What an Irishman, American and Kiwi taught me about writing for health & wellness businesses (although they thought they were teaching me about nutrition).
Last night I went back to my dietitian-roots and went to a lecture from the High Value Nutrition group. Along side some really neat nutrition messages, what I also got out of the lecture was three great take-home messages about the importance of making sure your words count when you're communicating with your clients.
So use your words wisely, and make them count.
So there I was. All on my own, so out of the 'nutrition' circles of the higher echelons of university, that I only recognised two faces in the crowd.
Hugging my class of chilled water (no lemon).
The High Value Nutrition (HVN) group at the University of Auckland is part of the National Science Challenge. It's challenge is to "use research excellence to enable the transformation of New Zealand's food and beverage industry into an exporter of high-value, scientifically-proven foods for health".
So, with me being a foodie/nutrition-y kind of writer I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what directions the functional food research was heading in.
Looking at the speakers it looked hopeful. Omega 3, vitamins and genomics and infant feeding and microbiome. My nutrition-nerd topics! (yay)
This leads me to lesson 1: What you say is what you get
What I thought I'd get were three lectures focusing on current research and their application to HVN, and therefore some detailed discussion about functional foods using the food topics discussed.
What I got was some fascinating information about the foods topics, but only a waft in the direction of functional foods and HVN.
All was not exactly as it was advertised. The use of the words 'high value nutrition' and presented under this banner led my expectations astray.
Take home message from lesson 1, for health and wellness businesses:
Make sure what you're selling is what is says on the packet. Make your message clear (crystal) or you might end up with unhappy campers.
Which leads me to lesson 2: Something unexpected may save your bacon
So there I was, wondering where the functional food (or at least HVN) aspect was going to reveal itself. Yes it was interesting, but not exactly what I was expecting.
There it was
In each of those lectures there was a sparkling little gem of wisdom. Something that made it light up. Something unexpected.
Did I really care that there was a mega-lack of anything functional foody? Not after those gems of wisdom flashed out at me. Not a care in the world!
Take home message from lesson 2, for health and wellness businesses:
Even if you wander astray from your key messages, if you include something unexpected you can reel your customers back in (and they won't care about the detour).
Your 'something unexpected' may be a freebie download, a tip or #hack or an opportunity to engage with you. But make it sparkle, not be missed!
The final lesson that I learned was that getting the message wrong means you don't attract the right people.
The lecture theatre was half full. Okay, so it was 5.30 on a Monday night. But there were free nibbles and wine.
A colleague messaged me to say she couldn't go, but assumed it would all be about manipulating the nutrition in food. i.e. functional food so she wasn't that bothered. I said I had assumed that too, and that's what I was after.
So she would've been a great target for what was presented, but didn't go.
And I was a great target for what it was advertised as, and did go. And was slightly disappointed.
Take home message from lesson 3, for health and wellness businesses:
What you're saying will directly affect who you're attracting (or not). Getting it wrong means you're not talking to the people who may buy your service or product.
See that picture above ... DON'T JUST STAND THERE.
IF you've the right headline or message, AND it is what it says on the packet, AND you've got a gem of wisdom or something unexpected THEN you'll connect with the right kind of client AND make them happy!
[Comment below and I'll tell you what my gems of wisdom were for each of the lectures!]
If you want to learn more about how to make sure you're doing all this right, then have I got news for you!
My teachable.com course 'Finding your voice: writing so your client listens' opens on May 18th 2018.
To be first to be notified when the course opens, enroll in my school (Words for Wellness) for free.
Hi, I'm Katrina. I love writing, and I love helping people grow their businesses.