NARROWING YOUR FOCUS
Discover your speciality and develop a unique point of view that will attract the right nutrition clients.
1. Become a self-expert. What are your God given gifts? What are your past experiences? What do you value? What are your interests/passions? What is the work you can't NOT do?
2. Surround yourself with passionate people. "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." - Jim Rohn. This is a choice you have already made by joining the Roots Reboot team of passionate nutrition entrepreneurs! You will help to further create the network of Dietitians you surround yourself with as we grow our passionate team!
3. Do the impossible.
Before you even begin to think about a business model, take time to sit and think about yourself first.
In order to excel in any career, and especially to grow your private practice, you must utilize your strengths and allow yourself to do what you do best! However, in doing so, you must also accept that others might do a better job at something than you will. Being able to distinguish these differences is a sign of true leadership and self. When you start utilizing your strengths day in and day out you begin to master it and when you learn to ask for help and delegate your weaknesses, you begin to grow and your business will succeed. So, lets first focus on knowing and understanding your unique strengths, as that is the key to realizing your potential and narrowing your focus.
Evaluate your strengths:
Personality tests aren't a hundred percent accurate. You may have taken some in the past but, they're very helpful for finding out what energizes you, what qualities help you get projects completed, what situations help you thrive, how you make decisions, and how you work best with others. Also for me, this is a really helpful tool to get to know you as I will help you create your speciality brand and delegate different tasks to different Dietitians on the team. I want to make sure we all shine as a diverse group of skilled professionals.
Identifying your strengths will help you to plan and act on what you do best and learn what makes you happiest. By also taking note of your weaknesses, you can find ways to make those areas stronger, seek advice, accountability and set goals to improve upon them. Of course, when in doubt, hire out - and this is where I come into play throughout the process! Don't be afraid to ask for help or delegate those weaker skillsets in your own business to me, others on our team, or outsource if needed. At the end of the day, you want a healthy, happy business and personal life, so do not dwell on your weaknesses, rather use them as an opportunity to grow!
Lastly, focusing on your strengths is a great way to foster self-esteem and individuality among the Roots Reboot team. I will work with you to create a business model based upon your strengths that will keep you ahead of your competitors, as natural strengths fueled by passion is something that cannot be taught! When you begin to utilize your natural talents day in and day out and recognize where you need help, you will improve overall and your business will succeed.
Take this time to click the link to your left and complete the free Myers Briggs personality test. If you wish to purchase the Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath for your own in-depth strengths discovery, please do! These assessments will come into play when completing the action items at the end of this module.
With any business in nutrition or wellness, it’s tempting to want to appeal and help everyone by offering an endless list of specialties and services. Because when you offer more meal plans, programs, workshops etc., you’ll appeal to more clients and make more money... right?
We think we need to include the whole universe to get clients but really the opposite is true. When you're talking to EVERYONE, you are actually talking to NO ONE. Our work ends up being diluted, we waste resources, brand ourselves as generic, neglect efficiency, lose out to competition, and potentially fail. What you are saying will not resinate with people unless you start speaking the language of a very specific population. In fact, by really narrowing it down, specializing and limiting the scope of what you offer, you end up becoming an expert and a go-to, credible professional on that nutrition subject. People will start to HEAR what you are saying and feel that you are DIRECTLY speaking to them. People will want to invest their money into someone who will provide value to them. They will want someone who will understand specifically what challenges they are going through.
Ask yourself this; if you had to invest in a new pair of shoes for work, would you go to a shoe store that sells everything from women’s, men’s, kid’s, and sports shoes, or would you head over to a store that only sells high quality, professional women shoes?
So within the nutrition field, there are a million nutrition programs out there. Why should they pick YOU?
... Because you offer the solution to their very specific needs.
When you want to grow your business, you don’t do so by selling new services and new products to new markets, you grow your business by mastering one product, kicking ass with one service and delivering it to one market.
Another well known example of a niche brand, consider: Martha Stewart.
While she has multiple product lines and her brand continues to grow, she never ventures outside of the realm of homemaking. Cleaning, cooking, entertaining - it all relates. And because homemaking has always been her focus, she’s become well known for it.
The same is true for Nike. They’re known for athletic wear - shoes, apparel, sporting gear.
Both businesses are specialized, and I would argue that their narrow focus has attributed to their success. By limiting their scope, they’ve become experts on the topics of homemaking and athletic apparel and for that reason, they’re effective in reaching their target audiences.
While you and I have significantly smaller businesses than Martha Stewart and Nike, we can strive to follow in their footsteps and become known for something. Not only does specializing make you more memorable, but it makes you more credible and desirable.
The Business Dictionary defines niche marketing as: “Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond.”
Niche marketing has several benefits, including:
- Reduced competition
- Improved products or services
- Increased chances of success
- Decreased spending on resources and marketing
- Improved customer service
- Increased retail price
Bring it all together.
ASK YOURSELF THESE 7 QUESTIONS:
- Is there a need for it? Do clients recognize that they have a problem and are they trying to solve it? Or better yet, is there a want for it? You might think your audience needs what you’re offering but if they don’t know they need it, you’ll probably have a hard time marketing your product/service.
- If there was a solution to their nutrition problem, would they buy it? More specifically, would they buy this solution from you/Roots Reboot? Can we build a solution for it? The common tendency of product or service development is to skip straight to this question and build a solution before confirming that customers have the problem or desire to invest in solving their problem.
- Is it profitable? Do you believe in what you are offering has value? If your offering requires a lot of time and overhead, your profit margins will be slim to none.
- Is it sustainable? Can you continue to offer this product/service long-term? Can you realistically keep up the time commitment, attention and resources that are going into your product/service in the months and years to come?
- Do you enjoy it? (also related to the sustainability question) If we were to eliminate the aspects and stressors of income and success, what is something you find HAPPINESS in doing right now? Do you have a personal connection to this problem? There will always be areas of your business that you don’t necessarily enjoy doing (taxes, anyone?) but if you don’t find happiness in the overall scope of your business, you will burn out quickly. Also, having a personal connection to what you are offering as a solution allows you to be naturally better at marketing it; and your shared experiences and concerns with your audience will enable you to better communicate and resonate with them.
- Is it scalable? Can you build upon these products/services in the future and continue to expand your business?
- Are you good at it? This is a sobering question. But are you legitimately gifted at it?
Sometimes it takes a little experimenting to narrow your focus and hone in on what you want to be known for.
My Personal story -
When I graduated from Virginia tech and began working, I partnered with a colleague of mine to create after school nutrition programs in elementary schools. I designed hands-on cooking lesson plans for k-6th grade, I worked with PTA and school administration and I took on hiring /managing a team of undergrad nutrition students to instruct the courses in Northern Virginia. It was a very creative program, the kids loved it, and the demand was there! Although we were in 20 Fairfax County Schools with a great program and a solid niche market, we got ahead of ourselves and didn't have a solid strategy or plan in place. The business structure and management wasn’t a sustainable one and I decided to leave the business before it all turned south.
Although that business model appealed to a very different audience, I remained focused on getting to my ultimate destination - starting a nutrition consulting business. However, I didn't know exactly what type of consulting I wanted to do. I later pursued my dietetic internship and went on to work in clinical for 1 and 1/2 years to gain more experience and establish my niche. Within this time, I was exposed to all different avenues and areas of nutrition education and realized that weight loss and diabetes management programs for busy people, specifically moving people to a more plant-based lifestyle, was where my interest lied.
While I worked in clinical, I started Roots Reboot and reconnected with Mearaph Barnes from my dietetic internship to help me create something special. After months of building up Roots Reboot social media platforms and establishing the brand, I began to realize that I would need to be much more specific on blog and post topics, highlight my specific niche services, and begin to speak the language of my ideal customers so I could resinate with them. Focusing more on weight loss with predominately plant based diets for busy people has given me clarity and peace of mind, and has allowed me to focus my attention on building a specific audience. I am still working on narrowing down my niche and client market even more but, no more promoting my content to every single man, woman, child, and Pit Bull Terrier!
It was also frustrating because although I love social media, food photography and blogging, it was time consuming, and not directly profitable. Getting one-on-one clients however, was profitable - there was little-to-no overhead so I was getting paid primarily for my time, I absolutely loved working with individuals in the area of weight loss and diabetes, I had so many ideas to build upon it, there was a legitimate need for it, I knew how to solve their needs and I felt decently gifted at educating and connecting with people one-on-one.
(Anyways, enough about me! More on my story later!)
All this to say, these questions might take some time to sort through. We each have our own career journeys and an experimental period is okay, as long as you approach it with the right mindset and try to pare down on your ideas as you go. However, I do ask that you stay fully committed to pursing your specialty niche for at least a full year. You can do it!
Module 1 Action steps
Take this week to work through what you'd like your speciality focus in nutrition counseling be.
Spend time to become a self-expert. This modules action steps and resources will help you to ask the hard questions and really hone in on what you personally love researching, talking about, and impacting others to do everyday. This is the essential first step towards building a successful, profitable business.
*for questions #1, refer to: www.mindtools.com specifically scroll down to step 4 for a list of values.