Behind the scenes of Instagram practice photos

September 29, 2016
Melanie Denton, OD, MBA, FAAO

We’re no exception to the online perfect perception. You only need to check out our practice Instagram page, @seeeyecareandeyewear, to see all the photos that I have painstakingly staged.

The views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.


As a child of the millennial generation, I am no stranger to social media. I’ve been on Facebook since it was “The Facebook” and have early-adopted to almost every other type of social media since then.

And you know what I’ve noticed? Our lives are pretty perfect online.

We’re no exception to the online perfect perception. You only need to check out our practice Instagram page, @seeeyecareandeyewear, to see all the photos that I have painstakingly staged.

That’s the thing about social media-we craft our story the way we choose with the heavily edited and filtered photos to match. These photos may not always tell the whole story. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in between each picture perfect moment captured for social media.

Related: 4 steps to opening a practice cold

One of my personal favorite accounts on Instagram is Women in Real Life by the magazine Real Simple, @womenIRL. This account encourages people to send in their photos of what really happens day-to-day.

They’re not looking for the perfectly staged photos, showing how gracefully we are cruising through our day while getting oh-so-much done.

Nope, this account is all about the photo of the morning smoothie we dumped all over the laptop and rug.

The “I’m so exhausted that I just typed someone’s phone number into my phone calculator” moment. The stuff that actually happens to people in a normal day.

 

Cold start in real life

In this spirit, we’ve decided to share some of our real-life happenings from our first six months in practice. We did this by using #coldstartingIRL which stands for cold starting in real life.

Photo: We are now open and accepting new patients!

Real deal: OMG we are open. We don’t totally have our computer system figured out yet, and half of the insurance companies are not even calling us back. In fact, how do we actually bill the insurance? Yeah, I’ll have to go back to an email to follow that process step-by-step.

Related: The ROI of an MBA for an OD

Photo: We still have appointments available this week!

Real deal: We’re about 5 seconds into being open here, so we pretty much have appointments available anytime. Maybe if I present it like it’s a rare occurrence, and create a call to action, you’ll be inspired to come in this week?

 

Photo: Check out our kid-friendly zone

Real deal: We haven’t seen any kids yet, but you’re welcome to bring yours by. Heck, they can just hang out or we can do an eye exam on them, that’d be even better. Want to bring your dog, too?

Related: When Melanie met Sally

The photos I should have posted

Photo: Some kind of cute “under-construction” photo stating that our website is coming soon.

Real deal: We had a website-until the malware took it over. Then, close family members were calling to let us know that they tried to check out our website. Instead, they saw things that can’t be unseen. Awful, unsavory things.

Yeah, we never would have guessed that would have happened when we wrote our business plan! We can almost laugh about it now. Almost.

Photo: #nosleepselfie

Real deal: First, we were stressing over the renovation timeline.

Then, we stressed about when equipment, frames, and supplies would be delivered. Next, our opening date, the signage, and just about everything in between. Finally, losing sleep over staff and how to get patients in the door. The struggle is real.

Related: Everything I know, I learned from my patients

At the end of the day, the only regret in starting a business is not doing it sooner. Hopefully one day when looking back, these stories will be funny, especially the explicit website situation.

Just remember, the next time you see a lovely photo on my practice Instagram page, you’re seeing only the surface.

The truth is, I’m over here like a duck: projecting calm on the surface (i.e. social media accounts) while I’m paddling like the dickens underneath to keep my composure.

If you've recently or not so recently started or bought a practice, we'd love to see you share your #coldstartIRL moments.

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