So, what does that mean, exactly? It means that every single word that is exchanged between you and a client is marketing. As a veterinarian, you might not realize that your marketing efforts extend beyond a colorful logo, an engaging website, and high-quality Google and Facebook ads. Even the slightest verbal or written communication can impact how your clients think of your business.
For many of us, early spring brings veterinary conferences to our schedules. Record attendance at NAVC 2016 proves that these events continue to provide valuable educational and networking opportunities, and there’s no doubt that the upcoming NAVC2017, WVC, and AAHA Nashville 2017 will do the same.
These events have definitely changed over the years. We have been attending conferences for well over 20 years, usually as a vendor or speaker, and can say with some degree of confidence that, at this point, we’ve probably seen it all.
We’ve watched as you all enter the exhibit hall the first day, wide-eyed and full of energy. We’ve seen how, as day 2 rolls around, the pace and energy begin to slow; and how, by day 3, you are barely dragging along… And heavens, by day 4! You have that glassy-eyed look about you that only comes from too much of a good thing.
Whether you are a first-timer to a veterinary conference or a seasoned pro, it never hurts to have a little insight when it comes to what lies ahead. With that in mind, I would like to offer a bit of my experience when it comes to surviving a veterinary conference.
When it comes to naming your veterinary website, you will need to purchase a domain. However, when it comes to domain names, there are a lot of technical terms and industry jargon that can be confusing for veterinary practice owners and managers.
Have you ever wondered what a domain name is, how it works, and how a website is maintained?
Do Domain Names Have an Address?
Every computer, server, and mobile device that is connected to the internet is assigned a unique number called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This unique string of numbers is akin to a street address or phone number and allows your device(s) to communicate over the Internet.
Likewise, when you purchase and register your domain name (www.awesomevet.com, for example), from GoDaddy, Register.com, etc., it is assigned several DNS (Domain Name System) records, which enables it to be located on the Internet. DNS records are simply user friendly ways used to point portions of your domain to the servers and computers (via their IP addresses) that handle each function of your domain.
As the role technology plays in veterinary patient care grows, protecting your practice with a full data backup is vital. Think back to the last time you lost information on your cell phone. How disruptive was it? Maybe you’ve lost data in a crash of your personal computer without a backup. I’ll bet it was painful, stressful and, most likely, unnecessary.
The same goes for data in your veterinary practice. If you lost an invoice or medical record, you could recreate the record: time consuming yes, impossible, no. But an X-ray cannot be handled in the same way. You can’t ask a client to re-fracture their pet’s paw. With digital technology taking the place of film, data backup has become a vital piece of the technology pie.
Practice leaders find it hard to delegate even though it is critical to the growth and success of their business. So why aren’t we delegating if we know that it is important? Quite simply, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.
While on the surface it’s easier to do it your self than explain the strategy behind the task to someone else, there are two key reasons that it’s better to delegate the task to someone else. First, by doing the work yourself, leaders are failing to make the best use of their time. Secondly, by meaningfully involving other people in the task, leaders are developing their team’s skills and abilities.
As an emergency critical care specialist and someone with a Y chromosome, I’m often asked two questions:
- What the heck is VETgirl?
- “You’re not a girl?!?” (Technically, that is more of a statement…)
What the heck is VETgirl?
First, VETgirl is a subscription-based podcast & webinar service offering RACE-approved, online veterinary continuing education (CE). VETgirl was launched in 2012, aiming to create a more convenient way for the veterinary professional with time-poverty to have access to clinically relevant, practical, cost-effective, and convenient CE. All of VETgirl’s CE is given by board-certified veterinary specialists or experts in the field.
As an emergency critical care specialist and toxicologist who lectures throughout the world, I’m often asked, What the heck is VETgirl?
VETgirl is a subscription-based podcast and webinar service offering RACE-approved, online veterinary continuing education (CE). I came up with the idea back in 2003, when I was frantically studying for my board examination(s). I was studying 13+ hours a day and felt guilty for going out for a run or hike with my dog. All I wanted was someone to teach me veterinary medicine through my Walkman while I was running or hiking. Since sleeping on top of my textbooks didn’t appear to osmotically work, I decided that this “listen and learn” modality would truly be the best way to “take it all in” while frantically multi-tasking. Then, when I was studying (yet again) for my toxicology board examination in 2012, I finally set my mind to creating this new learning modality. So, I teamed up with tech-savvy veterinary specialist Dr. Garret Pachtinger, DACVECC to create VETgirl.
If you are a regular user of our Help Desk here at BI then you may already know, and hopefully love, the Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase, or KB as we call it, is a collection of articles that inform users on everything from how to set up individual email accounts to how to trouble shoot staff picture sizing in the BI Staff Tool. All of the articles are meant to be very informative and helpful to our clients – we want you to be able to find the information that you need quickly and easily.
Despite the global adoption of the digital marketplace, most American veterinarians are reluctant to approach digital marketing. There are a variety of reasons for this reality, including time, knowledge and understanding, the rapid pace of change in the digital world, and an overall lack of comfort with technology. But what about veterinarians in other countries? Do they have the same struggles as vet practices in the United States?
After having spoken in Australia to both Australian and New Zealand veterinarians, as well as to vets in Canada and the UK, I can say with confidence that yes; the industry’s struggle with digital marketing is an international reality.