Tip of the Month
Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month
1) Create memorable business cards: We pass out so many business cards during FNCE that sometimes it can be hard to keep track of who’s who. Make your card unforgettable with a uniquely designed logo or picture of yourself so people can attach a name to a face. Also, jot down a few quick notes after you’ve spoken to someone on their card to refer to next time. For example, if someone was telling you about how much they love their dog, Milo, make sure to mention Milo when you connect with them again at a later time for a personalized touch!
2) Prep your elevator speech: Another valuable tip I learned at the first NE Networking Event I ever attended was to have a 30-60 second elevator speech prepared. Being able to succinctly let people know what I do has helped me not only network with fellow dietitians, but also promote my services to potential clients without sounding sales-y. Shape your speech by starting with who you work with (your niche), what value/service you provide, and create your opening “what I do” line. Trust me, if you can deliver a powerful elevator speech, you are way ahead of the game.
3) Tweet to Meet: Nutrition entrepreneurs tend to be so social media-savvy that many of our friends in the biz are virtual! FNCE is the perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face. I can’t tell you how many times I overhear “Hey, I follow you on Twitter!” at FNCE and it’s a great way to break the ice and make a new friend or contact. It’s as simple as sending out a tweet: “Hey @sarahkoszykRD are you going to the #NEDPG Breakfast on Sunday? Let’s meet up!” or send out a mass tweet “Who’s going to the #NEDPG Breakfast on Sunday?” Instead of being worried that you won’t know anyboyd, you’ll walk into the event with an automatic group to connect with!
4) Put your FNCE badge front-and-center: I remember at one of my first FNCE sessions, past NEDPG president, Emma Fogt, taught me a trick: Adjust the strap so your nametag is closer to your chest rather than your bellybutton. This makes it easier for people to see your name right away without having to look down at your tag (and avoid any awkwardness of incorrect/forgotten names). It sounds like a small thing, but I can’t tell you how useful it’s been and I always appreciate when others do the same!
Tip of the Month: September 2013
Kristen Carlucci, RDN
Director Member Services, Nutrition Entrepreneurs
As nutrition entrepreneurs, we are all busy juggling our many hats. We are fierce and innovative, always thinking about our next step but sometimes we forget about ourselves. We preach health and wellness to others, and it is time to start practicing ourselves. Self-care goes beyond healthy eating and exercising; I am talking about stress management and self-preservation. I am going to ask two things of you and truly believe they will help you both in business and in your personal life.
First, I ask that you take five minutes every day for yourself. I mean a continuous five-minute block and I mean only you. This is your time to decompress. Maybe in those five minutes you make yourself that much-needed cup of coffee--and actually take the time to sip and enjoy it--or maybe engage in a quick meditation. If you think sticking to or remember to take this time will be a challenge, you can aim for the same time every day and set a timer. Debunking the idea that taking time for oneself is unjustified, Gandhi famously stated, “I have so much to do today, I will need to take twice as long to meditate.”
Second, I ask that you keep a pen and paper near you for one week and write down every time you feel stressed. Write down what caused the stress and rate it on a scale of 1-10. At the end of the week you can review your list and discover any patterns. Becoming mindful of these stress triggers might be enough to facilitate change in your business or personal life. Maybe not ending the day on time brings your frustration level to a 10 or maybe last minute cancelations are often a stress booster. Once identified, you can address these issues. Reviewing your business policies and procedures is always a good place to start. Are you happy with the parameters you set? If not, update them. Also, ask for help when needed. Many entrepreneurial ventures command skills that are out of our scope like web design or accounting. Find a friend, professional, or training class that can help you with your daunting tasks. It will save you hours of unnecessary frustration.
Tip of the Month: August 2013
Debi Zvi RD, CDN
NE Incoming Mentor Program Coordinator
You have heard all of the clichés about making mistakes. "If you don't make mistakes you aren't trying hard enough." "Mistakes are opportunities (or lessons, or whatever)." But let's face it. No one wants to make a mistake. You feel embarrassed, humiliated, and even stupid. Of course, the last thing you want to do when you are growing your business is to make a bad impression on the people you are trying to impress. Yet, there is truth in the wisdom about making mistakes. If you are not making mistakes every now and then, you probably are NOT taking enough risk.
I have learned some great lessons from my mistakes. About ten years ago I was playing flute for a wedding, and at one point the organist mixed up the order of music. I was mortified when I realized we were playing two entirely different songs. Although we eventually figured it out, for the rest of the service I was thinking about how I could apologize to the happy couple. It turns out, no apology was necessary. After the wedding, the family thanked us, thrilled with how everything turned out.
Lessons for me?
- Always triple check everything. Even if I am sure I am right, someone else (literally) may not be on the same page.
- When you make a mistake, most people don't even notice.
- And lightning won't strike just because I make a mistake.
Now certainly, I would rather that situation hadn't happened, but to be honest, I know I have applied for and received more speaking engagements because I was braver after that event! In fact, remembering that situation helps me maintain perspective when I get nervous before my talks. I still triple check details and make sure everything is in order. I scope out the room and facilities I am using to become comfortable with my surroundings. I make sure I can see a clock so I start and end on time. But, I also know that if I make a mistake, the audience will probably not notice, and even if they do, it isn't the end of the world.
What are you resisting doing because you are afraid of making a mistake? Are you dreaming of becoming an author? Do you want to give presentations to the public or health professionals? Are you curious about starting a blog? Can you envision going back to school for another degree? Do you aspire to open a private practice? Trust me, if you have a dream or desire, you can begin today! And don't worry about not being perfect. Mistakes are just as important to the journey as the triumphs! You CAN do it!
Tip of the Month: July 2013
Julie Beyer, MA, RDN, is the Editor for Ventures, the newsletter of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist with an MA in Health and Risk Communications from Michigan State University. Julie is passionate about helping dietitians sharpen their communication skills. She has written three books about interstitial cystitis and diet, and her fourth book, You CAN Write a Book: The No-Nonsense Guide to Self-Publishing, guides the reader through the process of self-publishing. You can reach Julie on one of her websites: Interstitial Cystitis and You Can Write a Book
Do you know that your clients and customer's don't really care about your credentials, what you know and where you trained? What they really care about is WIFM- the real deal: the "What's in it for me" factor! Ultimately what your customers care about is what value you provide THEM and the benefits or results you bring to THEM.
This can be tough to digest-especially after the myriad of gut wrenching science courses, rigorous training and competitive internships we go through to obtain that R.D.N status. You mean we didn't need all that elite training? Actually we do. To be an elite dietitian we need to have elite training and even cross training into other disciplines- how else can we dig narrow and deep into our niches and get really good at what we do. Our training provides value to the client and makes us competitive. But credentials are not enough. At the same time, we need to be cognizant of our clients and their needs. Clients are at your doorstep because they want two things: 1. Value and 2. "show me the" results or the benefits you can offer.
Our mindset has to change from, "I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist therefore I am credentialed to help you." To "I am going to help you solve your problem by providing you with great value and I am going to provide you with the results and benefits you are asking for. That's just the hard reality of today when the paradigm has shifted from the health care provider being the keeper and dispenser of health information to now patient's having health information and advice at their fingertips. Our services are patient centered and now often patient driven. Your client is in the drivers seat and though I would suggest never to take the back seat, we certainly have to come to grips with sharing the wheel.
To be able to better steer our services into the fast lane, I suggest you think of yourself as "A Problem Solver." By doing so you are adding value to your services. Think about what problems you solve for your clients and what the benefits or results are to them (WIFM!). This will allow you to better sell the benefits and measure the results.
Here's a test: Finish the following sentence for your niche. Even do this a few times with different answers.
"I help people _____________________so they can_______________________ (Solve Problem Result/Benefit)"
Here are a list of the top 9 benefits most businesses offer... you may think of a few more.
- Save time
- Save Money
- Make Money
- Avoid Effort
- Find Success
- Be Pain Free
- Be safe & Secure
- Live & Love
- Increase happiness.
Notice that these benefits are measurable and if they are measurable you will be able to provide measurements of improvement. All about measurable results, no?
So my tip this month comes down to—Provide your clients with value and give them the results.
Tip of the Month: June 2013