Almost every day I get comments on our website or emails or phone calls asking about the best way to market a practice. Once I speak with a doctor or an office manager, I typically find out that they have tried a variety of marketing “strategies” in the past and that they either didn’t work or they cost too much or it was too difficult to execute. Of course, people wouldn’t be contacting me if their marketing was already working, right? Well… I actually do get a fair number of people who think their marketing is working well… only to find out that they are overpaying for underwhelming results.
So what is the answer? And why are most dentists wasting time and money on their marketing?
Problem #1: The Herd Mentality
One of the first issues I see is this: a dentist talks to his dentist buddy who has had a great few months in a row. He asks what he’s doing differently. “Oh… it’s Facebook. And we’re getting a lot of referrals. I talked to a friend who was using Facebook ads and now we’re doing it, too. It’s amazing!”
So what’s wrong with that? There’s no proof (most of the time) that Facebook is what increased production and collection. It’s just anecdotal. Did Facebook help? Maybe (doubtful though), but more likely it’s just coincidental. Without breaking down the numbers and tracking your marketing closely, you’ll never know. So when you start talking to your friends, ask for proof of return on investment before you jump in and spend money that probably won’t work out.
Problem #2: Not Hiring Anyone
Too many dentists give marketing projects to their staff. Normally this means Facebook ads, Facebook posts, and maybe some Google ads. If you have a staff member with experience in marketing and time to kill, go for it. But how many dentists do you know with an experienced marketing expert on staff who twiddles his or her thumbs for a few hours every day?
When you task inexperienced staff with marketing you’re inviting problems. You decrease productivity by stretching them too thin. You get sub-standard marketing. You probably aren’t tracking anything. And most of the time you will end up throwing money at ads that don’t — and won’t — work.
Problem #3: Hiring the Wrong People
I manage a lot of websites for dentists. I constantly see emails from other marketing firms offering their services. Normally they are form letters promising great Google results for super cheap. I also have worked with several dentists who previously hired those firms and then turned to me to fix all the problems that were created.
When you hire the wrong people, you risk getting blacklisted by Google and paying for the wrong results. Case in point: most SEO firms tout high Google rankings. But it won’t be for terms like “Dallas Dentist.” Instead, you’ll get a #1 ranking for “Dentist in Dallas with two bathrooms and green chairs” (that’s not a joke… I see it all the time). Then you PAY because you got another term ranked #1. Yippee!
The Answer: Do It Right
Sounds simple when you just say “do it right.” But it’s true. Take your time and research your options. Hire a person or company with proven results that you are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to invest in your practice (how many new patients do you need to pay for your service? Great service is rarely the cheapest option.). I know a variety of great marketing companies. None of them are “cheap,” but all provide great service. Why aren’t they cheap? Because they do it right. They invest in your practice and spend a lot of time working for you. Just like you would never undersell your dental services, they won’t undersell their marketing services.
Take your time and research who you hire. Realize that in order to reap a great benefit, you’re going to have to take a little risk and invest in your business — just as you ask your patients to invest in their dental health.
Our Services: Dental Marketing That Works
Yes, we sell dental marketing services. Typically we build you a new website at a discounted rate and then set up a monthly marketing plan over 6-12 months. We don’t promise instant results, but we do get results (our newest client, in his 3rd month, had a 648% increase in web traffic in the past month). We do everything in-house and we only work with a few dentists at a time. It’s a system that we developed for our own practices (our flagship practice gets about 40,000 visitors to the website a month and went from scratch to well over a million dollars in just over a year).
If you’re interested in our services, please complete the form on our Contact Page and I’ll give you a call myself to see if it’s a good fit. If it’s not a good fit, I’m also happy to refer you to another company that may be better for you and your practice.