Dec 12, 2019
🎉We're celebrating 25 episodes of The 4 am Report this week with our guest Dr. Monisha Ravishankar.
In this episode with talk about the art and science of building an online brand in 2020.
(We also can’t get enough of the many sides of Monisha - you need to listen to fully get why we are so fascinated with this guest and the many hats she’s worn over her career. To say multi-talented is an understatement).
⭐This episode is for you if you’re trying to bring together many different interests.
⭐Or if you’re trying to find that hook to set yourself apart from the the ‘lifestyle entrepreneurs’ out there.
⭐Or if you wonder about social sharing lines when it comes to your professional account.
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
Monisha: Okay. I am a light sleeper, so I have to mention that there are very many things that keep me up at night. But in terms of the marketing aspect of late, I have had this particular topic that has been keeping me up at night, which is what exactly is my presence? Who am I on social media?
I've always been a part of social media. I have an account on most of the platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, et cetera. And I've always had one side to me. But of late, I've been thinking hard about, okay, I've always been a multifaceted person, so why not be able to show the world who I really am, share my lifestyle, and it could probably help someone out there, or someone could have a positive day just learning something new about me. But it also kind of gives me the question where should I be sharing all aspects of my life with the world?
There was a time when I was quite active with my creative side with media, and of course my life was out there in the public. But this has almost been a decade, and then I moved from India to Canada and been working on my life as a dentist. And the last few years has been all about working full time as a dentist. I'm also a mom. I have a four-year-old girl, so it's been home, work, and somewhere in between, you could say at 4 AM, I woke up feeling, "This has just gotten so monotonous. How do we break this monotony?"
And that's when I realized I'm not doing what I actually love doing, which is being a multifaceted person, which is actually being in touch with all aspects of things that I love to do. So what is stopping me? Is it because I'm a mom? Is it because I work full time as a dentist? Is it because being a professional, I'm worried about not being taken too seriously if I get back into media or any aspect of the creative side, even being a dancer or a theater actor.
So I want to be able to break that monotony and show people out there that you can actually do different things. The question is how you manage, how you balance your lifestyle, and how you make the time for it, make peace with yourself and be confident about how you're taking that step forward.
Will: Right, right. And you know what? First of all, I do want to say I would definitely follow a social media account of a dentist/actor/ballet dancer/TV personality/news anchor. So right there already, I'm intrigued. I'm very intrigued. You said you've been basically using social media for your dentistry right now. Is the ultimate goal here to actually use your social media as a platform to gain employment in the other fields as well? Or is it more to entertain friends and family and yourself? Just looking at the goal of what you're wanting to do right now?
Monisha: Almost 10 years ago, probably 8 to 10 years ago, when I was very active with media, social media wasn't as active. The world of influencing and stuff like that didn't exist back then. Even if it did, it was in a very small scale. So I got on social media back then mainly to keep in touch with friends, with family, anyone I've lost touch with across the world, and it's been that way all these years. And like I said, I've been busy with being a full-time dentist and a mom and yada yada. So I haven't really gotten into serious aspect of handling my social media account just to take care of putting out my personality out there like I explained previously.
The dentist profile that I was talking to both of you about has been something that I've done recently, just the last year. The original handle that I've always had is more a personal account, but the dentist handle is something that I started a year ago when I actually started thinking about, "Okay, why not put my life out there?"
Now, I don't want it to be a boring account just showing dentistry. I'm pretty sure not many people out there love going to the dentist and it's not like they're going to be very interested just looking at dental work on social media. Of course, I would love to share my work out there. Who doesn't love having a smile makeover? Who doesn't love knowing stuff like how you can do small changes that could impact your oral health without actually having to visit a dentist? You know what I mean? We know how expensive dentistry can be and so if I could give people tips that they could just listen to and that makes a change, well then, I'm happy.
So it started out like that where I wanted to share lifestyle tips, dental tips, but not just concentrate on the dental aspect, to also be able to put my personality out there, my flair for life, and just share the positive side of my mind, you could say.
Susan: I think you're making a lot of really great points in terms of content marketing. One of the things that motivates it best is putting information out there, learning out there, tips and usable material out there for the sole purpose of letting someone have that information. Once they do get that, they get to know who you are. And I think tone and voice has a lot to do with it and we'll touch on that in a minute. But once you've got people reading and using your content, when time comes to make decisions about something that they could potentially purchase or that influence aspect, you get that much more organically and naturally. So that's already great.
The second point is the fact that you have this hook. We talked about it briefly about our podcast and how you were saying that we've done well and, honestly, if we had to take it down to one thing, it's the fact that we had a good story, a good hook, and we were sort of committed in doing it, right?
So yours is similar. You've cut the clutter already. I believe one of the things that your Instagram handle says is “The Real Tooth Fairy”, which I think is super cool. You're already indicating the left and right brain side of yourself and who, like Will said, doesn't want to talk to the dentist who's also the cool TV personality and theater actor, right?
And as well, the very good point that you make about dental isn't covered for most people and it is a genuine expense, and for those that do have it, they don't fully understand how great it is to have it, but so many people don't. And why not, like you said, go to that proactive preventative? It's in the wellness realm, right? Wellness has acquired a bad rap over the years because so many people have abused it, but basically you could totally stay in that space of lifestyle and wellness, except you're not just who's making up this advice, you are someone who is an actual doctor of the profession. So I think there's a lot of story in there in terms of how you can do it.
Will: Yeah, and Susan was mentioning tone and voice, and I think if you are going to make this kind of an elevated social media account, you'd want to do some thinking about that. You want to still be giving professional dental advice, as we were speaking earlier. I know you have an interest in fashion, you have an interest in overall wellness, things like this, which I think could easily be worked into this account in a fun, entertaining way. So it's kind of like your goal is to entertain and inform, a twofold kind of account.
Susan: Yeah, I think basically that's what it is. You want to bring that entertainment to the forefront, and by entertainment, I don't think it needs to be like straight up "haha" funny, unless that's the personality that someone wants to convey. But it's just a little break. We call it the decluttering of your day. You've got a feed full of people either selling you something or giving you bland motivational statements on whatever. When someone puts in something which cuts the... Oh, what do they call it? The “stop the scroll,” right? Why not aim to get that sort of tone and voice?
And as far as the actual operations of it is concerned, Monisha, I know that we talked about how you've had this advice from a couple of other friends in the space as well, it's suddenly what's streamlining and focusing your efforts to one or two places. Potentially for you, that means bringing your Instagram accounts together into one account, however you choose to spin that. You can build out the story around that a little bit.
But that brings the question where is the line, right? Often people are like, "I really would like to share a personal detail about what I wore for Christmas, but does that belong on the page?" Then you're going to have to figure-
Monisha: Absolutely. Absolutely, Susan. Thanks for bringing that up because that is probably one of the main things that keeps me up at night. A friend pointed out to me, kind of opened my eyes, I can say, as to why are you running two social media handles? It's like running two parallel lives. Why would you want to do that? I do understand that you kind of have a few aspects of your private life that you might not want to share with the world, but it doesn't really make sense in terms of time, effort, energy, running two parallel lives.
And that got me thinking. Yeah, what am I really hiding from the world? Is there a need to have two different personalities? Why not just be myself and market myself for the person I am? I'm old enough. I have evolved as a person over the years with experiences and with the people I've met, associated with. So why not just take it all into one account? And that's what I'm working on right now. But like you said, where do you draw that line?
Susan: There's a couple of practical suggestions you can employ in terms of the line, right? I understand the effort that goes into two. So if you assume you'd streamline them into one and kept your main feed in line with whatever it is that the content that you want to put out there, whether you want to represent a few specific aspects, you want art, you want music, you want dentistry, for example. I'm just making this up. And then within your feed you stay with those. You have certain times that you will punch it up with some personal details, but those will be controlled personal details. I might get a lot of flak for saying this, but I think it's important to control your feed.
Where you do have the opportunity to put out some of the personal stuff is on the stories, right? Like Snapchat, the disappearing factor allows a little bit more safety in one sense. And the other thing to think about is to limit. So when you put in stories you can limit some things to close friends. It takes a little while to set up those things, but it certainly takes a lot less time than trying to manage two accounts and trying to-
Monisha: Absolutely. Yeah, it's possible. I've just realized that it is possible, and it doesn't really make sense to be handling two separate accounts just to put my life out there.
Will: Yeah, and a way to start off this, too, is actually almost scheduling a little bit. So say, if you still want to lead with dentistry, let's just say, but you also want to be bringing in the other aspects of your life. So you're going to be the dentist who also is X, Y, and Z, as opposed to the X, Y, and Z who happens to also be a dentist. So, depending on how you want to lead, you could say, "Each week I'm going to be doing two original posts: on tips for white teeth, one in-the-office post." You could actually start by doing that and then it'll get a little more natural and you can kind of let it flow. But it might be easy to start off because you seem like someone who would stick to a schedule. I don't know you very well, Monisha, but I think if you scheduled something, you would do it.
So I think if you sketched out how a week of posts would look. And actually, we have a calendar called The Unplug and Play, and you can print it off. There's already some icons and a legend there. So we can give you a guide on how you can schedule it or you can just go and do your own thing. But it's a neat way to make sure that you're using different formats on different social media. You can get that on our website and download it for free.
Monisha Ravishankar - “The REAL tooth fairy” .. Dentist by profession, Artist by passion. A perfectionist who believes in second chances but not for the same mistake. A true blue lifestyle and wellness enthusiast, a bit of a sugar-coated idealist who believes that she can change the world one smile at a time! :)
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