If you are currently running a private practice, but are yearning to build income streams that don’t require you to trade your time directly for money, then listen up.
Today, I’m chatting with Brittyn Coleman, also known as the Autism Dietitian, about how she was able to gradually transition away from one-on-one work in her business and build a collection of online revenue streams that now earn her a full-time income without needing to see a single one-on-one client.
In this interview, we chat about:
- How she niched down and how having a clear niche has helped her grow her business
- How she tried different forms of client work but kept feeling an immense sense of burnout
- How she decided to experiment with new revenue streams that did not require working directly with clients
…and so much more. Listen now to hear this inspiring interview.
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More About Brittyn Coleman
Brittyn (pronounced Britton) Coleman is a Registered Dietitian, Autism Nutrition Expert, and the Creator of the Autism Nutrition Library. She serves parents of children with autism through her membership site and online courses to help expand their child’s diet in a way that honors their sensory preferences and nutritional needs to improve their nutrition to help them feel their best and thrive.
Connect with Brittyn
- Website: autismdietitian.com
- Instagram: @autismdietitian
- Facebook: Autism Dietitian
- Twitter: @autismRD
- LinkedIn: Brittyn Coleman
Autism Online Course for Practitioners
If you are currently running a private practice, but are yearning to build income streams that don’t require you to trade your time directly for money. Then listen up. Today, I’m chatting with Brittyn Coleman also known as the autism dietitian about how she was able to gradually transition away from one-on-one work in her business and build a collection of online revenue streams that now earn her A full-time income without needing to see a single one-on-one client.
Brittyn shares a whole bunch of exciting stuff. In this interview, we chat a little bit about how she niched down. And how having a clear niche has helped her grow her business. We have a fascinating discussion about burnout and how Brittyn kept trying different forms of client work. Whether that be in person insurance-based tele-health insurance-based private pay packages or even group programs, but that she kept finding herself in the same spot, feeling an immense sense of burnout from that one-on-one work, no matter how she structured her client offerings.
We chat about how she decided to experiment with new revenue streams that did not require working directly with clients like online courses
and membership sites. Brittyn chairs, her online course journey and how the course that she originally created and sold as her first offer is totally different from the successful set of online courses. She is running today. We also talk a bit about her membership site
and how she differentiates between the course and membership offerings. We wrap up by talking a little bit about mindset
and some of the personal things you might have to overcome when you’re growing an online business and taking a quote-unquote unconventional career path. She also generously shares some of the helpful systems she’s developed to run her business with a relatively small team of support. And of course, we wrap up with one of my favorite questions. Brittyn’s top three pieces of advice for someone who’s interested in creating the same type of business for themselves.
One that no longer requires one-on-one client work and can earn a full-time income
completely through digital offerings.
I hope you enjoy this inspiring interview.
And if you’re not already subscribed to this podcast, this is just a big, friendly reminder to hit that subscribe button so that you’re always going to get the latest episodes. As soon as they come out, it really helps support the show. If we can get more subscribers each week. Thanks so much. And let’s dive into the interview
Erica Julson: Hi Brittyn. Thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast today. Uh, I, I feel like we’ve known, we were just commenting that we’ve known each other online technically since like 2017, which is crazy.
Brittyn Coleman: Wow. I can’t believe it’s been that long.
Erica Julson: Yeah. But we’ve never connected on video, so here we are. And, um, I’m just excited to hear about your journey.
I know I introduced you already, uh, before we started chatting, but, can you just do like a really quick summary of your brand and who you help?
Brittyn Coleman: Totally. So my name is Brittyn Coleman. Uh, I run the autism dietitian. And, I help parents who have children on the autism spectrum, uh, expand their diets and help them get the nutrition they need to help them feel their best in school and therapies and in life.
And I run a variety of online courses. I have a membership site and that’s all been, uh, it didn’t start out that way and I won’t get ahead of myself cuz I know we’ll be talking about that. But, yeah, I, I’m so excited to be here and we’ve Yeah. Quote unquote known each other for so long and I’ve listened to your podcast.
So, um, yeah. I’m just happy to be here after being in the Unconventional RD community for so long.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Well, I know your, your story well, I guess I wanna start out by saying, I think it’s so great that you have such a clear niche. So many people I think, struggle at that spot in the online business journey.
So how did you go about selecting that niche and feeling confident that that was like the space you wanted to work in?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, and I think, I mean, I think over time you kind of keep nicheing down and down and down because even just the area of autism is big and so, and same with like women’s health or whatever it might be.
There’s still like so much to niche down into. And so from the very beginning, so my brother’s on the autism spectrum first of all. So here’s the reason why I do what I do and from. The beginning of, you know, I was in school to become a dietitian, and everyone’s like, okay, what kind of area do you wanna work in?
And everyone would say, diabetes, renal. And I was like, none of that interests me. And it’s not like day one I knew I wanted to be a dietitian for that was on the autism spectrum. But, uh, I just remember one specific day in class, it came to me and I was like, what am I supposed to say? And I was like, well, duh, of course I wanna work in autism.
And I said it, and everyone just kind of stared like blank, stared at me and I was like, okay, obviously this is the why, like why I need to go into this. And so, the more I learned about it from the professional side, I knew a lot personally, but it just, I was like, it’s a no-brainer for me. And so I went into private practice, while I was in grad school and, kind of never looked back.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Did you, had you poked around at all? Were there any other people in this space as like, as dietitians or were you kinda paving the way?
Brittyn Coleman: Um, there was like one person that I knew, uh, I went to, uh, the like Oklahoma Autism Conference, and she is an RD and actually was speaking, she’s written eating for autism, and she did a mentorship.
And I was like, oh my gosh, like, I can’t believe there’s somebody I didn’t know about her until this conference. And so I did a mentorship with her and, yeah. Be besides her, I didn’t really know anyone. I mean, you’d Google online or you’d goo, you’d do an online search and there was no one. Mm-hmm. And so she was kind of like the only person that I could get mentored by.
Erica Julson: So, well, I’m glad that you just went for it. I mean, clearly there was a need.
Brittyn Coleman: Totally. Yeah. And still, I mean, I can, you know, name a handful of people that I know that specialize in this area, but there’s really not many people.
Erica Julson: So if you Google, you know, autism dietitian, do you show up now?
Brittyn Coleman: Uh, yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s nice because I got in when. At the very beginning. And so my name is literally like Prime, s e o, right? And so I’m really lucky now, even my, my website wasn’t, you know, I didn’t know anything about seo and I’m still learning, obviously, but it really helps me out because I am what people are searching for.
Yes, exactly. It worked out. Yeah.
Erica Julson: Good branding. So yeah, I guess let’s just start at the beginning. When you first started your business, like what was your business model like? How were you making money? And, yeah, let’s start there. How were you making money in the beginning?
Brittyn Coleman: Well, so, I mean, when I started my private practice, I was in grad school and then I was also working at this interdisciplinary clinic for children.
Um, Developmental disabilities, and I was working so part-time, like on Thursdays and, uh, because that was all they needed at the time. And so I just decided, you know what? I’m gonna go ahead and get started. And as I am, you know, working with them, I can start to build up my handouts. I can start build out how I wanna see people.
So I just started, my private practice started really slowly. I ended up being very happy that I started it because that practice ended up going under. And so when that went under, I was out of grad school, I’d already been working in my private practice, and all of those people came to me. And so I was glad I had something set up and had been working on that because it would’ve been a bummer.
Kind of just be left without anything. And so, um, yeah, that start, I think that was March, 2017 is when I really started up my private practice and I was really just seeing people one-on-one. I, uh, my mom’s in private practice as a psychologist and that’s what she does. And so that’s really what I had seen.
So I just assumed, okay, well, you know, your days are just filled up by seeing clients back to back to back. And in theory, I mean, you can make ’em a lot of money that way if you’re calculating, okay, this is what insurance reimburses every hour, but it’s, you just don’t fully calculate that all out. Um, and I was just so tired at the end of the day from seeing people.
I mean, it took a while to build out my business, but, I did. But, uh, so that was 2017. I got engaged that year and my husband lived in San Francisco. Um, and so in 2018 we were gonna get married and I was gonna move to San Francisco, and I was like, well, what the heck am I gonna do because all of my clients are in person.
So I transitioned to telehealth and was still seeing telehealth, like basically one off appointments and, um, was taking insurance. And from the cost of living from Oklahoma to San Francisco, it’s, there’s no comparison. It’s like night and day. And I was still taking insurance and I was like, I can’t even, I can’t contribute to our marriage because I am not making enough money monthly.
And the rent was crazy. I mean, you lived in Cal or you might still live in California.
Erica Julson: Yeah, uh, we just moved back up to Northern California, so I’m in Livermore.
Brittyn Coleman: Gotcha. Yeah. So it’s like you, you know how expensive it is. And so I was like, I can’t keep taking the insurance. So I canceled insurance and then was just taking private pay and then from there started doing packages and then kept getting burned out in new ways.
So I would start something and I’d be like, oh, this is great. I feel so much better. And then six months later I’m like completely burned out. And I just, it was a cycle of doing that and these big packages. And then I went to group coaching and then got burned out in a whole new way with that. And then that’s when I transitioned like, okay, I think I wanna do online courses, membership sites.
And I’d grown enough of the following at that point to actually be like successful that way too.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm. I’m just curious, how did running like a group program burn you out in a different way than doing one-on-one?
Brittyn Coleman: Well, I realized that I’m less extroverted than I thought I was. Or maybe with age I would just like become more and more introvert.
So like being on calls all day, I would just be like, oh my goodness. Yeah. And you know, I really started doing the group coaching when Covid hit too. So I threw all of myself into it. And I even did an online course that year. I started out my membership that year. I was on calls all the time or recording and it’s just my business was life and I didn’t have fomo cuz nobody could hang out.
And I just burned myself out completely and to the point where I was like, do I even wanna do this anymore? And I’ve had a few of those like, I’m gonna throw in the towels. And that was one when I moved to California and I couldn’t make enough from insurance. That was one. And I’m so glad I didn’t do that because um, I would’ve never.
I’ve been able to be where I am now and I wouldn’t trade it.
Erica Julson: Okay. So I guess let’s dig into that. So then Youi, so after you’ve done like pretty much every version of trading your time for money in some capacity, then you’re like, okay, let’s try these other streams like courses or memberships. Um, which one did you start with first and why?
Brittyn Coleman: I started my course and it’s funny you say that cuz I even before I did autism dietitian, I ran another site that is no longer and I did food photography and blogging. So it’s like I’ve tried out all the stuff and I think that’s something honestly that’s like, it’s kind of nice to do all of it cuz you never know if you don’t like it, if you don’t try it.
But, but yeah, so I, I started. My online course, which that’s one thing that I am grateful to covid for because I had been telling all my friends and colleagues, I’m gonna launch this course for nutrition for autism. And I had been saying it for years. And then finally Covid happened and they were like, okay, down for two weeks.
And I was like, I’m gonna nail it in two weeks. Um, I’m just gonna, while I don’t have fomo, that I can’t hang out with my friends. And so, that’s the reason why my online course, I like stopped having excuses and just like buckled down and created it. Um, and then obviously it was not two weeks that we were, under for Covid and uh, I just kind of kept with it and kind of went to my membership site from there.
But my original online course that I offered in 2020, I actually don’t offer anymore. Um, I learned a lot from that and I’m happy to dig into it. Yeah. Um, I do online courses now, but it’s completely different than what,
Erica Julson: yeah. Let’s just go there right now. Like what, what were some of the mistakes that you made and what, what did you tweak?
Brittyn Coleman: So, I was under the impression that I had to teach everybody everything that I knew. And so in this online course, I mean, it was an eight module deal with like, each thing was an hour and I just felt like I had to cover my entire career in this one online course. And people liked it, of course, but it was a lot of information and like it was for parents.
It wasn’t even for practitioners like that course I could probably market to practitioners now because it was, it was too much information. Mm-hmm. And you almost don’t know what to do with all of that. Mm-hmm. As just a consumer. And so I kind of learned that over time. And so now I’ve. Learned that breaking it down into one specific topic and in more digestible pieces, is what people are looking for.
Because as a parent, you also have to think of your audience. Like as a parent who has a child on this autism spectrum, you’re not gonna sit down and listen to an hour thing. Like, I don’t know, I just wasn’t thinking, you just don’t think about that stuff in the beginning. So, um, yeah, it’s, it is just completely different now.
So I do one topic courses now versus doing like some comprehensive teaching my entire career in eight weeks sort of deal.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm. So you, you did the big comprehensive one, and then did you, did you launch it like live? Or what did that process look like?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, I launched it live. Um, and I think actually, I think I had had like half of it.
Uh, completed and then I launched it and kind of completed it as I went. But I also learned that it is nice to actually complete the course as you’re going because in my biggest course right now is my picky eating course. It’s called Overcoming Picky Eating for Autism. And now, um, when I launched it the first time, I did week by week and was just one week ahead of them.
And they would ask questions in our Facebook group of like, oh, of course I should include that. But I hadn’t thought to or, so I built it out with them live to see what they needed and then tweaked from there. But that was definitely the way to do it. Um, yeah, I could also gauge interest before I completely wrote an entire online course.
Cuz it would’ve been a bummer if it would’ve Flo.
Erica Julson: Yeah, I, I built mine the same way after doing it the wrong way previously, and I did build something out entirely and it flopped. So yeah, huge lesson.
Brittyn Coleman: Totally. I know you feel like you have to have it done before you launch it, but you, I, I never do now.
Erica Julson: Yeah. So you had the big one, and then did you like pull out pieces to the smaller ones or was it like totally different?
Brittyn Coleman: It’s totally different. Yeah. That’s okay. So the other one I’ve actually kind of almost changes, changed. My niche within there. So I used to see autism as a whole and I was like, okay, here’s, uh, all this testing that I offer more, kind of like the biomedical functional medicine space, which of course I still love, but I realized over time there are people filling that space already.
And the picky eating autism space was just crickets. And so I love that I, I’ve like really grown to love it. So I just decided, okay, well I can change my, like people are looking for this. So I just decided to change into, across the board autism, including picky eating to more specifically picky eating.
And now when people find me, they’re like, yes, my child’s on the spectrum. Yes, I’m looking for picky eating support. And it’s just even further niche down. So it’s very specific at this point, but it does really well.
Erica Julson: Yeah, that’s great. I think the more specific you can get, often the better things do.
Yeah. Uh, so you have the, the courses and then like what’s the differentiator between what someone might buy in a course versus the membership?
Brittyn Coleman: So my membership, I, you totally inspired the idea for me because you had the functional nutrition library and, um, I remember seeing that and I, I think I was like one of the members from day one.
Basically, whatever you do, I’m just like, yep, I’m doing it. Um, but I, I started that and I was like, holy cow, this would be an incredible resource for the families that I work with because there is so much in autism, so many questions, and everybody just has to have their own opinion about it and it’s never research based.
And so eventually I was like, oh, I really wanna create this. I remember reaching out to you of like, Hey, can I copy your idea? Um, and so that’s how my, the autism nutrition library. Born. So that’s kind of like, it’s a monthly membership, but it’s almost like a catchall of everything. So you wanna go look for supplements, uh, nutrients, symptoms, diets, all related to autism.
That’s where you go. I have a community forum that’s built in there. Uh, I even have kid friendly recipes that are now built in there. We launch one recipe in one note a week. I have a, an exclusive online course that’s in there for members only, but it’s basically just general nutrition for autism.
Here you go. And that’s my lowest priced resource. Besides my podcast and things, um, my online course is more. Specific and you follow it for a certain amount of time. So like, here’s an eight week program. The video modules, the library is written content, but the videos are the, uh, online courses, videos, step-by-step instructions typically includes live support.
Um, I’m not testing out evergreen, but typically written like a open, close, uh, program. And that usually does pretty well and people like having the live support as we go to.
Erica Julson: Awesome. I love that. I, that makes a lot of sense in terms of how you describe the differences. It’s like membership is just like, More like an informational resource.
And then the courses are more like an actionable outcome. You’re trying to achieve an X, Y, Z period of time, like follow these steps and get x, y, Z result type of thing. And I think that’s really complimentary, so that’s awesome.
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah. I offer three to six months, free in the membership with every online course.
So if they’re looking for something that’s maybe like adjacent to picky eating, they have a resource that they can go to. So I have three online courses at this point. Um, the picky eating course one on constipation, which is super common in autism and one on supplements.
Erica Julson: Yeah. And I love that’s such a good idea to do the free trial basically, because then if they like it, then they’ll just stay subscribed.
Brittyn Coleman: Exactly. Yeah. A lot of people start from there and then stay a member of her.
Erica Julson: What are the prices of the courses like compared to the membership?
Brittyn Coleman: It’s drastically different. So, uh, the membership site is 19.99 a month, uh, 1 99 a year. And my courses, my Overcoming Pick Eating course is 4 97, um, for the live version.
And then the others are less than that. I can’t remember the pricing off the top of my head, but, um, like one is a four week course, so one’s a six week course, so they’re just a little bit different and less extensive. But, you know, of course very different in their pricing.
Erica Julson: Do you have a, a favorite right now between the courses and the membership?
In terms of like, running it?
Brittyn Coleman: I love, I love the Overcoming Picky Eating course. It is just my favorite. Um, and I love doing it live and supporting families and sometimes you just get like an awesome group that really jives. Mm-hmm. You know, there could be, you know, the first time I enrolled I had like 80 people who had enrolled.
And they just loved each other, got along so well and it was, you know, so like, such a great community and I love that. And sometimes you get a batch of people that it’s just kind of like, you know, crickets and that’s just how it’s so, um, but I love it when I can have like a really cohesive group of families.
I love getting to know them, um, and supporting them through it.
Erica Julson: And in terms of your audience, like, cuz I don’t know if you ran into this, but when I was first starting out, I ran into this like chicken or the egg situation where it’s like, okay, I have an idea for a product, but like I don’t really have the audience.
So like, what do I do? Do I build the audience or do I build the product And then that will build the audience. Like, how did you tackle that?
Brittyn Coleman: So I, I started building my Instagram audience just because that’s the social media that I like the best. Mm-hmm. And so, um, I started building that once I started getting a little bit burned out on one-on-one coaching because I could, you know, find enough people that were interested.
Cause you don’t have to find very many if you’re selling a high ticket item. But I was like, I, something used to give because I’m so tired. And so I just started posting just, anytime I could, I would just post and post and post and eventually grew my audience to 10 K. And I think now I’m. Uh, like almost 40 K, which is good, but then you like, like it’s never good enough, you know?
So it’s like, uh, you keep going and going. But then I started having more people for the group coaching and then for my membership site. So for me, I definitely grew the audience first, on Instagram. And then, um, like I probably wouldn’t have launched my membership when I did, if I didn’t feel confident that I had the audience to support it.
Yeah, yeah. But I know many people who do it the opposite.
Erica Julson: Yeah, I found more success when I, I feel like by building the audience, you learn the audience and then you’re better able to create the right product. Whereas unless you have a really tight grasp on what you’re doing and who you’re serving in the beginning, it’s often real easy to not to create something that nobody wants essentially.
Or like you said, create the wrong type of resource or you know, some too much. Yeah,
Brittyn Coleman: no, I think you’re spot on. I, I think I got to know my audience a lot better after, you know, interacting with them so much. I’m like, okay, I have an idea of what you are looking for, like, what the gaps are here. And that was just from like, lurking on social media for years to figure out.
Erica Julson: And do you, do you like the combination of courses in membership? I’ve seen, I feel like this is like super trending right now. Like so many people are like a course in a membership like combo because the perception is like the course. The course may be more expensive, but it’s like a one-off thing versus like a membership is more monthly recurring, so it can help give your business some more stability, I think.
How do you feel about that?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, I like them together a lot. It kind of just worked out that way. It wasn’t just my goal to do these together, but um, just the way that I wanted to provide the info and like the type of, um, information that I wanted to give to my clients and followers, it just, yeah, worked out that way.
I really have liked the idea of passive income from a membership and, um, was really helpful while I was on maternity leave because I had some money coming in and so, and I wasn’t really doing anything. It was all running itself. So, um, that was really nice and, but then it’s like I, I feel like I just am a person who gets bored or burned out, like somewhat easy.
Maybe not. I mean, burned out cause I was doing it the wrong way, but definitely bored. And if I don’t feel challenged, I’ll just scrap and scrap everything and like do something new. And I’ve always been like that, so I’m sure like, catch me next year and I’ll, I’ll still be running the membership cause I love doing it, but I’ll wanna do more and more or something different.
Like now I’m reaching out into practitioners because I want to challenge myself again. But there’s pros and cons to that.
Erica Julson: Yeah, no, I relate to that as well. I have to like, hold myself back oftentimes, or like reign it in. It’s, it’s, yeah, it’s fun to do new things. I feel like, especially a lot of entrepreneurs get a lot of excitement, a lot new, like building the new thing.
And then when you just get into the like, day-to-day implementation and the excitement wears off, you’re like, all right, all right. Like, now what? Yeah.
Brittyn Coleman: Now what? Exactly, and it’s like sticking, like you’re known for X, Y, and Z, and it’s like the, you’re more known, the longer time goes by, and so if you just keep scrapping and changing.
Yeah, you’re never known for like some signature thing, so. Mm-hmm. I also try to rein things in and keep consistent, but I have a hard time doing it.
Erica Julson: So looking back, like did you have any big aha moments as like things started to work? Like what do you think made the difference when it started to work versus maybe when it wasn’t working so well?
Brittyn Coleman: I think that initial course that I made, it’s not like it was a flop of a launch, like it did well too, but I was totally making that course for myself. I was just like, oh, this is what people want and I, okay. You know, it didn’t flop financially, I would say. But it kind of like flopped in execution perhaps.
Like there was no community, it would, sometimes nobody would show up to the q and As that I had, it was kind of just like, on paper it looked good, but behind the scenes it really wasn’t. So I kind of had the aha moment of like, oh, like maybe, maybe I just built this course for myself and no one else.
So then I think I, I started getting a little bit better of listening to, okay, what are people needing? Um, what are they asking me for? And actually writing those things down and then trying to create something for them, which ended up being different than probably how I would’ve created it for myself.
So I think that’s been an aha moment of just making sure that I know them better, um, and that I’m not creating. For me or for dietitians.
Erica Julson: Mm-hmm. Well, it’s a super important lesson and sometimes you have to learn it the hard way, but at least, at least you like noticed and tweaked from there.
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. So, um, yeah, I think that just takes time to learn and I think you have to, it’s like a rite of passage of like something going wrong. Mm-hmm. Then realize, yeah. How to do it the right way.
Erica Julson: So what was the timeline in terms of when you decided you didn’t wanna do like one-on-one or even group stuff to where you were able to replace all of your income with these more passive streams, like your course and your membership?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, so it was, yeah, 2020 when I started, um, like the membership in the online course. But I was still at that time seeing one-on-one patient like full-time. And then it was the beginning of 2021 where I was like, holy crap, I’m burned out. So that’s when I started group coaching, kind of discontinued that last online course.
I feel like the group coaching helped me create my now online courses because I just was a little bit more inside of what I, what people as a whole were looking for. Um, but I loved group coaching, so I did that all of 2021 and then we moved out of California, uh, wanted to start a family. Um, that was November of 2021.
Yeah. And then we moved in non Boulder, Colorado. And we got pregnant at the beginning of January or the end of January, and I was like, There’s no way I can continue doing this with a child. And, um, I would love to work part-time and be able to like be home with, um, like our future kids because I just, I’ve always wanted to, I love work.
I’ll never stop working, but I wanted to be able to be available too, and so I was like, okay, how can I transition this to where I can make money and not be working all the time or just not be like glued to my computer? I think I was also getting burned out by just being on call after call. Mm-hmm. And so it was a transition over 2022.
Um, and I would say by like July I had discontinued or like phased out my group coaching and had created my online course courses and launched them a few times. I even did a few launches actually while I was out on maternity leave cause it like ran itself. And then now I’m just exclusively doing online courses and my membership.
But it took a while to phase out and I talked about it for a while, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant and I was like, okay, I have to do it now. Mm-hmm. And um, I actually made the transition.
Erica Julson: How does it feel now? Like, are you sometimes like, oh, this is like my life, you know?
Brittyn Coleman: No, I’m like, it worked out. I took a lot of planning and a lot of work to get there.
But yeah, now it’s like I, we have childcare Tuesday, Thursday, and then Monday, Wednesday, Friday I get to spend, you know, the day with him. And then nap times I answer emails and work. But it’s really cool to be like living what I, I mean, I always imagined having flexibility with my private practice, but I always kind of created the least flexible job for myself with the intention of being flexible.
So now I actually feel like I have that flexibility, with my job, but it just took me time to get.
Erica Julson: Awesome. And I also was just poking around on your website and I saw that you launched a podcast. So I was just curious, like, how, how has that been going and, in what role does the podcast play like in your overall business?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, so, I really enjoy the podcast. Um, I listened to your podcast about making a podcast and I, I, it’s, I agreed with you. I mean, I’ll probably listened to it six months or more ago, but it obviously takes time and it’s not something you’re like directly making money from. So sometimes it can be hard to gauge.
Okay, is this worth it? But I do get so many people reaching out to me of like, I enjoy your podcast. Or when people join my membership, they have to say like, where did you find me? And I noticed a huge uptick in people clicking the podcast button. It’s on hiatus right now because I was like, I just, at the end of the day, other things made me direct income.
Where that one, I know it does, but I couldn’t gauge it enough to give it the time. I think I just need better systems around it. But I haven’t picked it back up, um, since going out on maternity leave four months ago. But, um, it’s something that I want to continue long term. I just need to figure out how it fits in right now.
But I loved it and I got great feedback from it too, and it’s not, I was doing like 15 minute episodes, like nothing big. It’s just one of those things I, I have almost put on the back burner for myself right now and I need to bring it back around.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. My perception is that it’s like a very good like connection builder.
So the people who do listen are probably a lot more likely to purchase something from you than someone who’s never listened. It just, I don’t know, I’m like this too with podcasts I listen to, I’m like, I know that person. Like, even though I’ve never met them. Yeah.
Brittyn Coleman: Yes. It just like expedites that like know trust factor.
Yeah. And they’re so much more likely to buy something from you. Um, it’s just another way to get to know you better. But I agree. I love podcasts. Like that’s my favorite thing to listen to. And um, you really do feel like you know them. And, so yeah, that’s it. I know it’s such a great thing to like live on.
Like my page as well, like podcasts or something that people can go back and listen to or they can like easily, um, like listen to a specific topic. I think. I think that’s, yeah. Where things are coming.
Erica Julson: I re repurposed mine in my email marketing because for the, at least for the Unconventional rd, like the podcast is like my main consistent, content creation stream.
And I don’t, I mean, something like an interview doesn’t really lend itself to like a really excellent blog post. You know, it’s like more like a transcript of like what you talked about. So, I slot the podcast episodes into my email marketing and just share them there. And then it’s way to like repurpose, I guess.
Brittyn Coleman: totally. Yeah. That’s the way to do it, yeah. Is just to repurpose everything.
Erica Julson: Yeah, for sure. And I don’t know, I’m just curious, did you have any mindset things that you had to overcome in this whole process?
Brittyn Coleman: Oh yeah, a lot. I, I just kept thinking like, you know, I started my private practice right in grad school.
I mean, I was 24, something like that. And I was like, who am I to be the person telling other, like, it was just a huge, like why is it escaping me? Um, the term
Erica Julson: like imposter syndrome.
Brittyn Coleman: Oh, imposter syndrome all the way. And I’m like, I’m 24. And like I was just always so worried that people wouldn’t take me seriously.
Um, and I was like, why am I starting my private practice? Like I should be in clinical for five more years or whatever it is. Yeah. And I just had to really talk myself into it and just be like that, almost kind of fake it till you make it sort of deal. I knew what I was talking about. I knew. I knew it, I was already an expert in the field, but I just like got so much in my head about it.
Um, that has been a huge thing, just talking myself out of that at this point. It’s not something I struggle with anymore. Um, but man, it, it was really hard for me to finally be like, Hey, like people find value in what you’re sharing. And like you can be the expert in this field. Like you can be the number one search on Google.
You can be like the name people think of. And I just kept thinking like, no, that’ll be me when I’m 40 or 50. Or just like, I don’t know. But you can be that at 30 or 25. And it was just a mindset deal. Mm-hmm. So I was getting in my own way a lot.
Erica Julson: I have a feeling a lot of people listening right now are gonna be like, yes, that’s me.
So, so common I think in our, especially in our field.
Brittyn Coleman: Oh my gosh, it’s so true. And I just always kind of felt like, Just unimportant. When I worked clinical, it wasn’t until I got outta clinical that I actually was like, I’m important. So for me it really was getting out of like the conventional like RD space where I actually like found a lot more confidence.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Well, even just being on like this podcast and sharing your story, I think is helpful for our field as a whole. Just sharing how you did it and shows people a little more clarity on how they might be able to get there in their own life and business as well.
Brittyn Coleman: Totally. I mean, I, I for sure will say like, you having the unconventional RD space, even in the beginning where I was like, I’m gonna throw in the towel.
Just knowing that other people are doing that and like there are so many ways that you can like, Money and like provide value to people. Like it was such an important community for me, and it still is, but especially in the beginning I was like, okay, other people are doing this too. Like, I’m not crazy or just trying to like, or like what I’m gonna do is completely gonna flop.
Like, it’s always just been such a helpful tool for me to like, see other people doing it. Cause I learned from other people all the time. Yeah. Like, oh, I never thought I could make money doing X, Y, and Z, you know?
Erica Julson: Well, thank you for saying that, first of all. And I, it’s like, seriously, I wouldn’t have any of this if people like you didn’t join in the very beginning.
So thank you. So I, I feel like we’ve covered, you know, how you grew your audience on Instagram and the different products and stuff that you have. And I think the one missing piece is like, how does someone go from finding you maybe on Instagram to becoming a customer? Like, do you have any like marketing methods?
Do you have an email list? How do you do all that?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, over the past year I’ve worked on really growing my email list. Um, I mean, people get kicked off of Instagram left and right, not that I ever do anything to upset Instagram, but I just realized how scare, like if I lost my Instagram, who who could find me?
You know, like who would buy from me? And so I really started working on that last year, and grew my email list considerably. So, I, because I’m hosting online courses now, I’ll do wait lists to help people get on my email list and then kind of funnel them in. But I also have like freebies that they can get on my website, opt in.
They go through a welcome sequence. Usually we, uh, sell them to the autism nutrition library. Even before that it’ll be like, here’s a blog or a podcast, or whatever it might be. And then gradually sell them into the library and then from there into an online course. Um, when I used to do group coaching, it was.
Replaced, you know, the library, then my group coaching program. Mm-hmm. Um, but yeah, so we have a, a kind of a funnel set up and, and then I, I have weekly emails that also go out to people and, um, they find me that way. But, yeah, so I would say it kind of funnels up through the library to my, uh, online courses.
Erica Julson: Nice. And do you have a team? Are you doing this all by yourself? Like, I’m always curious on that side of things too.
Brittyn Coleman: I have, I sort don’t have employees, but I’ve kind of built a team like here and there of people who support me. So I have, an assistant that I really couldn’t do everything or I could not run my business without, um, especially when I was out on maternity leave.
I mean, she basically like coordinated the library for me. So, um, that was incredible. Um, I also have been working with somebody, um, that helps with my marketing. She helps with my launches, writing my emails, um, my sales pages. And, um, so that’s been really helpful, especially, especially for this, like phase of my business.
I hate copywriting, so I’m always really grateful and I’m like, Hey, can you please write this for me? I just can’t even think of words to describe it. Um, I hate writing emails and so, um, it’s really nice to have people to kind of fill in, you know, where I need them. I’ve had people who have cond out for me for writing, uh, the notes for the autism nutrition library for my blogs.
Um, I’ve actually only hired dietitians to write my blogs who have taken your SEO course. Um,
Erica Julson: smart Call.
Brittyn Coleman: So yeah, so I, I’ve outsourced quite a bit and um, that’s really helped grow my business for sure.
Erica Julson: Nice. Yeah. Well that’s really helpful. I love to see like, you know, I, I love to hear what type of team people have, cuz it helps take away that notion that like, you have to do it all as one person.
Cause you definitely don’t and shouldn’t. And then the other question I really like to ask is like, what is a typical week like when you have this type of business?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah. Well right now it’s very different than what it was. Um, but on the days that I am working, it’s a lot of delegation. And I also take, uh, interns, which I love having interns.
And I, um, in fact just had an interview with an intern today who I think is gonna be a good fit, because. Mutually beneficial. And so, um, I love having long-term inf uh, interns too. So I run basically my whole practice on click up. And so I am, um, if there’s a new task, I’ll complete it first. I’ll write an s o p for it and then send it off to whoever is going to help me with it.
So it’s just a lot of delegation, and kind of stepping into that role. Now, of course I create my courses and everything, um, and all of that content, but the rest of it, what I can pass off, I certainly do. So, that’s another way my business just looks completely different. It was just me in the beginning and it was for the first few years and now I actually feel more like that c e o than I do of just like a dietitian is just me.
Yeah. So yeah, it’s definitely a lot of delegation and, uh, Like figuring out different systems that will help everything to come, come together. I am thinking about trying out Airtable. I think that could be something that could be helpful for the way I run things too. But, click up is my b f I love it.
Erica Julson: Thank you for sharing that. And so it sounds like, I mean, do you, how do you create your, like let’s just say use social media for an example. Do you batch it or are you like going on there every day, like from the day to day? Like what does it, what does it look like?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah. Um, no, I batch it. So I will, um, like when I’m on Instagram, like interacting as a consumer too, I’ll, if I see something that’s a completely different niche than mine, but I think that my audience could benefit from it, I’ll just save it.
And then, um, or as I go, if I see something, then I’m like, Ooh, that’s a post That is my audience, but I think I can make it better. I’ll save it. So I just like keep clicking the save button and then I come to. You know, create the content. Canva is also my bff. Use it every single day. And so I come there and then I go back through my saves.
So, I have templates that I’ve already created, that I use on my Instagram. And then just kind of take those content ideas, repurpose it. Sometimes I’ll also go through like my online course and just listen to a module of myself talking and make like little. Little tips that I can break down and repurpose that content.
And so I’ll do it all at once, uh, once I like finish the Canva post, I use plani, I’ll upload it into Plani, get that all ready and good to go. Um, now the person who’s helped me with my email marketing is also helping me with social media. I used to have a social media girl and uh, she went on maternity leave and um, didn’t come back.
And we both were heartbroken cuz she was like, I thought I was gonna work with you forever. And I was like, me too. So hopefully one day I can have one of her again cuz she got, she was like a, Like copy paste of me and the way she wrote and how she saw everything. But yeah, that’s how I, I kind of automate it and get it all scheduled, but I have to batch prep or else I am, uh, it’s not gonna get done.
Erica Julson: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s really practical advice. And it helps visualize too, like kind of all the different channels that you’re doing have some, some factor of automation and like pre making it and it kind of runs as, so you’re not having to be present live for much, if anything at this time, which I know is huge, especially when you have a new baby.
Brittyn Coleman: Oh my gosh. Totally. Yeah. My membership, I work four weeks ahead, so if at least, so if something. You know, one week is crazy. I have some buffer space, but everything is like all planned, ready to go. Um, the only thing that I’m really doing live, I’ll do reels, um, usually like day of I’ll do and just kind of see what’s trending.
You kind of have to, or else you know, you’ve missed the trend. Sure, sure. So, um, but that’s really the only thing I’ll do live or show up in stories on Instagram. But other than that, I usually try to be ahead of time.
Erica Julson: And where do you see things going in like the next few years?
Brittyn Coleman: I really love the flexibility that I’ve built for myself right now.
Um, and I’ve been able to like, keep a consistent income even from like moving from coaching to online courses. But I would love to level up from there and be able to like exponentially grow my income. Um, but I’m happy that I’ve been able to like. You know, just making that kind of big transition from coaching to online courses and like digital, resources to just, Have kept relatively the same income.
So, yeah, I wanna, I’m trying to decide, um, at this point, I mean, uh, we had talked about this, it’s like, I always wanna be creating something new, but also doubling down and like what I’m known for, um, really working on growing my audience to find new people to sell the same course too, and really make that course bigger and better.
Um, so I’m trying to decide whether to do that. And then, um, I’m like, some days I miss group coaching, but I’m like, I, I feel like that’s a step back. But sometimes some days I miss it and I am like, I’m gonna do it. But I really don’t think that’s what I want long-term. So I think continuing to build up my audience and offering these kind of resources, so that people can, you know, have it when they need it.
And it also makes it more affordable for people too, to be able to pay 99, 9 a month or do something like that versus, you know, paying a lot more to do some kind of group coaching program. Mm-hmm. But, yeah, I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not doing private practice or like one-on-one consults cuz get dms all the time of people who are like, I I would love to consult with you.
And sometimes I, I’m just like, I don’t even know who to send you to cuz there’s just not very many people who do what you’re doing. I could help you, but that’s not what I’m doing right now. So it’s just like this guilt sometimes like, but I remind myself, I just like can’t do it all. So that’s a whole nother topic.
Erica Julson: yeah, I know another like mindset thing for sure.
Brittyn Coleman: Totally. Yep, exactly.
Erica Julson: Well, given all this vast experience that you’ve had over the last however many years, trying so many different types of online businesses and remote work, what would you distill down as like your top three pieces of advice if you were speaking to an RD who
liked your story and is like, oh, this sounds really cool. Like maybe let’s just give a hypothetical example. This person is doing a private practice one-on-one and they’re like, oh, I see the path to maybe a different type of business model. What would be your advice for that person starting today?
Brittyn Coleman: My number one is, it’s no big surprise, but literally just get started.
Just do it. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, like B minus effort, just start doing it. Um, I actually was talking to one of my friends and colleagues, she is just jumping into private practice and she was like, this is scary. And I was like, yeah, but six months from now you’re going to forget that it was that scary.
One year from now you’re going to ask yourself why you didn’t do it sooner. And it’s so true because it’s so scary in the moment. But then it’s like, here I am, you know, six years into private practice and I’m like I love it. You know? I mean, that would be my number one thing is just like, get started because you’re usually the one who’s holding yourself back.
And that was totally me. Um, just out of fear of like not being perfect. And now I’m just like, okay, we’re gonna do this and I’m gonna start on it tomorrow. And if it’s not perfect now that’s fine, but we’ll make it perfect or we’ll make it better over time. So that’s number one. Number two is just try out what.
Switch it up. I mean, I’ve literally tried so many things like I’ve shared, I did, uh, you know, food photography and blogging, and then one-on-one group coaching, a membership site, online courses, a podcast, you know, all these different things. And sometimes it’s some combination of what works, but you’ll never know if you don’t just try it.
And if it flops, it flops and it’s a rite of passage as a business owner to flop. But I would’ve never gotten that kind of experience. And you learn something from, you know, every time that you do something that you realize you don’t like or you thought you were gonna love and you don’t love it. And then number three is just like, there are no rules.
You can literally do whatever you want and make it whatever you want. It doesn’t matter if no one’s doing it or if you change your mind. Six months into it, a year into it, or like a week into it, you can change your mind and you can just make it what you want and you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
Um, I mean that’s kind of the core of like the unconventional rd, right? Yeah. It’s like, do whatever. And like sometimes there’s just uncharted territory and sometimes it flops and sometimes it’s like an awesome success, but you’ll never know if you don’t just go for it.
Erica Julson: And there’s no like mob that’s gonna come after you and be like, you changed your offer.
Like, what are you doing? You you think everyone’s like paying attention to every little thing and they’re totally not,
Brittyn Coleman: they’re totally not. I put myself in the mindset, um, I like flip it and I’m like, okay, I’m the consumer now. Um, or like I think of one of my colleagues and I’m like, okay, what if they changed this?
Or like, what if they did this? Would I care? It’s like, absolutely. Like what I even notice, maybe, probably not. So sometimes I’m just like, you know, we’re just gonna change it up from launch to launch and see what works and what sticks and, kind of recreate it if you need to. And, but yeah, it’s just there are no rules and I think we sometimes like make rules around business and you don’t need to.
Erica Julson: I love that. I don’t think anyone’s ever said it quite like that on the podcast, but I love that sentiment. Yeah, totally. I guess my la I didn’t put this on our like list of things to talk about, but it just popped into my head. I, I feel like for the people who might be currently like running a private practice and they, like you said, at one point early on in your business, you, you had your schedule kind of like filled up with one-on-one work and you were so drained at the end of the day.
Like how, do you have any tips on like, Managing to like build a new thing when you’re already working from such a place of depletion and busyness.
Brittyn Coleman: It was a grind because at the time when I made the big transition, I mean, I was seeing one-on-one clients, I was running then also group coaching, and then I was starting my membership.
So it was like I w I had to, it got worse before it got better. Yeah. And I just had to remind myself, this is temporary. I’m building, I’m setting myself up for, for success, but right now it’s gonna be really hard. And that’s kind of how it felt almost in the beginning of my business of like, shoot, this is hard and like, this is a grind, but it’s gonna be d.
Soon it’s gonna get better soon. So sometimes you have to, oh, I don’t say you have to, but I did work weekends or work nights to get it to be what I wanted and now I’m here. I mean, it’s always like that mindset of like, okay, you’re here and now you want the next best thing. But, yeah, sometimes it’s a, uh, it gets harder before it gets better.
For me, at least that’s how it was.
Erica Julson: Yeah, I can imagine. It’s . It’s time or money. So it’s like if you still need all that income from your one-on-one work and you, there is no flexibility to like, let some of that go, then yeah. The only other thing you have to give is more time. Or if you could sacrifice some of the money.
Like I, I’ve seen some people do it where they’re like, okay, instead of seeing patients four or five days a week, it’s gonna cut back to two or three and you know, I’m sure like I’ll have. Rejig my, my budget or something, but I could make it work for a little bit until something new comes outta the other side.
But yeah, you’ve gotta just find the, whatever you need to do for your personal situation, really. But
Brittyn Coleman: yep. I think at the time I had ti or time to spare, being cooped up. So I was like, okay, you know, I, I can buckle down and I can, you know, be exhausted for a little bit. Now I don’t necessarily have all that free time despair, so I’d have to readjust it.
But at that time in my life, that’s what, what worked. And now I have the flexibility and the time. Yay. Yeah, it worked
Erica Julson: well. Where should people go if they want to check out your brand and your business and just kind of follow along with you?
Brittyn Coleman: Yeah, Instagram, uh, is my big place. Um, I post their. Daily. My website, you can hop on my email list there I am on Facebook as well.
Basically everything that shares from Instagram goes to Facebook too. So, if Facebook is more of a jam m that’s a good place. Um, so I have technically two websites. One is for my private, my private practice as a whole, autism dietitian. But then my membership site is Autism Nutrition Library. Um, so lots of places to connect with me.
Basically if you just Google autism, dietitian, you’ll find all the stuff there. Great. Yeah. In my podcast too, I suppose. But I plan on getting that up and going again, but it’s called Nourishing Autism.
Erica Julson: Nice. Great. Well thank you for sharing your experiences and all of the wisdom. I know it’s gonna be super inspirational, uh, and I just really appreciate you giving your an hour of your day to this, to this platform and like kind of paying it forward to.
Other people who are now maybe starting out in the unconventional RD community as well, and like looking for, for guidance and inspiration and I don’t know, even to this day, like, I don’t know if you feel the same way, but like you just said, you get to this level and then you’re like, okay, but what’s next?
I’m still always just kind of like out there listening to podcasts and like hearing people’s business journeys, who are one step ahead of wherever I am at the moment. And there’s always somebody ahead of you that you can learn from. So,
Brittyn Coleman: yeah, you’ll never stop. It’s like, it always feels like unreachable, right?
It’s like, but yes. Yeah, that’s, it’s true. And hopefully this was helpful for somebody and yeah, just truly getting started for me, like taking that plunge and yeah, writing it yourself and uh, just figuring out what works for your audience and that takes time. But you get there.
Erica Julson: Thank you again so much and, uh, I hope you have a really great rest of your day.
Brittyn Coleman: Thanks, Erica. Appreciate it.
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.