What makes your practice unique? That’s the million dollar question which defines the foundation of your personal branding.
Patients don’t know much about dentistry. A third of them don’t even go to a dentist once a year and most of the rest — even your current patients and best prospects — don’t fully appreciate what you can do for them. They have other priorities, like their careers and families, and going to the dentist is probably perceived as a place to pay for pain.
The most cost-effective way to break through patient resistance to marketing is to establish a “personable” reputation for quality and caring. You need to not only assert that you provide the best overall service in your competitive area with affordable terms, your team -including you-needs to deliver on that promise to keep patients coming back through effective and inviting interpersonal skills. Your “Practice Personality” can be more assertive in the age of technology.
Patients can’t easily make technical comparisons, but they’re willing to trust you if their experiences are positive and if they believe what you do will predictably alleviate discomfort and transform their lives. Car commercials emphasize speed, sexiness, and the latest gadgets to appeal to emotions that will justify the intellectual reasons for buying. Your central message needs to put passion and trust into their smart dental decisions:
- A better smile, designed by you, will help boost self-confidence at work and enable them to more easily network, sell, and get those promotions.
- Trusting your expertise in early orthodontic care is far less expensive than fixing crooked teeth later and will instill their kids with better self-esteem.
- Learning to prevent cavities and catching gum disease early, not only means better overall health, but also equates more money for college, home improvements, and recreation.
- The more you create value through education and personable care, the more they will love dentistry, and YOU!
If you established these messages as your foundation, what are the digital tools that will help you market this positive practice personalized brand?
The most important is have a responsive and visitor-friendly website. Have a marketing specialist or someone in the industry-who didn’t build it-give you a critique and feedback. Staff and patients might not be comfortable candidly answering questions like these:
- Is it cluttered with too much info and articles that are full of jargon?
- Does it have an excessive number of grisly photos to wade through?
- Does it enable you to share your blogs on the latest developments in dentistry?
- Does it need a lively newsletter or up to date interactive blogs to help patients understand what you do and who you are?
- Does your site have credible testimonials from happy patients?
- Is your biography a boring list of credentials and memberships or do you sound like an interesting real person?
Optimizing your website is extremely important, but is no longer enough to compete with marketing-savvy practices. Creating a “Personable” brand requires incorporating the human and compassionate side of you back into your digital marketing!
Top tools that can help you enhance your brand:
- Email is often the preferred way to be reminded of appointments, so make sure you have patient addresses, which can be used for sending promotional offers, thank-you notes, and personable messages for referrals, birthdays, etc.
- You and the staff should add notes after appointments in the digital patient record to remind you not only about their dental history, but their personal lives, to help you get to know them.
- Establish a personal Facebook page where you don’t talk about dentistry, but about family, friends, hobbies, favorite TV shows, etc., and link it to the practice fan page, which is where you encourage patients to give it a Like.
- Be responsive and engaged to your Yelp, DrOogle, HealthGrades, and other review sites. Be understanding that you can’t make everyone love you, so if there’s a gripe, respond and learn from the complaint.
- Denteractive’s Live Scheduler empowers patients and prospects to meet your staff, and more effectively communicate their needs for an optimized appointment booking.
- If you choose to participate, Denteractive’s text messaging tool allows you and prospects to share a channel to easily ask questions and get answers, while having that personal connection.
- Denteractive’s video tool allows you to provide a few minutes of your time to remotely meet a prospective patient, passionately talk about real dental topics and have a chance to show you care about helping them.
- YouTube videos of no more than 2 minutes can be taped, and shared on your website and social media, to show not only your knowledge of specific hot topics, but that you’re personable. Have the staff brainstorm how to add humor to each lesson.
Every practice has a brand, whether you know yours or not. Take control of it and spread the good word with digital tools.