Hey there! Time for my monthly G&G Nutrition Co. post about starting my own business!
When I started my nutrition private practice in 2017, I had no idea what it meant to market to people. I just wanted to get my name out there.
I had no idea what effective marketing was but I figured that if I got my name out there in every way possible then that was better than nothing. I seriously considered every single marketing opportunity that came my way. I was really lucky that I’m in some amazing dietitian facebook groups as well as a great business networking group, so I had awesome feedback figuring out which opportunities were the right fit for me.
Here are 3 opportunities that I encountered last year and that I know a lot of RDs come across. I’ve explained why I passed up on them.
3 Marketing Opportunities I Passed Up on in My Nutrition Private Practice
#1- Purchasing a Booth at a Wellness Expo
This may be surprising that I would pass up on this. What could have more to do with nutrition counseling than a wellness expo?
I passed up on this last year because I was just starting my business and the booth rental was a pretty penny. Honestly, I didn’t have the money at the time to just spend hundreds of dollars not knowing if I would make it back. I went to the expo just to see what it was about. There were A LOT of vendors shilling crap. I mean that in the nicest way, but I’ve never seen so many gimmicky dieting supplements in one place. I realize this could be my chance to shine and stand apart because I would have been the only RD. But then I also thought about my ideal client- would she want to be surrounded by all of these fake products? No. She probably wasn’t even at the expo.
EVERYTHING should be about your ideal client.
I also observed that most people were just going around picking up free swag rather than engaging in the booths. This seemed like a great way to spend money giving away free ink pens :)
What I’ve heard over and over from dietitians is that they don’t get many, if any clients from these events. Since I’m now thinking of everything I do in terms of the return on my investment, I had already figured I would need to take on 3 new clients to make up for the difference of paying for the booth. I did not think I would get 3 new clients… and I also didn’t think that I would get much brand recognition either.
VISIT the expo and network with other vendors (if they’re not selling bogus products of course). Great opportunity for possible collaboration!
#2- Advertising on a Local News Station website for $200/month for 1 year
Early in my private practice, I got a call from a local news station’s marketing contact asking me if I wanted to advertise on their homepage. They made the deal sound super sweet, saying they only allow 1 wellness/nutrition ad on the homepage so that I could stand out from the crowd.
They also gave me the website stats and their page got hundreds of thousands of hits per month.
Their previous wellness company did not renew their contract which left an open space.
This sounded amazing at first. I figured I would only have to take on 1 recurring client per month to make up for the marketing costs, and since hundreds of thousands of people were coming to the website, I was *bound* to get clients. I decided to pass up on the offer anyway, and here’s why:
– I noticed from my phone that ads weren’t visible from mobile devices. You could only see them if you went to the website from the computer. This was huge! I know from my own website stats that over 75% of the people who come across my website do so on their mobile device. That meant the majority of the hits from their stats likely wouldn’t even see my ad. It’s so important to know how people find you- even what device they’re using!
– I asked the marketing contact for the previous wellness company’s stats from their ad- how many people clicked on their ad and what their ROI was. They never got this information back to me. BIG RED FLAG. I also think it said something that the previous company didn’t renew their ad space.
– It’s difficult to acquire clients unless they “know” you and trust you. They can “meet” you on your blog, in a video, on a podcast or even in person. But it’s really hard to get people to pay for your services when they are a cold contact. I was really rolling the dice that someone would randomly see my ad, click on it and want to come and see me.
Use your money to network with your ideal client. Where do they hang out? What kind of resources do they need? Start there You could really do a great job reaching them if you had $2,400 to do it- which is what I had.
#3- Advertising on pharmacy’s medication bag
I got an email from a fairly large grocery store’s pharmacy department to advertise myself on their pharmacy bags (the little bags they put medications in when you’re checking out). So, this seemed much more appealing to me than the news station’s website because I see clients with medical conditions, many of which use a lot of medications. It was somewhat likely that someone might see my ad and think I could help them with their health issue. The marketing costs were SUPER cheap for the year, so I thought I would definitely make my money back in terms of a return on investment.
I passed up on it because the specific grocery store was all the way on the other side of Charlotte, and I highly doubted someone picking up medications on that side of town would be interested in driving 30-60 minutes to see me. Maybe this scenario would be different in a small town but Charlotte’s traffic is awful!
I would have considered this opportunity if the grocery store was in the same general vicinity as my office primarily because the cost was pretty cheap. If it was more expensive then I still would have passed anyway. It’s better to put your money where you can directly connect with clients!
These are just 3 examples
But there are a ton of marketing people coming my way all the time. I always have to ask myself:
– Will this marketing opportunity help me reach my ideal client?
– Will I see a return on investment?
If the answer to those questions are no then I know I should pass up on it.
That’s it for today. Have a good one!