I started Optician Now in quarter 4 of 2018. I tried to structure the brand with a solid platform so adding to it as time goes on would be easy. Let me give you a summary of where I began.
I put a lot of time into researching what opticians search for online. One of the priorities was ABO exam prep so I scoured the internet for resources and put them all in one place. NCLE was not far behind so I did the same for that.
Another hot topic is optical related merchandise. Again, I scoured the web for such items. There are also many Opticians and OD’s who make these items on the side so I tried to prioritize these people. Along this note, I compiled a series for several months of optical themed items for The Optical Journal.
Our industry has a huge social media presence and I knew I’d have to be prominent to get the traffic I wanted. I set a minimum number of posts per week as a goal and needed to adhere to that. I established that I would post #MensFrameMonday , #WomensFrameWednesday and #SunglassesSaturday as this minimum. I was surprised at the engagement from other opticians and from the frame companies that I featured. My only rule was to not let my personal style preferences influence the frames I featured, I needed to cover a wide variety of frames.
At the end of 2019 I ran my Instagram account through the “best nine”, which scans all of my photos from the past year and shows the top nine most liked photos. The results made me happy as the top nine encompassed exactly the camaraderie and variety of industry that I had hoped for.
View this post on Instagram
Here’s the top nine (in order as though you were reading)
1) a popular meme
2) a sketch of a photo other from a local artist commissioned by a practice near me
3) a terrible eyeball related punny dad joke
4) a customer DIY temple repair with a twig
5) genius quote from fellow marketer
6) optical art compilation on Optical Journal
7) some of my new optical socks!
8) optical jewelry compilation in Optical Journal
9) glasses rubberband art
I’m proud at the variety here and the industry wide inclusion that I was able to support throughout the year. This also gives you an idea of how much of a goon I am, I have my grandpa’s sense of humor.
I’m happy to provide a platform for others to share their experiences. A few of the stories I shared this year were those of an optician who bit the bullet, left corporate and opened up her own store, an optician who had all formal training while in prison – who is now a free man with his own frame line and website, and an optician turned frame rep who gave the downlow on what we should expect from frame reps. I also went to a great frame show, the Eyewear After Party, met some amazing industry folks, saw some incredible frames and shared it all online.
I try to spread my own knowledge around too and this year I did a lot:
- End-of-Year Sales, Vitamin See Blog by Shamir
- Why You Need to be a Patient, Vitamin See Blog by Shamir
- Shamir Peer-to-Peer Champion, October 2019
- Life of a Positive Optician Podcast, Eyetrepreneur
- Eye Pro Gear, Free Download, Invision Magazine
- Meaningful Connections Build Loyalty, Women in Optometry
- When Their Tech Lets them Down, These ECPs Have Things Covered, Invision Magazine
I’m happy with the engagement and increase in followers on both Facebook and Instagram, but, there’s always room for growth! In 2020 I will be introducing interviews, I plan for one every month but would be happy with more than that. I’ve definitely got some people on my bucket list but if you have a unique perspective or experience I would be happy to share your story too! The more the merrier, we are all here on this earth together and we should always do our best to help others succeed. Contact me here.
Here’s to 2020 – our year – let’s make it a good one!