In this episode, Ryan Alford sits down with Dr. Rich Constantine, aka Dr. C, to talk about his viral dance videos, the marketing machine that has evolved, and some of the key experiences along the way.
In this episode, Ryan Alford sits down with Dr. Rich Constantine, aka Dr. C, to talk about his viral dance videos, the marketing machine that has evolved, and some of the key experiences along the way.
Announcing Voice: Here's your host, Ryan Alford.
Ryan Alford [00:00:06] Hey, guys this is Ryan Alford with the Radical company podcast. Super excited about today's podcast. I am with a good friend and client Dr. Rich Constantine. You may know Dr. C as he's now known. I'm calling him Doctor, calling him Dr. C. I really appreciate you being on the podcast.
Dr. Rich [00:00:39] Appreciate you having me here.
Ryan Alford [00:00:41] Well, we've got a lot of topics we want to get into with Rich. We want to keep it conversational. It's been a whirlwind four months for Dr. C. Most people that are probably listening to the podcast or following any of our other content, know that Rich has been a client of mine across a couple of different agencies for RAD for probably two years, at least in a consultant role on his marketing and doing videos and different things. Then the summer happened and everything blew up. Rich had a little piece of content go viral and you may or may not have seen it, or a song by Drake, but Rich did what he does. Well, actually, I'm jealous even to this day of his dance skills and I don't mind saying. It was a challenge actually over the summer's late July and 150 million views later just on Facebook. The world's changed a lot. Rich, have walked back to that a minute. A lot of our listeners, you and I have been through this on a lot of talk shows. We did, Steve Harvey, we'll get into all that. Walk us through a little bit for the people listening to what happened over the summer. You and I talked about getting your content out there. I'll take the credit for getting me tripod-like video stuff. But, in all fairness and saying, "hey, you got to get your image out there." Talk through where this all started and we'll bring it full circle with everything else.
Dr. Rich [00:02:43] Yeah, I thought it was a real crash course because we had talked in the past about the importance of Instagram. I had only been a Facebook guy in the past. I knew you had advised me to take a picture when it was convenient, something that we thought was interesting or fun around the office. There was no rhyme or reason to when we took a picture or posted it. There was no schedule on how we did things. Fast forward to the day that the girls in the office encouraged me to do the challenge and I didn't even intend to post that. But I set that phone up and I found myself doing the dance so no one would see me, and the girls put it on all our social media accounts. Then you called me that evening and said, "hey, man, have you seen this?" I don't know what you're talking about. Now, it's not a big deal. I'll keep watching this movie and maybe I will talk to you tomorrow. You call me the next morning, say, "yeah, I think you need to take a look at this." From there, it took off. I had no idea what could have come from that. You really help navigate through all that, because I wouldn't have a clue.
Ryan Alford [00:04:15] Well, it was interesting to give a little more background. I was the ad man on this page. We had started working together for a while but only were ramping up, we had done a really nice branded video piece for you. We had talked about doing some other videos. We'd been coaching on the channel. So I was already an admin on the page. We'd run some ads. We'd done a couple of different things. So my phone started pinging immediately. It was Thursday. This was coming to the weekend. My phone started pinging because I get notifications when people like something or comment. It was like, "what is going on?" I didn't even know, it was your account. My friend thought I was in another crime out of what was going on. That's when it was like 3:00 or 4:00 o'clock. And I was like, "OK, Houston, we’ve got a problem, but something's happening here." You had messaged me. I think I sent you a text or something and you'd said, "Yeah, I was going to post this video" and I was like, "Yeah." After you posted or something, I don't remember every second of it. All I remember is the notifications going in like we need to get together, get our arms around this.
Dr. Rich [00:05:31] At that point I said, you know what you meant when I was wrong? Get arms around what? I posted a video. Some people are watching it. What's the big deal?
Ryan Alford [00:05:40] Yeah, well, the big deal was we had a million people that had engaged with it by the next morning. Some of our numbers that have come since then make that even seem a little small now, as funny as that seems. But when you're a dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, and you have a million impressions or engagement within 24 hours of anything and no offense to the dental community there, but nonetheless, we had to get our arms around it. It went into that. We met that morning. I'm like, "this is something." Do you want to run with this thing? We just put an action plan. Once things go viral, it happens in a moment and the news cycle will catch up with it pretty quickly. We lit the fire a little bit. I worked most of that. We can like Ping and all the news outlets. I think by Monday, we did Good Morning America and then Inside Edition after that. No one's ever ready for it. What was going through your mind? Once we met and I was like, "here's what this means. Here's what we need to do."We started mapping out that plan, though. Was it the excitement? What was the mindset?
Dr. Rich [00:07:11] Yeah, it was super exciting. I'm not much of an attention guy. So it was a little bit concerning. I was really nervous about putting myself out there because it was weird to me that people were so into it, I guess. But at the same time, you have that amount of interest in anything that you do. It's something positive. You're going to make the most of it. That was something that really helped me because I didn't know how to make something good out of something silly. The whole experience was great. People, family, friends see me on news outlets that I never thought I would be asked to be on, especially for something like that.
Ryan Alford [00:08:14] I've been in marketing for 17 years. I've been at agencies working with big clients, and it prepared me for knowing what you're supposed to do in certain situations. But viral and the real-time moment, all of those things require you to condense. It's like you couldn't speak more about today – everything's condensed, everything's now. But it was like this culmination of PR marketing, the next steps they got us into. It also became controlling the message a little bit, because let's face it and let's just get this out there. You're a good-looking guy but you're married and you're doing a dance. The message could have gone a lot of different ways real quick. Not that it wasn't already, and it's not a lot of your fans. Of course, we're human beings. We're sexual creatures. Let's not put that, and act like that's not there. I think the importance of what we were able to do was really to control the message and spin it towards the positivity and the fun of dentistry. He's a good-looking guy. We're dancing to pop culture tunes and all that, but this isn't a sexual message. This is about raising awareness that dentistry doesn't have to be boring, that we can turn this into a positive. And I feel like that really worked in our favor.
Dr. Rich [00:09:58] Yeah. I'm super thankful for the way you guys were able to help me do that because when we did the dance, it's for our patients. We do fun stuff like that around the office because we don't forward to coming to the dentist, a lot of time. A lot of time they have anxiety because they don't know how they're going to be treated. They don't feel like they're part of a family that wants to take care of them. That was really why we did the dance in the first place. We saw the comments on Facebook; the attention is great, but I don't know if we want that attention. Let's try to use this attention, this platform to really communicate the message and do some good things. And you guys have been integral in helping me do that.
Ryan Alford [00:10:51] Yeah. So to that end, I know that you and I both lost a parent to cancer. You guys were already active in the community in that regard. But talk about the foundation and the passion behind that. Where that came into play with what we were doing.
Dr. Rich [00:11:18] So the more time we've spent here in Greenville. When we first moved here, within a year of having moved here, we both lost a parent within that first year and it was tough. But the great thing was that our parents got to see what Greensville was all about and why we were so happy to relocate here from our hometowns, which was really special to us that they saw what we saw in Greenville. After we lost them, we wanted to find a way to honor their memory and be involved in the community here just as our parents were in our hometowns. Greenville is such an amazing place as far as cancer research goes because we have such top-notch facilities here that really help with that. So we looked into ways that we could contribute to that. Before, it was just donating some time and some money to some of the local organizations that they put on events. But when this happened, it allowed us to move up in our timeline what we've always wanted to do, and that was to create something of our own to help give back.
Ryan Alford [00:12:41] So small lung cancer was born. We will walk through some of the processes of the viral video that happened. We decided to keep doing the dances and doing the content to keep it out there. I think we averaged what I think is a Facebook record, ten million engagement on every average of every post, even to this day. We keep the content going. We start small on cancer immediately as the benefactor or large percentage benefactor of what comes from the notoriety and the fame and all of that around. We continued the PR effort and we ended up talking with Steve Harvey's producers. I remember you and I had a call with the Germans to start. She had reached out to us through the social channels, just loving the message and all that. What goes through your mind? You've been out there and you've been marketing your business. You've been successful. What was the mindset of, "OK, Steve Harvey wants me to be on the show." What's the thought process?
Dr. Rich [00:14:07] Well, it was wild because you go from a guy that is self-conscious, doesn't want the three team members in his office watching him dance. So he sets up his camera in his office and he dances alone to realize that you may be on national television and being asked to do the dance again. So you really get to your game and realize what's happening.
Ryan Alford [00:14:36] Well, if Steve wants the dance, We're going to dance.
Dr. Rich [00:14:37]. Being a business owner and having all of that and this on top of it, you want to get everything right. It's important to have the right people around you to help them navigate through all that. When you don't have any experience in any of that and you don't want to miss out on any opportunities, it gets a little bit overwhelming. We know that the foundation was just a thought and you guys really helped the church and I put it together. Not only put it together but put it together in a short amount of time so that we could get it out there and make the most of it. You're getting ready to go on national television. Let's mention the foundation, which is what we want this all to be about.
Ryan Alford [00:15:38] Talk about the experience with Steve. People can watch the episode. We had five million engagements, like just posting the episode alone. A lot of people have seen it. What did you think of the overall experience of being on stage?
Dr. Rich [00:15:56] It was amazing. A lot of the stuff we saw out there is stuff we've only seen in movies and on TV. You had spent some time out there before, so you were able to show us around in a short period of time. But the show itself, although I was really nervous, I hadn't met the whole crew there. Even Steve himself was just super, super nice. They made us feel way more important than we were. We really felt like we were somewhere.
Ryan Alford [00:16:32] I was really impressed. I've been in the business and I'm not doing the Steve Harvey Show with clients every week either. I was really impressed with their team. Even if it was a viral moment or even if they saw the bigger presence of democracy in the foundation, they made us feel more important. I was very impressed with that overall. I thought Steve was great. They followed the narrative, the positivity in the story and the foundation. They were first class.
I think that's actually an interesting turn. I think the Radical company, our agency podcast trying to blend in the marketing is what's been related to your stuff. I think what's been new is, we were trying to get you in that mental headspace before the dance that you made it all happen. The content headspace, you now know the content word and thinking about every moment, much like this podcast that we're filming, we've got on live stream, we're doing all that thinking about every moment as an opportunity to capture it, to create content. I think that's been a learning process.
Dr. Rich [00:19:04] It's still definitely a work in progress because I'm never going to be a guy that documents every single moment. I don't think you have to be there. But now I catch myself with the church and I go to an event or go to something like maybe we should just get a couple of pictures, just to have.
Ryan Alford [00:19:28] I saw some pictures last night, actually. I didn't really have one or somebody up there taking some photos.
Dr. Rich [00:19:37] I posted it and I was proud of how disappointed I was. We Need the videographer there.
Dr. Rich [00:19:46] What he's talking about. Last night we had the Greensville giver's game for the Special Olympics. I thought I was just really good at it and lots of great people there.
Ryan Alford [00:20:06] Do they have a good turnout for that?
Dr. Rich [00:20:07] Well, it's a good turnout. This is the first time we were invited by a friend of ours to attend. It was my first time there, but I wanted to have it every year.
Ryan Alford [00:20:19] So let's talk about some of the transitions of where we've gone. I mean, let's just be real about the dancing portion of it and let's just talk about it. You're a good dancer, but you're a dentist and you want to be taken seriously. That's been shovel a little bit for you, hasn't it?
Dr. Rich [00:20:45] You don't want to be the dancing bear, the circus when you're trying to be the ringmaster. At the same time, you need to open. I find that I need to open my mind up to keep that level of interest up. It doesn't necessarily have to be the dancing. But I think the reason why I don't like dancing, because I may have rhythm, but I don't have the confidence in my dance skills and I don't want to just be this dancing dentist. I'd rather be the good dentist that people know does good dentistry and treats his patients well, and can dance. It's one of those.
Ryan Alford [00:21:39] That's been the balance. It's like you can't abandon the Ferrari that got you there. But, we've been taking that turn back to more of the lifestyle side of things. We started just to ask Dr. C and if so, to come out. Today we've had a good response to that. But there has been that balance. I think it's mainly that we delved into a bit more. I think it's the perfectionist in you a little bit that probably is the dancing because all of your dances have been so kind and so great. I think it's tough for you to not practice or like and know exactly what steps you take.
Dr. Rich [00:22:27] Everything I've ever been good at was practicing sports. Everything doing dentistry and instruments. Every play you practice and then you do. So opening yourself, being put yourself out there in a spur of the moment stuff is all new because you don't know how it's going to come off and you're worried it's going to come off wrong or you don't want to. But at the end of the day, I think I probably care more than the people that are watching. That's what you try to tend to me. I'm trying to get better at that.
Ryan Alford [00:23:13] I am going to ask this and we didn't pre-plan that. So I get it like a strategic head and whatnot. I need an answer that is a certain one. If Dancing with the Stars calls for next season or even the next. Would you consider it?
Dr. Rich [00:23:34] I will consider it, but I would lean more towards a no. The reason being is anything that would take me away from what I care about most, which is, my wife and my practice, my patients. I didn't do this, asking for that. I don't think that would be something that I would necessarily want to do. A lot of people are going to think I'm crazy for saying that, but that's just how I feel about things.
Ryan Alford [00:24:08] But we'd make them make you say No. In case any of the producers gave us an idea that we could be persuasive around here. We need to make sure some of our sponsors are listening. Back to Canada, the story. How's the business? What do you do? We talked about all these things. How's business? How's the practice?
Dr. Rich [00:24:46] The practice is great. The crazy thing with all this is, was, two or three weeks before this happened, I bought the practice of an older dentist in Greenville that I was thinking about slowing down and maybe didn't want to do the business portion of dentistry anymore. He and his team and all his patients emerged with my office, and so we not only had the influx of all that up, then we had all of the new patient calls from the video. Thousands and thousands of people from all over the country are calling. Those are real patients.
Ryan Alford [00:25:38] The reality is you have one day in office, Greenville. They have no one to watch the video. There are a million people in Greenville that only watch videos and whatever. But it's safe to say that business has been good.
Dr. Rich [00:25:51] It's definitely a business in it. It's been a very positive thing.
Ryan Alford [00:25:57] I will try to keep it away from every technical aspect of dentistry. But talk a little bit about where you see taking the practice as far as your specialization and those kinds of things.
Dr. Rich [00:26:16] So one of the great things about being a general dentist is you can conform your practice once you have a full patient move towards the procedures that you enjoy doing more. With this recent popularity and the merger of the two practices, I find myself being able to schedule more procedures and advertise for the procedures that I like doing more. Those are the smile makeover, aesthetic cases, also implant surgeries and prosthetics that I enjoy so much. The enjoyment comes from basically two different sides there. There's changing a patient's life by giving them the smile that they've always wanted or in some cases giving them the ability to chew that they have not had for so long. So many people don't realize the possibilities in dentistry today just because they've never been taught or exposed to this thing. Those are the two things that I enjoy doing the most, and I hope to do more. Now, we have so many people watching this.
Ryan Alford [00:27:40] Well, How's Trish? She's just been a trooper through it all. I mean, back to the things we said.
Dr. Rich [00:27:48] I think the first couple of weeks, it was silly. It was fun. But then, some of those comments on Facebook, I think it would be hard for anybody to see so many people objectifying your loved one in a certain way. As guys, we blow up a little bit with somebody's wishes for a girl or something like that. But, once we started digesting and realizing what this all was and what it could be, we're getting a little bit more used to it and more comfortable in our new skin. We're surrounded by great people, great friends and family. So it makes it so much easier.
Ryan Alford [00:29:52] Well, let's wrap it up. You are in fitness. I think people will be curious, especially listening to routines, like your history with fitness, like where you want, any goals down the future. Talk about the importance of fitness and how that's played a role in your life?
Dr. Rich [00:30:17] Just being involved with sports my whole life and playing college athletics. We used to be sad for this part of our day because we always had to do that. Now it's like, if we're not doing that, there's something missing. It really helps keep us balanced with all the other things we have going on in our lives. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it gets too busy, you just skip a day and that day turns into a string of days. But, really getting to the gym early in the morning and getting knocked out is really when I had my most productive days. I'm the happiest solo lifting sessions by myself. I probably almost like therapy sessions because getting in doing something good for yourself. Every now and then, I like mixing it up and doing group classes. Some of the places around here in Greenville are good ones.
Ryan Alford [00:31:45] So just ride in the train with Dr. C? What's your ideal headspace for where you'd love for it to get in. We're planning all those things out. For people listening, we are working with some new sponsors. Things are starting to head in some different directions. What are your thoughts?
Dr. Rich [00:32:12] I think it's just the excitement of just seeing what comes of it. This is all so new to me that you have no idea what you can make of it. But I'm open to putting in the work and doing whatever we can to see where it can go. At the end of the day, I live in Greenville. I'm a dentist. That's who I am. That's what I do. That's where I plan to always continue to do. If we can do some great things in addition to that, I'm all for it.
Ryan Alford [00:32:55] Well, Rich, It's been a fun ride man. I'm just excited and appreciative of you as a friend and as a client. I really appreciate you and the people are going to be fascinated to hear the back story, and we'll have to just keep telling it. Yeah.
This is Ryan Alford for the Radical Company podcast. Really appreciate Dr. Rich Constantine coming on today, following everything that Dr. C is up to on Facebook, on Instagram. You can find him easily through Google. We've also drrichconstantine.com links to all of the content, links to merchandise. We didn't even talk about merchandise, but we've got some good ones. I've only got three words to close out. Just keep smiling!
Dr. Rich: Just Keep Smiling!