The vast majority of dentists aren’t trained as marketers. They’ve taken on the role of marketing guru for their practices because somebody has to do it. There are many, any dentists who could easily afford a marketing professional or a marketing firm but still insist on putting in the extra hours required to create and maintain their marketing.
That’s not a good use of dentists’ time, and arguably it costs them money. But that’s not the worst aspect of do-it-yourself dental marketing.
With competition heating up almost everywhere, dentists’ can’t afford to make mistakes in promoting their practices. Every prospect lost is money in another dentist’s pocket. And every marketing misstep has the potential to alienate a prospect and everyone else they can tell online.
Here are 4 deadly dental marketing mistakes that you must avoid.
Mistake #1: Pushing Too Hard
Dental prospects become dental patients under two circumstances: when there’s an emergency, or when they’re darned good and ready.
Too many dentists make the mistake of bombarding prospects with postcards, emails, newsletters, and the like. If you think about it for a moment, if you kept getting advertising for new cars from the same dealer every week, how long would you continue to even glance at those advertisements?
If you’re going to stay top-of-mind with your prospects (and not be annoying), you’ve got to stay in front of them often enough – but not too often. Automated email marketing is the best to ensure the right prospects get the right information at the right time.
Mistake #2: Not understanding your prospects
If there’s one thing that abounds, it’s misinformation. Sometimes, what we think we know is wrong, but we believe it simply because we want to. Even though it has no basis in reality.
The vast majority of dental prospects aren’t looking for the best hands, the most immaculate operatories, or the latest whiz-bang diagnostic equipment. Those are things that you value because you’re a highly knowledgeable dentist.
Dental patients want to know that your efforts will make their lives better. They want to know that they’ll be understood and won’t be judged for their dental problems. They want to know that they can feel good about going to the dentist instead of feeling embarrassed or afraid.
If you’re marketing your practice based on what you think your prospects should want, you’re missing the mark.
Mistake #3: Not engaging your prospects
Dentists today are assumed to be competent, meaning that from your prospects’ viewpoint one dentist is as good as another. Your marketing has to engage your prospects and give them reasons other than competence to choose you.
You can accomplish that to a small degree in advertising, but social media is designed to further engagement. You engage your readers when you mix the technical with the personal, the technique with the benefits. You engage your audience by asking questions and responding to their answers or questions.
When you successfully engage your prospects, you become more than just another dentist.
Mistake #4: Being Inconsistent
Experts in any given field expect to be paid handsomely for their efforts. But too many dentists give off mixed messages. They hold themselves out as experts by promoting their training and their experience, but they constantly push discounts, specials and low price
Put simply, you can’t be the budget dental expert. It’s not credible in the minds of your prospects except maybe for a naive few. Find your voice and your message, and stick to that in your marketing.
Doing Your Own Marketing Doesn’t Make You Any Money
Dentists make money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems. Marketing is simply the means to get more patients in your chairs. Doing your own marketing is almost certainly a waste of your time and talents.
Discover what more than 550 dentists on three continents have learned: that SmartBox’s industry-leading Patient Attraction System™ gets dentists more patients, more profits, and more freedom.
Visit smartboxdental.com and reserve your free, no-obligation Practice Discovery Session™. Invest 20 minutes of your time to discover how you can have a consistent flow of new patients and spend about an hour or less each month on your marketing. We’ll take the results of that phone call and send you your personalized Patient Attraction Roadmap™ – again, absolutely free.
Don’t add a fifth mistake to the other four – doing your own marketing and costing yourself patients and money.