This week I interview the incredibly talented Trista Chan. She is a Toronto-based Dietitian who truly leverages her credentials to the fullest! Trista runs a successful private practice, works with brands, and also pursues freelance writing projects on the side.
S1 E15 – “Freelance Nutrition Writing While Running A Private Practice! Ft. Trista Chan, RD, MHSc”
More Information About Trista:
- Her private practice specializes in disordered eating, gut health, and PCOS
- She loves trying new delicious foods
- Trista comes from a family of entrepreneurs
- She currently lives in Toronto
How Did She Start Freelance Writing?
Trista started freelance writing immediately after getting her Dietitian license. She completed a media rotation with fellow Toronto RD Abbey Sharp and the work she created built up her portfolio.
Other ways she found freelance work included:
- Applying for jobs on Upwork (I covered this popular freelance marketplace in Season 1 of the podcast)
- Word of mouth and referrals
- Facebook groups
- Pitching to brands
- Completing volunteer assignments
- Getting contacted on LinkedIn
Putting yourself out there and letting people know are available for freelance projects is the first step in getting hired for gigs.
Her Tips To Make A Great Portfolio:
You don’t have to start with a website, but at this point in her career Trista does have her site:
- She includes an updated list of services she offers
- She includes past projects she has completed with links for prospective clients to browse
- She makes sure the contact button is visible and accessible
- She includes high-quality inviting images of herself so brands can see who she is
Every completed project is an opportunity to showcase your work. If you want more tips check out this portfolio episode from Season 1.
Why Is Freelancing So Important To Trista?
Trista loves the variety of projects because it never gets boring (I agree!) She built up her website and social media presence to make her more visible as an authority in her niche. This helped secure brand opportunities because now they were reaching out to her.
Through freelancing she has worked on:
- Blog writing
- Recipe development
- Media campaigns (including videos and IG posts)
- Workplace wellness programs
Trista freelances all her skills and enjoys the different projects. If you want to hear about her rates you can tune into the interview at the bottom of the post.
How To Balance Writing On The Side While Running A Private Practice
The most important skill to develop is time management! Trista also recommends:
- Staying organized and dedicating certain days of the week to different projects
- Working when you feel the most creative instead of just when you have time
- Automating processes wherever you can (e-mail responses, billing, client acquisition, etc.)
- Take a break from projects if you feel burnout creeping in
Trista treats her freelance time in her business as though she were sitting down to meet with a 1:1 client. She shows up every Wednesday, does her best, and then enjoys her evening without thinking about outstanding work.
I asked Trista to share any advice for a brand new freelance dietitian who wants to start writing. She responded “Be resourceful. You have so many resources at your fingertips, even if you’ve never done anything and have no portfolio, you can always blog online. There are courses, colleagues, instructors, family and friends who can help you”.
If you want to listen to how you can successfully write on the side of your private practice, hit the play button below!
Did you miss last week’s episode? You can get caught up here: Improv 101 & Why We Need Creativity in Dietetics! Ft. Krystal Merrells, RD