Stay Tuned! Regan Jones is Certainly One to Watch
Apr 25, 2013
I first met Regan when I started working for the dairy council in 2003. Although we worked for two different regional dairy associations, we met in person once or twice a year at national meetings. I was so impressed with her style and professionalism. She was very sharp and clearly one of the best dairy council spokespeople. A year or so later I was disappointed to hear that she was leaving to pursue other career opportunities (happy for her but sad for the dairy council). But our paths continued to cross occasionally and I was so excited to see her create such a distinctive and exceptional niche for herself with her Professional Palate platform.
When my first guest blogger, Vicki Shanta-Retelny, decided she wanted to interview Regan I was thrilled. Regan was already on my “list” but now her interview is complete and we can share all her wisdom and insight with you without any further delay!
How did you become interested in a career in nutrition, and how long have you been an RD?
I’ve been interested in food for as long as I can remember. My grandmother was a make-everything-from-scratch, wonderful cook. My earliest childhood memories of her involved me doing my own “cooking demos” in her kitchen, baking cakes. She was also dedicated in the later years of her life to nutrition, health & wellness. All of this played a huge part in my love for food & health. However, it wasn’t until I took an intro class to nutrition in college that I knew being an RD was the career path for me, and I’ve been happily in this profession since 1998.
Tell me a little bit about your nutrition philosophy – what are you known for?
I think what I’m known for currently is less about promoting my own personal philosophy and more about promoting healthy eating through other online bloggers & communicators. With the launch of Healthy Aperture, The Recipe ReDux, Fit Framed and the speaking engagements I do across the country, I’ve dedicated most of my modern day professional life to helping other bloggers, communicators and most specifically registered dietitians leverage the online space to promote “their” nutritional philosophy.
What prompted you to start your entrepreneurial efforts? What services do you offer and how did you decide on those specific services?
I wish I could say going out on my own was a strategic business decision following years of planning and research. The reality is that it became a necessity after subsequent moves with my husband’s career, which has been equally as successful. It wasn’t, however, until I was encouraged by Janet Helm to launch Healthy Aperture after I approached her with the idea in 2011 that I fully embraced the power of the entrepreneur to pave their own way and create a business where there wasn’t one before.
What do you enjoy most and/or what is your motivation for having your own business? What do you find most challenging about it?
Helping registered dietitians in the current blogging space develop their voice, grow their audience and embrace the power of visual and online communications has become my passion. There are so many talented RDs with so much good knowledge to share – I developed Healthy Aperture and The Recipe ReDux (along with co-founders Teaspoon Communications) to give them a stronger platform to showcase their work and connect with other likeminded bloggers.
The technology learning curve of owning multiple websites has been the biggest challenge. Understanding widgets, plugins, html code, ad passback, meta tags… these are not things we’re taught in our internships, but they are crucial parts of being an online business owner, RD or not. It’s not that I need to know how to build a website from start to finish, but to be a savvy business owner in online communications, you need a basic understanding of how your sites work.
What comes naturally for you and what do you have to work hard on when it comes to having your own biz?
Drive and ambition come naturally. Unfortunately, unplugging and shutting down are difficult. A friend asked me the other day if I take Fridays off. I laughed. I don’t feel like I ever take a day off, and I know that’s something I need to work on.
What types of media/communications do you specialize in and/or utilize in your biz? What do you enjoy most about it?
I’m probably most well known for my love of photography and visual communications. We eat with our eyes first, so I’m a big believer that all of the on air sound bites, 140 character tweets and lengthy blog posts get overlooked when the food in view doesn’t look appetizing.
Do you have advice or tips for RDs who want to improve their “visual” communication skills?
Whether you’re an RD blogger looking to improve your photography or an on-air communicator, the power of visual communications is so important – especially in the modern digital environment. Our Healthy Aperture Pinterest board – Photo Tips & Tutorials – is a great place to explore free online information about how to improve your photography and food propping skills. I also recommend the Photographing FOOD mini-magazine series and one-on-one coaching by Kumquat.
What skills do you suggest RDs cultivate if they are considering or interested in having their own nutrition biz?
Internal motivation, self discipline and a “If I can’t do it, I will find a way to learn it” attitude. Really, all of these serve you well whether you’re an entrepreneur or not. But not having a manager to guide and direct your work makes the first two crucial to the success of the business owner. This last one is just my personal approach. I think there are lots of new professionals and seasoned veterans with great ideas. They just don’t know where to begin and let that barrier stop them. One of my favorite quotes is “A year from now you may wish you had started today” by Karen Lamb.
Be sure to check out ALL of Regan’s online outlets! Sign up for her newsletter and follow her on Pinterest and Twitter, of course. It’s fun and inspiring to see what she’s already done, what she’s doing now and what she’s working on next. Stay tuned!
Thank you to Regan for sharing her story, and for Vicki for being my first guest blogger! You can read Vicki’s interview here.
If you want to be a guest blogger, too – email me at Melissa@SoundBitesRD.com!
If you have any questions or comments for Regan, Vicki or me, please post them here! It’s so important to share your thoughts and ideas and we look forward to hearing them.
Did you enjoy this interview? Click here to read more!
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I’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind. I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians. My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.
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