Dump Expensive Marketing Plans: 15 Tips to grow a dental practice inexpensively.
Want to grow your dental practices but don’t want to spend a fortune in the process?
Keep It Simple! (yet highly effective)
Below are 15 tips that will help you grow your dental practices without breaking the bank. By following these dental marketing ideas, you’ll be on your way to seeing more patients and growing your business. So what are you waiting for? Start reading!
SPOILER ALERT: The Marketing element to growing your practice inexpensively is Tip #5.
- No professionally managed social media (have a team member take this over)
- No long-term, expensive SEO (search engine optimization)
- No ongoing, expensive PPC (pay per click advertising)
- No ongoing, expensive dental marketing campaigns.
- Get to page 1 in Google quickly using hyper-localized SEO
- Get to page 1 in Google quickly for multiple keywords
You Can grow Your Practice Inexpensively
Patients don’t appreciate oral health like you do, regardless of how much you try to educate them. In fact, if you try too much education, patients can grow resentful or feel attacked. Their decisions about your practice are driven by their emotional reactions to their experiences at your practice.
Net: Your dental practice grows because your patients are happy with your practice.
This is a basic principle that every dentist (and every business owner) needs to really understand.
It’s Human Nature to Complain
A dental patient is more likely to complain about your dental practice than praise it on social media sites. (Dislike equates to emotional pain, and pain is proven to be a far more powerful motivator than joy.)
Do they mention how great you or your staff was? Probably not- unless you encouraged patients to do so – which you should. But if a patient comes out of your office complaining, then you’ve got a problem! And in this age of “Karen” videos, it’s even worse.
What does this have to do with growing your practice inexpensively? Simple. Do everything you can to ensure your patients leave their appointment as happy and as satisfied as possible. This creates great word-of-mouth advertising and referrals and costs very little.
Ways to Create Happy Dental Patients, and Thus Grow…
Tip #1: Great Staff
Hiring great staff may not be thought of as part of dental marketing, but it is. Just like your other dental marketing efforts, your team is an extension of yourself. But importantly, you need to be the best boss you can be for your team. Give direction, but don’t micro-manage. If your team likes working for you, then you’ll have a winning team.
Tip #2: Great Staff – All of Them
The biggest mistake dentists make with their team, particularly during times of staff shortages, is to keep the “bad apple” employee around.
Nobody likes letting people go, but research has shown that the “bad apple” employee can lower the performance of the entire team by roughly 30%. If a patient interacts with the “bad apple”, they’re far more likely to leave with bad feelings about the practice.
This will destroy or limit your practice, and dentists need to get rid of these people fast. Even the one that’s been “with you since the beginning.” Provide them opportunities to do better, but not for long. They ARE hurting your practice.
Tip #3: Friendly Environment
Your team should always greet your patients with a smile when they come to your office. Patients have chosen your practice above others, so treat them with respect. It’s not an option, it’s essential.
[A Quick Observation About Growing Dental Practices]
You’ve probably noticed that so far we haven’t touched on the fact that your dental practice can do a “same-day dental crown” or dental implant better than any other dentist in your area. You’ve worked hard for your expertise and your commitment to oral health, and the patients should know that!
Well, there is a place for that and we’ll get there.
But… that’s not what will drive growth in your dental practice.
This may be unfortunate, but it’s the truth. People want the best dentist of course, just like they want to eat healthily and they want to get in shape. But if they have a poor experience with a dental practice, eating healthy or going to the gym, people default back to what’s more comfortable even if it isn’t as “good” for them.
Tip #4: Insurance & Costs
If dental patients have questions or concerns about their bill or insurance, then do everything possible to help them out. Explain the charges and answer every question that they have.
Your team member may have explained the exact same thing a hundred times, but if they are exasperated it comes through. It’s the first time this patient has had it explained to them (maybe). But regardless, it’s part of the patient experience so make it as painless as possible.
Dental marketing strategy for your dental practice
Tip #5: An Effective Marketing Strategy
An established dental practice needs to have an effective online marketing system in place to reach prospective patients, but don’t go overboard on spending money just because some or all of your competitors are doing something. You don’t need to spend a lot of money having social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter professionally managed.
You don’t need to get to page 1 in Google using paid advertising. It creates an ongoing expense and not a marketing asset that can keep working and even get more effective over time without continued expenses.
How? BrilliantDoc has discovered that an effective dental marketing strategy with hyper-localized SEO landing pages and a great website as the marketing foundation. As a dental practice owner your website can function as the hub of your dental marketing efforts; and, your dental website can create a sustainable, robust ROI.
You can read the other tips until later – but seriously contact BrilliantDoc now if you want to win prospective patients locally. It’s not expensive and it is highly effective!
Tip #6: HIPAA Forms
Provide HIPAA compliant forms and paperwork that allows prospective patients to either complete the paperwork in-office using a notepad or fill it out ahead of time, online at home. Here is another area where BrilliantDoc shines. Inexpensive, customized, HIPAA compliant forms. For HIPAA forms check this out! Easy “paperwork” will encourage patients and improve their attitudes about your practice.
Tip #7: Hygiene
During the time of Covid protocols and concern… having good hygiene in place for all of your patients has always been a top priority. The difference now is that it may be a much bigger concern for some of your patients. So let them know (for those interested) your procedures. Things such as handwashing before being with a patient, using disposable or sealed instruments on each patient, using protective gear such as masks and gloves, sterilizing trays with hospital grade disinfectant between use by different patients or procedures, and also making sure that your staff washes their hands between each patient. Perhaps it’s a poster in the lobby or a brochure outlining your procedures that’s located at the front desk for those who want to check it out. It’s old hat to you, but maybe not your patients!
Tip #8: Minimize Appointments
Offer teeth cleanings or teeth whitening on the spot so the patient doesn’t have to worry about scheduling another appointment. Fewer appointments can lead to glowing reviews and positively impact your dental marketing!
Tip #9: Family Friendly
Provide toys and books for young children so they don’t get bored and distressed while their parent is getting treatment. You may not think of this as dental marketing, but this can have a positive impact in many ways.
Tip #10: Distractions
Offer headphones or earbuds on request so you know everyone is relaxed and comfortable. Make sure all COVID protocols are in place and include these!
Tip #11: TV Adds to the Patient Experience
Keep your TV screen visible to patients at all times so they can see what’s happening during their treatment. This is a step many other practices are missing and it requires only a modest investment.
Tip #12: Free WiFi
Ensure that the waiting room is well-organized, clean, comfortable, and inviting – and include free wifi. You’d be surprised how many dental practices do not provide wifi.
Tip #13: A Friendly Atmosphere
Make sure your staff is well-dressed, friendly, polite, and approachable.
Tip #14: Reminders Are Expected
Provide text, email, and /or phone reminders for appointments, cleanings, and other necessary services. These days this is a basic service for your dental marketing.
Tip #15: Rewarding Performance
Rewarding your employees can be inexpensive, but it does require commitment.
Giving your staff recognition rewards builds morale. It also shows them that their contributions are appreciated. You should offer incentives to all of your staff who do an exceptional job at their position- not just your dentists.
Your dental assistants, billing department employees, and front desk associates deserve recognition for their work. Everyone works together as a team- so reward them when they accomplish something that deserves recognition!
Dental Marketing Ideas
Creating a dental practice that is enjoyable for your patients and helps them feel comfortable and happy is essential to making your dental practice successful. It’s important for your patients to feel like they’re receiving the best care possible. Have someone on staff ask (occasionally) if they would suggest improvements to the practice. If you get a good idea, adopt it and marketing it.
Keeping these 15 tips in mind will help you grow your dental practice inexpensively, and will make it more likely that your patients stick with you for all of their future needs:
Bonus Tip #16: and this is probably the most important tip of all…
Be real. Too many dental professionals are too cold and too efficient. Trust is the actual currency of a dental office.
If you want your patients to love the care they receive in your office, then they need to feel like you’re actually real with them. If you and your team are friendly and caring, then that’s what they’ll perceive about your dental practice and share that perception with friends and family.
Bonus, Bonus Tip: This “tip list” can be the only marketing strategy your practice will ever need!
With the addition of just a couple of additional marketing steps, this list will generate all the new dental patients you’ll need. The hyper-localized landing pages will give you the search engines results you need. These landing pages will allow you to focus on your specialties: cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or whatever growth strategy you want – with no paid ads! You can beat any dentist nearby in Google search results.
By implementing some or all of these steps you’ll get positive reviews, patient testimonials and keep existing patients for the long term.