If you were asked to describe your niche within the nutrition and eating disorder worlds, what would you say? Here are three areas of focus to help you get curious about to define your niche and support a blossoming practice as an eating disorder professional.
We often do not take the time to reflect on how our training, background, personality, and experiences coalesce into what Megan Kniskern MS, RD, LD/N, CEDRD-S called our Mission Statement in EDRDpro’s November webinar. She encouraged us to contemplate the many areas of specialization within this field – athletes, food allergies and intolerances, malnutrition, orthorexia, and ARFID name just a few. As you move through the following sections, be honest about your strengths and what makes you unique.
Who specifically are you best equipped to serve, and why? Picturing your ideal client is a valuable exercise here: acknowledge that while you are not the right provider for some, you are the ideal provider for others. Here are a few questions to help guide you…
- How old is your ideal client – do you have more experience with a particular age range?
- Why are they seeking your support? Think about their specific needs.
- What are their nutritional or recovery goals?
- What can you offer them that other professionals might not?
Take a look at your webpage. Could your ideal client easily identify your specialties, training, and experience? Are the pictures, posts, biography, and language consistent with how you would describe your work? Don’t be afraid to really commit to a HAESÒ and weight-inclusive message. You will attract the people who are ready for you. EDRDpro Members can access Food Psych founder Christy Harrison’s “How to Create a Pro-Recovery Brand” guide to help with this. We encourage you to think about how someone unfamiliar with your practice would interpret your online presence and persona. Consider including a list of your favorite non-diet, Health at Every Size® resources or influencers to help your audience understand your practice and areas of expertise. Taken together, does your website communicate the story that you want to tell?
Finally, what are your passions? What topics could you talk about and research for hours, and what part of your work is most fulfilling? Look for similarities among the books you read, the podcasts you love, and the social media pages you follow. Do you have your own way of combining, movement, music, art, or other activities in to your approach? How can you share more of yourself, and your unique gifts with your clients in a way that supports their needs? Think about the short-term and long-term goals you have set for yourself, personally and professionally. Identify what lights your fire, and integrate those things into your Mission Statement!
EDRDpro is hosting the 3rd annual online symposium coming up March 1st -4th 2019 that features 18 leading experts to arm you with tools for deeper knowledge and reflection on where you best fit in this field. View the full agenda here.
So now, maybe you can schedule some time in your next month to do some deeper reflection and move toward a solid vision of what you offer your clients and formalizing that mission statement of who you are as a provider.