What is the purpose of this veterinary blog? Who are my readers? If a potential client reads this, will that make them more, or less likely to visit my clinic?
A respected colleague contacted me today:
A very valid point, and I agonize about that exact question daily. So let’s discuss, shall we?
The purpose of opening a new veterinary clinic in Indianapolis when many, many were already available, is two fold. Obviously, I intend for this practice to be run as a business, at least “successful” enough to keep its own doors open and put food on my family’s table. We’re clearly not trying to be millionaires here, in our 1200 square feet. Still, each of my staff enjoys waking up in the morning knowing we all have our very own little corner of the world where we can treat pets and pet owners the way we think they should be treated, by our own personal standards. To work at Leo’s Pet Care, you have to be a pretty special pet lover. That’s pretty much why every vet opens a practice, because each of us thinks we have something special and valuable to offer the community.
But Leo’s Pet Care is more than just another veterinary clinic, and we’re more than just a special group of pet lovers. I discussed in one of my first blog posts ever, Leo’s Pet Care represents an entirely new direction for the Magnusson family tree, which has traditionally been involved in defending employee rights, and educating young people. My father spent most of his career negotiating on behalf of government employees across the table from large, powerful employers. My mother spent hers assisting in a special needs classroom.
In contrast, I’ve spent most of my career fighting for the fair and kind treatment of animals, improving the public’s perception of veterinarians, and educating clients how to take great care of their own pets.
Huh… Fighting for others, and educating… maybe my parents had more impact on my career than I thought…
Regardless, my father taught me to fight for what I believe in. Changing the status quo requires someone willing to change. Fighting for the rights of anyone, be they one employee in thousands, or one dog in the shelter, takes guts and determination. In an ideal world, it also takes a community of like-minded fighters. So sometimes, I post here to rally the troops.
Do I post veterinary industry blogs whining about how hard my life is? Do I complain that my bills are high and my income is low, boo hoo and woe is me? No, I sure don’t. There are other blogs for that.
I post veterinary blogs discussing injustice in the veterinary community when I feel someone (be they client or colleague) is being treated unfairly and needs support. My latest post about Why I Fired Demandforce Veterinary describes how a $425 million company deals with dumb veterinarians like me. It’s a big deal when I waste money, because the only way I can pay a company for a product I’m not using, is to charge my clients more money to pay those bills. My clients should be very grumpy about paying for something six months after my contract has been cancelled. They have a right to know.
This is a good point. If the goal of my blog is to persuade clients to choose my business over those of my colleagues down the road, it’s important you understand what’s in my heart.
A client once told me: “I just want to make an observation, from a client’s perspective. I don’t mind seeing the personal blog posts, because it reminds me that my vet is HUMAN. I am sure other clients feel the same way?”
I’m a human who fights shoulder to shoulder with my clients, for the health of the animals we love. That’s my job. Sometimes that means fighting for pets, sometimes it means fighting for those humans who help the pets, including veterinarians.
Realize, that I’m a pretty darn tiny fish. Some big company with a small team of lawyers could shut me down and ruin my family pretty quickly. It’s not easy to blog about my beloved veterinary industry, and there may come a day soon when I will regret every word I’ve ever written here. There are some who think I should keep my head down, my mouth shut, and just run my practice.
I’m also a vet that wants to help my clients become the best educated pet parents they can possibly be. Part of that includes an understanding of why veterinary clinics run the way we do, and to solicit input from those we serve, about how we can serve you better. One of the glorious things about the Leo’s Pet Care experiment is that we have met a TON of like-minded people, who love pets and believe in quality pet care, and are willing to put their money where their mouth is. We appreciate your support!
Happy veterinarians = happy clients = happy pets. We’re all on the same team here, we all want the best for our families, furry and otherwise.
Maybe if more veterinarians blogged about the industry we all love and support, on our own clinic websites, involving our precious clients in the discussion, we could all affect more positive change.
I’m not just here to run yet another ho hum veterinary clinic. I’m here to help change the world for the better, one client, and one blog rant at a time. Yes of course, I hope this blog helps recruit new clients who believe strongly in pet health, to Team Leo’s.
So what about you? Yes, you. Do you think I should keep posts about the veterinary industry off my clinic blog? As a client, are you more or less likely to visit my business, or refer your friends, because of what you just read?