5/4/2021

Our Community’s Most FAQs on Getting Started working with Brands

There are many great things about cultivating community, but one great benefit is knowledge sharing! There is room for everyone (we believe in collaboration over competition!) and the more that we can help each other succeed and showcase the power of dietitians to drive positive results for brands, the more work and opportunities will arise for all the experts in our industry. Having more dietitians’ voices heard and present helps consumers and the general public by making accurate nutrition information more visible and accessible.

When it comes to working with brands, it can be tricky to navigate, especially if you haven’t done it before! We pulled together a few of your most frequently asked questions below along with some of our favorite resources on the topics too.

FAQS: 

How do I know when I’m established enough to start seeking out brand partnerships? Do I need a certain number of followers?

If you are an RD, or even a dietetic intern, you are established enough to work with brands. It all depends on the brands’ needs and what they are looking to gain from working with an RD. 

Of course, the more experienced you become, the more you define your specific value and unique offering, the more attractive you will be to brands. That being said, you don’t need to wait before you start your outreach (and you definitely don’t need a certain number of followers… keep reading!)

How do I work with brands if I’m not an influencer and don’t have a huge social following?

You can definitely work with brands even if you aren’t an influencer. There are so many ways for you to use your experience, expertise, and credibility to bring value to brands. More and more brands are looking to work with ‘micro’ and ‘nano’ influencers too! Keep in mind that reach and engagement will play a role in setting rates. The key is to position your unique value to the brand based on your niche and unique offerings. Here are just some of the ways that RDs can partner with brands outside of being an influencer. 

  • Offer to take over THEIR social media accounts (again you don’t need to have thousands of followers to be on the brand’s Instagram giving nutrition tips in your specific area of expertise!)
  • Share product samples with your clients 
  • Participate in ambassador programs
  • Write for their blog if the brand’s audience aligns with your expertise
  • Be a source for media mentions
  • Create content
  • Offer consultations on your specialty to help them learn more about communicating with this audience
  • Webinar sponsorship
  • Join RD-hosted conferences
  • Host workshops – Food Photography, Culinary Nutrition, etc.
  • Podcast ads
  • Sponsored speaking engagements & presentations
  • TV segments

How can I start getting connected with brands? 

Following along with brands on social media (especially ones that you already love and use) is a good way to keep a pulse on brands in your niche, including company news and updates.

Once you have determined brands that would be a good fit for your expertise and niche and have an idea of what you can offer, you should then seek out a contact at the company. Signing up for Link is free for RDs and the right brand contact is always listed in each brand’s profile. You can easily message the correct contract from directly within the platform. Stay present and keep the conversation going. You never know when the timing may be right to partner with your dream brands!

Pitching myself feels intimidating. What should I say when ‘pitching’ brands? 

Take time to write a personal note to the brand and share a specific offering. OWN your main 1-3 areas of expertise (beyond your RD credential!)! Showcase your strongest areas to offer value to potential partnerships, remember a jack of all trades is a master of none. Another way to differentiate yourself is to reach out to brands who align with your speciality, expertise, and audience. This ensures better success for both you and the brand when you are truly a good fit for one another. 

How do I determine my rates for brand sponsorships? 

Pricing can definitely be challenging to figure out. Before turning to others to compare rates and see what they charge – we would encourage you to first think about what you feel comfortable charging and what feels like a fair price to charge the company.

Below are a few tips to help you get started setting your rates. Keep in mind that each service is so different (Instagram, vs. takeovers, vs. tv segments, etc.) so here we keep it broad to help you get started. Stay tuned for a pricing guide coming soon!

  • Brand partnerships are typically flat projects rates (versus hourly)
  • The most important thing to consider is the value your service provides and the results the company will get. The higher both are the higher the price can be!
  • You should also consider your experience, expertise (are you a true specialist on a topic or more of a generalist), and quality of work you provide
  • If this is something for your audience, rather than theirs, consider how many potential new customers they can reach
  • Start with $100 and go from there – factoring how many posts, how many recipes, potential reach, if your name will be used on their site, your years of experience, etc.
  • Consider your rate from the brand’s perspective. Is this a fair price? Would you pay this price for this service? Would they hire you again at this rate? Is your scope clearly laid out so they can perceive the value? Focus on the value and the price is just another detail.
  • Keep in mind there isn’t a standard rate guide book that is hidden somewhere! It all depends on the entire package, your specific value/expertise, the brand’s goals, and the deliverables. Make sure your rates are something you are comfortable with and that you perceive being a good value exchange. 

Check out the resources below to dive even further into brand partnerships.

  1. Past Link Blog Posts:
  1. Start & Scale Your Nutrition Practice Course
    • Fundraising course built by dietitians to support our colleagues at Diversify Dietetics- a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing ethnic and racial diversity in the nutrition and dietetics profession.
    • This 12-module fundraising course provides a unique opportunity to give back and learn. The faculty of experts provides valuable insight into starting and scaling your nutrition practice. Whether you are an aspiring dietitian, new to the field, or a current dietitian looking to pivot to private practice, this course has something valuable for you.
    • Working with Brands. We created a presentation too! This presentation is GREAT for those of you who are looking to get started working with brands or fine-tune your skills to secure more partnerships – we cover everything from the benefit of working with brands, to figuring out what to offer, positioning your value, and crafting the perfect pitch.
  2. The Dietitian Success Podcast: Your Guide to Navigating Sponsored Content & Working with Brands
    • Covered in this episode: 
      • How to get started working with brands and where to find opportunities⁠ (even if you aren’t an influencer!)
      • Tips for pitching yourself and setting your rates⁠
      • Things to consider when it comes to disclosure and code of ethics
  3. The Unconventional RD Podcast: The RD Link- Connecting Dietitians with Brands
    • Covered in this episode:
      • How founder, Jenna Gorham, came up with the idea for The RD Link
      • How she actually built the platform
      • How dietitians and brands can connect with each other
      • Ideas for utilizing brand work in your business
      • How to stand out while reaching out

© 2022 Gorham Consulting Group. All Rights Reserved.

CDS