How To Market Your Dental Practice On A Budget
Marketing or advertising your dental office does not need to be costly or time consuming. But without it, it will be costing you money, if people don’t know you exist and what you offer then you are wasting opportunities to bring in new patients to your office. Also without proper marketing your existing patients don’t know about all the services you offer and may end up seeing the dentist down the road to have a treatment that you could have provided.
So how can you market your office and tell people about who you are and what you do even if you don’t have a huge marketing budget?
There are many ways to do inexpensive yet effective marketing you just have to know where to start.
You may not think you need to do any marketing that you are getting enough new patients but are they the type of patients you want and are they saying yes to you and your treatment recommendations?
Are you tracking your new patient enquiries and bookings, are you keeping a record of how they found you and if they are saying yes to treatment? If you don’t know your numbers then you can be lulled into thinking you are getting more new patients than you actually are and you will also have no idea what marketing is working for you and what isn’t.
So lets have a look at what is happening in your dental office. Just take a moment to consider your new patient numbers and the sort of people who are coming in to see you.
Are You Getting Enough New Patients
Are you worried that you are not getting enough new patients? Are you frustrated that the new patients you are seeing are not the right type? Are you demoralised that you patients are not buying all the treatments and services that you have available to you? Are you feeling that you don’t have enough funds coming in to be able to invest back into your practice and your team?
Effective and inexpensive marketing is like a smile it reveals something about us to other people; it conveys a message and speaks volumes about the type of business that we are. What is your marketing like, what does it say about you?
Marketing For Dentists
Now marketing is more than the advert you run online or in the local paper.
Marketing is everything your business is, from your logo, your colours, the condition of your office, your appearance and presentation, the way you speak and the language you use.
Marketing is how you make people feel about you, it is how you are perceived. So are you creating the right impression with your marketing or are you turning people away before they even have a chance to meet with you and find out how much you care and how good you are at what you do?
A poorly answered telephone or a rude staff member is negative marketing.
A great experience in your office from start to finish is exceptional marketing.
I will tell you why – these days people rely more and more on word of mouth and recommendations from family and friends when it comes to choosing where to eat, a hotel to stay at, a movie to see and yes even their dentist.
So if you can create an experience that gets people saying good things about you and your office this is the best type of marketing that money can’t buy. That’s right having people saying good things about you, leaving positive online reviews and recommending you to others is free and effective and in my opinion the best marketing you never had to pay for.
Of course you need to be getting more new patients through the door and I’m going to share ways to do that but the best new patient is a referred one – they trust their friend or family member and therefore they automatically trust you, even before they’ve met you. Your job is to deliver and live up to expectations and if you do you are much more likely to have them say yes to you and the treatment they require than a new patient off the street who you will need to earn that level of trust from first.
What Marketing Do You Do?
What is your marketing like, what are you telling people and how attractive is it?
If you can see your marketing can be better or isn’t working for you or you’re looking for more ways to market your dental office without spending vast sums of money I’m here to help.
Let’s look at how to improve your marketing and get it laser focused to bring you the type of patients you want and need.
Promote Your Dental Practice Without A Massive Marketing Spend
Step 1 Define your niche, think about your ideal patient what are they like, what makes them a good patient, who are you trying to attract. How old are they, where do they live, what type of work do they do, what hobbies and interests do they have, what do they care about, what is their reason for coming to see you?
Step 2 What is your message. Who is it you are talking to and what do you offer? Are you talking to patients using words and terms they relate to or are you using dental speak and trying to impress your fellow dentists? Are you talking about you and what you do and your training or are you talking about the benefits of your services and how that will make your perspective patient or current patient feel? Are you delivering the what’s in it for me – giving them a reason to choose you or are you trying to impress them with how awesome you are? Do you sound like every other dentist out there or are you using your unique voice to stand out from the crowd?
Step 3 Make it attractive and eye catching – consider working with a graphic designer, make it look really professional.
Step 4 Use every marketing tool available to you – your website, blog, newsletters, email runs, video and social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Add value and don’t be all salesy, desperate or pushy. Educate and inform then make your offer and they are more likely to buy from you. Remember what is in it for me.
Step 5 Be consistent – don’t think because you tried it and you didn’t get a response it doesn’t work. It takes time for people to make the buying decision you need between 7-14 points of contact before they do. So it might be that they saw you on Facebook and it took them a year before they made an appointment.
Step 6 Marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth. Sure you could spend a hefty sum on marketing and I do advise to have a budget for this but there are many things you can do for free – like getting on free listings online for example. The key is to balance your time and effort in producing your blogs and content and focusing on your dentistry.
Step 7 Don’t ignore you existing patients – you already have a list of patients who know, like and trust you. Keep them informed of your services and what you can do to help them have an attractive, healthy smile. Have information brochures in your office and send bulk emails with information and fun facts. Nurture them with a birthday card or a random gift or a phone call to say hello and ask how they are (yes really!) you will be surprised how far this goes to promoting positivity and a good vibe about you.
Step 8 Ask for referrals – utilise your current goodwill and patient base, if they have had a good experience then ask them to recommend you to their friends and family.
Essentially marketing is everything you are and do, advertising is the information you send out to the world selling your services. What message are you giving people, how are you perceived? Do you have an online presence or are you the world’s best hidden secret? Are you utilising your free resources or throwing money at poor advertising campaigns with the wrong message.
Have a look at your marketing and see what changes you can make today.
If you need help with your marketing and online presence then let me share with you I have 3 loves in life other than my family and friends these are dentistry, teaching/coaching other dentists to be successful and marketing via social media. My clients are having incredible results and seeing their new patient numbers and case acceptance grow so I am certain I can do the same for you.