It’s the Perfect Time to Move Your Practice Online
We’re several months into the “new normal”—and you may be wondering if things will ever get… Well, back to normal.
As a private practice registered dietitian, odds are that in-person counseling sessions made up a big chunk of your business—maybe even most of it.
And if you’re not used to running your practice virtually, you may be asking yourself “How long is this going to last?”
Pause for a moment. Let’s try to get a different perspective on the situation.
Yes, 2020 has created obstacles for RDs. But it’s also created opportunities!
Think about it: isn’t this the perfect time to embrace the digital revolution in all its pixelated glory?
Why not? You have: 1) More time. 2) Mind-blowing online tools available instantly. 3) A captive audience that grows more tech literate by the day. 4) A window of experimentation where we’re all free to try, learn, and try again.
Truly, there’s never been a better time to move your practice online.
After all, you still want to help your clients be the best version of themselves. Why not use all of today’s advantages to do that over the Web?
And if you’re worried you’re an RD and not a computer whiz, don’t be. You don’t need to be “super skilled” in order to get things off the ground. In fact, you can launch something really quickly, using simple tools.
Then, once you’ve got a toe in the water, it will be that much easier to expand your digital presence. (And the faster, the better.)
Now, we’re not just talking about working virtually with your existing clientele, or scheduling one-on-one sessions over Zoom or Skype. You can create online content, leverage video, and put out webinars, too.
Intrigued? With a little basic knowledge, and a dash of confidence, you can make it happen.
You’ve got this!
How to Move Your Practice Online—Getting Started
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you still have a way to engage with clients face-to-face. For RDs, no other form of communication—not email, phone, texting, letters, or smoke signals—can really cut it.
Now obviously you can’t be in the same room with your client these days. But you still need that instant give-and-take to really do your best work, right?
Fortunately, when it comes to video conferencing tools you have several different options from which to choose.
Zoom, of course, is huge right now, as is Skype. If you’re not already using one of these platforms, now is the time to make a choice—and then familiarize yourself with all of the important features you need.
You’ll need some kind of scheduling platform, too. A good one will help you to keep your appointments straight—and will send out a reminder or two before each session, which doesn’t hurt either! Calendly,
YouCanBookMe and Acuity are a few good options that we regularly recommend to clients. You might also opt to sign up for a full Practice Management System like Kalix, Healthie, or PracticeBetter. (These are especially helpful if HIPPA-compliance is a concern.)
Payment is also, as we say at STRING, kind of a big deal. Now obviously, you’re not going to be taking cash, checks, or IOUs. So look into Stripe or paypal.me as options for payment processing—they are secure, and come with a fairly small learning curve.
Finally, you’re going to need some kind of note-taking app to keep yourself from having a breakdown.
Life right now is crazy enough without losing track of vital business-related info. Definitely look into apps like Bear (Mac-only) or Evernote (online).
You don’t have to get the fanciest or most expensive program out there, just as long as it works for you.
How to Move Your Practice Online—Branching Out
The great thing about the Web is that there are virtually no limits on how you can grow your brand.
Here are just a few ways you could branch out and expand your client base:
Blog posts. With more people at home now, there are more people with time on their hands — time you can help them fill.
It’s a perfect storm of opportunity for an intrepid blogger who wants to build an audience.
With your expertise as an RD, you could easily slide in and fill that time gap for health-conscious consumers.
Webinars. Live webinars are a great opportunity right now: they not only provide valuable education, but they also fill the need for real-time communication.
Here’s the really cool thing: once you get familiar with your video conferencing platform of choice (again, Zoom is a great choice), hosting a webinar isn’t that big of a stretch.
In fact, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you create a webinar of your own, step by step. (Or you can simply ask STRING for help.)
Facebook videos. Who doesn’t love videos on social media—so why not post some of your own on Facebook or Instagram?
You don’t have to be the next Oprah to put your stuff out there; maybe start with a few short videos about tips to staying healthy during isolation.
And no, your videos may never go “viral”—does anybody really want that anyway?—but you’re sure to win some new fans.
You see? It’s not as difficult as it may have seemed at first. Including research time and the time it takes to become familiar with new tools, you could be up and running in less than a week… Maybe even a few days if you’ve got a head start on some of these apps.
So even in a time of flux, there’s plenty you can do to grow your practice in the virtual world.
Feeling better? Great — we’re so excited to see what you come up with.
Maybe you have some questions about the tools and strategies we’ve outlined above. Ask away! It’s the best way to learn. To discuss these and other points in more detail, reach out to us today, or schedule a strategy call with Stephanie here https://stringmarketing-30minstrategy.youcanbook.me/
Yes, getting online takes some planning and effort. But, honestly, so does putting on pants that don’t have a drawstring right now. Conquer that, and you can do anything. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise—especially yourself!