Posted: Thu 30th Jun 2022
Laurann O’Reilly is a nutritionist and founder of Nutrition by Laurann. Not one to shy away from learning new online skills she tells us how she got started online.
Tell us about your business
I'm a nutritionist and I started my business twelve years ago. I’ve always had a passion for food and health and realised by combining these that I wanted to be a nutritionist. I worked part-time, while building up my business.
I do personalised nutrition plans, one-to-one clinics, blood based food intolerance testing, and my passion is nutrition education so I do talks and workshops, with the key area now being in the corporate sector.
How did you started becoming visible online? And how did you gain traction online with your business?
A few years back, without knowing anything about the internet, websites, SEO, any of that sort of thing, I created a very, very basic brochure website myself, using a template.
I was starting to envisage things would go online so I said I needed to either upskill or I was going to miss the boat. So, I did a diploma in marketing management, with Griffith College, Dublin.
I rebranded my business as a result of it, but one of the modules within the course was digital marketing and that opened up a whole can of worms. I totally re-architected my website and it gave me a real understanding of the work behind the scenes, and all the things that you need to do to optimise your website and your social media channels.
I also did a social media marketing course through Irish Times training as well as other courses here and there, following webinars and that sort of thing.
I had created my online packages and launched them in the January just before Covid came to Ireland so I was ready to go with that. One thing that I wasn't prepared for was delivering my corporate workshops online. I usually deliver them on site and love the energy in the room.
That took a little bit of getting used to but again, I found interactive tools, be it through the site that I’m giving the webinar from, or I have additional tools that I can plug in to interact with my audience - you find a way to do it.
How much time would you say you’ve spent upskilling yourself online to run a digital business?
I put in a lot of work behind the scenes. I might have spent, in the past, maybe one or two days per week. I might have been working during the day and then plugging into courses in the evening. I'm constantly logging in and I'm constantly researching the best ways to do things.
You're growing your social media following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Is this all a learning curve for you?
Again, I learned a lot from the digital marketing module from my diploma and from the Irish Times digital marketing course. I'd learned a lot of things about your social media channels being the thing to attract potential clients and directing them to your website.
A lot of people might get in the habit of just randomly posting things, whereas a lot of the things that I post will serve a purpose, to give a call to action.
For example, if I put up a recipe, they have to go to my website to see the recipe, if I put up my column, they need to go to my website to see the column. It’s always drawing people back into the website for credibility, potential sales, and it’s also a marketing tool for when my clinics might be on.
It took a little bit of getting used to, even from a content creation point of view. But also, it's not always about selling, selling, selling. It’s providing useful information and educating people and the odd time suggesting they might want to buy something, so it's about getting the right ratio.
Do you keep up with the latest social media content trends?
I do my best to keep up with the trends - very much depends on how much time I have to create content. I probably haven't utilised the reels as best I can - I do put up reels, I haven't aced them but I'm doing my very best.
I think the old me would have said 'I couldn't possibly post it, it's not perfect' - whereas now I'll pop something into a real and I'll be fine - it's not as cool as it can be but I'm utilising it because that’s what the Instagram algorithm requires.
I think that you can only do the best that you can with the time that you have.
You mentioned that your passion is in educating people, especially through your corporate packages. Give us some examples of what people might expect from the seminars and workshops that you do.
The talks and workshops are all bespoke - specifically tailored to the needs of the company, and the staff within the company. I have a conversation with the company to see exactly what their needs may be.
The topics that I might cover are:
- healthy eating, followed by a meal preparation workshop
- how to prevent burnout in the workplace
- how to improve memory and boost concentration
- meal preparation to make your busy working day that little bit more seamless
- the importance of hydration and how to work out your own fluid requirements
– how to optimise your sleep
I might also look into the hidden sugars in some foods and portion sizes as well.
About Go and Grow Online
Enterprise Nation are working with Microsoft, Klarna & Vodafone to support 20,000 small businesses across Ireland to improve their digital skills.
For more information on Go and Grow Online click here.