Building a brand for your veterinary clinic or for yourself personally is a daunting task. And like today's guest mentions in the episode, you are building a brand whether you like it or not, so why not be in charge of how people see you? Danielle K. Lambert shares many more marketing gems in today's episode. She is the CEO and Founder of The Snout Group and The Snout School where she spends her time helping veterinarians' brands look pretty and guides them to communicate their authentic values to clients and colleagues.
If you're seeking a veterinary marketing and brand strategist that gets real results, look no further than The Snout Group's Danielle K. Lambert.
Her colorful background makes her uniquely prepared to help veterinary brands develop effective branding and marketing campaigns. And when it comes to social media, there's no one in #vetmed with the proven ability to repeatedly create viral posts that Danielle has!
Danielle utilizes her unique experience - including 5 years in practice management - to guide some of the biggest brands in veterinary medicine.
Past clients include powerful personal brands, like Dr. Crocker Pet Vet, The Derm Vet, and Dr. Andy Roark, plus innovative practices like Dr. Cody Creelman's Fen Vet.
Danielle is a passionate activist, using her social media following to discuss topics like living wages, anti-racism, and empowering female entrepreneurs.
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Hey there, it's Dr. Stacey Cordivano. As a veterinary professional, you can learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for the life that you've created. This podcast is here to help you find the resources to do just that. I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day lives. Together, we will create a community of veterinarians working towards positive change. Welcome to the whole veterinarian. My guest today is Danielle Lambert of the snout group. I'm excited to introduce you guys to her. I have known her for a couple of years now and worked with her and I'm always inspired by what she's doing. So let me tell you a little bit about her. If you're seeking a veterinary marketing and brand strategist that gets real results, you don't have to look any further. For colorful background makes her uniquely prepared to help veterinary brands develop effective branding and marketing campaigns. Danielle consults on topics ranging from hospital branding to finding your niche social media strategy, entrepreneurial mindset, and today's topic personal branding. Danielle is a passionate activist and uses her social media following to discuss topics like living wages, anti racism and empowering female entrepreneurs. You can see her full bio in the show notes as well as all of her links with ways to connect to her. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I had having it. And Danielle give some really actionable takeaways near the end. So check it out and let us know what you think. Hey, Danielle, how are you?Danielle Lambert:
Not too bad? Thank you so much for having me.Stacey Cordivano:
Thanks for being here. I'm glad to see your face again. It's been a littleDanielle Lambert:
I know, I feel like I've been kind of like holed up in my in my new house a little bit. Exactly. No, I kind of like to hide out a little bit. I'm a weird kind of extrovert like that.Stacey Cordivano:
Well, for the listeners that don't know you, can you give a little bit of a background about yourself and how you got to where you are today.Danielle Lambert:
Yeah, so my background is kind of a it's a interesting journey because I come from a family where my dad is a veterinarian, my brother's veterinarian, my other brothers about to get into he just got into veterinary school at Ross and he's going about very school. And so it is really, really prominent in my family to be involved in veterinary medicine. However, I hate gross stuff, and math and science. So I have a little bit of a different story where I grew up in my dad's practice, he owns a small two to three Doctor practice small animal GP in northeastern Connecticut. And I started there just like as a CSR, honestly, just nobody was hiring. This is like the opposite of now. But like nobody was hiring for entry level jobs when I was in high school. So my dad was like, Oh, you're working for me. So I just got signed up, like after school activity, but kind of really immediately fell in love with interacting with clients and giving them a great experience. Educating them client education was fun. And so yeah, kind of work there on and off through high school and college, went to college, thought I was going to go to law school, and then just kind of went a little rogue after that and didn't feel like the right fit. So I just ended up back working for my dad while I was figuring things out. And honestly, he was just at a point in in growing his practice that he clearly needed some level of management. So I was like, Can I take on this task? I'm kind of I'm curious. It seems interesting to me. I know most of the team like it, like I can be well received and come in and lead them. And so yeah, he gave me the opportunity to manage his practice. And I just went so full on into CEE and fell in love with so many aspects of practice management, but especially marketing. So that's kind of what led me into creating sound school because this was around 2013 or so I was just going into practice managers meetings all the time, like you do and I feel like I was I was like explaining so much marketing stuff to whoever was at my table. And I was like repeating myself over and over again. And I think it's that millennial like, work smarter, not harder. I was like, I should make a blog. Is that how it started? Yeah, literally, it was honestly so that I had a blog so that I could send a link to these other women that I was talking to at meetings so that I could just be like, here's a link instead of having to repeat myself and email 3000 times over. So yeah, that's really how it started was just talking about like what we were doing for marketing, what was working, you know, because at the time, that's Facebook, and you're just building a great community there, and getting a lot of buy in and like quadrupled our compliance on heartworm. So I was like, there's a lot of power here. So that's really like the first iteration of it, which I can unpack even more for you. But that's like the weird background of how snort school came to beStacey Cordivano:
awesome, awesome. Well, it certainly I know has grown. And you guys are doing a bunch of different things. Now. How do you describe snout school as it is today?Danielle Lambert:
Yeah, so what's kind of interesting today is we really have two different entities. So I have the snout group, which is my agency. And then I have snout School, which is the more DIY aspect of things. So really, where I see us now at snout school, is we're really passionate about teaching you how to build your own brand, whether it's for yourself as like a solo practitioner or relief veterinarian, what have you, or as a hospital. And we're really passionate about teaching you how to build something that's authentic, that really is going to deliver on the promises that you make, I always say like, I can't mark it like BS, like you have to come to me with something that is true. And so right now, a lot of that is around, you know, figuring out how to attract employees for examples. So that's where I become really passionate about, you know, talking about ensuring people have, you know, living wages, and good work life balance, and all that good stuff at their practice so that they have something that is inherently marketable. So that's really what snout school is about is about teaching you to craft something that's authentic and awesome, so that it can be marketed. And we have online courses and blogs, and all sorts of little support over there to help you do it yourself. And then over at the snap group, the agency side, that's where I really will dive in with especially like new build practices, it seems lately has been kind of my big area of focus, just kind of helping them with everything, you know, to make it all look pretty, I have an awesome designer, she works at Cosmopolitan magazine during the day and with me when she is not there. So it's just kind of a really cool opportunity to start to make these brands really cohesive. So that what you see online, matches what you've seen in real life, to help just ensure clients feel comfortable and trusting. It helps with expectations, if I see what's on Instagram, and I'm getting what I see when I walk into your practice, that's the kind of experience we're trying to help people deliver. So that's kind of what it's grown into today. Which is really exciting. Because like when I first started, I never I never even thought about like the personal brand side. And like the exciting options that are there for people. Yeah, that's so cool.Stacey Cordivano:
I feel like well, a that's such an awesome evolution. Congratulations. I know that's not an overnight thing. There's a lot of work behind this. I also know that you've definitely talked like practice marketing on other podcasts. So I do think that it would be super cool to focus on the personal branding side of things. I think I know a little bit enough about your story that it almost seems like your personal brand has really helped kind of mold what you're doing now. So I'd love to hear about that. And then a little bit let's kind of dig into what a personal brand actually is.Danielle Lambert:
Sure. It's such an interesting thing, because like, I didn't ever really think about the fact that I was building a personal brand along the way, right? Like I just knew I was really unhappy working in a practice for you know, 50 Almost 60 hours a week sometimes it just wasn't for me, wasn't lighting, I feel like I had migraines all the time. Like it just was just not I don't know just the environment literally like a being like boxed in cancer, you know, I was like I can't do this. And it just was and just the pain to frankly it was just like not where I wanted to be in life. I was like I could do a lot more than this. So I was I was unhappy and like that really is where I built snelled school not Only out of that necessity of just like, Okay, I'm having all these conversations with these people, and I need a resource for them, but also the necessity to grow myself and I saw this opportunity. And I was like, Okay, this is going to be something that I can somehow figure out. And, you know, like, I, I kind of was like, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I'm good at this. And so that's really, you know, through buildings. Now at school, I at the same time was always just such a little networker making friends with anybody that would talk to me in veterinary medicine over on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Now Instagram, like along the way, I've just network network network and made friends. And I also throughout the process have become so much more comfortable in myself, and what I value and what is important to me. And that's how I've become just more outspoken. It's why I'll say exactly what I think about any topic. Because I've just built this network and community around me that they know me, they support me, so I'm not for everybody by any means. But the people that you know, my message resonates with when I talk about things like hey, you know, everybody in that bed deserves a living wage. And you wouldn't think, oh, it'd be a controversial awful thing to say, but it can be i alienate some people with that, but I moreso attract more people, to me that are awesome. And it builds, you know, this community. And it really builds your worth, when you see the effect that you can have on other people by using your voice and empowers them to then use their voice. So I think that's really, it. It was like an accident. Like it was like a happy accident. Like it's just kind of like what naturally was happening. And and what how I naturally kind of progressed. And then, you know, once I went through that process, and in the end, I'm left with this great network, this great asset of like a big email list or, you know, a big Facebook group or a big Instagram following, right. I now know that no matter what happens to me, I have that to fall back on. I mean, obviously, you're a doctor, you went and got a degree, you have that to fall back on, right? Like, that's always that piece of paper, it was always there, and it has value. I think that's really what I learned throughout the process was like, I can be myself, I can attract people to me. And once I build that network that following and have that as an asset under my control, I don't need anybody else. Because I can have this platform where I reach out to other people. And they you know, if I'm offering something they want, they come to me and they buy it from me. And I think that that is like, where I have this like light bulb of like, I need to pass this on to other people. If that makes sense. I was like other people need this.Stacey Cordivano:
Did you do a lot of value like so rewind, I think values work is so important. Like just as a human being, but also for us in our jobs, right? Like, if you align your values with the right clinic, you're gonna be happier. If you align your values with the right partner in life, you're gonna be out here. So did you do a lot of values work? Or do you just think you were pretty confident in values you had growing up? Or however that may go? I think a little bitDanielle Lambert:
of both, right? So like, again, some of this stuff, it's like happy accident, and then you look back on it, and you're like, oh, I can see where I can systematize this and pass it on to other people. And so for me, I really since day one in life, like I really am passionate about social justice issues. And like I want, you know, like I just, I'm passionate about advocating for other people. It's just something innateStacey Cordivano:
in me. Do you know your Enneagram number?Danielle Lambert:
I think I'm a seven. Okay, I want to say seven or eight. I forget seven or eight.Stacey Cordivano:
I'm an eight. And yeah, a part of fighting for inequality and like larger things is part of being an eight. So I might want an eight. Yeah, IDanielle Lambert:
think it might be eight. I'm just thinking seven because seven is my favorite number. Anyway. Oh, no, I love that stuff. I was like, well, actually, I have a Libra moon and justice. Like, that's comforting. Yeah. Oh my gosh, totally. Like I could fall down any rabbit hole. Trust me, I love anything that like gets into knowing your personality. Because I think as a personal brand, right, like you really love knowing your personality. And I've come to love knowing other people's personalities. So as far as like core values, there's a couple of those things that are just kind of innate to me. And then over time, I think like the authenticity piece of it was something that came in a little bit later because when I was like a little baby brand, and I was just starting out, I can kinda didn't want to show all aspects of myself, because I was just trying to sell courses about using like Facebook for your veterinary clinic. So I just wanted to help people make sure that, you know, they were feeling like they could be empowered to do this themselves. And it was kind of just that simple, because I didn't want to, like rock the boat too much, because it's like, okay, you know, I've got a couple 100 people in a Facebook group, okay, I'm making, I'm making money, I'm making more money than I was getting paid, you know, working at a vet clinic making 17 $18 an hour. So like, I'm making more money. There's a little bit of caution earlier in your career. And then once you build your audience, and you get a little bit more financial security, there's a lot of privilege that comes with that, in my opinion. And that's where I was like, Okay, now it's important to me that I need to step outside of this box, I need to say more, I need to be myself. Because it also can be a little draining to have to be like, on all the time or like playing some character. And I just, I don't know, I think I hit my like late 20s. And I was like, I can't do it anymore.Stacey Cordivano:
Yeah, no, that's relatable like starting a clinic from the ground up, or like a mobile practice from the ground up. You say yes to anything, Joe Schmo down the street, but now it's like, oh, no, that's not gonna fit in alignment with how we run this practice. Exactly.Danielle Lambert:
Exactly. And so that's the thing is now I like to really, I primarily work with women, I think that it is so important for everybody, but women, especially to really advocate for their needs, and what is important to them. And so having gone through that process, and in the end seeing, hey, you know what, when I talk about the stuff that matters to me, yes, I absolutely have priciple. But you know what? Now I like my clients, so much more everybody I interact with, I can just be myself, you know, you are one of my clients, I can show up on your podcast. And I can have, you know, my rosacea out and my hair and a pineapple. And I'm like, Hey, what's up, I don't feel like I have to be like, perfectly polished around you. And that's such a nicer way to live. Like, it's so that's that, to me is like, yes, I've done a lot of values work, but it was kind of more so coming into my own than being like, Ooh, well, how do I translate this into values, because that's how then I'm going to communicate to other people to then attract them. To me, that's like, number one thing I tell people as far as like building a brand, whether it is for themselves or a hospital, once you have those values, then you know how to communicate them. That's how you start, like building that network and building that, you know, community attracting those clients that are ideal and easy for you to work with. And so, it's been a weird, accidental process over time, I would say but now it's like the number one thing I tell my clients to work on, because I don't want them to have to spend 10 years putting on a fake facade online until they finally feel comfortable. I want to help empower them to feel comfortable early on. Yeah,Stacey Cordivano:
no, that's great. What do you think, are some of the benefits for veterinarians or veterinary professionals to developing a personal brand? You know, in today's culture?Danielle Lambert:
Absolutely. I think there's so many different things. So like in our veterinary branding lab course, at Snell school, we have something called your veterinary brand track. And it is basically what path you're really going down with your brands. Because I think a lot of people here brand, and especially knowing my work and my background, you know, I helped build the doctor at work brands. So they think that to be a brand, they have to have a quarter a million followers across platforms, they need to be the keynote speaker at every big veterinary conference, you know, and they think that's what it means. And it doesn't everybody has a brand, like a brand is just what you're known for, whether we like it or not, and people talk about us behind our back. And hopefully, they're saying good things. And I feel like a brand helps you almost control what that narrative is. Because the more you communicate what you're about, then people pass it on to other people, right? They're like, able to communicate who you are because you've made it really easy for them. So I think as far as like the value in a brand, that is like one of the most intrinsic things to having a good brand is all of a sudden it opens up opportunities for you that are ideal because people know exactly who you are. So as I was saying with those like brand tracks, it can be okay, yeah, you might be trying to be an influencer, right. And you might be trying to build a big online presence so that you have a different kind of like media career where you have a YouTube channel and you're monetizing that. So maybe you only practice a couple days a month. And you're primarily making money by partnering with brands, right? That can be like the quintessential thing. But I think the other real value is in, you know, the other tracks that we teach in branding lab are things like there's a network or track, right. And that's just, you know, that corny thing your network is your net worth is a corny saying for a reason it's true. So there can be value in building out a network like that there can be value in coming online and mentoring the next generation and maybe attracting them to your practice, right, or there can be value in coming online, to share what you know, with your colleagues so that you can help them level up like the work that you're doing, you're providing something to your colleagues that is going to help them succeed more in their careers. So there's so many different things that you can do with the brand. But it really ranges from just the very simple people know what you're about. And it opens up opportunities to you can create new opportunities for yourself, if you're not somebody who wants to work in a practice 40 hours a week, or wants to, you know, have just a unique career where you are selling CEE or products or being an influencer or whatever it just, it opens so many doors, I think that's the biggest thing is the opportunities.Stacey Cordivano:
And I think your point about you having a brand, whether you're running it or not, isDanielle Lambert:
its major, right? Because it's just it's literally like we're humans, like we talk about each other, we have something that we're all known for. So again, it's like why not control that narrative and make it really clear what you want to be known for. Because even then, it's just, maybe you're not trying to be like an influencer. But maybe you are looking for a new career opportunity. Maybe you want to go work, you know, an industry job with like a pet nutrition company. So if you make it really clear that you're passionate about pet nutrition, and you're talking about that on LinkedIn, then people that work at you know, hills, or just food for dogs, or royal kin, and whatever, they're gonna see that right. And like, that's, that's what it's about is just like, making it easier for people to know if you're for them or not, and they can self select. So huge value in terms of career opportunities with that. And the same thing, I think, too, is with attracting whether, you know, team members or clients to yourself,Stacey Cordivano:
like you're sure, which is obviously hugely important these days.Danielle Lambert:
Yes, yes. I think it's so funny, because if anybody that is trying to, you know, get into creating their own practice wants to figure out how the heck to hire, it's like, go be yourself online, so that people can see who you are. And once if they like you, then they're gonna be like, I want that to be my boss. And it's not that hard, attract people to you. So it's really so powerful in so many ways. But I think it's really, truly, it just opens doors that you didn't even know we're out there.Stacey Cordivano:
Yes, I can attest to that, for sure. You kind of gave a few opener tips already. But do you have some suggestions for people who are maybe thinking, oh, shoot, I really don't have a personal brand. And maybe I should, aside from signing up for the branding lab through sounds cool. Do you have some tips for people they could maybe take away this week?Danielle Lambert:
Yeah, I think absolutely. The first thing is knowing what those values are, I usually have people pick out about like four core values. And then the other important thing is knowing who you do and do not want to attract getting very clear on who that is. Because in terms of where you are going to communicate things about your values, you got to think about where that person is, like I said, if you're looking to get maybe an industry job, you're gonna spend some time over on LinkedIn. Right? But if you are trying to maybe attract new clients, you might be on Facebook or Instagram, if you're trying to attract talent, you might be on Instagram or Tiktok. Right? So I think those are the really like, core things to get really clear on is like, what do I want to communicate? Who do I want to communicate it to? And then how am I going to communicate it meaning what kind of posts or am I going to do a podcast or am I going to do a YouTube channel getting really clear on that piece? And that piece should be authentic to you and not to say like you shouldn't push yourself out of your comfort zone. But if you're like I hate talking, you shouldn't start a podcast and easily be like it you can absolutely find something that feels comfortable. That feels like it's it's something you can repeat and and not feel burnt out on doing. Those are the top things that I really encourage people to look at. Right? That's like the first stuff, then it gets into people think about like a brand and they think logo and they think like colors, whatever. That's the next phase, once you really know who you are, then we can start to talk about, hey, yeah, maybe there should be some consistency in the colors that you're using consistency in the fonts that you're using. Maybe you should get a logo. That's kind of like the next phase. But I encourage people to really know who their they are, who they're trying to attract, and where they're going to reach out to them and how first, those are kind of the initial steps. That's, that's the baby version.Stacey Cordivano:
Perfect. No, that's good. I mean, I've said it before on this podcast, but taking some quiet time and reflecting on things is always a good place to start. When you're trying to grow.Danielle Lambert:
Absolutely. And I always tell people to we talk a lot about like, what your goals are, right? Because that's when we're talking about like, what strategies to get to different goals like a personal brand that is aimed at you want to become an influencer and be making money off of your YouTube way different strategies than somebody that's like, Oh, I just want to mentor up and coming, you know, that students so that I can convince them to get into equine medicine, right? Like, that's a completely different path either way. So getting some clarity on that, because I think in veterinary medicine, where we have a lot of people that do have perfectionist tendencies, they see it gets competitive, right? Like they see like, oh, this person has, like 10,000 followers, and I'll never be able to do that. So there's no point, right? Like, really get clear on what your goals are, and follow strategies that get you there. That's exactly what we talked about in veterinary branding lab is like how to follow strategies that get you there. Because everybody's end goal is not the same,Stacey Cordivano:
right. And also, probably don't wait till it's perfect to get started on all of this. SoDanielle Lambert:
true. That's why I'm saying like, it doesn't need to look, you don't need to go spend money on a logo right off the bat, right? Like, you can get a logo done for you on like 99 designs for a couple 100 bucks, you can come to us and it's going to be a way bigger investment to get a logo because we're going to build out a whole brand for you. There's lots of different ways that you can get something that looks good in the end. But right off the bat open up you know, a canva.com account, use Canva you pick a couple key colors, pick a template you like so have some consistency. But yeah, don't feel like you have to be absolute expert level before you get out there. I sometimes still with my content, I'm like, Oh, I could have done this way better and cleaner. But you know what, at the end of the day, my goal isn't to be like a really like polished influencer. I'm just trying to attract the right people to me so that I can help them. So I don't need everything to be like, polished all the time. So yeah, please, please, please don't wait until it's perfect because it will never be perfect.Stacey Cordivano:
I'm so thankful for all the insight that you shared today. I ask all my guests, what is one small thing that has brought you joy this past week?Danielle Lambert:
Ooh, I was excited about this because I have a good one. I grew up as like a really big like pop punk kid that like loved all pop punk bands. And there was a newfound glory show this last weekend. And I went all my friends. And I tried to ignore that it was like a 20th anniversary of the album. And I was like, Okay, I turned 35 Tomorrow, it was like a little bit of a wrecking. Um, but it was just so fun to be with my friends and do something that was like, reminiscent of a very carefree time in my life that brought so much joy. So I highly, highly recommend go turn on whatever you were listening into in high school.Stacey Cordivano:
It is a good stress reliever, for sure for sure. Where can people find out more about you? Where can they connect and more about all the offerings that you've got?Danielle Lambert:
Yeah, absolutely. So if you are interested in just connecting with me, Instagrams probably best I'm at Danielle snout there. If you're interested in getting into doing your own brand and want to take the veterinary branding lab course just head over to snout school.com And you can actually take your first lesson free so if you want to get to know a little bit more about personal branding, you can do that there. And then if you are like OOP I'm ready to go all in I want to help you know help building a brand I want you to help me make it look pretty. Then that is where you can reach out to the snout group.com But yeah, basically at Daniel snout on Instagram, hit me up and I can direct your where to goStacey Cordivano:
to perfect. Thanks again for your time. I appreciateDanielle Lambert:
it. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.Stacey Cordivano:
Thanks again for listening. I so very much appreciate the time you spend with me. For more information or to sign up for our monthly newsletter, please check out up the website at the whole veterinarian.com You can also connect with me on Instagram at the whole veterinarian. If you love this episode, please do me a favor and share it with a friend or if you feel so inclined, leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks so much and I will talk to you again soon.