This week I’m chatting with Jenna Gorham – dietitian and founder of a new platform, The RD Link, that connects dietitians with brands.
So if you’ve ever thought about working with brands, this is the episode for you!
What You’ll learn
- How Jenna came up with the idea for The RD Link
- How she actually built the platform
- How dietitians and brands can connect with each other
- Ideas for utilizing brand work in your business
- How to stand out when reaching out
More About Jenna
Jenna Gorham is a registered dietitian and the founder of Gorham Consulting Group and The RD Link.
Her mission is to create relationships between health and wellness brands and registered dietitians to foster credibility and the spread of accurate nutrition information while helping brands and dietitians alike grow their businesses in meaningful ways.
She designed The RD Link, which is the only one-stop-shop platform to connect RDs and brands, to ideate and execute hundreds of partnerships.
Out of the office, you can find her in the mountain biking and hiking through Montana and keeping up with her black lab, Turbo!
Connect with Jenna
- Websites: The RD Link and Gorham Consulting Group
- Facebook: Gorham Consulting Group
- Instagram: @therdlink
- LinkedIn: Gorham Consulting Group
- FTC Disclosure Requirements
- FTC Frequently Asked Questions
- AND social media guidelines
- Make More Money as a Dietitian Podcast
- Rise to the Top
- Abbey Sharp’s Media Rate Kit
Episode Show Notes
Erica Julson: This week on the podcast, I'm chatting with Jenna Gorham, dietitian and founder of a new platform called The RD Link that connects dietitians with brands. So if you've ever thought about working with brands to create sponsored content on your website, podcast, or social profiles, or wanted to connect with a brand to get free samples for an event, or even if you have an idea for a service you can provide for brands like content creation, joining The RD Link can be a great way to connect with brands who are already looking for dietitians. And in this episode, Jenna walks us through the story of how she got the idea to create The RD Link, how she actually built the platform.
She explains how it works for both brands and dietitians and gives us ideas on ways dietitians can utilize brand work in their businesses. Let's get into it. Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income stream. We'll talk all things online business to help you start, grow and scale your own digital empire.
Hi Jenna, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I am thrilled to talk with you about your experience founding The RD Link because it's definitely filling a void that exists in our profession. And I think it's such an innovative solution. So thank you for being on today.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk more.
Erica Julson: Yeah. I mean, before we get too far into it, I always like to hear a little bit of the background story of my guests. So could you give us a higher level overview of where you started in your career and kind of where you are today?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, sure. So like many dietitians of their internship after taking the exam, I did start in clinical for a very short period of time, maybe only six months, because I think I knew I just didn't want to be in clinical forever. And I felt like I wanted a longer lasting relationship with patients. So from there I branched out and started a private practice. So I'm actually, I live in Montana, so it's a fairly rural place. So at the time it was very hard to find a job. So I felt like I needed to create my own.
So from there I realized I really didn't want to be counseling patients longterm. I just, counseling isn't for me. So one year at fency, I just started talking to companies in the expo hall and I ended up pitching a brand, an idea I had and they ended up liking the idea and they ended up needing some other services from a dietitian as well. So from there, I just figured out what brands wanted, what I liked to do and just evolved from there into more consulting opportunities.
Erica Julson: I think a lot of people's ears are going to perk up at that. Because they're like, "Oh, what? Like that sounds like really fun. And I don't know anything about that world." So this should be an illuminating interview. So well, can you give our listeners some background? What is RD Link that you've created?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, so The RD Link is the only one stop shop online platform to connect brands and dietitians. So how it works is both brands and dietitians, they create accounts and they both have profiles. So when a brand logs in, they have access to all of the dietitians on the site. So it's almost like a dietitian database, so they can filter through the dietitians by their industry, specialty and their location. So they can find the best fits for their company, for whatever projects they're working on for dietitians that align with their mission and values and expertise that they're looking for too. And then on the dietitian side, dietitians, they have their profiles so they can highlight their expertise, their specialties, and then they can filter through the brand database and filter through brands based on what fits best with them and their mission and their expertise.
And then they can pitch the brands. They can reach out to them to build relationships or try products, or get product samples to share with clients, whatever it may be. And then dietitians can also list their partnership opportunities. So if they're looking for samples to share at an event or to share with clients, or if they have a podcast and they want brand sponsors, they can post that. Or if they have a TV segment where they want to feature a brand, they can post all sorts of types of opportunities there for brands to access and connect with them there and pursue partnerships.
Erica Julson: Which is genius, because I don't know, maybe not that many people listening do a lot of sponsored content work, but there are kind of platforms like this that exist in other niches, like the food blogging niche or something, but not really anything to connect brands with solid healthcare professionals, which I think is super innovative.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. There's a lot of influencer platforms. So for me, we definitely have influencer dietitians on our site, but I mean, there's so many other ways to partner with brands too, at least for me starting out, I knew I didn't want to be an influencer, so I don't limit our site to just influencers. It really is for all types of dietitians. I mean, you can have brand sponsor things like webinars or online courses, or there's so many opportunities. And I think it's just a natural fit because I mean, dietitians and truly inaudible brands. We have similar audiences. So having partners just gives us that ability to tap into more people and reach more people with our nutrition message.
Erica Julson: And I'm just curious, how did you come up with this idea?
Jenna Gorham: I guess on the consulting side, I work with brands to help them build and launch their dietitian outreach and ambassador programs. So through that, I was doing a lot of product placement. And so meaning I share product samples with dietitians for their events, or we would connect them with brands for various sponsorship opportunities. So whatever they had going on. It got to a point where I had all these dietitians reaching out to me with upcoming opportunities for brands saying, "Hey, do you have any brands who would be interested in partnering with me on this?" And it just got to the point where I couldn't help as many dietitians or as many brands as I wanted to. I always envisioned putting it online. I was just doing it by hand. I have everything in my little spreadsheet. At some point I always thought online, it was just making it happen. So it took some time, of course.
Erica Julson: Well, I love that you, in a sense, validated the idea before you invested in the entire online platform, you basically were doing it by hand and then it just made logical sense. You already knew the demand was there to build it out. So that probably-
Jenna Gorham: Definitely. Yeah. I knew the demand was there and I knew the types of questions to ask people on the sign up form. And I knew what details they had to share. I knew that it would help for the dietitians to list specific opportunities, rather than just broad general, I can do anything you want me to type them services. It was great to kind of practice until we made it bigger.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And this might not be like super interesting for the people listening, but from me and my own nerdy website curiosity. How did you go about building it? Did you partner with somebody or hire somebody? How did that all happen?
Jenna Gorham: I ended up finding a company who does developing well, it's actually a custom app rather than a site. It's a developing team out of India actually. I found them online and it's much more affordable than developers in the US, but they've been great. We worked together on the design and the development and they're still working with me to help make updates as we need it. And yeah, it's an ongoing learning process and we continued to learn more and more as we go. And there's always a new challenge, but it's been a lot of fun.
Erica Julson: And I think that is a good reminder that if you ever get like overwhelmed at the thought of doing something that seems like beyond your personal capabilities, you can hire out to help with that part. Yeah. I mean, I would imagine that setting up something like that, where people have profiles and they're communicating with one another is a lot more complex than a regular website.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. And actually it took me a while to find someone to, because I interviewed a lot of local developing companies and a lot of them would refer me to WordPress, which doesn't have the capabilities that I need for it. Everyone I spoke to locally didn't know how to execute it. It's also just take your time to find the right people and make sure that they can really make it work the way you need it to.
Erica Julson: And knowing what you need before you go in. Yeah. I think having the clarity from doing it manually probably really helped you find the right fit. Did you just Google it or how did you find, is there like a website that you can go to?
Jenna Gorham: I started looking around on Upwork for the developer, I guess, locally I was Googling companies. And then I had the company who built my regular site and yeah, I think I ended up finding it on Upwork.
Erica Julson: Perfect. That's super helpful for anyone listening, who might have a lofty app or website idea. Okay. Going back to the actual platform, if a dietitian is listening right now and they're like, that sounds really exciting. I want to connect with brands. Are there any sorts of requirements that they need to meet before they're eligible to join?
Jenna Gorham: No. Yeah. All dietitians are welcome. Ortiz 2B and dietetic interns are all welcome as well. We accept each dietitian application that comes onto the site just to make sure everyone is a true expert, healthcare professional. But other than that, that's really the only requirement. Everyone's welcome, there's opportunities for everyone. We have brands who are looking to just share product samples and those who are looking for more specific paid partnership opportunities. There really is something for everyone.
Erica Julson: Yeah. I'm imagining maybe people listening aren't quite clear on like how they could fit this into their business model. Can you give us some examples, like how could this be beneficial for like a private practice dietitian or a blogger or a dietitian who does a lot of media work. Do you have some concrete examples to help flush it out?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. And I think that's an important thing to talk about too, because I think a lot of times when dietitians picture working with brands, they see the whole influencer media side, which is great. And a lot of brands are of course looking for that, but there's opportunities for other dietitians too. I think it really comes down to focusing on your niche and your specialty and what you're good at and then considering your current offerings too. What are you currently doing where brand could fit in? Things like, do you have an online course or a podcast, or I don't know, anything you're doing really, even a webinar that reaches a certain audience and then connecting with brands who have a similar target audience or similar mission or messaging. I guess if you're like a plant-based dietitian, connect with plant-based brands and see physician to them, the value of that you could bring to them by reaching their target audience are so many people or there really are so many ways to partner. I guess for example, we sponsored webinars or podcast ads or TD segments or huge variety of things.
Erica Julson: What about, is it mostly just like entrepreneurial RDs? Is there any context where it could be helpful for somebody who's like working a regular job?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, that's a great question. I think you got a lot of cases that is entrepreneurial RDs, but I spoken with clinical RDs for them. It seems to be mostly in my experience from what they've been looking for. It's mostly been product samples to share with patients. And what else? I guess, retail dietitians too. We work with a handful of retail dietitians. And for them there's sometimes brand partnership opportunities with the store as a whole. Or there are a lot of times they're looking for product samples too, but it just comes down to getting creative with what you're already doing and seeing how you could promote a brand.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Basically your imagination is the limit.
Jenna Gorham: Exactly.
Erica Julson: People come up with really creative collaboration ideas, especially even with the pandemic and going virtual and doing virtual events and things like that. All opportunities to connect again. crosstalk
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, exactly. Getting creative.
Erica Julson: And then do you have any requirements for the brands that join the platform?
Jenna Gorham: I do. I guess early on, I reached out to our network of dietitians to see what was important to them in brands and food companies, even just for themselves or their clients and patients. It was interesting to hear back from them that even unprompted, a lot of them came back and said, it's really important that their messaging is more so important than even the nutrition sometimes because dietitians mostly don't want brands that are pushing a certain lifestyle on people or promoting just false claims. To be accepted on a link platform, the brands we focus on just simple wholesome ingredients, no artificial sweeteners. And it has to be a brand that really believes in quality nutrition information. They care about their consumer. They're not pushing trends and fads and they're focusing on just quality, accurate nutrition.
Erica Julson: And how do they find out about the platform? Do you outreach to brands and ask them to join? Or can people refer brands if they want to see a brand on the platform? How does it all work?
Jenna Gorham: A lot of it is through just relationships that I've had with brands in the past and some outreach to brands we're playing some more activations in the new year and we're trying to get more involved in social media and yeah, we're always open to referrals. And I mean, if anyone has relationships with brands, we can always set up an affiliate link for them too. We're happy to do that. Because I love recommendations from our dietitians because really it's for them. I want to know who people want to see on the site.
Erica Julson: And it's still relatively new. Yeah?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. We just launched in July.
Erica Julson: Amazing. And I know this is airing a little bit later, but it won't even be at the time of this airing, not even a year yet, and it's already up and running.
Jenna Gorham: Yep, exactly.
Erica Julson: I'm just trying to help flush out the whole process for somebody listening. Since we can't show a video on the podcast, so let's pretend somebody goes to the website, what's the URL again?
Jenna Gorham: The RDLink.com.
Erica Julson: Perfect. They go there, they apply. They've been accepted. What are they going to see when they log in?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, actually backup, they should go to The RDlink.com/rd. We have two landing pages. The one is for brands, one is for dietitians. So make sure you're on the dietitian page. And then from there they log in and they'll see their dashboard and that will have upcoming ... Actually that will feature various brands that are on the site. So then you'll see your menu over in the left-hand column. And from there you'll have your brand database, where you can just view all brands. Then you go in there and you can filter through by certain dietary tags. If you need them to follow certain guidelines, like nut free or allergen friendly or gluten free, you can filter by all of those. Then you'll also see, I guess, from there, then you can click on each brand, view their profile to learn more about them. You can read their ingredients or nutritionals, and then you can also send them messages.
So if you have an idea, if you just want to start to build the relationship. I really like to focus on the relationship aspect. I find that it's really important and brands really want that too, because you're a partnership should be authentic. So one thing that we do have on all the brand profiles is we have the contact person's name and they have a profile photo too. So that way, you know who you're talking to and there really is a person behind the screen behind the company. So you have a face to the company. And know that you really are talking to a real person there. And then what else do we have on The RD side? The profiles, the brands, the messages, and then you can also favorite brands too and come back to them. So if there's brands that you want to save and come back to later, or you can just click the little heart and come back to them later.
Erica Julson: Cool. And is there a fee involved for dietitians?
Jenna Gorham: Free for dietitians to create an account? It's always free. For when dietitians do pursue paid partnerships with brands. So we have actually, we made it really easy for dietitians to get paid. So I found just starting up in private practice and early on, it was always hard to figure out how do I get paid quicker? Like how do I set up ECH payments? And so we integrated that into the site where dietitians, all they have to do is click send invoice and the brands can link their accounts and they click pay now. And it's super easy. So when they do pursue paid partnerships, a small percentage of their fee will just kick back to the site, just as kind of your contribution for us helping you to find the partnership.
Erica Julson: I'm excited to see it grow, because I know it's still so new. The potential is really big. Do you have any tips on maybe kind of like standing out to brands to get a good partnership?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, definitely. I think going back to, I think the main thing is really focusing in on your niche and your specialty because brands, they're obviously on the site because they're interested in connecting with dietitians and true healthcare professionals. But aside from that, they're looking for more, they're not just looking for any dietitian, they're looking for the right dietitians for their company. So I think it's really important to do your research into each brand.
So figure out who are they trying to target? Are they trying to target athletes or moms or plant-based eaters and how can you help them reach their goals? So positioning yourself by showing them that you can really offer them real value and showing that you know them and that you've tried their products and you're a big fan of their products. And they'll see that it's a more authentic fit and that you really are a good fit for the brand. So you're not just a dietitian, you're a dietitian who can help them reach their goals.
Erica Julson: So you can both reach out and pitch a brand directly and also upload your own opportunity and wait maybe for a brand to approach you for that opportunity.
Jenna Gorham: Yes. I think I forgot to say that in the features. So yeah, if you have a specific partnership opportunity, then it's always a great idea to list that in the opportunity section, because we have so many dietitians on this site, you'll stand out too, if you post specific opportunities rather than just a profile. So if you have a specific way you want to work with a brand, then yes, definitely listed as an opportunity for another way for the brands to find you on the site.
Erica Julson: What are some of the benefits for dietitians to work with brands? I don't think we've covered this a lot on the podcast. So maybe a little more in-depth convo around that would be helpful.
Jenna Gorham: I mean, a lot of things really, I think kind of like what we were saying before, how our missions really align with these health urban brands. So I think it gives us the power to reach more people with our accurate nutrition information. So it gets the word out there more, it helps us tap into a broader audience, get seen by more people. And then, I mean, it helps us provide value to our clients and our patients by providing samples or resources or tools plus helping us to grow our business and our brand by additional sources of income of course. So, really there's endless potential for working with brands and tons of value.
Erica Julson: Yeah and just to flesh it out from the blogging side, since that's kind of what I talk about a lot, working with brands and doing sponsored content, for example, on a blog you could do sponsored videos, sponsored blog posts, sponsored social media, things like that. It can get to a point where that's like your full-time income. Like it's not small, a small thing. Like some people that's all they do like their content creator and they partner with brands for some percentage of the content that they put out. And that's how they monetize, just like there's commercials on TV or ads in your magazine or before your podcast episode that you're listening to. It's very similar except that you're the content creator and the curator of your own channel. And you're monetizing directly with brands or through networks like already crosstalk.
Jenna Gorham: I think that's a great point that it really, it doesn't just have to be like a one-off gig here and there. There's tons of dietitians out there who make it their full-time source of income.
Erica Julson: I think that helps frame it a little bit better for some people, because when you've never heard of this and you're like, what they're getting like 10 bucks or something, but no, you can charge a lot for your services. It's valuable. And depending on the type of services you're providing, if it's evergreen, like if it's a blog post, that's going to be on your site. And particularly if you've taken my courses and you know how to optimize it for search engines and you can drive lots of traffic to your blog, that's highly, highly valuable, because that will continue to bring more business to you and the brand in perpetuity, as long as that content keeps ranking. So sell that value because it is valuable.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. And I think that's something that dietitians forget too, is to position the value to the brand. So I read a lot of pitches coming in from dietitians and sometimes they just say that they're a dietitian and they forget like what else they bring to the table. So is it, they have a huge blog calling or they have a huge email list or you're a culinary dietitian or are you focus on plant-based or what is it that you really bring to the table aside from being a dietitian?
Erica Julson: And even if your audience is small, engagement matters too, and trust. So, even if you don't have tens of thousands of followers, maybe you have 2000 followers, but even if you can show past examples of like, Oh, I did this and like this many people purchased or clicked or whatever, that's all helpful and valuable too.
Jenna Gorham: Exactly, and I'm seeing more and more brands interested in more of the micro influencer. So smaller followings too for social media. So if that is something that people are interested in, I mean, you don't have to have a certain number of followers to start, just start where you're at.
Erica Julson: Like deep sigh of relief for people listening. Start now. And you'll only get better with doing, so don't wait too long. You can get in there now. One side kind of conversation I wanted to touch on because I've seen it come up almost every time that we talk about working with brands is how do you remain ethical while being compensated by brands? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Jenna Gorham: Yes. So a few things, I think the first is of course disclosure. So follow the FTC guidelines for always saying when either if you're just receiving free product, always mentioned that or say if you've been paid for the partnership. So if you look at the FTC disclosure guidelines, they'll have recommendations for how to position that. And whether it's in a video or TV segment, you have to verbally disclose that. Or if it's written, then you have to write it out.
And then I also think it goes back to really just only working with brands who you truly align with and support your mission and support evidence-based nutrition. Because I mean, after all, you have a credential to uphold, and I just think it's important to only promote, I mean, don't say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. And I think that's really respectable. And I think the brands respect that too, because they want it to be an authentic promotion for their company too. So only promote brands that you align with and support.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And I can link to the FTC guidelines on this, in the show notes for this podcast. So if you go to theunconventionalrd.com and then click on the podcast tab and find this episode, I will link to all the helpful recommendation or not recommendations, but like actual laws from the FTC. Like it's not optional. You have to disclose, or you could get fined if you get caught taking product or getting paid to promote something and not being clear that it's paid. So I will link to that. They're super helpful. They have like their formal documents and then they also have like a frequently asked questions style document, where I think it's even more helpful sometimes than the official stuff, because it's like, it really breaks down the questions like, Oh, does this, do I have to disclose on a social media post?
Or like, where do I put it? Like, it asks those types of questions and then it gives you the answer right there. So I'll link to that. And then the Academy itself has a whole publication on social media and working with brands and just all sorts of stuff and their guidelines on it. And it's not like you're not allowed to work with brands. You definitely are allowed to work with brands, but of course you need to remain ethical and you need to disclose first and foremost is probably the most important. But yeah. So if you're worried about that at all, or you're thinking you're breaking some sort of rules by even touching a brand like, no, there's definitely dietitians that work with brands and that's not like breaking any part of our responsibilities as dietitians, but they do have some published guidelines on it if you want to check it out. So I'll link to that too, in the show notes. So going back to The RD Link, I know since it is still somewhat new, how has the reception been since you launched?
Jenna Gorham: It's been great. We've had a ton of excitement from both brands and dietitian, so yeah, it's kind of just proved the concept and we've seen a lot of great partnerships happen already, so it's exciting to see everyone just start to post about their brand partnerships and pursue more and more, and it's fun to see the messages I'll go through. So we've seen a lot of messaging back and forth and it's been great. I mean, we're only, I think four months in now, but so far it's been awesome. It's exciting.
Erica Julson: Awesome. Do you have any, or I don't know if you have these numbers, but like how many dietitians so far have joined?
Jenna Gorham: Right now we have about 425 dietitians.
Erica Julson: That's amazing.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, it's great. Yeah. I've been trying to keep the brand dietitian ratio fairly manageable and even for both sides. So we have about 25 brands or so, and about 425 dietitian. So we'll gradually let each side grow more and more.
Erica Julson: Yeah. No, I like that. Otherwise I could see how it could get overwhelming on either side. I know you posted about it in different Facebook groups, but you were kind of like spacing out the posts.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. I was like, I'm going to hold off on posting in your groups right now. You don't want too many coming in.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. That was going to be my next question. Like how have you been spreading the word? Have you realized like anything that's worked really well or things that you might try in the future too?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, so far I've really only promoted to my email list to start and then a few Facebook groups. So I honestly haven't done much promotion for dietitians just because, I mean, we've only been live for four months, so I didn't want too much all at once. So it was a little strategic there, but we do have some things planned in the new year. So we'll be getting more active on social media and doing more, some PR initiatives and things like that to help promote and grow.
Erica Julson: I think the elephant in the room at this moment is probably like, okay, tell me what to do to learn how to pitch. I'm like, how do I set my rates? Like all those questions that always come up. So do you have any suggestions or maybe even some resources on learning how to become a better pitcher? That's not the right word.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, actually. No, and I think that's something that a lot of dietitians struggle with. I mean, we don't learn how to sell ourselves. So I think first, remember that it comes down to the relationship and build a quality relationship with the brand and focus on your value that you can provide them. So take a look at our blog. It's actually on Gorham Consulting Group. So Gorhamconsultinggroup.com. We have quite a few resources and blog posts there where we outlined just tips for improving your pitches to brands. And if you sign up for an account on link two, then you'll be on our email list. And we often send out various tips for improving pitches or how to use the site and things like that. So you'll be on our list there. For pricing, that's something that I find that rates seem to vary quite a bit, just depending on what you're offering.
And so there's a couple of great resources. One is Christine Dyan Thompson, who I know you just interviewed. So her podcast episode is probably great for a podcast too. So she's great resource for pricing. The other resource is there's a course by two other dietitians called rise to the top by Mary Ellen and Maggie. They focus on mostly Instagram and media types of brand partnerships. So they have a great course and they have a great section all on pricing. And I love this section because it encompasses how many years you've been a dietitian, your expertise, your following. So many different factors that play a role into pricing. And they outline that into almost an equation in this section of their course. So I think that's another great resource.
Erica Julson: Yeah, and another one that I used is Abby Sharp's media rate kit that she has. It's just like a PDF of a bunch of pages. I think she, don't quote me on this, but I think she did like a survey or something. And she surveyed what people were asking in different industries and with different levels of experience and different levels of following. So it's like real world data to help at least. I mean, obviously you should come up with your own rate that you feel good with, but she gives like ranges. So at least if you have zero idea that could help you land in the right arena.
Jenna Gorham: It's good for the media side. I think she didn't read a lot of media dietitians. And so it's definitely a good ballpark area just to be aware of. But yeah, like you said, it's of course important to figure out your own rates and factor in your own experience and things like that of course.
Erica Julson: Yeah. I know. I'm like for my podcast, I'm in a weird impasse, I guess, because the brands that want to sponsor my podcasts are brands who want to get in front of dietitians, which is usually like food related stuff. And I'm trying to be more like business focused. So I'm in this weird-
Jenna Gorham: Interesting. Yeah.
Erica Julson: So I'm not sure. I've said no so far. Because I envisioned keeping it business focused and not really doing nutrition related stuff or even sponsors. So we'll see. But yeah, behind the scenes, that's what's happening for me.
Jenna Gorham: It's very important for people to hear too, that it is okay to say no because the brands, I mean the brands want it to be an authentic partnership too. So really your focus isn't really about food. So it may not come off authentically from you when really ... Yeah.
Erica Julson: It feels like it would be a little left field. Like, Hey, come listen to this and talk about your nutrition business, but like also by this nutrition bar or whatever. Yeah. So that's where I'm at right now. So yeah, I guess you're right. It's a good example of not having to say yes, it's okay to be the CEO and make those decisions. And at least with the podcast, I didn't start it with the intention of it being an ad revenue super generator. It was more connection building and then especially for people who already have their own products or services, you can freak and talk about your own stuff and people will buy it. So you don't necessarily need to have a sponsor if you can be your own sponsor kind of. So where do you see the platform going long-term? Share your vision.
Jenna Gorham: Ultimately, I mean, we'll keep doing what we're doing. I want it to be the platform where brands and dietitians go to connect with each other. It will continue to be the one-stop shop for all dietitian brand partnerships. So ultimately we have all brands who want to connect to dietitians, they're on the site and all dietitians we want to work with brands will be on the site.
Erica Julson: Do you see it being like your full-time thing or will you still ... What else are you doing in your business right now? Will you continue offering those offers?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah. So right now I'm doing consulting. So I have a few other service offerings that I want to include next year, but yes, ultimately I will either limit the consulting a lot or move it, because yeah, I do, ultimately, I do just want to focus on the platform.
Erica Julson: That's awesome. Cool. Well, I was about to close out the episode, but then I saw some notes that we had and I'm like, wait, I want to touch on this. So I saw that you mentioned some additional ways that maybe dietitians with smaller followings or who are looking for a more creative spin ways that they could work with brands outside of social media. Like you said, they could help with communication strategy or messaging. Like what can you give us more insight on that type of stuff?
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, absolutely. I'm finding a lot of brands lately in particular, they're coming to me and saying they want dietitians more on the, behind the scenes, especially these smaller startup companies. They want dietitians to help with like on the R&D side and product development and being a spokesperson for the company and doing things like, you're just putting your name behind the brand or doing things like blog content for them or helping them with their nutrition messaging. So there's really a lot, even if you don't have a huge social media following, you can do things behind the scenes, depending on what your expertise is in.
Erica Julson: And I just like really want to highlight again, the value of getting the connection with the brands. That's so invaluable. So thank you for putting this together. You're right. Like even for people with little, maybe more unconventional businesses, maybe even like freelance writing dietitians who maybe think they'd be a good fit for writing for brands. Like it's just another avenue to put yourself out there, connect with people and see what comes of it.
Jenna Gorham: Right. And I think that's a good point too, because if you don't have a huge following, there's things that you can do on their side that still provides value to them and their audience. So even if you develop recipes for them or do a social media takeover or something on their channels, if you don't necessarily have the following that they're looking for, there's always opportunities.
Erica Julson: Still helpful. Definitely. Because I know it's a lot of work to fill your content funnel. So if you can help a brand with that, that's worth something too.
Jenna Gorham: Exactly.
Erica Julson: All right. Well, again, if people want to check out The RD Link, it's just The RDLink.com/rd for the dietitian specific parts. And you can sign up for free and get all those juicy emails that we talked about earlier to help get better at working with brands and forming partnerships and things like that.
Jenna Gorham: And begin connecting with brands.
Erica Julson: Awesome. Well, what if people want to connect with like you personally on social media or something like that? What platform do you hang out on the most?
Jenna Gorham: So we just started an Instagram page. So we're new on Instagram. So follow us at The RD Link. So it'll be there. And also on LinkedIn more just because we're more on the business side. So follow me there. And I'm always happy to email with people too. So [email protected].
Erica Julson: Thank you so much for sharing more about The RD Link and I hope this helps spread the word, but yeah, we'll probably need to do like a catch-up episode in like a year or two and see where this has gone.
Jenna Gorham: Yeah, that would be great. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. This was fun.
Erica Julson: Yeah, thank you. As always, if you enjoyed this episode, please hit the subscribe button on your phone or wherever you're listening so that you can always get the new episodes as they're released. And if you have any other questions about sponsored content or working with brands, there are many RDs in my free Facebook group, The Unconventional RD Community, who do this type of work. So feel free to ask questions and learn from our awesome group of peers. Catch you next week.
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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.