Not a day goes by that I don’t have a colleague ask me to help straighten out their crappy online presence. Sometimes even a patient hates your website so much, they want my intervention. As always, I am here to take your online life off life support.
Let’s start with your photo. Is that really the face you want your patient to find? Oh, I know. Only your friends will see this one, right? Please, spare me. Some myopic teenager is already spreading that picture of you with the Annual Beer Pong Trophy from 15 years ago. Prospective patients think that’s how you always look. That is how you always look? Nevermind.
While you are at it, peruse the photos your friends have shared with you. I totally believe you just happened to be in Denver when that anti-glaucoma medication was legalized and you and your buddy photo bombed the crowd outside Billy’s Bong Emporium, but your presbyopic grandmas may feel differently.
And those political postings? No particular candidate really wants the world to burn to ashes, or believes online contact lens providers should be given the Congressional Medal of Freedom. OK, maybe one, but keep all of them off your home page!
This is for businesspeople. You are an optometrist, which means you know nothing about business. But, let’s pretend you actually do know about business. How is a LinkedIn relationship with a solo practitioner in Angoon, Alaska, going to help your business grow? Do a search for permafrost if you are that curious. (If you practice in Alaska, substitute Mississippi for Alaska and James Cotton for permafrost.)
Your Email Address
I have always used my real email address. Many think this is really dumb, but I cannot name three patients who have abused their right to email me in the past 37 years. They just wanted my account number so they could send me my inheritance from my recently deceased relative from Nigeria. (That money should be here any day.)
And what, exactly, is your email address? A doctor has to sound at least a little doctor-ly, so drop any references to funk, the Kardashians, beer goggles, a horse’s hindquarters, spring break, Jack Black, Jack White, Jack Daniels, football teams, love, hate, apathy, atrophy, parole, pancreatitis or assorted lesions.
We are redoing our website, and it’s not as easy or cheap as you think. You can use a template and create one for nothing, but these types of websites are, well, stupid looking. If you are a Millennial, maybe you ‘get’ computers, so, you can try it, I guess. But if you are a Millennial, you’re not reading this—you’re too busy washing your socks at mom’s.
Once you determine what to do about your website, spare everyone the generic bullet points such as, “all types of insurance accepted,” “contact lens specialist” or “family eye care.” Instead, show them a video of a cute cat or your baby laughing. You DO want them to call, right?Your online presence should tell patients something important about you and should influence them to call for an appointment. If you play your cards right, they won’t call just to tell you what a digital loser you seem to be.