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OD-turned-marketing consultant Sandi Eveleth is blazing a trail for ECPS on Clubhouse, a new audio-only voice chat room app.

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Dr. Sandi Eveleth

Dr. Sandi Eveleth

DR. SANDI EVELETH has been an optometrist for over 30 years but added another string to her bow in 2009 with the opening of her digital marketing consultancy KISS your Web, LLC, and now devotes most of her time to consulting. Eveleth is an early adopter of Clubhouse, an audio-only app launched last year that hosts live discussions, allowing users to communicate in voice chat rooms. She created her own club, the Eye Care Marketing Club (joinclubhouse.com/club/eye-care-marketing), acting as moderator and expert speaker, along with co-moderator Dr. Darryl Glover, Jr., and occasionally inviting other experts in for discussions. Users can enter and leave rooms, follow conversations, and can request permission to speak from the moderator. Clubhouse is currently invite-only but the founders plan to drop this requirement eventually. To find Eveleth on Clubhouse, visit joinclubhouse.com/@drsandieveleth.

THE IDEA

Clubhouse launched in April 2020, just as COVID was starting to wreak havoc. “Companies were flocking to this platform to discover new ways to attract online customers or employment opportunities,” Eveleth recalls. “On a personal level, many of us had missed the daily connections with others.” Eveleth got involved after a colleague mentioned the app in a Facebook group. “I jumped on the ‘invite train’ because of the inherent sense of FOMO — I won’t lie here! — and because I understand the value of getting in early on platforms that can benefit my community and my company.”

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THE EXECUTION

Eveleth resists the temptation to over-prepare. Being an audio app, Clubhouse is “more about connecting and being your authentic self than being perfect,” she says. “There’s a rawness to the conversations. They are not scripted… the discussions can take very different turns than originally planned, and people often feel closer once hearing another’s voice.” Eveleth designs her agendas so they can be repurposed on her website’s Clubhouse Blog Notes series (invisionmag.com/072102). “The marketing advice has often been a game-changer for the ECPs who are present,” she says. “We may sometimes veer off the schedule when we have special guests show up in the rooms. Dr. Joseph Allen, who has acquired over 400,000 subscribers on his Dr. Eye Health channel, has popped in our room a few times. He’s given us some priceless video marketing advice and ideas on how to grow your own YouTube channel.”

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THE REWARDS

As an eyecare marketing consultant, Eveleth says the benefits of operating a Clubhouse room—and joining others — have been substantial, gaining her new clients and helping her connect with ECPs and other experts. She estimates there are only a few hundred ODs on the app, and only about a dozen or so clubs with “optometry” or “eye doctor” in the name. So far, Eveleth is unaware of any practices that have created a designated club, but she sees great potential for those that do. Creating a club for your own patients and eyecare community could put your practice on the cutting edge, she says, “reaching prospective patients that may never have heard about them, and ultimately increasing revenues.” Now would be a great time to join, she adds, as your competitors have likely not even thought about it. One of her current projects is designing a specific Clubhouse marketing strategy for ECPs.

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“As a purely audio application, it may be difficult to see how this could benefit an eyecare business,” she says. “But just take one look at how many other healthcare professionals are on this platform and you’ll realize how much others in the medical industry understand its potential.”

Do It Yourself: Get The Most Out of Clubhouse

  • COOL HANDLE. Eveleth recommends giving your club a memorable name stating the club’s purpose or target audience. (And add emojis to your bio; many are searchable.)
  • CODE SHARE. Have a QR code for your club link highly visible in your practice and on any print marketing and online communications materials.
  • KEEP IT UP. Hold at least one room discussion per week and make sure to let your staff, patients, marketing prospects and influencers know about them every week, she advises.
  • ON MESSAGE. Invite guest speakers that make sense for your patients/prospects and who have a large Clubhouse or other social media following.
  • LEARN THE ROPES. Take some time to learn the etiquette and nuances of the app, not just the technical aspects. Visit many rooms and clubs before creating your own, Eveleth says.

After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at [email protected]

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