How Much is an OD’s Time Worth Anyway?
A recent conversation I had with a local Virginia eye doctor changed my way of thinking forever.
I took my two daughters to see the eye doctor in the lead up to their school year. (If you haven’t downloaded our free back2school campaign for 2020, you can do so here.) The time had come for my 3 and 6-year-olds to get a comprehensive eye exam.
But I didn't want a rushed basic exam. I wanted an OD who catered to pediatric patients, and ideally, a developmental optometrist who could assess if my kids had any binocular or functional vision problems—the downside of digging deep into optometry is that we at EyeCarePro are all too familiar with the breadth of vision problems out there…
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Finding this OD was a challenge. It shouldn't be.
I found the right practice but it was NOT easy to find.
And if a seasoned optometry marketer such as myself struggled, then most potential patients never find this practice.
I had to scour Google through a ton of large corporate chains and private equity practices. There might be fine doctors there, but their websites gave me nothing to go on. None of them seemed to specialize in pediatric eye care, let alone vision therapy.
Finally, as I worked my way down the Google results, I found a website of a local private optometrist who seemed to offer what I was looking for. The website looked ok but lacked much information to go on. However, the doctor did have some great Google reviews—which can really make all the difference—so I called him up and booked. And I’m glad that I did.
“I imagine”, the doctor said, “that everything you guys would do for me with ODEssentials equals about 8 hours per month. That means roughly $40/hour. I would MUCH rather have you guys do that and save me the 8 hours. My time is worth way more than $40/hour.”
The appointment was great. The clinic was immaculate and the bedside manner was superb. The doctor was patient and took time with my kids and they even had fun.
But the place wasn't exactly bustling...
If your practice can’t be found with a simple Google search, no one is booking appointments.
This wasn’t a function of COVID-19, it was simply a lack of not enough new patient growth. I can’t say I was surprised. The doctor’s excellent care and the lovely practice are simply not enough to get this practice the online notice it deserves. It doesn’t rank well enough on a Google search—even for the most basic search term, like “eye doctor in MY TOWN”!
I straight up asked this doctor what he was doing to grow his practice since it was so hard to find him...
“Doctor,” I said, “you’re unique in this neck of the woods. You have training in vision therapy, you do pediatrics, and you have the distinct advantage of being an honest-to-goodness private optometrist in a town overrun by refraction mills. It shouldn’t be so hard to find you! If I struggled to find you, most people never see you”
Debating Optometry Marketing
We ended up looking at search rankings, and I showed this practice owner how weak his online performance really is.
We also saw that his competitors are basically doing nothing, and that it wouldn’t take more than solid optometry-focused SEO to get him ranking prominently for the entire town of nearly 50,000 people. I learned that this doctor had paid significantly for online marketing services that never brought any returns. He was burned, and understandably skeptical about digital marketing services that promise the moon and deliver next to nothing. I also learned that this doctor does indeed struggle to maintain enough bookings to be profitable. Even more distressing, he can’t afford to focus on building up the optometric specialties he’s passionate about—neuro-optometry and vision therapy—since he can’t maintain enough general care to grow his business.
This OD pays for $350/ month for SEO analytic software. It says what's wrong but can't actually improve anything! It requires that he manually make the content improvements, list his business on online aggregates, and do all the stuff that goes into solid SEO.
Like most ODs, this doctor simply doesn't have the time to do it all...
A Better Idea
I was in shock! “Doctor,” replied, “our entry-level marketing plan, ODEssentials—which costs the same at $350 per month does all that SEO legwork for you! And it does so much more too. Ongoing campaigns for social media and email, for example, and a monthly call with an optometry marketer called a Marketing Manager, who is assigned to your practice and serves as a proactive source of marketing know-how and inspiration. Surely, you’re better off with our services than what you have now. The ROI is just so much better!”
An OD's Time is Sacred, or, Time vs. Money
Given his previous bad experiences, the doctor maintained a healthy dose of skepticism.
Ultimately, he was intrigued by the fact that we never use contracts...
Much more than that, though, he was impressed by how much we dive into understanding optometry, and the sheer amount we do for our clients on a monthly basis. He came to an interesting conclusion. You see, as an educated, intelligent, and technologically savvy doctor in his early thirties, this OD knew that he was capable of doing all these things for his own online presence. The content, the optimization, the business listings, the Facebook posts, the email campaigns…. But, in the course of our conversation, he realized that he shouldn’t have to spend the kind of time required to make it happen. Better that he spend that time seeing patients! And I couldn’t have agreed more.
“I imagine”, he said, “that everything you guys would do for me with ODEssentials equals about 8 hours per month. That means roughly $40/hour. I would MUCH rather have you guys do that and save me the 8 hours. My time is worth way more than $40/hour.”
I was taken aback.
I had never thought about it that way before
I was used to explaining our services in terms of ROI—return on investment. Optometry marketing, done right, generates more than double what a website alone can ever hope to accomplish. That equals real revenue you can grow a practice with.
But I had never thought to literally break it down by assessing the value of the doctor’s time. And I felt silly, because it was obvious the second he said it.
An OD’s time is the most valuable commodity in the equation, and it’s good for any practice to think about the value of their time when appraising any cost or marketing solution.
What’s Your Time Worth?
You can do it all yourself. Absolutely. But doing it well means a lot of research, reinventing the wheel, and time spent writing, listing, optimizing, posting...I could easily go on.
The math is simple. Get impressive returns on services that get you more patients without the legwork. Talk to us about our marketing services today! Just fill out the form and get an in-depth demo. See more patients and let us bring them through the door.