They need to be the Google instead.

[Editor's note: This is one of three honorable mention winners in INVISION’s essay contest. Eyecare professionals submitted essays in response to the prompt, “If you could order all eyecare pros to do one specific thing, and they had to listen to you, what would it be? And why would you ask them to do it?”]

Attention all eyecare pros: It is time to change the image of our profession. Gone are the days where patients stream into your office because you are the only eyecare resource. Now they walk into a “minute clinic” for their red eyes, shop online for their glasses and contact lenses, and can even determine their own prescription from their computer.

So what are we going to do about it? It’s called marketing and you could all use a lesson in it. When was the last time you opened the yellow pages? Oh, like 10 years ago? Optometrists are becoming the yellow pages of the healthcare industry, and we need to be the Google.

Have you looked at your colleagues’ websites lately? Although a few have stepped up their game, 90 percent are living in the realm of the “template.” That’s right, you all have the same website just replaced with your name and lame stock photos of that lady with the fake smile and ill-fitting glasses.

We are actually living in a time where people think it is “cool” to wear glasses. And we are clearly not taking advantage of that fact. Even if you are the only doctor within a 20-mile radius, you may still have someone with an internet connection ordering glasses online. We complain about people taking our commodity, but we don't take charge and doing anything about it.

Optometrists are becoming the yellow pages of the healthcare industry, and we need to be the Google.

I beg of you to take a good look at your website (and I pray that you have one). Does it really tell the world who you are? If you think people don’t go online and check you out first, you are kidding yourself. I always check out a doctor, restaurant or shop, read reviews and look at pictures before I commit. Think about what intrigues you about a business, and reflect that back on your own. Remove that staged picture of yourself with the J.C. Penney background and let people know who you really are. Tell them why you are different. Though some may be wowed by your new awesome equipment, it doesn’t help if you can’t get them in the door first. They assume you know your job, as you have that diploma hanging on your outdated clinic wall, but beyond that, what service can you provide that is truly different?

And what about your social media presence? Do you have a Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter accounts? No? Social media is free and allows us to connect with more people than we ever thought possible.

What do we have as brick and mortar that online retail doesn’t? Soul. We are people, caring for people. Pull on the heart strings or tickle their funny bone. So what if you are the nerdy optometrist? Embrace it! The one who geeks out on dry eye? Tell the world! Tell your story, not the one that everyone already knows. You don’t have to be the funniest, the smartest or the most modern, but you do have to be you.


Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Center in Lewis Center, OH. She graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She loves going to concerts and has seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also loves to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduling on that day. You can find her on Facebook or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

.

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

.

Dr. Cynthia Sayers is the owner of EyeShop Optical Cente

r in Lewis Center, OH. She

graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2001. She l

oves going to concerts and

ha

s seen Bryan Adams over 25 times. She also

loves

to bake. Every Friday at EyeShop is Dessert

Friday for the past six years and patients love scheduli

ng on that day. You can find her on

Facebook (facebook.com/EYEshopOptical) or at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

.

 

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