Cory Ruth (aka The Women’s Dietitian) grew her audience through Instagram, but once she was about to have her first child, she realized that she needed to diversify her income streams away from just 1:1 work.
So she dove into the world of online courses and created a course to help women with PCOS get pregnant.
The first launch gave her a taste of what was possible when you leverage your time with scalable online offerings and she never looked back.
Cory’s story is so incredibly inspiring – especially for all the moms out there.
Hope you enjoy this one!
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More About Cory
Cory Ruth is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and women’s health expert. Cory is the founder and principal of The Women’s Dietitian and Instagram account @thewomensdietitian, a private practice and digital platform for women seeking nutrition support for hormone balance, PCOS, fertility, digestion, and weight management.
Connect With Cory
- Website: thewomensdietitian.com
- Instagram: @thewomensdietitian
- TikTok: @thewomensdietitian
- Facebook: The Women’s Dietitian
Erica Julson: This week I have a really exciting interview with Cory Ruth, AKA, The Women’s Dietitian, Cory launched a private practice and grew her audience and customer base through Instagram. But once she was about to have her first child, she realized that she needed to diversify her income streams away from just one-on-one work. So she dove into the world of online courses and created a course to help women with PCOS get pregnant, something she herself had personal experience with. The first launch, gave her a taste of what was possible when you leverage your time with scalable online offerings. And she never looked back over the last few years. Cory has continued to run her signature course, get pregnant with PCOS, launched a second course for women with PCOS, and even released her own supplement line.
I won’t spoil the exact numbers for you since that’s a super exciting part of this podcast episode, but you’ll be so freaking impressed by the level of revenue Cory is bringing in with her launches. It’s so incredibly inspiring and especially so for all the moms out there. Hope you enjoy this one. And if you want to connect with Cory, myself, and other entrepreneurial wellness professionals, make sure to come join us in my free Facebook group, the unconventional RD community, just search for the unconventional RD community on Facebook and request to join and definitely leave your email address when you join to get some weekly tidbits of wisdom from yours, truly that will help you start a website, grow your audience, and launch new digital revenue streams. Let’s dive into the interview.
Erica Julson: Hi, Cory. Welcome to the podcast today. It’s great to reconnect with you.
Cory Ruth: I know it’s been so, so long. It feels like light years ago.
Erica Julson: I know we both come so far for those listening Cory and I both went to the same grad school and had some of the same preceptors along the way. I think I was maybe just a year or two ahead of you on that path.
We didn’t quite cross paths like in school, but connected a little bit outside, so yeah, I’m just like so excited about everything you’ve built online. It’s so inspirational. And I know everyone listening is going to be super stoked to hear the background on everything as well. So do you mind starting by introducing us to you and more about why you got into dietetics and what you’re doing today?
Cory Ruth: Yes, totally. So my name is Cory again, and I have my business, which is the women’s dietitian. And I started out, I wanted to become a dietitian because I kind of wanted that combination between food and science, you know, big fan of both definitely food. So yeah, I, I went back to school and I had no clue that I would ever be an entrepreneur or work for myself.
You know, I kind of was looking at all the options, you know, clinical, I, my, my passion wasn’t there. And I, I started in food service and. Definitely not for me. And I was like, well, what else is left? Like what do I do? And then, you know, I got inspired by other dietitians kind of taking their business into their own hands and doing their own thing.
And I was like, that sounds more like me. So yeah. I decided to pursue private practice and it has definitely blossomed into something more than I ever in. My wildest dreams could have imagined that I would be doing which is really cool and exciting. And there’s, you know, there’s always new potential to branch off and do something else wacky and cool.
So I love that about it.
Erica Julson: So who’s your ideal customer that you serve in the women’s dietitian?
Cory Ruth: Yeah. So I work with exclusively with women to help them balance their hormones. I, I do a lot mostly work at PCO S so polycystic ovary syndrome, which is the leading cause of infertility here in the U S and I think worldwide.
So I do lots of work around fertility and PCOS, but also just PCOS symptom management. It’s a very tricky condition. And we kind of in a traditional medical setting, you know, we don’t, and I say, we cause I have PCOS too, but we don’t get a lot of guidance from our doctor. And so I kind of knew that, and I wanted to kind of step in and fill that void.
So I work with women who are looking for PCOS symptom management. I’m also working on other hormone related things like PMS you know, painful periods, mood swings, cravings, libido issues, all types of stuff. And I do a little bit of work around digestion as well.
Erica Julson: Great. And just take it back to the very beginning.
When you first were starting out, you’re like, I’m going to start my own business. And I’m assuming, since you said private practice, like you were seeing clients, one-on-one probably so what did that look like? Were you doing it in person online? How did you get started.
Cory Ruth: Sure. So I, I knew that I wanted to be virtual from day one, which has been nice, you know, with the, basically the unraveling of everything with the pandemic.
So yeah, I was virtual from day one. I wanted to save on office, you know, I was living in the bay area at that time and rent is crazy high. And I didn’t, I couldn’t, I couldn’t afford an us separate office to be honest with you. So I thought my living room will be my office and I was seeing clients one-on-one and I, when I started, I just kind of put my stuff out there on social media, on Instagram and, you know, prayed for the best.
And it did, you know, I did gain some momentum that way. And I was able to transition to full-time after about five months, which was faster than I had originally anticipated. So that was really cool. And kind of starting to understand the power behind social media as a sales and marketing tool, which I had never considered it to be, you know, just keeping a personal account.
Erica Julson: Five months is amazing, honestly. So do you think it helped that you like, did you know your niche and who you’re speaking to, like straight out the gate, did that help or like what, how do you think you were able to see such success in such a relatively short amount of time?
Cory Ruth: I think for me, when I started, I was kind of into intuitive eating and, you know, body positivity and all that.
And that was, that’s still very popular. A lot of dietitians are doing that and I was kind of taking a look at that saying, you know, How can I not be one in like a sea of a million? What do I need to do? And I’ve always just been the biggest hormone, endocrinology, all that stuff, nerd. So I thought, well, what if I just like talk about things that women don’t typically talk about, you know, periods and I’m like, I don’t know all, all kinds of stuff.
And it just took off. I think, I think it, it was relatable for it is relatable for women and we don’t get enough of that education in school. You know, we’re learned how to, what we’re learning, what we’re taught, how to prevent pregnancy. We’re never taught how to achieve pregnancy when we’re into our late thirties and beyond, you know, all these things that I realized there was.
Or, and I just started going after topics that I was really passionate about. And I think on social, you know, that really shines through people can tell when you’re not, when you’re just passionate only because you’re trying to keep like everybody else. And so that authentic, you know, factor is really important.
And I, I’m not afraid to say like what a nerd I am about, you know, talking about whatever menstruation or whatever it is. I’m not afraid of that. And I think that that resonates with followers and people who are, you know, looking at the page, like, cool. Like she’s, she’s showing up as who she is. And that’s important.
When you are in a, you know, one out of many, many, many millions,
Erica Julson: yes. That’s great advice. And I think that applies to like any niche, really. Like I, as people listening know, I’m not really doing much in the nutrition realm specifically anymore, but I would think I could take that exact same advice for why my own unconventional RD brand took off.
Just being yourself and being real. People can tell when that’s happening versus you’re like following a formula and you’re, you know, trying to game the strategy system or whatever the algorithm you’re really good at Instagram, that was just FYI for people. What’s your handle in case people want to check it out?
Cory Ruth: Yeah. So it’s the women’s dietitian.
Erica Julson: I can’t believe that was available either. Like, I think when you launched that, I was like, what, how has, no one swooped that up yet.
Cory Ruth: Trademark, boom. I actually had that name in my head for so long. And I think it’s an, if you’re thinking about starting a business, that name you can get really attached to.
And I, I love that that like helped inspire me to continue to grow in this field. I was like the women’s dietitian. That’s pretty baller. I’m going to take that. That’s a good one.
Erica Julson: And then, so at what point did you start thinking about offering your advice in another format? Like online courses?
Cory Ruth: Yeah, so I was actually.
Sort of, you know, where you are. I was thinking about, I was thinking about how am I going to handle maternity leave, you know, not having paid leave, what am I going to do? I can’t see one-on-one clients, you know, immediately postpartum. So I was working with the business coach and she suggested an online program and I was like, Hmm, what it, what is it?
And so I built it while I was pregnant and I launched it before I went on mat leave. And it helps sustain me, you know, through my maternity leave. And I think I understood at that point, the power of online courses, because you know, one-on-one work is so time-consuming, as we know, and, you know, it’s really a way to make way more and work way less. And I was like, Hmm, that’s attractive. I like that. So I built that out and I, you know, I’m launching it for the sixth times, so it’s the same, but mean not the same. I’ve, I’ve updated everything, you know, added all new stuff. But but it’s kinda the same thing in terms of what I’m putting out there for one of my online courses.
And it’s just been an incredible, it’s been very successful. You know, both from a, from a monetary standpoint on my end business side, but also from, you know results standpoint from who’s taking the course. So I, I, I guess I, I decided to go that route because of maternity leave. Not really thinking much beyond that.
And then once I understood, wow, this is, this is, this is, this could potentially be really big and a huge part of my, you know, overall income throughout the year. How do I duplicate that? How do I keep building on that rather than, you know, putting more and more and more time in stock into direct one on one work.
Erica Julson: Yes. I can’t wait to dive into all that, but before we get into the details, can you just tell us like what your offerings are specifically?
Cory Ruth: Sure. Yeah. So my two online programs, I have one which is get pregnant with PCOS. So I’m basically walking women through how to conceive when they have PCOS, what steps to take nutrition-wise movement, stress, digestion, we touch on all of it.
And then I have my PCOS boss academy. And that’s basically it’s, it’s similar in PCOS symptom management, but it’s taking out the fertility component and adding in a weight loss component. So all about, you know, kind of best tactics there. So those are the two things that I have running and I run them at the same time.
And I, I launched the boss academy. A few months ago for the first time. And it was, it actually sold out faster than get pregnant PCOS so they both sold out pretty much the same day, but that one actually sold out faster, which was fascinating. I did not expect that. So now then I thought, okay, now I’ve got two pretty successful programs.
And so yeah, I’m kind of transitioning away from one-on-one work. I do really love it though. So it’s kind of hard for me. I actually do like it, so I like to it, but, but it, you know, from a, from a business standpoint, it makes all the sense. So
Erica Julson: Do you feel comfortable sharing numbers at all about how your launches have gone?.
Cory Ruth: Totally. Yeah. So the past this past launch when I launched get pregnant with PCOS and the boss academy I, so that day I netted $106,000 one day, basically. So I plan on re running the programs four times a year, I’m sorry, three times a year. So you know that on top of the other group coaching that I’m doing is a nice, comfortable living, and I’m also launching a supplement line.
So I’ll have that coming in. So lots of different moving parts, but that’s, that’s the beauty of running your own business, you know, you can just kind of shoot off and do this in that, in that. Yeah.
Erica Julson: Okay. I think everyone who’s listening, it’s like jaws dropping right now it’s just so incredible. And it’s such a great opportunity that, unfortunately, like if you’re maybe working a nine to five, might not present itself to you in the same way, like a hundred thousand dollars in a day, like, what??
Cory Ruth: I never thought I would be here, you know, I never did.
Erica Julson: And then the supplement line thing is cool too. Like maybe we’ll have to have you back to talk about that because that’s a whole another rabbit hole that I have zero experience in.
Okay. So basically your plan now is to kind of like go all in on these programs. Which makes a lot of sense to me. And for people listening, can you walk us through kind of like the steps of creating an online course, like bigger picture? What does that even look like? How did you take what you used to do with people one-on-one and convert it into something for the masses.
Cory Ruth: Totally. Yeah. So step one beat your head against the wall step. No, it it’s really a lot of work upfront. Right. And then after that you can continue to run the same thing and you can even, you know, change a couple of things and up the price and no, no, one’s the wiser because they haven’t taken it before and they don’t realize that they’re getting more value.
So when you’re, when you’re thinking about group program creation, you know, first and foremost with, from, you know, marketing and sales is I think one of the biggest, most important things, because if you’re not putting it in front of enough, You’re not going to make as many sales, obviously. So you don’t want to launch a group program when you, you know, if you’re using social media as your primary way of getting clients, you don’t want to launch it when you’ve got like 700 followers, right.
You’re going to want to build up that following a little bit longer. So I always tell you know, my business coaching clients just be patient, wait a little bit, grow, grow that audience, and then, and then launch or, you know, market. So you want to kind of create an, you know, what’s the theme, obviously what’s the topic and create an outline.
How, what are the nuts and bolts of the program? How, how many weeks, or how many months, what are they getting? You know, what are they getting access to? You will always want to think about how you can continue to add value to that. So are you going to do, are you going to offer VIP upgrades? So that’s maybe where they can click, you know, spend a couple hundred dollars more and you can have a couple of one-on-one sessions with me.
I don’t do that, but I have colleagues that do that. You can add in maybe some hormone testing or some kind of health testing, maybe it’s whatever, you know, area that you’re in. So think about that. And then, you know, how, what else are they getting in terms of like a membership community that I think that’s an important part of these groups is to come up with a way that other members can connect.
And it’s funny, you know, the way that I marketed on my website is like gain access to a private, exclusive membership community. What is it? It’s a Facebook group, you know, we’re talking to that so you can use Facebook. It’s free, you know, it’s easy. Every most, everybody has it. So that membership community, I think is important.
Some colleagues I’ve seen offer like live a couple of live calls throughout the program. I’ve done that in the past and I just didn’t find that they added a lot of value and I found, like, I felt like I was just kind of talking into nothing. So anyway, but that’s just mine. So you could think about that.
And then you, you know, you want to kind of walk yourself through what, what each, if you’re, if you’re going week by week, so say you’re creating a six week or eight week program. What does each week, what does that module look like? What are they learning? What’s the topic, what’s the theme. You also. Try to provide some downloadable items, so guidelines, you know, or, you know, like a resource sheet or a tip sheet or a workshop so that they can also have more interactive items to go through as well.
So they’re not just reading or watching a video, you know, you’re, you’re kind of putting it into play for them. You’re, you’re creating like a little simulation. So there’s that. And then, you know what, when it comes to the software building, building out, the course I would say, you know, is, is time-consuming.
But if you’re picking the right topic, a lot of it’s already in your head, right. You’re not having to go and like scour pub med for all these different things, you know, you should pick a topic that, you know, a lot about. And so, you know, being able to kind of regurgitate and create these modules is it’s kind of time-consuming, but not, not super difficult.
The market, sorry, my dog, there’s a mailman. So the marketing and the sales aspect is huge. You don’t want to launch an online course where you’ve only been talking about it for, you know, a couple of weeks on your page. You really want to give it time to, you know, tease the audience and let them know, Hey, this is coming.
And you know, this is, this is awesome. You’re going to want to check this out mark your calendars, you know, talk it up. And that whole marketing and sales part is so super important. And I think I see a lot of colleagues miss the mark on that because they do it in a to, you know, they don’t give it enough time to actually talk about the program, talk it up and tease their audience.
And then they’re just like, boom, join my program. And it’s like, wait, what’s this, where did this come from? So definitely being more tactical there and giving yourself extra time, you know, a lot of us, I think we want to just rush and get it out there, which, which is a good thing. But Yeah. Trying to like lure people into the program.
I don’t mean lure, but you know, entice them into joining. You got to give it a little bit of time.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Otherwise you run into that sticky situation where you’re like, Aw, man, I thought this was so great. And two people bought, but it’s, it doesn’t mean that it’s not great on the backend, but yeah, along those same lines this was a mistake that I had made in the past.
Before, when I tried to create something online, I was missing the audience, which we touched on. But B I also did not. Validate that the people that I thought were in my audience would even want what I was creating. So the way that I personally have validated in the past was through pre-selling. So I actually had people sign up and pay me money before I built it.
Just so I knew I wasn’t sinking time in just to have it launched a crickets. But did you do anything like that or were you like, so connected with your audience that you felt good about it?
Cory Ruth: Yeah. I remember when you did that too. I actually didn’t do that. I, I guess I, yeah, I definitely a good way to go.
I didn’t personally do that.
Erica Julson: Yeah, totally depends . You know, every business is unique, I mean, I think it’s different too, because on Instagram, I’m not really on Instagram that much, but it is so much more of a conversation, I think. So perhaps even you could say just through DMS or comments and conversations you were having with people, you could kind of see what resonated.
Cory Ruth: Totally. Yep. And yeah. And so DMS, definitely people asking questions about the program. People commenting on posts that have mentioned the program. Oh, I’m so excited. I can’t wait. Once I started getting a bunch of those and I was like, okay, like, I think we can at least count on a decent, you know, turn out.
So yeah. That is a different way to kind of gauge that interesting thing.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And how did the very first one go up? Like, did you have expectations and did you meet them?.
Cory Ruth: I did I did, I did. I sold out it took me close to like two weeks. And I did sell out and I think I had 50 spots now I have 300 per launch.
So one 150 per program and 300 for lunch. But yeah, I think I’m 50 spots and I, I remember getting to like 48 and then like 49. I’m like, oh yeah, I, I think I had a good turnout for the first time and the price point was much lower obviously. And I had no idea what I was doing. But that, that is, you know, that is super motivating in and of itself to kind of continue.
But even if I hadn’t hit that goal, I definitely would have rerun it because at least like, I, I knew I was gonna make about like sell at least half. I think I might’ve, you know, I think I might’ve done like a wait list or something. I’m trying to remember. Gosh, it was like three years ago now.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Wait lists are a good strategy to gauge interest too. It was there a reason why you decided to do the whole like X number of spots thing instead of just like open?
Cory Ruth: Yes. Let’s talk about that. So I had, I have, before I launched boss academy I had explored the membership you know, subscription because I see a lot of people doing that. And when I added up the numbers, I make more launching it a few times a year.
And I think that’s been an important tactic because it is that scarcity factor. And, you know, I don’t always know what I’m going to rerun the program. Like, I don’t even know when the next time, I mean, I know it’s going to be a few months, but I don’t know. So people ask me, oh, you know, I can’t make it this time.
Are you going to rerun this program? I’m like, yeah, but I don’t know when, which is the honest to God truth. I don’t know. But that, that scarcity tactic too, I think is, is helpful. And I, I did, I realized I could make more doing that than like. the continuously running subscription and it’s easier.
It’s actually easier for me because. I’m only in heavy marketing mode a few times a year for these programs. And I’ll sprinkle in stuff, obviously want to keep interest alive, but I’m not like heavy marketing mode. So I feel like I’m not burning people out on sales pitches versus if I had something going all the time, I might feel like that and pull back a little bit.
And also I don’t have to update new content. Like I don’t know exactly how each of these are run, but I think from my understanding the subscription, you know, you’re having to add your content and that keeps people in there. Right. So I don’t have to do that. I have all my content, everything for my courses is done.
The only thing I have to do is market it and then pop into the Facebook groups. That’s it. It’s all done. So I’m not, I don’t feel that pressure to have to generate new content for these and add more stuff onto my plate. So that’s been nice too.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. I can relate to that. Yeah. Yeah. It’s still, it’s all
it’s semantics in some ways, like you can totally have a membership where you’re not adding new content, but then like some models it’s like all about like, oh, every month, there’s this new thing. And there is not like a formal core structure, so it totally depends on how you decided to set it up and what you’re offering.
But what was I gonna say? Oh yeah. Do you, do, do you run it kind of like in cohorts then? Like, so these lists in the beginning, when you had 50 people, was it like, they’re all joining at the same time and they get access for X amount of time? Or is it like you’re in and you’re in forever. And how did you decide?
Cory Ruth: Yeah, so I’ve been actually toying with that idea too, because right now and how it’s always been is they have access for three months. And then it ends just like if you were taking a college class, you know, you have access to the professor for three months or however long your semester or your quarter is that’s how I’ve structured in the past.
But I don’t know. I’m kind of playing with that idea because I keep getting people like it closed yesterday, for example, my bay group. And I got, I’m getting emails still. Hey, I can’t get into the course. And yet I’ve talked about that since the first day, like access ends on August 1st. So I’m kind of wondering, you know, I guess I don’t have.
There’s, there’s not a big reason behind why I’m doing that. So I’m, I’m thinking I’m challenging myself and thinking about that more.
Erica Julson: Which is basically the gist of online business or business in general. Try something. Look at the results, tweak it, if you need to.
There’s so many ways, like there’s, it’s like an infinite hodgepodge of how you could combine what you’re doing. So like, cause I had the same issue or I was feeling like launching repeatedly actually was draining me, but because I had three different programs, I think about launching the same one, three times, it might not feel as the same way, but yeah, I slimmed down like I’m now I’m only doing one course at the moment, but my solution to that issue was , I created like an evergreen model, so different solution to. I guess the same problem, like instead of doing the launching to feel like I’m not always marketing, I built it all into the backend, automated through my email system. So I also don’t have to be always marketing that’s, doing it for me, but in a different way.
So yeah. It’s so cool. How like, depending on your personality and kind of content you like to create, no matter what you’re doing, there’s something out there that can work for you online
Cory Ruth: That’s so true. Yeah.
Erica Julson: And for people listening, like there’s no wrong way either. Yeah.
Sometimes I think people listen and they’re like, okay, this person was so successful. So I need to do like every little exact thing that they did. But yeah, no, you definitely don’t.
Cory Ruth: Okay. You should, you should design something that works. That’s sustainable for you. Yeah.
You know, some people would flip out at, you know, The launches that we’ve done. And some people would say I could do more. Everyone’s different in what they can handle, you know? So figure out where you land on the spectrum.
Erica Julson: And was there much of a financial investment in getting this all set up besides like the time?
Cory Ruth: No. And that’s been a beautiful part of working in the virtual space. So Kajabi is what I use to build my programs. I love it. I have used Thinkific in the past and I was less than impressed. So I, I love Kajabi and I think I pay a couple grand a year for it. And then I part of my programs, which is something else I should have mentioned too, is I recommend like, just in general, what supplements may be helpful for PCOS or PCOS you know, fertility.
So I have a dispensary set up with a platform called Fullscript and I take a chunk of all the sales I make. So that’s potentially, you know, 900 women a year buying, you know, a bunch of supplements. And so I’ve covered all of the Kajabi costs and more just for the whole year, just in one launch. So affiliate stuff can help to, you know, kind of fill in for if you are spending a little bit here, but yeah.
You know, Instagram’s free basically. So I haven’t. I haven’t really put up much in terms of money, but time definitely time. Yeah. Social media is what you pay is your day and your time. So there’s that?
Erica Julson: Do you use Kajabi because for those listening, who aren’t super familiar Kajabi, sort of like an all-in-one course marketing platform.
So unlike other platforms like teachable or Thinkific, where they’re just like, this is where you put your course, like everything else you do on a different platform, you do your email marketing separately, your websites. I really if you want to in Kajabi, you could do it all through Kajabi. So do you do it that way or do you just use it for the course?
Cory Ruth: Yeah, I do have one of my programs, landing pages that lives on Kajabi. I’ve been thinking about transferring that over because it’s a little bit, it doesn’t, it’s not super cohesive with my website, so, but yeah, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve used that part, but that’s, that’s pretty much, excuse me, pretty much it.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And that’s well from the tech, like nerdy, SEO side, like that’s totally how I recommend using it because it’s just not quite up to speed where it needs to be to have your whole site on there. If you plan for your website to be a part of your marketing strategy and then same with the email, depending on how, you know, automated and targeted you want to get with that, it’s, there’s also probably other solutions that are a little better for that.
Do you do any email marketing or is it just. Just Instagram.
Cory Ruth: I, and I do, I collect emails from my downloadable freebies and I I have them, I just, I, I guess I haven’t needed to do that yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t, something happens on Instagram and I need to use those. So I have them if I need them, but I don’t actively do that right now, but
Erica Julson: that’s actually also a really great point to touch on.
Cause I feel like there is a lot of pressure also to like be everywhere for a lot of people. So I like. You’re basically like I’m on Instagram and that’s working for me right now. And I, you know, I have my backup contingency plans and all that, but you don’t need to overwhelm yourself in the beginning.
If it’s working, like you can have your like phases of growth where you’re like, okay, that’s something on the horizon that like, I’ve say, like, I don’t know about you, but I have like folders, my bookmarks bar where I’m like, okay, when I’m ready to tackle Instagram, like, this is what I’m going to do. But like, I’m not there right now.
So, you know, I’m still focused on growing a Facebook group and doing email marketing. So like that’s where my energy is. But like other people are like totally focused on completely different things and having amazing success. So like all comes back to knowing what works for you and your audience. So,
Cory Ruth: yeah, a hundred percent.
I agree. And I, it is good to have a backup too, but as far as that can stay a backup until you need it, you don’t have to have all of these things. Working on at the same time. No one has time and nobody got time. Yeah. And
Erica Julson: I actually, out of all the most successful people that I think I’ve interviewed, no one started out on every platform all at once.
Simultaneously everyone has one channel that they just owned. That is so, I mean, there’s freaking some people who it’s like, oh, I just like kill it on LinkedIn or something. And I’m like, I don’t even know that world,
All right. So currently you’re running your program three times a year and people are getting fixed access. And that’s, and you’re playing with that, which I like.
And you’re getting pretty much all of your sales from Instagram. So what are you doing? Are you just linking to a landing page basically in your posts and your stories?
Cory Ruth: Yeah. So in the link in my bio, I have basically a page that’s unlinked on my website that they go to. So it goes to my website and they can click on two different landing pages, one for get pregnant with PCOS and one for the boss academy.
And they can, you know, there’s a big, whole long landing page there. And then I also have one thing that I found to be very powerful is just testimonials. So I have it written into my terms of service for both programs that I’m allowed to anonymously share any correspondence that you have with me.
And I put that in there because some people. They will email me. I don’t even know how they get my email, or they’ll DM me or they’ll comment on the, you know, Facebook group or something. So there’s all different kinds of feedback channels. And so I wanted to capture them all. And so I will literally just screenshot whatever they sent me.
Like if someone gets a positive pregnancy test in get pregnant with PCOS, boom, I mean, and these things, sell your program for you because these are that’s the result, right? So I have on my Instagram, I have a highlight for each program and people can literally, I have the fertility one. I think I’ve maxed it out.
They won’t let me add anymore. I’ve got like over like almost a hundred different testimonial pieces from, you know, the past few years, all about all the success. And so I’ll point people to the highlights and that way they can learn about the program. And then they can see with their own eyes, all the success based on real testimonials.
And I’m not. I think it’s also kind of nice to not, you know, I thought about, should I type these up and like put them in a branded? I just, I, first of all, I don’t have time, but second of all, it’s kind of more powerful. I think, to get the direct message and people know that’s real, right. Or at least that, you know, I hope that they know that it’s real.
So I’m not just like making it up Willy nilly, cause I’m not attaching photos or, you know, giving the backstory about the testimony and literally screenshotting every success. Every single thing that comes into my comes my way, that is anything positive to do with the program. I’m like, share. So I think that’s been helpful too.
And so I’ll talk about my program when I’m not in having marketing phase, meaning like the few weeks leading up to the launch, I’ll sprinkle in here and there on my page and my stories. And I’m also, I’m on Tik TOK and I’m trying to build up my tik tok now because I realized that I’d let it go dead.
And I don’t want it to die. So so I’ll, I’ll create a Tik TOK video around one of the programs and drop that maybe once a week or something. And then on Instagram, I’ll drop some, you know, pieces of information in the caption, or I’ll kind of make that the main point of focus in a post maybe once a week or a couple of times a week.
And then I’ll post on stories a lot, just as successes come in. So they’re kind of always reminded, I think all my followers are reminded that these things are happening and, you know, they’re having that launch date is exciting. It’s like an event that they get to look forward to. And I’ve, I’ve gotten a little bit of backlash.
I’ve gotten a couple of DMs like, oh, well, I didn’t make it into your program. You know, it’s sold out the same day. It’s what did someone say? It’s like playing roulette with my health or something. I was like, I totally this, I get it. Like, it’s not meant to feel like a game. Right. But in reality, I cannot open it up to thousands of women.
And the reason that I say that the reason, the justification that I give for capping it at one fifty is because I manage and I do, I manage the Facebook groups by myself and I can’t handle, you know, thousands of people in there at one time. So yeah. So the testimonials And the scarcity factor and just kind of sprinkling in tidbits about it and always kind of talking about it a little bit in the background without being overly sales, pitchy.
You know, it’s definitely fine line. You have to walk and you can test it out and see what works. If you, you know, you’ll you’ll know if you’re being too salesy and no one’s interested and you’ll know when you’re not talking about it enough that you’ve really got to, you know, check in with yourself and check in with the work that you’re doing and saying, okay, is this working?
You have to be continuously monitoring yourself.
Erica Julson: Yes. I know something I’m personally working on as well. Like I have done a horrible job sharing testimonials historically. I’m actively like literally as we speak working on working that into the content that I’m sharing more I mean, we have like different setups, like mine’s kind of just evergreen.
So sometimes people will just kind of. Be doing their thing and we’re doing great, but like, no, one’s like asking them how they’re doing. So they’re not just necessarily going to pop in and be like, Hey, this like great thing happened. So being more proactive about like, like how is everyone doing? And then people, then people pop out and they’re like, oh, this great thing happened.
And then it’s exciting. So I dunno, I’m just with playing with that type of stuff too, but yeah, totally important. and I think it boosts the morale of your community as well. When they see other people succeeding.
Cory Ruth: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll do like a once a week thing in the Facebook groups. I’ll like share your success Mondays or whatever it is. And then I find that, that, that does pretty well generally with the get pregnant with PCOS, it’s mostly like, it’s very measurable, right? Like people get people start ovulating and it’s like, oh my God, Cory, guess what?
And then I got a present positive pregnancy test. So it’s going to different with boss academy. I have noticed that I’m like, wait, why aren’t getting. Why aren’t people pouring out with like their good news? What the heck? Like, are people not getting, having success? No, they are, but it’s the same, you know, the reason that you just mentioned, they’re not necessarily going to reach out and do it themselves.
Erica Julson: and I, this might be going down a little bit of a rabbit hole but just since you’re here and you’re successful on Instagram and I have no clue what’s going on in Instagram what would you say are some of the strategies that have helped you grow consistently? Like in this day and age? Cause I feel like just from seeing other people talk, everyone’s like, oh, it’s like, there’s so many changes constantly.
Like now they’re pushing video apparently a little more. So what are your whole thoughts on what’s working right now?
Cory Ruth: So I’ll give you my answer like a year ago and then I’ll give you my new answer. My old answer is kind of more formulaic post consistently and that’s still true. I still find that to be true.
Post consistently you don’t want to take big breaks, even if you’re having a day where you’re like F social media, don’t want to freaking be on here, push through it and show up because your followers come to depend on your content and they look forward to it. I took a three-day break from Instagram recently, literally people were texting me like, did you, did you die?
So to be on there consistently show up on stories. All of those, you know, all that, but my new answer, I will say based on just also coaching other dietitians, you know, to like get their Instagram going. Personality, and I cannot teach personality, but you re we, we are, you know, healthcare on social media is huge and people are, are getting general advice from pages.
And when you’re one in a million, you know, you have to be, you have to be unique and putting yourself out there in terms of your personality, I think is so important because people are attracted to that and they’re attracted to authenticity, like we talked about. So I would say, you know, with social media show up as yourself, if that, if, if you’re weird and silly, leverage that and play it up and you know, if you’re not, if you’re more serious, you know, poke fun at that, or, or, you know, just show up as you and people are going to be, are going to gravitate towards that because they want to work at the end of the day.
They want to work with you. Like you, Erica versus someone else’s in the same space. Why do they want to pick you instead of the other person? So I, and I think that, you know, reels, which is interesting about reels and we are really moving towards video content. With reels. It allows us to really showcase personality much more than a canva infographic, which has been the traditional sense.
The norm, since I sort of stepped on a social media and this space it allows us really to, to let our personality shine and it, it allows us to inject more humor into things, you know, when these like funny audio clips. And I think it’s really important to take advantage of that. If you’re not doing video content right now, and you’re on Instagram, you need to start doing it because that’s not going away.
At least not for the time being. So I see a lot of accounts not growing that have been, you know, sort of, we’ve been neck and neck for a long time. And it’s video content and moving more towards the reels and letting your personality shine and people can, you know, stuff like no trust factor, they feel.
You know, I get DMS. Like, I, I feel like we’re friends or, you know, and that’s awesome. That’s so cool. And I definitely want to be, you know, relatable in the sense that PCOS or whatever health condition you’re dealing with is potentially really scary. And I, you know, I want, I want it to be a safe space where people feel like Cory’s got that too.
And he, or she is, you know, dealing with it and, and I can relate to that. And I respect that. Yeah, personality, I think is my number one. Show up as you, and don’t be afraid to, to be yourself on social because people will pick up on that and they’ll like it and the one.
Erica Julson: And don’t try to be someone else’s personality.
Like if you see someone else who’s successful, that’s never going to work either. Cause if you’re like putting on an act, you’re going to burn out and that people are going to be like, I don’t know. It’ll just like peek through that. It’s like, not
Cory Ruth: really, you
Erica Julson: Yeah. I’ve done a couple of interviews even on this podcast where people were like, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was like trying to be this like amazing like jokes or on social media and then like, I’m not actually really that funny. So.
And then what are your thoughts just before we move on? I know there’s like some. business coaches out there that teach certain tactics, like a DM-ing people directly cold DM-ing on Instagram, or even I’ve seen, I don’t know if people are teaching. I mean, it’s obviously someone’s teaching this somewhere.
I’ve seen other dietitians, like complain a little bit about like client poaching, where like, they encourage, like, let’s say your niche is PCOS. They’re like, oh, go find other successful Pcos dietitians, and then like, hang out in their comments and keep inviting their commenters to like your page in the comments section.
I’m like, dang, it’s cutthroat out there. Yeah. What are your thoughts on those types of things and like, why, why do people go that route and what should they be doing? And maybe instead,
Cory Ruth: I think they’re going that route because they don’t know what else to do by no fault of their own. But I, I do not think those are helpful strategies, right?
It’s just like someone coming up to your history, it’s like a stranger knocking on your front door. We don’t really do that anymore, but it’s literally the online equivalent to cold DM someone. So, and I just delete that stuff so fast, like faster than you can say, like Instagram, I don’t know, like so fast and poaching other people’s clients is I will delete and block you D&B the D and B formula, delete and block so fast.
And it’s not respectful to colleagues either. So, you know, if you’re struggling with growth, those are two routes I do not recommend going. And I think it, you know, it comes down to carving out something unique for yourself. And, you know, I was talking about this with a business coaching client this morning, she’s in the hormone balance and pcos space.
And it’s so funny because when I started, I felt like there weren’t barely any accounts that were like that there were just a handful of us and now it’s everywhere. And so I’m like looking at her Instagram bio and it says hormone balance PCOS. Okay, but what’s your angle? Like what else are you going to offer?
You know, you’ve got to position yourself as something different. So think about, you know, what your angle is, pick a topic that you love, but then tweak it a little bit. So it’s you and go, go with it and post consistently show up there, let your personality shine. If that means letting your freak flag fly and let us do whatever you gotta do to, you know, for people to stay and want to stay on your page and want to listen to you and watch you and learn from you.
So, yeah, I guess that those are probably my two better tips than the other tactics, but yeah, whatever works, you know,
Erica Julson: and bringing it back to this doesn’t happen in one week. For some patience and not only patience, but you have to pair the patience with consistency, I think no matter where you’re trying to build.
Yeah. You can’t just pop in, you know, once a week for a few months and be like, it’s not working.
Cory Ruth: Right. Exactly. I know.
Erica Julson: So I don’t think they ever talked about exact numbers. Not that that’s the most important thing, but just for a frame of reference, like how large was your audience when you first launched versus today?
Cory Ruth: You know, I was trying to remember that I know I was over, I was, I think I had just gone over 10,000 because I was so excited.
I think it was like a few weeks before to get the swipe up for my launch. I was like, yeah. So I think it was a little, I was probably like 11,000 or something followers when I first launched. So, you know, not, not huge, but definitely more than a couple of hundred. And I was really doing a lot of content around pcos so that’s another thing too.
If you’re creating an online program. Pick a topic that, you know, the majority of people looking at it are going to be interested in. Don’t pick something totally random that you don’t really talk about much because it’s gonna appear like, wait, what? Like, why are you launching on that? So yeah, dig in to figure out what that need is.
Erica Julson: How large is your audience now?
Cory Ruth: Let’s see, 95,900.
Erica Julson: Dang girl.
Cory Ruth: I know. Yeah. It’s cool. I getting close to the a hundred, which would be awesome to accomplish stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
Erica Julson: Congratulations on all your hard work, paying off that’s for inspirational. I feel like we probably both have the same just like.
Hope that more dietitians out there in the community, listening, get out there and get those large audiences in whatever niche they’re in because. We don’t really learn this stuff in school. And I mean, it’s maybe a little intimidating, but it is doable. And we have the credentials and there are so many people out there who don’t have that much education who believe in themselves and they’re doing it.
So like you have more than enough experience behind your belt to do the same thing.
Cory Ruth: Yes, totally. And I remember, you know, when you were you, and I don’t know if you still do this, but publishing your, you know, your reports year after year and what you’ve made and looking at those is so inspiring. And, you know, we all have to start somewhere and we both, we both have, and I think I started with one follower like my mom or something.
So, you know, you got to start somewhere and you got to put in the work, but it’s a hundred percent possible. And I, I do hope that other dietitians take advantage of that because I do feel. I don’t want to go on a tangent, but we, we are so undervalued and underpaid for what we have, what we go through to get to where we are.
So I always want to teach dietitians. It’s like you don’t, if you’re not making something that you are not truly stoked about, you don’t have to stay there, you know? There’s other ways, and it’s nice to be able to have that option as an RD.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Well, thank you for saying that.
Cory Ruth: I won’t, I won’t go off the deep in there, but
Erica Julson: quite a deep pool to dive into.
So, okay. So basically it sounds like you’ve had great success with your online course launches and you do plan to continue and continue to tweak, but continue to run them. Is there anything in particular that stands out to you as you’ve continued to run them over the last few years of things that like you did tweak where you’re like, oh, that was a really big win or a great idea.
Cory Ruth: Yeah. Good question. I think one thing that I, and I still plan to do this more, but adding in more video content before it was kind of like PowerPoint slide ish kind of thing. And I think as we’re all moving more towards video stuff, people are going to come to expect that more. So that’s one thing Yeah, I guess, I don’t know.
That’s probably the only thing I can think of because I really have kept them, you know, with aside from just tweaking a few things, I’ve kept them pretty, the get pregnant PCOS. Pretty much the same. I mean, I, yeah, I’ve added on a libido module, which was fun to do. But I don’t know. I, that the first time I did that was this last launch.
So I don’t have like a hundred percent feedback on how that went, but that’s a you know, a question I get asked a lot, how, you know, why is my libido in the dumpster? What do I do? So I was like, okay, that’s a need to put that in there. So, yeah, I don’t, I guess that’s probably like my, my best answer, just adding more video stuff.
And I added workout like a whole video work. Section my partner, Esteban, he did it. He’s a firefighter. So I was like, you do the exercise part. So that was really cool to have, you know, to bring him in and I’d like to get more experts in you know, that I can kind of plot into the program. In some fashion.
I have someone who does like a sound bath, like a sort of like a meditation type of thing. And I think I’m going to put her into the stress reduction workshop program. So adding in more people, aside from myself that are going to add value to the program and compensating them, obviously, I think it’s going to be helpful.
So yeah. Work in practice,
Erica Julson: growing a team. That’s like the next horizon as well. Do you have a team? That’s a good question. Yeah.
Cory Ruth: I have a social media manager as of March before that I had a VA for like a month and a half or something, but I’ve been kind of a one woman band and I, I find it hard to delegate.
So it’s been a little tricky, but my current social media manager, she creates the majority of my content for me and captions it. And then I review and that, that make it, you know, make sure it sounds like all, you know, all on brand and my voice, she does a good job of capturing that. And then, but the tricky part about reels and more video content is I can’t, I can’t hire someone to create my reels because it’s me.
So that’s been another, you know, with video stuff, it’s like now I have to budget more time to do that. And that’s been kind of tough, but we adapt, you know, we move our schedule around, we make it work. So yeah, it’s basically me and her on my social.
Erica Julson: And if you ever like grow to like totally hate and resent it, like pivot, there’s so many other marketing channels as well.
And then probably the golden question. How did you find your social media manager? where did you go to hire them?
Cory Ruth: I hired her off of my social media. I put up a post that said I’m hiring and I got a lot of applications in and I, I, I basically. I had three in the running and I had them all create like a fake Instagram post because they wanted to see how well they would capture my voice.
And she created this like super fire meme. And then I was like, you, I want you. And so I found her on my Instagram. So if you’re, if you’re, if you are hiring you know, for those listening people, if you’re thinking about hiring a team and you already have a page that has some decent traction, put it out there on the page and see what you see what happens.
Yeah. I didn’t even follow the like indeed route or anything like that. I thought about like Upwork, but yeah, in the end I found around there and it was cool too, because she already, she had been following me and knew who I was and what my voice was. So it didn’t take a lot for her to like, have to dive in and learn all about me as like a total stranger.
So that was definitely a plus if you are hiring from your own. Network or platform people are going to already understand the brand. And so we were like, yeah, this works.
Erica Julson: That sounds ideal. I’ve only ever hired like once, but I did something similar. I just posted in my own community and I’m still working with that person today.
But also I did the same thing where you like, have people do samples of what you want them to do when you have, when they’re working with you. And that was super illuminating. Yeah.
Cory Ruth: I will say one thing that I see people who feel like social media is overwhelming. They want to hire someone right away because they’re like, this is too much, but I think that’s actually damaging because it doesn’t allow you to build the brand yourself and make it your own.
And I think you risk losing that authenticity. If you hire out too fast without developing. Your brand first. So, you know, if it’s, so if it’s overwhelming, I totally get that. And maybe you hire someone to do more like office type of stuff, but as far as growing social media presence, I, you know, you should kind of, if you can try to do that on your own for at least a little bit.
Erica Julson: Yeah. I say the same thing about blogging, can I just hire out everything? Like just someone do my SEO and it’s like, that’s such a loaded question. It’s like, that’s like your whole online business. If, if your blog is like a key component, so it’s like at least figure out like what the steps and components are and do it at least a few times yourself.
So then, you know what you actually need to hire for, because saying you want to hire out for SEO is like saying. I want to hire help with nutrition and someone just do all my nutrition for me. It’s like, what do you even mean by that? Like, you know, it’s just such a broad topic.
Cory Ruth: So it’s probably like that for
Erica Julson: almost anything in business.
I, I think it’s a good idea to, at at least a basic understanding of why you’re hiring out or else. I think that’s how you get into sticky situations where you don’t know what’s happening in your business and not everyone might have the best intentions in mind for you depending on what you’re hiring out.
Cory Ruth: Yeah. Or just make honest mistakes. Well, shoot. What do we do now?
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking more like, you know, like those weird Ponzi schemes that like people find them in. It’s like, how did that happen? They probably were like, oh, financial advisor, you do everything. And like, never check in or like, know what’s going on.
So to close this up today what are your top three recommendations for RDS who want to create and sell online courses?
Cory Ruth: Number one very gosh. Very obvious, but find, find what the need is. Don’t just create a nutrition for pregnancy course. What about what else?
Like what’s your angle, what’s your take? What’s going to make it new and exciting and like fricking awesome and different. So find, so, you know, find where there’s a need and then find your angle within that need. So, you know, get, get clear and specific such
Erica Julson: a common, like that’s probably the most common thing that new people struggle with, but going way too vague.
I know it’s hard, but
Cory Ruth: yeah, I know. And I always give us an example. When I started my business, you know, I had family members like the womens dietitian, so you’re just cutting out half the population. You’re damn right. Because I, I, you know, I, I did wanna, I did want to only work with women, you know? And it ended up being the best thing because I got more, you know, more narrow.
So always, yeah, niche always if you can, and then I think the whole marketing and sales aspect, you know, don’t just pop up out of nowhere with a course. Take, take your time, be patient with your, your followers yourself. Even if you’re like dying to get this out, or you have a, you know, like a money goal deadline to meet really take your time in, pitching it in a way that’s tasteful and you’re not going to bombard followers with like salesy, pitchy, BS you know, in you’re you’re staying true to your brand. And then number three, gosh, I don’t know. I guess number three would be focused on really trying to get those client wins member wins, I guess, and keep those, keep every single positive thing that anybody has to say, keep them, you know, however you choose to present them is up to you, but those are going to help really sell next launch, sell what your, you know, your, your, your program or your course And then again, I guess those are the top three.
Yeah. I, and I hope that’s helpful for, for listeners. Yeah.
Erica Julson: And having a bank of positive things people have said or achieved through what you’re creating is also great for the days when you get like some not so great emails from people then you’re like, wait, I am awesome.
Cory Ruth: Yes. Yes. So true. That’s a really good point. Yeah. Yup. I’ll do that too. I’ll just go with my testimonials page when I’m having a bad day and I’m like, okay. All right.
Erica Julson: So where should people go to connect with you? It sounds like probably Instagram.
Cory Ruth: Yes. Yes I have. Everything’s the same. Instagram is the women’s dietitian. Pop over to my tiktok, my the women’s dietitian. And then my website is just the women’s dietitian.com. So easy peasy. I am. I have now just started a Pinterest thingy, and then I am toying with the idea of a YouTube channel, but I’m still in the very infant stages of that.
So, but everything should be, you know, women’s dietitian everywhere,
Erica Julson: awesome. Well, great. I think, I not think, I know a lot of people listening are going to head over and figure out like how the heck you got so many followers and had such wonderful success on Instagram. But yeah, I follow your accounts too, and they’re a pleasure to follow.
Cory Ruth: That’s. Awesome. Well, good luck with everything. Thank you.
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.