings around. I’m just not feeling totally confident when I’m working with patients or clients. I’m not finding that my patients or clients are getting the results that I’m hoping that they’re, they sh that I feel that they should be getting, but I don’t know what to do about it. And I. Want more help and I want more support in the practical. Approaches to counseling and coaching. So what do I actually say in order to. Initiate behavior change. How do I actually motivate a client? What do I actually, how do I respond? If somebody says something. That’s overly negative or what have you. Because I think the thing is what a lot of us have found is that. In our education, we get exposure to the theory. But we get very limited exposure to the practice. So it’s we learn about motivational interviewing. We learn about CBT. We learn about all of these things, but then when it comes to actually practicing it and putting it into practice. There does seem to be a gap there for a lot of us. And I know I felt that for sure. When I first started working with. With clients. I was like, oh okay. I just felt a lot of insecurity and a lot of nerves around actually going into that client session because I was worried. What if we stall? What if I say the wrong thing? What if there’s awkward pauses? There was just so many different pieces to it that had me feeling stressed about actually working with patients and clients.

And we were seeing, we were hearing that from our members too. And so anyways, currently within DSC, we have, we do have courses on CBT motivational interviewing and way bias. So we have some. We have information, but what we were hearing is that it’s a great starting point, but we want more of that comprehensive program where we can actually practice with other people. So anyways, that’s how we came up with the idea for the DSE nutrition, counseling and coaching certificate. And so that’s the backstory there. So we’re hearing all of this information, we thought, okay, you know what? We need to do something with this. Rather, we’re hearing all of this feedback and we’re like, we need to do something with this. And so then we had to ask ourselves the question. Okay. If we know that people want more with regards to counseling and coaching skills, What does that look like? And what does that mean? And I think that this might offer a new perspective for some of you on how to actually create an offer in your business, how to create a new program or a new product is listening to the needs, paying attention to what people are asking for and making it. Versus deciding on something because you want to create it and then hoping people will buy it. Those are two very different approaches. And so listening to your audience and what they’re asking for and what they need is that is the key component. To creating a new offer. Because we want to make sure that people are interested in what we have to sell. Or else no one’s going to buy it

And by the way, if you’re already listening to me talk about this and you’re thinking this sounds like something I am interested in. Then we have actually started a wait list for the program. The link for the waitlist is in the description of this podcast episode. Join the waitlist because we will be doing limited enrollment because we will have a capacity. On how many people can participate in different components of the program. And so make sure that you’re on the wait list because waitlist will get first dibs on the course when it’s actually available for sale. Which is going to be September mid September. We have September 20th as our official launch date. So join the waitlist link is in the description of this episode. Okay. So the next step was conducting an environmental scan to really inform what is this program going to look like? What’s the curriculum going to look like? What are the components of the program? So essentially what we did is we just kept it simple. We created a Google form with a series of questions and we just posted it to our dietitian success center, community of members. And we asked them, Hey, we’re looking to create more content on counseling and coaching skills. But we need your help. We want you to give us some information in terms of what exactly you want and you need. And so this is a strategy you can absolutely use with your own audience to, you can send a survey out to your email list, and just see what kind of responses you get back. So the questions that we asked in this environmental scan were your credentials and educational background, just to understand who were we talking to? We asked, have you done any continuing education and counseling or coaching skills? And if so, which program did you do? If not just respond none. So it’s just an open-ended question. And then, and this is probably where most of the meat came from. What are your biggest challenges with regards to counseling and coaching skills currently? And we said, please be as detailed as possible. All answers are welcome and acceptable. And then we included some examples. And I think when you’re prompting people to answer a question, examples are really helpful for them to understand. What kind of response do you want? Are you looking for, from them? So we provided examples, like knowing how to start or structure a session, feeling confident speaking with patients, making the transition from inpatient to outpatient. Setting time boundaries, knowing how to respond when a client says or does.dot dot. So we w we wanted people to freestyle that one. We wanted to just hear from them. What would their response to that be? And so we got a lot of really good information from this question and that really informed our course curriculum. And then we asked, do you have any ideas for what format of content would help you learn about counseling or coaching skills? The most. Again, all ideas are welcome. And then again, we gave some examples, virtual practice sessions with peers, a self-paced course, video simulations, et cetera. And then our last question was outside of DSC, which professional development programs have you invested in, if any, and was there anything that you liked or did not like about how those programs were structured? Because this would give us some insight. Into, what was the preference? What ha what’s the preference in terms of the structure? We already feel like we have a pretty good sense of that because course creation is our bread and butter. We do a lot of that work within. dietitian success center. And we’re really focused on creating content that is, that meets the needs of our users. And so I feel like we have a pretty good sense of that, but because this is going to be a slightly different program, we felt like we needed to ask it again. Okay. So I want to share with you some of the findings from that third question that we included in the environmental scan, the piece around, what are your biggest challenges with regards to counseling and coaching skills currently? Because I think there will probably be. Some pieces of this. That you really resonate with as well? I know I did, as I was reading through. Some of these responses. Okay. Some of the responses that we got, knowing how to start or structure a session and incorporating charting. So when do other people typically chart, is it better to take notes during the session or to reflect at the end? How do I respond when a client starts to talk about body image and how do I know what feels like it’s in or out of scope for me? Goal setting. So I don’t feel like I’ve been trained enough and actually helping clients set. Smart goals. That’s something I need help with. How do I pivot during the session? So if we’re moving in a different direction, how do we just let that happen in an organic way? How do we counsel in a client centered way? How do we structure appointments, some key some more practical information about motivational entering or interviewing. Knowing what to say. And when adjusting techniques or direction for different clients feeling natural when using counseling techniques. \ feeling confident knowing how to respond. If clients say something negative about themselves or their eating habits. I’m always worried, I’ll say the wrong thing, or I just don’t know what to say. So knowing the right type of language to use and what questions to ask. Knowing what strategies are best for specific patients and how do we respond when certain patients or clients want to are interested in doing things like keto or juice cleanses that maybe we’re not aligned with as practitioners. How do we motivate people to make behavior change? Counseling and coaching when it comes to just weight loss in general. How do we, so how do we navigate. Some of those wait conversations as they come. How do we navigate patients sessions when people are struggling with follow-through and with motivational or with motivation rather? How do we work with clients when mental health is also impacting their capacity? How do I balance education and counseling? I don’t feel like I know, I don’t feel like I’ve really been trained in the counseling piece. I feel good about the education piece, not so much about counseling. How do we redirect when a client goes off on a tangent, how do we refrain from talking too much and giving too much information? That’s a huge one. How do we stop giving too much information where a client starts to get glazed over? And you can tell that they’re overwhelmed. So how do we balance that? Lots of questions or comments around structuring. So time boundaries, how do we manage time better? How can we be more impactful with the time that we have available? Yeah, those are some, getting responses like that really gives you a very clear sense of what the needs are. And then suddenly it becomes so much easier to create a program. That meets those needs. And so one of the things that we have found is that. The, or rather the sort of the take home messages, I would say with regards to this piece, and then also the piece around what structure do you feel like would work best for you in terms of a program is we’re really hearing that people wanted more practical, less theory. So how do we actually take principles from motivational and CBT and actually do something with them? How do we actually have a space where we can practice with peers? Individuals wanted a self-paced component, but they also wanted the practice-based piece. And really. Acknowledging that this course, or this program needs to be applicable to those who are in different stages of their career. So regardless of whether you’re a seasoned RD or practitioner. Who’s been in practice for years, but perhaps you’re transitioning to a new role. Now you’re seeing clients. In. A larger capacity, maybe you’re going from a strictly inpatient to more of an outpatient, or you’re looking to start a private practice and you’re trying to figure out. What does that counseling approach look like? Or maybe your seasoned R D or practitioner. And you’re looking to refresh your counseling skills. And your approaches in order to get better results. And then definitely new. Practitioners who feel like they’ve had limited exposure. To counseling and coaching techniques in internship or education, they’re feeling like imposters, definitely students. And by the way, this program is not just for dietitians, we’ve really designed it so that it is applicable to anyone who is working. One-on-one. With clients in a nutrition capacity.

So from there, from all of that information that we gathered, it really became quite clear to us that a more robust program was needed than just the course videos that we have within DSE. And again, those are amazing, such a good starting point, but also acknowledging that. In order to really do something like move the needle on confidence. There’s more that needs to happen. So what are we actually, including within this program? And how did we decide on these different pieces? Okay. So the first piece is I had mentioned when I talked about the name earlier that this was a going to be a certificate. What that means is that when you complete certain components of the course, you will get a certificate of completion. That you can then list on your resume. You can list on LinkedIn. And the whole goal behind this is that we really want to make sure that we’re not creating another course that people buy and don’t do anything with. Because if we know that happens, absolutely. That happens. We’ve all been there where we’ve in the moment we thought, oh yeah, totally want to do this. Sounds like something that I’m interested in. And then it just sits there and we keep saying to ourselves, oh, I’m going to get to that. I’m going to get to that.

And then we never do. And we believe that the content that we’re teaching in this program is so useful. And needed that we want to prevent that from happening. And so we feel like making it a certificate will give that extra motivation to actually see it through, to the finish line. So within the certificate program we’re offering a self paced course component that is really focused on practice. We do cover theory briefly, purely for the background, but otherwise. The course. Content is so much more focused on practice. So I’m going to read you out just some of the lessons. Not all of them, but just some of them. There’s a lesson around, or one of our modules is around counseling mindset. So how do we acknowledge some of the mindset blocks that come with being a nutrition, counselor, things like imposter syndrome. Feeling the need to fix someone. Feeling pressure for them to get results and. How do we balance between more information does not equal more value. Because that’s something we hear a lot is practitioners, who. Start working with patients and they feel like they need to cram everything into one session. And then the person ends up leaving, feeling really overwhelmed and they don’t actually make any changes. So how do we balance that? what’s the difference between counseling and coaching? How do we balance counseling versus education? We talk about behavior change. That’s a huge component of this program. So how clients actually change behaviors? We have some background on motivational interviewing background on CBT. We then get into a whole module on running counseling session. So how do we structure and format? So what’s the overall flow. How do we prep for a client? We’re giving you, templates for intake forms that you can use, as standalone. Or within your EMR. How do we run discovery calls if you’re somebody who’s in the private practice space. So we actually give you a script for that. And what do we actually say when we’re building rapport? When we’re greeting. When we’re outlining what we’re going to cover in a session. How do we explore readiness to change? And then how do we match the aim of the session or the content that we’re covering to where the client is actually at in terms of their readiness to change? And then how do we take longterm goals that are identified by the client and how do we break those down into short-term actions that we can work on week to week? We talk about how do we educate on certain common nutrition related. Topics. We have a module on charting. And then we have a whole module on the skills piece. So asking effective questions. How do we affirm? How do we reflective? How do we utilize reflective, listening and summarizing? How do we provide feedback and advice? And we give you question prompts and scripts for all of these different pieces. How do we measure success? We then have another module on troubleshooting. So what do we do if somebody is not making pro progress, how do we discharge a patient? What do we do if somebody’s not being truthful, if they’re being negative, what if there’s mismatching priorities between the practitioner and the client? What if there’s a misaligned referral from, Hey medical provider. How do we navigate mental health? And so much more lots of content. But again, this is all stuff that you would have lifetime access to. You just need to finish, watching a certain percentage of it in order to actually get the certificate. But you do have lifetime access, so it can be a resource for you. And then alongside the course, we’re actually going to be providing a print workbook, a print and digital workbook. So excited about a print workbook. Boat workbook. I don’t know about you, but I get really hyped about a print workbook.

And so we’re actually going to be mailing everybody a print workbook, but you also get a digital version too. And that’s going to be where you find things like the script for the discovery call plus an example. How are one of my favorite parts is where we actually break down. Different nutrition-related conditions and give you examples of smart goals. That you can work on. With clients, or you can suggest for clients. Within those different nutrition-related conditions, we talk about how do we explain things like label reading the plate method, mindful eating. We have a master list of goals, and then we have a master list of questions and the whole. Idea here being that this could be something that you actually have like open beside you. And, it allows you. If you’re doing a virtual session with a client, it allows you to use. You can use it as a resource to, \ explore new open-ended questions, for example, guided discovery questions and see what happens when you use some of these techniques and strategies. So we’re trying to make it. A resource that you can use right away directly with patients and clients. Lots of stuff covered in the workbook. So excited for that. We’re also going to be providing some audio counseling simulations. So taking the information that’s covered throughout the course and giving samples of what it looks like to use that information in initial and followup sessions. We are running a 90 minute group practice session with a facilitator who does this all the time. This is her. Her expertise is helping. Practitioners actually develop confidence in counseling skills. And so in that 90 minute session, she talks about how do we, and we practice. How do you confidently connect with clients? How do you keep a conversation flowing? How do you use creative on the spot problem solving? What do you do if there’s a silence? How do you manage lack of progress, et cetera? We also have a guest workshop that’s prerecorded. So you can watch it at any point on fat, positive. Anti-oppressive counseling, really excited for that. And then we have an optional add on of one-on-one supervision sessions with a dietitian who comes to the table with 27 years of dietetic experience in a variety of different settings. So you can use those sessions to practice, to ask questions, to talk through difficult cases, whatever you want, but that’s going to be an optional add on. And so in order to get the certificate, basically, we’re going to make it so that there’s a certain percent of the course that needs to be watched within six months. We’re also going to have some quizzes as part of it, but you can do the quizzes as many times as you need to, just to. Just to, To reinforce the material. And so yeah, the goal for this certificate is we want to over time really make this a gold standard nutrition counseling course that people all around the world can. Utilize as the go-to for when it comes to improving your counseling and coaching skills in a nutrition capacity. Okay. So lastly, let’s talk a little bit about price and pricing strategy and what that has looked like for us. So this has been a really interesting. Conversation and interesting. I think just reflection on my end, just looking at the landscape. As it stands right now, there’s a lot of options for practitioners when it comes to professional development. And when it comes to courses, There’s not as many options when it comes to this specific topic. Absolutely. Particularly with something that is as robust as what we’re offering. But, we definitely feel and sense the. That maybe there’s a little bit of a fatigue around. \ the multi thousand dollar programs out there. There’s a lot, there’s just a lot more choice and, that’s not necessarily the strategy that we wanted to. Take with this program. We really had to feel like we were balancing the value of the program because there’s a lot of value in it. And that’s really important and price communicates value. So we don’t want to communicate that this is like a. Cheap program by any means. It’s really good quality. But, keeping it with an arrange. That again, doesn’t feel like it’s within that multi thousand dollar price point. That’s been something that we’ve wrestled with. And so what we’ve decided to do is we’ve decided to make it so that dietitian success center members, regardless of which membership tier you’re a part of. We’ll actually get a thousand dollars off the course price, which is huge. So the course price then for DSC members will be 9 97. We’ll also offer payment plans as well. If you’re not a DSC member, then you’re paying 1997. And really our heart goal here is that, people acknowledge that, Hey, it makes sense for me to also join DSE and then have this program because the two pieces are so complimentary and they work together so well. We really feel like in order to get the most success, you want to have both components. And 9 97 for now. That price may increase in the future. It’s hard to say we’ll run the first round and see how it goes. But it may increase in the future. So again if this is something that you’re feeling called to that you’re feeling like would be helpful for you. It’s probably a good time to, to purchase now. because again, you get lifetime access to it. So you’ll get to take advantage of everything included. For this price point. And of course we give you a receipt as well. So you can reimburse for professional development, even for part of the program to your employer. If you do have professional development funds. So yeah. That is how we have discussed and landed on price point. But again, that could be subject to change in the future. That’s really where we’re starting with. Okay. So again, if you’re interested in this program, make sure and click the waitlist link in the description of this podcast episode and add your name to the waitlist. In the next two episodes. We’re going to be covering more of the course development and curriculum piece. So how we came up with the curriculum. How we gathered our research and information and the actual course development process. And so we’ll talk about tech there. And then in the third episode, I’ll talk more about marketing and sales strategy. And again, courses opening up for enrollment September 20th, 2023, depending on when you’re listening to this. So that is my call to action. From this episode, check out the. The sales page for this program. And again, if you’re feeling called, then make sure and add your name to the waitlist. Otherwise, I hope you have an amazing week. I hope that this episode was informative and helpful and fun to learn a little bit about what it looks like behind the scenes. What some of those internal discussions look like. And have an awesome week and i will see you next Thursday.

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