I’m pleased to announce that Oral Health Office has just published my article entitled “Top 10 Secrets Dental Marketers Don’t Want You To Know” in this month’s magazine. I’m so very grateful to all of the dentists and dental professionals who contributed to this article to make it very insightful on this topic – namely, Dr. Arsalan Poorsina, Dr. Fadi Swaida, Dr. Samantha Amaro, Dr. Gary Glassman, Dr. Nohora Martinez, Ronald Fung, and Matt Bladowski. Here’s the article in full:
To see all of our published articles over the years, click HERE.
Stop spending money on your websites. Don’t hire “professional” dental marketers. Stop Your Google Ads. Don’t pay for direct mail. Forget Facebook. Don’t do what everyone else does.
And here’s why: it doesn’t work to bring in and keep high need / high IQ patients. You’ll get bottom feeder patients who will simply look for deals, have no loyalty and will leave you once your campaign ends. Websites and direct mail, etc. have limited chance of success UNLESS they are part of an overall brand and marketing campaign. If you’re just going to do what everyone else does, then be prepared to be disappointed (and be out of pocket LOTS OF MONEY!)
Understand this: 90% of your ideal patients come from word-of-mouth referrals. Read that again. Now take a look at your marketing budget (if you have one) and DECIDE RIGHT NOW to invest in your existing patient base. And here’s how:
Step #1: Identify Your Ideal Patient Within Your Patient Base. How old? Male or Female? Single, Professional, Family? Where Do They Come From? What Language(s) Do They Speak? What’s Their Income Level? What Life Stage Are They At?
Step #2: Develop a brand that caters to your ideal patient. If you want to know more about what a brand is, read this blog and this blog too! I also HIGHLY recommend you read Contagious, Sticky Branding, and the Brand Within.
Step #3: Get Your Brand Out There. Your Brand should be both online and offline. It should be in the hands of your patients (don’t depend on REFERRALS from third parties; go direct to your ideal patient!). And not just any patients: but those who will help spread it through social dissemination (likely in person to others). I high recommend you read the Tipping Point to understand the3 types of patients who help spread brands.
Let’s look at an example, shall we?
Step #1: my ideal patient is a wedding couple about to get married. They aren’t afraid to spend money to make their smile more aesthetic before their big day. And their afraid of those pictures (which Photoshop won’t be able to correct).
Step #2: I want to make my dental office look like a banquet hall. I want a giant chandelier. Bright white everywhere. Elegant. I want my ideal patients to seem like I’m part of the wedding process. My team should be trained to help promote that brand. Using the right language when they speak to patients is so important. Having the right smell and imagery in the office is equally important. I want to show patients what they look like how their life would be significantly better by having me fix and whiten their smile (instant gratification using the language of lifestyle enhancement).
Step #3: I need to be present where wedding couples are looking. That includes trade shows, in bridal magazines, etc. I should network with other wedding professionals (photographers, banquet halls, florists, etc.). AND ONLY NOW should I spend money to promote my practice online (including Google Ads, Facebook, Websites, etc.) but keeping my brand in mind at all times. I’m not interested in targeted everyone; only wedding couples. I’m not wasting money. I’m engaging my ideal patient and niching my practice to survive and thrive in a competitive environment.
Other tips and tricks: when I’m promoting my brand, I need to show my target patients that I CARE about them; that I’m trying to solve their pain; that I’m not just trying to ‘sell’ dentistry. I need to understand what motivates them; what they’re afraid of; and what would make them want to SWITCH to my practice from all the other practices near their home / work. It may take 18 months to get the word out there that I cater to couples about to get married, but by the time I’ve invested in this niche branding, I should be on solid financial footing.
Note: this is just an EXAMPLE. You can use this example to give you ideals on how to target just about any ideal patient. Also remember to review the RCDSO guidelines on ADVERTISING and read this previous article I wrote so you don’t get into trouble. Also take a look at this article that was published about niche dental practices – are they the future?
I’m temporarily taking off my employment law hat and putting on my privacy law hat, because I wanted dentists to know about a change to privacy laws – specifically spam messages – in Canada. Read more
David Mayzel and I attended the Northern Ontario Dental Association’s annual get together from September 17-19, 2015 in North Bay. It was a fantastic event. We saw old friends (Julie Lyons-Wolfe from The Handpiece Clinic, Marc Z. from Henry Schein, Marc B. from Patterson Dental, Rick Baldwin with TD Bank, Mits K. from TMFD, Tim + Laura from Lifecycle Wealth, Scott Kosmack from Accu+ Dental Lab, etc.) and met new ones.
Day 1: This was the second long-distance drive I did with S.A.M. and she performed amazingly! From Toronto, I stopped briefly in Barrie to supercharge. Then kept going up to North Bay. The resort we were staying at (Clarion Resort, North Bay) had a Tesla charging station to my amazement, so I was always fully charged wherever I went. After settling in, everyone hopped on a series of buses and went out to Dr. Scott’s incredible cottage to enjoy some beer, wine, and appetizers. That’s the pic on the top right below. Also, inside the cottage seemed to be completely made out of pine and / or cedar (I couldn’t get past the amazing smell!). What an incredible place. And don’t get me started on the stars that light up the sky at night. A truly amazing spectacle!
Day 2: Some of us went golfing (me); some of us went canoeing (David). It was a fun day, even when it rained on us. I hung out with Dr. Brian Clarke’s amazing team of hygienists, receptionist and assistant (see the pic below of us doing the “Triple P” – from Jamaica!; FYI, our team name was “Triple P” as well).. It ended with a “Denim and Diamonds” party of sorts. I gotta tell you though: the one-man band (I think his name is James Williams) was truly incredible. He played keyboard, guitar, drums, saxaphone, etc. and sang. He also did requests. He was a machine for the better part of the afternoon and evening (he finished at 11:30 p.m.). We were dancing for hours on the dance floor because of him. He’s in the pic below…
Day 3: Time for breakfast, touring around the exhibitor’s hall (bottom 2 pics below), and then heading back to Toronto.
Will we be back? I believe it’s happening in Sault Ste. Marie next year. I’ll definitely consider it – considering all the fun things we did.
I’m pleased to announce that an article I wrote entitled “Mission Accomplished: 2015 Jamaica Dental Outreach Program” will be published in the October edition of Oral Health Office magazine! The article talks about how the program started over a year ago, what transpired for the 10 days that we were there, and what’s next! Stay tuned…
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