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Cost-Effective Marketing for Optometry Startups

Marketing is definitely an integral part of any optometry startup. It is often considered the lifeblood of the practice since it helps patients learn more about the startup and visit it. It can turn an almost empty waiting room into a bustling area with countless patients.

However, it can be hard for new startups to come up with the capital for expensive marketing models like advertisements, pay per click, and others. Startups are most inundated with costs for rent, salaries, and others, all of which make it harder to find funds for marketing. Optometrists also don’t have much experience with marketing to launch proper campaigns, gauge audience interest, and modern methods.

There are definitely many marketing companies you can go to, but again, they can be quite expensive. As such, you should focus on cost-effective marketing for optometry startups that can be better for you. Here are some techniques that may help you out.

Community Engagement

Community engagement can provide high-efficacy, low-cost benefits that can be a game-changer for your startup. Many optometrists are naturally good at building relationships since it is such an integral part of our profession. By channeling this skill into marketing, you will be able to build communities that can help spread the word about the optometry clinic. It can be quite rewarding, as well as incredibly effective.

Direct Mail

Direct mail has a reputation for being discarded, not working, or being expensive. As an optometry startup, you should concentrate on maintaining a strategy when it comes to the location that has the potential for a significant growth rate. For example, if you target people who have just moved into the area, you will find that they are more responsive. They will gladly accept the mail since they already need new resources, such as a new optometry clinic to go to. When direct mail is done correctly, it has the highest response rates among some media.

Community Philanthropy

You have to realize that not many people in the community will be able to afford optometry care. You can help by recognizing the needs of your community, solving problems, and giving back. This can help build the team and establish your marketing efforts. It can be quite rewarding, which is why it often doesn’t feel like marketing at all. Some marketing ideas include:

· Calling the local fire department and giving the entire staff discounts on checkups

· Partner up with local business and have a lottery-like game where people have to sign up to win the gift cards

· Build a mutually beneficial campaign with other local businesses such as discounts on tooth whitening with two purchases of eyeglasses from your store in return for discounts on eyeglasses after two purchases of tooth cleanings.

· Attending local events in the community and offering screenings can be a way to get attention for the business

Social Media

Social media is the most cost-effective marketing for optometry startups. It can be a great platform to send messages, create a flourishing community, engage with audiences, and build a brand name. You should make sure to target any online advertisements to certain categories in the community. This can be based on location, interests, gender, and age.

Staying Consistent

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook work based on visibility. They check whether the audience is engaged consistently. Post regularly.

• 1 post every day for Facebook

· 3 tweets every day for Twitter

· 1 posts every day for Instagram

· 1 post every day for LinkedIn

It may seem like a lot, but it is definitely possible to achieve such numbers consistently. You should firstly focus on choosing the platforms that are most appropriate for your target audience. For example, Facebook is a better platform for older audiences than Instagram. LinkedIn is a great way to build co-referral partnerships with other local businesses. Secondly, you can definitely repurpose the same content for different platforms. If you have a post ready for Instagram, don’t be shy about reusing it for Facebook a week later.

There are also plenty of content calendars and scheduling tools that can help you in this venture. Social media can definitely be self-managed by you without any worries. You can also keep a monthly theme going to build an aesthetic and motivate yourself.

Track and Keep Up with the Data

The most important task in marketing is keeping track of your data and your ROI. However, this can be quite challenging since it requires good systems, intention, and constant follow-ups. Sometimes it can be easy to check how patients were prompted to enter the optometry clinic; they may just enter with a direct-mail coupon. However, if the patient saw you at the farmer’s market providing screenings, then saw a post on Facebook and then were referred to you by a relative, who will get the credit?

It will help to outline a goal for each campaign. Design the campaign with specific intentions. For example, a Facebook campaign to just increase the followers on your account. Since the campaign doesn’t intend to bring in people, you don’t have to worry about tracking that.

As a new business, you should always try and focus on getting organic growth instead of going for expensive strategies. Cost-effective marketing for optometry startups can get you enough business so that you can start planning bigger things.

What Optoprenuers can Learn from the Patriots.

We are witnessing greatness whether you like the Patriots or not. We are experiencing a historic dynasty that has spanned over two decades.  Appreciate it, because we may not see it for a long time or ever again. Optopreneurs can learn a lot from the New England Patriots. It doesn’t matter if you are the person that answers the phone or the owner of the optometric practice, you have to work for it to be an accomplished success business. It’s the same as a football team. The Patriots arguably have the best quarterback but if the offensive line did not perform at a certain level or the receivers don’t catch the ball, then it doesn’t matter. If the coach is concerned about scoring points and neglects the defense then there is no way to win a championship. All people within the organization are important. It doesn’t matter if you are the President of the company with the best business strategy, if the people under your leadership don’t believe in it or understand it, then they will not be able to effectively execute that plan.

The Patriot Way is a System that Optopreneurs can simulate for their own business growth and success. Here are 3 proven ways:

1. Teamwork Philosophy (#DoYourJob)
It is not about the name on the back of the jersey but the name on front and working together to get the win. It is not about individual stats. Each player has a versatile role on the team and is held accountable for mistakes on the field and not preparing for the game at the highest standard. Each opponent is to be viewed as top priority no matter what their record might be. There are development programs to help evolve players and help them grow. The Patriots are really good at finding raw talent that others over look and developing them to a championship caliber.

Optopreneurs Take Home Message
Optopreneurs must wear multiple hats to be successful in their business. The success of that business is only as good as the employees that you have. You need to have that vision to direction that you want to take your career and business but you can’t get there alone. You need to develop a diverse team that has the ability to be trained and developed to be better.

2. Always a Room for Improvement (#NotDone) 
We always will hear at the press conferences after a win or lose that there is a room for improvement and adjustment. The Patriots Leadership team does not focus on past successes but will focus on the present situation and understanding adaptability and hard work will continue to create a better team.

Optopreneurs Take Home Message
Having a policy of open communication is very important to ask for feedback on what others in the office or organization like or dislike. Asking all team members for input no matter what level, will help provide insights for individuals and organizations growth. You are only as good as the people on your team. You give credit where credit is due.
Even if the office is doing very well, the philosophy should be we could always do better and it starts from the OD business owner being open to feedback on efficiency, patient communication or overall practice management. Different perspectives help grow businesses and will prepare them to better handle competition when the industry changes.

3. Resiliency and Urgency is a Mindset ( #AbovetheNoise, #Lets Go!)
Since 2001, the Patriots have always continued to reinvent themselves. Having a game plan and executing it is critical to the game, but what if that plan is not working do you continue to keep that strategy if you are behind? Resiliency is a mental part of the game. Being able to bounce back during a stressful situation separates the Patriots from others in the league. Resiliency has won key games for the Patriots whether it be fourth quarter comeback or winning a Super Bowl in overtime.
Urgency to get better at a personal level and evolve the team whether it be through trades, restructing contracts with players to be able to bring other leaders into the organization that will improve the “long term game”.

Optopreneurs Take Home Message
The importance of business resiliency and urgency is a mindset that starts with you! Being confident in your business strategy and being able to adjust it as each quarter comes to a close is vital to your business success. Tracking your numbers and understanding the business metrics of a practice and how you compare to the national average or have an idea of your local competitors can help you adapt to inhibiting factors that reduce your business success.
Not waiting too long to make an adjustment is a sense of urgency for a business. Being the first office in the area to introduce the latest technology or services to the community is a way to innovate your office and stay ahead of the curve. Reframing from a failing business strategy and understanding the end goal will lead your business into the “Optometry Super Bowl”. Don’t let outside “noise” of what could happen in the future of optometry deter your road to success. As Bill Belichick would say “We are on to next week’s game”. Don’t let failure be the focus; focus on the next strategy with a sense of urgency. The strategy development should be done as of yesterday to separate your office from others. It is a level of high commitment and selfless leadership. You will have to make sacrifices as the leader of that office to guarantee being the “feared” office in the area among your competitors. Are you ready for the challenge?

Podcast

Purchasing a Pearle Vision Franchise.

Corporate Optometry Nation podcast interviews Dr Camille Cohen. Dr Cohen purchased an established Pearle Vision Franchise in New York. She just purchased it before COVID-19 put New York on lock down. Listen in to learn what to look for when buying a franchise and why Pearle Vision was the best option for her.