Video Killed The Radio Star… Or Did It?

MTV famously launched, almost 40 years ago, tongue firmly in cheek by choosing “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles for their first video. As it turned out, MTV did not kill radio but it did significantly disrupt the music industry. It put rock stars into people’s living rooms like never before. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week you could see and hear your favorite music on cable television. This creative disruption changed the way musicians marketed themselves and sales of popular MTV bands skyrocketed. With the snap of a finger, one medium took over another. Artists were forced to adapt to the new channel or they died out. Everyone wanted their MTV!

Sound familiar?

The last few years have seen a variety of businesses disrupted by new technology. Retail stores, music publishers, taxis, hotels. You can add Orthodontists to the list as well. The story is now well-told : independent practices are seeing clients chose alternatives like mail-order aligners over traditional orthodontics. There is no doubt this is a game-changer in the industry. And it’s not going away anytime soon.

On the flip side, YOU can be a rockstar too!

Some orthodontic practices think the only way to put patients back into chairs is to cut fees and reduce margins. Not true. A low-fee model is NOT your only way to compete. Like rock musicians in the Eighties, you will have to adapt. Let’s face it, haven’t you always wanted to be a rock star? Well, here’s your chance!

On Wednesday, December 12th People & Practice will be presenting a webinar with the AAO titled “A Low Fee Model is Not Your Only Option.” Learn to adjust to this new business environment by communicating your expertise and the high quality services you provide while focusing on acquiring new patients who are willing to pay for it. We encourage you to sign up today for this webinar and be a rock star!

Register now!

The McGill Advisory: How To Increase Your Reach On Social Media To Convert More New Patients

The McGill Advisory recently published our article in their monthly newsletter about how to use social media to increase your practice’s reach and convert more patients. You can read the full article below or log into your McGill account and read it on their website here.

One of the biggest growth opportunities for your practice is through active social media pages that engage current and potential patients with content that is current, creative, and shareable. Social media is proven to have a positive, measurable effect on new patient conversions. Researchers have found that people spend up to an hour every day on Facebook (an average of 53 minutes on Instagram) — influencing everything from how they vote to what local businesses they support.

To boost your exposure on social media and to reach more of the people you want to convert into new patients, you must implement strategies that will encourage current patients, as well as visitors, to share your content with their own network of friends and family who might be looking to join your practice. The big question is how do you get them to engage? Below, Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA*, founders of People & Practice, LLC outline a few simple strategies you can employ right now to increase your reach on social to convert more new patients.

Encourage Selfies

People love to post selfies. Almost every experience or milestone today is captured with a selfie to mark the occasion. Your practice should be encouraging selfies so patients can show off their beautiful smiles inside your office. Encourage patients to tag your practice when taking photos and make sure there are key locations around your office that strategically encourage selfie-taking, especially on big days like when braces go on or come off. When possible, an excellent location choice is one that shows your practice name or logo in the background. This way, the friends and family of the selfie-taker will see their improved smiles and know exactly where they got them. A picture on social media can be worth a thousand likes!

Create Shareable Content

Your social media content doesn’t have to be boring, nor should it be. Instead, make it fun. Use original content when possible, and spice up your posts with humor, history, or interesting educational or trivia items that patients will want to share with their friends and family. Always add an image to every post and keep them short and to the point. People tend to skim online when reading, so we recommend no more than 500 words per post—or, break up your posts into lists or small sections. The idea is to make everything bite sized so people can get to the point fast, “like” it, then share it on their own social media pages.

Provide a Call-to-Action

McGill Advisory Articles | Marketing: Internet/Website | November 2018

Patients should be directed to share after viewing your online content. Include a specific call to action at the end encouraging them to share. Use a service like ShareThis or AddThis on your Facebook, Instagram, and website posts. When you post on social media, always ask for likes and shares!

Engage with Active Patients

After you‘ve taken the steps above, you should start seeing patients come back more often to see what’s new. Make sure you engage with your most active users and tag them in posts. Empower a staff member to be your social media coordinator. Have them monitor your accounts for activity so when anyone comments on your page they can respond in a timely manner.

When a patient takes the time to tag your practice in a post (like a selfie), make sure you share it on your page, comment on it, and thank them. Social media is a two-way street. To be successful with social, you need to do much more than just post an occasional announcement. For the best results—make it interactive and make it fun!

* Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA are founders of People & Practice, LLC, a digital marketing firm exclusively for the dental profession. For more information and a free marketing analysis, contact them at 888.866.DOCS or email hello@pplpractice.com.

The McGill Advisory is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal or accounting advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Copyright © 2018 John K. McGill & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The above article was reprinted with permission from The McGill Advisory, a monthly newsletter with online resources devoted to tax, financial planning, investments, and practice management matters exclusively for dentists and specialists, published by John K. McGill & Company, Inc. (a member of The McGill & Hill Group, LLC). Visit www.mcgillhillgroup.com/newsletter or call 888.249.7537 for further information.

John K. McGill Publisher-The McGill Advisory

Closing the Gap: Adapt Your Practice to the New On-Demand Business Model

The Progressive Orthodontist magazine featured our article about evolving your practice to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. We talk about the gap that has grown between the orthodontist and the patient and how to close it.

Click here to read the article (PDF) in the current issue of The Progressive Orthodontist.

If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and convert more patients, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

Don’t be Afraid to Try Something New at Your Practice!

The future is only scary if you’re not prepared for it.

When I was running my orthodontic practice (not so long ago!), I made sure I was prepared for the future by learning the latest and greatest in technology. Not only the scanners and materials that helped me create thousands of beautiful smiles (it’s almost Halloween so I guess I should I say Boo-tiful smiles), but also the technology that helped me promote my practice in an ever-changing world. I learned to embrace the internet, social media and online review systems.

I didn’t wait for things to pass me by. I tried to stay ahead of it all.

Sure, sometimes I was confused or scared by new tech. Instead of ignoring it and hoping it would go away, I learned more about it. I used these new marketing channels to my advantage.

At People & Practice, I now use everything I learned about digital marketing to help other orthodontists not only survive, but thrive, by helping them connect to the right patients. And, my team and I continue to stay on top of the latest trends to make sure nothing passes our clients by.

You can do this too.

Check out all the free marketing tips we share on our blog to get a feel for what we can do for your practice. If interested, contact me for a free marketing consultation and let me help you reverse the downward or static trend!

Dr. Leon Klempner
Co-Founder & CEO
People & Practice, LLC

5 Ways to Increase Patient Starts at Your Orthodontic Practice

Want to have more potential patients convert into paying customers on day one? We analyzed the stats of hundreds of client practices across the country and assembled five proven strategies to increase patient starts.

Talk turkey on the first visit

Many orthodontists were taught that they don’t speak to patients about finances on the first visit. Those days are over. People have less time (and patience). They want all the facts so they can make decisions quickly. On more involved cases it will still be necessary to take more time before planning out treatment and costs but for the routine case it’s more advantageous to do it all in one visit. Patients will appreciate the convenience and speed in which you work.

Lower you initial fee

Some orthodontists are still charging and initial fee of upwards of $1,800. This doesn’t fly anymore. Patients are stretched thin. You have to lower the barrier to entry, We found the sweet spot is from $500 to $1,000 down payment to help patients commit to treatment.

Make monthly payments affordable

Historically, patient delinquency rates in the orthodontic industry are low, around 3%. This means you can stretch the monthly payment beyond the planned treatment time by about 6 months to make their monthly payments more affordable, which should be around $200 per month.

Accept insurance payments directly

An easy way to make braces more affordable for patients is to find out their insurance benefits before the initial consultation and then accept payment directly from the insurance company as a partial payment. Asking families to deal with insurance reimbursements for treatment runs counter to how most doctor’s offices run their business today. This will go a long way to making the decision easier for patients to start treatment at your practice.

Lighten up

Make you office a fun place to be. Offer extras for parents and younger siblings while they wait like a fun zone and free coffee – for the parents not the young siblings! 🙂 Everything from the decor to the staff you hire should project a fun, lighthearted atmosphere to patients. Remember, when hiring employees, you can teach skills but you certainly can’t teach personality. Make sure anyone you hire gets your office culture.

If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and increase patient starts for your practice, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

AAO Webinar: A Low Fee Model is Not Your Only Option

Earn CE credit in this free webinar on how to grow a high quality orthodontic practice using digital marketing hosted by People & Practice’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Leon Klempner.

A Low Fee Model is Not Your Only Option

Date: December 12, 2018

Time: 07:30PM – 08:45PM

Click here to register

With downward pressure on fees, many orthodontists are changing their business model to stay competitive. But lowering fees to increase volume is not your only option. Rather, adjust to this new business environment by communicating your expertise and the high quality services you provide while focusing on acquiring new patients who are willing to pay for it.

This webinar will highlight:

  1. Attracting the right new patients with differentiating, educational content
  2. Activating current patients to advocate for your practice online: to their friends and on review sites
  3. Nurturing relationships among interested new patients to speed up the time to start

Length of Session: Each session consisting of lecture and audience questions will last 75 minutes.

Cost: No charge, but advance registration is required.

Continuing Education: Each participant who completes the Webinar will earn 1.25 CE credit.

To register for this webinar: click here.

Start With the Basics to Build Trust in Your Practice

Want to know the best way to discourage people from visiting your practice? Have inconsistent or worse plain out-of-date info listed on Google, Facebook and other online directories.

In a recent study, BrightLocal.com found that more than 90% of consumers said they are frustrated when they find wrong information in online directories. More than 70% of respondents said they had a negative experience because of incorrect local business information online. They are more more likely to blame the local business than the directory for inaccurate information and stop using a local business because of it.  Details matter and the ball is in your court when it comes to making sure information people find out about your practice online is correct, accurate and up-to-date. We recently wrote about the importance of claiming your Google My Business listing and making sure your name, address and phone number data (AKA NAP)  is filled out correctly. Click here to read that post.

You can also take these steps:

  1. Do a search for your business online and reach out to any place where your office shows up and make sure they have your practice info right
  2. Claim your Google My Business listing and update your NAP info
  3. Go into your Facebook Business page and fill in all the correct contact info making sure it matches your Google My Business listing

These are just a few basic but vital steps to ensure you are building trust in your practice. So fill out those contact fields on your Google My Business and Facebook pages and make sure they are up-to-date and consistent.

If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and convert more patients, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

 

Improve your orthodontic office’s local ranking with Google My Business

Don’t take a NAP when it comes to your orthodontic practice on Google Business.

Every orthodontist needs to claim their practice’s business listing on Google. Hands down, that is the most important piece of advice you need to know. You can pretty much stop here if you haven’t done that already. Go ahead and create or claim your business. We will wait.

Done? OK. Great! Your Google My Business listing is vital to capturing local search traffic. Test it out yourself. If you type in “orthodontic office” into your mobile device you’ll probably see results for practices located in your immediate area. According to Google, claiming your listing and updating your info will help your business achieve a better local ranking and enhance your presence in Search and Maps. What better time to capture attention than at the very moment people need it most?

Even if you didn’t create a business listing for your orthodontic office (or offices) one still probably exists. Go and claim all your business locations so you can manage details found in the listings, especially the essentials: Name, Address, and Phone number – or NAP as it is called in Search Engine Optimization circles.

A few additional things to remember to do:

  • Verify your location – Helps your business appear in Maps and other Google products.
  • Keep your hours accurate – Include special hours for holidays and special events. This is essential for people to know when they can come by or contact your office without getting sent to voicemail.
    Add photos – A picture is worth a thousand words – especially on the web. Highlight your friendly staff, interior shots of your office, and patients smiling after they get their braces on or off.
  • Reviews – It is very important that you gather positive, starred reviews associated with your practice and interact with customers by responding to reviews they leave. (Click here for 5 things you need to know about online reviews.) Google says that “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”

Google’s local search results favor relevancy, completeness, and accuracy above all else. So make sure you enter all of your information.and keep it up-to-date!

Want to know more about how to supercharge your Google My Business listing and convert more patients? Get a free marketing analysis, contact People & Practice today at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at hello@pplpractice.com.

READ McGill Advisory Article: Digital Marketing Strategies To Build Patient Trust

Effective digital marketing requires more than just a website and Facebook page. To build trust and increase new patient flow, you must also actively engage consumers online. Below we discuss how you can use digital media to convince potential patients that you’re the right practice for them.

Building trust with potential patients you’ve never met isn’t easy, but it can be done. Potential new patients are savvier than ever, researching practices on and offline before making a decision. Several factors contribute to their decision-making process including your website, online reviews, social media, positive comments, testimonials, a doctor’s referral, etc. All of these sources must convince them your practice is trustworthy and worth investing their time and money.

Where to Start: Building Your Online Reputation

Surveys show 90% of people read reviews before choosing a business. And most consumers read an average of 7 positive reviews before trusting that business—even with a strong star rating. Thus, your first priority should be garnering as many 5-star reviews as possible on Google and Facebook.

Since reviews of your practice carry so much weight, it’s vital to have some control over that information flow. One way to accomplish this is to capture authentic positive reviews in the office. A review capturing service will help boost positive reviews, and limit negative comments—“catching” them before the patient airs their grievances publicly. If a negative comment is posted on the web, you can defend it proactively by buffering it with positive feedback, making a single negative comment look like an outlier.

Next, add video testimonials from patients and/or referring doctors to your website. While written testimonials can be effective, video is much more powerful in building trust. Post these on your homepage and social media so they can be easily accessible with just one click.

Underscore Your Practice’s Unique Value

Authenticity translates into trust—a powerful motivator when making a purchase decision. So, always be authentic. Communicate your unique value to potential patients online with strong educational and interesting content.

Your content should educate them by answering their most frequently asked questions, show you’re an expert and clearly communicate your value over the competition. By using a blog and/or news section, you can organically attract patients to your website who are searching topics of interest. If they like what they read, they’ll follow you on social media and sign up for your email newsletter. Fun posts showing the personal side of your staff and patients, your community and charitable involvement, cool contests and informational content, all build confidence with potential new patients. So, when it’s time choose to a practice, you’re the one they’ll already know and trust!

Ensuring That If You Build It, They Will Come

Unfortunately, potential patients don’t always find you on their own and sometimes need a push. Facebook is arguably the most effective direct distribution channel for online content in the world. Their ads are highly targeted, allowing you to focus on a particular geographic area, age group, or interest category, so they reach the potential patients most likely to respond.

Carefully crafted original educational content is easily converted into ads that will move potential patients from Facebook or Instagram to your website with just one click. This strategy captures attention and creates awareness.

When writing online content, use a natural, friendly tone, as if you are speaking to the patient chairside. Also, make sure that photos and captions are posted by someone familiar with your practice culture to maintain authenticity. Otherwise, potential patients may unfollow you on social media if the posts don’t feel authentic.

Making Social Media Work for You

The primary benefit of social media is its social aspect—the sharing of information and content between your practice, patients, and potential new patients. Social media invites conversation. Everyone becomes part of the marketing process when engaging on Facebook and Instagram, thus exposing your practice to their entire network of online friends and family.

Social media is an integral part of digital marketing and building patient trust. Never let your online presence go stale. Rather, keep it fresh and authentic. Have a key staffer regularly update your website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and your Google Business listing. Remember, active engagement is key.

Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, MBA are founders of People & Practice, LLC, a digital marketing firm exclusively for the dental profession. For more information and a free marketing analysis, contact them at 888.866.DOCS or email hello@pplpractice.com.

 

The above article was reprinted with permission from The McGill Advisory, a monthly newsletter with online
resources devoted to tax, financial planning, investments, and practice management matters exclusively for
dentists and specialists, published by John K. McGill & Company, Inc. (a member of The McGill & Hill Group,
LLC). Visit www.mcgillhillgroup.com/newsletter or call 888.249.7537 for further information.

John K. McGill
Publisher-The McGill Advisory

The McGill Advisory is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal or accounting advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Copyright © 2018 John K. McGill & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.