Share your knowledge regularly — Linkedin is a community of supportive and engaged professionals that are eager to learn and improve. Sharing my knowledge in order to position myself as a thought leader in my area of expertise has significantly strengthened the global opportunities that have come my way. Sharing content of new science, together with industry trend reports, including my opinions and summaries, has led to respect from a new audience, that continues to grow every day.
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kara Landau, “Travelling Dietitian”. Kara is a highly respected Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Author, and Founder of the prebiotic gut health brand — Uplift Food — Good Mood Food, based in New York City, USA. A previous spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, and now the nutrition advisor and media representative for the Global Prebiotic Association, Kara confidently engages with the media globally and presents at industry and consumer conferences around the world. Specializing in the connection between diet, gut health and mood, and the vital role of prebiotic fibers and resistant starches; Kara is regularly requested to provide expert opinion on gut health in the USA & Australia. Digital and traditional media covered, include: Shape, Elle, Elite Daily, Bustle, Womens Health, Readers Digest, MSN, Yahoo, and more. Founding Uplift Food— Good Mood Food: The world’s first dietitian created functional food brand to focus exclusively on the mood supportive benefits of gut healthy prebiotic fibers and resistant starches. The first signature product, the Daily Uplifter, has been designed as a 100% natural plant based organic powder with nutrients at levels supported by science to have a positive effect on both gut health and mood. Kara’s mission it to continue to educate, inspire, and make eating a prebiotic rich diet easy and enjoyable to all those that she can encounter.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Back in 2012 I decided to leave a long term relationship and on a whim move from Australia to New York City on an exchange program with my Masters studies. At the time, I was already a registered dietitian, and I knew that our diet played such an influential role on so many areas of our wellbeing; it was for this reason, that I decided to set out to research and write a book on how you could use nutrition in your favor to feel your best and become the best possible version of yourself following a stressful life event.
It was from the findings of this published book, The Clean Separation, that I began to advocate for the importance of a prebiotic gut healthy diet to support mental wellbeing, pushed this message out into the media well before it was a hot topic that psychobiotics has become, and which lead me to deciding to launch my own functional food brand, Uplift Food — Good Mood Food.
This decision came from a desire to offer consumers an accessible solution to the problem that exists of the missing nutrient of prebiotics in today’s diet that I already had been advocating for, for years.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Incredible as it may sound, I truly feel that every day has been one interesting and exciting experience since taking the dive and launching Uplift Food. I certainly think however the day I got invited into the top food accelerator in New York City was one of the most surreal in my life and started was now seems like a domino effect of life changing moments I still can’t believe are presenting.
I had my eye on this particular accelerator for a couple of years, and had even rocked up to their demo day to introduce myself to the managing director and head of the venture capital fund prior to launching Uplift Food.
When I decided to apply, I was physically in Australia having just launched the company 2 weeks earlier there; I did this thinking I was actually applying for the next cohort that was going to start a few months later.
In addition to the standard application, I added in a video application (even though they hadn’t asked for one), and I sent it directly to the MD and to the office manager to really try and stand out.
I went to sleep that Thursday night thinking nothing of it, and assuming that it would be a few months before I even potentially heard something back;
To my surprise, I woke at 5am in Australia to a plethora of emails and Linkedin private messages, telling me they had one spot left for the upcoming cohort that started on Monday morning in NYC, and they were interested in finding out if Uplift Food and I were the real deal!
Let’s just say that between the 15 hours of each of us taking calls, reviewing contracts and performing a very swift due diligence, I had myself booked on the next flight first thing on Saturday morning to bring me back to New York City where I previously had been based, to get started in the accelerator first thing on Monday morning! The rest you could say, is history!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m not sure if we could call this funny or not, but a few years ago I decided I wanted to try and produce a pilot episode for a television show that I had a concept for showcasing celebrity chefs vs social media influencers in a cook off utilizing different healthy ingredients. Following the pilot production the producers began pitching the show to different networks in the USA, and we actually had received interest from a very reputable network, however I was told that they were not a fan of the co-host we had suggested at the time. I took that to mean that we were unsuccessful with the network and didn’t ask further questions.
Only weeks later did another cast member reach out to explain to me that what I was being asked in that moment was “will you progress the show anyway on your own?”. In that very moment I knew I had lost a huge opportunity by simply not asking more questions in seeking clarity, at the time.
If I had clarified with the producers what they were telling and asking me, I would have ended up hosting a new television show in America that may or may not have taken my career on a different path.
I certainly have learnt as I have grown into myself in my career, that no matter what the question, it is important to simply ask and seek clarity until I feel clear with the information that is being presented to me, for no other reason than being fully informed when making decisions that will affect my companies future.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
I originally started with a very active Facebook profile 7 years ago that I used for connecting with peers from across the globe, whilst simultaneously launching a blog well before they became popular. I then launched into Instagram to broaden my reach, and finally started becoming a very active user on Linkedin. I can honestly say that although Instagram has allowed me the opportunity to earn some income as a partner to brands I believe in as an influencer, Linkedin has been the platform that has enabled me to position myself as a thought leader amongst the business community, and ultimately helped create the relationships that have led to the biggest business opportunities as my career has flourished. It is from Linkedin that I was able to stay front of mind and build the relationship that ultimately got my first investor involved with Uplift Food, and sequentially led to further strengthening of ties that instilled confidence in my network to introduce me to further investors that have come on board.
Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Share your knowledge regularly — Linkedin is a community of supportive and engaged professionals that are eager to learn and improve. Sharing my knowledge in order to position myself as a thought leader in my area of expertise has significantly strengthened the global opportunities that have come my way. Sharing content of new prebiotic and psychobiotic science, together with industry trend reports, including my opinions and summaries, has led to respect from a new audience, that continues to grow every day.
2. Reach out and introduce yourself — Be it through a current connection, or simply making contact, make sure you write a personal note rather than just add a connection. Sharing why I believe I could be of support or was interested in someone else’s work and connecting directly with them has led to an abundance of new working relationships, or media contacts that have resulted in increased exposure and brand building both as an expert, and for my brand. Whenever possible, I would offer to meet someone in person, or at least jump on the phone to connect further if it was of interest. Simply providing this as an option will help you stand out from the many people that simply push connect and then don’t make any genuine contact.
3. Be personable — Although Linkedin is certainly not the space to share all the same content as a private Facebook profile, there is value in letting the community get to know you, see the person behind the professional, and allow them the opportunity to truly connect with the person that you are. In all aspects of my working life I have found that by letting people see the real passion and authenticity behind the professional version of me has led to stronger working relationships, more willingness to go above and beyond standard working expectations, and ultimately what has led to the success and rapid uptake of the brand that I have brought to life.
4. Write your profile as though it was your public CV — Linkedin is a great place to be discovered, even if you are not looking for an actual job. Simply taking the time to fill out your profile as though it was a public CV, and updating it regularly to keep it current and relevant in Linkedin’s mind will support you being promoted to others in relevant searches. I have found that this has supported Linkedin having me as an “all-star” profile that seems to help my content be shown to more peoples eyes, and my profile be suggested to many who may otherwise have missed the opportunity to connect.
5. Don’t sell, help others — Reaching out and sending a sales pitch is more often than not, not going to be received well by the person on the other end. There have been so many times that I have selected to ignore an introduction that has come my way, simply because of this approach. Using Linkedin to share what I know and find, that could be of value to others, has led to stronger support in return, increased sharing of my content, commenting of information I post, and ultimately traction in the materials and brand that I have put out there.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would encourage people to believe in themselves, to give things a try, and feel confident that they will be okay. So often do we miss out on the opportunity of bringing our best selves to the table due to simply being too scared and being too stumped by the prospect of others opinions, that we don’t allow others the opportunity to see and receive the benefits that would come from us actioning our ideas and bringing our most fulfilled, and ultimately happiest selves, to the table.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have breakfast with Ellen as her energy exudes the uplifted state that I am striving to elicit for the masses through the messages and prebiotic gut health products that are within the Uplift Food range I have developed. I would love to share my passion with her, learn what she is striving for at this stage in her life, as well as learn from her what she believes I could improve on to help my message reach and successfully be received by a global audience.
How can our readers connect with you?
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!