Starting off your career as a registered dietitian or nutritionist can be a little tough and maybe a bit scary, but with a little work and creativity, you could easily make a name for yourself. Since marketing is at the core of most success stories, it wouldn’t hurt to pay more attention to it. We put together seven tips to help you get your self-marketing game on without hiring a consultant.
We live in a digital world. Gone are the days when marketing simply meant an ad in the paper or a flyer in someone’s mailbox. Now, everything happens online and in order to make yourself and your services known to the world, you need to be an easy find on the web. This is why our tips are mostly related to social media and the online world.
1. Lead by Example
Being a strong example for others should be at the core of your practice. Showing that the things you preach do work is the cheapest and one of the most effective self-marketing strategies. Remember how you wouldn’t really trust a dentist that doesn’t have good teeth? Well, this works in the same way. If your role is to help people get a healthy, balanced lifestyle and food regimen, than that is what you should be already doing with your own life. You are your longest-lasting patient. You can try super foods, diets and experiment for yourself the challenges that come with changing your eating habits. This way you can understand your patients better and relate to them in a deeper way, so that they trust your opinions and follow your advice.
2. Get Social
So, if you are not already on social media, you should hurry up and join the army. It’s free and it can be 10 times more efficient than getting a complex, fancy website. We are talking about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you don’t really like to mix business and pleasure, make sure you create a Facebook (business) page for your practice. That way, you can separate your work-related posts from your personal ones.
It’s important to add original, creative, but relevant content on your social media pages. In your case, this includes “before and after” photos of patients with great results. You can even include photos of yourself, especially if you managed to change your life and appearance with the help of a balanced, healthy diet. Other popular and useful posts could be related to your workouts, food choices and even funny gifs or memes connected to dieting. A good laugh can surely make someone follow or like your page. Twitter is a great way to share short, daily rules and tips for a healthy lifestyle.
3. Invest in Your Practice
And by this we mean invest in your knowledge and learn as much as possible about the work you do. You can easily achieve this by taking part in scientific conferences and lectures. You can find out more about the trends, challenges and innovations in the industry and about what you could implement in your everyday work. Actually, this could be an essential aspect for your patients. It can be very convincing for them to find out that you already know a lot about new trends and you could offer them a firm position on various subjects they might be asking you about. This shows that you are passionate and preoccupied with your practice and you want to offer your patients the best and most modern services.
These events are also great for networking and staying in touch with peers and other factors in the industry. You can use these occasions to post some updates on your social media accounts. Be careful what and how you post. Try to keep it short, clear and professional and save longer stories for a blog post (see below).
4. Start a Blog
Yes, we know. It involves writing and it can be time consuming, but it can also consolidate or even create your reputation. By writing easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles with useful tips, advice and updates, you will bring together a community, a strong pillar in your self-marketing efforts. A strong, active community can ensure your credibility. If you don’t really have time, you can start off with one monthly post. Try to keep articles concise and useful. Include images wherever possible and don’t forget about keywords. Focus on including key phrases in your posts that would help your articles rank higher on Google and help your patients or readers find it easier. We might come back to this subject in a longer post (a few SEO advice could be helpful, right?).
5. Interact, Discuss, Be Active in the Online Environment
Unfortunately, this whole online thing is not a passive activity. You can’t really post something now and then forget about it all for a month or two. You need to be consistent and try to stay relevant. You can do this by creating a group where you could pass on useful advice or share opinions with fellow peers. You can easily do this on Facebook. There are also Q&A websites where you can share your knowledge and help people find useful information while also consolidating your name as a trustworthy and well-informed professional. You can try Quora.com for this.
6. Write a Guest Post
Try to find a magazine that takes guest posts. Whether it’s online or print, one or two successful guest posts on an interesting or even controversial topic can stir a discussion that can help you get some publicity. Maybe it could even turn into a permanent column. If you stay true and relevant to your readers, interact with them on social media and address their concerns, you will win their loyalty and help them take that very important step to change their lives. The step that brings them across your desk, in your office.
7. Be Easy to Find
Use the free digital tools that Google provides and make your practice easy to find. You can start a Google My Business account that helps your office appear in local search results for people asking for the kind of services your offer. Actually, Google now offers local results for broader queries, which helps people find exactly what they need as fast and as close as possible. You can add data such as address, phone number and other contact info, hours, website, photos and a description. Experts say that it’s crucial to have the same name (of the practice/business), phone number and address on your website and mark them up with using schema.org, so your language is one the same page as Google’s.
You can add to our list by sharing your own tips and strategies for promoting your private practice in the comments section below.