By Libby Rothschild, CEO of Dietitian Boss; follow on LinkedIn.
As a dietitian, you probably want to create another revenue stream like an online course or membership, or you already operate a private practice. Whatever you sell, you know that you need to market effectively to get clients. But, when you see social media platforms and algorithm changes, you might feel overwhelmed. One rule stands true: No matter the platform or the trend, you need to focus on building relationships. This truism will always stand the test of time and support client acquisition.
Most people think making content (YouTube videos or Instagram posts) is enough to grow their business on social media. But, if you want more (or any) customers, fans and clients, you need to build relationships with people in your community. Moreover, you need to create a simple content strategy that people want to consume and share. Here are three tips you can use to build better relationships and earn more clients.
Engage with your target audience.
Identify where target customers hang out on relevant Instagram comments, accounts and hashtags, and respond and engage with them regularly. Include calls to action within each post to encourage users to engage with you. For example, if you are a registered dietitian helping people with food freedom, you can identify people who need your services and what spaces they hang out in and engage with on Instagram. You might search accounts related to food freedom and relevant hashtags to learn where your people are hanging out.
Ask questions! People love answering questions, so ask them what they want or need. It may not be something you are offering right now, but it could be the spark that lights up their eyes when they see your product or service next time around. You can ask questions using features on TikTok, YouTube Shorts or Instagram Stories.
Share relevant resources (a.k.a. content) with your followers.
Add value by sharing valuable resources with your followers. Create lists of industry experts, helpful tools or other resources that will help people in their journey toward success. People love getting something for free, especially if it is something they need or want. The key is not the resource itself, but learning—by engaging with your target audience—about what resources they want and need.
If you are looking to build serious relationships through social media to get clients, allocate 30-60 minutes a week to conducting market research. Market research means gathering data about potential customers and analyzing the results. For example, you might want to help people with diabetes, but you aren’t sure what exactly they need the most help with. After engaging with people who are diagnosed with diabetes, you narrow down to type 2, weight loss and A1c. After learning what problems people with type 2 diabetes have based on what you observe and the conversations you have weekly, you can provide better, more relevant resources to your followers to support them.
My clients follow my step-by-step process to observe and evaluate the needs of their target market and make lists of topics to create better resources (a.k.a. content strategy). For example, if you learn that your type 2 diabetic target market wants to lower their A1c to under 6.5, you can share what the plate method is and how the plate method is a formula to support blood sugar control via infographics, audio, video and/or lists.
Develop a brand voice.
A brand voice represents your company’s personality. It also communicates your values and unique set of skills. It should attract clients because people want to get involved with an idea they believe in. You can start to develop a brand voice by exploring your likes and dislikes and voicing opinions about the field of nutrition.
Dietitians who have interests such as agriculture, healthcare, chronic disease medicine, etc. can discuss their beliefs and learn about different viewpoints. The unique way that you express your belief system should feel exciting to your audience. When you create excitement, people want to talk to you and when you have a chance to talk to people, you can learn how to better help them achieve their unique nutritional outcomes.
In closing, building relationships online is a process that, combined with a content marketing strategy, can help you stand out and make sales.