Tip of the Month
Welcome to the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Tip of the Month
“If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Maybe you’ve marked yourself down. It’s you who tells people what you are worth. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables.”
I spotted this oft-quoted line on the web the other day and it made me pause. While the author may have been speaking to the personal side of one’s worth, it certainly applies to our worth as entrepreneurs as well.
Are you stuck when it comes to naming your price? We all read posts on the NE electronic mailing list (EML) pertaining to fees – we want to ensure we’re charging a fair yet profitable rate for the work that we do. Here are a few tips if you’re unsure of where to begin:
- Ask your peers! Post your question to the NE EML. We can’t discuss dollar amounts on the EML itself, however, so be sure to ask NE members to email you with their responses privately.
- If you’re unsure of what to charge, do some research. Check out your competition. What are they charging? What do dietitians in your market charge?
- Determine your hourly base rate. One consulting company provides a handy spreadsheet for determining your hourly rate based upon your annual salary goal (see bottom of post for link to spreadsheet).
- Aim high. Clients can either say “Yes, you’re hired,” or “Actually, I was thinking about x instead.” You never know unless you toss out a fair yet aggressive price and see what sticks. A family member and I were talking about my rates just the other day. Before I even shared my rates, he suggested: “Don’t you undersell yourself. People won’t think you’re any good.” My family member was blunt - but how true. We equate rate with clout, don’t we? If a doctor were to charge me $5 for a visit, I’d turn and run away. I exaggerate, but you get the point.
- When proposing your fee to a client, consider whether an hourly fee, a project fee, a retainer fee, etc. best suits your (and the client’s) purpose.
Lastly, don’t apologize for your rate. You are worth it. You have the years of experience under your belt; you have credentials behind your name. Wear them proudly and inform your clients what you are worth. They’re fortunate to work with such a talented dietitian!
For more on this topic, see Tip of the Month from Barb Andresen, RDN, LDN: “Work Only for Your Worth.”
Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN
NE Incoming Director of PR & Marketing
Many of us wear multiple hats, spread ourselves thin, and say “yes” to almost everything. This results in feeling overwhelmed and not completing what we told ourselves and others we would do. With all the over-committing, how do we expect to be able to do it all in just 24-hours? Setting ourselves up for unrealistic endeavors, time frames, and projects is unproductive, demoralizing, and unrealistic.
Time to set yourself straight and realize you can do it all in 3 easy steps.
- Organize. Make a weekly and daily “to do” list of tasks, appointments, and commitments you have to do. Include everything from scheduling social media to picking up your kid at school.
- Prioritize. For each day, prioritize 2-3 items you really want to complete that day. The rest can be done later.
- Realize. Give yourself realistic time frames to complete each important item. Be honest with your schedule and commitments. If a project needs 3 hours, give yourself the correct time to complete it.
Now, you can do it all and feel GOOD about yourself and your achievements. Empowerment is everything when it comes to our self-efficacy. Take control with actions and beliefs in your ability to do and complete. Enjoy your schedule!
Founder of Family. Food. Fiesta., Author & Blogger, Family and Sports Nutrition Expert
NE Chair Elect 2015-2016
No matter what your specialty, having a voice, using it wisely, preserving its clarity and continuity are vital.
If you’re a numbers person, being analytical is YOU. Your voice may be logical or methodical. Your world of influence may require dissecting hard-to-understand concepts and communicating clear-cut actions. Let your rational voice be heard!
If you’re creative with original ideas, being inspired or imaginative is YOU. Your influential voice may be eye opening or mind expanding. Your world of influence depends upon quirky and spontaneous abilities to merge divergent ideas and craft solutions. Let your creative voice sing!
If you’re a multi-tasker, your forte is handling myriad responsibilities with finesse. Grasping the parts of a whole and how the whole affects the greater picture is YOU. Your world of influence affects how little guys influence big guys who champion little guys. Let your multi-task voice resound!
Listen to those you admire who are “vocally” successful. Chances are they design platforms for what they do and stick with it. The Wall Street Journal may be your go-to voice for all things statistical. WSJ doesn’t waver its numbers reporting.
Who owns the most creative voices in your respective fields? I like to hear creative, articulate chefs talk their trade. It helps if they pen their own words and shoot their own compositions. Their inventive voices inspire my culinary nutrition writing and photo styling.
And who are the multi-taskers that bombard your sound waves? They may simultaneously juggle numerous ventures, but their focus is loud and clear. Consider Nancy Clark, the sports nutritionist and NE member with her rock steady voice and feet in many sports arenas.
Years ago I sought help finding my voice. I joined writing seminars, took photography courses and heeded savvy career coaches. As you pursue your voice, do some fine-tuning. You’ll soon be singing.
Jacqueline B. Marcus, MS, RDN, LDN, CNS, FADA, FAND
Food and Nutrition Consultant, Speaker and International Award Winning Author
NE Treasurer 2015-2017
Like it or not, as a Dietitian in any type of private practice or business, you must have a strong presence on Social Media. In this competitive environment, dietitians need to reach the same bar of social media excellence that other health professionals have set. It isn’t always fair that we have to compete with less-qualified individuals, but social media has leveled the playing field. Standing out is the best way to strengthen your platform; it's where potential clients come to find us. I believe that the best way to attract new clients is through a strong social media presence, which is best done with gorgeous, mouth-watering photos. We eat with our eyes first. Make your expert messaging come to life with engaging food photography.
Thankfully, taking quality food photographs doesn't have to break the bank. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment to take gorgeous food photos! While generally the nicer the equipment, the nicer the photographs, there are a few must know tips in taking really great photographs with just using your smart phone.
Nutrition Coach and Consultant
Everyone knows that creating a business plan is an important step in helping your business grow and evolve over time. As an entrepreneur (or aspiring entrepreneur), it is important to have short and long term goals to guide you and help focus your attention on the tasks at hand so that you can make the most of your hard work. Right? Are you sure?
Ok, that is a trick question. Because although there is value in having a plan to follow and keep you on track, the essence of entrepreneurship is creativity and making the most of opportunities that come your way. How can you combine the structure necessary for success with opportunity and creativity? Here are a few ideas:
- Craft your business plan in pencil not concrete. Acknowledge right from the start that you will experience unforeseen opportunity and challenges.
- Leave time in your schedule for expansion. There is nothing worse than not being able to engage in an exciting opportunity because you are already overcommitted with other tasks.
- Network and participate in educational workshops to stoke your creativity and expose yourself and your business to emerging and disruptive ideas. Exchange ideas with people from other professions. Don’t be afraid to attend conferences or take courses outside your field and comfort zone.
- Pay attention to what is happening around you. Follow news stories, pay attention to what is trending on social media, volunteer for organizations aligned with your business ideals.
- Finally, review your plans on a regular basis. Discuss your sketched out goals with trusted individuals and don’t be afraid to discard obsolete plans in favor of those that enrich you both personally and financially!
Julie Beyer, MA, RDN - Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate