Being in the eye care business can be tough. As a small- or medium-sized business, it can be difficult to compete against all the chains and now the online businesses that are siphoning off your customers.
There are some great ways to promote your business locally.
Many customers would prefer to work with a local doctor and a local optician rather than deal with a giant faceless corporation for something as important as their eye exams, glasses, contacts, etc. You can use your status as a hometown business.
Here is a short list of suggestions for growing your business using online and offline tools:
- SEO – Search engine optimization is the first place to start. Obviously, it assumes you have a website. (If you don’t, get one today!) Then use the tools of SEO to get Google, Bing, and other search engines to bring customers to you every time they search in your area.
- Local sponsorships – From local radio stations to baseball teams, you can sponsor organizations and get your name out. Only a local business will put its name on the jerseys of the local football or Little League team. You can also co-sponsor events like fireworks, concerts, and more.
- Content marketing – Being an expert is one of the best ways to guarantee that you get customers, particularly if they do a general search and their local doctor shows up.
- Referral program – Word-of-mouth is the best way to grow a local business. No one really raves about their local Walmart, but if they find a great optometrist, they will. You can create a program that rewards people for speaking up and letting others know that you exist.
- Private label frames – Create your own line of stylish frames. In truth, the exam and the lenses are pretty standard. It’s the frames that everyone is spending the money on. By creating a private label frame brand, you can create a sense of exclusivity and demand.
- Post-visit survey – Send a survey to your clients after they leave to see how everything went. If they have any comments, negative or positive, be sure to follow up and make changes or thank them.
- Email marketing – Using a constant series of emails, you can stay in touch with your customers and potential customers. Email marketing is inexpensive and delivers a great ROI. For the most part, all you need to do is write an email occasionally highlighting new items, discounts, and other things that your customers might like to know. Topics Like caring for your eyes, using blue light blockers, and more can be great to send out.
Being a local business competing against large companies, especially those eye centers located in big box stores, can be tough, but there’s a place for you in the world.
Where many customers are concerned only with price, there are still tens of millions of consumers who are willing to pay more to have the personalized care that only a small, local office can offer.
Marketing your optometry business will require commitment and focus, but it’s often something that your office staff can help with.
What are you doing to promote your local business? What have you found doesn’t work?