16 Dec Neil UHER: LAB OWNER & YOUTUBER
723,000 views and counting.
Neil Uher II, ABO-AC, has gained over 723,000 views since 2015 for his optical laboratory YouTube channel, UseMyFrame.com. When he posted the first video on the channel, the idea was to share what he had learned over the 14 years he has spent working in optical laboratories. “I did not expect to become a YouTuber. It was more like: ‘let me share my knowledge with others.’ It caught on like that, a particular group of people found those videos very helpful”, explains Neil.
It was more like: 'let me share my knowledge with others.' It caught on like that, a particular group of people found those videos very helpful
In addition to the number of views, the UseMyFrame.com channel has 1.5k subscribers. The stats become more impressive once you discover that Neil not only records the videos himself but that he is responsible for all the processes at UseMyFrame.com. He started his lab out in his basement, continuing his online sales from UseMyFrame.com, as well as taking on wholesale work for other independent optical stores, both for glasses and prescription scuba masks. Neil’s fiancé Crissy helps with some of the administration tasks, and their 10-year-old daughter Leah helps her father trace frames and block lenses, while their older daughter Madi (16), enjoys helping organize the frame displays and helps with some of the frame photography.
Neil uses the videos to explain routine processes in a lab, such as ‘How to hand polish lenses’ and ‘How to assemble a Mykita frame.’ The record holder for views (613k) is a video entitled ‘ Difference between Transitions, Photochromic, and Polarized Lenses.’ Neil’s videos follow his signature style, using clear and authentic explanations to detail complex theories. Neil explains that YouTube has been an enormous help for his business, as many people have become customers after watching his videos.
Some of those new customers even get surprised when they call the lab and Neil answers the phone. They say: “Is this the same Neil from the YouTube videos? Do you answer your own phone?” Neil explains that “sometimes people get this idea that just because you are an online business, you must operate on a massive scale and they are used to getting lost in the phone menus from other companies, but I very much enjoy interacting with our customers as time allows.”
Despite being what he considers a “small” lab, Neil believes in the importance of investing in equipment and in the Lab Management Software (LMS) he chooses. Concerning Innovations (his preferred LMS), he comments that “The benefits are so helpful. I used to keep track of everything on an Excel spreadsheet – It was workable, but it was not scalable. Innovations certainly is. I love the program. It is intuitive, easy to get started and has the best-in-class support team I have ever worked with. Massive labs will already know about Innovations, but it’s the little guys, like me, that might not. So, I always encourage others to check Ocuco out and see if it will benefit their operation. I post on Facebook groups, Optiboard, and even have some YouTube videos showing off some of the many ways Innovations functions, and how by saving time, you save money.”
What does the future hold for Neil?
He has recently opened an optical store and plans to expand his YouTube channel with other social media channels. “I wish I had more time to dedicate to it. I have tons of ideas and what to experiment with different ways of communication with my audience. Hopefully, in time, I’ll be able to scale back a little bit on the hands-on work and focus more on that. Because I love to do it and business-wise, it is a huge help.”
Ocuco would like to thank Neil for taking the time to give us an insight into his YouTube channel and wish him all the best for his bright future!