Whether you’re just starting your nutrition business, or you’re a seasoned registered dietitian nutritionist, your business should have a marketing plan. Marketing plans force you to put some thought and planning into the direction of your private practice – how will you market your services for a defined period of time, what strategies and tactics will get you to your goals, and at what cost?
Just like your business plan, your marketing plan should be treated as a living, breathing document. Revisit it often and update as needed – don’t tuck it away on your storage drive and forget about it! You know that marketing is important. Without it, how will your clients find you? How will you generate income?
Key Elements in a Marketing Plan
While your marketing plan may contain different elements from your colleague’s marketing plan, we’ve laid out below the key components to include. Also, keep in mind that we’ve seen marketing plans that are 27 pages long and we’ve also seen marketing plans that are just a single page long. As long as you’ve put some thought into it, you have yourself a plan!
1. Assess the Current Business Landscape. Briefly describe your services and products in this section. Assess your clients’ needs for your services/products and how they’ll benefit from hiring you or by buying from you. Are you in a geography in which you are the sole practitioner, i.e. are you living in a rural area? Or are you in a location in which you face a lot of competition? Think about your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.
2. Define Your Target Client. You may want to provide nutrition counseling to everybody, but the more you can narrow down your target client or target audience, the better. More on this in our blog post on finding clients for your business. Outline your ideal client in your marketing plan.
3. Set Those Goals! Put your marketing goals to paper. We all know that the more we think about, develop, verbalize, revisit, etc. our goals, the more likely we are to stick to them. Perhaps you want to grow your practice by x percent next quarter, or you want to add 25 names to your e-mail distribution list by the end of next month. Maybe you want to market and sell a new package to x individuals or groups by year’s end. Note your specific goals here.
4. Think Strategically and Act Tactically. Think about how you plan to strategically meet your goals above. Strategies are high-level; for example, your strategy may be to position your private practice as the sole sports nutrition counseling practice in Savannah, or your strategy is to widen your reach as an online influencer in order to meet your goals. Your tactics are the action steps that will get you there, i.e. creating messaging for your website that positions you as the go-to sports dietitian in Savannah, or creating a Facebook group for your current and prospective clients.
5. Set Deadlines and Stick to Your Budget. Sometimes this piece is easier said than done, right? But setting deadlines and putting them on your calendar allow you to adhere to your marketing plan goals. As for budget, do you need to hire a graphic designer for a particular project this quarter? Do you need to set aside a portion of your budget for printing in November?
The first step in making a marketing plan is committing to making a marketing plan! Set aside time now to invest in your own growth and success! And let us know what questions you have about marketing your practice. Your Healthy Bytes experts offer one-on-one coaching sessions to help you make your nutrition business as profitable as possible. Sign up today!