Well, it's not really that they can't market. It's that they don't market. And that's why they stay poor.
Just about every successful business owner agrees that marketing is absolutely necessary in today's fast-paced world. Look around you. It's ubiquitous.
As our good friend Fred Joyal says, "Everything is marketing!" Or does he say, "Dentistry is a great profession?" Whatever.
The point is that poor dentists think marketing is expensive. But the truth is that it's expensive not to market.
Referrals from existing patients are wonderful, but you can't live on referrals alone. You must market to stay viable. You need to make your name well-known in your community and make sure your brand stays in the public eye.
You can market your practice in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, the following:
Keep an updated online presence, such as a good Facebook page and regular blog entries. Post items that are of interest to current and potential patients. Shareable content is especially valuable in promoting your office. Simple, funny photos and memes are quickly shared and can get your name out far and wide.
Sponsoring local youth sports teams
This is a time-tested way to get your name out locally. Your dental office name will be on all the uniforms, and you can hang a framed photo of the young players in your waiting room. It's also a great idea to actually go to a game if you're able. You can talk to the coach, who will most likely introduce you to the players. Can't you just hear the dinner conversation that night? "Hey, Mom and Dad, I met the nicest dentist today ..."
Print ads in local magazines and circulars can be effective, but the costs can add up quickly. It's a good idea to try an ad out here and there, then track its success before spending a ton of money on this type of advertising.
Direct mail campaigns
We are big believers in direct mail as a way to grow your practice and get new patients. We've found that well-designed postcards that feature special discounts on your dental services to be particularly effective in grabbing attention and getting new patients into your office. Direct mail campaigns that target new movers can be especially useful in reaching out to the people who are most likely in need of a new dentist.
Are you a poor dentist or a rich dentist? If you're the former, market yourself to become the latter. It's tough sometimes to find the money and even the time to pursue marketing for your office, but it's an essential part of any business. Try some of the methods we've suggested, and try to come up with some unique ideas of your own.
In 1989, Richard H. Madow, DDS, and David M. Madow, DDS, founded The Madow Brothers with the goal of helping their fellow dentists achieve success and happiness in their practices. For more information about their e-letters, audio series, New Patient Mail marketing program, Dental Powerhouse group, their live presentations (including "How To Love Dentistry, Have Fun, and Prosper," "The Ultimate Dental Boot Camp," and especially "TBSE"), and more, check them out at www.madow.com.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.