The 5 Most Profitable Digital Products Registered Dietitians Can Sell Online

You want to create a digital product, but what you really want is a PROFITABLE, digital product.

As a Registered Dietitian, you have countless ways to monetize your expertise and generate passive income selling digital products. The hardest part can be deciding what to sell.

Profitable Digital Products for Registered Dietitians

In this article you’ll find 5 different types of profitable, digital products well-suited to Registered Dietitians.  Examples of each product type will get your creative juices flowing.

You’re sure to be full of ideas when you finish reading. Get ready to launch your profitable online store.

money from online sale of digital products on computer screen

1. eBooks

The most popular type of digital product you can sell is an ebook. It is easier than ever to self-publish a book. If you consider that more than 30% of sales from the Kindle store are self-published, this product type should be at the top of your list.

If self-publishing isn’t something you’re ready to take on, traditional publishing is still a viable option. Keep your eye on the trend of the hybrid author, an author who publishes both via traditional publishing and self-publishing.

A large investment isn’t needed to get your book idea off the ground. One of the benefits of a digital product is the low cost of producing the product. The largest investment will be your time.

If the thought of selling your book gives you more pause than the writing, take heart.  Setting up an online store is easier than you might think. Selling from your own website allows you to keep more in earnings than selling on a site like Amazon’s Kindle store.

Generate sales of your book by promoting it on social media, linking to your book in blog posts and online groups. You can also sell your book on a marketplace website like RD2RD.

If writing hundreds of pages has you feeling overwhelmed, the length of many ebooks is shorter than you might imagine. There are many examples of short ebooks available. You might see them called guides. Don’t be afraid to start small and get your product launched more quickly.

eBook Examples on RD2RD

When reviewing, note the difference and price and length between these products.

Health Takes Guts: Your Comprehensive Guide to Eliminating Digestive Issues, Anxiety and Fatigue – This book is sold as a stand-alone resource, but also has a pricing option that includes 13 treatment protocols. Having pricing tiers and a strategy for up-selling can boost revenue from your digital products.

The Essential Vegan Lifestyle Guide – Note this product is called a guide, but is organized like an ebook.  It is comprehensive and substantial in length. Keep in mind how you name and market your product as it can be valuable for sales and pricing strategy.

A Primer on Ayurveda for Health Professionals – This book is an example of a creating a product in a specific niche and monetizing expertise. It is also sold on Amazon as a physical product and this digital edition. You may want to offer a physical book as well.

Sports Nutrition for Peak Performance – This is a shorter and more economical option than the other books listed. Think about how you could offer a product like this to your clients or promote in related blog posts as a more comprehensive resource.

 

2. Videos and Courses

The boom in online learning has created an opportunity to monetize your expertise as an RD. Some course creators choose to create content aimed at clients or the public, while others create resources for professionals.

Most online courses feature video lessons and many also include downloadable resources with purchase. Some courses allow access to all lessons immediately after purchase. Others make content available over a period of time, an approach known as “drip” content.

Creating and selling an online course is a big project, but it allows you to create a passive income source. Typically online courses have a higher price tag than other digital products. This article features RD course creators and how they choose the method to sell their course.

Video and Course Digital Product Examples on RD2RD

Private Practice Education: On-boarding Your Client – This educational video offers insight into a complex and confusing process for new private practice owners.  The video provides best practice recommendations and includes references to other digital products available such as policy templates. This is an excellent example of cross-selling other products to existing customers.

Fast Track to Pretty Graphics with Canva – This course is aimed at nutrition business owners that want to improve their graphic design skills.  It is an example of creating a digital product that leverages skills not traditionally thought of as within a RDs expertise.  You can monetize expertise outside of the narrow definition of nutrition.

How to Practice the Anti Diet Approach to Dietetics – This includes both a recording of an expert panel-discussion style webinar and a workbook. The video was previously a live event that was transitioned to a recorded, on-demand digital product. The addition of a workbook or download can increase the value of a course or video.

 

3. Documents

Documents can include items like handouts, meal plans, forms, templates or toolkits.  You may have already created a number of documents for your own use that could be easily put to work earning you passive income.

Selling documents you’ve created is an efficient way to jump into the world of online sales.  Typically, you’ve validated the use of these products in your own practice or business. This means you don’t need to spend a great deal of time to get them ready to sell.

You can easily sell your documents directly from your website. There are a number of considerations when you are setting up an online store. This article provides an overview of key elements of selling online.

Many sellers opt to use a marketplace to sell their digital documents.  RD2RD is an example of a marketplace designed exclusively for RDs. A benefit of a market place is help to market your products to a broader audience and increasing sales.

Document Digital Product Examples Available on RD2RD

Fitness Dietitian’s Initial Consult Questionnaire – Forms are an essential part of running a nutrition practice. This is an example of a niche-specific form and a way to create passive income selling a tool you have already created.

Low Potassium Plate Guide – This client education handout leverages the creators nutrition knowledge, design and education skills to create a passive income digital product. A visually-appealing handout that reviews an important nutrition topic, is always in demand.

Easy Peasy Simple Snacking Guide – An organized and visually appealing list of 40+ snack ideas – this resource fills a common need RDs have when working with clients.  Tools that are helpful in your practice can also earn you passive income.

Dietitian Reimbursement Toolkit – This product contains a combination of videos, forms and templates. Offering a comprehensive toolkit can increase the value for the customer and price point of the product.

 

4. Services

You may not think of a service as a digital product, but they can be a profitable way to earn money online. You’ve probably heard of or used sites like Upwork or Fiverr.  These are marketplaces where you can easily hire a freelancer for jobs such as designing a logo or creating a video.  These sites also allow you to sell your expertise as a service.

Services can also be included with other digital products that you offer in a bundle.  For example, you may offer access to a video and workbook at one price, but also have a higher price tier that includes a custom meal plan, virtual visit or customization.

Services that are well suited to RDs include writing, recipe analysis/development and menu planning.  If you have skills in areas such as graphic design, website building, food photography or other niches, you can also sell your expertise as a service.

Ideas for Services – Digital Product Examples  Available on RD2RD

Guide to Freelance Writing as an RDN – This is a comprehensive getting start guide for RDs that want to generate income writing.  It is an example of a digital product in a service-related area for RDs.

Recipe & Food Video Planning Toolkit– This toolkit contains a set of tools to help plan and execute recipe videos.  Creating high quality food/recipe videos can be a income-generating service for RDs.

 

5. Photos/Graphics

Sales of images and graphics have increased dramatically. While there are free stock photography websites, purchased images and graphics are common.

If you have skill in developing appealing health and nutrition related graphics or photography, you could sell them as a digital product. Typically, with graphics or images, you would be granting the purchaser rights to utilize your work under a licensing agreement while you retain the copyright.

Photos/Graphics Digital Product Examples on RD2RD

Healthy Eating Tips for Social Media Graphics – these pre-designed healthy eating graphics for social media leverage design skill to create a digital product.

Fruit Character ABCs – these printable characters are an example of using design and education skills to create a passive income digital product.

 

Profitable Digital Products for Registered Dietitians Summary:

Selling digital products is an incredible opportunity for Registered Dietitians to monetize their expertise and generate passive income.

Selecting a profitable digital product that is well-suited to your skills can help you quickly launch a profitable online store.

Be sure to grab a copy of my FREE e-book, “Leveraging Digital Goods: More Money, More Business” with a BONUS getting started checklist.  Enter your email below!

tips for a digital product listing image

7 Tips for a Top Notch Digital Product Listing Image

A top-notch digital product listing image is an essential element for a successful product.  You must capture the attention of your customer and create motivation to click on your product to read more.  More clicks is more opportunities for sales and income.

It isn’t necessary to hire a graphic designer or have access to expensive design tools to create a listing image that helps your product stand out and generate strong sales.  By following a few key principles and avoiding common mistakes, your product image will be an asset to your product and your pocketbook.

1. Create a digital product listing image template

A listing image template provides a number of benefits.  Having a consistent design, colors and format for your listing images makes the process more efficient.  Once you design your template, when you create new products, you can simply update product-specific information.

For your customers, a template increases brand recognition.  It is easy for them to identify your products.  This is especially beneficial if you sell your products on marketplace websites such as RD2RD or Etsy.

Below are examples of RD2RD vendors that utilize a consistent template for their listing images.  You can see how this approach creates an easily recognizable brand and also makes creating the image more efficient once the template has been created.

Ashley Thomas from The Fresh Beet

digital product listing images with consistent colors text and layout

Karla Moreno-Bryce from Nutritious Vida.

digital product listing image with a tablet mock up

2. Use a digital mock-up for product listing images

One of the challenges for both online buyers and sellers is that you can’t physically touch or examine the product prior to purchase.  A digital mock-up helps to bridge this gap and give customers the ability to see the product prior to purchase.

A digital mock-up could be an image of pages of your handout fanned out on a desk background or shown on a tablet.  The customer can immediately recognize what the product is and gauge the quality of the content.

Dianne Rishihof of Health Takes Guts

digital mock up of tablet showing book positioned on wood desk

Corinne Kantor of Diet Tech Central

images for social media with nutrition tips

3. Make your digital product listing image visually appealing

A digital product listing image needs to be eye-catching.  The image will likely be the first thing that people see when shopping online and if your image doesn’t stand-out, you’ll miss out on clicks to your product and sales.

Visually appealing digital product listing images use a combination of color, text and images to create a cohesive design.  To find design inspiration, browse online sites such as RD2RD, Etsy, TeachersPayTeachers and Amazon.  Once you have identified inspiration images, break them down into individual elements such as text, color, background and digital mock-up.

Karla Moreno-Bryce from Nutritious Vida.

vegan food and lifestyle comprehensive guide

Whitney Catalano

become your own designer for nutrition business

4. Think of your listing image like a billboard

Your listing image should function like a billboard.  For your target customer, it should be immediately recognizable that it is a product for them.  If you are selling a book or printable, it should be obvious at a quick glance what the product is.  In many cases, your listing image will be the only part of your listing that customers see.  For example, Google displays images in search results and people click based solely on the visual.

Your digital product listing image should contain enough information about your product to “stand-alone” without your written product description.  When you think of it like a billboard and to capture attention and encourage the customer to click and read more information, you will drive more traffic to your product and generate more sales.

registered dietitian teaching about anti diet approach to nutrition

5. Use combination of text and images

Text (if included) should support the product’s purpose and catch the attention of the customer.  Think of your own experience shopping online and what captures your attention.  Most likely, you are first drawn to a stylish image and note a few keywords that capture your attention.  You the decide to click on the product and read more information.

It is not necessary to include the complete title of your product on the digital product listing image.  You may choose to use a keyword or even ask a question?  Your goal with your product listing is to capture the attention of your target customer.

education handouts for type 1 diabetes

6. Use a background image

A background image can set the stage and help to capture your customer’s attention.  For example, using a background image of a cutting board with fruits and vegetables makes a statement about your product and adds visual appeal.  A picture of a professional desk and computer would make a completely different statement.

For background images, you can take your own photos or utilize free or paid stock photography.  One tip for finding images is to include the search term “background.”  Typically, you are looking for images that have space to add a digital mock-up or page image.

guide for dietitian to sell digital products for passive income

7. Optimize the size of your digital product listing image

Your listing image will likely need to be a specific height and width.  Typically this information is specified by the online marketplace or shopping cart platform you are using.  The image size could be landscape, portrait or square.  Not using the correct dimensions for your product listing images will result in parts of the image being cut-off and an unprofessional visual for customers.  This will greatly decrease your  product sales.

For RD2RD, listing images dimensions are 930 pixels wide by 700 pixels high.  Creating a custom sized image can be done for free in design tools like Canva or in paid tools like Photoshop.  For more, watch this detailed video tutorial on how to create a custom sized image with Canva.

Summary

Take time to design a top-notch product listing image.  Use a high-quality background image to capture the attention of your customer and speak to the product type and content.  Include a digital mock-up to show both the quality of your product, but to also peak your customer’s interest and generate a click for more details.  Avoid too much text and think of your listing image as a billboard with a focus more on keywords and capturing attention.

Want to find out if your listing image is optimized.  Download the product listing audit tool and use it to assess your product listing image and product description.

preparing to design a digital product listing image

 

Selling Digital Products

Selling digital products is creating new opportunities for Registered Dietitians to both connect with clients and create new income streams.  From downloadable items such as ebooks, to courses featuring video lessons, to live or recorded webinars, there is an abundance of opportunity to leverage the business building power of digital products. However, to sell online, a new set of tools and expertise is needed.

It can feel daunting to navigate setting up an online store and to establish payment and product delivery processes.  This article breaks down the essential elements required for selling online including shopping carts, payment gateways, security considerations, file hosting and more.

The good news is that due to the popularity and growth of digital products, there are many options designed to be user-friendly and affordable.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Digital Products

  1. Consider Your Needs

What is your goal?   If selling digital products is a small side element of your business vs your primary business goal, you will have a much different approach to the process of setting up your online store.  Your goals will determine if you should seek out the help of a web developer or use a convenient, hosted solution.

What type(s) of products do you plan to sell?  Your needs will vary depending on if you are selling an e-book, online course or membership site.  Some options are better suited to specific product types.  For downloadable products such as handouts, workbooks or toolkits, the customer will expect to be able to immediately download, and save or print their purchased product.  For online courses or webinars, details about how to login and access materials is expected.  For other online products such as member-only access to groups or content, specific information needs to be immediately sent to the purchaser.

What is your skill level with technology?  If you are a novice website builder or plan to set-up the technology elements yourself, you will most likely not choose a highly customizable, open-source shopping cart option.  There are number of software as a service (SaaS) shopping cart solutions that offer comprehensive functionality and are easy to configure and set-up on your own.  It isn’t necessary to hire a web developer or create a new website to sell digital products.

What features are essential?  The options available for your online store can feel dizzying.  Spend some time creating a list of features that are “must-haves.”  This might include the ability to create discount codes, product reviews, integrate email marketing, tax calculator or offer an affiliate program.

 

  1. Choose between a shopping cart software service or self-hosted open source platform for selling digital products.

To sell digital products, a shopping cart or online checkout process is needed.  A shopping cart allows the customer to provide payment, and after confirmation, be provided access to the purchased product.  A shopping cart is often referred to as an eCommerce platform.

Typically, a shopping cart solution is incorporated into your website.  Depending on your needs, this may mean having a shop tab added to your site navigation or incorporating product listings into your pages or posts.  Some shopping cart solutions are designed for a wide range of eCommerce including physical products such as books, t-shirts, as well as digital products.  Others are exclusively for digital products.

There are two basic options for shopping carts, software as a service (SaaS) solutions and self-hosted, open source solutions.    There are pros and cons to each and your specific needs will determine which is the best fit for your digital products.

SaaS solutions offer convenience and are typically built to be user-friendly and don’t require advanced knowledge of website design or coding.  You pay a monthly fee and often a percentage of each transaction for access to the software as well as security and hosting of files associated with your products.  Typically, SaaS solutions offer comprehensive support and have detailed tutorials and user guides to assist you with the setup process.  SaaS solutions can be used with a wide variety of popular website builders.

Examples: Gumroad, E-Junkie, SendOwl, Shopify, DPD Digital Product Delivery, Selz, SamCart, ThriveCart, Lemonstand

Self-hosted, open source solutions are typically free to download and use, but you must have the skills necessary to configure the software, customize, and integrate with other tools you use.  You will pay separately for hosting of files, website security, SSL certificate and any addons such as discount codes or integration with email marketing.  Because these tools are completely customizable, they are often best suited when you plan to work with a web developer, have complex specifications, or need the ability to create a completely custom online store experience.  Self-hosted, open source solutions are typically limited to websites built with WordPress or completely custom sites.

Examples: WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Magento

Website Builder Specifics: Many website builders such as Squarespace, Wix and Weebly offer an eCommerce pricing tier.  This gives you the capability to create products within your website builder and conveniently add to pages and posts.  If you use one of these builders, you can also utilize SaaS solutions and may find that the monthly cost is favorable.  If you are considering the eCommerce pricing plan available from your website builder, be aware that the types of products you can sell may be limited.  Products such as courses and membership sites can be difficult to set-up.

 

  1. Consider Payment Gateways

Payment gateways fulfill a vital role in the eCommerce transaction process, authorizing the payment between merchant (you!) and customer. Popular payment gateways include PayPal/Braintree, Stripe, and Square.

Some SaaS shopping cart solutions require you to have accounts with payment gateways and connect these during the setup process.  Each time a transaction occurs, the funds from the sale are deposited into your payment gateway account minus any fees charged.

There are also SaaS solutions that include a built in payment gateway as part of the fee paid to access their software.  This means that you do not need to create or connect accounts with payment gateways to sell products.  A schedule for payout of your sales earnings is often weekly or biweekly. Usually these solutions have a higher fee charged but offer added convenience.

For self-hosted shopping cart solutions, you will need to set-up and configure your payment gateways. You will likely need to create a test payment environment to validate functionality.  Because these shopping cart solutions are typically open source and highly customizable, you may find that support and documentation is less available to assist you in the setup process.  A web developer skilled in eCommerce site configuration can be invaluable if you opt for a self-hosted option.

 

  1. Understand Security Requirements for Selling Digital Products

To sell digital products, sensitive information such as credit card details are required.  There are several rules that you must follow to be compliant.  These include having an SSL certificate to ensure sensitive information is encrypted as well as maintaining PCI compliance.  Most ecommerce sites also utilize a firewall and have precautions in place to minimize fraudulent activity.

One of the major benefits of using a SaaS shopping cart solution is that the transaction does not occur on your website.  While many of the SaaS options allow you to create an overlay checkout screen that appears over the top of your website, the credit card details and payment is occurring on the SaaS solution website.   This means that the responsibility for security of payment details falls on the SaaS solution website, not yours.

If you choose a self-hosted shopping cart option, it will be necessary for you to ensure that you are compliant with security requirements.  This often means spending additional money on website security solutions and possibly hiring a consultant or expert to ensure that you have necessary safeguards in place.

 

  1. Evaluate Pricing

There is a wide range of price points for shopping carts, depending on how much storage and bandwidth you need. SaaS solutions typically offer several options ranging from $10 to $200 per month, and open-source platforms are available for free (though you will have to purchase a handful of addons).

To compare pricing, you will benefit from using real-world numbers or hypothetical projections.  First, estimate the number of products you plan to sell, the size of files associated with those products, the price you plan to sell each for and estimated number of sales.  Next, determine the pricing level for each SaaS solution to meet your specifications as well as have access to any specific features you desire.  For self-hosted, calculate the costs to install and configure (if you are hiring a professional) any addons, security and other costs related to website design.

  1. Test Ease of Use

Once you have identified the top shopping cart solution contenders based on price and type of products you plan to sell, it is essential that you test each for ease of use.  Most offer a trial period is offered.  This is the time where you can try before buy and verify that the tool is a good fit for your needs.  During this period, you should create product listings, add products to your website and complete a purchase.  In addition, it is recommended that you review documentation, FAQs, test out the support tools such as live chat, email and submitting a support ticket.  While testing each option is time consuming, it can save you a great deal of time in the future, by preventing the need to switch from one shopping cart solution to another.

 

Final Thoughts on Selling Digital Products:

Selling digital products requires new skills and some additional technology considerations.  This step-by-step guide is an overview of the steps in the process and gives you a roadmap for taking the next step.

Consumers and colleagues are purchasing nutrition-related digital content every day.  Registered Dietitians with an understanding of the essential elements for selling online are poised to leverage digital products to generate additional income and credibility in their area of expertise.

To help you make the decision, download my decision support tool that will provide you with recommended shopping cart solutions.

FNCE® Networking Guide for Entrepreneurs

Attending a major conference as a business owner feels completely different than attending when you work for a company.  It’s not just the fact that you’re paying your way…well, that is certainly a big one!

As a newbie entrepreneur you know that conferences are a great way to network but might feel a little hesitant about how to prepare for your first big conference as a business owner.

After more than 15 years in the corporate world and many conferences under my belt, I found myself feeling unsure of how to approach my first FNCE® as an entrepreneur.  I knew that I needed to make connections with potential collaborators, market my business and interact with brands and influencers.  It was an incredible experience and most of my most important business milestones this past year have been the result of networking at FNCE®!

These are my top 5 tips for networking at FNCE® as a newbie business owner.

1. Meet new people – While this probably sounds obvious, I can’t tell you how many attendees spend the majority of their time in a bubble talking only to colleagues they already know or staring at their smartphone. FNCE® is the largest gathering of Food and Nutrition Professionals in the world!  It is a time to connect with others in the field that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to cross paths with.

You might be thinking, but I’m an introvert or that talking to strangers is awkward.  It can feel a bit intimidating, but conference attendees aren’t strangers!  Break the ice and ask which session has been their favorite, or what type of work they do.

Between each session, make it a point to introduce yourself to at least 1 new person. This could be while waiting to enter the conference room or standing in line for coffee.  You might be surprised how many other people are just as hesitant as you to strike up a conversation but jump in when you break the ice.

Introduce yourself to people around you after you sit down at a session.  Instead of scrolling social media, browsing some flyers or a new resource from the EatRight Store, use the pre-session time to share business cards and expand your network.

Since FNCE last year, many people have contacted me because they saved my card or remembered meeting me at a session.  It may not seem like these quick conversations have a huge impact, but you might be surprised.

2. Ask questions and listen – It’s easy to be eager to share our own thoughts or talk about our interests. Avoid making networking opportunities about you.  Use the power of psychology and our desire to talk about our own interests to your advantage when networking.

Instead of thinking about what you are going to talk about with people you meet, focus on planning the questions you will ask new acquaintances and how you can better listen, record your notes and create opportunities for your business.

Be sure to be specific when writing out questions and have a plan for when you meet someone that has expertise in practice area or business aspect that you are interested in learning more about.  For example, if you want to publish a book and meet someone with experience, you should know exactly the questions you want to ask.

While there is nothing wrong with a fun conversation, try to be strategic in your networking.  Ask questions that serve to create a return on investment for your business.

3. Don’t downplay your business – as a newbie entrepreneur, you might be tempted to start your introduction with a statement such as “I’m trying to start a private practice” or “someday I’ll be publishing a cookbook.”

Be confident and speak about your business in a way that clearly shows that you have charted a course for success.  Every successful business has a beginning.  This is yours and there is no need to by shy about it.  To cultivate the most beneficial relationships and build you network, you need to send signals that you are on a path to success.

Take time before the conference and plan your “elevator pitch.”  This is quick description of your business.  It should be short and clear, a statement that could be easily shared on an elevator ride.  You must practice this pitch until you are confident and comfortable sharing it with a stranger.  It will feel awkward, but having a strong pitch is essential.  If you are striking up a conversation with a brand or potential collaborator, your ability to clearly and confidently share details about your business puts you out in front.

For example, my 2 sentence pitch for RD2RD is below.

RD2RD is a marketplace for RDs a to buy, sell and share digital downloads.  From handouts to presentations and business tools all available for immediate download, it is a destination for quality nutrition resources and a way for RDs to share their wisdom and earn extra income.

4. Have a gameplan – You decided to make a major business investment by attending FNCE® and need a plan to get the most out of it. This means more than just looking through the sessions and planning which you will attend.  Be sure to download the FNCE® app and get familiar with all the functionality/information available at your fingertips.

This includes researching special events you can register for and scoping out planned networking opportunities offered by practice groups or brands.   It means looking at the exhibitors and identifying specific brands/companies you want to connect with.  Look at the conference schedule and identify opportunities to grab coffee, lunch or even a morning walk with people you meet.  If you have identified these times already, you can easily suggest one and capitalize on a business-building opportunity.

5. Follow-up! – It may sound basic, but post-conference follow-up is easy to let slip. You will be tired and catching up on the work you set aside to attend FNCE®.  Don’t let that stack of business cards and “let’s talk more about this” statements get dusty.  Make it a point to add notes to business cards or other collateral you pick up at the conference and jot down notes.  It will not be as easy as you think to remember people you meet or that great idea that came to mind while you were talking.  Jot down a few notes and any specific follow-up items.

Then, follow-up.  Send an email. Schedule a Skype.  Follow new contacts on LinkedIN or social media.  Make effort to cultivate the fruits of your networking labor!

Conclusion

Networking at FNCE® is an incredibly opportunity for your business but requires that you plan and execute.  You might think that as a newbie entrepreneur, you should use this first big conference as a chance to watch and learn.  Consider the return on investment if you crafted a networking plan and nailed your elevator pitch.

Have fun and I hope to see you at FNCE®!  RD2RD Marketplace will be at the Member Marketplace on Monday, October 22nd at booth 3007.  Stop by and say “Hi.”  I’d love to hear your pitch.

7 Steps to Create a Profitable RD2RD Store in the Next 30 Days

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Before you jump into creating products, take time to define your goals.  This process will help you decide how best to structure and prioritize the time you devote to working on your RD2RD store.  Below are 4 questions you can ask to help you clarify your goals:

  1. Do you want RD2RD to be a small side income or a sizable, consistent source or revenue for you?
  2. How much time do you want to dedicate to your store per week?
  3. How much time can you reasonably dedicate to your store per week?
  4. How fast do you want to earn your first $100 or $1000?

Setting clear goals ensures that your expectations are aligned with your plan.  Your answers to the questions above will help you establish realistic targets for both revenue and product creation. Starting up your online store, creating quality resources and promoting require a large upfront time investment.  If you’ve set your sights on making sales as quickly as possible, you will need to be willing to invest a larger amount of time upfront.


Time upfront = passive income later.


Time upfront = passive income later.  The more work you put in each week, the faster you’ll start earning.  If you want to earn your first $100+ in 30 days but only plan to invest 2 hours per week in your store, you may want to adjust your expectation for when you’ll achieve your $100 profit goal.  I recommend working on your RD2RD store for at least 1 hour per day at the start. Remember, this is all time that will pay off in passive income down the line.

In the 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit, setting an earnings goal occurs in week 1.

Step 2: Find Your RD2RD Store Niche

RD2RD is a marketplace that is prime for sellers with quality products.  With sales and products growing monthly, competition within product categories and specific topics is growing.  It is essential that your store and products stand out as much as possible.

“How can I do that?”

The first step is to find your niche.  Your niche is something you specialize in, be it a disease state such as diabetes, practice setting such as school nutrition or retail, resource type like handouts, presentations, toolkits or forms/worksheets, or some combination of those.  A well-defined niche doesn’t mean you’ll never create a product outside of that specialty, but it does give your store a focus around which to create your resources and brand your store.

Top selling RDNs and DTRs specialize in niches ranging from Functional Nutrition, Business Tools to Plant-Based Nutrition and Graphic Design.

“I know it’s important, but how do I narrow down”

There are 3 steps to getting more clarity with your niche.

1. What am I passionate about?

This is often the most intuitive place to start.  You are naturally energized by topics that you are passionate about which can make resource creation easier.  For example, one of the RD2RD sellers, Dianne Rishikof of Health Takes Guts is incredibly passionate about functional nutrition and gut health.  She has made that her store focus.

2. Where do my strengths lie?

Consider what you’re most successful at communicating.  In a nutshell, whatever is working in your practice setting or specialty will likely work in other similar environments so if you’ve been getting a ton of compliments about your menu planning worksheets, consider pursuing that as your niche.

3. What niches are out there?

Identify what other vendors’ niches are.  Check out top sellers on RD2RD to get an idea of what kinds of niches others specialize in and try to find your unique spin.  Go beyond current products available on RD2RD.  Visit other sites that sell nutrition resources such as Eatright.org Store, NCES and Learning Zone Express.

Conduct a thorough internet search of your topic area looking for successful stores and product listings.   Carefully studying the market and quality products can help you brainstorm ways to stand out, or you may find areas that are underrepresented that you know you could create amazing resources for.

In week 1 of the 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit, a worksheet is provided to help you identify your store niche.

Step 3: Build a Strong Brand

Whether your RD2RD store is a side hustle or your primary income, it is a business.  For all businesses, branding is an element that requires thought and strategy.   Your brand is what distinguishes you from the rest and helps consumers and other vendors identify you.  Remember that the public and other health professionals (not just RDs) browse and purchase resources from RD2RD.  Your brand is how you want to represent yourself and your store to others.

A brand isn’t a brand without consistency.  To be recognizable, you want consistency across all your social media accounts and your blog, if you have one.  Consistent branding helps reinforce awareness of your brand and can help drive traffic to your RD2RD store.  It isn’t necessary to have a website to have a successful and profitable RD2RD store.  Your RD2RD store features a custom URL/web address that lists all of your products, bio and profile image.  Next, we will explore each of the elements of your store brand.

There are 4 main components to your RD2RD store branding.

  • Store Name

Use either your personal name or create your unique store name.

When choosing a store name, brainstorm ideas by identifying nicknames, plays on words, or anything related to your niche.  For example, Kristin Shaffer’s store name is a play Alice in Wonderland, Yellowbrick Nutrition.

You can also keep it simple and use your name as your store name.  If you change your mind, you can always update your store name in the profile area of your vendor dashboard.  Check out Emma D’Arpino’s store, a great example of a store that features some personality.

  • Logo/Profile Photo

You’ll also need a store image for your RD2RD store page and associated branding.  This can be a unique store logo that you create or have created for you, a personal photo of yourself.  It can also be a combination of the two.  One isn’t necessarily better than the other.  Some prefer to have a recognizable brand logo while others prefer a more personal photo or professional headshot.  Whatever option you choose, be sure to be consistent across social media accounts.  You want your store brand to be immediately recognizable.

This is Jessianna Saville’s business logo and she also selected as her store profile image.

A professionally designed logo isn’t necessary.  The top selling stores on RD2RD include a wide variety of stores and profile images.

In week 1 of the 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit, a store branding worksheet is provided.

  • Biography

Although a biography is optional, it’s an excellent way to build credibility and connect with customers shopping your products.  Prominently placed below each product listing is the store name, image and bio of the vendor.  This is an excellent opportunity to highlight your background and why you are passionate about the items you create and sell.

Remember that the biography isn’t a mini-resume, it is a way to build rapport with customers.  It should be fun to read and be focused more on connecting with the customer than a list of your credentials and professional experience.   Think about brainstorming about the purpose of your resources and the needs they fill when crafting your bio.  Jessianna’s store bio below is an excellent example.

 

  • Social Media and Website

Create professional business accounts for each social media platform you intend on using.  Pinterest is a must because it drives tons of traffic to your store.  Use your RD2RD branding on your accounts for easy identification and integration among platforms.  Link your social media accounts to your RD2RD store and to each other.  This enables users who visit one page to easily access your other pages, and ultimately, your RD2RD store.

If you already have social media accounts and or a business website, create a link to your RD2RD store from your website and feature your products in blog posts and other locations throughout your site.  Remember that your store URL lists only your products on RD2RD.  It features your store name, image and bio.

Here is a link to Ashley Thomas’s store, The Fresh Beet Nutrition.  You can see her product images feature  consistent and recognizable branding.

 

Step 4: Create Resources that Fulfill a Need

Coming up with ideas for resources may be easy for your or you may struggle to hone in on what to sell.  I encourage you to take time to carefully consider the questions below as well as the information in steps 1-3 when creating your resources for your RD2RD store.

 “What kinds of resources can I create?”

RD2RD offers a wide array of products related to nutrition – from handouts, presentation templates, forms, calculators, webinar recordings, ebooks and toolkits.  If you can think of it, you can probably sell it.  Products are digital downloads so it is important that any items you create have a file that can be easily uploaded and provided to the purchaser after payment is completed.

Check out a complete list of RD2RD resource categories here.

“How Many Should I Upload?”

Try to aim for having 10-20 high quality resources in your RD2RD store.  This range ensures that you have a diverse offering of resources to appeal to customers.  You might be thinking that 20 sounds like a ton, but trust me, sellers with a greater number of products have higher performing stores and greater earnings.

Don’t get overwhelmed.  If you’re looking for more help, you can download my free 30 days to earning your first $100 on RD2RD calendar worksheet here.

You don’t have to upload all those products at once.  It’s important to pace yourself and remember the goals you established in step 1.  Do you want to earn your first $100 in the next 30 days or are you happy to earn it in 120 days? Depending on your goals, your schedule will look a little different.

Adding 3 new products each week is a good target if your goal is to earn $100 and beyond as quickly as possible.  Remember that quality will always outperform quantity, so don’t focus so much on creating products that their quality suffers.

Use the Product Idea Selection Matrix included in the 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit to identify which products have highest potential to be bestsellers.

What makes a quality, bestselling resource?

The number one quality of a bestselling resource is that it fills a need.

Ask yourself three questions:

  • What do you need in your practice or work environment that you don’t currently have?
  • What do other RDs need in their businesses or job?
  • What resources do you currently use in your work environment that are successful?

 

Chances are, if your resource is successful in your work environment, it is also needed and can be successful in others.

Figure out what need each resource you intend to create will fill and design it around that core focus.  Try and find ways to make your resource stand out or to fill needs that aren’t currently being met.

Use the Product Planner worksheet included in the 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit to help you stay organized for each of your product ideas.

 

Step 5: Promote Products with Freebies, Bundles & Social Media

Upload a Freebie

It might seem strange to give away a resource when your goal is to make sales and generate earning from your store.  Your free resource draws both customers to your store and creates interest in your paid products.  The most visited product category on RD2RD is FREE.  A customer can easily shop your other products after finding your store from your free listing(s).

Freebies act as your calling card.  They allow consumers to get a sample of your work and your style, and they can generate interest in paid products. This is why it’s paramount that your freebie be of the highest quality.  Customers will be judging your work based off of your freebie(s).  You want to show customers that your paid products are absolutely worth it by offering them a great freebie.

Your freebie should also be a stand-alone product.  No additional items should have to be purchased to use it.  By making it completely usable as a stand-alone product, you are providing customers with “no-strings attached” value and creating positive attitude toward your brand and increasing the likelihood of future purchases.

It’s also free to submit them to be featured in the RD2RD Newsletter.  Having a product featured in the RD2RD Newsletter is a great way to increase store exposure and traffic, and drive sales.

Create a Product Bundle

Bundles are great promotional tools to help boost sales.  Bundles are great bestsellers because they offer more value for the price.  A product bundle groups multiple resources that are similar together and offer them for a cumulative price that is less than what would be paid if each included product was purchased individually.  Product bundles can be set-up by contacting RD2RD site admin at help@rd2rd.com once you have your product listings created.

 

Use Social Media

Social media is a valuable tool to increase exposure and get your products in front of interested customer.  You can generate sales and gain a following.  With consistency and engaging content, you can gain a following and build loyalty around your brand.  As you develop new products, you can keep your followers up-to-date on availability and ask them directly for feedback and suggestions for new products.  Use social media as a promotional tool, but don’t use it only for posting RD2RD related advertisements.  Focus on content that provides followers with value.  Post, pin, and tweet blog posts from other RDs, useful articles, DIY ideas, or personal photos and stories of activities in your work environment.  Social media is first and foremost for engaging with your followers.  There are 3 key items to keep in mind when using your RD2RD branded social media.

  1. Post fewer promotions than you do other content, and integrate them among your other posts.  To gain and keep followers, you don’t want your feed to feel like a constant commercial for your product. Share stories, fun tidbits that will connect with customers that would be interested in your products.
  2. Promote Strategically: When you do promote your own resources, make sure your post is engaging and not just advertising. At the end of posts, you can briefly add a “by the way” or short comment about product you have that would provide more information.  Post a photo of your resource being used in a real-world environment or being created.  Write a short summary about how much your clients love this or that resource and upload the listing image with a link for more details.  Post consistently to boost exposure.  For sites like Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, try to post a few times a week and for Pinterest, aim to add new pins daily. Try a social media scheduler to pre-schedule pins and save time so you don’t have to manually post every day.
  3. Consider sponsored posts: You may also want to pay for social media advertisements to boost sales.  It isn’t necessary to spend money on advertising and you can use organic traffic generated from your social media accounts and blog (if you have one). Pinterest is a particularly useful platform for getting traffic to your product listings and generate potential sales.

 

In the tasks/timeline overview included in the 30 Day to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit, creating posts for social media starts in week 3.

Step 6: Get a Premium Membership

RD2RD offers two types of memberships: Free and Premium.  The premium membership is $49 per year, but it allows you to maximize your earnings.  In the FREE, 30 Day Calendar download, I suggest you set your goals and sign up for your Premium Membership in your first week.

Why?

Because with a Premium Membership you get to keep more of what you earn.

Free: You only keep 65% of each sale.  With Premium: You keep 80% of each sale.

Let’s say you have a handout priced
at $5.00.

Free: $5 x 0.65 = $3.25

Premium: $5 x 0.80 = $4


With Premium you keep nearly 20% more of your revenue per sale.


When your goal is to earn your first $100 in 30 days, you’d be leaving a large chunk of potential earnings on the table without it.  The sooner you upgrade to premium, the sooner you’ll be earning more.  The Premium membership is also a statement that your take your store seriously.  Selling quality digital tools is a business and paying for a premium membership is an investment in your RD2RD store.

The 30 Days to a Profitable RD2RD Store Jumpstart Toolkit contains a revenue planning worksheet that allows you to conduct earning projections based on product details such as price, sales volume as well as basic or premium member status.

 

Step 7: Track Your RD2RD Store Sales Data

Tracking sales data is an important element of a successful online store.  Reviewing your data allows you to analyze which of your products are selling well and which aren’t filling the need you intended.  Your RD2RD vendor dashboard provides you with valuable insight and help you determine which products may need to be modified and identify areas where you could develop even more successful products.

The vendor dashboard has three key areas that you should review to evaluate your sales.

  1. Earnings

This area shows you details about sales including specific amount earned from each sale.  Earnings are paid out on a monthly basis so you will see both a list of paid an unpaid earnings.  You can download a monthly paid earnings report from this page as well.  You also receive an email notification with each product sale.

  1. Orders

From this area, you can review details about each sale such as the product sold and price paid.

  1. Vendor feedback

Customers can both post product reviews which are public and viewable by site visitors as well as leave vendor feedback.  Vendor feedback is only communicated to you and the customer is specifically asked to share if the product was provided as expected.  Vendor feedback is accessed via the vendor dashboard.

  1. Products

Use this to quickly review your product listing as the number of sales numbers for each product.  It is also the area where you can access your products to make updates to the listing description, image, price or file associated.

Conclusion

So, there we have it: 7 Steps to Create a Profitable RD2RD Store in the Next 30 Days.  Take this guide, create resources to sell, spread the word about your store and start enjoying consistent, passive income from your digital products each month.  Also, enjoy the amazing feeling that knowing you’ve created a tool that has helped another person!

Interested in getting your hands on the 30 Day Jumpstart Toolkit with calendar, task lists, worksheets and templates?  Enter your information below to receive your copy when it is released!

 

How to Create a Digital Mockup

An attractive way to showcase your digital product is with a digital mockup.  You’ve probably seen images of ebook covers strategically placed on a tablet or a desk.  Perhaps you’ve seen pages layered to show the content included in a specific download.  It is easier than you might think to create a digital mockup for your product.

To get you thinking about how you can use a digital mockup, below are a few that I’ve created.

Digital Mockup Basics

A digital mockup can be used in a variety of ways.  If you have a lead magnet, you can visually showcase what will be provided if a new subscriber signs up for your email list.  While including a written description is important, a compelling visual can help to create the desired action.

When creating a product listing for a digital download, including a digital mockup helps the customer visualize the product they are purchasing.  You should consider your target audience when creating a digital mockup and utilize elements that are appealing.  The background image should connect with your target customer.

For example, the two images shown below connect with a very different audience.  In the upper image, the school supplies, colorful pens and star-shaped eraser immediately convey that this is a product for use with children.  Compare that to the next image which features an organized desk scene and healthy snacks.  The target audience for the lower image is registered dietitians.  The background is carefully selected to connect with the target audience.  For more information on these listings, click here to visit Yellowbrick Nutrition’s store on RD2RD.

With a digital product purchase, it isn’t possible to touch or review a physical item before purchase.  The product listing image and description must be thoughtfully designed to connect with the target customer and convey both the content, quality and expertise.

It is also important to note that in some internet searches, only your listing image may be displayed.  The listing image should provide enough detail about the product to generate a click for more information.  A well-designed digital mock-up is an excellent way to accomplish this.

 

How to Create a Digital Mockup Tutorial

Let’s dive in.  This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions as well as video demonstration of the steps.

To create a digital mockup in 3 easy steps

  1. Create a page image (i.e. selected pages from your ebook, handout or toolkit)
  2. Create a “canvas” or background for your page image
  3. Add page image to canvas

Want to watch this article as a video, click play below.

 

Step 1: Create a page image

The digital mockup requires that you have a page(s) of your download as an image.  While printing and then taking a picture of a page is a possibility, it isn’t necessary.  You can create a beautiful image featuring pages from your download without ever taking a picture.

A page image can be tricky if you created your digital download in a word processing software program or another program that doesn’t allow you to easily save the file as an image (i.e. png or jpg) file type.

If you do not have your download already saved in PDF file format, read “Part 1A.”  If you already have a PDF file of your digital download, skip to “Part 1B.”

Part 1A:

From word processing tool (or other software), save your file as a PDF file type.  In Microsoft Word, choose File, Save As and then select PDF.

Part 1B:

Once you have a PDF of your download, you can convert page(s) to an image.  I refer to this as a “page image” in this tutorial.  A page image is simply a image file for a page of your downloadable product.  Think of it as if you printed out the product and then took a picture of a specific page.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but the easiest way I’ve found to convert PDF pages to JPG is using the website, Smallpdf.com.

Choose PDF to JPG from the available options.  Browse and upload your PDF file.  Select “convert entire pages.” After converted, download all pages as a zip file or download selected individual pages.

In this example, I only want to include the cover image in my digital mockup, so I will download just the cover page image.  Save the image file in a location you can easily find in the future.

Step 2: Create a Canvas or Background for Your page Image

This tutorial will use Canva® as design tool, but you can use other design software as well.   Canva® offers a free version which provides all the functionality needed to create a digital mockup.

Create a canvas that is sized for your purposes (i.e. square for social media).  RD2RD listing images are 930 pixels wide by 700 pixels high.  This is a custom size (not available as a template).  For this demonstration, the listing image size for RD2RD will be used.

 

Part 2A: Create a Blank Canvas for Your Design

Login to Canva® (create a free account if needed).  Click “Create a Design” button from the upper left.  Then select “use custom dimensions” from the upper right-hand corner.  Enter 930 as the width (pixels) and 700 as the height (pixels) and then click “Design.”

Alternatively, you can select a template listed (i.e. square social media graphic).

Part 2B: Select a Background Image

You now have a blank canvas to begin to design your digital mockup.  The page image created in step 1 will eventually be added to the canvas after creating a visually-appealing backdrop.

Select a background image your canvas.  You can use a picture you’ve taken or royalty free stock photography.  You can also use a color or pattern instead of an image.  I’ll show you how to use both a background image and solid color background.

Sites with free images include Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay.  Paid sites such as Depositphotos and Getty Images are also a great option.  Look for images that have an area that you can place your digital product on.  Include the word “background” in your search to bring up best results. For example, “office background” or “kitchen background.”

Below are two examples of background images shown before and after the page image was added.   These stock images were purchased from Depositphotos.  The third example uses a solid color background, not an image to show this alternative.

Part 2C: Upload Background Image

Upload your background image to Canva so you can then add it to your canvas to create the backdrop for your page image.

From the left-hand tabs, select “Uploads.”  Click “Upload your own image.”  Browse and select the file you wish to use for your background.  Once the upload is complete, you will see a thumbnail of the uploaded image.

Part 2D: Add Background Image to Canvas

After the image has been uploaded, it will be available to be added to your canvas.  To add the image to the canvas, click the desired image from uploads area.  The image will be placed on the canvas and you can then manipulate and adjust it.

Resize the background image so that it covers the canvas that you created.  Don’t be concerned if parts of the background image extend beyond the perimeter of the canvas.  When downloaded, only the portion of the image on the canvas will be included.  Note in the image below, the dotted lines showing the edge of the image extend beyond the perimeter of the canvas.

This is a good time to point out that depending on the purpose of the digital mockup, you may need to browse for a background image that is correctly shaped for your purposes.  For example, a square social media graphic will provide less space for you position your page image than a landscape image you might include in a blog post.

Before moving on, I want to provide one additional tip.  In the below images, you can see that the background in the top image appears to be muted or has a transparent effect.  This allows the digital product to stand out more and not get “lost” in the background.

It is easy to create this effect in Canva.   For a long time, I could see this effect used by others, but couldn’t figure out how to create it myself.

To add the transparent effect above, you need to add a white square over the image and then adjust the transparency, so you can see the background image.  Here’s how.

Select “Elements” from the left-hand tabs, then shapes and select the first option, a square.

Resize the square to completely cover the canvas and change the color to white.  To adjust the size, click and drag the edges of the shape.  The image below shows how to select white from the available colors.  If you prefer, you can choose a color other than white.

Adjust the transparency of the shape as desired.  The higher the number, the more white (less transparent) the shape will be.

Using Solid Color Background

If you prefer, you can use a background color or pattern instead of an image. Canva offers preset colors or you can specify a hex code if you have established brand colors.

To change the background, from the left-hand tabs, select “background.” Select an available color or add a custom color.

The example below uses a solid color background.

 

Using Pattern Background for Mockup

Patterns are also available, and a selected number are free to use.  If you choose one that isn’t free, you will be required to pay prior to downloading the image.  Feel free to explore options.  The dominant colors in the backgrounds can be changed as well.

Below is an example of a digital mockup that utilizes a pattern for a background not an image.

In the comprehensive tutorial video, I will show you how to add additional shapes, such as the red square below and text to your canvas.

Step 3: Add page image to your background

Upload your page image created in step 1 to Canva.  Click “Uploads” from the left-hand tabs, then “Upload your own images” and browse and select the page image files you downloaded from smallpdf.com.  If you downloaded multiple pages as a .zip file, you will first need to extract the files before uploading each page image to Canva.

You can add the page images directly to the canvas or you can position them to display in a digital device such as a tablet, as shown in prior example pictures.  If it is a product that is intended to be printed, showing the pages on a desk is a great option.  If you have an e-book, online course or webinar that is intended to be viewed electronically, you may want to consider showing it in an environment that would be easily recognized by the customer.

Below are a couple of examples showing different options.

To add the uploaded page image to your background, click the uploaded image and it will be dropped on the canvas.  You can then rotate the image and resize by clicking and dragging the corner.

To add the page image to a tablet, you can either choose a background that has a computer screen or tablet already included or you can add an element directly from within Canva. For this demonstration, I will show how to add a tablet element and then add page image to the tablet.

Delete the page image previously added by clicking on the page image and then clicking the trash can in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

To Add a Tablet to Background

Canva offers a number of elements such as icons, shapes and images.  You can search for what you are looking for by using the “Search” tab on the left-hand side navigation.

To add a tablet to your background, use the search term “tablet.”  Note that the results show two types of options.  There are both frames which allow you to easily drop in an image and a basic picture of a tablet.  In the picture below, the arrow is pointing to the “frame” and you can see that inside the tablet, it shows a placeholder for an image.  You will be putting the page image you previously created in this frame.

Click the image of the tablet to add it to your background.  Re-position and resize the tablet to fit as desired.

The next step is to add your page image to the tablet and crop as needed.   Select “Uploads” from the left-hand navigation.  Click and drag the uploaded page image over the tablet until it snaps in to the frame.  Once in the frame, you can crop and resize.  Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t look exactly like you want initially.

To crop and resize the image within the frame (tablet), click the tablet and then select crop.  Move the image by clicking and dragging or change the size by dragging corner.  Once you are satisfied, click the check mark to accept or the “X” to revert to prior settings.

You can then add text by clicking on the “text” tab and dragging over text.  To position the text over a color block as shown in prior images, first add a shape such as a square.  Shapes are found in the “Elements” tab.  For step-by-step instructions, watch the tutorial video for this article.

Download Your Finished Product!

The final step is to download the mockup you’ve created.  You can give your file a name (Canva saves all changes automatically), then click the download button.  PNG is the preferred image file type, but you can also select JPG.

Conclusion

Creating a digital mock-up does require a few steps and some new skills, but it allows you to showcase your digital product.  Digital mock-ups allow you to bring your product to life by carefully selecting a background that attracts your ideal customers, convey expertise and quality.

A digital mockup can be used for both paid and promotional products.  For growing your email list, you can feature a stunning image of your free download you provide to new subscribers.  Show above your email sign-up forms, it is sure to create more action than just text alone.

For paid products, your digital mockup is essential.  You can use the image to highlight both the contents of your product as well as highlight special features.   A high quality listing image with a digital mockup helps your product sell.

Go ahead, create a mock-up! You can always improve once you know the basics!

Be sure to grab a copy of my FREE e-book, “Leveraging Digital Goods: More Money, More Business” with a BONUS getting started checklist.  Click here or enter your email, below!

DIY website design

Should You Opt for DIY or Professional Website Design?

Should you opt for DIY website design or hire a professional?  Creating a website for your business is essential.  However, the prospect of spending a large sum of money on a professional may have you looking for DIY website options.

There are many costs associated with getting your business off the ground.  A professionally designed website may be one where you decide to save money and opt for a DIY website approach.  While there are nutrition business owners that are very proficient at managing their own website, I’d like to speak from my experience of working with a freelance web designer to build and maintain RD2RD.

Website Concept and Design Process

RD2RD is a complex, multivendor marketplace website.  Similar to sites like Etsy, Amazon and Teachers Pay Teachers, it allows customers to shop and purchase products from more than one vendor.  Vendors manage their stores by creating and updating products from a central dashboard. Earnings are paid out monthly. Selling on a marketplace site is a great way to get broader exposure for your products and generate more sales.

My vision of creating a place for Registered Dietitians to buy and sell digital products needed a great deal of technology and design to go from idea to reality.  The first step in my journey included research and planning to determine ways to create a comprehensive marketplace website.  I spent hundreds of hours researching my idea.  Once I had a developed a detailed list of functionality and features, I began to reach out to website design firms.  This experience nearly put RD2RD into the “impossible idea” pile.  Upwards of six figures was quoted to put together a custom website.

Selecting a Freelance Website Designer

After the quotes from design firms, I realized a custom website was not an option for RD2RD.  This required me to shift my focus to creating a self hosted, WordPress-based website.  Additional research identified a number of plugins and themes designed for marketplace providers.  I also started to explore the possibility of hiring a freelance web designer to configure the various plugins, settings and customization that would be needed.

There are many options for hiring freelancers from Upwork to Fiverr and sites like Thumbtack.  However, a challenge are the sheer number of responses and selecting a good fit.  In my prior work experience, I was an acute care clinical manager and had a great deal of experience interviewing and hiring.  To screen and then interview more than 15 freelance web designers was a time-consuming process.  However, it allowed me to better focus my project plan and more clearly describe my website’s goal.

Meet RD2RD’s Website Designer

The selection process let me to select Rob Chauvin of Pyxels Design Studio.  He has been an essential member of the RD2RD team.   The process of customizing the theme, SSL, plugin settings and appearance of the site was very tedious.  Rob was consistently prompt, professional and always made sure that I was satisfied with the results.

To learn more about Rob Chauvin, visit Pyxels Design Studio website. I’d recommend these blog posts he has available:

Worst Mistakes of DIY Websites

How to Add eCommerce to Your WordPress Website

Working With Freelance Web Designer

To build RD2RD, I leveraged my prior experience with project management.  Having the experience of implementing numerous technology platforms was an asset I took full advantage of.  A clear project plan and structured communication are two elements of project management that helped with the build of RD2RD.

One essential tool that ensured both an efficient and clear working relationship during the intense build phase of the website was an issues list.  This worksheet included each and every task or modification to the website.  The specific function, plugin(s) involved were noted as well as key dates/deadlines, action taken and resolution status.  We didn’t communicate issues via email and all changes and progress were communicated via our shared issues list.

Since the initial build, Pyxels has continued to support RD2RD with upgrades to site functionality, plugin updates, changes to site navigation and more.  While I’ve learned to do many basic functions in WordPress, when something takes me more than a few minutes to figure out or requires customization, I reach out to Rob for assistance.

Closing Thoughts on DIY Website Design

As a business owner, a website is essential.  Having a website designer that can efficiently setup your site and help to troubleshoot issues is not a unattainable luxury.  Freelance web designers are a great option to provide a balance between cost and results.

Be sure to grab a copy of my FREE e-book, “Leveraging Digital Goods: More Money, More Business” with a BONUS getting started checklist.  Click here or enter your email, below!

 

Webinar Basics and Beyond

A webinar is a powerful tool for business owners.  However, starting your research on a sales page for a webinar platform is a sure-fire way to end up shelling out money for more features than you need.  Not to mention, it is both time-consuming and confusing to review options and decide which one is the best fit.

Before you dive in and start exploring webinar platforms, it is essential that you understand a few webinar basics.  This article will give you an overview of webinar technology, compare promotional versus paid webinars and review essential elements needed to conduct a successful webinar.

Be sure to grab my free webinar checklist!  It contains questions to answer before beginning your webinar planning and a list of features to help you determine which platform will best meet your needs.

 

What is a webinar?

A webinar is synonymous with the term, web-based seminar.  Traditionally, seminars and presentations were given to a live audience, however the internet created the opportunity for speakers and audiences to be in different locations.  A webinar uses a technology platform that allows audience members to join and view the presentation and speaker from a different location.

Webinars have gained popularity and the technology used to connect the speaker and audience now have an incredible array of features. These include a host of tools for audience engagement such as conducting polls and administering quizzes, to full-featured sales tools that allow for special product offers to be purchased during the webinar event.  It can be dizzying to review the options for webinar technology.   Making sense of these features and how to use them is no simple task.

To better understand the features and select a platform suited to your needs, it is important to first explore the two main types of webinars, promotional and paid.

 

Types of Webinars

Promotional Webinars

A promotional webinar is a marketing tactic that attracts an audience with information from a knowledgeable expert.  These are usually offered free and may be marketed as a masterclass, workshop or mini training.

A hallmark of a promotional webinar is a sales pitch at some point during the webinar.  The presenter will offer paid products or services related to the webinar content.  Often there is a special bonus offered only to webinar participants and is often time-sensitive.

An essential element of a high quality, promotional webinar is providing attendees with high value information.  Attendees’ time is valuable and if they don’t feel that your webinar provided a great deal of value, it is unlikely they will decide to purchase paid products or services from you.  While the “sales pitch” element can feel intimidating, making it clear for those that want to work with you further or purchase a resource with more detailed information, is a must for a promotional webinar.

 

Paid Webinars

A paid webinar differs greatly from a promotional webinar.  The purpose of the webinar is to deliver information or training on a topic.  You might be familiar with educational webinars offered by professional organizations.  Typically, you must be a paid member or pay a registration fee to attend the webinar.

A paid webinar requires that you consider how you will collect payment in advance of the webinar and provide access only to paid attendees.   Typically for paid webinars, attendees expect to be provided with access to a recorded version of the webinar after the event.

 

Webinar Essentials

Registration

Whether your webinar is paid or promotional, you need a way for to people to register or sign-up for your event.

For a promotional webinar, because payment isn’t typically involved, this can be as simple as a landing page or a dedicated page on your website.  After providing required details including email address, the registered attendee should receive a confirmation email.

Most email service providers such as Mailchimp and MailerLite allow you to create free landing pages.  The landing page has a specific URL and can be linked from blog or social media posts/profiles.  If you opt for a paid webinar platform such as Zoom Webinars or WebinarJam, tools to support registration are provided as part of the fee paid.

For paid webinars, tools such as Eventbrite allow you to setup a paid event.  It is also common to use a shopping cart tool such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads to set up and sell registration to a webinar.  For connecting various applications such as a payment gateway and email service provider, Zapier is a popular and powerful tool.  If you plan to offer paid webinars, it is essential to carefully plan out how you will collect payment and provide access to paid attendees.

 

Communication with Registered Attendees

Email is the most common way to connect with registered attendees.  Some webinar platforms allow you to text message or use tools such as Facebook messenger.

Leading up to the event, it is essential to remind attendees about the event and in the case of promotional webinars, provide motivation for them to attend.  This might be providing details about what they will learn or how the information will help to solve a specific problem.

A typical email sequence for a webinar is a message 4-7 days before, the day of, and 30 minutes before the event starts.  Be sure to provide clear details on how to access the webinar and provide a link to the web-based meeting event.  Confusion about how to access the webinar will certainly create dissatisfaction.

Communication after the event is equally important.  A webinar is a great opportunity to establish authority on a topic and drive traffic to products or your blog/website.  Have a plan to send a sequence of emails to attendees after the event.

 

Web/internet-based Meeting Tool

A webinar can be conducted with a number of technology tools.  Some are inexpensive such as Google Hangouts on Air, a Facebook or YouTube event.  Full-featured options include GoToWebinar, Zoom Webinar and WebinarJam.  The essential component needed is a web-based, group meeting.  Attendees are provided a hyperlink and join the web-based meeting via the link. As the presenter, you have control over the audio and screen during the event.

 

Advanced Webinar Features

Many webinar platforms offer advanced features.  The most common include audience engagement, integration with tools to help follow-up on customers (leads) and evergreen or simulated webinars.

Audience engagement includes features such as polls or quizzes.  This allows for attendees to stay engaged in the presentation and to gather important information about your customers.   While audience engagement is a valuable tool, it is often necessary to have a virtual assistant or support person available during a webinar when including polls or quizzes.

Analytics and advanced reports allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your webinar and target follow-up to attendees.  Details such as whether a customer that registered attended the webinar, how long they watched and even if they had the webinar as “front screen” can be tracked.  With this detail, you can send specific follow-up messages to customers that did not attend or left before you made your product pitch.  Tools like GoToWebinar and Zoom Webinar offer advanced reporting.

An innovative webinar approach is the use of evergreen or simulated webinars.  These webinars are pre-recorded but have the look and feel of a live event to the attendees.  Tools like StealthSeminar and EverWebinar allow you to create an on-demand or pre-scheduled webinar.  These are advanced webinar techniques, but something to consider once you have a high performing webinar.

 

Summary

While there are some essential elements that you must consider when conducting a webinar, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.  First and foremost, you must decide on the purpose of your webinar and what your goals are for the event.  This allows you to focus on the essential technology elements and map out a registration and communication process to support your goals.

It may make sense to opt for a more expensive paid option if the features support your goals, but you may find that your needs are met by a lower cost option such as an unlisted YouTube live event.   What can be guaranteed is that once you conduct your webinar, you will have a list of things you want to improve and change for the next one!

Be sure to grab my free webinar checklist!

It contains questions to answer BEFORE beginning your webinar planning and a list of features to help you determine which platform will best meet your needs.

Add To Wish List

 

pricing digital products

Pricing Digital Products

Pricing digital products may be one of the most difficult steps in the process of selling online.  You are worried about selecting a price that is too high and might scare away buyers, but also don’t want to underestimate your worth.  How do you find that sweet spot?  Is there really a perfect price point for your product?

Since launching RD2RD, one of the most common questions besides “what can I sell?” is how to price digital products.  This is not a question with a simple answer.  Digital products are quite different from physical products and the pricing strategy looks very different as well.

Traditional Approach – Pricing Digital Products

A traditional pricing approach looks at the inputs to produce the product and then applies a mark-up.  This might look at the time and materials to produce a physical item and then adding a mark-up or multiplier.  While this approach may make sense for a piece of clothing or even a menu item at a restaurant, it doesn’t fit the bill for digital products.  This article gives a great overview of the traditional pricing approach. For digital products, you need to look beyond the cost of the input and focus on the value of your product to your customers.

Value-Based Approach – Pricing Digital Products

With the value-based pricing approach, you start not by considering the cost of time and materials, but instead focus on pinpointing the value of the solution your product offers.  This approach is rooted in the concept that customers are purchasing a solution, or something that makes their life better.

In the case of a product targeted for business not personal use, the value is often framed in business growth, increased brand recognition or revenue.  Whether your product is targeted at consumers or business owners, the key for value-based pricing is an intimate understanding of your target purchaser and the exact pain points that your product solves.

Case Studies from RD2RD Product Listings

Here are three examples of successful products on RD2RD and a closer look at how they build value with a well-written description.

  1. The Grocery Store Tour Toolkit

This product’s product description quickly identifies the target customer and offers a “promise” or solution.

Offering a grocery store tour is a business-building opportunity, but is time consuming to organize and prepare.  This description clearly identifies the pain points of time and feeling disorganized.  A solution to these problems is the value.  After establishing the problems solved, the seller builds additional value by listing product features and the contents of the toolkit.  The customer isn’t left wondering “exactly what will I get if I purchase this product?”

Imagine if the product description was just 1 or 2 sentences about what a grocery store tour is or simply a list of the product contents.  This product description establishes value by clearly offering a solution and then using specific product features to support the “promise” and justify the price.

  1. Financial Agreement Policy

This is a policy template for private practice dietitians.   One of the challenges of a new practice owner is getting essential business documents established.

The product description echoes frustrations private practice dietitians have with getting paid for their services.  These pain points are likely reasons the customer is seeking to implement a payment policy for their practice.  It builds value by describing the cost of not having a policy in place both in time and frustration.

The seller clearly lists what essential elements are included in the template.  The buyer knows what is being purchased and the description also highlights that it is in an editable document format.  The list of elements would be less value-building if the seller hadn’t first set the stage by describing the pain points and positioning her product as a solution.

  1. Webinar & Workbook: How to Practice the Anti-Diet Approach to Dietetics.

This product is a combination of both a webinar recording and a workbook.  It makes a strong promise in the first paragraph which will resonate strongly with customers – “A how-to guide for any RD or RD2Be looking to adopt this approach to their nutrition career.”

It is important that you make it clear who your product is for.  This description does an excellent job of this and has been rewarded with numerous sales.  The value of the included 15-page workbook can’t be understated and by offering these resources, references and tips in addition to the webinar, the value of the product is increased.

Thinking about how you might bundle multiple items together to create more value and perhaps a more appealing product is a strategy to consider.  It is also common to offer multiple pricing tiers for a product and to include additional products at higher price points.

Clearly Communicate the Value of Your Product

When pricing digital products, it is essential to consider the item’s value to the customer.  The time and money you’ve spent creating the product isn’t the primary factor in determining your product’s price.  When you clearly show the value of the solution, your product will generate sales.

To effectively build value in your product description, you need to have your target customer clearly identified and pain points identified.   While this process does take time, it is an investment as the description will generate ongoing sales. Investing the time in crafting a product description is one of the most important steps you can take to achieve success selling online.

Want to learn more?

Selling digital products is a great opportunity for your business, both to generate passive income, but also to attract new customers.  To learn more about how to create digital products, download my FREE ebook, a guide for RDNs getting started selling digital products.

Be sure to grab a copy of my FREE e-book, “Leveraging Digital Goods: More Money, More Business” with a BONUS getting started checklist.  Click here or enter your email, below!

 

How to Choose an Online Course Platform

A challenge for online course creators is choosing a course builder platform.  Do you opt for an easy-to-use hosted tool or a more customizable self-hosted option?  It is easy to spend hours reviewing features and demo sites.  Determining which is the best fit for you can leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from RDs with real world experience using top-rated course platforms?  In this article, RD course creators explain how and why they chose the course builder tool they are using now and what they’ve learned along the way.

Meet the Experts:

Nina Mills, B.HSc, M.HumNutr, M.Diet uses Teachable to sell her courses including A Taste of Mindful Eating.

Jennifer Cohen, Ph.D uses Everlesson to sell courses for parents of fussy eaters including The Calm and Happy Mealtime Solution.

Danielle Omar, MS, RDN uses AccessAlly to sell her course, Nourish, 21 days of Clean Eating.

Heather Neal, MS, RD, LDN, CLT uses MemberPress for the RD Entrepreneur Symposium.

Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT is transition from a DIY combination of MailChimp/Google Drive/Vimeo/Zoom to Teachable deliver her course, The BAR Method (Branding, Advertising and Relationships).

Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD is using Teachable to build a course on the principles of intuitive eating.

Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD is using MemberPress for her course, Turn Picky Eating Around and additional membership products.

 

Course Builder Platform Decision Interviews:

Is your website built on WordPress.org, Squarespace, Wix or something else?

Nina (Teachable), Jennifer (Everlesson), Danielle (AccessAlly), Heather (MemberPress), Mandy (DIY), Cara (Teachable), Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): WordPress

 

What additional option(s) did you consider before choosing the tool/platform you decided on?

Nina Mills (Teachable): I considered Thinkific.  At the time I was making my choice. I was experiencing web hosting issues and didn’t want to use a plugin that might add more burden to my website.  When I was researching, Teachable and Thinkific were the most well-known and established.  I took advantage of free accounts and got familiar with the back-end and ultimately chose Teachable because it was less expensive at the time.  It has proven to be a great decision as Teachable’s release of new/enhanced features has outpaced Thinkific, in my opinion.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): I started with Teachable because it offered a free version.  It gave me the most functionality within a budget.  I wanted a platform that was not going to cost me too much money up front and did not involve doing any coding. The platform interface is visually-appealing and easy to use.  I moved to Everlesson when they were doing a special price for the beta version.  It was a one-off price so it was an amazing deal at the time.  I have been with them for a year now and have been pleased with the expanded capabilities.  It is fairly easy-to-use and allows you to customize to your brand and add game-play elements to encourage engagement with course content.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): I used Wishlist Member with Ontraport for a while but did not like the functionality.  I found it to be buggy.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): I used a combination of Google Drive/email delivery for my very first online programs years ago.  I’ve also used Teachable in the past.  Before switching, I experimented with several options including Thinkific, Course Cats, WP Courseware, WP Lunchbox, Lifter LMS, and LearnDash LMS, and Easy Digital Downloads.

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable):  I’m in the process of moving to Teachable, but prior to that, I was using a combination of MailChimp/Google Drive/Vimeo/Zoom to deliver content and interact with students.  Before making an investment in a course builder platform, I wanted to perfect my content and format, run smaller pilot programs to gain student insight and leverage positive feedback as well as establish myself as an expert.

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): I considered self-hosted membership plugins for my website.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): I chose MemberPress because of its affordability and simplicity. I used to be a member of Membersite Academy, a support membership on building membership sites and when I asked for recommendations, it was endorsed by others.  It was easy to integrate into the system I already had (Active Campaign, WordPress and Stripe), so it was very easy to set up.

 

What were the most important aspects of the course builder tool you chose?

Nina Mills (Teachable): I had some functionality that I needed the platform to be able to deliver (e.g. dripping out content) which influenced my decision.  I was also looking for something relatively inexpensive as I am in Australia, so you automatically add around 30% onto the purchase price plus currency conversion fees!  The experience for my students was a consideration and I wanted it to be easy and pleasant to access course materials.  Finally, because I would be setting up and maintaining the course myself, I needed something easy to learn and customize.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): For me, it is still about cost combined with ease of use as I build my programs.  Over time I want to be able to integrate more functionality such as gamification.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): Functionality and flexibility were the main reason.  I was looking for a tool that would allow the most customization and that would grow with me.  I did want all my programs to look the same.  I also wanted one login for all my programs and great compatibility with WordPress.  Good customer service and tutorials were also a consideration.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): User-friendliness, ability to incorporate a robust affiliate program, reasonable ongoing maintenance costs and the ability to customize design/

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable): Cost, ease of use, reputation, ability to easily transfer my existing content to a course structure that would allow me to run the program similar to the successful approach I found with my DIY approach.  I also wanted the built-in affiliate program, sales pages/sales tools and low fees for purchases.

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): Ease of use, 100%!  I’m not a tech savvy person and that is the primary reason I did not stay on my WordPress site.  It has been easy to use and I’ve been able to focus on creating content, instead of troubleshooting frustrating tech issues.  As a close second, I wanted something that would be easy to navigate and use from the other side.  I’ve participated in courses that were slow to load, hard to navigate or just clunky and visually unappealing.  These experiences made me keep my course participant in mind when selecting a platform.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): Ease of use and quick set-up were very important to me.

 

Did you install/configure the course builder yourself or hire/use expert?

Nina Mills (Teachable): DIY all the way!

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): I did it all myself!

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): Hired an expert.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): Did it myself.

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable): DIY

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): DIY. In the future, I will likely experiment with plugins and based on what I learn, consider outsourcing to an expert.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): I did it all myself.

 

How many and what types of courses do you sell?

Nina Mills (Teachable): I have 2 courses for sale at the moment, both of which fit into the Health at Every Size® niche.  My 5-day Mindset Reset is an entry level course on exploring mindset blocks and diet myths.  My current signature course is A Taste of Mindful Eating.  I had found from working in private practice that a lot of my clients could intellectualize the concept of mindful eating, but they were always wanting to know how to DO it. So, A Taste of Mindful Eating, provides students over 6-weeks, the tools and resources that I, in my clinical experience, have found work best for my clients to develop the practical skills of mindful eating.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): I have my main product and a low introductory program.  In the next year, I plan to add another lower price point and another main product.  Calm and Happy Mealtime Solution is a 6-week online program for parents of fussy eaters.  I open the doors to this program 2-3 times per year.  Understanding Fussy Eating is a mini course to help parents understand the reason for their child’s fussy eating and provide information on the first steps in helping their fussy eater try new foods.  It is available year round.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly):  I sell 3 courses one of which is Nourish: 21 Day of Clean Eating. This program opens for registration again in the Fall of 2018.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): I host a biannual online conference, the RD Entrepreneur Symposium, which changes with each edition (not evergreen).  The content is predominantly video-based.

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable): My courses/programs explore principles of branding, advertising and relationship building (BAR) for dietitians.  The level 1 BAR Method is a 12-week course and includes weekly modules, assignments and small group meetings.  I also meet with students one-on-one every 4 weeks.  The course is designed to have a college-course feel to provide dietitians with skills in Branding, Advertising and Relationship Building that weren’t included in their formal training.  My level 2 program includes advanced topics and expert speakers and is designed for those that complete level 1 and focuses on application of the knowledge from level 1.  Eventually I plan to have an ongoing level 3 Mastermind to give program participants the opportunity to share their learnings and continue growing.

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): I’m currently building a course that is an introduction to intuitive eating that will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the principles of intuitive eating and take actionable steps to implement them.  It utilizes video, text and reflection/writing prompts and is self-paced.  Participants have the option to add virtual coaching with me.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): I sell one course for parents of picky eaters, Turn Picky Eating Around and one membership product on starting solids.

What is one thing you wish you had known before selecting the option you chose?

Nina Mills (Teachable): I don’t think there has been anything that has made me wish I had gone with a different option.  Everything I had questions about, I have been able to work out or get support from Teachable themselves or via the Teachable community on Facebook.  Teachable has also been great about listening to their instructors when we suggest future enhancements.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): Which platform is the easiest to use and the most cost effective.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): I haven’t had any issues with AccessAlly so far.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): How many different plugins I’d have to incorporate in order to replicate the course “feel” I wanted (even multiple plugins within an overall plugin).  Really understanding the integration with different plugins (some will list a feature, but in reality, it only “talks” to another plugin that you have to install/configure).  Knowing that it couldn’t also operate as a shopping cart (easily add multiple items to a cart and allow promotions based on selected options).

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable): I’m glad I went the route I did first to start and then used the time to explore other options when I’m fully ready to roll the program out.

Cara Harbstreet: I wish I had known how easy Teachable really was! I would have likely just started there instead of spending time researching other methods.  For the first course, it was a priority to create it quickly and get it out there, I was OK with not having all the bells and whistles that can come with other platforms.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): n/a

 

What type of interaction do you have with your students and do you use functionality from your course platform or something else?

Nina Mills (Teachable): Students have the option to email me or post in the dedicated Facebook group.  I can allow students to leave questions and comments on the course content within Teachable, but I have taken courses that have used this functionality in the past and I didn’t find it to be very effective, so I haven’t enabled it.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): I provide a private Facebook group for those that are in my main program where I do Facebook Lives.  I also offer a couple of Zoom® coaching sessions.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): I use a Facebook group for this.

Heather Neal (MemberPress): I have a Facebook group for discussion with other Symposium attendees and speakers.  Even when I used Teachable which can easily integrate discussion, I preferred to use Facebook since people are already there anyway.

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable):  For my 12-week level 1 course, I meet weekly to review assignments and brainstorm.  Every 4th week participants have a 1-on-1 session with me for individualized attention.  With the move to Teachable, I am also going to be offering a self-study version for Level 1 with the option for additional mentorship with me and a bridge to level 2 option.  With mentorship, participants work with me one to three times per month depending on goal and needs.

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): The primary interaction will be via a Facebook group that will offer opportunities to engage and connect.  Additionally, course enrollees join my email list and receive updates and news from me.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): I run my support groups on Facebook.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share on this topic?

Nina Mills (Teachable): it’s tempting to want to pick a tool quickly and get straight into the fun stuff like setting up and selling your course (wait, scratch that – the selling part is NOT fun!), but it is worth taking some time to think about how you want to deliver your course and what you want your user’s experience to be.  This can really help you narrow down you options as well as making sure you are going to be able to teach your content in the way you want and find the most effective.

If you are DIY-ing, play in a demo or free version.  You want to be confident that you can use the tool or platform and that it will do what you want it to do.  At the very least, get the sales team to send you some examples of people who are using the product.

Jennifer Cohen (Everlesson): Setting up a program takes work.  For me, doing a course about creating courses really helped me with the push I needed to develop the program.  Creating an online course is just one step in the process, you need to have a launch sequence, sales pager, etc.  I suggest people start out by building their email lists and social media following before building a course.

Danielle Omar (AccessAlly): n/a

Heather Neal (MemberPress): Choosing a pre-built course platform vs. using a plugin largely comes down to your specific needs.  How many features do you need and either your tech comfort level or your time/funds available to build a course.  One advantage of a hosted course builder platform is that all the navigation is built in and you don’t have to worry about updating a bunch of links if you need to move a lesson or module in your course.  I wrote a comprehensive blog post comparing pre-built and self-hosted options and my experience with the options I’ve used.

Mandy Enright (DIY/Teachable): As I’ve said, there’s nothing wrong with running small pilots and getting your content perfected first using more cost-effective methods (such as Google Drive and email) before moving over to a pricier course platform.

Cara Harbstreet (Teachable): Given that I’m rather inexperienced, no, other than encouraging dietitians who are considering it to take the plunge and give it a try.  I was hesitant to take the steps to put my work out there, but I realized its potential for a passive income source, something I really dedicated myself to developing this year.  I would love to be able to meet with more people in 1:1 counseling, but the reality is I simply can’t work with that many people by myself.  An online course is a great way to provide evidence-based engaging content for those who seek it and elevates my voice/expertise as a dietitian.

Natalia Stasenko (MemberPress): I think a self-hosted membership platform gives me more flexibility in the long term, but if I needed a quick solution to just one course, I would go for a done-for-you option like Teachable or Thinkific.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a method to build and sell your online course can feel like an overwhelming task.  This article gave you a backstage pass into the approach other RD course creators.  Their candid sharing of experiences has likely given you a new and more focused set of considerations and some specific platforms to consider.

Did you know that you sell your online courses or webinar recordings on RD2RD?  Here are a few examples of course products on RD2RD.

Course: Fast Track to Pretty Graphics with Canva

Webinar + Workbook: How to Practice the Anti-Diet Approach in Your Nutrition Practice

Course: The Role of Medical Nutrition Therapy in Acne Care

To learn more about creating or listing your existing course on RD2RD, join the RD2RD email list and be the first to know about upcoming information sessions for RD course creators.



Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale, SAVE 25%. Enter CYBER25 at checkout!
close
open