Last year I was fortunate enough to be filmed by Philips as part of their #ShineOn campaign, which celebrates the work of hygienists and therapists and shares our stories.
I'm often asked lots of questions about my brand, such as how and why I created it, what challenges I've faced, and what my advice is to other hygienists and therapists. Well, as part of #ShineOn, I want to share my story with the hopes of answering all your questions.
Here is my story:
Finding my feet after I qualified in 2015 was tricky. I did a fair bit of practice-hopping and struggled to settle in to just one clinic. I became tired and unhappy very quickly – to the point where I almost decided to throw in the towel.
After I left university, I started calling myself ‘London Hygienist’ for fun, but never thought it would amount to anything, especially not a brand.
But now there's a wave of young people thinking outside of the box and striving to create their own paths, especially when it comes to business. The thought of being the boss and only employee sounded amazing to me, and being self-employed has always forced me to keep motivated and stay focused. It's almost like when you're forced to make a living out of survival, you always seem to surprise yourself with how much potential you have.
One day I just had an epiphany to turn my work into a brand and a business. I feel as though most people in the dental world have always just traded under their own name, but I wanted to do something new. I saw a fantastic opportunity and a window in the market, especially with direct access to grow a dental hygiene business, with the scope to grow even bigger.
While I don’t have my own practice yet, the clinics I work in are happy for me to drive traffic to those places. Both practices I work in think what I am doing is amazing and patients find it fascinating. They can see how much I love my work and that I take pride in what I'm doing. I can direct patients to my site to read my blogs or they can interact with me on social media at any time. The practices directly benefit too because if my patients need any further treatment or a dentist, then there is a whole team there ready to look after them.
My biggest learning points have been to ask a million questions, read, research, try, fail, and try again. I am still learning every day. I often ask for advice from my peers, mentors and even people who don't work in the industry. Everyone has something to contribute one way or another.
My advice to anyone looking to start their own brand or business is find your own style and be unique. Decide how you want to engage with your audience, And most importantly, don't be afraid. Be confident and just do it!
The scariest thing I did was put myself out there. We all fear failure and criticism, but it's been so nice to have my peers - other hygienists, business owners and my patients - come to me with positive feedback. It reminds me not to give up even on tough days.
If you're not sure what you want to do yet, don't worry. Trying to work our what I wanted to achieve and the direction of the company have been constant challenges for me. But having my own brand is what motivates me to get out of bed every day - the dental world is fun and exciting.
I believe in my brand and I'm confident in my work and the delivery of my services. If you can radiate this, others will see it and feel it too.