- by Laura Peill
When it comes to nutrition and health, many individuals are too timid to seek out the help of a nutritionist. Often they don’t want to have to do the work alone. For individuals like this, it can be really beneficial to have a community they can be a part of to help them reach their goals. This is where it can be really helpful to create a local Meetup group! Meetup.com is an online platform where individuals can go and search by location, interest or date to find events happening in their community.
As a nutritionist, you can create your own Meetup event about wellness, cooking, weight loss, etc. Individuals can sign up to attend. Here’s what you should know about creating a Meetup event:
Make it easy and beneficial
Hold your Meetup event in a convenient location, at a convenient time, and don’t make it too long. If it is longer, make it interactive so that individuals don’t get bored or sit for too long. As a nutritionist, you will have the benefit of meeting new prospective clients and helping them become comfortable with you so that they may seek your services in the future. For the participants, they are there for the community connection and meeting like-minded individuals. Make sure there is lots of time for them to make this connection and feel like it was a worthy use of their time to come.
Promote your event
Meetup.com will announce your event to local members of the Meetup community who have shown an interest in your topic. People can also find out about your Meetup on the online Community Meetup Calendar. As well, there are plenty of other ways to get people to join your Meetup group. Announce your Meetup on your own social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Send an email announcement to all your contacts and encourage your friends to tell their friends. Put up signs on message boards at local community spots and spread the information through word of mouth by telling people such as the employees of the local health food store.
Don’t be too salesy
Most people attend Meetups for the social experience: it’s like getting together with friends for coffee, or chatting over happy hour. While it’s important for you to give them the information they need, Your role as the Meetup organizer is to provide some structure to the session in terms of topic etc. You are more acting as a facilitator for a discussion on a health topic, as well as organizing the time and place for everyone to get together. You are there to answer questions and to share information about nutrition, but it is not meant to be like a seminar or conference session. Remember that people likely signed up to this group because they didn't feel ready yet to seek consultation from a professional nutritionist. So don’t turn your Meetup event into a sales pitch on why they should come see you.
Encourage the community aspect
The best part about a Meetup is that individuals get to meet others in the community who share their interest about nutrition. Suggest participants continue outside the group using each other to help them stay accountable to their nutrition and health goals, and above all else, encourage them to use you as a resource and attend your future Meetup events. In addition, as a nutritionist, you can offer Meetup members group services, such as group coaching, group cooking classes, a meal planning workshop, etc.
As you launch your nutrition business and seek to find clients within your community, don’t discredit the value of small community groups and local Meetups! Treat them as an opportunity to meet lots of people, gain exposure and make people aware of your services so they can call on you in the future!
Have you ever been to a Meetup in your community? What’s your favourite way to get involved in your community? Let us know in the comments and share this article if you found it helpful!