We at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care are thankful and humbled to have been nominated for the 2010 LocalShops1.com Best at grassroots marketing category. It is very cool to see that our efforts are noticed by the local independent business community. There are many wonderful businesses nominated and all should be congratulated:
As part of the selection process, there are five questions that nominees must answer. Below are the questions and my answers. We will find out the winners at the LS1 Birthday Bash. Come out with us and have a ball!
Give us your 30 second “Elevator Pitch”
At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we provide comprehensive eye care and quality eyewear for the whole family. Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford gets to know his patients, and makes sure each patient understands their visual conditions and what can be done to improve their eyesight or eye health. He also specializes in pediatrics, vision therapy, and specialty contact lenses, offering services not found at most optometry offices.
We have excellent staff who focus on patient care and customer service, whether helping a patient put on contacts for the first time, selecting glasses that look good on each person’s face, or working with children to help them improve visual skills for reading. Our best compliment is when patients refer other patients for exams, eyewear, or specialty care. Call our office to make an appointment, or stop by to check out our great selection of eyewear for the whole family.
What have been some of your best marketing campaigns?
When we have a campaign, we want it to be memorable and have people see that we do more than what you might expect from an eye doctor. There are two campaigns that exemplify this: Intensity Academy Hotsauce Giveaway and the Coach Social Media Contest.
At Bright Eyes we love to give away stuff and we love to support local businesses. For the last year we have been giving out free bottles of Intensity Academy Hotsauce to patients who pose for a picture with their bottle. The picture is then posted on Facebook and Twitter. It is a win all the way around. The patients get awesome sauce, Intensity Academy gets exposure, and we get noteworthy content to post online.
Bright Eyes also tries to encourage creativity whenever possible. Recently when we were giving away three pairs of Coach glasses/sunglasses, we encouraged people to tweet, blog, or text interesting things. The results were awesome! Patients were writing haiku about sunglasses, blogs about the contest, and song lyrics about Bright Eyes. It was awesome to receive the support of the community and to see how much fun people had!
What is the longest you’ve gone without checking Facebook?
Probably about a week. Although I am a big social media fan, I didn’t appreciate Facebook until much more recently. For a long time I put my time and energy into networks like Twitter, foursquare, Yelp, and eyecare specific networks. I would use Facebook for big campaigns but would routinely forget to update it a lot. This may have something to do with the fact that I didn’t have a reliable Facebook app for my Blackberry.
I am now discovering how useful Facebook can be. I am trying new things to promote Bright Eyes, like the recent sunglass picture-tagging contest. I am using Facebook to help organize a group to teach others in my profession the benefits of social media. And, yes, I am using Facebook to reconnect with highschool friends.
What is the most rewarding part of having your own business?
I think this is a funny question because I had never even considered owning my own business until Optometry school. It seemed like a lot of work and responsibility. Then I realized that if I wanted to pursue the specialty that I was most interested in (children’s vision), I had to own my own business because only then would I be able to provide that type of care in the way I thought was best.
Now that I have owned Bright Eyes for four years I have learned this: it is a lot of work and is an enormous responsibility. But it is worth it because not only do I have the flexibility to take time off to be with my kids, I can also make decisions quickly, without having to ask anyone. When I found out that my YMCA spin class was holding a “Spin-a-thon” Fundraiser, I asked the staff if they were interested and we did it. It turned out to be a lot of fun and we helped raise $7,000 for the Building Strong Kids program. It is wonderful knowing that Bright Eyes is a strong part of the local community.
What are some of your favorite businesses (other than your own)?
There are so many great businesses in the Tampa Bay area that it is hard to narrow it down! But here are just a few of the businesses I love:
Intensity Academy Hot sauce
Because their sauce rocks and they are super great people. They are on fire, growing their business by word of mouth.
I love this place. The pizza is great and it is run by a close-knit Italian family.
Flying Pig Communications
This is Laura Petrolino’s company and she is a powerhouse. She helped in the early stages of the development of Foursquare Day. She is a multi-talented triathlete with tons of experience.
I have had the pleasure of being photographed several times by Melanie and it is always fun. She has been to my office to take pictures of myself and the staff. I am so pleased with her work that I have used three of her pictures for profile pictures, as well as have them featured on our Facebook page, website, blogs and magazines.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Good-luck with the contest!
I am so grateful for the supportive businesses and friends we have her in Tampa Bay. I think back to the time I went to dinner with a group of Tweeps that had never met in “real life”….I sat next to Dr. Nate & we hit it off that night talking about how Social Media can impact our companies. To look back now is amazing…how far we've all come & the friendships made. Pretty great.