Key Person of Influence (KPI)

Written by: Angela Byrnes

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Recently I attended the Brisbane leg of the Key Person of Influence (KPI) “Brand Accelerator” seminar along with over 550 other delegates at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The seminar attracted a diverse audience including nurses, health coaches, personal trainers, life coaches, lawyers, environmental consultants, chief marketing officers, digital marketing managers, business development managers, small business owners – and the list goes on! As the name implies, the seminar promised an overview of how individuals and small-to-medium enterprises (SME) could strengthen and leverage their brand by following the five-step methodology to becoming a KPI. From the outset the facilitator, Glen Carlson, was clear on his message:

“You’re already good at what you do; it’s about repackaging and representing this in a way that utilises ‘entrepreneurial horsepower’. The KPI method can help you to achieve this.”

I found the seminar highly relevant to the dietetic profession, whether your goal is to build your personal brand or to build the profile of our profession as a whole. As a soon-to-be dietitian, I am far from an expert, but I felt most of the concepts were transferrable to practice as a dietitian. The key points from each of the five steps as presented over the eight-hour seminar are summarised in the following paragraphs.

Step 1: The Perfect Pitch

The idea behind the first step is “the pitch is king”. To get people to buy in to what you’re doing, whether that is in private practice, clinical, food service, community, industry, or in an individual, business or advocacy capacity, the pitch is what sells you and our profession to the audience. Most people would be familiar with the ‘Elevator Pitch’. This is generally what you would say in response to the question “what do you do?” According to the KPI method, the pitch should follow the formula:

•Name: Tell them what your name is and what you do,

•Same: Build on their existing knowledge and tell them something well known that you’re similar to (i.e. leverage off a familiar brand/concept), and

•Different: Explain how you are different (this is your point of difference and how what you offer is unique).

Other important factors to consider in your pitch include:

•Clarity of message and objective (what are you trying to achieve?);

•Credibility (think relevant partnerships or accomplishments);

•Vision or passion (enthusiasm is engaging!);

•Relevance to the situation (don’t have a ‘canned’ pitch that can be opened every time you speak to someone new, tailor this to the conversation); and

•The best pitch is simple and could be replicated by the person you’re telling if they were asked to explain what you do.

Step 2: Publish Your Ideas

This is the segment that I had been looking forward to the most. In a world of fad diets and celebrity ‘experts’, I was hoping to gain some insight into how we as dietitians could make our voice heard above the rest. Unfortunately, I’m no closer to an answer to this question, however, the key message of Step 2 was that authors have authority and this lends itself to credibility. So… write, publish and distribute!

The great thing about technology is that the ability to reach and positively influence a large number of people is now easier than ever. Through the use of articles, social media, blogs, podcasts, webinars and the broad variety of other available channels, it’s possible to get your message out there. If, like me, you find yourself struggling with ‘Imposter Syndrome’ (in this scenario: doubt that anyone would be interested in reading what you have to say), remember we are the nutrition experts and sharing our knowledge will help us to positively influence people and become a key profession of influence in the community. As the presenter, Andrew Griffiths, put it:

“No one else on the planet has the same combination of experiences, interactions, encounters, realisations, trials, tribulations or bazinga moments as you… the end result is information that other people want.”

Step 3: Productise Your Services

The presenter of this segment, Tim Dwyer, encouraged a move away from time-based fee structures (i.e. charging by the hour or the “time equation”) to an outcome- or value-based fee structure. While this may only be directly relevant to those dietitians involved in private practice, it did get me thinking about the popularity of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and other such programs. Perhaps the productisation of dietetic services is the way of the future for some sub-groups of clients?

I’d love to hear from dietitians about how/where you have currently applied this concept or see opportunity for its application in other areas.

Step 4: Profile Raising

It was made abundantly clear that Profile Raising, Step four in the five-step methodology, should only follow after the first three steps have been employed as they form the foundation for raising your profile. In short, this step is about putting yourself out there and being heard. The key messages presented were to:

•Use storytelling (e.g. your passion story, your business story, client/patient stories): As a method of communication, storytelling can personalise you or your business and help to make an emotional connection with people. Be sure to tailor your story to your audience.

Read more about storytelling in the Leadership through Storytelling article on the Dietitian Connection website here.

•Develop a social media strategy if venturing online: This can help to keep control of your message, ensure you’re consistent and portray you in a professional manner.

•Utilise content marketing (create useful content e.g. articles, blogs, podcasts, webinars): Get over Imposter Syndrome (there it is again!) and showcase your achievements and expertise.

•Your network is your net worth: Build relationships and keep in regular contact with your network. This includes your online network.

Step 5: Partnerships

Building good partnerships can allow you to reach new clients/client groups, increase your credibility and/or provide a complementary service. While helpful to achieve growth and often vital for gaining access to resources, partnerships can be particularly useful for anyone starting out in a new role or business. Arrangements can also be informal, for example a partnership formed between a clinical dietitian and referring gastroenterologist; or formal, such as a partnership between a community nutrition department and a funding body.

The following are suggested steps when pitching for partnerships:

1.Be clear on your goals (what are you trying to achieve with this partnership?).

2.Identify who could help you achieve this.

3.Understand their goals (what are they trying to achieve?).

4.Identify how you could help them (how does your partnership fit with their goals?).

5.Pitch them a compelling win/win.


Overall, the seminar achieved its objective of providing a broad overview of the KPI five-step methodology for strengthening and leveraging an individual’s or businesses brand. For me, the concepts weren’t new and I’ve heard many of them applied in the context of the dietetic profession both in my university studies and in wider reading. However, this time round I intend on applying the steps to build my own personal brand, beginning with this article, and overcoming my version of the Imposter Syndrome!

For more information visit the Key Person of Influence website –

Background of the author

Angela is a final year nutrition and dietetics student at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with a background in marketing.


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