Freelancing made easy: top tips for your nutrition business!

Are you itching to get started in freelancing, but don’t know where to begin? From building a portfolio to staying consistent, here are the best tips for how to succeed as a freelance dietitian.

Freelancing is an incredible way to build additional income streams straight from your laptop, and if you want to grow your business financially, chances are that you’re looking for other options to supplement online nutrition counseling. With the right strategies, you have the potential to earn a steady stream of additional income and boost your nutrition business.

But what does that look like, and how can you achieve it? From exercising your creative skills to managing expectations, here is everything you need to know about how to create a thriving freelancing job that provides flexibility and additional income.

Before we dive into some tips on how to succeed as a freelancer, let’s discuss what freelancing is and if there are any negative aspects to it.

Note: This blog was taken from a webinar in September 2021, so if you want to learn about this topic in more detail, check out the recording. The webinar was organized by Nutrium and Krista Kolodziejzyk, MPH, MBA, RDN, and the CEO of Dietitian Success Center.

How can dietitians work as freelancers?

Freelance work is classified as doing temporary projects and work for clients where you can either be paid hourly or for a fixed rate. Some freelancing ideas for dietitians include:

  • Writing about nutrition for blogs, news outlets, or large health websites;
  • Ghostwriting content;
  • Recipe development;
  • Food photography;
  • Medical reviews;
  • Social media content development;
  • Social media management.

Tip: Nutrium offers meal plan templates, nutrition analysis, and recipe creation, all of which are beneficial if this is something you want to incorporate in your freelance business.

Pros and cons of freelancing

Even though there are many options available for dietitians when it comes to freelancing, it’s not without some pros and cons. Here are some things to consider before embarking on your freelance journey:

Pros

  • Flexible side income. You can choose how much (or how little) you want to work based on time restrictions and the goals you have.

  • Additional revenue streams. A freelancing gig is a great way to earn some extra money on the side and put it back into your nutrition business.

  • Enhance creativity. If you’re passionate about something, you might as well get paid for it. For example, if you have an eye for graphic design, freelance out for social media graphics; not only will you make some extra money, but you’ll get to exercise your creative side as well.

  • Increase your rates. As you continue with freelancing, you can raise your prices over time.

Cons

  • Manage expectations. There are more lousy projects out there than good, which can make it challenging to find decent freelancing jobs. Be prepared to work some less-than-perfect jobs to boost your resume before finding a better opportunity.

  • Time-consuming. If you want to grow your portfolio, you will need to constantly apply for multiple freelancing jobs, which is a process that is both time-consuming and tedious.

5 strategies to help you get started and succeed as a freelance dietitian

There is a lot of work that goes into freelancing, but if you’re willing to put the time and energy into it, you can find success. Here are some strategies to help you get started (and succeed) as a freelance dietitian.

  1. Build your portfolio. You need to have a portfolio to land a freelancing job. To create a portfolio, compile any articles or recipes you have written in a google drive folder or website so you can easily showcase your content. If you don’t have any articles or recipes, write two or three 500-word excerpts on relevant topics.
    Tip: Nutrium has a landing page where you can display your blogs and recipes. This will help showcase your work to potential clients who want to work with you as a freelancer.

  2. Start with freelancing platforms. Some examples of freelancing platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. While these platforms are not long-term solutions, you can use them to your advantage in the beginning and start to build your freelancing resume.

  3. Consistency is key. Just because you didn’t land a freelancing gig on your first try doesn’t mean you should give up. It may feel discouraging, but the more consistent you are, the higher your chances are of succeeding as a freelancer. It requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but consistency over time will ultimately lead to success.

  4. Listen to your gut. While you may want to take each job that comes your way (especially at the beginning), you should listen to your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel “right” to you, it is time to move on to greener pastures, as you don’t want to be stuck working with a client that isn’t a good fit. There will be many more opportunities that will be a better fit for you in the long run.

  5. Know your terms. As you dive into your freelancing career, you will figure out what works (or does not work) for your business. Whether it’s the amount of time spent on a project or sticking to a certain pay structure, you will learn how to negotiate in a way that is best for you. Freelancing can get overwhelming, so make sure that you keep track of due dates, when you will get paid, and any contracts that need signing.

Summary

Freelancing is a great way to boost your income, build your portfolio, and exercise your creative skills. But it’s not as easy as it sounds! If you want to give freelancing a try, you should do a bit of strategizing to find what’s best for you and your skills. There are many opportunities for dietitians (such as recipe creation, ghostwriting, and social media), but you have to manage your expectations and be patient to find the right fit for you.

Building your portfolio and getting started on freelancing platforms are some good first steps when it comes to finding opportunities, but you may need to apply to many jobs frequently and consistently to see results. Overall, it’s important to not get discouraged; developing your freelance skills takes time and consistency, but if you’re patient, you can create a thriving freelancing job that provides flexibility and additional income.

About Krista:

Krista Kolodziejzyk, MPH, MBA, RDN is the CEO of Dietitian Success Center, an online learning platform designed to make it easier for dietitians and dietetic students to build their confidence and expertise. She started her career in entrepreneurship as a freelance dietitian, working as a recipe developer, writer, and social media manager.

Krista’s mission is to provide affordable education and support to fellow RD’s and rd2be’s so they can pursue their entrepreneurship dreams and creative passions through creating digital products, speaking at events, working on social media, ghostwriting, recipe development, and more.


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