Podcast: Andrew Olsen: How video can help dentists grow their practice

Hello and welcome to Ascent Dental Radio. A program dedicated to the balance between the clinical aspect of health care and the business of health care. And now here is your host, Dr. Kevin Coughlin.

Kevin: Welcome to Ascent Dental Solution Radio. This is Dr. Kevin Coughlin, owner of Ascent Dental Solutions. I want to give a thank you to Stand Out and Be Heard, Mr. Doug Foresta, who has produced this podcast for me for the last year or so. Without his expertise, this couldn’t be done.

Today, I’m fortunate enough to have owner and CEO Andrew Olsen, who owns and operates Loft Light Media. I’m extremely pleased to have Andy here as our guest.

Although most of our listeners are dentists and physicians, I know we have all kinds of different business owners listening to Ascent Dental Radio. In this particular case, in full disclosure, I do have a working relationship with Loft Light Media. I contacted several different venues to improve my mobile device and the message that that mobile device provides along with my website.

And over and over again, I came up with the same name and that was contact Andy Olsen of Loft Light Media. Basically, Andy, I can’t tell you, thank you so much for taking time to be on this podcast. Give us a little history about your business and how it came about.

Andy: Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, Dr. Coughlin. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to doing with you. We started our business not necessarily planning to specialize in dental businesses, but that’s sort of how it worked out. I put together a video for an oral surgeon in southern New Hampshire and then kind of through him meeting some companies that were working on developing new smart phone apps. They sort of saw that video and asked if I wanted to do more like that. So actually at this point, about 90 percent of videos we produce are in the dental field, which we love. We’ve really had a good time learning about that and finding out how we can best help people who are in that particular field.

Kevin: Andy, how long has Loft Light Media been in business?

Andy: About four years now.

Kevin: And you’re primarily located in the New Hampshire area, but I believe you’re available to travel pretty much wherever is needed, is that correct?

Andy: Yeah, that’s right. We’re based in southern New Hampshire, but a majority of our clients range from New York, New Jersey, we have one we’re doing in Florida next week. So yeah, we travel depending on what the need is.

Kevin: I don’t know if our audience is aware, but Google has almost 13 billion searches every month and the vast majority, almost 80 percent of these searches today are done on mobile devices. And what Andy and his company, Loft Light Media, educated and showed me is how more and more people use their mobile device to do a search. And when you do a search, perhaps the best thing is to try to connect with our audience or patients in our case and the best way to connect is through a story. Andy, can you tell us how these videos help accomplish that goal?

Andy: Yeah, absolutely. That is exactly the main point of them, is most of your clients at this point, I would say, and every year the number grows, but I think last year to this year it’s about five times as many people are search on their smart phone or their mobile device. And as everyone who’s tried to do this can say from experience, when you have the patient zoom in on text, that’s a tedious process and most of your customers or your patients just won’t do that. They’ll just move on and they’ll skip back and miss a lot of the message that you really want to get across to them.

The advantage is they not only solve that problem instantly, that they can click a video and it’s interactive, it’s engaging, it’s beautiful. What we do are stories. Within 60 seconds we sort of give them a glimpse into who you are, what it is that drives your practice. You get to not only just tell them about it, but you get to show them as well. There’s a lot of power in that.

Kevin: It almost reminds me years ago when MTV came on to the scene and we were watching these videos and the entire world was taken by this. When I’ve seen the mobile devices in websites with videography in music, it’s quite moving. I can tell you it grabs my attention and it takes a lot to grab my attention. Do you have an artistic background, your education? How did you learn this? Where did this knowledge come from?

Andy: Absolutely. I appreciate that jumps out to you. When we put together a video, we really don’t have a cookie-cutter formula, we really try to customize it, not only the message, but the personality of each of our clients that we’re working for. I am a musician. I grew up very interested in music. Almost decided to go that direction professionally instead of video.

But I think video really, I’m love with the art of helping to communicate a story in a short amount of time that really leaves a lasting impact on somebody. And I think that a lot of businesses have a great story to tell, they just haven’t found a partner yet who can help them tell that. We love to do that for people.

Because I do have a background in music, we’re very picky with our music. We try not to use anything that sounds like it’s canned or just to be mass distributed, but we try to really actually license music by real artists and that makes a big difference. It really communicates the emotion, the feel of your practice, which, I think people can notice that difference.

Kevin: If you’re comfortable, Andy, let’s get into some of nitty-gritty. When you do a typical 30-second, 60-second or 2-minute videography, about how long do you need to film to get that story so that you’re comfortable and your clients are comfortable?

Andy: There’s a few variables. Sometimes the doctor could choose to actually speak in their video. So we’ll conduct a short interview with the doctor, try to get some candid responses about what it is they love about their work, what’s their philosophy of treating their patients, maybe what technology that they’re excited about and how that’s solving problems for their patients.

So we’ll have discussions like that and then we’ll intermix that with a professional voice actor that will then translate the rest of the message, kind of fill in the gaps, maybe where they’re located and a call to action or something. All of that put together really only ends up being 60 to 90 seconds, but when we’re there filming, the process takes about I would say safely four hours.

During that time, like I said, we customize it to each client, but I would say the majority of the time they’re actually treating real patients. So it’s a normal day, the front desk is running, the hygienists are treating patients, the doctors are treating patients. You get that real interaction. The doctors don’t have to worry about trying to be professional actors, too. They actually just go through their day. And I use a very small camera that’s not intrusive and I just capture things as they happen and we put it together later and edit it to be a video that really tells their story.

Kevin: And the great thing for health care professionals is the patients are still being serviced, the business is still up and operational. As small business owners, to take a half a day or a day off for filming can be quite expensive and disruptive to the normal flow. So the fact that you can do this while the doctors are still performing their day to day duties is, to me, just a huge, huge plus.

Another technical question; in your experience, these videographies, should they be updated semi-annually, quarterly, yearly? What’s your recommendation and suggestion for our listeners?

Andy: Normally, what we do is we begin with the story of the practice. That’s normally a 60 to 90 second video telling about who you are. That video, I would say usually has a lifetime of at least a couple of years. Within that time, maybe you’ve made some updates to your office, maybe you’ve added things, maybe personnel have changed. Usually, those are the reasons why we go back and say let’s update it, let’s add some new material and just make small revisions to what you had before.

But often, what will happen is we’ll actually add new material. So we’ll add patients’ testimonials. We’ll actually get some of the patients that have had an incredible experience at your office to come in and take 20 minutes of their time to tell their story. I’ll sit with them and we’ll have a conversation and we’ll edit that together.

And that becomes sort of like a living review for you that’s constantly promoting your practice. And that really gives what’s called social proof. So it’s not you talking about you, but it’s someone that the public can relate to just telling the truth about their experience. And that’s a really powerful addition.

So we do things like that and then we add other components. We sometimes highlight certain clinical procedures or for an orthodontic office, sometimes we do just fun things. We did like a mannequin challenge where they were able to put that on their social media and it just generated some fun or interactions with their patients.

Kevin: For our listeners who have different areas of expertise and knowledge in this particular area, the video that you film, can you use it both on the mobile device and on the website or is there something that you’d recommend different, one specific type of video for a mobile device and something specific for the website?

Andy: That’s a great question. I think there’s no difference at all. You can use the same video content on your mobile device as you would on a computer. The beauty is, you’ll own the video. We create a video, we turn it over to you and we actually recommend put it on your social media. Load it onto YouTube because that helps people find you.

The more video links you have tracing back to your practice’s website or your practice’s social media, that helps you rank higher in what’s called SEO, which is just what happens when someone Google searches a dentist or a specialist in your area.

Kevin: So no matter how great the content is, if they’re not searching and finding you, it could be less beneficial and those assets may not be used as well as possible, correct?

Andy: Absolutely. I do recommend, depending on who you’re working with to do your marketing, some practices do that in-house and some will bring in professional help to do that, but you do want to consider how are you going to release your video.

Because you can have a great video, but you don’t want it to just be silently released. You want to very strategically link it back in the right ways to give you the best response. And we certainly have partners that we highly recommend in that regard. But as long it’s done professionally, then you’ll get the best result possible.

Kevin: Andy, this next question I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I know I find it awkward sometimes people always saying how much does this cost, how much does that cost, how long does this take. And there are so many variables, but ultimately if you could give our listeners, what can they expect as an investment to get what you would consider an acceptable story, an education about the practice that people watching will start to be engaged and understand that this is the type of practice I want to go to? This message, on average, what would you think it would cost the health care provider to have your expertise to create this story and this image?

Andy: As you mentioned, sometimes there are variables, but we have developed packages that we feel like have served clients pretty well and those include different levels of content. So to just create a basic video that is telling the story of your company, that first building block that we recommend, usually that starts at about $2,500 plus travel. We try to keep it in this mid range.

We’re certainly not a college graduate running it out of their basement, but we’re coming in well below what most ad agencies will start at. And we do that because we know what it’s like to be a small business and we want to empower them to get their story out there.

So we start there and then we have packages ranging from there to about $9,000. But that package will include several videos. You’ll be doing testimonials, you’ll be on an office tour, you’ll be doing all these components that it helps serve your patients well, even post operative instructions.

Basically, it can convert your whole website into a video hub. But there’s all tiers in between so that people can start at a place where they’re comfortable.

Kevin: Let me tell you, I have been practicing dentistry for almost 35 years and the one thing that I learned is always surround yourself with people who have excellent talent, excellent integrity and deliver on their promises. I’m flattered that you took the time today to talk to us, but I’m more impressed with the fact that you can educate, not just the dental community, not just the physician community and health care in general, but any business that’s interested in really connecting.

And as you have mentioned so clearly, basically, people don’t always remember the nuts and bolts. They remember the story, the connection, the emotion that was created. And viewing your work, I can tell you that every one that I personally viewed, I felt a compelling connection.

If the listeners out here want to contact you, if they want to get in touch with you, they want your expertise and service, what’s the best way for them to reach out to Loft Light Media?

Andy: They can reach me through www.loftlightmedia.com. There’s a contact page on there and that goes directly to my personal email. You can also send me an email which is andy@loftlightmedia.com. I list my personal cell phone on all my emails and right there on the website which is 603-305-8133. I love what I do and I love helping practices connect with their clients in a more meaningful way. And I’m honored to be a part of this. Thanks so much, Dr. Coughlin.

Kevin: For those listening to my podcast now for the last year, I only have people on what I call BLT: I believe them, I like them and I trust them and you and your company certainly fall into that category. Andy, I can’t thank you enough and I hope the individuals listening today have enjoyed today’s podcast.

You’re listening to Ascent Radio. My name is Dr. Kevin Coughlin and again, special thanks to Stand Out and Be Heard, Mr. Doug Foresta, who has produced well over 40 of these podcasts for me over the last year and without his expertise, none of this would be possible.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to talking to you next week. My name is Dr. Kevin Coughlin and again, you’ve been listening to Ascent Dental Radio and our special guest today is owner and CEO of Loft Light Media, Mr. Andy Olsen. Thank you all very much and have a great evening.