Associates: You are the brand


You're not involved in your veterinary practice's marketing? Big mistake.

A young associate recently told me he's expected to “produce” for his corporate employer, but he feels he has no control over how often folks come in the door. Is this really true? Are young associates powerless?

They don't have to be.

Make the practice owner fork over Facebook to you

Like to take pics? Like to tell stories? Like to write 50 words? Ask to be the page administrator. Post something every day or at least several times a week. Peruse the Facebook insights to see when your audience is present and schedule your posts for those times. As a practice owner, I welcome an employee who wants to assist with this marketing. You'll get your name out there to clients and prospective clients too.

Wheedle the website out of your practice owner's micromanaging hands

Find out whether your hospital's website has content your current and potential clients would find relevant. You know what's affecting your patients better than anyone.  Write a blog post that highlights a case each week, bring the stories to life with photos (with clients' permission, of course) and make sure you're listed as the author. Call the owners to let them know their pet is “famous.” They'll share..

Be a face, if not the face, of your practice in the community

Participation in community outreach is another great idea. Think of the positive ripples that could come if you took an hour or two once a week to volunteer at an animal shelter or go to an animal rescue fundraiser. Meet rescuers and tell them where you work. Plan a coffee talk for dog walkers and groomers to teach them how to recognize signs in pets that might require a visit to the veterinarian. Take your business cards and show how much you care about animals. That'll be easy: You're a veterinarian. 

Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns and practices at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and is the author of Tennessee Tails: Pets and Their People.

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