Authentic content will do wonders for your pharmacy marketing—guest post by Heather Haro.
Content Content Content!
I recently attempted to complete the 75 Hard program. If you are unfamiliar with this program, it is a mental toughness program designed by entrepreneur and best-selling author Andy Frisella.
The challenge is 75 consecutive days of:
- 2 – 45 minute workouts, one must be outside
- Drink a gallon of water
- Follow any diet
- Read ten pages of non-fiction
- Take a progress photo
At the same time, I started a copywriting class, a really fancy copywriting class. Let me share what happened at the intersection of a hard as heck challenge and learning super cool copywriting skills. Spoiler alert… it was a lot of authentic social media content!
As social media has evolved, we have learned that authentic content reigns supreme. But… how in the world do you pull back the curtain without the cringy overshare, dreaded troll population, or, my personal favorite, raging imposter syndrome.
Change Your Mindset
I know every blog, motivational speaker, and business coach tells us we have to change our mindset; well, it’s because we have to change our mindset. I became close-minded to this statement, too, you are not alone. The 75 Hard challenge is all about evolving your mind that you can do the impossible. When I began, the thought of drinking a whole gallon of water a day terrified me, I was confident that I would never finish, and the water requirement would be the case. Water was the least of my problems by day three, and my screaming legs confirmed this for me. I soon completely forgot that I was scared of the water.
The writing classes were tasking me with expanding my mindset in a totally different way; it was not about adding fearlessness to my mind; it was challenging me to have confidence that my knowledge and experiences were enough and to develop my mindset to pay attention to the everyday lessons that were there for the taking in connecting my world to my audience. I fought against the negative self-talk by keeping a list of ideas, experiences, lessons, and thoughts. Even if they were not complete thoughts or ideas, I would revisit them often until they made sense. I also found that walking helped my mind develop these ideas. The experts were right! Focusing on the positive and giving my brain the space to grow actually worked.
Starting is the hard part, and in the case of genuinely authentic social media content, it is scary too! Being vulnerable and honest on social media has become the 2022 version of fear of public speaking.
- What if they don’t like what I have to share?
- What if I make a mistake, offend, or lose customers?
I am not a strong writer. And describing myself as mentally and physically weak was a colossal understatement. I needed to find courage. When we are at this precipice of decision, our brains become very good at creating excuses. Yes, creating. Rarely are there genuine reasons not to move forward. You have to just decide like a kid on the side of the pool in summer. You have to choose with your brain first to take the leap, then your body will follow. In both cases, I decided I would just start. I would not have a big master plan; I just decided that I would do it!
To Share or Not to Share
The million-dollar question is what is ok to share and what is off limits!
I am naturally an over-sharer, and I have learned a few hard lessons about what should be shared and what should be a hard no!
My first rule is to ask myself – if I share this, will it do harm or share someone else’s story or hurt feelings? The point of this is pulling back the curtain of what makes you, your staff, or your phamracy tick. It is not to put others down or be negative. I do not post or write about it if I ever have to question it.
The second rule, mishaps or failures, is excellent content; if you can share the lesson or find humor in it, chances are, so can your audience. You might be fearful that if you share a misstep, it might diminish trust in you. Here are a few examples of using this failure psychology without this side effect (pun intended!).
- When you catch a mistake on a prescription, talk about it. Levaquin prescribed BID? Highlight it and what your pharmacy did (of course, no HIPAA).
- Here’s a good one from @beckyrx on TikTok. She misunderstood what her patient was asking for, resulting in some pharmacy humor.
The third rule is to keep it positive; even if the lesson or antidote starts as unfavorable, take a breather to find the lesson before posting. Ask yourself before each of your ‘out of comfort zone’ posts, does this further my brand or the mission of your pharmacy? Will this connect with the tired mom who has running-nosed kids and needs a better solution? Is this going to connect with the exhausted caregiver and look for ways to make their day easier? Think of this rule like the old saying, never go to bed angry. Well, now we are never going to post angry.
Unexpected Side Effects
While working on my challenges, I practiced vulnerability, keeping aware of instances, tricks, tips, or experiences that would be of value to my audience and the unexpected happened. I first put out into the world that I was starting 75 Hard, and a few folks noticed. Then I posted on day ten a progress photo, a photo of me in shorts and a sports bra. Talk about letting my imperfections out!
Through my journey, I shared my wins, hardships, downright failures, questions that I had, and of course, the funny moments too, and I was shocked at the response I received. I did not set out on this journey to grow my following or become the next health coach. My audience and engagement increased, and I started receiving messages that I was inspiring folks to begin their own health journey, some even 75 Hard! I was completely blown away that just turning up the vulnerability and finding the lessons in these situations would impact my sphere of influence.
The growth in my audience also left me feeling like a complete fraud.
Failing Out Loud
I was not an influencer, what if I failed? What if let people down? It was an intense fear until I did fail. On the 57th day of 75 Hard, I got a bad case of shingles and could not push through the pain and had to quit until the nerve pain went away. I was crushed, and not one person called me a liar, or a failure, not one single person! My audience was on this journey with me and has continued to support me! I am still receiving notes of inspiration and testimonials of how people are getting along on their journies.
I say all of this to say; that YOU have a lot to SHARE! So say it, let this be one more avenue for you and your pharmacy to work at the top of your license and use your platforms to solidify your place as the local expert. Want to start a diabetes program? Hop on a live and share it; post your goals and what patients would be perfect for this program. Post updates and wins from the program as a whole, your audience will reward you, and your pharmacy profit will reap the rewards.
Sharing Is Caring. It is not a saying just for toddlers!