Navigate the digital era with these tips on empowering nutrition professionals through leveraging technologies, communication skills, and remote work.
If you want to expand your nutrition services, connect with clients through online platforms, or get started with social media, transitioning your business to the digital world is the next step for those in the nutrition field. While navigating the digital world can be a challenging and daunting experience, it can also be greatly rewarding and enhance your work as a nutrition professional.
At Nutrium, our goal is to empower those in the field of nutrition to leverage technologies to build a thriving, lucrative business!
We want to help you select the best tools for online client management as well as enhance communication and marketing skills through consistent branding and market research. Building an online business is a great way to reach more clients and increase your impact in the world of nutrition and utilizing tools such as telehealth and social media can help you work successfully as a remote nutrition professional.
In this digital era, it’s more important than ever to develop a strong online presence in order to effectively communicate with clients and share your nutrition expertise. By understanding the ins and outs of the digital world, you can feel empowered and equipped to succeed in your space as a remote nutrition professional and spread nutrition knowledge to a wide online audience.
There’s no need to feel intimidated by advanced technology and digitization; instead, we hope these tips will give you the confidence and motivation you need to take your nutrition business to the next level in the digital era. We will help you take the essential steps towards creating a flourishing digital presence with tips and suggestions from a network of dietitians who have created successful online businesses, including their advice on how to properly scale your services, increase your impact, and generate more income by taking advantage of technology.
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Note: This blog was taken from a webinar in February 2021, so if you want to learn about these topics in more detail, check out the recording.
1. Leveraging Technologies to Build a Thriving Business
Thanks to the invention of the internet, googling medical symptoms has never been easier! In fact, studies have shown that 81% of consumers are searching for advice and information on how to improve their health. With just the click of a button, it’s simple to have access to medical information without having to schedule a doctor’s visit. However, this information can’t be verified unless people seek professional help because there are various symptoms associated with a range of illnesses, diseases, and health issues. Thankfully, telehealth is bridging this gap, as it allows for people to make online appointments with nutrition professionals from the comfort of their own homes!
Mariette Abrahams, who is an experienced UK Registered Dietitian, freelance writer, and nutrition business consultant, is an expert on how to use technology to build an online business, and she suspects that approximately 80% of healthcare consultations and guidance will be provided online by 2025. However, she stresses that personalized nutrition can be interpreted differently by patients and professionals, so adaptation is key to transmit the right message.
Nutrition professionals must be able to evaluate each patient on an individual basis, and the fact that people are asking for personalized guidance, implementation, and tracking of progress shows that they are motivated to improve their health. Because of this, Mariette states that choosing the right tools for patients is critical when considering the evolution of the market and patients’ needs. This means that nutrition professionals must account for all aspects of a patient (including medical history, cultural background, dietary restrictions, current illnesses, residency, and holistic health), along with new advances in technology and health.
In this digital age, Mariette says that implementing up-to-date methods and scaling your services (both to impact more people and increase your income) will allow you to leverage technologies to satisfy the needs of patients.
2. Enhancing Your Communication and Marketing Skills
When it comes to having an online nutrition business, it’s important to understand how market research can enhance your private practice, home in on your overall strategy, and increase clientele.
Award-winning copywriter, marketing expert, and UK Dietitian Harriet Smith understands how important market research is when identifying your target audience, which is why she has presented a client mapping avatar to make this process easier. This strategy will help improve your ability to appropriately diagnose and treat your patients, and help you understand what they want out of their visits. You can then use this information to create (or enhance) a business marketing plan to get better results!
The results of your market research efforts will help determine what platform you choose to maximize your reach. Whether that's social media, newsletters, podcasts, apps, websites, or videography, you should choose the platform that's right for your business and start marketing yourself there. Once you are comfortable with that platform, then you can start to expand your reach to attract more patients. However, as you grow, don’t forget to communicate with your audience!
Since building connections with patients is an important component of a successful business, you must communicate with people on when, how, and where they’re most likely to engage. This will help you determine what platform (and marketing strategy) makes the most sense for you to reach more people!
Harriet strongly suggests that to increase your client base, you should take advantage of personal PR, CRM, and networking to handle and achieve your daily tasks. This is particularly important once you have an established platform, as you can take that information and turn it into leads. You can continue to grow by focusing on brand consistency, processes, and timing, as Harriet counsels that these three things are key to increasing your reach and continue to gain more business.
She also says that by effectively communicating with patients, you will increase the likelihood of boosting retention rates, nurturing relationships, and maintaining meaningful connections. While there is a lot to do when it comes to boosting communication and marketing skills, these are vital parts of having a successful online business.
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3. Working as a Remote Nutritional Professional
Remote work has never been as prevalent as it is right now! As a result of the pandemic, telehealth has become one of the most useful tools for healthcare due to safety and convenience for both nutrition professionals and patients. Telehealth has provided many different work opportunities, and with more options presenting themselves daily, how do you choose the right one to pursue, especially when it comes to building a private practice or online business?
According to experienced health writer and nutrition consultant Dietitian Maeve Hanan, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses before developing your business strategy. You can leverage many different platforms in your business but finding the one that works best for you and your patients is integral so you can use your strengths to your advantage. If you decide that telehealth is a good option for your business, it’s vital to prioritize the safety of data, processes, and clear communication, as the lack of these factors may contribute to a negative outcome.
Once telehealth procedures of safety and functionality are established, Maeve encourages using social media to grow your business and brand yourself online. However, it’s important to note that when incorporating social media into your business, you maintain strict boundaries that protect the safety of both groups and individuals involved. Maeve counsels that you should take the legal, social, and ethical components of social media posts into consideration so that people are guaranteed this information is accurate, appropriate, and safe.
You can also use social media to improve nutrition communication! To do this, Maeve encourages nutrition professionals to check professional guidelines (i.e. the BDA), choose easy-to-read content, show your personality, and be considerate of graphics.
Through increasing your online presence, leveraging technologies, enhancing communication skills, and maintaining the integrity of telehealth, you will become a trustworthy and successful nutritional professional in the digital age who will set the foundation for future technological health advances.
Now all you need to do is to put these tips into practice! Our software can easily help you to implement these new strategies. If you are new to Nutrium, take advantage of our 14-day free trial and explore all the features that will change the way you interact with your patients.
For other suggestions on how to boost your online nutrition business, check out some of our other blogs:
- 7 Tips to Revolutionize Your Nutrition Practice in 2021
- Nutrition Software For Dietitians And Nutritionists To Stand Out In 2021
- 5 Tips to Start Offering Online Nutrition Consultations