This blog post idea came to me while I was reading a Facebook post written by a mother asking about infant feeding advice. She was asking about a trendy formula item and asking for feedback about what she should do. Her child is an ex-premie with issues with reflux and has been exclusively breast fed. I had to replay and say something, because I couldn’t not offer a nugget of knowledge on this topic. But that leads me into one of the hardest things I have learned about owning my own nutrition business. She then appreciated my feedback and responded with more questions. That was great engagement, but the advice she was asking for “free nutrition advice” is how I make money for my business. That is my wheel house and I feel like I would do a disservice to myself and my profession. Plus, giving out nutrition advice online is dangerous in terms of a liability perspective.
I don’t sell a physical item. I provide people with knowledge on a complicated topic, nutrition. The interesting thing is that this complex topic involves food and the act of eating, which we all do multiple times a day. Everyone thinks they already know about food and they don’t need an expert on that topic. Unlike a physical therapist who is working with clients to help them move in a certain way to get stronger, my skills are providing information/knowledge with clients to help them overcome certain food-related issues.
It is incredibly hard to convenience people that is worth paying for nutrition advice. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I sold some product. Anyone will purchase a physical item from someone and then they to keep that item, but when you pay for nutrition counseling services you aren’t always getting a physical item. I’m empowering you with knowledge about a certain topic that you get to take with you and use from here on out. The thing I have found challenging is not just handing out nutrition advice for free. That information is my “income” for my business. If you want those recommendations, then you need to pay for that advice. Embracing that idea has been tough. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to help ALL the people and spread all my nutrition knowledge for free to everyone, but that isn’t helpful for me or my profession. You don’t see doctor’s prescriptions for people for free. That knowledge that they possess is their lively hood. The same holds true for Registered Dietitians. Our knowledge lies in knowing how food impacts your life and your well-being.
I don’t want this to come off in a negative way, but instead to help encourage and empower other Registered Dietitians to stand up for what they know and feel confident in asking people to pay for the information they request of you. You don’t have to feel pressured to just give away that knowledge for free.