If you’re just starting your dental practice, how long do you think it will take you to fill your chairs? One month? Two? Six? What if I told you that you could book out your start-up dental practice on a budget of less than $1,000?
Starting up a dental practice is an expensive project. Between equipment, supplies, team members, and your office space and build-out, many start-up practice owners become stretched financially.
So, how does anybody have enough money to get a start-up dental practice off the ground? If you follow these steps, you only need a little bit of money left. You just need to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and use Facebook to do things differently. Here’s all you need to do.
1. Start early and go live on Facebook.
If you want results—patients in your chairs, a profitable practice, people in your community talking about you and referring patients to you—you’re going to have to get out there and do things that might be a little bit scary at first.
The best way to start building your audience is to start early and go live on Facebook. Set up a Facebook page for your dental practice. This is new for many dentists, but it’s important. Most dentists aren’t very comfortable going live on Facebook. I wasn’t when I got started, but I knew it was important. So don’t wait until you build your audience. I still get nervous when I go live, but I’m much more comfortable now than when I began. But I knew you and other dentists needed to hear my message in order to build a better, more fulfilling practice.
I also know that your future patients need to hear your heart for changing lives through your practice. There’s a mom with kids who hate going to the dentist. There’s a mom who hates going to the dentist for herself! And you’re the person who can change that—but that can only happen if your patients know about you. Your community needs you, and they’re all on Facebook.
2. Speak from the heart.
Facebook provides you with an absolutely incredible opportunity to share your heart with thousands of people in your community. I’ve seen hundreds of start-ups tap into the power of Facebook to get new patients extremely quickly. So what do they do? They speak from the heart.
Go live, and share your excitement about your practice. Tell them your vision for your practice. Talk about why you went to dental school. Tell people why you’re launching your start-up, what your practice will look like when it’s open, and how your patients will feel when they come into your practice.
It won’t be perfect—and that’s okay. This video will show your community that you’re a real person, and that you’re building a practice to serve your community. Plus, once you’ve done your first Facebook Live video, you’ll never have to do your first Facebook Live video again.
3. Go live regularly.
After your first video, continue to build that momentum by going live once a week to talk about dental topics and updates on your practice. When you do this, you’ll position yourself as an expert while you’re building your video views and audience engagement.
The more videos you make, the more people will start to comment and share, and you’ll be able to use Facebook’s amazing tools to retarget those people later on for high-value services like implants and Invisalign.
If you have trouble thinking of what to talk about every time you go live, here are some ideas to get you started:
How can I have a cavity if my tooth doesn’t hurt?
Why do I need a crown—can’t I just have another filling done?
The options to replace a missing tooth: denture vs. bridge vs. implant.
Why do I need a root canal, and what does it mean to have a root canal?
Why do my gums bleed? What is periodontal disease, and how can I treat it?
There are whitening options for every mouth.
Why do we get our teeth cleaned at the dentist vs. just brushing at home?
That’s nearly two months of Tooth Talk Topics, which will give you plenty of time to come up with more ideas on your own. And, you can ask the people who watch your videos to let you know in the comments what other topics they’d like you to cover.
4. Start running community engagement campaigns.
One you have begun to set yourself up as a trustworthy and reliable expert, you’re ready to start running what’s called community engagement campaigns.
Simply put, community engagement campaigns are promotions you host on Facebook to build relationships with people in your community. This gives you an opportunity to network in your area while attracting only potential patients to your promotion. For example, you could run a gift card giveaway with prizes donated by other local businesses. You could run a smile makeover competition to coincide with your grand opening. You could give away a $1,000 gift card or free tooth whitening for life, a 30-day floss challenge—the possibilities are truly endless.
Make sure the promotion involves local businesses or services in your office. If you give away an iPad or Amazon gift card, anyone around the world will sign up. Local businesses or in-office service focuses on potential patients in your area. Community engagement promotions help get positive attention on your practice and often fill up your schedule before you even open your doors. They are incredibly effective.
5. Set up custom Facebook audiences for future promotions.
It’s not hard to do, and with the right training, you can make sure that your videos are getting out in front of exactly the right people—the people who are going to start filling those chairs in your practice in the present and the future, and telling their friends to come, too.
Are you ready to fill your schedule even before you open the doors to your practice?
If you like the idea of getting all your spots booked out before you open the door, jump on Facebook, go live, and run community engagement campaigns. It’ll get people talking about you online and offline and help your phone start ringing with patients excited to get in your chair.
If you want help, join me for the Marketing and Practice Growth challenge, where you’ll learn exactly how to get your practice up and running the right way. And if you want to join a community of Dental Bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where more than 1,000 Dental Bosses are already learning and growing. Join us in the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group if you want support and training as you grow your dental practice.
I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve helped thousands of dentists increase their revenue, grow their practice, and turn their practice into the practice of their dreams. That’s why I’m active on social media, keep a weekly blog, and host a podcast on a multitude of topics in dentistry—to help dentists, like you, run a practice that delivers WOW.
Whether you’re struggling with your marketing, productivity goals, or whatever else comes with running a dental practice, I’m here to help. For example, a member of my mastermind group once came to me asking for advice about paying her dental team. A team member had asked for a raise, and she was put in a tough spot. She simply didn’t know if she could afford to pay that team member more, no matter how much they deserved it. It’s a dilemma that every boss faces, dental boss or not.
And as a dental boss, I’ve had to deal with discerning how much to pay my team quite a few times. So, when that member of my mastermind group asked this question, I was quick to share some of the lessons I have learned. So, how do you know how much to pay a dental team member? Here’s how.
1. Determine how much value each team member offers with their skillset.
Do they achieve their goals? Do they engage and apply the training? If so, those are good signs the team member is adding a lot of value to your practice. But simply achieving goals and utilizing skills enough for the practice to grow isn’t necessarily enough for each team member to get that raise they want. They also need to be continually growing those skills. Why? Because the more value they can offer, the more you can pay them.
Help them be able to handle a more complex assortment of tasks. For example, if they’re not only handling phone calls like rockstars but can also be super effective at scheduling, they’re going to become a bigger asset to your practice. And when they’re a bigger asset to your practice, the positive return on your investment in them will enable you to raise their salary without putting yourself in a deficit.
Once they get the raise, they might even increase their ROI more. Just by having that monetary incentive, their motivation might increase substantially. More motivation will likely make them even more productive. But they need to be productive in more than one area, or they aren’t working hard enough to increase their pay grade. That brings us to the second step.
2. Set up a pay-grade system that pays each employee based on the value that their skillset offers.
If you set up a pay-grade system that classifies what work warrants what pay, it’ll be easier to understand whether you can afford giving one of your team members a raise. Keep it simple, a higher amount or value of work should qualify for a higher amount of pay. This not only ties hard work to pay it ties continuous skill improvement to pay.
This type of pay-grade system will also make it very clear to your team about the expectations that need to be met in order to receive the different levels of pay that you offer in your practice. It’s up to you to help each team member understand that they can’t get a higher level of pay without putting in a higher amount of work.
For example, say you have a dental assistant who has a limited skillset. They can assist with fillings. They can set up your trays. And they can sterilize the instruments. Most dental assistants can handle those tasks so that’s not exactly going above and beyond. So, that person would qualify for the level one pay-grade. If that dental assistant developed a broader skillset, they could earn more pay. I have a dental assistant in my practice who puts in the amount of work to warrant way more than a level one pay-grade. She can place sealants. She orders all of the supplies. She’s amazing at making all of the temporaries. She also can work at the front; handling phone calls, making appointments, discussing treatment plans with patients, etc.
Because of her broad skillset she’s able to bring a higher ROI to the practice. And because she’s on a different level than many dental assistants, I can afford to increase her paygrade to level two and give her a higher salary.
Are you paying your dental team adequately?
Dentistry is a fast-paced lifestyle with lots of stress, and you can’t blame your team members if they ever feel like they deserve more compensation for their hard work. But a dental practice is a business, and finances aren’t something to be impulsive about. Before you give your team member a raise, consider their skillset and the amount of work they’re putting in. And give them opportunities to expand both so they can add more value and earn more work.
If you want more tips and tricks about delivering WOW with your dental practice, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Delivering Wow Practice Accelerator Program, and are offering special value for you and your teams!
While a dental practice is a business, dental school doesn’t teach us much about collecting payments and managing operations.
That’s what continuing education is for. And that’s what Delivering WOW is here for, too. We have helped thousands of dentists strengthen their practices while delivering WOW experience to each of their patients.
But we want to continue to be able to deliver WOW, we need to ensure our businesses are financially strong, too. And one of the most important parts of becoming financially strong is empowering our team to collect payments from our patients well. If you’ve struggled with collections in your practice, here are three tips that have helped my practice and many others improve.
1. Set up a system with which you can monitor whether your collections are under control.
By the time that many practice owners take a glimpse at their AR (accounts receivable) or collections, things have already spun out of control without them even knowing. They’ll find out that patients didn’t pay on time because their dental team failed to follow up properly about that patient’s claims. Now they have to break some bad news to that patient, and things can get ugly. It’s embarrassing—and frustrating for the patient—to call them to let them know they actually have a balance due or that you’ve misquoted their payment from the very beginning. Chasing them around and demanding money make you appear unprofessional and can stir up some drama that might lead to a bad review online or worse. So, I recommend you utilize a system that helps you to track your AR from week to week.
If you follow my blog, social media, or podcast, then you know I’m a huge fan of using scorecards. They can help you stay on top of productivity goals, measure metrics, and more. They’re just a great way of tracking numbers, and one of those numbers can actually be your AR. Using a scorecard to track AR has been super effective both in my practice and for many members of my platinum program. When we can use a scorecard to track AR on a consistent basis, things won’t spin out of control because your dental team will be on top of your collections numbers. When they see things spiraling out of control, they can let you know and you can decide how to counteract any chaos from erupting.
2. Be prepared to keep your collections in control by utilizing a process called “amnesty.”
If things do end up spinning out of control, it’s time to work the amnesty process. Amnesty helps us get back under control. Here’s how it works.
Say you suddenly realize that your AR is $50,000. Some practices turn those accounts over to a collection agency or, even worse, just write it off. That’s not a good idea—you're writing off $50,000 or selling it for pennies on the dollar. You could have used that money to pay for your kids to go to college for a year.
Instead, contact patients who have an overdue balance and let them know their account has come up for audit. Tell them you are giving them a courtesy call to help them out and to clear up their balance. Offer to lower the balance if they pay in full.
Perhaps they have a balance of a thousand dollars. Rather than charge them the full thousand, lower the amount that they have to pay so they don’t have to go to collections and you can create a true win-win. They pay less than they owe and avoid collections. You get guaranteed money and often at a higher price than what you would get through a collections agency. Many patients will gladly pay a smaller portion or go on an auto-debit to pay off their balance to avoid being sent to collections.
3. Put in place a reliable and effective means of getting in touch with your patients.
As surprising as it might seem, being unable to easily get in touch with patients is one of the most common problems I hear from members of my mastermind. They’ll tell me, “Anissa, our patients just aren’t responding. They see our calls and won’t pick up.” While phones are a great way to put yourself in direct communication with a patient, don’t make it your only contact method. If you can, use text messages and emails to start conversations. Especially with text messages, your messages will get noticed. Send them a text or email that lets them know there is an urgent message from their dentist and that you’d like to speak with them on the phone as soon as possible.
When a patient sees an ominous-sounding message like that coming from their healthcare provider, they’re more likely to give you a call. In all likelihood, they’ll even be a bit nervous. So, when the patient calls your practice and your dental team member speaks on the phone with them, make sure they make the purpose of the call immediately clear. Have them calmly greet the patient using all the right social cues and explain that the purpose of the call is to help the patient save money and resolve their balance. Once they understand what’s going on, your team member can proceed to get the patient’s credit card information and begin to sort things out via the amnesty process. If they don’t call back right away, send follow-up messages and call their phone to make sure they get your message. With people being so busy, if your message hasn’t been returned within a couple of days, it’s unlikely that it will be without additional follow-up.
What are you doing to ensure your payments are under control?
As dentists, we must work creatively to ensure the revenue we worked so hard to attain gets paid. When it comes to collecting payments, we must give our team members the tools and resources they need to collect payments well. Scorecards, amnesty, and multiple methods of contact can help everyone stay on top of accounts receivable. What works in your practice?
And if you want more tips and tricks about delivering WOW with your dental practice, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in ourPractice Accelerator Program and are offering special value for you and your teams!
For most businesses, the pandemic has made it a real struggle to keep afloat. Quarantining and social distancing have led to an absence of eager customers for almost every industry and profession. People are trying to stick it out in their homes and avoid getting infected with Covid-19, so they’re just not going to go out shopping or seeking services unless they really need them.
While things are slow for the vast majority of businesses, it’s safe to say that dental practices are definitely amongst those struggling the most. Patients simply don’t want to come in to get treatment unless it’s urgent. It makes sense; providing dental treatment is a very up-close and personal thing. While healthcare providers are typically great at being diligent with sanitization, some people just don’t want to take that risk.
Unfortunately, it’s not surprising to me when people come to me and tell me that their dental practice isn’t just struggling but is actually in the process of failing. Does that sound like you? Are you hustling like mad to get patients in the door only to find yourself coming up short at the end of the month? Trust me, you’re not alone.
In fact, I have some awesome news for you: I can help you turn your failing dental practice around. It’s nothing too complicated, either. These are just a few simple, amazing strategies that can do wonders for your practice. If you’re interested, keep reading!
1. Buy a whiteboard.
This sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? I can almost hear you thinking: “How could buying a whiteboard turn my failing dental practice around!?” Believe it or not, though, something as simple as a whiteboard can be the key to unlocking profitability, efficiency, and, subsequently, the growth you need to turn your failing practice around.
An ordinary whiteboard—one you can buy at any office supply store for a few bucks—is responsible for doubling my practice revenue. It’s done the same for hundreds of dental bosses all over the world, too. It’s not the whiteboard itself, of course, but what you do with it. And what you need to do with it is use it each month to track individual services, set goals for those individual services, and then shoot for the stars with each coming month.
Start by listing all the services you offer on the whiteboard.
Set target numbers for the month based on your revenue goals and write that number in RED.
Every day, mark down the number of that service that your practice has completed month to date in BLUE.
When you hit the target you’ve set, change the BLUE number to GREEN.
Your goal is to change all of your blue numbers to green by the end of the month. When you get every blue number to turn green, you’re meeting productivity goals—which means you’re at least keeping your practice afloat.
But ending the struggle isn’t the objective; I want you to turn your failing practice around. So, next month, aim higher. Make those numbers larger. As each month passes and you keep turning those bigger and bigger numbers from blue to green, you’ll notice your practice is doing better than ever before.
2. Deliver a WOW customer experience.
At Delivering WOW, we’re all about providing each and every one of our patients an experience that WOW’s them. When we can make them feel like VIP’s, they’re bound to become raving fans of our practice who are quick to refer us to their family and friends.
That means our patients don’t just become loyal, they refer other patients who are likely to become loyal too. Having a dependable and ever-growing influx of patients coming through your practice doors is a big deal. You’ll be increasing the productivity of your practice — helping you hit those whiteboard targets each and every month. Any practice owner knows productivity is what paves the way for profitability and growth.
3. Give your team extensive training.
If you want your patients to be enthusiastic about the results they see after coming into your practice to receive dental treatment, you can’t be the only one WOWing them. Your team must, too, through the treatment they provide and the care they show your patients. The best way to achieve this is to provide your team with the right training. When your team improves their craft and can provide amazing results for your patients, your patients will be happy with their care. And when your team treats them like a VIP every time they walk through the door, your patients won’t ever think about going anywhere else for dental care.
When training your team on procedures, make sure to also train them in the benefits of the procedures so they can better connect with patients. So, don’t just give your team the right training in crowns. Make sure they understand the benefits of crowns, the different types of crowns you offer, and the long term effects if recommended crowns are not completed. Also give your team training about how to socially interact with your patients. Your team should be able to show before and after cases, answer questions, and refer patients to the proper resources. Train your front desk to handle phone calls effectively. Train your assistants to do preliminary work—X-rays, impressions, etc.—that allows you to be in and out in a jiffy. Set up your team for success, and you’ll see the results you want to see.
Need to turn around a struggling or even failing dental practice?
Turning a struggling practice around boils down to production and consistently delivering WOW experiences. And the key to doing that isn’t diagnosing more patients or bullying them into accepting unnecessary treatment. You just need to put the right systems in place and make sure all your team members are on the same page. If you do, you’ll get the results you want while better serving your patients.
Also, if you want to join a community of Dental Bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where over 1000 Dental Bosses are already learning and growing. Join us in the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group if you want some support and training as you grow your dental practice.
If there’s one thing every dental practice needs to grow, it’s patients in the chair. Some need more patients. Others need patients in need of higher-fee dentistry. And others need more fee-for-service patients.
If you’re worried about where your next patient is going to come from, rest assured that you are likely just one or two referral strategies away from growth. These are three of my favorite ways for dental practices to get patient referrals.
1. Tell a story that’s easy to share.
When you talk about your practice in marketing materials, with patients, or in the community, are you telling a story that’s easy to share? If not, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to get current patients and others to promote your practice for you. Make it really easy for people to talk about you and your practice and they will start doing so.
For example, we want people to talk about my practice as being somewhere patients look forward to going. So we focus on creating an incredible experience andalso give patients ways to talk about that experience. One way we do so is by giving new patients an office tour and a chance to connect with a team member one-on-one. During that meeting, our team member talks about our core values and shows them the cool and fun technology we invest in to provide the best care possible. We make it simple for them to understand what makes us special.
When doing this in your practice, point out the details to your patients and why those details matter to them. You can say things like:
We invest in these items to create a spalike experience for you and help you relax.
At the end of your treatment, we’ll give you a warm peppermint-scented towel to refresh you.
While you’re waiting, you can flip through our coffee-table books.
All of the artwork in the office was done by local artists.
Let your team members show their personality. If they’re talking about the practice’s core values, they can share what means the most to them, and why. If they’re showing the coffee table books or the office art, they can point out one they particularly like or share an interesting fact about one of the local artists. When they’re talking about the overall experience, they can relate their own stories of dental anxiety — and how they moved past it.
2. Ask patients for referrals.
One of the biggest mistakes dentists make is not asking for referrals. It doesn’t need to be awkward or rude to do so, either. Whether a patient has come in for the first time or the 50th time, we highly recommend asking for referrals. It’s totally natural to ask for referrals, even from brand new patients, especially if you are investing so much time and energy to create a WOW experience for your patients.
At the end of each appointment, ask your patient, “Did you have a good experience today?” They’re highly likely to say yes. When they do, it’s completely natural to then ask for that referral. Help them out by calling to mind specific people they can refer to you. For example, we give patients two business cards and ask them to give them to friends, family, coworkers, or a new neighbor who might enjoy a similar dental experience. It’s that simple. You can also ask patients to post about their experience on Facebook and tag your practice. Many patients will happily share a post about their experience.
3. Create a patient referral program.
Encourage patients to refer people to you by creating a referral program. Give them coupons or gift certificates they can give to friends and family and they will likely be even more delighted to refer people to you.
Give your program a fun name, like Share a Smile or The Smile Exchange, and make sure that every person on your team tells patients about the program. For example, you could have your team members tell new patients that you have a referral program that your patients love because it allows them to share their WOW experience with loved ones while giving them something of value like a coupon or gift certificate. That message will get them starting to think about who would be a good person to refer to your practice. Then, at the end, hand them the coupon or gift certificate after asking about their experience.
Are you ready to get more patient referrals to your dental practice?
Patient referrals validate everything we do as a practice and keep us consistently growing without any marketing required. We just treat people well and they refer other people to us. That’s the ultimate compliment about the experience we work so hard to create.
It all starts with treating patients to a truly WOW visit and putting in place simple strategies to get them thinking about referring others to you.
And if you want to join a community of Dental Bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where over 1000 Dental Bosses are already learning and growing. Join us in the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group if you want support and training as you grow your dental practice.
Social media marketing has transformed dental practices in an almost unprecedented fashion. My team and I have spent years studying, testing, and analyzing the best strategies for using social media for dental practices.
At first, we used Facebook to build an audience of over 50,000 raving fans for my dental practice and turn those leads into dozens of new patients every month, all by utilizing the best dental social media marketing techniques available on Facebook to share our story and build great connections with our Facebook fans and others who had never heard of us.
After testing and refining those strategies, we started helping other dentists and dental practices utilize dental social media marketing strategies to grow their practices, too.
We found the most powerful social media site for dental social media marketing to be Facebook.
Facebook gives the most robust ad-targeting capabilities out of all dental social media marketing options.
Dental Facebook marketing costs less than traditional marketing and other social media for dentists.
Facebook makes available to everyone the same tools that only big companies used to be able to afford.
Facebook allows you to act fast to fill last-minute cancellations or promote an event or special offer, getting organic and paid posts up in minutes.
Facebook gives dentists sophisticated performance data for all Facebook ads they post so you can know your exact return on investment.
Facebook allows you to change different variations of the same dental Facebook ad to split test ads against each other.
Because of how powerful Facebook can be to build a dental practice, my team and I now use the same strategies we used to grow my practice to help other dentists and dental practices as part of our dental-marketing services. The strategies we use for our dental-marketing clients are the same strategies I share in this guide to Facebook for dentists and can help dental practices of all shapes, sizes, locations, and specialties. They can help you create a dental Facebook marketing and organic presence that is effective, efficient, and predictable—no matter what your practice looks like.
Don’t worry if you’ve tried using Facebook to promote your dental practice before, don’t understand how Facebook can help grow a dental practice, don’t think you have the time for dental Facebook marketing, or think Facebook is expensive. You’re not alone. Many dentists feel this way about using Facebook for dentists. I assure you, each of those objections isn’t true, and I’ll show you exactly what to do to help you get reliable, affordable, and consistent using Facebook to grow your dental practice.
Whether your dental practice has been open for decades, is still months from opening, or anything in between, you can use dental Facebook marketing to grow your practice and get patients in your chair for a fraction of what you’d have to spend on traditional dental-marketing techniques.
The Best Dental Facebook-Marketing Techniques to Build Your Practice
This definitive guide to dental Facebook marketing will walk you through the three things my team and I do to build dental Facebook-marketing campaigns for dentists around the world to help you do the same for your dental practice.
First, I’ll share the most important things you can do to build a dental Facebook page. The best dental Facebook pages have a few things in common. We’ll share what makes the best dental Facebook pages so great, and how you can do the same! If your dental office Facebook page is bland and ineffective, this section will help you give it life and get it ready to build fans and convert them to new patients. If you’re a dentist looking to build an individual presence on Facebook, this section will give you tips to build a great dentist Facebook page to build your individual reputation and following.
Second, I’ll share the best strategies for creating great dental Facebook posts. Creating social media posts for dentists is one of the favorite things my team does. I’ll share the best strategies for creating dental Facebook posts that will help you build a group of raving Facebook fans!
Third, I’ll help you plan and prepare the most effective Facebook ads. Facebook advertising for dentists allows you to reach people with unprecedented precision to help you get better and faster results at a fraction of what dentists and dental practices typically spend on dental ads in traditional media and other advertising. I’ll teach you how the best Facebook ads for dentists perform and how you can get the most effective Facebook dental ads strategies working for you.
If you’re ready to have the best social media marketing strategies for dentists working on your behalf to build the best dental Facebook page possible for your practice, the best dental Facebook posts building engagement and raving fans, and the most efficient and effective dental Facebook ads directing people to your special offers and dental marketing funnels, then follow the steps I outline in the rest of this definitive guide to dental Facebook marketing!
How to Build the Best Dental Facebook Pages
Every dentist or dental practice needs a dental Facebook page to act as their home base on Facebook and give them a platform to grow and connect with their patients, prospects, and Facebook fans. Here’s everything you need to know to build and optimize a Facebook page for your practice even if you haven’t opened the doors yet.
How to Build the Best Dental Facebook Page for Your Practice
If you haven’t set up a dental Facebook page for your practice or a dentist Facebook page if you’re a one-person shop, setting up a dental Facebook page for free is a simple five-step process. If you’re just getting started, don’t worry. The best dental Facebook pages all got started by following the same five steps.
To set up the best dental Facebook page for your practice, you first need to go to the Facebook page creation page. Most dental offices will select the “Local Business or Place” option on that page. After choosing the right option for your dental practice, enter your business category and practice contact information. Common options for business categories for dentists include “Dentist & Dental Office,” “General Dentist,” “Cosmetic Dentist,” and “Pediatric Dentist.”
After you set up your dentist Facebook page or dental office Facebook page, whichever is appropriate for your practice, you will next need to upload an appropriate Facebook page profile picture and cover photo. I suggest using a high-resolution, professional close-up of you for a profile if you’re building a dentist Facebook page, or of your logo if you’re building a dental practice Facebook page. Make sure your images are the ideal size for Facebook pages, which change from time to time. Any quality graphic designer or dental-marketing company will know the right size for a Facebook profile picture and cover image.
The best dental Facebook pages also have robust, custom profiles. Specifically, when first setting up your dental Facebook page, Facebook will ask you to enter a short description of your practice. Enter a couple of sentences to tell people what your practice is all about. Let them know why your practice is different. You will also be asked to enter hours of operation, team members, and links to your website. Fill out all the demographic and contact information possible.
You can also customize a button under your Facebook cover photo. By default, this is usually set to read “send message” and lets people message you on Facebook. You can change it to a number of things. For dentists, I usually suggest editing the button to allow people to schedule an appointment, but if you’re building dental-marketing funnels, you can also change it to send people to your dental marketing funnel or to learn more about your practice. You can also include links to your website or a dental marketing funnel in your about section.
If you already have a dental Facebook page, make sure your profile includes all the elements on this page and the additional tips for effectively using Facebook for dentists.
Specifically, to optimize an existing dental Facebook page, make sure:
Your dental Facebook page has complete practice contact information.
Your page has accurate hours of operation.
Your profile picture and cover images are professional, hi-res images that convey your practice culture.
Your about section includes complete and accurate statements about what makes your dental practice different.
You add trusted team members to your dental office Facebook page list of team members.
Your button under your dental Facebook page cover photo directs people to engage with your dental practice how you want them to, such as to send you a message or schedule an appointment.
With these things in place, your dental office Facebook page will be ready for posts and promotion so you can build a loyal audience and attract new patients to your office.
How to Grow Your Dental Office Facebook Page Following
Once your dental office Facebook page is set up and optimized, you’re ready to build your Facebook following and convert strangers into patients. The first thing you can do to start building your dental office Facebook page following is invite your Facebook friends to like your page. To invite your Facebook page to like your dental Facebook page, click the gray button with three dots on it under your Facebook page cover photo, to the left of your blue “Learn More,” “Schedule an Appointment,” or “Send Message” button. Next, click “Invite Friends,” and click the “Invite” button next to all friends you want to invite.
This is a quick and easy way to get your first one hundred or more Facebook fans. Although many of these people won’t be patients, they will be family and friends who know, like, and trust you; and your invitation to like your page might help you get some of them to become patients. Even if it doesn’t encourage them to become your patients, they will be likely to like, comment on, or share your posts when they appear in their timeline, thus increasing the odds of your posts going viral! You can also ask patients to like your dental office Facebook page when they come in.
With family, friends, and patients liking your page, you will be well on your way to growing your impact and reach through creating the best Facebook posts on your dental Facebook page and placing the best dental Facebook ads for specific promotions and additional reach.
In addition to asking friends, family, and patients to like your page, a great way to get people excited about your practice on Facebook is to create a contest where you hold a random drawing to give away a free treatment to one person who likes your page and then likes, comments, and shares a specific post within a certain timeframe. You could even ask your family, friends, and dental Facebook page fans to nominate someone else to receive the free service.
In my practice, we regularly give back through something we call Project Smile. We do everything on Facebook to reward people who follow our Facebook page and don’t even tell our patients. The way Project Smile works is we announce we will give away a free smile makeover and ask people to share our announcement post on their Facebook timelines.
The post we ask them to share asks people to nominate someone who deserves a free smile makeover with an image of their smile, so we can see if they’re a candidate. We narrow down the list, invite the finalists for a cleaning to take a closer look at their mouths, and then choose a winner for the full smile makeover. Our Facebook fans love following and sharing our Project Smile posts and often see what other services we provide and come to us for an appointment.
Between invitations, contests, and community- or giving-based promotions, your dental office Facebook page can build a large audience of raving fans for your dental practice.
In the next section, I’ll teach you how to draft the best dental practice Facebook posts to build raving fans and loyal patients from Facebook.
How to Create the Best Dental Facebook Posts
Many dentists get overwhelmed by the idea of coming up with content to post to their dental office Facebook page. The reality is, creating the best dental Facebook posts for your dental practice doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you follow two simple rules, your dentist Facebook page can be full of high-impact posts that position you to build deeper relationships with existing fans and patients while attracting new patients into your chair.
How to Know What to Post About on Your Dental Office Facebook Page
The most important part about creating the best dental Facebook posts is to make sure your posts are interesting and engaging. Interesting and engaging posts by a page with likes from family, friends, and patients make it more likely that people will like, comment on, and share your posts. This is important because the more likes, comments, and shares your Facebook posts get, the more Facebook will show it to other people, and the more chance it has to go viral. Also, people are more likely to like, comment on, or share your dental Facebook post when they see others have liked, commented on, or shared the post, especially others they’re friends with on Facebook.
To make sure your posts are interesting and engaging to encourage people to like, comment on, or share them, it’s important that most of your posts aren’t promotional offers or even dental tips. Although some promotional offers and dental tips are fine, the vast majority of your posts should be about three things:
Facebook posts showing people your dental practice vision and story to let them know why your dental practice is so great
Community-oriented Facebook posts, such as events you’re participating in or hosting at your practice and other local businesses
Facebook posts highlighting great things about your team members and patients (with their permission, of course)
Testimonials from happy patients
These four types of posts help you get people’s attention on Facebook, make connections with the right people to grow your dental practice, and encourage people to like, comment on, and share in order to get better reach for your Facebook posts. They also make the promotions and dental tips types of posts get more attention, because Facebook will view your page as one with posts people want to see. Finally, they make it much easier to regularly come up with great fresh content for your page so your dental Facebook page isn’t inactive or full of promotional posts.
Creating Dental Facebook Posts About Your Practice Story and Vision
The best dental Facebook posts tell your practice’s vision and story so you can let people know why being your patient will be worthwhile. These posts show people the things you’re building toward (your vision) and the things you’re already doing and have done (your story). These posts humanize your practice and build connections.
In my practice, our vision is to have the best dental practice in the country that treats all our patients like the VIPs they are and delivers WOW experiences to everyone from the moment they walk in until they leave. For example, we provide complimentary gourmet coffees and teas, iPads and noise-canceling headphones to use during an appointment, and hand-and-arm massages by our trained staff to make sure our patients leave feeling more like they just visited a luxury spa than a dentist. We also commit to being active in our community and giving back to important causes.
These things are core parts of who we are as a practice, and we want everyone to know it, so we post pictures of our coffees and teas, our patients receiving their relaxing massages (with their permission, of course), of community events, and charitable initiatives. By regularly posting about who we are as a practice, we get many likes, comments, and shares on our posts and build deep relationships with our Facebook fans because they get to know who we are as a practice and will want their dental-office experience to be like our patients’ experiences!
Posts about events, companies, and people in your community are a great way to become known as a practice that’s active and involved in things that matter to your patient pool.
In my practice, we participate in charity runs, host food drives, and have events at our practice. We also form strategic alliances with different local businesses each month to offer special deals to their employees. If you do this, you can create a post announcing how excited you are to team up with the business.
Creating Facebook Posts Highlighting Team Members and Patients
Creating Facebook posts that encourage, congratulate, and promote your patients and team members are a great way to highlight people who often go unnoticed. Your team and patients are doing great things in your office and community. Let people know how excited and proud you are about them (with their permission, of course). These posts build deep relationships and get lots of likes, comments, and shares, too!
Posting Patient Testimonials to Your Dental Office Facebook Page
Testimonials from happy patients make great posts. You’ve earned those testimonials either through online reviews or testimonials given specifically to post to your dentist Facebook page. Like online reviews, patient testimonials allow other people to boast about why your dental practice is so great, which makes it more likely that people will view it as more trustworthy than if you tell people why your practice is so great.
The Best Types of Dental Facebook Posts on Your Dental Office Facebook Page
Once you know what the best dental Facebook posts are about, the next step is to make those posts interesting, varied, and engaging by posting them in different types of posts. Generally, you can and should post a variety of text, image, and video Facebook posts to get more attention and engagement without seeming repetitive and monotonous.
Most dentists are comfortable with text posts, but less are comfortable with video and image Facebook posts, so here’s how you can utilize videos and images on your dental Facebook page.
Creating Video Facebook Posts for Your Dental Facebook Page
Video is powerful on Facebook for three important reasons. First, video gets people’s attention, especially if their page is set to auto-play. Second, video makes better connections with people once you get their attention because it invites them into your practice, lets people make virtual eye contact with you, and allows them to hear your voice and see your expressions. Finally, Facebook loves video and will show your post to more people if it has a video.
Video posts on Facebook for dentists doesn’t have to be complicated or overproduced. In fact, a good cell-phone camera can be even better than a heavily-produced video because it seems more real and not like a stuffy company.
Great uses for video on Facebook posts include Facebook Live video office tours, short recorded video patient testimonials, Facebook Live video Q&A sessions for your patients and the community to ask you what’s important to them, Facebook Live or recorded videos of community events, recorded video highlights, and explainer videos with tips about dental insurance, teeth care, new procedures, and more!
Creating Image-Based Facebook Posts for Your Dental Facebook Page
High-quality image posts get people’s attention on Facebook and encourage more engagement than text posts. Some of our favorite ways to use images for my practice and our dental marketing clients include to show high-quality images of what makes your practice great, like a picture of the iPads we let our patients use and our gourmet-coffee-and-tea station.
Other ways to use image posts with dental Facebook marketing include posting images announcing community events, celebrating patient accomplishments, showing off how great your team is, and highlighting new procedures and equipment.
Like dental Facebook video marketing, dental Facebook marketing with images doesn’t need a professional setup. My two rules for creating the best image-based Facebook posts are that a well-lit image you take with a quality cell phone is the best type of picture, and if you can use a picture you take of real patients, team members, and doctors, that is generally better than using a stock image. You can make great impacts with high-quality stock images, but nothing connects with people on Facebook like well-lit, authentic pictures of real people and your real office.
The Best Facebook Ads for Dentists
The real power of Facebook for dentists is your ability to post highly targeted Facebook ads. Facebook knows more about their users than almost any company in the world. They know their income, net worth, location, interests, behavior, family status, age, and more.
For advertisers like dentists and dental practices, this information is highly valuable, because it allows you to target the right people with your ads and only pay to reach people who are likely to take action on your ad.
Here are three important steps for successful Facebook ads for dentists.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads By Improving Your Message
Before placing dental Facebook ads, be sure each post has an objective. Otherwise, you won’t know who to target or what to say, and the people who see your dental Facebook ad are unlikely to take action. Here are eight common goals for dental Facebook ads:
1. Building awareness of your dental practice’s culture 2. Showing people what makes your practice different from other practices 3. Talking about your services and how you can help people 4. Highlighting testimonials of happy patients 5. Attracting people into a dental marketing sales funnel 6. Filling spots left open by last-minute cancellations 7. Promoting a specific procedure you want to highlight 8. Introducing a new dentist or team member
Once you know the purpose of your dental Facebook ad, you will have a better understanding of whom to target and what to say to get people to take action to help you achieve your goal.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads By Improving Your Targeting
Once you know the goal for your dental Facebook ad, make sure you target each of your dental Facebook ads to the people who are most likely to resonate with it and take action. Here are a few examples of how to match your dental Facebook ad targeting to your goals:
If you want to build awareness of your dental practice culture, you might not want to target current patients, because they will know your culture, but you might target an audience Facebook can generate that is similar to your patient population. This is called targeting lookalike audiences.
If you want to fill spots left open by last-minute cancellations, your current patient population is likely going to be your best bet at achieving your goal, perhaps by offering a free upgraded service or discount to the first person who takes action.
If you want to advertise dental savings plans, you might consider targeting retired people who no longer have dental insurance.
If you want to promote a new service, targeting current patients will be more likely to lead to people taking action.
If you want to get people into a dental marketing sales funnel, you can target people who have been to your website (called “retargeting” in the Facebook marketing world) with an ad that gives them a call to action to download a free guide or come in for a consult based on the pages they viewed on your site.
Improving Your Dental Facebook Ads By Choosing the Best Images, Videos, and Copy
Certain words drive people to take action more than others, especially across audiences. The same is true with images and videos. Once you know what you want to accomplish and who you want to target, test different versions of your copy, images, and video. You can do this by creating a split test in Facebook’s ad manager.
Split-testing dental Facebook ads is one of the most powerful ways to lower your advertising costs and getting better results, because it’s not always possible to know what words, image, or video will resonate at any given time.
Split-testing Facebook ads is also easier than you think. In its basic form, to split-test a dental Facebook ad, all you need to do is create an ad, duplicate the ad, replace the text, image, or video, and submit. Here are detailed instructions on how to create a split test in Facebook.
When my team runs dental Facebook advertising campaigns for our dental-marketing clients, we always split-test the dental Facebook ads we set up. By doing so, we lower costs and get better results. To achieve these results, we set up the split-test with a small budget of $3 to $10 per day until we learn which version of the dental Facebook ads is performing the best. Once we choose the winner or winners, we shut off the underperforming ads and let the winners run with an appropriate budget.
Are You Ready to Have the Best Dental Office Facebook Marketing Working for You?
Social media marketing for dentists can be the most powerful way to grow your dental practice, or it can be a complete waste of time or money. By far, the best way to get the highest return on your time and money is Facebook for dentists.
My team has helped hundreds of dentists increase profits, attract new patients, improve social media presence, and lower their advertising costs using Facebook.
If you’re comfortable doing it yourself or having your team do it with (or for) you, I’ve created a full Facebook Mastery course as part of Platinum Mastermind, my online learning center with full step-by-step instructions on everything you need to run and grow your dental practice.
Are you spending a fortune on slow, inexpensive, and ineffective marketing for your dental practice? If so, Facebook marketing might be your solution.
Using Facebook to market a dental practice can help you stop mailing flyers and overpaying for TV and radio spots that don’t bring the right people in the door. Instead, you will be able to get a steady flow of patients with a fraction of the marketing budget.
Facebook has turned the marketing world upside down. You don’t have to have a huge budget or spend a lot of money on overpriced designers anymore. Here are five tips to help you use Facebook marketing to grow your practice.
1. Make sure you’re targeting the right people.
The level of control you have over who sees your ads on Facebook is unprecedented. You can build audiences based on age, location, interests, income, and other key information, and even a combination of a number of qualities.
Unlike traditional dental advertising, you no longer have to spend a lot of money and hope to get the right results. Instead, you’ll spend less money and get your ads directly in front of exactly the right people.
Even better, targeting the right people is really easy to do. I walk dental bosses through it during my growth and marketing challenges and they all catch on right away.
2. Take advantage of retargeting.
We all know the phrase that it takes multiple touchpoints to build any relationship. It’s no different in dentistry. Retargeting is using Facebook ads to create multiple touchpoints with people.
With Facebook retargeting, you identify people who looked at your ad but didn’t sign up. Then, you send special content directly to those people.
Retargeting is one of the most powerful ways to promote your practice because it allows you to target people who are already both familiar with you and interested in your offer. All you need to do is create content that addresses common objections to moving forward.
For example, sometimes people click on your ad, get distracted, and move on. They just need you to pop up again so that they can reconnect. However, other people might click and then think, “I don’t want to go to the dentist, it’s scary and it might hurt.” A retargeting ad that speaks to pain-free dentistry and shows how calm the process can be could help you convert that person to a patient.
3. Take control of your Facebook budget.
What’s so amazing about marketing on Facebook is that you can decide exactly how much to spend. You’re already saving money by using Facebook marketing to target a very specific group of people and because Facebook charges far less than other forms of advertising.
But you can also set a fixed budget so you can calculate exactly how much you’re spending on each lead — and exactly how much you’re spending to get a new patient in the door.
In fact, a lot of the dental bosses who go through my training reach leads for 1-3 cents each. In other words, for every dollar they put into Facebook advertising, they’re reaching between 30 and 100 potential new patients. We’ve seen cases where dentists put in as little as $4 to get new patients booked for high-end cosmetic dentistry procedures, too. You can’t get that kind of ROI with traditional marketing.
4. Move quickly.
Facebook marketing is much faster than traditional media platforms.Takedirect-mail campaigns, for example. You need to design a mailing, hire someone to write it, and get it proofed, printed, and delivered before anyone even sees it. That could take weeks.
Radio and TV are the same. You need to write, record, edit, buy the ad space, and get it played. All of that takes weeks — and then you have to wait even longer to see how people respond to your ad.
With Facebook marketing, you can have an ad up and running to a highly-targeted audience with a compelling offer within minutes. And you can have new patients in the chair within days, long before traditional campaigns were even designed.
5. Embrace the flexibility that Facebook marketing offers you.
With traditional marketing, after you’ve waited weeks to get your ad in front of people, it takes even more time to gauge the response. And if something isn’t working, you need to go back to the drawing board for another expensive and time-consuming round of edits.
With Facebook, you can see right away whether a campaign is working the way you want. If it’s not, you can edit and improve it with a few clicks.
Are you using Facebook to grow your dental practice?
If you’re still marketing your dental practice like it’s 1999, you’re likely spending way too much money and getting lackluster results. Save some money and improve your results by using Facebook to market your dental practice.
And if you want to join a community of Dental Bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where over 1000 Dental Bosses are already learning and growing together. Join us in the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group if you want support and training as you grow your dental practice.
Coming out of dental school, many new doctors gravitate to spending thousands of dollars on expensive branding and marketing services in an effort to grow their practice fast. While strategic Facebook marketing for dentists is a wise investment, spending thousands on complex marketing strategies is often not wise, especially for newer doctors.
A much better alternative to grow a practice fast is to focus in your own community. Form relationships with other businesses in your community and you can earn more referrals and build a strong reputation as a community destination. Here are three ways you can support local businesses in a way that helps you grow your dental practice.
1. Form strategic alliances with local businesses.
With a strategic alliance, you partner with local businesses who serve the same people you want to serve and create offers to encourage their clientele to come to your practice. For example, my practice often partners with a local bridal shop to offer brides a deal on teeth whitening. We’ve also given a local Day Spa and Optical $50.00 gift cards to give to customers who spent over a certain threshold or who purchased specific spa packages.
Each of those arrangements was true “win-win-win,” benefiting our practice, the other business, and the other business’ customers. We benefited by being able to earn new patients with a special offer but no advertising costs. The only cost to us was a little bit of our time reaching out to the local businesses.
The other businesses benefited by being able to offer greater value to their customers (our deal) without costing them anything. And the other business’ customers benefited by getting a deal with a dental practice that will treat them like a VIP!
2. Engage in host beneficiary promotions.
Host beneficiary promotions were huge for my dental practice in the early days. They work similar to strategic alliances with one key difference. Specifically, instead of offering something of value to the business’ customers, you make a new-patient offer to the business’ team members and their families.
Host beneficiary programs work well with local banks, investment firms, bakeries, and even local associations, especially ones that are smaller or mid-sized that don’t offer many benefits to their team members. Similar to strategic alliances, host beneficiary promotions allow other businesses to add value to people important to their business without costing them anything. At the same time, we save money and get new patients because there’s no advertising costs involved, only the cost of the offer itself.
We recommend starting by choosing one local business a month and deciding whether to grow from there. After identifying the local business, call up the office manager and let them know how the program works and that their business has been chosen for that month.
When we were doing host beneficiary programs on a regular basis, we had to hire an additional hygienist to serve all the new patients!
3. Use local business products and services in your practice.
Another great way to grow your practice is to use local products and services in your office and to proudly display the local connection. For example:
If you have a local gourmet coffee roaster, consider stocking their beans for some of your gourmet coffee and tea offerings.
Give pastries from a local bakery to your patients.
Display local artwork and invite them to host art showings at your practice.
Use furniture from local manufacturers in your waiting room.
Subscribe to community-produced magazines and newspapers.
Don’t let those five ideas limit you, though. Look for local options for other services you purchase in your practice.
As you integrate local business products and services, promote those relationships through your social media channels. This can be as simple as posting a picture of the local coffee bean with a caption that reads “We love our locally-roasted Pete's coffee beans at Beautiful Smiles Dentistry.” You could also post pictures of the local artwork with a caption saying how much you love walking by the local artist’s beautiful painting every day.
The options are endless. And most of the time, they won’t cost you any significant additional money to utilize local businesses. In fact, you may find some local business owners who will offer their products or services at discounted rates, and sometimes free, for the opportunity to be displayed to your patients.
How will you grow your business fast while supporting businesses in your community?
Supporting local businesses will help you develop deeper relationships, attract more patients, and build a stronger local brand. These three examples can help you get started growing your business while serving your community well.
If you want more help, join my community of dental bosses where dentists come together for support and action taking tips and motivation. Join today for free.
If you’re looking to increase your treatment plan case acceptance rate, your solution might be simpler than you expect.
Accepting treatment is a big decision for any patient, especially when high-value procedures are involved. No matter how much we want our patients to move forward with the care they need, many don’t.
When they don’t, we often assume it's because they either don't value the treatment or can't afford it. Some dentists double down by going in greater detail into the problem we are looking to solve. Others cut their fees or try to help patients secure financing. That can help but only goes so far.
If after all that you are still not seeing the treatment plan case acceptance rate you want, it’s like that you are using the wrong language when presenting your treatment plan. By eliminating these four words from your vocabulary, you can see an instant boost to your acceptance rate.
Stop using the word “maybe” when presenting your treatment plans.
Stop using the word “maybe” when talking with patients about the care they need. It conveys a lack of confidence. It conveys a lack of urgency. So, if a patient asks whether they need to address an issue, answer confidently.
Similarly, when suggesting something to a patient, be clear. Never say, “Maybe we should fix this issue.” Instead, say “We should fix this issue” or “Yes, fixing this issue will improve your health.”
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’re at a dermatologist, and after examining your skin they point out a mole. Which statement would make you more likely to get it removed:
“Maybe we should remove this mole,” or
“We NEED to remove this mole. It poses a threat to your health.”
Be clear. Be confident. Your patients need your leadership to achieve optimal health and move forward with treatment.
Stop using the word “cheap” when talking about price with patients.
When you tell people something is cheap, there are usually two thoughts that will go through their head. The first is that if it’s cheap, then it shouldn’t cost a lot of money. This is especially important when talking about good deals on high-value procedures. The second is that if it’s cheap, then it’s low-quality.
Instead of saying something is “cheap” or “cheaper,” say it’s a ” good value.” That conveys it as being more affordable but without the negative connotations. The procedure could still cost a lot of money but be a good value. And it can still be high-quality but be a good value.
When your discussion is on the “value” of the procedure, your patients also think about your treatment plan as an investment in achieving an outcome they desire. For example, you might say “The real value is you’ll be able to eat what you want. You won’t have to remove your dentures anymore. And you’ll be able to avoid large expenses that come from your teeth shifting or bone loss.”
Reminding patients of the value of your treatment plan and the outcomes they will receive, helps them better appreciate the benefits of moving forward with your plan.
Stop using the word “cost” when discussing financial terms.
Speaking of low-cost, avoid saying the word “cost” at all when discussing treatment with a patient.
For example, if you tell a patient that getting an implant is going to cost them $5,000 and leave it at that, they will immediately think about how much money they have in the bank. If they don’t have $5,000 in the bank (or a credit card with a high available credit that they’re willing to tap into), they are less likely to move forward.
Instead, provide three payment options and them patients how other patients like them are able to fit dentistry into their budgets. When discussing monthly payment options, let them know how much the minimum monthly investment would be. Then ask if that would into their budget. If not, you can come up with another plan, such as to phase treatment to fit into their budget.
Stop using the word “problem” when talking with patients about their oral health.
While it might seem logical to use the word problem because people generally “solve” problems, the reality is more people try to avoid problems than solve them.
When you describe something as a “problem” to a patient, many patients will instinctively push back or procrastinate. “Problems” feel big and expensive.
Reframe your presentation using the word “issue” and position your treatment plan as the solution. It’s a gentler way of saying there’s a situation with their teeth but that you have a plan. Your patient is much less likely to push back when you present the issue rather than a problem.
Have you been using these four words when presenting your treatment plans to patients?
Consistent case acceptance can make or break your practice. And while word choice might seem like a nuance that doesn’t amount to much, patients are much more likely to move forward with treatment plans when you avoid these four words.
If you’re ready to get new patients using social media but don’t know how, these four simple tips can help. Before social media, marketing a dental practice was slow, expensive, and inefficient. A single ad would take days to create and weeks to reach your audience. If you needed to make a change, you’d have to start over, spending days more creating the ad and weeks more waiting for the new ad to reach people.
With social media you can move much faster and more efficiently. You can create an ad that reaches people within minutes. And if you need to create a change, you can do it in minutes, too.
Even better, the cost to reach people using social media marketing is much more cost-effective than in traditional platforms. With my practice, I get more patients using a $500 per month social media budget than I was getting spending thousands on traditional marketing methods.
If you want to use social media in your dental marketing plan, these four tips can help. Tip four, alone, is a gamechanger.
1. Set a strong foundation.
Too many dental practices sign up for social media accounts and immediately start blasting marketing messages to the world. They move forward without a plan, goal, or foundation in place. That’s a surefire way to get frustrated. Within days, they run out of things to say, begin to think social media doesn’t work, and give up.
To avoid this, plan a few ideas for how you will create content that dental patients are likely to connect with. What is your practice story? What is your practice known for? What can patients expect when they come to your office and what do you do differently? Do you give hand and arm massages like we do in my practice? Do you provide gourmet coffees and teas?
Write down the answers to all of those questions. Be as specific as you can. Then, for each question, write down why that item is important to potential patients.
For example, if you give back to your community, write down all the ways you give back. Then, write down why you give back. Did you grow up in the area? Do you want to make a special impact on the neighborhood? Or, do you want to help advance a cause or solve a local problem? Write those down. Soon you will have a long list of content about what your practice does differently than others and the reasons why those are important to you.
The answers to those questions give you a strong database of content that builds relationships with potential patients.
2. Regularly create sharable content.
Take a look at your social media accounts. How much engagement do you get? Do a lot of people like or love your posts? Do they comment or share? If not, begin to focus on making emotional connections with your social media following.
Ask yourself why someone would want to share your content. If you only post about dental care, nobody will share that. But what if you post about how you impact your community or all the amazing things your patients are doing in their business and personal lives? How much more likely will people be to share those posts?
You can also share video testimonials and office tours explaining all the things your patients experience and why you do it. Think of all the things that make your practice unique. For example, one thing that makes my practice different is that we have the kids go to the toy box before their appointment. This allows us to make friends first. Kids and parents love it! When we share about this on Facebook we get strong engagements from parents who know the difference this small change can make to their kids’ dental experience.
3. Run community engagement campaigns.
One of the best social campaigns you can run is what I call community engagement campaigns.
Examples of community engagement campaigns include Project Smile Makeover competitions and gift card giveaways donated from local businesses in your community. They also include things like Tooth Talk Thursdays, and even crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for local charities.
Community engagement campaigns work well because people will want to share them. When done well, hundreds or even thousands of people in your community will see them.
4. Always offer people the next logical step.
With a strong foundation, shareable content, and community engagement campaigns in place, you will be ready to achieve incredible growth and connection. You will grow your followers and build trust and familiarity with people in your community. That level of following and trust will position you to convert social media fans to patients at a much greater clip than before.
With social media, however, it’s critical to actively offer people the next logical step to moving forward if you want to convert followers to patients. People will rarely take the next step without you asking them to do so.
While there are several ways to call people to action, one of the best ways to do so while achieving a high return on your investment is to place targeted ads for high-dollar services, such as dental implants. Your ads can direct people to a dental marketing funnel, to schedule an appointment online, or even to take an online quiz to qualify for a free consultation.
Are you ready to get more patients using social media?
Now that you've gained clarity about how to use social media in your dental marketing plan, it's time to take action.
How much would you pay for a strategy that could help you generate $15,000 or $20,000 in a single day? I know a lot of people who would pay a lot of money for a strategy like that, including me.
But how much you pay to learn and implement a strategy doesn’t always correlate with how much money you make in return. In fact, one of my favorite tactics to teach practices is how to use a simple whiteboard to increase their income quickly. By the way, never feel bad for wanting to earn more. The more money we make, the more we can invest back into our practices and the bigger impact we can make in our communities and for our family.
The total cost to implement that strategy is nothing. Your return could be unlimited. Here’s why whiteboards are so powerful and how to use them in your practice.
Use whiteboards to keep everyone accountable.
The first reason whiteboards are so powerful is simple. They work. They hold everyone accountable by keeping your monthly targets front-and-center. They give everyone a “month at a glance” view of where we are in our practice. They show everyone what’s important and where to focus for the rest of the month.
About ten years ago, I developed a process of how to use Whiteboards to reverse engineer increasing practice revenue. And the year we implemented the strategy, we tripled our practice revenue. Since then, I have coached many practices on how to use this method of using whiteboards. When implemented correctly, practices often increase revenue by thousands in the first month alone!
Use whiteboards to help you set goals proactively.
Many practices set goals based on old information. They wait for the end of the month, look at the numbers, and reflect on what happened. The problem with that is the time already passed. There is nothing you can do to improve that performance. In fact, by the time you reflect, you are already a couple of days into the next month, again reacting to what happened instead of choosing where to focus.
I fell in that trap before I started using whiteboards. Now, I look at all my services and calculate historicals of how many procedures I do of each service. From there, I set goals of how many of each procedure I want to do for the following month.
When you’re tracking things proactively, you have much more control. You can think more strategically and if you realize you’re not hitting your goals, you can take action in real-time. For example, your front desk can send out a newsletter to your patients to highlight a particular service you are wanting to do more of in your practice. You could also record a Facebook Live video talking about the three ways missing teeth are being replaced by your patients and the risk of not replacing your missing teeth. Or, you could increase Facebook ads into an Invisalign dental marketing funnel. Your options are endless.
Use whiteboards to achieve immediate returns.
Recently one of my clients shared a really big win with me. She had just finished a $20,000 day. When I asked her what made that happen, she said it was using her whiteboard. It all started when she realized her practice was way behind in their monthly crown and bridge goal. The whiteboard let them know they were behind in real-time so they could adjust right away. So they took action and started calling patients.
They didn’t call patients randomly by their name or date of their treatment plan, though. They called people based on their monthly goals. In this case, they called people who had bridges in their treatment plan. That would allow them to do multiple units. They quickly filled up their schedule and the $20,000 day came to be.
Are you using a whiteboard to increase your practice income?
Technology, systems, and dental practice software get a lot of attention, and for good reasons. They can help you plan, grow, and operate a WOW dental practice. But don’t forget about low-tech options like whiteboards to keep you and your team accountable. They can help you increase your income quickly.
Building a successful dental practice does not have to be complicated. In fact, the best ways to improve your dental practice are the simplest because the simplest plans are the easiest to put in place.
If you've been struggling to make your dental practice a success, it might be time to try a new, simpler approach. Here is one of my favorite—and simple—systems to build a successful dental practice. This three-step system could make a massive difference in your practice.
1. Create a scorecard for your practice.
Using a simple Excel or Google spreadsheet, list out the important key performance indicators, or KPIs, for your practice. What important numbers do you want to measure?
Include more than just high-level production and collections, too. For example, many practices include the following on their scorecards:
new patient numbers
doctor production per visit
hygiene production per visit
specific procedure production
After you list out the KPIs, list out your current numbers. How many new patients did you get this month? Last month? How about doctor production per visit? And so on.
Knowing these numbers gives you a snapshot view of the health of your practice. How does it look?
2. Assign team members to take primary responsibility for each scorecard item.
Once you know your current numbers, assign a team member to each scorecard item. That ensures consistent attention to the most important KPIs. The person you assign each KPI to will have primary responsibility for improving that item. Ask the person to put together a plan for how to improve that item.
Take new patient numbers, for example. Challenge your team member to identify as many activities that contribute to improving new patient numbers. While marketing is the first item that comes to mind for many people, other things impact new patient numbers as well, such as:
Telephone training for front-desk team members so they can get leads scheduled when they call
Treatment plan presentation to convert patient leads into patients
Following up with leads who are not ready to schedule an appointment
Asking current patients about scheduling family members who are not yet patients
and much, much more
Having someone take the time to list out tasks that improve their scorecard item helps put together a practice plan for improvement.
3. Set goals for each scorecard item.
You've identified key performance indicators. You've assigned people to each item. And you've identified the tasks that need to be done to improve each item.
Next, work with your team to set goals and action plans for their scorecard items. Ask them how you and the practice can support them. What systems and processes could be added or improved? Do they need additional tools or training?
With goals, an action plan, and support, your team member will be well-equipped for success.
Are you ready to build a successful dental practice?
Building a successful practice does not have to be complicated. Create a scorecard of the most important metrics. Assign team members to each scorecard item. Put together goals, an action plan, and a support plan for each key performance indicator. Then update your scorecard to measure progress. If you're on track, great. What else can you do to improve? If not, what do you need to adjust to make better progress?
With this much focus and attention on KPIs, your practice will be set up for success. If you don't want to go at it alone, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Platinum Mastermind Gold Program, and are offering special value for you and your teams!
In any dental practice, it’s really important for patients to accept your treatment plan. For your patients, getting the care they need will let them experience all the benefits of having a full, bright, healthy smile offers. For your practice, you will be able to grow, be more productive, and make bigger impacts on people’s lives.
A lot of the time, however, patients hesitate to accept treatment. One reason is that sometimes treatment is expensive. This is especially important for high-cost procedures like dental implants and crowns. But accepting treatment is also an emotional decision. Many people are anxious about even routine dentistry. More complex care is even scarier to those people.
In my Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, I sat down with Dr. Chris Bowman, who helps practices increase case acceptance, especially as it comes to helping patients overcome the emotional hesitations they often feel when treatment is presented to them. Here are three strategies to help.
Speak English, not “dentalese.”
Just because you learned all the jargon of dentistry in dental school doesn’t mean you speak that same jargon with patients. As Dr. Bowman describes it, don’t speak “dentalese” to patients if you want them to say yes to treatment.
Instead, explain dental issues to patients the same way the patient would explain it to their friend. Your patient wouldn’t tell their friend “I’m gonna have an MOD on number 13 and an MO on 15.” They’d say, “I’m going to have a crown and a couple of fillings.” Instead of saying, “You have five areas of decay,” say, “You have five cavities.”
Don’t confuse the patient or scare them by making them think their care is complex when it isn’t. Simplify things for them, and getting treatment will seem a lot easier to them.
Simplifying treatment by speaking English, not dentalese, will help patients understand their treatment and avoid putting them off by big words that sound intimidating. Things will almost always sound much more serious when you use technical jargon. This might cause your patient to feel overwhelmed, and they might find another practice in the hopes of getting a simpler treatment recommendation.
Often patients are scared, and that’s what’s keeping them from moving forward with treatment. You’ll only scare them more if you make a simple procedure like a root canal sound like a complex treatment.
Focus on the problems you will help them overcome instead of the solution.
If you ask your patient what they want their teeth to be like a few years from now, you’ll get an idea of what type of treatment they want. You can then analyze their teeth and see the problems that are preventing them from getting what they want.
Maybe they want to have straight teeth. If they’re missing a tooth, though, that could lead to crowding. That missing tooth would be a problem that is preventing them from getting the straight smile they want. You need to focus on that problem and tell them that they aren’t going in the direction of having a straight smile without treatment.
Let patients know how your treatment plan will redirect that in the right way. Don’t try to scare them, but let them know that if they don’t get treatment soon, things will get worse so it will be the simplest and easiest to take care of it now. This will motivate patients to accept treatment because they won’t want things to get worse.
Frame your treatment recommendations as a better alternative to what will happen if they don’t get treatment.
There are a couple of things we can do to help patients see the difference between what we’re recommending and where they’re heading. Most patients don’t see what Dr. Bowman calls the “other side of the problem.” The other side of the problem is what’s going to happen if they don’t do anything—in other words, the consequences of not getting treatment.
If the patient has mild to moderate periodontal disease, for example, we can suggest non-surgical gum treatment. When presenting it to them, however, we should explain that if they don’t treat their periodontal disease, they will eventually need to have surgery later. Non-surgical gum treatment will seem like a better alternative than surgical gum treatment to a patient, and they’ll be much more likely to move forward with treatment and avoid surgery.
Are your patients saying yes to your treatment plan?
If your patients aren’t accepting treatment, you will help fewer people and work too hard for too little money. These three strategies will help you get more patients to move forward with the treatment they need.
For more help getting patients to say yes to your treatment plan, join my Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program, where you will get help from experts like Dr. Bowman on case acceptance plus work directly with other leading experts on everything you need to run a smoother, better, and more profitable practice. You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!
Would you like to learn how you can get more traffic from Google and grow your practice? If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, join me on this episode of the podcast for an insightful discussion with Brett Allen, the CEO and Co-Founder of Marketing 32.
Marketing 32 is a Google Marketing Agency for Dentists and Dental Specialists. The team at Marketing 32 are also the creators of “Google Made Easy for Dentists” which is a step-by-step program that is transforming the industry by helping dentist do their own SEO and Google Ads.
Brett and I have a very interesting talk about how dentists can leverage digital marketing to attract more patients and explode the growth of their practices. So, if you're struggling to fill up your appointment schedule or you just want to expand your practice and accelerate its growth, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for!
On the podcast we discussed…
Why you should use multiple traffic sources to help grow your practice
How to leverage relationships and get people in your community to talk about you
Strategies for using Google Marketing to reach new potential patients
The difference between search-based marketing and display & retargeting marketing
How you can use funnels to educate and convert patients
Tips for choosing the best keywords for your ads
If you want to learn more about Brett and Marketing 32, you can visit their website.
Brett and his team have also created a Google Ad training course for dentists, where you can learn how to leverage the power of Google Ads to help grow your practice. To find out more about this amazing course, go to marketing32.com/go
Here is a short video trailer of the podcast episode where Brett explains how to use Google Marketing to grow your practice.
I’m thrilled to welcome Steve O’Leary, the Project Consultant at APEX Design Build, onto the show to talk about the best processes for designing and building your ideal dental practice.
Steve is a natural born leader and dedicated to delivering high levels of customer satisfaction with help from his positive outlook on life and great listening skills. He has worked at APEX Design Build for almost three years and is super passionate about the company and what they stand for.
Apex Design Build is a fully integrated design, architecture, and construction firm that specializes in creating state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. Their motto is as enduring as it is simple: Your practice made perfect.
On the podcast we discussed…
Everything you need to know about APEX Design Build Vs. Design Bid Build and what each involves
The importance of having a high level of communication during the new buildout process
Questions you should ask before hiring a team to help you build a new practice
The impact that a well-designed dental practice can have on your patients
What to expect when you hire a firm like APEX Design Build
How long a typical build project tastes at each phase
An estimated ballpark figure of building a typical dental practice
Taking the first steps towards designing and building your own practice
If there is one thing that has been consistent with me, it is that I am always doing a lot of things. I run my dental practice. I see patients. I run Delivering WOW. I do Facebook marketing.
And I want to do my best in all those areas. I work hard to be the best business owner, dentist, and marketer I can be. I implement best practices, hire coaches, outsource, delegate, join mastermind groups, and more.
But at the beginning of 2018, I decided to take things to a whole new level. I set a big goal to grow my dental practice by 40%—in just one year—and all while working only one day a week.
I knew it would be hard, but I also knew it was possible as long as I applied the best business lessons I have learned. Here are those lessons.
Shifting to a “How Can It Be Done” Mindset
Had I asked myself, “How can I grow my practice by 40%,” I would be looking for ways that involved me working harder. That was not my goal. In fact, I wanted to grow by 40% while working only one day a week. So, I shifted my thinking from “How can I grow my practice by 40%” to “How can growing my practice by 40% be done.”
That simple shift took the focus of achieving the goal off of me. That mindset was important for me because I have a history of wanting to do everything myself. I wanted to be in charge of everything myself. I wanted things done my way.
But I realized there was only so much I could do. If I needed to have my hands in everything, much less would get done. When I shifted to a “how can it be done” mindset, I started looking for things my team could do to achieve that goal. I also started focusing on what processes I could create to make it easier to empower my team to help achieve that goal.
How the “How Can it be Done” Mindset Helps Make the Impossible Possible
Another benefit for the “How can it be done” mindset shift is that it makes the impossible seem possible. If I had asked, “Can I grow my practice by 40% in one year while only working one day?” a perfectly natural response would be “no.” But a yes or no answer to “How can my practice grow by 40% in one year with me working only one day?” feels unnatural. Our brains do not respond that way.
Asking, “How can my practice grow by 40% in one year with me only working one day?” tricks your brain to assume what you want to achieve is possible for just a moment. That is often all we need to get our creativity working for us.
In my case, when I asked, “How can the practice grow by 40% in one year with me only working one day?” my answers became clear:
I would have to be very strategic about ensuring team members knew what they needed to focus on to grow.
I would need to get accountability tools in place.
I would need to identify the key metrics that result in massive growth.
I would need each team member to take ownership of one key metric.
My mind filled with answers that made the impossible seem possible. Once I wrote down all my ideas, I started implementing. I explored how I could create processes and use the people on my team to be able to achieve the growth I wanted.
I committed to getting out of the way, becoming a true leader in my practice, and empowering my team to perform. I put accountability tools in place to help people stay on track. The impossible suddenly became very possible.
The Results of My 40% Dental Practice Growth Challenge
Many people who hear about me wanting to grow my practice by 40% in one year while only working one day per week think I am crazy—at least until they hear the results. So, how did it work?
We did it! Some months were better than others. Some months were incredible. But after shifting from my instinctive “how can I” way of thinking to “how can it be done,” the seemingly impossible became possible—and then got done.
Are you ready to grow your dental practice more in the next year than you ever dreamed possible?
While my results might seem extreme, I was not alone in achieving massive growth last year. While putting my 40% growth plan together, I challenged my Inner Circle mastermind members to do the same. Throughout the year, we walked alongside each other, step by step as we all worked to grow our practices by 40%.
We shared systems, processes, tools, and strategies to produce more while working less, without losing sight of our culture and practice vision. And we were excited to celebrate with many of our Inner Circle members who accepted the challenge and achieved similar results.
Remember, when it is not about “Can I” but “How can it be done,” the answers appear and the impossible becomes possible.
To learn more about implementing systems and processes to boost productivity in your practice, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.
And if you want to find out how you can get me and my team by your side for 21 days to help you implement this simple shift with actionable tasks and to-do lists to see the growth and results in your practice…click here to learn more plus use the code CHALLENGE to get 20% off at checkout!