5 Unique Dental Marketing Ideas

Do you ever feel like you are going around in circles with your marketing efforts?

Well you shouldn’t. Marketing for the sake of marketing is simply a waste of time and resources. Having a specific plan in mind and setting tangible goals is important to the running of a sustainable business.

If you’re struggling to gain traction, what you may need are some fresh ideas to experiment with.

Here are 5 unique ideas for your dental practice:

  1. Print and hand out business cards with personalized notes. Handwriting and personalized notes are a great way to go the extra mile and build an authentic relationship with your patients. After someone has come in for a clean, simply hand them a card with a handwritten note on the back that say something personal and friendly. For example: “Thanks for the visit Sarah! Hope Billy’s football game goes well.”
  2. Send an email newsletter with weekly dental tips. An email newsletter is a great way to stay in the minds of your patients. The more value you can offer them, the more likely they are to come to you. Show them your knowledge and keep in touch by sending weekly tips.
  3. Create a referral rewards program. Offering incentives for your patients to refer their friends and family can be very effective. Simple gift cards such as iTunes, Starbucks or even local movie tickets are a great way to do so. You can even take it a step further by creating a mutually beneficial relationship with a local business, such as a health food restaurant. You may want to suggest offering a free entrée for everyone you can refer to them.
  4. Record a mini-documentary. This is a great way to introduce prospective clients to your staff and practice. If they watch the video before coming in, it will feel like they’ve gotten to know you and what you’re about. You can share this on your website, via your email newsletter, and through your social media channels. Make sure to keep in mind relevant keywords when uploading it to YouTube.
  5. Text your patients after treatments. This might not be necessary for basic check-ups but should be done for any larger procedures, it shows an extra level of care that will spread fast via word of mouth.

If you are looking to sell your practice, remember that having an effective marketing strategy in place is a great asset to your business model and could work to your advantage during the valuation process.

Have you had any success with dental marketing? Any tips you think we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments!

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale


What Dentists Should Look for in a Financial Advisor

As an owner of a dental practice your financial needs are unique. It’s a good idea for any professional in any business to have a financial advisor help them maximize their earnings to keep the money they have earned safe. There are a few things that separate your financial needs from other professionals, so it’s important to work with a financial advisor that knows how dental practice operates, how to value a dental practice, and how to address your unique set of circumstances.

Here are some of the most important things to look for when searching for a financial advisor:

  1. Make sure your financial advisor has worked with other dentists. The more, the better. You want an advisor who has already experienced the financial patterns of a dental practice and knows what dentists need, from the time they begin practicing until they get ready to make a dental practice transition. There are many areas that a general financial advisor has no understanding of when it comes to dental expenses and income.
  2. Find out how your financial advisor gets paid. Do they earn their income through commissions on selling products for a larger company or do they earn based on fees paid by you? The commission earners will be biased toward a specific product and may not give you a full picture of what you can do with your money.
  3. What type of education and licenses does your financial advisor hold? Many companies provide “weekend workshops” allowing almost anyone with any background to become “certified” as a financial advisor. There are only two designations you want to look for – Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Financial Advisor (CFA).
  4. Look for a fiduciary planner. Someone that is licensed as a fiduciary has made a legal commitment to putting their client’s needs above their own. This is not something that just any financial advisor will necessarily have.
  5. Talk to other dentists that you know and respect. Who do they recommend? This may be your best source for locating the ideal financial planner for your dental practice and for your transition of that practice.

Picking the best financial advisor for your specific financial needs is one of the most important steps to peace and security for your future. If you’re considering selling your dental practice it’s a good idea to use the best financial advisor available to you. Likewise, if you’re just starting your dental practice and want to make sure your financial needs are met for the duration of your dental career, use this checklist to determine if the planner you are considering is the best for your situation.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale


Tips for Growing Your Dental Practice During a Tough Economy

The last decade has seen industries across the board from retail to hospitality to healthcare all facing tough economic times. Many families have been forced to reduce spending, and unfortunately dental services often become one of those cuts.

When it comes down to it, even in a difficult economy there is still revenue circulating and there will still be people needing to visit the dentist. Though there may not be the same opportunity that exists in a healthy economy, a simple change in marketing may make all the difference.

Find a mentor

This is particularly relevant if you are a younger dentist, but age really isn’t a factor here. What you want to find is someone that has been through financial slumps in their own private practice who can offer you advice on how to best deal with it. Finding a mentor may include becoming part of a club or hiring a business coach.

Any way in which you can gain advice from others who may have practical recommendations for your dental practice or have more general mindset tips from a wider business perspective – all of it can help.

Get into the minds of your patients

When patients start to come through the door at a slower rate, many practices go into panic mode. As the owner of a private practice you need to understand that there is still ample opportunity for you to find new business.

Take a step back and try and get into the minds of your patients. Who are they? Do they have insurance? What demographic are they in? What motivations drive their purchasing decisions (including healthcare) during a recession? What might make them want to invest in going to the dentist?

For example, if you are going to be working in an area where the majority of patients have insurance, you’re going to want to focus on becoming a preferred provider.

Participate in your community

When times get tough people can get into the habit of worrying and as soon as this happens they’ll forget about some of the peripheral aspects of their life – which may include those things your business provides. One way to counteract this while continuing to build valuable relationships is to participate in local community events. Make an effort to help others, make friendships and network with other local businesses. Look for your local Rotary Club as a place to start.

Step up your customer service

When a market is competitive it’s the little things that make the difference. Spending time focusing on how you can improve your customer service may be the reason a prospective customer chooses to go with your practice as opposed to someone else’s in the area.

Though it may be more difficult to sell your practice during a tough economy, if you want to continue to generate revenue through a valuable dental practice, it’s going to be necessary that you put in extra effort. With that said it is not impossible to grow your practice during these times, it just requires focus.

How have you managed to stay profitable during the recession? Is there any advice you would add? Let us know in the comments!

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale


Should Dental Clinics spend money on paid advertising?

Have you ever looked at the Google rankings and wondered how you can get to the top in the shortest time possible?

You might be in competition with some huge businesses and think that there is no way you could match their SEO. This is particularly likely if their internet marketing budgets are much greater than yours.

If this is the case, but you are still looking to develop a consistent and reliable marketing strategy to bring in clients and bolster the market value of your organization, you may want to consider an approach that leverages paid advertising.

Paid advertising is a way that you can promote your business at the top of Google or in the sidebars of the websites that your clients visit. This form of advertising works similar to traditional marketing and means that you don’t have to spend months or even years climbing through the search engine rankings.

There are multiple forms of paid advertising, the most common is Pay Per Click (PPC) whereby how much you pay is determined by how many people click on your ad.

If a prospective patient searches for dentist and your location, there is a high likelihood that they will visit your website if you are top of the search results. So as long as you make sure your website is professional and is able to guide the patient to make an initial consultation, the few dollars that you’ll pay for the click are worth every penny.

So what are the specific benefits of paid advertising for dentists?

Faster results. If you are in an uphill battle, such as if you have a new business or are dealing with some fierce competition, getting customers in the door as soon as possible is very important. Paid advertising is the fastest way to get your brand in front of a target audience, and generate new leads.

Less dependence on Google. Whereas SEO will often take 6-12 months before you start to see a decent ROI from your efforts, paid search can be almost instant. Also, when the Google search algorithm inevitably changes you can see drastic deviations in your rankings, which can impact your business, so it is best that you develop a balanced marketing approach.

Tangible and targeted results. Unlike many other marketing methods where you have to track the ROI over time and it can be difficult to gauge exactly what you are getting back from your investment, paid advertising allows you to set clear measurable goals for what you will spend on advertising per client and how much you’ll get back from that over time. With retargeting ads, you can also be sure that your efforts are reaching the right audience. You are able to target a number of factors including keywords, location, time and even device.

Ultimately Paid Advertising should be considered part of a short to medium term solution. Unlike organic search, paid advertising is not as sustainable and is dependent on your consistent investment. However, it can form an important part of a well-rounded marketing plan.

It is recommended that you start small, with a budget of a few hundred dollars to learn how to best target your audience.

Proof of a successful digital marketing strategy is a huge asset when looking to sell your practice. You may also want to consider hiring a marketing consultant to help you best approach paid advertising.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale


Unique Business Tips for your Dental Practice

Dentistry can be a tough business.

Many young dentists are entering the industry with tech and marketing experience. In the emerging market, simply having more experience than the next practice won’t necessarily cut it. Business acuity is now vital if you are going to compete with a Generation Y driven demographic. It is also important if you are looking to create a valuable asset and at some point sell your practice.

Here are some unique business tips to keep in mind for your Dental Practice.

Build an inviting waiting room. The waiting room is where most of the stress happens for clients. Remember that creating a relaxing customer experience is important to the patient, and is going to help ensure repeat business. Consider the colors, lighting, and seating arrangements of your waiting room. Make sure the room is well-lit but not too bright, the colors are inviting but subtle and the seats are comfortable and accessible. Also, make sure there is adequate reading material and that sound coming from the dentist office is minimal – you may want to consider playing some music.

Teach your patients with visual aids. Patients want to take care of their teeth and most of them want to know how things work. Don’t hesitate to use visual aids such as models or charts which can be much more memorable than dry explanations.

Identify your patient base. Knowing your segment of the market helps you in two ways. Firstly, it allows you to best target your customers when it comes to marketing and strategy. Secondly, it helps you in a competitive market by allowing you to take on a manageable and profitable niche.

Send cards to clients. Dentistry is a business based on customer services. Most people feel anxious going to a dental office and therefore the dentists who can develop the best relationship with clients and their families (particularly children), are more likely to get repeat business. Strengthen this relationship and build new ones by sending out postcards to clients during holiday times or after check-ups – the more personalized the better.

Hire employees based on chemistry. If you are hiring dental assistants, receptionists or anyone else for that matter, understand that a lot of skills can be trained, what you probably can’t teach however, is chemistry. It is the relationships between your staff and clients that will keep them coming back.

Leverage deal based websites like GroupOn. A lot of practices start by offering free check-ups for first time customers, but if you are already established and don’t have the time to offer free services, you can try and leverage GroupOn or other coupon related sites to promote your service in other ways. Many mobile users now look for deals in their area and if you are nearby they’ll at least be aware of your brand even if they don’t purchase the coupon.

Remember that dentistry isn’t just an art, it’s a business. Make sure you are constantly looking to improve your business skills and knowledge so when you are ready to sell your practice, you have a well-oiled machine that is worth the investment.

NAPB | National Association of Practice BrokersDENTAL PRACTICE BROKERS

Dental Practice Transitions Selling a Dental Practice
Dental Practice Valuation Dental Practices For Sale