Dental Consultant Marketing | 6 Ways to Avoid Burnout While Growing Your Business

When you started your business, you were likely excited to the point that you found it difficult to sleep at night. As years pass, that excitement has transformed. You may still find it rewarding and enjoyable, however, you may be looking for ways to reignite that passion for your profession.

As your business has grown, you’ve likely found comfort in a growing salary. You may have found emotional support as you’ve attracted and coached the right fit team. It’s very often the case, however, that even the most successful business leaders lack balance in their life. If not carefully tended, this imbalance of focus can result in regret.

At the ripe age of 24, I became an entrepreneur. I started my niche marketing business (Identity Dental Marketing) from a shared 3 bedroom apartment, with nothing but a laptop and little dog. When the rest of my friends were working a 9-5, I enjoyed an 8am-11pm role. I’d visit friends and bring my laptop (and dog) along to get some designs done while they watched a football game. I was nothing less than obsessed.

It was somewhat easy to establish balance until I became blessed with children. Balancing the demands of mom, boss and wife is difficult, especially on very little sleep, while managing travel and juggling child care. Often times, I meet dental friends who question how I have the ability to scale my business, enjoy my family, moderate my forum (The Dental Marketing Forum – By Grace Rizza) and have any sort of social life. Not every day is perfect, clearly, but I’ve found some pretty solid tips that can help any thriving business person.

  1. Abolish guilt. It plays no productive role in your life. Whether you stay home, work full time, work part time – you’ll be judged. It’s part of being human. Train your brain to depend less on what others think of you and more on what your family thinks of you. Train your children to respect your career and use it as a way to show them they can have whatever they want out of life. This will allow you the emotional freedom to detach and commit 100% to your career during the time you’ve dedicated for work.
  2. Commit to a schedule and stick to it! If you’ve decide that you’ll be home by 5 every night, take your last meeting at 4pm. The clients who are right for you will understand. They will respect your boundaries and will become great long-term clients. Schedule time for yourself, too. Once per week, enjoy a night out with your significant other. One day per week, schedule your “me” time. If you don’t feed your soul, you cannot help others with passion and excitement.
  3. Plan trips away. Time away from your business allows you to re-energize your mind. It allows you to experience tastes of that excitement that you felt when first getting started.
  4. Only do what only you can do. Make a list of the responsibilities you wish to never again have to do. Now, create a hiring plan to allow you to delegate these tasks to the appropriate people. Allow your team to make mistakes. It’s painful, but necessary. Embrace first time mistakes as learning experiences. Second time mistakes should be addressed quite differently.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. Embrace self-love. This will make you strong and help you overcome the criticism that inevitably follows success.
  6. RSVP no. Turn down social activities when you need a break. Your true friends will understand.

Whether you’re new to business, a new parent or a seasoned efficiency pro, I hope this information helps you to avoid burnout and find more satisfaction in your life.

Marketing for Dental Speakers | Are Your Google Reviews Disappearing?

Marketing for Dental Speakers

speaker marketingGoogle My Business has recently come out with a new spam detection algorithm that filters reviews. This algorithm does not run on real time, which means you could have a review up for several weeks or months before it disappears. This becomes disappointing and frustrating for business owners who are working hard on getting patient reviews. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to get lost reviews back. By reviewing the reasons why they were removed, you can stop this from happening in the future.

Duplicate Reviews

Duplicate reviews can be caused by using certain review generation platforms. These platforms, such as Birdeye, tend to link reviews to landing pages or microsites, which then show up in multiple places across the internet. We recommend responding to every patient that leaves you a review to minimize the impact of this penalty.

No Reviews on Other Sites

If Google My Business is the only place where you have dozens of reviews, and zero on places like Yelp and Facebook, Google will detect this as spam. It is highly unlikely to have zero reviews on other sites and hundreds on Google. The solution to this would be to ask half of your patients to leave reviews on Google and the other half to leave reviews on other sites.

Patients Are Leaving Reviews at Your Office

Google’s algorithm traces a review based on its IP address. If many reviews are coming from the same address, it will be detected by spam filters. Google looks at these reviews as spam because they seem to be left by an employee rather than multiple patients

By looking at the reasons why Google filters content, you can instruct patients how and when to leave reviews so they do not get deleted. To avoid your reviews from being flagged, respond to every single patient. Your online reputation or lack thereof could cost you.

For any concerns regarding your Google reviews, please contact us.

Dental Consultant Marketing | Are You Prepared for the Future of Dentistry?

Dental Consultant Marketing

What will the dental profession will look like in 10 years? Are you and your team prepared to face the future with a successful action plan?

As a dentist, you are used to thinking about the big picture. This is true when you are caring for your patients, as they turn to you for your expertise to establish a lifetime of optimal oral health. But do you employ the same forward-thinking strategies to ensure the long-term health of your business?

Dentistry is changing. New technology is constantly being developed leading to entirely new procedures, which in turn creates a new market of patients who could benefit from your services. Furthermore, the business landscape of the profession is evolving. What used to be a field dominated by independently owned practices has become increasingly more corporate-based. Ask yourself where your practice fits into the landscape of differing business models in dentistry.

If one thing is for certain in dentistry, it is that the future will continue to bring change. Did you ever think you would be ordering supplies from your smartphone or connecting with potential new patients on Facebook? The future will likely bring innovations bridging the education and communication gap between dentist and patient.

Like today, the key to success will lie in your ability to build trusting, loyal relationships. It is essential that your marketing messages hone in on the unique qualities that make your practice and your team stand out from the crowd. A re-branding strategy can help freshen your practice’s appeal to your community and attract your ideal new patient.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The future will bring changes to the dental profession, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise nor should it be a cause for concern. Face the future with optimism and an action plan.

Contact us today.

Marketing for Dental Speakers | Track New Patients to Track Success

Marketing Dental Consultants

Website Design Dental ConsultingIt is important that you have a system in place for keeping track of new patient referrals. Doing so not only makes it easier to report to your marketing consultant or practice management coach, but it also provides a way to measure your progress.

You can create a simple report that tracks the following:

– New Patients from the Internet

– New Patients from Patient Referrals

– New Patients from Direct Mail

– Number of New Patient Calls

– Number of New Patients Seen

Train your front office team members to ask new patients how they heard about you each and every time. Recording this data can be a valuable tool to measure how your marketing efforts are progressing. If a direct mail campaign is successful, consider replicating elements of it in the future. If a direct mail campaign yields no new patients, invest your marketing budget in another way.

Having a database of new patient contacts can also be an excellent source for creating follow-up communications. If a particular patient is an excellent referral source, send a personalized thank you note and make them aware how appreciative you are for their help. You can create an email newsletter or direct mail flyer using only the names of interested new patients. You can tailor your message to these new patients in a way that will make them want to come back to your practice as a regular patient.

Keeping track of the sources of your new patients will make it easier to make marketing decisions in the future. It will also be an excellent source of information for your marketing consultant or practice management coach.

Contact us today for more information on tracking patients.

Dental Consultant Marketing | Are You Minimizing Your Work?

Dental Marketers

Dental SEO ConsultantWords have a powerful effect on perception. Are you selling yourself short when it comes to describing your practice or your services? Patients visit you because they trust you to be open, honest, and experienced in communicating the condition of their oral health in a way they will understand. To accomplish this effectively, you need to be mindful of your word choice.

“Check Up” or “Comprehensive Examination”

A “check up” sounds menial and unimportant. You might say you take your car in for a “check up” or “tune up.” Oral health care is diminished when it is referred in this way. Use the more professional sounding “comprehensive examination.” This emphasizes the fact that you and your team are doing a lot more than just checking the mouth and teeth. You are looking for signs of decay and oral cancer, providing a thorough cleaning, and offering recommendations for additional treatments. That’s a lot more than a “check up.”

“Just a…”

Don’t use this phrase when leading into a diagnosis. “Just a cavity,” or “just a little inflammation,” minimizes the importance for action. Your patient might heed this as permission to wait on further treatment. The public is often not aware of the importance of their oral health and how oral diseases can spread, worsen, and lead to other painful and costly problems. Be clear with patients when making a diagnosis, but never make it sound unimportant or that it can wait.

“Bleaching” is Not Synonymous with “Whitening”

When describing whitening treatments to patients, it may sound like a natural choice to use the word “bleaching.” Avoid using this term. To some patients, this may imply bleach is used in the whitening process. It also sounds far more painful than “whitening.” Using the term “Bleaching” sounds dangerous, or that it involves the use of harsh chemicals. “Whitening” is an ideal term to use as it also serves as a description for what patients can expect after treatment – a whiter smile.

Word choice matters. Patients are relying on you for information about their health. Be clear, be concise, and be honest with your patients. The public’s perception of dental professionals is not always positive. Clear communication is one way to bridge the gap between your team and your patients. Show your value to your patients by choosing strong words to describe your services, and avoid minimizing the importance of your work.

Contact us for a free consultation

An Overlooked Marketing Strategy

Marketing Dental ConsultantsCertain words and phrases can cause a reaction. When I recommend “email marketing” to my clients, many times their reaction is one of concern. It’s the kind of doubtful reception you can feel even over the phone. People might jump to the conclusion that email marketing is spam. The two words are not one in the same! Somewhere, email marketing earned a lackluster reputation.

I’d like to stress the value and importance of email marketing. Many marketing companies completely overlook it. It could be because I usually hear, “We’ll try it on our own.” Naturally, it usually never gets done and when it does, it lacks in quality. Not everyone has time to write a quality, informative email.That’s ok, and that’s why we’re here.

The first step is to prioritize your communications with your current clients. Keeping yourself on the top of their minds will be beneficial in generating referrals. Current clients lead to future business.

Email newsletters can help achieve the following:

– Generate more client referrals

– Increase your positive reviews online

– Promote additional services

– Improve recall

You can avoid getting sent to the spam folder by following these steps:

– Send monthly newsletters as opposed to weekly newsletters

– Write new, interesting, and relatable content

– Plan for new topics and features

– Don’t oversell yourself

– Make sure your client list is always current

Email marketing can be a helpful tool in closing the gap between your current clients and your new clients. Hands down, it is the most affordable, yet overlooked, marketing strategy. You can decide to call it email marketing or you can even call it POWERFUL CLIENT COMMUNICATION. It doesn’t matter. What is important is that it is time to start utilizing this platform to its full potential.

Contact our team if you are not already using an email marketing campaign to its maximum potential. We can work with you to achieve your marketing goals.

Dental Consultant Marketing | The Problem in Starting With Why

WHY?

This has been a topic of many lectures, books and conversations in 2016. Simon Sinek’s book spread like wildfire in the dental industry. It’s difficult to admit this to some of my colleagues, but I didn’t love the book.

Now, before you judge me too quickly, hear me out please.

In my opinion, the premise of Start With Why encourages entrepreneurs to keep focused on their “Why” in order to be wildly successful.

Throughout the book, Sinek regularly mentions that he is not referring to branding. However, he is. He talks about the core of a product or service. He references Macintosh and how the “Why” is apparent to the employees of this company.

Sinek is a genius in my mind, not because any of his teachings are revolutionary, but because he rebranded branding! He simplified it, but left out VERY important elements in the process.

He took the topic of branding, which most people don’t fully grasp, and called it “Why”. He argues that everything should point back to your purpose. He argues that in everything you do, you should start with your “Why”.

Yes, the above is true, but it’s a half truth.

Now, this might sting a bit, but… it’s not about you. Simon played you by making you feel important and special. He’s so smart that he realized if he can promise you a simple way to success, that you’d eat it up. He was right and his message was wrong.

Truth: Success does not come by simply focusing on your purpose.

I disagree when he implies that the reason Macintosh has delivered such impressive results is because Apple employees buy in to the company’s mission or “why”. This simplified notion likely has Steve Jobs rolling in his grave. I promise you, the level of success achieved by Macintosh was because of the entirety, evolution and emotion of its brand.

Apple is successful because of powerful marketing strategy. Period. Apple does NOT sell computers and phone and tablets. Apple sells individuality and innovation. I’m typing this on my new MacBook Air, while sipping my Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha with 2 pumps, while my iPhone plays my Pandora mix.  I bought these  because of what they offer me. They fill my emotional needs. They make me feel important. They speed up my work flow. They offer me energy, individuality and contribute in some way to my self-esteem. I buy things for how they make me feel.

Your product, solution or service must serve a large enough need of others. You may have the strongest WHY in the world, but if you are the only person with that need or passion, it won’t matter. Have you ever had a friend approach you with a business idea that he or she was very excited about, but you thought was a terrible idea? You thought to yourself, “No one is going to need or buy that.” Effective marketing includes research which evaluates demands, trends, demographics. There’s so much more than your why.

You buy things that make up your IDENTITY. Whether you buy name brands or refuse, you are branding yourself with the things you buy and the people with which you do business.

I’ve spent my life obsessively studying branding, influence and marketing. Starting with why is a great concept because it’s simple. The more important lesson from the success of this book is to keep your marketing message simple and focused on one topic and it will become more memorable and thus more effective. Sinek knows that a complicated book with many facets wouldn’t break through clutter, just like complicated marketing messages don’t work.

I believe the book has opened up a discussion about marketing, but it oversimplifies success. It’s fluffy. It’s a false promise that you can be wildly successful, if you can get others to buy in to your why. The book itself proves my point. The book does not sell information. It sells something deeper. It sells a false promise that if you just focus on your why, you’ll be successful. I respectfully disagree.

Instead, start with you.

Yes, you have a great product, great service, a great team. You are in dentistry or consulting or coaching or accounting to help people. We should all be here to help people. Start with YOU. You is your customer. Instead of focusing on WHY, unveil the true needs of your customer. Provide a real solution to a real problem. Do it better or differently than you competition. Connect emotionally with your target market through effective marketing – like that thoughtfully produced by Macintosh. What is your customer’s why?

Perhaps Sinek is right. Perhaps you should start with why. I just plead that you don’t end there.

SEO for Dental Consultants | Are You Playing Possum?

Google’s latest algorithm update, known as “Possum,” includes substantial changes to the way local searches are processed. How this will impact your business depends largely on your internet marketing strategies. However, Possum has the potential to dramatically increase local search rankings for your business. Here are five important factors you should consider.

1. Prior to the Possum update, businesses located outside city limits were often omitted from local map listings. Searches for your city name and business type were unlikely to return your practice and or even show your location on the map itself. Possum has corrected this oversight. Today, local searches consider the address, as well as physical location. In many cases, practices whose local listings were several pages deep are now in the first two or three pages of results. By capitalizing on this algorithm-generated boost, a business may achieve higher local rankings than were previously possible.

2. Greater weight is being placed on the physical location of the person making the search. Since the update, the closer a person is to a business, the more likely it will appear in their local results. Before, a practice could rank locally in areas that were further away due to the use of keywords like “dentist near me.” Now, results are more strongly skewed in favor of the actual location of the person searching.

3. Google now shows even less favor to duplicate content. Multiple listings for different business branches or practice locations that are hosted on the same website are now unlikely to rank with more than one listing. While the other listings are not removed, Google displays only the most relevant unique results based on the search terms. Be aware that if you are practicing in a building where another dentist has an office, it is possible that only one of the listings will appear in a search.

4. Search phrases are making a greater impact since the Possum update. The top 3 in the local section is now more likely to return exact phrase combinations. Word choice and order are more sensitive than before the update, and minor variation may provide completely different results.

5. Local and organic listings now operate independently. Prior to the update, local and organic rankings often contained a large amount of overlap. With Possum, this is no longer the case. The same business may now find that they are ranked number 2 locally, but on page 20 organically. New marketing strategies may be necessary to provide your desired results.

If you haven’t done so already, take a few minutes to see how you are ranking with Google today. Consider your marketing plan and whether it may be time for a change.

Dental Consultant Websites | Stop Living in the Past.

You may already know how first impressions work. Within seconds, the person you are meeting for the first time has already judged you subconsciously and made assumptions about your income level, personality, hobbies and more.

Before patients ever make their way through your front door, they’ve already judged your business. They’ve done this in seconds after finding your website online. Some of these judgements involve whether or not you are up to date in your methods and technology. These judgements are the basis of whether the visitor will call you or continue to search online for someone who makes a better first impression.

Most people don’t realize that the majority of people browsing the internet do not take the time to read your written content prior to making an initial judgement. Instead, they judge you instantly by the design of your website.

They will subconsciously assume your technology and methods are out of date if your website is out of date.

From 2014 to 2016, MUCH has changed in the world of website design. 

In 2014, modern designs included a 2 column, simplistic layout. Many sites featured stock photography and a page that was separate from its background. The sites were often mobile friendly, but not always responsive. Few sites included a major focus on online reviews or custom video content. Few featured real patient photos.

In 2016, we’re seeing a lot of movement and modular design. Most websites do not have a distinguished page, but instead have horizontal sections for scrolling. Minimalistic designs are growing in popularity, but often lack necessary information and ranking factors which help online visibility. Parallax scrolling effects are subtle yet very impressive and show a certain sophistication that the 2014 websites no longer possess. Online forms are now more likely pop-ups or very minimalistic. Large photos and maps are more popular than those restricted to boxes on the page. Menus are smaller and more condensed and now often “stick” to the top of the page, keeping contact information available at all times.

How often do I need to update my design?

If you have a very modern and technologically savvy dental practice, you will want your website updated every 2 years, depending on how much has changed in trends. We’ve seen spans of 2-3 years pass without major design trends hit the mainstream. Other years, like 2016, the websites developed in January are very different than those created in October- just because of rapidly evolving trends.

What’s involved in updating my website design?

We’ll implement a completely new layout for you, which utilizes the current trends. We’ll work with our developers to completely redevelop your website and coding, which is necessary when changing the layout and design of your website. We’ll test every page on every browser. We may recommend sending us updated team and patient photos to use in place of the stock photos used in the past.

You will have the opportunity to see and approve the new layout before it is developed and made live.

Here is a  sample: