A good marketing plan for your optometry practice should include opportunities to meet people in your community, face to face. Time spent engaging in the right kind of community involvement for the practice is a valuable investment in building your brand.
While promoting your practice can and should be included in some types of community involvement, there’s also real brand building power in contributing to a charitable endeavor simply by participating and meeting other like-minded people. An optometrist once shared his story with me regarding a time he’d participated in a dog walk-a-thon to raise money for the local humane society. He’d given his business card to a fellow participant during the dog walk, and was surprised when a year later, the gentleman showed up for his first eye exam with him with that business card in hand. The optometrist clearly made an impression and a connection simply by showing up and participating in that event.
That said, there are a few ways to be strategic about your community involvement.
Consider participating in events where you’ll be well-positioned to meet the people in your target market.
Young Families with Children: If you know you want to attract more young families with school-aged children to your practice, then consider their interests and what types of community events they’d attend and make it a point to get involved. For most practices, this will mean either participating in a town festival with attractions for children or large communities/subdivision events where these families live.
Adults 55+: If you’re targeting older adults, say 55+, then consider approaching your local adult activity center or senior center to see how you can get involved with their activities. Most of the time, you can volunteer to assist at adult/senior activity centers and by spending time with them, you’ll be able to build relationships.
The optometrist who’d participated in the event to raise money for the local humane society is an animal lover, and he had the opportunity to meet others who share his interest to build a connection. What are your interests outside of optometry? Getting involved in groups which share your interests is a great way to build relationships in the community. If it’s local, you’ll most likely meet prospective patients. Group fitness classes at your local health club, church and running clubs are all ways to create relationships around a shared interest and build your brand.
Getting involved in local charities will enable you to meet people face to face and build your local brand, so consider including local charitable events in your marketing plan. You can search online for local charities and events in your town or city and see that there’s ample opportunities for you to contribute – it’s a matter of choosing the one which moves you to get involved.
If you aren’t signed up for any event or haven’t developed opportunities for face to face interactions so far this year, it isn’t too late! Participating in even a one-day event can have real impact on your local brand. Consider getting involved in your community as an integral part of your marketing plan, and set aside some time to make it happen!
Learn More on Practice Marketing: https://blog.idoc.net/tag/marketing
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I’d like to share an incredible customer service experience I had recently.
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The Inevitable Plateau - “a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress”
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The Science of Selling
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Optometrists in private practice sometimes fail to offer a clear reason why someone should choose them for their vision care over competitors - on their websites or in other marketing collateral – sometimes when you try to market to everyone, you fail to capture... Read more
When working with small business owners to create marketing plans and strategies, I run across the following scenario far too often: “Hey, I’m not sure how to log in to my Google listing. My office manager used to handle that for me, and she’s not on the team anymore... Read more
“You might as well ask me to describe the essence of music, or the color of starlight.”
Did you make any New Year Resolutions? Well, I did. I do every year, and in keeping with my obsession with goals and metrics that I have professed here repeatedly, I write them down... Read more
For starters, I’m not a licensed psychologist, I just play one as a practice management consultant. It’s been my observation that whenever human beings come together in an environment where they are required to work together and interact, inevitably some tension and conflict will arise.... Read more
Your schedule has gotten busier and you’ve hired an associate OD. While you would like to keep the associate’s schedule filled most of the time, it’s not uncommon for an associate to have some gaps in his or her schedule – at least in the beginning. This often leads to some resentment by the... Read more
Before anyone panics, I am not suggesting that most practices go out and spend $80,000 or $100,000 on a COO tomorrow, or that your manager is due a large raise for 2018. I typically only recommend that type of role for multi-location practices grossing over $2M-$3M per year: practices... Read more
Sometimes it’s not the inventory you choose to carry or the reps you choose to indulge. It’s not the pricing or the shipping or the cadence of your reorders. As we head into the tail end of the holiday season, I can’t help but think of the process of opening presents.
Everyone has... Read more
Texting is an incredibly tempting mode of communication for marketing-minded businesses competing for the attention of consumers, primarily because the open rates on a text from businesses to consumers are incredibly high (98%) compared to other forms of communication (email is around 20%,... Read more
“How many frames do I need?” “How many frames should I carry?” “How much stock should I have in inventory?” It doesn’t matter how you phrase it, at least 1/3 of my consultations start the same way. I’m going to make this all very, very easy for... Read more
If you are in a competitive area, you’ve already learned that marketing is a necessity to attract brand new patients to your practice. It’s easy to confuse marketing tactics – sending email, creating Facebook posts and advertising in a community magazine, for instance –... Read more
A practice owner pulled me aside at our most recent conference in Denver to start thinking of an exit plan. I always ask two questions when these discussions come up:
“How long do you see yourself continuing to own your practice?”
“How is your retirement savings coming... Read more
A consumer-centric culture with a focus on customer service is becoming increasingly important for brick & mortar businesses. While I do believe most practice owners strive to deliver on great service, it requires a team effort. I often hear owners tell me they want to be known in their... Read more
Most businesses have polices that employees are required to follow. In general, office policies are a good idea. Policies provide structure for how to conduct business and create consistency around processes and operations. But in a service-based industry, well intended but rigidly executed... Read more
With all the talk of private equity roll-ups and regional alliances, many practice owners are concerned that if they aren’t a large, multi-office, multi-doctor practice, they don’t have a future in independent optometry.
Is that... Read more
One of the interesting mysteries that I get to unravel in many practices is the mystery of tight cash flow. Sometimes it’s obvious – a small practice with low profitability, for instance. But other times it’s not.
First off, what is tight cash flow? Here’s my simple definition:... Read more
Doctor: Would you like to order your contacts today, Mrs. Smith?
Mrs. Smith: That’s OK. I’ll just take the prescription and get them online.
What happened here? You just did a thorough, high-tech eye exam... Read more
For practices looking to grow, there are basically two paths: see more patients or generate more revenue per patient. Ideally, a practice will do both. One thing I consistently hear from ODs is that it’s hard to generate high revenue from contact lens patients. Even when selling annual... Read more
Can you find 20 or 30 minutes a week to hold a staff meeting? You might be surprised at the impact that it has on your optometry practice.
Your staff is your most valuable business asset. Your investment in optometry marketing, technology, office design, etc. will fail to deliver an... Read more
The very phrase can cause irritation, anxiety and bewilderment in the minds of owners who understand that they should somehow be participating in the conversations across the various social media platforms – but which ones are the best for optometry practice... Read more
While there is more than one way to achieve success, there are a few common traits that successful independent optometry practice owners have in common.
They refuse to accept the status quo. While others remain stagnant, ignore trends, and complain about the... Read more