Why you need social media, even if your diary is full - A client case study
I’ve been working with my gorgeous client Dianne Ashcroft from Lane Ends Podiatry for a year now. Naturally, I’m feeling reflective on the journey we’ve both been on together in that time. She was my second ever client and now my longest serving client relationship. Working with her in our monthly consultations and the bits of ad-hoc support I provide in-between has been an absolute joy. She understands the need for social media in her field, the need to put time and effort into producing content of value which her audience want to see. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve suggested doing, no matter how crazy and wild, that she hasn’t embraced wholeheartedly.
Now, when Dianne first came to me she had a full diary. So why would she need help with her social media? There’s a huge misconception that you only need social media and an online presence for lead generation. Of course, it helps with that - but it is for so much more! Here are the ways social media has impacted Dianne’s business and life over the last 12 months:
1) Brand presence/awareness
Increasing her online presence and stamping out a strong identity has lead to an increased brand awareness. This means that she has an active waiting list for appointments. Her striking all purple aesthetic, with a unique relatable, straight-talking tone of voice makes her stand out against the generic formal and stuffy medical professional. This means she’s memorable, and on the tip of someone’s tongue if the need for a podiatrist calls either for themselves or someone else.
We started with just over 300 followers a year ago on instagram, now we’re tickling 800 with a really healthy engagement rate. Can you say you’d follow an account talking about foot health?
This increase is down to looking beyond the feet, to the bigger picture of health and the reasons why someone would be needing help. Giving value gives people a reason to follow her beyond their own foot health. Sure we could work on a more polished consistent grid with the graphics she has made, but her brand identity is already so strong, I don’t think a more rigid posting pattern would be necessary or impactful.
2) Increased prices
About a year before I met Dianne, she’d realised she was severely undercharging for the value of service she wanted to provide and if she didn’t act fast her business wouldn’t be able to keep going much longer. Giving up or giving in wasn’t an option, especially as some of her clients had been with her over 20 years and she was committed to helping fix their foot problems. So, Dianne put a strategy in place, hoping her loyal long-term clients would understand. Over the last 2 years she’s increased her prices by 50%, her loyal clients are still with her, she has a more than healthy diary, and now she’s charging what she’s worth.
Sure, her diary is full now. But what happens if something changes with a reliable client - they can’t afford to pay, no longer want her services or they pass away? What happens if she has a few of those in a month, because that’s life? Building a strong presence and demand means she’ll never struggle finding new streams of clients. Also, the way of the digital world means younger generations are more likely to take to social media to look for services. We all get older, need professional health care and will look for those brands who stand out. She’s creating the online presence she knows she’ll need to keep her diary full the next few years.
4) Work-life balance
Even though I say Dianne has a full diary, she doesn’t work in clinic every single weekday, Monday - Friday 9-5. She spends a lot of time creating the content needed to maintain a vibrant and energetic online presence - she understands the need to invest this time and she genuinely enjoys doing it (despite her moans about the amount of homework I set!)
This also means Dianne can regularly attends events, conferences and meet-ups with her “colleagues”, which is what she lovingly refers to other podiatrists as. We all know the value of meeting up with like-minded folk, especially when you’re self employed. Having this freedom and flexibility means she can keep up to date with her industry, meet other professionals and have an active professional social life, without it taking attention away from the running of her business or her income. Isn’t a better work-life balance something we all strive for!
When Dianne says she’s going to do something, she does it and then some. But what keeps her momentum and motivation going is her story telling. She takes her followers on a journey of what she’s up to, declaring her latest projects and goals online all for the sake of accountability. In doing so, she has been able to help an old friend crowdfund enough money to set up a new business helping parkinson’s suffers through boxing. She’s also taken us on her weight loss journey, making public her progress, her methods, sweaty gym sessions and hotel hiit workouts. She's using her platform to prove what can happen when you change the respect you have for your body, inspiring others along the way! Social media has actually helped her improve her health and other people’s!
Having a strong, vibrant and consistent presence has opened some incredible doors for her. Dianne is planning work with her local police constituency in advising the bobbys on the beat the best way to look after their feet in the up-coming foot health month. She’s also collaborated with her local IKEA branch on an employee well-being program and spoken in local colleges and schools. Her no excuses attitude, energy and expertise are infectious - something others are willing to invest in because it's what she conveys in every single bit of content produces.
7) Happy clients
In upping her prices, it means she’s lost a few clients. And do you know why she’s not bothered? Because now she’s working with the people she wants to - the people who are willing to make an investment into their self-care and are going to take their health seriously. She’s now working with those who listen to her advice and follow her aftercare because they want to make the most of their investment. It also means, in taking less clients to make the same money she’s now got the time to improve the value and quality of service she delivers. Last year Dianne upgraded her patient notes system and started producing high-quality personalised aftercare documents for each patient. She genuinely embraces each and every single person who walks through her door, properly getting to know them, meaning she has a more fulfilling and satisfying working day. The best way to stay competitive in any market isn’t by lowering your prices, but offering more value.
So, next time you’re thinking “my social media isn’t doing anything”. Think beyond the pennies and the enquiries. It’s a marathon, not a sprint - something to be pursued with consistency of energy, attitude, and with perseverance.
My top tips - be clear about the clients you want to attract and have a clear identity with your USPs and brand values at the forefront of everything you do. Investing time to create content to engage with these clients, communicating who you are consistently will, day by day, take you closer to your goals.
Isn’t it incredible what a bit of social media can do!
Check out Dianne’s efforts & give her a follow -