This is a follow up story for RDRx Nutrition. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Haley Hughes and I am a Registered Dietitian, Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Certified Diabetes Educator. I also coach CrossFit and teach yoga. I started a full-time private practice where I provide intuitive eating-based nutrition counseling, workshops, group programs, and retreats.
RDRx Nutrition has become my full-time job after years of working for hospitals and other healthcare corporations. The main service I provide is individualized nutrition coaching. Being able to provide group nutrition coaching has provided major growth for my practice. It has been great for my clients and builds community without me experiencing burnout from 1:1 services.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
By adding in group classes and leading corporate wellness nutrition coaching programs my business has grown significantly. I can reach more clients when I can create a group structured program. This was a big milestone for my business because I was very closed-minded to the idea of group coaching at first. Nutrition is very individualized but after creating weekly learning modules and still providing weekly check-ins I was able to maintain the personalization.
I’ve continued to post on social media platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to boost traffic and engagement. My main purpose for Instagram and Facebook is for my audience to learn more about my approach to nutrition and helpful resources. I use Pinterest to boost traffic to my website where I provide educational blogs and healthy recipes.
I’ve learned to market towards a more specific niche so that my clients and myself have the best experience possible.
I have not added any employees however I had 5 dietetic interns over the past year who were very helpful with fresh ideas and different viewpoints. These interns are required to complete assignments and projects including nutrition counseling so I have them assist with group programs and social media content.
Creating an individualized intuitive nutrition course was the newest addition to the services I currently offer. I have also expanded on nutrition presentations and workshops.
I’ve lost interest in trying to boost engagement in my Facebook group and find that Instagram gets more engagement. I have put more effort into creating reels and searching hashtags.
Another source of passive income for me is google Adsense and amazon affiliates on my website. I often share kitchen gadgets, ingredients, and health-related products with clients and my audience.
Over the past year, I have grown my email list to 917 subscribers from ~300 and have served over 250 clients. My Pinterest has over 78,000 views a month and has led to a significant increase in website traffic. I have 76 positive google reviews which rank me very high for Alaska dietitians.
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What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
Branching out from just offering individual counseling has been a challenge. I took the initiative to take a course on how to create an online course. This was a major investment and very time-consuming. Recording my voice and creating slides was a big project that took months to finish.
Having the course and other presentations already created has been very helpful and I can reach more people by providing these services. I value being able to serve more people at one time and it’s financially a better return.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
I can’t do it all. I’ve learned to market towards a more specific niche so that my clients and myself have the best experience possible. I’ve made plenty of mistakes including trying to serve people who do not align with my approach to nutrition. I teach intuitive eating concepts vs. focusing on solely weight changes and restrictive dieting.
With having a newborn I have learned to prioritize my time. Being organized and looking at my day the night before and morning is a habit that starts my day off strong.
Lately, I have been teaching more yoga as a contractor. I have made multiple partnerships within the past couple of years leading to fun opportunities like my yearly yoga wellness retreat in Homer, Alaska. This is one of my favorite business adventures I have pursued with a friend from yoga teacher training. We are getting ready for our second retreat at the end of August!
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
I plan to continue offering nutrition counseling, yoga retreats, corporate wellness programs, and teaching CrossFit and yoga. I also would like to eventually teach other dietitians how to build their businesses. My vision is to continue growing my group programs, offer more retreats throughout the year in remote Alaska places, and continue teaching fitness classes.
A short-term goal for me would be to increase prices, have a successful wellness retreat this August, and lead a group three-month program in October.
A long-term goal would be to automate more of my systems and check an email chain for subscribers to get monthly updates, education materials, and recipes. I would also like to increase my revenue from passive income sources.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
The top two books I’ve read this year inspired me to keep going as a business owner. I loved Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It reminded me how to think outside of the box and not to be afraid of creativity. She gave great life examples and made me think about how I want to live my life.
The Fuck It Diet by Caroline Dooner renewed my fire to fight diet culture. She like many of my clients has struggled with dieting and empowers people to quit.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Being an entrepreneur is hard. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. You’ve got to be determined, passionate, and disciplined. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to assess where your time is going and set boundaries. It’s easy to get caught up in doing free things in the beginning or focusing on tasks that don't provide much return.
Always be willing to try new approaches and know you might fail at times. You have to continue growing and if something isn't working invest in help or coaching from a mentor in your field. I have learned so much from courses and other dietitians.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
I am interested in hiring someone to do Pinterest management and possibly other content creation. I also am always looking for guest bloggers and partnering with other dietitians to create resources and recipes.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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