Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. An award-winning nutrition expert, Koff knows better nutrition powers better health. During her two decades as a dietitian, Koff identified a BIG issue – the tools we are using to assess nutrition aren’t better, and that keeps people from getting better results. She’s created better nutrition tools, to help identify what your body really needs and how to get it in more often. The Better Nutrition Program is your one-stop shop for digital better nutrition tools. A practitioner first, Koff regularly shares her better nutrition message with millions via national media, social media, and speaking engagements. For more about Ashley or to check out her better nutrition tools visit www.TheBetterNutritionProgram.com
Mathea Ford: [00:00:27] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome back to Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Ashley Koff on the show today. Ashley welcome to Nutrition Experts. I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe.
Ashley Koff: [00:00:48] Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to be connected with you personally and learn your story. And this is going to be a lot of fun so, thank you.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:57] Yes! I know my listeners are going to love learning cause your tools are for both consumers and you find a lot of health care professionals. So let’s start with telling my listeners a little more about you and what you do.
Ashley Koff: [00:01:09] Sure. Well I never wanted to be a dietician. I wanted to be. I’m probably going to date myself here. I wanted to be Angela Bower from Who’s the Boss. I loved advertising. I thought it was amazing to go to work you know in New York City and come home to hunky Tony Danza was taking care of the house right? So that was my vision and I actually went to work in advertising. I worked like in New York City. My client was Kellogg’s and a couple of others. But I had my own health issues and I had been somebody who had tried my whole life to figured it in and out. Really for me it was to focus on my belly and I could never lose it, it was always with me. And every day I tried every diet and I tried to do things perfectly. You know I would follow Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers; I would go see a psychiatrist to psychologists, the fitness professionals like every different angle. And it wasn’t until I met an integrative gastroenterologist who helped me understand that it was all the antibiotics I had as a child that just made me get loaded. I wasn’t allergic or even intolerant to most foods. My digestive system just didn’t have what it needed to run better than I became so excited and passionate about what I call better nutrition. And I do feel we have to define better nutrition today that it’s giving your body what it needs to run better without giving it things at all irritated an overwhelming disrupted. And so I started in on this mission about 25 years ago to learn about nutrition. And where we are today and this is really it brings me to where I am. So, I’ve been a practitioner for about 20 years. The base of my practice was in Los Angeles. I got to a lot of celebrity were gone but we all know that their health issues are just the same as any of ours. As well as you know things like TV shows and stuff like that. But when I start to realize is there are a lot of people talking about nutrition today and when we any of us practice we know as a dietician the first thing we’re taught is to ask questions you have to learn about your patients. And today there’s so many different ways that people are getting in nutrients. They could be taking supplements, they could be eating whole foods or they could be eating food products that have fortifications or this whole area of like functional foods. And now there are creams and sprays and just all these different ways to get the nutrients. And I realized that we really don’t have a good system for assessing that. We have our RDAs but a lot of the nutrition assessment tools don’t assess what somebody is actually taking in most often. And so in the last three years I’ve worked very hard to create those tools. I’ve got about 50 of those tools everything from protein and magnesium to your trace minerals to water, fiber and I make those tools available to practitioners as well as individuals to help them just as a starting point. Whether you’re going to do genetic testing or lab testing or you know the whole nine yards or just a couple yards it is really important as we know to know from a foundational standpoint what your body is getting or what it’s not getting more often and that way we can get better outcomes. So I’m on a mission to change the way we assess nutrition in the country so we can get better outcomes.
Mathea Ford: [00:04:13] I think that’s a great explanation. Yeah you’re right. So many people with all the different fad diets and everything people are eliminating complete categories and nutrients. And it’s just really hard as a dietitian to make sure that you ask all the questions that are going to get down to what’s actually happening for that person so that you can actually help them.
Ashley Koff: [00:04:39] Exactly! And you know on the flip side you have things that are out there where somebody says “oh broccoli that’s a great source of protein” and it’s an oversimplification. Sure there are amino acids in there but how much broccoli would you need to eat? And we all know it’s not a complete source of protein. So, we need to do a little bit better with helping people understand but we also don’t want to make it too difficult. So I’m really trying to help connect the dots between the individual and their health care practitioners. And we all know as practitioners when we have more information about our patients. We do better. And definitely you know for doctors and even fitness professionals. People where it’s outside their scope and one of the areas that I said have done a lot of studying in and over the last 15 years for my nonprofit Ashley Koff Approved. I’ve evaluated over 150,000 products and it started off because I was very clear that not all multivitamins accrued are are the same.
Ashley Koff: [00:05:32] I want to make sure that we could that we had a way to say you know “hey! What are you actually taking in?” Because there’s a difference if you’re taking in 200 milligrams of calcium versus if you’re taking in 400 milligrams of calcium. So I’m trying to help people pull all that together.
Mathea Ford: [00:05:47] What types of tools do you see that consumers are using the most? Which of your tools?
Ashley Koff: [00:05:52] Sure! And you know I really looked at what tools already exist out there and why don’t I think that they’re helpful? So, for example there are a lot of different whether somebody is writing down and I think through journaling is still be the best thing you can do. So I created a food journal a digital one and a hard copy one. But then I turned around and said “Yeah! but These apps are having people count a lot of calories and we need to know what those calories are.” And so one thing that I created was a nutrition plan to help people understand where your different calories come from is going to make a difference. So we all know that 150 calories if it’s all from carbohydrate is going to impact your body different than if it’s 30 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, 30 percent protein and I’m just… Those are arbitrary therapies right? And so because that’s not even add to a hundred. Anyway. We all know what I mean. Right? And so when I was really focused on statistics. So, for example 70 percent of women, 80 percent of men are not meeting their RDA for magnesium. And I said “Well, that’s an interesting thing.” You know I could go on Dr. Oz and I do or I could go on the local news or I could go on you know wherever I’m going to go and talk to healthcare practitioners and say “hey! We need to get more magnesium because magnesium turns off that stress response and that’s so important for digestion and all these other things.” But they need to then turn around and have advice and I don’t want to just turn around and say “So, everybody needs a magnesium supplement. What about just eating some chocolate? What if you change your milk chocolate to dark chocolate you know or what have you learned that when you actually eat a whole grain instead of white flour you increase your magnesium intake by several grams. And so one of the ones that people are using very often and in particular psychologists and also my practitioners that are dealing with people with sleep, weight loss, anxiety. So you can start to see why this one is really popular. They’re using that magnesium tool. Now what I did was I had to treat you know there are different ways and I think the way you said it is so smart is that people don’t necessarily think about dietitians as having specialties. My specialty is definitely in digestive health because I know that we are not what we eat; We are what we digest and absorb. And I believe that if your digestion is not working better then you can’t get any health outcome that you’re looking for. And so I focus even on that part and so what I did when I created the tools was I also put them into packages. So you have your digestive health package, your heart health package, you have your kids package, your hormone health package and us dietitians if we look behind the scene, you’ll see a lot of redundancy behind all of them right? But the way that people consume information today or think about their own health they’re not thinking about their overall body as much as they’re thinking about specifically what they’re trying to address. So I focus on the tools on that part.
Mathea Ford: [00:08:43] I personally struggle with migraines and I use magnesium and try to make sure I’m consistently getting a decent amount of magnesium because that helps with that condition for me at least. I can see how that’s a popular one and I also see people do tend to have this focus on individual nutrients. But how do you help your clients or your consumers to have kind of a better overall diet? Because really I think that’s where some of we start focusing on one nutrient and then we forget about other ones. So, how do you help them to build a more well-rounded diet that’s good for them?
Ashley Koff: [00:09:23] Yeah! You are so spot on. Within the tool, the reason these tools are unique literally if they existed I would just be using them instead of having it create them because it’s not a lucrative business to create and to create all these tools and make them work. Maybe someday but it certainly is it right now. And so what I looked at is so every tool goes through what foods could you be getting a nutrient from. Then, also are there any that might interfere with the absorption of those in or conflict with the absorption and how much of those foods do you need to be getting into your RDA? And then I go into the supplements phase and I also go into a space about you and your health. And so for example, when I’m asking and the other nutrients base and the magnesium evaluation and I focus as much on calcium. Because one of the reasons that we have an issue not only are people not getting in their RDA for magnesium, we have people who rightfully so has listened to a lot of you know health care practitioners and really focusing on calcium but a lot of people have turned to supplemental calcium instead of calcium rich food and as a result they’ve been throwing out of. I call it almost it’s a conditional deficiency or conditional challenge. The more calcium you get in the more magnesium you need because calcium I like to make a bicep calcium as a muscle contracter and magnesium is a muscle relaxer. So, I was actually just talking to a woman yesterday and she switched to she’s getting an almond milk. She was not having any dairy but she was also not having the almond milk before. Well, now she’s getting and you know and it says on the package 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk. So, she’s actually getting in a lot of calcium and had not adjusted her calcium supplement or magnesium intake. So your point is if we are going to focus on nutrients we better focus on nutrients overall. But I always start people a step back which is thinking about what is your overall objective. So it’s the digestive evaluation or with heart health. What I try to focus on and again behind the scenes of any dietitians looking at this you’re going to know “Oh! This is just an assessment for better nutrition. What are your carb? Where are your carbohydrates coming from? What kinds of proteins are you taking in? You know what healthy fats are you getting in? Are you getting into too much of an unhealthy less healthy fats? What are you doing from a water intake?” You know those kinds of things I’m always asking those questions so that we can make sure that somebody doesn’t think that their solution is just one nutrient. But I think your question is really such an important one and it’s a challenge to a lot of us nutrition professionals. So, I look at it as two things. One I’m not going to change the fact that people are doing these bad diets. So for example I just did a webinar on If You Are Doing a Ketogenic Diet, Here Are The Things You Have To Do because your body still needs certain nutrients. So, if you’re skipping which blows my mind. But people are doing it and it’s not for me to judge. But if you’re skipping a lot of vegetables because of their carbohydrate content then you need to make sure that you are getting those in. And so I went through in my opinion what are better sources. You know whether it’s a powder that you’re adding or whether it’s you know in your malt tea or these kinds of things on as a way to make sure that you’re not missing out on those core nutrients. And then we also know we have patients who sometimes are just challenged because of something that’s going on to get something in. And so then this is a good way to help them around it. So, I always just come back to we know what better nutrition is and isn’t. And that’s in every package that I have of tools, there’s always the better nutrition plan which explains why better nutrition looks like you know which is a balance of nutrients and trying to reduce your intake of things that could be irritating.I mean when we just take it too much it’s overwhelming to the system but really great question.
Mathea Ford: [00:13:11] That kind of leads me a little bit to think about where are consumers looking for information on healthier diet? So, they’re not necessarily going “I need a better health, need better nutrition assessment searching for that but where are they looking for information on a healthier diet? And then part two, how can are these be part of that discussion?
Ashley Koff: [00:13:35] Oh! This is my favorite. So remember I told you I want to be Angela Bower so I started I love marketing. So, please if you ever want marketing help that is something that I love to talk about and you a lot of talking to probably because I enjoy it. First and foremost nobody wants better nutrition. Let me be super clear. It is the name of my company. Nobody wants it. So we all want better health and the outcome is what we want. And so you have to from a marketing standpoint be very clear that nutrition and in particular better nutrition and your better nutrition, what your body needs is the vehicle, a vehicle, a very dominant vehicle to getting better health. So in your messaging as a dietitian if you focus in on I see this all the time that your deliverable is nutrition, is better nutrition, you will improve someone’s nutrition, you will help them with this nutrition wise. You are actually not going to engage them because nobody wants it. In reality, if we could just fix it. Some people are like “hey! If I never had to eat any food but I could be healthy, I’d be happy. You know I’m a total foodie that would be a disaster to me. But if I could just eat whatever I wanted to eat and be healthy which is what we thought probably for many people up until probably like in the 80s and 90s then it was like an era like oh oh we actually do have to pay attention and oh by the way there is something better nutrition.” So my one of my kind of emerging part one and part 2. But one of my strongest recommendations in any of your communications is to think about what does the person who you want to talk to to have a conversation. How do they express better health? So, is it that their energy is crashing. Is it that their skin looks dull and dry or is it that their bellies bloated no matter that they just finished a marathon or feel like they eat very well like what’s the thing that day or is it that they really care about the health of someone else and have concerns and so they’re stressed about it and where we’re going to interact. So, in today’s world we’re really lucky because we have a lot of tools that we can use from a marketing standpoint to help us like with quizes. I think I was telling you Mathea that I’m really excited on when you talk about like where people are looking. They are looking for nutrition so they’re looking for health answers and guidance everywhere. And as a result, companies are all and people and everybody is talking everywhere I even use the term infobesity. We just we have too much information and it’s not even beneficial right? It actually can like stop us. Where people are looking, as a dietitian I would say so they’re looking everywhere so what you need to understand is it have them not just looked to you but invest in you and want to have a relationship with you. You have to be very clear about the fact that your training and your experience and what your brand is allows them to actually get the better health results that they’re seeking. And so that’s why I’ve made my tools available in a shared partnership for dietitians. I do a different program even for dieticians than I do for you know people who are not don’t have our license you know whether it’s a health coach or whether it’s a fitness professional or someone but you need to make sure that you can say to them I have a tool kit that’s going to help you get this better results and then what you also want to do is focus in on what are all the points in the day that somebody can talk to them. So one of the ones that most recently came to me I know everybody is on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter but I also realize that’s a place of massive infobesity. I mean, I actually as a dietitian get upset sometimes being on those platforms because I noticed myself I sort of think about what I had tea. I know what to do for myself right? and So I’m like “So, if this is the amount of information and what I’m looking at is even making me feel like I might have a problem or some thing I need to address. Imagine what it’s doing for the person who you know doesn’t have the training and does have a problem you address.” So I’ll look for places where people are not talking as much about it. And so one of the areas for me that’s recently opened up we’re talking about this is Alexa and it’s actually pointed out to me. I was not using Alexa. Alexa didn’t tell me this that the mind behind Alexa told me that there was not really anyone offering any nutrition tips there and that blew my mind. You know are you kidding me? People have Alexa around them all the time and are used to Alexa telling them what to do or what they need to know. So, that’s an area that I’ve gone into with my better nutrition skill. People can open that skill and ask a nutrition question. And I invite other professionals too if they have questions and answers and things they want to promote on to be a part of my better nutrition skills. You’re listening and acts of interest, please reach out to me. And I think that that’s a great way to do something that’s different than what exists out there and maybe where everybody is already talking about something about nutrition.
Mathea Ford: [00:18:30] That is a great explanation. And I think it’s a paradigm shift for dietitians because we really do think about things as nutrition and kind of the features or how it works. And you just made me think about like diabetics don’t want to count carbs but they want better blood sugar. So, if getting better blood sugar means better nutrition by counting carbs you’re not going to tell him “Hey! I’m going to help you learn to count carbs. I’m going to help you get better blood sugar.
Ashley Koff: [00:19:04] And I’m going to say that it’s delicious easy. Like that’s how you know I mean.
Mathea Ford: [00:19:08] Yeah yeah yeah yeah. That type of thing. So, with your Alexa’s skill is that something we just ask Alexa? “Hey Alexa! Hey, activate the better nutrition skill or?
Ashley Koff: [00:19:20] Exactly! There, you can open My Better Nutrition Skills you just say “Alexa, open My Better Nutrition Skill!” And the first time she’ll ask do you want Daily Tips, do you want to ask questions. You can say you want to do both. You can you know and you can set that up. And then we also have a cool function there where I will send you more information via a web link. And so if you at any point want more information because as we all know just like Twitter, 140 characters specially I am Ashley Koff RD. I am an overspeaker or an overshare so I’m not good, I can’t do it in this short amount of time. You know I made things very short for Alexa. So, I say in there “If you want more tips and resources than you can just provide your phone number the one time.” And then we’ll be able to send you stop by a web. As a practitioner if you have something that you want to submit to me as a question and I’m happy to promote you it does not need to be that it’s you know that it’s going back to it’s not about Ashley Koff on this part it’s about My Better Nutrition Skill in which should be a lot of people talking about better nutrition. And likewise The Better Nutrition Program so then people would just e-mail me through The Better Nutrition Program to submit any content that they’re… and to talk to me about submitting content for it.
Mathea Ford: [00:20:34] We’re thinking about guiding people to healthier choices and working with consumers. How do we guide them to get these better choices as dietitians either on a large platform like Facebook or Twitter or just individually one on one? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Ashley Koff: [00:20:55] Yes! And I actually have done a couple of webinars. They are available for free. And I have engaged other people who are better at things like online marketing. And for me the real game changer was I did not want. I was thinking about what I needed to do on Facebook what I needed to do on YouTube or even just bringing people to my Web site. I was not thinking about how do I actually helped someone get from me what they’re looking for and that’s embarrassing to admit but I’m comfortable in admitting it. And the reason I admit it is I was trained as a dietitian. I was not trained as a salesperson for products. Although that’s kind of like because I did the marketing stuff before. But you know when I became a dietitian right? And the second part about it is the only people who are getting really rich off of Facebook or Twitter are Facebook and Instagram which are now owned by Facebook and Twitter and Google you know that kind of a thing. And so giving them money started to say to me look so what’s the ROI? And for me it’s not just the return on investment from a dollar standpoint but we are businesses. It’s really Return on Impact. So I think as dietitians we got into this business because we want to impact the health of individuals and the health of the country. And so I need to know when I’m doing something but what I am doing is going to have impact. And so really big change for me was actually to learn about tools that could help me make my messaging more effective and then also could aggregate it in a way that I knew who I was talking to. And that’s very different today that we’re able to do that online or through social marketing or that case. So, I also have a free guide that connects you to any of the resources that I have through this and I use it through elite digits so people can text. And we’ll put this in the show notes but new trip is one two three the number 4 4 2 2 2 and I’ll remind that at the end but in order when doing that in there I’ll show you what was probably the biggest game changer for me. So, I mentioned I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I was doing it first in a little bit in New York and then out in LA. I’ve had a lot of exposure through meet the media whether it’s TV shows, magazines, online podcasts you know all these different pieces but I didn’t have a way to know who I was reaching. And then also how to connect them to specifically what they wanted to get from me and to my point in the last conversation, we have to make sure that we are always talking to them about what they can get for me. It’s not just like “oh it’s high value blah blah blah.” No no. It is what they need. Right? Because we are as dietitians we are return on impact. We want to have that impact. And so there I learned that way more important than putting my Facebook icon on something are way more important than even having the lower third of a TV show have my name spelled correctly or even my RD because we all know that part is like they always leave the RD off or call me a nutritionist. So even more important than any and even having my website up there is I have a tool and I use this digital tool and there are other versions of it etc. It’s not expensive and I use it to give people a guide that has more information they can text to get it where they can email me for it. And when they get that then they come in to me and I know that they got it from seeing me on that TV segment or from a specific Facebook post or you know that kind of a thing. So when I now connect with them I can say legitimately “hey Mathea! So great that you reached out for my magnesium evaluation. I’m excited to have you see where you’re getting magnesium and what’s already better. Yey! Keep doing that and what could be better. And what did you think about the segment? Like I showed you a couple of ideas for chocolate in there. Do someone likes chocolate and then suddenly we have an it’s just like you were in my office right and we can handle all of that through email and through my connection with you because I know where the ends meet. So I think it’s kind of it’s going to be essential for dietitians to not just do something like everybody says like “oh! I want to go on TV.” Not everybody people want to go on TV or someone wants to have a podcast or they want to you know “oh! I need to do a SEO or Google Ads or any of that stuff” but don’t do any of that! Those are great to generate leads. But if you don’t know where you’re taking someone on a journey and another part in this very humble lines are either list of about I think we’re at 45 thousand and roughly. And I have done nothing with my list. I just had this list. Ever had it for over a period of time. And when I started looking at the list I was like “Well, I don’t know where any of these people.” What do you know? I let go.
Ashley Koff: [00:25:38] I sent an e-mail to everybody and said “hey! I haven’t really. You know I’ve been sending my newsletter. Doing all these stuff but I don’t really know like.. So these are the things I offer. Are you looking for it? And if you’re not looking for it just let me know because who wants an inbox full like Ashley? like if it’s not useful. Right?” And so we had about 11,000 of that 45,000 go away. And if anyone like focuses on their business may think “Oh my gosh! She went from you know 45,000 to 34,000.” Well let me tell you the 34,000 that I have now are the engagement is 16 times more significant. I’ve looked at these numbers and getting fun things. Like people responding the stuff saying like “hey!” You know do you want Like exactly what I wanted from them like “hey! You asked me to tell you what’s better. Here’s what’s going on that’s better. Hey! I really wish you would create this. Hey! Is there a place that I could get you know such and such?” And so I think you have to be a little bit disruptive or to use your phrase appreciate that there is a paradigm shift and just doing marketing and learning to do marketing the way that all of these like coaches and courses and programs and all that stuff that is not going to cut it. You need to go back to what we do as dietitians that is totally unique from what other people do and that is we cultivate relationships with people to help them get healthier powered by improving their nutrition and that has to be what you do in wherever you choose to connect with it. So it’s a long very creechy answer but hopefully it explains what I’m doing and how I’m doing it a little bit differently.
Mathea Ford: [00:27:19] That was just Golden! I do exactly what you’re talking about and it’s so great when people reply to me and tell me “thank you for the encouragement. Thank you for the recipe. You know this is what I’ve done. This is what’s changed. This is what I need.” And you know that youre making a difference to them. Then, I love that. We kind of think sometimes that marketing is a quote unquote dirty word cause it seems like Dr. Oz and everything is all marketing. But what they’re doing if you look at what they’re doing, you can take that and do it in your own way. So, like you talked about in the beginning what is the outcome they want. They want better skin. Dr. Oz Says here’s a cream for that. You know your outcome is this. So…
Ashley Koff: [00:28:09] I love to discuss this. So, first of all, like I really admire him. I think I have a good relationship with him. So, he is not show like there is a whole show there’s a machine behind it but your point you can, we can all learn. And I also encourage anyone to rather than say like “hey! Like, Oh gosh he just does marketing or he just says ‘hey there’s a cream for that.'” First of all, if happened to be in a place where you’re engaged with a show in any capacity. You do not have to do what they say. So, I repeatedly… They always laugh like I’m so engaged with scripts. I will say you know what? “But I am not going to say that.” Like there was a time they were trying to get me to talk about wine as being like okay for an I can’t remember what it was you know just because it was like “oh! Let’s just tell people a little bit of wine” you know and they weren’t wrong but I felt that it was wrong to let you know it was a stretch to say on that premise. So I actually said to him I was like “if you want to say that, you can say that. But as a dietitian I would never say it.” He is like “I’m not going to say that!” And so he’s like he turned to people almost like “Why is the script?” So, just the same way that we have to stand up to doctors in the hospital make sure they hear us like we need to do that. You know that’s it. And then the other thing that they do that I think is a great thing for us to learn from it is they do teasers. And so we’re some of the most egregious information comes is actually not in the show but it’s you know where people can perceive like “oh! He’s just saying or he’s doing that.” No, no, no he is doing that to get somebody to tune in. And so I think what you want to be careful. What we as a dietitians want to be careful about is there is a marketing technique called clickbait where you can write any headline and get somebody to click on it but you better hold yourself accountable. If your name is going to be associated with the clickbait you better be okay with me thinking that about you. And I think like that whether it’s you know the food babe, whether it’s Dr. Oz, whether it’s on and I could look outside of our space you know into other area as in any type of advertising and marketing. You really need to make sure that you’re okay with those pieces because when you substantively read somebody’s book or you watch their show or you get their whole explanation, they’re not just recommending a cream for your skin. Right? But what you thought was they were recommending you cream for their skin because they’re clickbait or they’re teaser. So, one of the things about dietitians is I think we have to be we can do better and really help people and lead the way by having these. We have these ways to help people understand that we are going to get them results. And explain it’s going to be deliciously easy and we’re going to give you those tools or we’re gonna show you exactly how to do it but we’re not going to tell you something that actually isn’t true. And that’s a really good place we only can know that for ourselves what that barometer like what’s true or not is.
Mathea Ford: [00:30:57] Well, I appreciate you mentioning that because I love like Ryan Seacrest on American Idol you know the promo right before they go to commercial. We’re going to tell you who won after the commercial. So you know how are we going to… How can we put out things that are engaging our audience that they’re interested in that they’re seeing in the media? But you’re right we have to be true to ourselves so we’re not going to say 10 ways you’re going to lose 10 pounds this week but we might say 10 ways you can have a better body, a better health in a week and that is a true statement. You know you can switch what you’re eating or whatever but lovely, I love talking about marketing so. You have any more little tips on marketing or?
Ashley Koff: [00:31:48] Oh my gosh! I have like I have like four webinars, three quick guides like all of these.
Mathea Ford: [00:31:54] Just share a couple quick things that might help and then we’ll go on.
Ashley Koff: [00:31:59] One, two things about email communications. I spent a long time whether it’s newsletters or the e-mails I send to people you also remember. Now I know like “hey! If you downloaded my Magnesium Guide where they text Calm123 to 44222 they get the Magnesium Guide. I actually tell people when they get that you are going to get four e-mails from me. They are. Because I want to make sure that you actually use this guide right? And use it so that you get better results. So, if you don’t want those four e-mails, if it works for you to get the guide and you’re off and running then just make sure put me in your job like just like anything else from this e-mail and I actually say that up front first thing in my e-mail and then, I go through and I talk about in my e-mail just one thing. So, one of the things that we as dietitians are not good at and one of the things that we can be better and I will certainly say this “Ashley Koff RD is not good at is I like to tell people a lot of things that they can do. You just asked me you said ‘Com’on! Give us more tips!’ Right?” As if like the one tip for like just focusing on a health outcome as opposed to a nutrition one isn’t like I know that we just knew every one of your business epicly forward and so I shouldn’t even give you… I shouldn’t have been giving you another tip because what I learned is just one call the action. One tip and what should they do with it. However, to your point about we’re not going to tell somebody ten days and all that stuff. What I do at the end is I do tease them. So, I’ll say “So now, you learned about magnesium and my next e-mail. I’m going to give you three of my favorite ways to get magnesium in and so then I said “make sure you’re looking for that.” In another e-mail I might say “So, remember there is one thing that will no matter even if you’re getting the right amount of magnesium and there’s one thing that’s still going to keep your body from turning off the stress response. I promise you that it is the highest open rate that I have of any e-mail. Everybody wants to understand because part of what I presented to you is it’s actually not that you need to deal with your stress. Of course I want people dealing with their stress but I’ve shown you that if your body has what it needs to turn off the stress response you are going to do it better. Everybody wants to know both what can I do to turn off the stress response i.e. magnesium. And number two, what would keep me from having it be effective even if I get the magnesium right. So, I think that the other tip on this piece is there is a way of communicating with people. And you know if we go back to SOAP notes. SOAP notes we all learn that if you are like me I couldn’t wait to be done with them like SOAP notes are so stupid. They like I sit here and write all these things I write this beautiful note in because back in the day I was writing them because I am that old. Yeah! I write it in my… You know I had to learn, I had to get it approved by my internship director then I could even put it into the church. And by that point I’m like “really? Who’s even reading it? And blah blah…” And the way the doctors would even say to me “oh my gosh! I’m just looking at your pee. Right?” Like I’m just going breathe through this. However, we know that when we did SOAP notes and when we learned to do it our thought process and also what somebody who was reviewing that could get was an insight into our thought process and we took them along the way. And so there is a thought process for a more effective emails that can elevate your communication to a way that actually gets a call to action. And I had to learn this. So, things I think that’s really valuable from a marketing standpoint is to turn around and say and actually look at people who are doing companies that are doing the best marketing. What is making you actually purchase? What do you subscribe to? What are you looking forward to? What e-mails do you always open? And then think about. Now, I’m a dietitian. What like I want to understand what’s there SOAP note in there? What was their process? Like did they come to me from a pain point? Did they come to me? And when you look at that part you can start to say “Okay, now I put it in; I insert my information where I can follow the flow or the tip like so as I said one of them is just being where other people aren’t. I am totally tired of being where everybody is. But even within Facebook, I do more now in my groups and I interact with more of you in groups. That’s how we met then I do. I’m not just sitting there doing Facebook posts like that’s I’m like “Uhuh! I’m not going to spend my time on that part” or if I do do a Facebook post or even if I’m invited to you know these to do a sponsored post of course I’m going to note that that’s a sponsored post. But if I’m doing that, then I got to make sure there is a call to action in there and then I’m actually giving somebody something that can have for me return on impact.
Mathea Ford: [00:36:43] Well, I’ll just tell everybody I’ll remind them most people today probably haven’t heard about SOAP notes unless they’re 20 years old dietitians like us. So it’s subjective, objective. So subjective is like what you talk to the patient about and what they told you. And then objective is like your labs and all the stuff you can find in the chart and an assessment is what you think. So, it be your nutrition care plan or whatever nutrition. What is it called?
Ashley Koff: [00:37:12] Assessment. Right?
Mathea Ford: [00:37:12] Yeah! You have like your nutrition diagnosis statement.
Ashley Koff: [00:37:15] Yes.
Mathea Ford: [00:37:17] And then your P is your plan. So, for those of you are like “What in the heck is the SOAP note? That is what it is. Yes. And it was how we thought about things and yeah it’s one of the most detailed notes in the chart. Yeah.
Ashley Koff: [00:37:31] It’s like you weren’t passing to get your RD if you didn’t do a good SOAP note in any capacity but you know I think it’s… So, anyway I think that you know for us from a marketing standpoint. First of all, what you are doing is so awesome because by bringing in people. So, people listening right now might be like “okay, I don’t even want to listen to a dietitian that was on Dr. Oz.” And you know what? If you think that I’m good with that. Just take from me what I said about the difference in the communication or somebody else might say she talks really fast. I don’t get what she’s talking about but then the next expert that you have on is going to be somebody that they can really relate to. Right? And so I think that there is one of the great things about today is there are a lot of different people for us to interact with. I learned so much. I learned from you today. I learned so much from how dietitians, different dietitians are doing their business that I just love that you’re putting it together all into a podcast that I can listen to and it gets me very excited. So thank you.
Mathea Ford: [00:38:29] Well, thank you. What do you think is next in like nutrition or kind of what we’ve been talking about marketing nutrition and marketing and how do you see that affecting health care? So, how does it affect what we’re doing in the next five 10 years?
Ashley Koff: [00:38:45] You know the infoobesity piece to me runs pretty like that concerns me a lot. And so unfortunately or fortunately what’s next is so much money and effort and attention to this space which is awesome. Like it was definitely not the case when you and I got started. But it’s also very concerning because on when everybody’s trying something and when brands it’s hard enough to deal with all the new food products and supplements that all have publicists. But now all these health care companies have publicists. So, I think that that’s a hard thing for us. One of the great things is we are and we’re not like this isn’t light off into the future we’re moments away from at home or in person testing so that you can know things right whether it’s with your mobile device or whether it’s with strips you know or testing you know even just the adventure of being able to prick your finger and see your blood sugar.
Ashley Koff: [00:39:42] But because we’re able to see these things in the moment. We can actually, we as dietitians can have a much more immediate impact with people because just even doing a virtual consult. So, I’m to a virtual practice when I was in L.A. Gosh! About probably even like about 10 years ago I’m starting at maybe like eight years ago. And one of the great things was I would open with “So, it’s fun that we’re both in Los Angeles and I want to tell you that you already if you take nothing else away from our consult today. You already are healthier.” And they would go. “What is she talking about? Is this her way of like charging a lot and like not doing anything?” And you go so “you did not have to get into your car and deal with stress of getting to my office. Traffic, Parking spending money. So I think about like I’ve already shown you how you could invest your time better. Now you’re in your kitchen. We can have a focused discussion about what you do in your kitchen or what’s in your kitchen or we can literally have you now with your phone. I literally will have people go over to their supplement cupboard or whatever and show me what it is that they actually have right? Or take a screenshot of it and show me. And so, we’re able to move things into a much more personalized immediate response. Because of that, what we also know is the role of the dietitian has never been more important because what if you understand this key piece? If you understand that you are not a source of information. I want to be really clear when I say that. You are not a source of information. You need to be a partner. A vehicle, is tool for somebody to use to get better results. So if you count yourself as a source of information they are going to compare you to all other sources of information. But if you are a tool an unexceptional tool and a better tool and one that’s worthy of investment and one that can be with them when they need you and one that has certain skills. You know any of these things. Wow!like that’s different. And it also allows you to be a tool for other practitioners. So, as a doctor you can turn. A doctor to turn around and say “oh! Literally I might not know certain things about nutrition but I do this for one doctor in particular. So, he actually knows that we have times where we have built into a calendar where we Skype in his office and go through certain patients. He has a series of patients he once asked me nutrition questions about and we go through all of those. And he pays me my hourly rates and sometimes it’s four hours because he has a lot of patients with nutrition questions. So if you mold yourself to being and focus on being where I know you actually are and you aren’t just “Hey! I am someone with information. So, if you tell me that cinnamon is a source of antioxidants then shame on you because it for thinking that you’re going to have a business that’s different than Google and Google gets to how people a lot of information and so you’re not going to compete with Google and you’re probably not going to compete with the person who has is selling cinnamon because they have a lot more invested in about that part. So, I think that’s you know where we’re going is this amazing space for us as dietitians if we position ourselves properly and we’re poised to shift our business model or are capable of shifting our business models to be ones that meet that you know today’s consumer and today’s practitioner where they are as well as tomorrows.
Mathea Ford: [00:43:15] That was great! I love it. I like the idea of thinking of yourself more as a filter or a focus instead of a source of information. Because you’re right they can get it from a lot of people and if you don’t have that know I can trust with them. They’re not necessarily going to believe you over Dr Google so.
Ashley Koff: [00:43:35] Exactly!
Mathea Ford: [00:43:37] Okay, Ashley, my fun question: What’s your favorite food?
Ashley Koff: [00:43:40] Yeah! I could chocolate but the thing is like I’m like so I love broccoli. It sauteed in olive oil with some garlic and a pinch of sea salt and I probably love it more than I love chocolate. But if you told me I could never have chocolate again I’d probably be more like rebellious than if you told me I could never have broccoli again. So there goes the issue of green vegetables. Yeah! Okay that’s what I’m going to say!
Mathea Ford: [00:44:07] Okay. Alright Ashley thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about not only your Better Nutrition products but just that paradigm shift that different thinking about nutrition and marketing. So, if listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Ashley Koff: [00:44:30] I invite you to… Depends on what you want to connect with me for. If you want to connect with me because you’ve got nutrition questions open My Better Nutrition skill on Alexa and go to town right? If you want to connect with me about being a Better Nutrition affiliate, a Better Nutrition provider, hop over over to the Better Nutrition Program and sign up to be an affiliate. It’s a 50/50 financial split and it gives you access to all of my tools for your…. For anyone that you’re working with and also for yourself. And then if you have questions for me you can find in the usual spots. But probably the easiest thing to do is to just send me an email directly. ImetAshleyKoffApproved@gmail.com. And you know just give thought to what you’re emailing me about so that hopefully we can connect and I can be helpful to you.
Mathea Ford: [00:45:16] Do you want to remind them about the lead digits?
Ashley Koff: [00:45:19] Yes. Thank you so much. So, if you are interested in some of the nutrition tools, the marketing tips that I was talking about for building your better nutrition business. You want to text NutraBiz123 to 44222. And next Nutra like nutrition’s so NUTRABIZ123 to 44222. If you want Calcium, if you want to know about your magnesium and then text Calm123 also to 44222 and you can do both. You’ll just get the e-mails from me.
Mathea Ford: [00:45:52] Okay, well guys this has been another great episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that is all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.
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