This is not my typical type of blog that I plan to do, however having written for a goal set my mentor I felt it may be worth sharing and from what I have learnt in relation to digital marking making it human and related to ‘you’ as the face of the business is important.
This course I have been fortunate enough to be has been a journey which can be read below but it does have a real relevance to me a physiotherapist and for my patients. It has opened my eyes and mind up to much more efficient ways to connect to recent research, experts within their field and patients experiences. All this wealth of information is overwhelming at times but with my trusted Evernote app, genius scan app and Pinterest account (avery6406 First Physio) I can keep the golden nuggets logged for when I need them! Can I believe I do this now – NO but if your researching your injury or problem there sure is a lot of information out there…you have to pick through it but some of its really good and so much more accessible than hunting through technical journals that not even me as an ‘expert’ can sometimes understand.
Sat at home in the throes of being a new mummy, sleep deprived and emotional when I saw a friend had shared on Facebook an opportunity to apply for a digital media course little did I know what I had really applied for. I knew that I needed to be better at marketing and more social media aware. It was always on my ‘to do list’ but always moved down the list as treating patients seemed to get in the way (I own a small physiotherapy practice). I had seen how effective a platform it had been for a number of physiotherapy businesses of friends around the country and knew I needed to embrace social media for the business. Hence the application seemed to tick all the boxes...except that I had a three week old baby and was supposed to be on maternity leave. However, as we all know who do it, owning your own business means you never have time off, not really not for any significant period at least and I guess I was craving a bit of normality too. Not treating patients gave the marketing and social media items on my ‘to do list’ more likely to hit the top and ultimately given this opportunity I was determined to utilise all the mentoring and learning on offer should I gain a place on the Love Digital 2015-16 program.
I was chuffed if not a little surprised to have been accepted on the course - my friends and family though I was mad although not totally surprised that I would challenge myself with something alongside having Harry. Prior to starting the Love Digital program I had a website that seemed to be functioning OK, with new patients finding me from there. I also had a business Facebook page which I tried to use on and off but it really wasn’t that effective at all. Personally, I only used Facebook from a social media perspective and at times found this frustrating too! The ‘look at me’, ‘look at my business’ and the selling approach of some businesses on social media I found a real turn off on both my personal and business news feed on Facebook and was so desperate not to look like this I just avoided social media I guess.
In trying to limit my wittering on about every detail of the last 6 months on the Love Digital program I will revert of my faithful lists and bullet points which I still do have but now it’s..... Digital on the app Evernote! I love this little elephant now.
What hoped would get:
- Guidance on how to set up twitter and use with confidence - have a twitter business page
- Improvement in my business facebook presence
- Refresh my website and update content
- Understand the language of digital media and marketing
- General improvement in my marketing
What actually got:
- Frankly all the above and so much more. Bullet points won’t suffice here I am afraid...
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but the online resources for the course are brilliant e.g. user guides to all the social media platforms, how to write blogs, videos of all the training sessions, flipped classroom, facebook group for the mentees and mentors etc. The better still we can continue to use these long after the course ends. The various training seminars were content rich and pitched at the right level and inspiring to get on a do it! This combined with the one to one mentor support from Helen via Skype at regular intervals ensured momentum and the ‘to do list’ was being actioned. Helen was brilliant at challenging me but also respectful of the other pressures I was under supporting my goals and aims, a super mentor indeed.
I certainly have developed a new love of social media and actually enjoy twitter as I have discovered the wealth of knowledge links and topical current research that is tweeted that is right at your fingertips. Linking up with professional experts, group’s has been really surprising and not something I thought twitter could do at all. The sharing of great information and knowledge I love – it isn’t all sell, ‘look at me’ at all! Engaging with the #physiohour which is fortnightly has been such an enjoyable and informative hour. My first time being re-tweeted twice was like a small victory but then last week six times- I was bouncing off the ceiling! I am passionate about my profession and when others agree it’s so rewarding. I find this type of social media platform so much easier to engage with when it’s informative!
My website has been redesigned with the expert help of Paul Edworthy @edworthymedia. The knowledge gained through Love Digital has helped me understand the important elements of a website and ultimately learn a new language! I still need the expert help but at least can guide the web designer having some knowledge to combine with my physiotherapy knowledge. Blogs, facebook and social media plans I am continuing to build my confidence with and will continue to do. Blog writing is daunting but practice makes perfect I guess and using pinterest to gather information and images together alongside twitter to get relevant hot topics to discuss will all add to increasing my confidence.
The real surprise and joy of the last six months has been the relationships I have made with the members of Cosmic @Cosmic_uk (Helen especially) and the fellow mentees. All are wonderfully talented and motivated business women in their own right from across Somerset and Devon. Friendships have been made, Exeter business club breakfast meetings attended (@ExeterBizClub), business resources gained through virtual assistant Joanne Manville @joannemanville. I had never considered myself a business woman really – just a physio running a clinic. This experience I know has and will continue to improve my marketing and social media presence but it has given me a new confidence in my abilities as not just a physiotherapist but as a business woman too and I have Helen (my mentor) and all my fellow mentees to thank for this.
Thank you to Cosmic for running the Love Digital program so wonderfully and the funding for the program from the Government Equalities Office and Connecting Devon and Somerset.
Chartered Physiotherapist MSc, BSc (Hons), MCSP, MHCPC
Owner First Physio
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of First Physio only and do not constitute medical advice.