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Daniel Feldman: How to Picture More Sales




Hot social media sites Pinterest, Instagram let you showcase the latest and greatest eyewear


Published in the March/April 2014 issue

Funny thing about cliches. Most of the time, they’re true. Take the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That statement is becoming truer day by day on today’s Internet, as our eyes, our attention and ultimately our wallets gravitate to images before text.

How can images help you reach more customers as a seller of eyewear? We know the dangers of assuming, but we will presume you have a decent website and do some social networking. If not, your office walls should be covered with thank-you notes from your competitors. But what social media platforms are most worth your time? With Facebook as a given, let’s look at the two major photography social sites: Instagram and Pinterest.

We will take close to 900 billion photographs this year. Over 70 billion of those will end up on Facebook. 20 billion will be posted to Instagram (purchased by Facebook in 2012) and some 1.5 billion will find a home on Pinterest. That’s a lot of pictures! How many of those photos will promote your practice?


Visuals are vitally important in social media because photos are “liked” online more than twice as much as links or text updates. People will also share your photo twice as often as a text-only post. (They will share a video 12 times more often, but that’s another column.)

Instagram was launched in 2010 and today has over 150 million users.

More than 55 million photos are uploaded to the site every day and a good number of those are shared on Facebook, too, due to the tight integration of the two websites. Instagram’s best features are the photo filters built into their mobile app that allows users to edit their photos before sharing them. With or without filters, Instagram is a great way to feature your customers and their new eyewear, as Santa Fe Optical of Austin, TX, does on its Instagram page. (Check it out at

Pinterest also debuted in 2010 and has about 70 million users. Roughly 80 percent of them are female, and the average user spends 87 minutes on the website each month. Because of how Pinterest is set up, items are more thoroughly shared than posts on Instagram. In fact, roughly 80 percent of the pins (items) on Pinterest are repins from other Pinterest pages.

With roughly 2.5 billion page views every month, Pinterest has a robust search feature — better than Instagram’s — that can allow more people to find you who are not already connected to you. Pinterest shares can also be easily integrated into Facebook wall posts. Check out how The Optical Shoppe of Baton Rouge, LA, organizes its Pinterest boards by brands, styles and even “Eye do” wedding photos.

Which is better for your business? That comes down to whether you are a creator or a curator. If your practice sells truly unique eyewear, you might want to spend your time on Instagram posting those one-of-a-kind photos. (Have a look at how Eyes on Fremont in Seattle, WA, uses Instagram at If on the other hand, you sell name-brand designer eyewear, you might want to concentrate your efforts on Pinterest and repin designers’ professional photos, as Vizio Optic in Brookline, MA, does ( Or go with a fun blend of celebrity shots, designer releases and store promos like Madeira Optical of Cincinnati, OH (


No matter which site you choose, make sure you devote at least some time and resources to keeping up with your social media. Your efforts will pay off with more likes, more shares, more pins — and eventually the really good stuff: more customers and more sales.

DANIEL FELDMAN can be found online day and night building websites and doing marketing for eyecare professionals across North America as managing partner of The Visionaries Group. Reach him at and check out his optical pins at




See How the Reichert Phoroptor® VRx Transformed this Eye Care Practice

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You Can’t Meet Everyone’s Needs, So Why Try?

Know your niche.




Know your niche as a retailer and stay true to that niche. Don’t try to meet everyone’s needs – if you try you will compromise somewhere else. – Carter Johnston, OD, Physicians Optical Luxury Eyewear, Oklahoma City, OK

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Robert Bell

The Single Best Tool to Help Your Staff to Sell In and Outside the Office

Plus it has the added benefit of showing them you value them.




JUST BETWEEN US, have you ever fantasized about wanting to give a playful smack to a patient or customer because they did something incredibly stupid? Or, they didn’t do something they were supposed to do in the no-brainer category?

No? Liar!

Well, here’s a no-brainer scenario in which I’d like to smack (playfully!) a hefty percentage of optometric business owners. Ok, honestly, I wouldn’t hurt or embarrass any of you. However, I’ll tell you this: this “no-brainer scenario” makes me pull my hair out of my head. And, folks? I’m bald!

What’s the no-brainer scenario? Business cards.

“But Robert, I have a business card.” I’m sure you do, doctor. Does everyone on your staff have one, too? Everyone? Uh huh. I’m losing more hair as we speak!

From your front desk personnel to your licensed opticians, everyone on your staff should have printed business cards with their name on it, their title (if they want one), the name of your practice, your location(s), your phone number and your website.

Everyone on your staff should be required to carry a few in their purses or wallets 24/7.

Why? So many reasons! Here’s one example from one of my favorite conversations with an optician:

Optician: I was in a Target once and standing behind this woman wearing the most G-d awful glasses. I was thinking, “Omg, who the hell did that to you?”

Me: Did you say anything to her?

O: Um, no.

M: Why not?

O: Whaddya mean, “why not?” What was I going to say?

M: Oh, any number of things. How about, “Hi there. I’m Darla. I was looking at your glasses. I’m an optician. Then … are you happy with them? … or how long ago did you get them? … or where did you get them? Anything to get her talking about her glasses.

O: Why?

M: So you could engage her, find out if you, as an optician, could be of help to her. If so, then you could’ve given her your business card and said, “Here, take my card. Next time you need glasses or an eye exam, come in and ask for me and I promise I’ll take very good care of you.” Then, before you give her the card, you say ‘I’m gonna write on the back of my card to give you $20 off on a pair of sunglasses, if you’re able to come in within the month.’

O: (spurts out a laugh) Yeah, right. Like my OD would pay for business cards for me. Get real. She’s too cheap.

Lord, I’m so bald.

Doctors, by purchasing business cards for your staff (such a minimal investment that can reap in beaucoup rewards), you do the following things:

  • You’re telling them they, as your employee, are important to you.
  • You’re telling them they are an integral part of your team.
  • You’re telling them you’re proud to have them on your team.
  • You make them think you appreciate them and show them so with something tangible.
  • This usually makes them proud of where they work and proud of working for you.

Either you’re proud of your practice and the people who work for you, or you’re not. If you’re not, please disregard what you’ve read here. If you are, well, you know what to do next.

The next step is have a business card sales training at your next staff meeting. Here are the key things you want to touch upon:

  • Everyone should have their business cards on them when they’re out in public.
  • Though not required, everyone on staff is empowered to talk to anyone wearing glasses and ask certain questions about those glasses.
  • Everyone on staff, no matter what their position is in the office, is empowered to tell anyone “Next time you need glasses or contacts, you should really check out this great eye doctor I work for. Ask for me, and I promise I’ll take very good care of you.”
  • Everyone on staff is empowered to write an “incentive” on the back of the card like: “$20 off a pair of sunglasses if you come in this month.”

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Danielle Richardson

Feel Like Your Wellness Routine Could Be Missing Something? It’s Probably Sleep

We spend nearly a third of our life sleeping, which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.




WHEN YOU THINK OF your health and wellness, how often do you think of sleep? Chances are not often — but you should. Sleep is the newest frontier in wellness as public health consciousness continues to increase and we move to a more holistic idea of health. We spend nearly 1/3 of our life sleeping which makes getting quality sleep as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The National Sleep Foundation defines quality sleep as occurring when you’re asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, wake no more than once, and sleep for at least 85 percent of the night. Unfortunately, quality sleep is an uncommon occurrence as the CDC reports a third of American adults experience poor or inadequate sleep on a regular basis. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems or disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome. As a country, we need to get some rest!

Sleep deprivation increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and triples the risk for type 2 diabetes according to Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, PhD. Those not getting adequate sleep suffer from a weakened immune system, irregular metabolism, and obesity secondary to increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Not limited to just the physical body, sleep deprivation can also manifest as cognitive impairment and/or mental health changes including depression, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and brain fog. Poor quality sleep is far less recuperative, which causes us to not feel rested when do we wake up.

Sleep depends on a number of factors, our body’s internal regulating system is chief among them. Our Circadian Rhythm functions as the body’s biological clock and regulates the experience of alertness vs. sleepiness. This rhythm is sensitive to fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol peaks in the morning allowing us to be alert and focused throughout the day. The secretion of melatonin — which helps us sleep — is highest at night.

These days, our minds are moving a mile a minute and we’re constantly on light-producing digital devices even though increased high-energy blue light exposure from devices decreases melatonin production and causes insomnia or sleeplessness. The disrupting culprits aren’t limited to devices though; increased stress, irregular work schedules, frequent jet lag, and sleep disorders can also disrupt our cycles.

The CDC recommends 7-9 hours of quality sleep for adults and more for teens and children. Here are some easy ways you can get better sleep tonight:

Build Consistency. It’s important to wake and head to bed around the same time each day — even on the weekends.

Use Sleep Monitoring Technology. Smartphones and wearable tech devices can help monitor the duration and quality of your sleep through downloadable applications and Bluetooth technology.

Sleep Habits. Limit screen time and diminish light sources in the bedroom. Additionally, use the automatic setting on your phone to warm the screen at night.

Bonus — Zen Out! Use essential oils or pillow sprays in scents like lavender as aromatherapy to help you sleep. Also consider meditation, light music, or other soothing sounds as a relaxing way to send yourself to bed.

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