Talking about reasons why nutritionists should go to ProBlogger might seem like an odd concept. After all, doesn’t it take five minutes to set up a blog these days? And what are nutritionists and dietitians doing blogging anyway? Shouldn’t they be off writing meal plans and telling people what to eat?! 😉
This was my first ProBlogger after many years sitting on the sidelines thinking I wasn’t a legit enough nutrition blogger yet to attend. However, after four days on the Gold Coast soaking up all of the information, advice, expertise and camaraderie; I realised that part of being a legit nutrition blogger and a better practitioner involves attending conferences like ProBlogger. So it is something I should have done sooner.
So here are my 5 reasons why nutritionists should go to ProBlogger.
1. To step out of your CPD comfort zone
As university qualified nutritionists and dietitians and members of professional bodies, we all have to do continuing professional development. But let’s face it; spending all of our CPD time and dollars at conferences or seminars that just present on research gets pretty boring pretty quickly. Well it does for me anyway.
At ProBlogger there are sessions for beginner bloggers right through to advanced. You might find yourself in one session learning about copywriting, getting hands on with your camera to become a better photographer in the next session and learning how to back up your website properly in another. The sessions are short, sharp and actionable and I feel like I have built on skills that make me a well-rounded practitioner, rather than just someone who can sprout the latest nutrition research.
2. The networking opportunities
The thing everyone has in common at ProBlogger is blogging. But the similarities end there. The experience and knowledge people bring to ProBlogger is vast and varied and there are people blogging about almost every topic you can imagine. This not only makes for really interesting conversations but opens up opportunities for mentoring or collaborative working relationships. For example, if you are a paediatric dietitian, collaborating on a project with a parenting blogger would be a great match.
It also allows for building connections with people who have skills and strengths in areas outside of nutrition that you can call upon once you get back to work. For example, if you were planning to run a day-long workshop on preparing family meals, you might be able to contact that event planner you met to suggest a great venue, or get that graphic designer you chatted to at morning tea to help design a poster.
3. You can share your message and learn from others
I lost count of how many people I was able to talk to about what a ‘non-diet dietitian’ does. People were genuinely interested to understand what that meant and it was a real privilege to have the opportunity to share my interest and philosophy with them. It was also a great conversation starter and offered me a fascinating insight into people’s thoughts and beliefs about food, diets and weight. Understanding people’s pain points and offering ways to help solve them is one of the keys to being a great blogger and by extension, a great health practitioner. Having these conversations offered up a LOT of pain points I was able to learn from.
4. It’s affordable
Soooo affordable when you compare it to other conferences. An earlybird ticket was just $399 and included entry to the conference and all of the sessions, along with morning and afternoon tea and lunch each day. On top of that, attendees also receive recordings of all of the sessions. This is invaluable given there were so many concurrent sessions that I would have loved to attend, but obviously could’t be in three sessions at the same time. There were add-on costs for masterclass sessions and the networking party on the Friday night but they were totally optional.
How is it such great value for money? Well there isn’t as much controversy about having sponsors at this type of conference like there is for nutrition and dietetics events. A big thank you has to go to Olympus, RACV Royal Pines, The Good Guys, Shoebox, Orange Sky Laundry and Katalane Tents for making tickets so affordable.
5. If you can’t beat them, join them
OK, so this is probably the main reason why I feel it is so important for nutritionists and dietitians to attend professional development like ProBlogger. Nutritionists and dietitians need to be visible in the place our clients are spending their time. And that place is online and on social media.
The online ‘wellness expert’ has a lot to answer for in contributing to how confused the general public are about health and nutrition. And we have to face the fact that people are looking for guidance online rather than making an appointment to see a health professional in the flesh. Not forgetting there is the real issue of accessibility to health services for people in remote areas of Australia.
While we can’t use testimonials to support our services and build trust with potential clients, there is much we can learn from successful online entrepreneurs. And ProBlogger can teach many of the skills that we can then use ethically to serve our clients. Marketing, social media, podcasting, video, diversifying income and writing compelling content were all covered by engaging and expert presenters. So let’s embrace the online space and work with it, rather than being an armchair critic of those who are making waves online.
Are you now wishing you didn’t have to wait another year for PREVENT 2017 in order to master your nutrition blogging and social media game? Well there is no need for the FOMO (or procrastination)! You can buy a virtual ticket and get access to the recordings and slides from all 50 sessions. It will be like attending the conference from from the comfort of home. I know I will definitely be taking advantage of the recordings to catch up on all of the gold I missed!
Will I see you next year at PBEVENT?
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