What We Learned at AAO This Year

We just returned from the AAO 2019 Annual Session in Los Angeles and we are excited to share what we have learned.

Yes, we were invited to give a lecture on practice marketing, but because this is the biggest orthodontic conference in the world, it was just as important for us to find out the latest and greatest so we can stay at the forefront of this rapidly changing industry. These changes are affecting the way we do business and challenging independent orthodontists’ abilities to adapt if they are to survive.

We thought it’d be helpful to share some of our observations regarding trends and technology, particularly for those who weren’t there. Here are a few things we learned:

  • Manufacturers are responding to increasing demand for clear aligners. That means more companies are out there providing more aligners than ever before. While we believe braces won’t ever go away for kids, for the teen and adult population it is only going to continue to grow. We cannot fight this. We need to buckle down and start focusing hard on getting the same result we’ve been able to get with brackets, but with plastic.
  • Disruption doesn’t mean extinction. Technology partners are launching innovations that will help orthodontists adjust to the direct-to-consumer disruption. Digital initial consultations and/or Artificial Intelligence-assisted remote treatment monitoring can reduce office visits, provide a more convenient experience, and foster better communication with patients. These are things that consumers are demanding and we can provide it for them.
  • Digital printing options are becoming easier and cheaper for the average practice. This exciting development gives lower volume practices a way to treat simple cases with less overhead, and less overload on your staff.

There is no doubt about it, the digital native demographic is becoming the decision-maker in matters of orthodontics. We need to prepare ourselves to utilize these innovations to differentiate our practices, provide a competitive edge, and moreover, give them what they are looking for.

Our expertise in digital marketing helps you communicate with the digital natives in your community so they understand that your practice best meets their needs. We ensure your practice is poised for success and has every tool you need to become the orthodontic practice of choice for a new generation.

If you’re interested in learning more about these trends and technologies, let us know. We’re making recommendations and then marketing them to the consumer on behalf of our clients.

Let’s talk about how that might work for your practice.

Subscribe to Our Podcast – Next Guest: Align Technology CEO Joseph Hogan

Are you an orthodontist wondering how to grow your practice in this fast-paced, competitive marketplace that seems to be changing every day?

Our new podcast, The Survival Guide for Orthodontists is dedicated to making you the authority in orthodontics to prospective new patients in your community

The next guest on our show is a biggie: Joseph Hogan, director, president and CEO of Align Technology. We will be speaking with him about where he sees the orthodontic industry in Align’s long-term plans.

Based on orthodontists’ love/hate relationship with Align, do you have a question you want us to ask Mr. Hogan?

Click here to go to subscribe to the podcast and record your question or comment – click the microphone on the top right of the page. We will pose your question to him during show that is being recorded on Friday, May 17th and will be available in early June. Please include your name and location. (Remember to keep it clean.)

We might not get to everyone’s questions in the episode but we will ask as many as we can get to within the timeframe we have with Mr. Hogan.

Subscribe & record your question

About the podcast: Dr. Leon Klempner and Amy Epstein, co-founders of People & Practice, know the business of orthodontics. They bring you insights, tips and guest interviews focused on helping you thrive in a massively disrupted industry. Learn how to put more patients in chairs by competing on expertise and trust, not the lowest fees. Subscribe today!

Our Specialty is Under Attack

Smile Direct Club and Align will spend over $300,000,000 in advertising in 2019 targeting your future patients. Their message is simple – all orthodontics is the same. It does not matter whether you go to an orthodontist, general dentist or direct mail (DTC), the treatment will all be the same. Their message is that tooth straightening is a commodity and you will get the same result no matter where you get your aligners.

If you allow this message to penetrate your local community, the only deciding factors will be price and convenience. This is a losing proposition for your practice.

We believe consumers deserve to know that there is a difference between doctor supervised treatment and unsupervised do-it-yourself tooth movement.

If there is one thing that is at the foundation of everything People & Practice does as a marketing agency for our industry, it is our support and belief that your years of advanced training and expertise separates a mere technician from a professional.

If your practice is seeing a decline in new patient starts because they just don’t know the difference (and who might be paying the price later on) contact People & Practice today. We will explain how we educate prospective new patients who are ready to make a decision about orthodontics why your practice is the best choice, bringing patients back to your office and away from low cost, unmonitored alternatives.

Free Consultation at 2019 AAO Annual Session

Special offer for 2019 AAO Annual Session attendees. Get a FREE in-person Marketing analysis for your practice and learn how People & Practice can increase referrals and patient starts. Los Angeles, CA, May 3-6, 2019. To schedule an appointment call us at 888.866.DOCS or email us at leon@pplpractice.com.

Don’t miss our lecture: Make the Three Changes For Your Practice to Survive in This Disrupted Economy – Monday, May 6, 2019 at 9:10am

Read: You Are Your Own Worst Enemy – Thrive in the New Economy

An article by our very own Dr. Leon Klempner was featured in the latest issue of Bentson Copple reSource.

It’s not necessarily increased competition from corporate dentistry, online direct-to-consumer orthodontics, or even the economy that prevents most orthodontic practices from thriving.

Dr. Klempner discusses the person who is preventing your practice from thriving is most likely staring at you in the mirror every morning.

Download a PDF of the article here.

Let’s Talk Turkey About Your Practice!

Do you have a mature practice but find that all your former referral sources are dying off, literally and figuratively? You have the latest equipment like a CBCT X-ray, iTero display, and you offer Invisalign but people still aren’t beating down your door for consultations. Other than that, things are great!

“How can I bring more patients in the door and grow my practice?” I get this question all the time from my clients.

What you’re missing is a solid digital marketing plan to communicate your value, experience and technologically advanced treatment. I understand. You don’t have the time, energy or expertise to do the job. Here’s the good news: I do.

I built my practice by employing all of the marketing techniques I now offer to my clients at People & Practice. I was able to retire and sell a successful practice because I adapted to the new way of thinking in running an orthodontic business.

I can help you do the same thing.

Get in touch with me for a free marketing consultation. It will only take a few minutes of your time and you might walk away with some pointers you can enact right now with your existing staff and resources.

Not quite ready? No worries. Click here and read our free marketing pro tips for orthodontists. And remember to sign up for our newsletter.

Let’s talk soon!

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

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

READ: Meet the New Disruptors: Millennials!

The New York State Dental Journal, the flagship publication of the New York State Dental Association published our article on marketing to Millennials. The article titled “Meet the New Disruptors: Millennials!” talks about how the dental profession needs to learn to market to a new generation of decision-makers.

There is a new generation of parents out there who are not as easily swayed by the traditional marketing mix. Millennials are fast becoming the most important demographic for your practice, and you need to know how they make decisions and where they can be reached. They’re technological natives, meaning they came of age with the Internet at their fingertips and have always owned some sort of computerized device. And they are not only very comfortable with the latest in computer science, they also expect everyone else to be just as up-to-date as they are, even more so. To understand how to attract millennials as patients, we need to know who they are and what pushes their buttons, so to speak.

You can read the full article on page 11 of the magazine here (PDF).

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.