Re-think DentistryPeter Senn Yuen
I love helping dentists define their brands. And in the last ten years of doing this work, I’ve learned a lot about dentists and how they think.
Today’s digital landscape is creating a demand for dentists to go social and share more about themselves and their work. Social media is certainly not for everybody, but dentists who adapt to these new norms are benefitting from the increased visibility.
Ready to start making this transition? Avoid some of the common pitfalls, and prepare for a bit of personal growth along the way.
The biggest mistake that most dentists make is that they don’t plan for a marketing budget when they open a new practice. I can’t tell you how many dentists I’ve worked with who have invested anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million in building out a beautiful space and filling it with beautiful equipment, only to realize that they haven’t set aside any budget for marketing… at all. Web design and branding is the last thing they’re thinking of.
Your practice is virtually invisible without a robust digital presence. Marketing should be part of your original budget, not something you scramble to patch together in stress mode.
Before social media was a thing, practices were built off of connections. Then and now, people build massive practices by investing in creating true relationships. Social media isn’t about how large your following is; it’s about effectively targeting and attracting potential customers in your demographic.
Remember the yellow pages? Not that long ago, most dentists recruited new patients by running ads in their local phone book. Then Google came along and it became big business to build websites for doctors and dentists. A handful of advertising companies sold everyone the same handful of templates. It’s a visual genre that comes straight out of the phone book.
The almost-ready-to-retire dentist is in a great position. They know everyone in their community, they’re connected, their business is established. All they have to do in terms of marketing is spruce up their look. I can’t tell you how much pleasure I get from putting a 65-year-old in high tops and a pair of jeans that fit. It just shifts everything.
I get it, you’re busy. You’re a dentist, you’re seeing patients, you’re managing your team… you don’t have time to create content for your social media channels. I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is hugely important for attracting new patients through the internet. Why? Because most people looking for something like a new dentist do a quick search online. You want your practice to show up on the first page of a search engine’s results, whether it’s Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The problem is that search engines update their algorithms every year, so the SEO landscape is constantly shifting.
Many dentists seem to believe that being active on social media means hiring a company to post stock photos of doctors with sentimental quotes on their Facebook and Instagram feeds – but there’s no vulnerability or intimacy in this approach! To be an effective tool for your business, social media demands more authenticity.