The First Three Steps You Can Take For Your Perfect Dental Marketing Plan for 2020

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time for many of us to look towards the new year and begin planning for our growth in the new year. To help you get started, I’ve outlined the first 3 steps of my 13-step guide to creating a marketing plan that can take your practice to the next level. It will be easy to rush through these, but it’s worth taking the time to really consider what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. If, after reading this blog, you want to continue on with the next 10 steps, all you have to do is join our free Facebook group, Dental Marketing With Grace at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DentalMarketingWithGrace/ and watch the video where I explain each step in detail. For now, let’s get started.Dental Marketing

 

Step 1:

It’s hard to get to where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been, especially when it comes to marketing your practice. To help you better understand your current situation, you should first evaluate your current new patient flow.

 

How many new patients do you see, on average, per month? How have they changed throughout the year? Where are these patients coming from?

 

If your numbers aren’t as high as you’d like them to be, that’s ok. It’s better to know. Accordingly, you can target your marketing campaign to help you see improvements in the necessary areas. When you understand your needs, you can then begin to think about how many new patients you can honestly accommodate and build your marketing plan around those numbers.

 

Maybe for your practice, you have the numbers, but you’re not seeing as many big cases as you would like. Think about the cases you want to specifically target and how many of these cases you’d like to see. Painting this picture for yourself allows you to identify your goals in a concrete way, then structure your plan around them.

 

Step 2:

What’s special about you? Some may think there’s nothing special and others may have a hard time picking just one. If you’re struggling with the former, consider why your patients are loyal to you and why they refer their friends and family to you.

 

When generating ideas for your special quality, take a look at what dentists in your area are saying about themselves. If all the general dentists are referring to their care as “gentle”, you won’t want to do the same. You’ll need to find something that differentiates you while remaining true to who you are. This differentiator will be the underlying tone for all your marketing.

 

Once you figure out what that is, it’s important that your whole team knows and understands why it’s so important to your brand. They’ll be able to bring this quality to all their patient interactions until it becomes a part of the practice culture you develop over time.

 

Step 3:

Many dentists still feel uncomfortable about marketing their practices and themselves. What we can tell you is that your patients and your community want (and expect) you to market.

 

People want to be able to engage with you and hear from you. A better way to think of your marketing is to understand the purpose behind it.

 

If not you, then whose responsibility is it to educate the community about oral health? Take this mission upon yourself and create a reputation of care for your entire community. Embracing your marketing in this way is both a positive experience for both your community and your practice.

 

To accomplish the third step in creating your 2020 marketing plan, write down 5 things that you want your community to know about oral health. If you’re a pediatric dentist, you could discuss how you help infants receive proper nutrition. If you’re proud of your technology, you can educate your patients on the benefits of your favorite gadgets. Even the relationships you have with your patients can be shared with the wider community.

 

With these ideas in place, it’s easy to create custom educational pieces that get your face, your name, and your brand well known in the community.

 

 

If you need help with any of these first three steps, my team and I are here to assist you. Just schedule a complimentary marketing planning session at https://identitydental.com/cmps/ and talk to me about your practice and your goals. If you want to continue your plan on your own, join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/DentalMarketingWithGrace/ and follow along with the rest of my video lesson.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

3 Reasons Why You Hate Marketing That Are Really The Reasons You Should Love It

It has been a long-held belief in the dental profession that there is no place for marketing in dentistry. Unfortunately, the marketing industry is not doing itself any favors when it comes to dispelling this myth in my opinion.

For some doctors, it is the concern that marketing may be simply too much of an added stressor or time drain. You are already responsible for excelling as a dentist and leader of your practice. The thought of adding ‘marketing manager’ to that list of roles can be daunting for many. For others, they finally make the leap into the marketing waters only to be met with the icy embrace of an unethical and unfair marketing company.

For those that are suffering from the latter, I can understand why you may never want to try marketing again. But I can also assure you that one bad experience is not a reflection of the entirety of what marketing can offer. In fact, these bad experiences are often blessings in disguise.

Reason 1 Why You Don’t Like Marketing, But Really Should:

In my 10 years of experience, I have found that many have a negative view of marketing because they don’t fully commit. Doctors in high competition areas will invest $200 one time and if it doesn’t bring in a patient immediately, they’ll write off marketing as just another hoax. Imagine if your patients only brushed their teeth for 30 seconds one time and expected to maintain a healthy smile forever after. That low-risk tolerance holds many people back and prevents them from seeing the full rewards that are possible with a little faith and patience.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you. You should love marketing because it almost always gives you what you put into it. When the same doctor who invested $200 once begins to invest more (both in terms of time and money), they’re going to begin to see results. A good company can help you use your resources more effectively, but at the end of the day, you’ll still need to give to get.

Reason 2:

It is also a common expectation for new practice owners to expect results quickly, without giving their campaign time to gain traction. What I tell those dentists, and what I will now tell you, is that most marketing initiatives only START to gain traction at the six-month mark. Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is purposefully lying to you. Give your marketing the time it needs and you’ll be rewarded.

When you do so, marketing becomes more than just clicks and Google searches. Your marketing also increases your word of mouth referrals because you’re top of mind. It accelerates growth by educating the community on your services and the importance of proper oral health care. When you put all that together, it means you’ve become a positive force in your community. You become an entity that people know of, that they trust, and that they first think of when the need for dentistry arises. That’s a pretty powerful reason to love good marketing.

Reason 3:

It is often the case that many marketing companies (especially in the dental space) don’t have the proper education, experience, or certifications to be running successful campaigns. Unfortunately, there’s also a gross lack of ethics in the marketing profession (from what I’ve seen in dental marketing since 2008). As a result, campaigns run, but the dentist doesn’t know their ad spend, doesn’t have ownership of their websites and as a result, they don’t see the results they are looking for.

However,  ignoring marketing is not the solution. Instead, learn enough to protect yourself, create a plan, track your patient referral sources, and do it the right way. If you’re looking for all of these needs wrapped into one dental-specific marketing company, then you’re looking for Identity Dental Marketing. Not only do we deliver marketing that works, but we do it in an ethical way that you can feel confident about.

Whether you’re trying out marketing for the first time or you’re looking for a better way of doing things, we are here for you. Schedule a complimentary marketing planning session and allow us to learn about you and your practice. Together, we can work to achieve many of the goals you have for your success. https://identitydental.com/cmps/

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Why Transparency Is So Important To Your Business

Recently, I had some unexpected time on my hands and thought I’d check out the corporate optometrist near me. I was curious what kind of shenanigans I’d get to witness. After seeing specials for $35 eye exam, I didn’t have much to lose. Of course the exam was next to nothing and the eyeglass section was abundant. Since they were 15 minutes late for my appointment (no biggie), I picked out my glasses before my exam.

The process was smooth, the doctor was very nice. All was well.

I picked out frames that were $190 and on sale 40% off. I went to pay it was just shy of $400. I paused, asked again the cost of the glasses and then again asked the cost of the exam. She said the glasses and exam were on sale. Now the basic exam was $50 (not the same as the sign outside) and the glasses were on sale from $190. I then asked to see an itemized breakdown. I’m no mathematician but $190 + $50 doesn’t equal $400. It equals something less than that. 😂

It was all digital and presented on an iPad. The descriptions of items were not things I recognized. I noticed the $300 coating on the lens and said “well we can definitely remove that”. The price didn’t change much. Everything else just adjusted its price to equal almost $400 again. Again, I’m not a mathematician but $400- $300 isn’t $400. I was then given a discount for having medical insurance (Weird! Especially since it didn’t include vision.)

Now my price was down to around $350. The math still wasn’t clear. I decided to take my now $59 exam and leave. I said, “this pricing just doesn’t make sense and I’ll have to take the prescription and move on.”

After I paid, in a last-ditch effort to sell me the glasses the woman said, “just so you know, the price of the frames is $190. The lens’ are not included in that price.” Now I know anti-glare coating and some other options cost money— but this was just crazy.

There was a lot of clever and somewhat sneaky things happening in that optometrist’s office that day and I know it’s very similar to how some dental offices operate. While I’m sure that some people may go along with the trick and get taken advantage of, I have to believe that most people would take the same course of action that I took. What could’ve been a higher sale and perhaps even a loyal customer, turned into much less because of their attempt to pull one over on me.

The same lesson goes for your dental practice. If you’re willing to lie and offer anything just to get patients in the door, you’ll lose something more valuable than business. You’ll lose your reputation and you’ll lose the trust of your patients.

Transparency, honesty, or even just being a decent human being are critical components of your business. Without them, there’s simply no way you’re going to experience continual growth and success. While it hopefully seems like common sense to most of you, I’ll reiterate for those who rely on false advertising – patients go to health professionals that they trust more readily and more frequently than they will ever go to someone who lies to them.

Later that same day, I took my prescription to a website called Zenni Optical and purchased SIX pairs of glasses for under $200. It wasn’t that I was unwilling to spend. It was that I was unwilling to spend with a company that wasn’t transparent. Your patients are going to be the same way.

If you want to work with a marketing company that places the same emphasis on integrity and transparency as you do, contact Identity Dental Marketing. We’ve been helping dentists create honest, ethical, and effective marketing for over 10 years and we can help you do the same. Schedule your complimentary marketing planning session with me online at https://identitydental.com/cmps/ and let’s have a conversation about you, your goals, and your transparency.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

The Recipe For Successful Relationships: 1 Part Integrity, 1 Part Openness, 1 Part Trust

Have you ever met someone who is incapable of admitting when they made a mistake? Whether it is from fear of punishment, or a simple unwillingness to believe that they could be wrong, this inability to apologize is a serious hindrance on your business growth.

No one likes to mess up and admitting when you made a mistake can be difficult. However, doing so demonstrates an invaluable quality for any employee, or for that matter, any person to have: a strong commitment to integrity.

Integrity is the foundation of true growth and success. When someone possesses integrity, it allows you to depend upon them to get the job done, correctly and completely. That level of trust allows your business to do more and operate more efficiently.

Like any house, your relationships are built upon a foundation of integrity. When someone fails to honor a commitment, or doesn’t own up to their mistakes, it’s like taking a hammer and chipping away at the foundation you’ve established, bit by bit.

No, the house won’t fall immediately with a few chips in the foundation, but if these chips continue to occur over a long time, there will eventually, and inevitably, be a destructive failure.

Similes aside, the little promises we make to people throughout our day can add up. Whether this is in employee exchanges, a business partnership, or a marriage, all of your relationships are built upon your ability to trust that the little promises people make to you will be honored. If they are not, then you should also be able to trust that the person will be open and honest in their communication about their failures.

When looking at your own team, make a conscious effort to gauge the level of trust you have in each person. Who are the people you trust to see things through? Who are the people who could use some time to develop into a more dependable person?

Determining these answers is a big step to ensuring your team is a powerful and cohesive unit. When you count on your employees, you can delegate more responsibilities, freeing up your time to work on big picture business growth ideas. If any member of your team seems to be incapable of moving up on that meter, it may be a sign that they are not a fit. 

The Identity Dental Marketing team is here to serve you with honesty and integrity. Made up of trustworthy, ethical members, you can rely on us to honor our commitments and get the job done with the highest level of quality. Schedule a call and tell us what you need help with at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Dental Marketing | Tweak Your Mindset For a More Positive Practice

As you may have guessed, we spend a lot of time talking to dentists here at Identity Dental Marketing. One thing we hear frequently from our clients is the idea that “people don’t really want dentistry”. Whether it’s their time or their money, many doctors are under the impression that patients don’t want to spend anything on dental care. In fact, many of our clients say these things so often that they even start to believe them. When this happens, it has a noticeable impact on their practice, their team and their patients too.

Like a trickle down theory of negativity, your attitude is adopted by the members of your team, who lose motivation in their work. This, in turn, is felt by your patients who eventually stop returning to your practice. They do so either because they feel that their dental needs are not taken seriously by your team or they themselves start to undervalue your care in a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Needless to say, this is bad news for everyone involved. You know the importance of great dental care, and so do we, which is why it is so important to insert this belief into everything we do.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who hasn’t had regular dental care. It isn’t because they don’t want your care. We’ve never met anyone who wanted gross, rotten teeth. Have you?

Instead, the reason they don’t seek regular care is likely because they don’t realize that they can afford it. These people want dentistry. They want to protect their teeth, they want to be pain free, and they want to be confident in their smiles. When you tweak your mindset to understand this, then you can truly make a difference in your life and the lives of your patients.

Help your patients imagine a life where they don’t have to hide their smiles or worry about the damage they’re causing to their mouth. Let each patient know these three things:

  • They deserve what you’re offering
  • Your care is accessible and affordable
  • You are there to support them and make great oral health possible

When you do this, you stop putting yourself in a losing position and start creating an atmosphere that recognizes the positivity of dentistry.

Identity Dental Marketing supports you in the creation of this atmosphere through marketing materials that express the positive value you bring to dentistry and attracts patients that need your care.  Get started on your ethical, effective marketing campaign at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Dental Marketing | Your Actions Today Influence the Future of Your Business

Last year, I hosted a live logo evaluation on Facebook. Doctors and clients would send logos for me to evaluate based upon my own personal preferences and my expertise in the field. The event went really well, with many enjoying the free guidance and fun atmosphere.

A year passed and I nearly forgot about the event. The day to day workings of Identity continued on without any related changes. In other words, the energy I put into that event didn’t seem to deliver any return on investment.

Just recently however, one of the participants in that live event (in case you were wondering, his logo was pretty good from what I remember) reached back out to me and introduced me to his team. He remembered the event and myself fondly.

For some, this may not seem like a big deal. But for me, it validated one of my “Rizz-isms”: a belief I’ve held for a very long time. There is such a thing as “Business Karma”.

The word karma and it’s meaning has been changed and disputed so many times by so many different groups that it may mean something different to you than it does to me. To me, karma, and especially business karma is not some kind of tit for tat mentality.

Business Karma isn’t about doing good things just because you expect them to come back to you. It’s important to approach business with the understanding that positive intention means a lot. It should be implemented every day, into everything you do. Where your actions are coming from is just as important as what the actions are, because anything that goes in to your business, good or bad, is going to come back out.

For my own business, this belief means that I sometimes dedicate a lot of work and energy without seeing an immediate and direct return on my investment. This doesn’t mean I invest carelessly, or ignore sound business advice, but simply that I have the patience to wait for my work to pay off.

The moments when that input becomes success is one of the best feelings in the world for any business owner. I know it certainly is for me. However, that feeling only comes from consistent and well guided effort. Make inputting into your business a part of your life and a part of your journey. In time, you’ll see the rewards.

Because I believe so strongly in the idea of Business Karma, I want to input into your business too. Schedule a complimentary marketing planning consultation, where we’ll have a conversation about how best to grow your business.

https://identitydental.com/cmps/

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Identity Dental Marketing Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Identity Dental Marketing Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

One of Dentistry’s Favorite Businesses Thanks Its Loyal Clients for Entrusting Their Internet Presence with Identity Dental Marketing

September 22, 2019,

CHICAGO, Illinois, Sept. 22, 2019 Identity Dental Marketing, a well trusted, custom dental marketing agency, announced today its 10-year anniversary. Having had the privilege to create more than 1,500 custom dental marketing plans since its inception in 2009, the team at Identity Dental Marketing is optimistic for what’s the come in the next decade of serving the great profession of dentistry.

“Our mission from the beginning has been to provide ethical marketing solutions for ethical dentists. It’s our goal to grow the business of the dentists that we’d trust with the care of our own families. It’s important to expand the businesses of those who care about serving their communities and providing quality care,” said Grace Rizza, founder, and owner of Identity Dental Marketing. “While the business has expanded significantly since our start in 2009 to serve dentists in all 50 states, we haven’t strayed from this mission as we are fully committed to providing only the services needed to help each of our clients reach their specific practice goals. It can never be a one-sized fits all approach.”

“We also remain committed to developing trusting relationships with our clients. By never mandating long-term contracts we know each of our clients is with us because they are happy with the results. With dozens of 5 star reviews and excellent retention, we know our hard work has paid off for our clients,” said Grace Rizza.

In addition to website and SEO services, Identity Dental Marketing also offers its clients custom Google Ads campaigns with optimization, management and retargeting. Paid and organic social media marketing is also offered and proving a strong return on investment for Identity Dental Marketing clients. Custom designed print materials allow dental practices to make a strong and lasting impressions on existing and new patients. In 2017, Identity Dental Marketing began offering custom photography and videography to further strengthen all digital marketing campaigns.

About Identity Dental Marketing

Identity Dental Marketing is a full service dental marketing agency, serving ethical dentists with the creation and implementation of custom dental marketing plans.

Join Identity Dental Marketing on Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marketingwithg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceIDM

LinkedIn:  http://linkedin.com/company/identitydental

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdentityDentalMarketing/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dentalmarketingwithgrace

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/identitydentalmarketing/

Media Contact:

Chris Guetthoff

PR Director

(847) 629-4646

pr@identitydental.com

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Dental Marketing | Get More From Your Team

Dental Team Training
Dental Team Training

It’s clear some people go through life overwhelmed, unhappy and frustrated. It manifests in how they communicate with others. I’ve had my fair share of frustrating days, even weeks and maybe even years. The point is, we’ve all been there. I’m not pointing this out from my ivory tower. I promise you that.

Running a business is no easy task. Pair that with the emotional toll of patient care and you have an environment perfect for storms.

Somewhere at some point in time, advisors, speakers or educators told the doctors they should “only be doing dentistry.” Some took that to heart and anytime their business requires them to roll up their sleeves, they feel resentful. This creates a very difficult work environment for the team.

Let’s face it, as a business owner, you are always going to do things that are outside of your role. Even 10 years into business with 3 graphic designers, I will occasionally fire up Photoshop and finalize some creative work. I won’t however, spend the rest of the day angry because I did a task that wasn’t “the highest and best use of my time”.

If you want your employees and business advisors (you may even call us vendors, which is highly offensive) to do more for you, do these three things:

  1. Talk to your employees the way you talk to your patients. Show them appreciation. Ask them questions. Lead with respect always. It seems in business we have no problem putting our best foot forward with clients, customers, and patients, but we show our ugliest side to our team.
  2. Talk to your business advisors with the same respect you use when talking to patients. They’ll want to talk to you. They’ll want to be sure you are well cared for. People think the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Maybe that’s the case sometimes. In more cases than not, if you aren’t kind and respectful to people, they won’t want to go the extra mile for you.
  3. Get happy. Embrace the fact that you are a business owner and sometimes you need to do things that are outside of your dental degree. Learn whatever you can. Hire the right support team (both internally and in advisors). Work to get everyone else set up so that they can succeed. Know that at some point you may be able to primarily do dentistry, but it may take some time to get there.

If you are miserable in your practice and feel that things have gotten out of control. It’s time to hire professionals to help organize, streamline and reenergize your business. Contact me at Grace@identitydental.com and I can help you find the right advisor.

It’s never too late to make a positive change.

Join Our Free Facebook Group

Dental Marketing | If I were a dentist…

Dental Marketing

 

It’s been over a decade since I worked in a dental practice. Since then, I’ve used my own business to coach over 1,000 dentists in their growth strategies. As a result, I often find myself thinking about what I’d do in certain situations. Of course, I’m not a dentist, and it may be that none of my, “If I were a dentist…” statements matter. However, I’ve found that an outside perspective can often cause others to consider their work from a different angle. The reanalysis and improvements that come with this new perspective are why I’ve decided to share these statements with you today. Some of them may directly help you, and others may not, but they will all challenge the way you think about your business. 

  1. If I were a dentist, I’d buy an existing practice from a retiring doctor. It wasn’t until last week that I realized this is not always an option. If you have a specific area in which you’re searching, there may not be many practices available. It may be a waiting game. The transition process to ownership may be less than ideal. I know financially, a start-up will almost always be a few years behind an established practice. Financially speaking, in my ideal world, I’d buy an existing practice as soon as possible. Also, this doctor would be retiring. That’s right. He or she would be “hanging up the shingle”. Whatever that means. I wouldn’t want to deal with him or her trying to take patients from his or her new location 10 miles away.
  2. If I were a dentist, I’d make it my mission to find a true manager. I’ve seen a lot of great office managers, but I’ve seen far more okay office managers. In order to be able to focus on dentistry whenever possible, I’d have to have an office manager that is a total badass. He or she would provide monthly reports, keep the team in line, handle payroll, and jump in to handle difficult patient conversations. I’d pay this person very well and they’d be a big part of why I remained sane. I’d provide leadership training and we’d make an awesome team.
  3. If I were a dentist, I’d market myself aggressively without shame. I’d market my business in a way that made sure every person in the community knew that I was an option. I’d have a monthly email newsletter and daily social media posts (done by my team) and I’d invest in SEO, PPC, Facebook, and Instagram advertising. I know that I can attract a new patient for $150-$500 and that once they’re a part of my practice, they won’t want to leave because I’d have some quirky amenities (coming later).
  4. If I were a dentist, I would not work with my spouse. I love my husband enough to know that if he’s my employee, it’ll have some damaging repercussions on our relationship. I know I’d have to maintain my position as CEO of my practice, and my manager needs to play a support role to me. I know our relationship wouldn’t support this.
  5. If I were a dentist, I’d grow to accommodate amazing associates and I’d spoil them. I’d make it very easy for a young parent to work for me. I’d give them the exact framework to fill their schedule and keep their patients happy. This would be because I’d have invested the time in creating systems for every process within my business. (For those saying this isn’t realistic, I hear you. However, I know it’s possible.) Once my business was running without me providing most of the clinical dentistry, I’d be looking to purchase my next practice.
  6. If I were a dentist, I’d host quarterly team appreciation days. We’d take a full day off 4 times per year just to get to know each other better. This single activity would create collaboration and openness beyond what you could get from an annual workshop.
  7. If I were a dentist, I’d carefully select CE events based on what applies to my annual growth plan or current pain points. I’d also do everything possible to avoid boring CE because it makes me want to punch myself in the face.
  8. If I were a dentist, I’d go live on Facebook every Wednesday to educate the community. I’d talk about things like oral cancer, the link between periodontal disease and heart disease, why your comfort matters when visiting our team, and anything that will educate.
  9. If I were a dentist, I’d dedicate one full business day every other week to work on my business systems and team training.
  10. If I were a dentist, I’d offer the following to patients: blankets, Netflix, kind welcome, office tour at first visit, to hang their coat, a bottle of water, a warm cookie when they leave (like Godley Station Dental in Georgia), my team would match and present professionally in stealthy scrubs. Most importantly, my team would act as a family, making it much easier to in turn treat patients like family.

If I were a dentist, I probably would not practice clinical dentistry because I’m so deeply passionate about business. That’s likely one of the reasons I’m not a dentist. But because of that affinity for business, I can help you become a better practice owner. For help with the business support you need to create your ideal practice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me: Grace@identitydental.com

Join Our Free Facebook Group