Author Archives: Mark Oborn

How to rank in the search results for your competitor’s business name

Okay, let’s start with a question… Is it possible to rank in the search results when someone types the specific name of your competitor?

Let’s take this a step further… Is it possible to out-rank your competitor when someone types their name into the search?

The answer to both of these questions is YES, but with some strong caveats.

The first thing to mention is that one of the strongest mechanisms that Google uses to work out what a website is about, and therefore whether it will be relevant to any search results, is the words that are included in that website. Google reads your website pages very quickly, possbily a couple of times a day and uses the words in the site to work out what an individual pages about. If you mention the words dental implants then Google will know that page is about dental implants etc. This is VERY basic but is the essence of the way Google works.

So here’s an example…

Let’s say your dental practice uses your name as its business name e.g. ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, it would be pretty difficult for any other competitive business to rank for that name, you would completely dominate the search results if you chose this as your business name. This would be because in order for any website to rank for those specific words, ‘Mark’ and ‘Oborn’ those words would need to be included within the text of the site… A pretty strange thing for a competitive business to do!

However, let’s say that ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ is in Swansea, let’s also say that a  competitor practice has imaginatively called themselves ‘Swansea  dental practice’. Let’s add in another another competitor that has imaginatively called themselves ‘The Swansea Dentist’.

There is virtually no way that ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ will ever rank for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ as they would almost definitely need to get the words ‘Mark’ & ‘Oborn’ into their website and there would be very few reasons as to why they would do this.

However what about looking at it the other way round…

How easy would it be for ‘Mark Oborn Dental’, who is in Swansea to get the words ‘Swansea Dental Practice’ and ‘The Swansea Dentist’ into their website?

All ‘Mark Oborn Dental’ would need to do is include the phrase something along the lines of “Mark Oborn is an established Swansea dental practice that has, blah, blah… making him the Swansea dentist that X number of people have chosen”.

So in one fell swoop we’ve managed to get our own business name and the name of our competitors into the homepage of our website, all we would need to do* is to ensure we continually repeat these words throughout the site, in conjunction with other optimisation techniques around these same keywords to ensure that we rank for them.

It then wouldn’t take too much work to not only rank for the competitors business names but actually outrank them.

So, when deciding on a practice name, choose your name carefully!

Oh, by the way, as with many of my blog posts, this is actually a real life example although I’ve changed the names and geographical location to hide the innocent… Very proud to see my clients website out ranking their competitors!

 

*There is actually far more to ranking in the search results than just continually repeating the same words… In fact do this too much and you can end up being dropped from the search results altogether with the Google penalty. I’m simply using this here by way of an example.

4 hours of FREE education and learning for dental laboratories

Your Future Lab

Dental Laboratory Business & Management Course

I was asked if I could put together the entire series of Facebook live  business events  into one  blog post, well, here you go. These videos represent approximately 4 hours of FREE education and learning time, so please bookmark this webpage so you can find it again and return at your leisure.

This training series gives an overview of EVERYTHING that a business needs to focus on in order to thrive – finances, business processes, people and customers.

These Facebook live events represent a summary of each of the modules in the dental laboratory business and management course being run by myself in association with Blueprint Dental, bookings for this revolutionary business course for dental laboratories opens soon, so please register your interest now.

Event 1 – How to Work Less & Earn More

An overview of the 4 key business  areas that every dental business needs to focus on to thrive.


Event 2 – Finances

We take a detailed look at how a profit and loss account, cash flow analysis and balance sheet interact with one another. We will look at how to make business decisions which keep more cash in your business which keeps you more financially secure and comfortable and enables you to invest more readily.
This module is specifically designed to help you MAKE MORE MONEY.


Event 3 – Business Process

We take a look at workflow analysis and how you can use each stage of the work process to enhance your business.

Where does CADCAM fit in?

How can you continuously nurture the relationship with your clients (Customer Relationship Management)?

Where is the ‘value’ in the various processes of your business and how can you optimise these to get more clients and work more efficiently (Value Chain Analysis).

What future developments can you anticipate now, how can you prepare for them and how can you even predict them?

This module is specifically designed to help you be more EFFICIENT and COMPETITIVE IN THE LONG TERM.


Event 4 – Managing People

What motivates you and what motivates other people in your business?

If we can truly understand each other’s motivators we can begin to create a Highly Performing Team.

And what about de-motivators?

If we can eradicate/reduce de-motivating factors within the laboratory it leads to a far more pleasant working environment. This process begins with a robust recruitment policy, how do you find technicians, how should you decide who to employ and how can you ensure you comply with the law?

This module is specifically designed to help you have A HIGHLY PERFORMING AND MOTIVATED TEAM.


Event 5 – Customers & Marketing

Your business will always do better if your customers are looked after, cared for and get what they want. If you balance this with your own needs it’s a truly win/win situation and the business flourishes, so:

  • What is your unique selling proposition (USP?)
  • Why should dentists buy from you and not the cheap lap down the road?
  • What are the key factors which contribute to competitiveness and how can you remain as competitive as possible (Porters Five Forces Analysis)?
  • Why do dentists and your customers do the things they do, what motivates them to think in certain ways and how can we learn to adapt and work with them? (Customer Behaviour Analysis)
  • How can you set up a robust and effective marketing strategy that works 24 hours per day 7 days a week without sleeping?

This module is specifically designed to help you to BE MORE COMPETITIVE


Event 6 – Personal development

Why are you doing all this?

What are your personal motivators?

Why do so many of us self sabotage our careers and life and how can we stop it?

What is your utlimate goal in life, how does your career fit in to this and how can you make it happen with the least amount of work, energy and effort

What do all of these people have in common?
Oprah Winfrey
Leonardo DiCaprio
Metallica
Bill Clinton
Serena Williams
Andre Agassi
Hugh Jackman
Chuck Liddell (MMA fighter)

All of these people have attributed their success, at least in part to working with a life coach. When we understand our own thought processes, the strategies we used to make decisions and the reasons we have negative beliefs about ourselves we can make definite decisions to change for the better, not only for ourselves but the people around us.

This module is specifically designed to help you to BE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE, DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO and HAVE WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE in work and life.

Apologies for the tech difficulties, please skip to 3:16 for the live broadcast to begin! Thanks.

What Next?

If you enjoyed this series of Facebook live events please do register now  to attend the full 7 day Training programme.

Course Aims

  • To help dental laboratories understand laboratory finances in order to improve cash flow and profit
  • To help dental laboratories understand business processes including the use of modern technology, workflow analysis, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems in order to work more efficiently, effectively and profitably
  • To help dental laboratories manage and motivate their people in order to create a highly performing team
  • To help dental laboratories understand, interact with and create relationships with their clients in order to improve the working day, increase profits and attract more of the right type of client
  • To help dental technicians improve their confidence, manage their mindset and enhance their communication skills in order to enjoy their working life, personal time and plan for their future

Recipe for success for dental laboratories

When and Where?

When: Beginning October 2017

Where: TBC but likely to be Newbury, Berks or close to London

How much: £360 inc VAT per month

Golden principles of dental marketing

The 4 Golden principles of marketing which shouldn’t be ignored

There are four Golden principles with marketing which, if you choose to ignore you do so at your peril.  HOW  you choose to implement each of these four steps will be very personal to you, but whatever you do make sure you go through every step.

Those four steps follow the mnemonic AIDA

Step 1 – ATTENTION

Before anyone  can take any action at all, before they can come to your dental practice, before they can phone, before they can visit your website you need to capture their attention.  They need to know  that you physically exist and that you are there.

The first stage of any marketing campaign should be to grab people’s attention. If you were at the recent dentistry show in Birmingham think big drums, bhangra music and oompahloompahs! Big drums, bhangra music and oompahloompahs may not be how you wish to grab people’s attention, that’s fine but the principle remains, in order for anyone to take any action at all  they need to know you exist and this kind of marketing, along with people like  Richard Branson and sailing around the world in a balloon is brilliant at grabbing people’s attention.

Step 2 – INTEREST

Once we’ve grabbed someone’s attention and they know you exist we can start to pique the interest. This is where marketing becomes far more subtle, this is where telling patient stories begins, this is where we begin to engage  with a prospect, gently helping them solve whichever problem it is that they have… Missing teeth, crooked teeth, ugly teeth (In their eyes) etc.

This is using e-mail marketing on the website to collect prospects e-mail addresses in exchange for a free downloadable guide and then gently dropping them into an automated systematic  e-mail marketing campaign, all very gentle and NOT SELLING!

Step 3 – DESIRE

Once we have grabbed someone’s attention and they know you exist and we have created some form of interest in solving their problem we can then work on the third stage which is creating desire.

Showing prospects before and after photographs of patients in similar situations to them can help create a desire. Talking about the problem and the solution is an important step here also.

Step 4 – ACTION

Without action the three previous steps become pointless, this is where using marketing speak and language is vital.  When someone lands on your website  or receives an e-mail, what do you want them to do? Call us today, phone us today, request a free consultation today are all phrases which can be used with great effect.

Incentives to take action can also work in the form of free consultations or refunds of initial assessment… Think about specific things  which will prompt someone to take action… Simply having a request an appointment form on your website is  NOT suggesting that someone takes an action.

Summary

The steps above are WHAT you should do, they do not in any way tell you HOW you should do them. Oompahloompahs and bhangra music may not be for you, you may choose something  more subtle or even more outlandish in order to generate attention  about your service/product.

What ever you choose to do remember, with out these four steps your marketing won’t work.

Period.

Facebook Live Video – How to Work Less & Earn More – Dental Technicians Business Program#1

I’ve just run the first in a series of Facebook live events aimed specifically at helping dental technicians work less and earn more, in this first video I go through the four key business areas of performance that need to be addressed in order to have a successful business:

  1. Finances
  2. Business Processes
  3. People
  4. Customers

In case you missed it or would like to watch it again I’ve embedded it in this blog post.(Please skip to 5 min in for the video to start)

To join me on my next Facebook live event where we will be talking about finances and how to make more money, please Visit my Facebook events page.

Backwards Marketing – Buying NOT Selling!

[WARNING: This is a long post with a lot of actionable content]

We all hate being sold to, that’s a given, the problem is that marketing can often seem like just a selling avenue.  It’s not, and it shouldn’t be.

If your advertising campaigns simply say ” Come and see us, we are brilliant and can help” then it’s just annoying, boring, lazy and actually pretty ineffective.

Having a marketing system which works magnetically to attract people at a time that is right for them, without being annoying, aggressive or shouting about it is far more powerful… And that style of marketing is backwards marketing,  also known as pull marketing or inbound marketing.

In this video  I walk you through the principle of backwards marketing,  why it is so effective, how to use it and how you can set it up for as little as $19 per month using Aweber.

RESULT

Using this system, in conjunction with good Search Engine Optimisation, I’m regularly seeing some clients attract 50 -75 new patients per month and collect 16 Facebook reviews. All automated!

You will probably want to have pen and paper ready so you can make notes…

An overview of how backwards dental marketing works

The basic principle is that we need to understand where a person is in their purchasing decision, not everyone that visits your website will be ready to request an appointment… They may be in information gathering mode:

Patients in information gathering mode

These patients may want to know more about their problem such as replacing missing teeth or straightening crooked teeth or they indeed may want to know more about specific treatments such as dental implants or Invisalign.. The principle behind backwards marketing is that the patient has already identified that they have an issue which they wish to have resolved, what we have to do is to stand out, be noticed and provide a useful and relevant informatonn that the patient requires.

We do this using a free download from the website, simply ask for the patient’s name and e-mail address so that you can e-mail them a detailed report helping them understand more  about either their problem and/or the various treatment options.

 

How to set this up

Do this by creating a list within Aweber and call it ‘free guides’, set your automated e-mail responses to go out at ever increasing intervals (I use the Fibonacci series of numbers with e-mails going out at increasing number of days as 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc), these e-mails should answer those patients queries and should address topics such as:

  • How much does this treatment cost?
  • How will I know if I’m suitable for this treatment?
  • How comfortable is this treatment?
  • Where can I go to find out more information about treatment?
  • What are the links between this treatment and overall dental health?
  • What type of benefits could I get from this treatment?

In these automated e-mail responses  we are not trying to sell any treatment, we are simply handing out useful, free and relevant dental health advice to that patient.

However, within each e-mail we should gently guide the patient towards the next stage in their buying process…

Patients wanting to take the next small and simple step

Once patients have found out all of the information they need about either their problem, treatment or indeed a service provider they may then be ready to move onto the next step which is to come in and see you. HOWEVER at the early stages but may need some incentive or motivation from you to do this.Free consultation

Discount voucher

A discount voucher works equally well

This is where free consultations coming, this may or may not be  clinical (that is a whole other blog post) I’m simply looking at this from a marketing perspective, free consultations or even a voucher for a refund of the initial assessment fee has the effect of lowering risk and increasing trust for the patient.

When we lower risk patients that are wavering in their decision are more likely to take action and request an appointment.

The discount voucher works equally well in this regards, in this instance, notice how we are using five-star reviews to increase social proof at the point the patient is looking to make a decision.

How to set this up

Create another list in aweber And call it ‘free consultation’ or ‘refund of initial assessment’. Your automated e-mail responses can simply be thanking the patient for requesting an appointment and sending them a voucher entitling them to this free consultation or refund of initial assessment… At this stage it’s important to note but  the primary motivation for doing this is to collect the patient’s details whilst they are online, thereby ensuring that we have the ability to continue to engage with that patient (if they wish to) over an extended period of time.

This gives your website very valuable ‘longevity’.

Important. You should now go into the list settings in Aweber  and click on automation. Create a new rule which automates unsubscribing from the free guides list when a patient requests a free consultation or refund of initial assessment.

Creating this automation rule will stop the patient from receiving the prospecting e-mails that they had when they were simply looking for more information, this ensures the e-mails the patient receives relevant to their particular point in their new patient journey.

Patients that have been in to see you

Create a third list in Aweber and call it ‘patients’. as new patients come to the practice collect the e-mail address and name and ask them for permission to send them the very occasional dental health informational update,  ensure you keep their details safe and secure.

Upload those e-mail addresses into Aweber using the import function.  When Aweber asks, type into the box that you have permission to send these patients the occasional e-mail.

Now create a new automation rule as before, this time removing patients from the free consultation/voucher list  AND the free guide list. This will ensure that as patients come into the practice they stop receiving any prospecting e-mails from you.

aweber automation rules

Create your auto follow up… This is the real genius!

When the patients have been in to see you you should create auto follow up message which simply says we would like to ask you a quick question, would you recommend us to your friends and family… Yes or no.

collecting reviews

Create two new pages in your website:

  • YES – If patients click the yes button from the reviews e-mail direct them to this page. This page should thank them for being willing to give you a review and create links to your Facebook page and Google plus page
  • NO – If patients clicked the no button from the reviews e-mail, direct them to this page. This page should be an apology page and should have a feedback form enabling patients to give you feedback on why they are not happy to give you a review.
if YES is clicked

if YES is clicked – the social media icons link to the relevant site

 OR

if NO is clicked

if NO is clicked

Summary of backwards dental marketing

If you set this up as I have suggested you will now have an automated e-mail system which will gently help the patient find out more information, provide them with information, offer them an incentive to request an appointment and then when they’ve been to see you gently ask for a review and guide them to the most appropriate place in order to leave that review.

The system works 24 hours a day.

The system never sleeps.

You can now go back to doing what you do best…

If you’d like an audit of your own dental website marketing, please visit my website audit page.

The link to Aweber in this post is an affiliate link from which I make a small commission. I used Aweber for years before I became an affiliate partner. 

live chat on a dental website, why it works!

20121108_105013Do you use a live chat facility on your website? In my opinion, you should… And here’s why…And also how …(especially as you can set this up for free!).

In a service based industry such as dentistry it can often be very difficult for a patient to evaluate your services, one of the key ways they do this is by your RESPONSIVENESS. [SERVQUAL Parasuraman et al 1988].

Logic would suggest that if a patient wants to contact you they will phone or e-mail however, this is not always the case. Having run live chat for the past few months on the websites of 15 dental practices I can report that:

  • Patients often ask questions relating to the practice location/address (one would think that they could simply look at a map).
  • Patients want to request an appointment  but feel more reassured when they do this live with someone via chat.
  • Patients want to know the price of various dental treatments, even though they are clearly displayed on the website.
  • Patients just find a live chat  more comforting than sending an e-mail as they know that the message has been answered immediately.

Having a live chat facility engenders a considerable amount of trust towards your practice and reduces risk, I strongly suggest you set this facility up.

Setting up live chat

Setting up live chat comes in three simple stages:

  1. Create a free account on tawk.to
  2. Design your chat widget
  3. Add the widget code to your website or send to your designers

Stay signed in to Tawk.to and you will receive live chat as they come in from the website

That’s it!

It really is that simple, there is even an Android and iPhone app.

Go give it a try, it’s free!

And yes, I appreciate that it might be difficult to manage this front of house… So if you’d like to run a website chat facility on your own dental practice website, give me a call/email and we can talk about managing this for you at very little cost.

Examples of REAL LIFE conversations

Here follows a couple real life transcripts, notice how often the patient is asking about prices, if one just simply answered with the price the conversation will probably be over, engaging the patient in conversation helps them understand your services and engenders trust.

The interesting thing is that this patient was asking about prices and yet was on the fees page  of the practice website when they initiated the chat.

  • [16:36]                XXXXXXXX: Name : XXXXXXXX
  • [16:36] Mark – Patient Support has joined the conversation
  • [16:36] Mark – Patient Support: hi XXXXXXXX, how may I help?
  • [16:37] XXXXXXXX: Hello, ow much are incognito braces roughly?
  • [16:37] Mark – Patient Support: I need a little bit more information… What is it that appeals to you about incognito braces?
  • [16:38] XXXXXXXX: Im 22 and last couple years top and bottom teeth have become over crouded and gone out of shape and im too old to wear traditionall braces
  • [16:41] Mark – Patient Support: okay, I see, that is very helpful to know. There are actually a few options which might be able to help, invisible braces could also work and possibly dental bonding or veneers on only a few teeth. This could bring the price down dramatically. I’m not able to discuss full pricing on this chat facility as every price is bespoke for each patient as we like to treat each individual in a tailored way. I can arrange for a free consultation, with no obligation if you would like one?
  • [16:43] XXXXXXXX: So your saying instead of braces it could be possible to target individual teeth? And where abouts in XXXXXX are you based?
  • [16:44] Mark – Patient Support: yes, it is often possible to target individual teeth, without actually seeing you it’s impossible to say whether this is an option though 🙂 this is our full address XXXXXX
  • XXXXXX
  • [16:44] XXXXXXXX: Do you offer finance?
  • [16:44] Mark – Patient Support: yes, we are able to arrange finance 🙂
  • [16:45] XXXXXXXX: Could you book me an appointment? Please
  • [16:45] Mark – Patient Support: certainly, I just need some information from you, your phone and e-mail address
  • [16:46] XXXXXXXX: XXXXXXXX@live.co.uk. 075 XXXXXX
  • [16:48] Mark – Patient Support: brilliant, thank you, is there a best day and time for you to be seen?
  • [16:49] XXXXXXXX: I usually work shifts so im tuesdays or thursdays
  • [16:49] Mark – Patient Support: is there any time of day that works better for you?
  • [16:50] XXXXXXXX: Early as possible please.
  • [16:51] Mark – Patient Support: okay, wonderful thank you so much. I have sent all of your details through to the reception team who are now checking their appointment diary, they will be in contact with you very shortly. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • [16:51] XXXXXXXX: No thank you, you’ve been very helfull.
  • [16:52] Mark – Patient Support: wonderful, have a good afternoon/evening
  • [16:52] Mark – Patient Support has left the conversation

In this following example it could be argued that the patient could simply pick up the phone, however  as you can see patients often like to chat with someone live via the website.

  • [09:54] V14: Hello, I recently moved to the area (and away from my family dentist!) and I am not the best patient… but I think it is about time to quit being a coward and get a new dentist.
  • [09:55] Mark – Patient Support has joined the conversation
  • [09:55] Mark – Patient Support: hi there, welcome on chat, may I take your name please?
  • [09:55] V14: XXXXXXX
  • [09:56] Mark – Patient Support: XXXXXXX, we can certainly help with this, whereabouts do you live?
  • [09:56] V14: XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
  • [09:57] Mark – Patient Support: OK, you are just around the corner from us, would you like me to arrange an initial consultation for you?
  • [09:58] V14: Yes please
  • [09:58] Mark – Patient Support: please may I take a phone number and e-mail address for you
  • [09:58] V14: XXXXXXX – XXXXXXX @me.com
  • [09:58] Mark – Patient Support: is there a better day and time for you to come?
  • [10:00] V14: On my way home would be appreciated… maybe a 17:00 appointment on any weekday but Wednesday?
  • [10:00] Mark – Patient Support: okay, one quick question, how did you hear about us?
  • [10:01] V14: I walk passed your surgery each day!
  • [10:01] Mark – Patient Support: lovely, thank you, XXXXXXX. I have passed all of your information on to our reception team, I don’t have full access to the appointment book at my location, they will contact you directly. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • [10:02] V14: No thanks! G’bye
  • [10:02] Mark – Patient Support: thank you, have a good day
  • [10:02] Mark – Patient Support has left the conversation

Separating Facebook into Professional Friends and Real-life Friends – How to do it and why you Should

Problem

You have lots of friends on Facebook, some of them real-life friends and some of them Facebook only friends.  You may recognise some of these issues:

  • You log into Facebook to relax during some downtime after work, all you see are work related posts from work related ‘friends’.
  • Patients are asking you to be friends  and you don’t really know what to do or how to handle it.
  • You are constantly aware that when you do a business status update that your personal friends and family see these updates and you are worried that you might be annoying them. They could stop following you and not see your posts, but then they won’t see your family related posts either!
  • You want to make more personal updates on Facebook but don’t really want some of your business associates, that you don’t really know, seeing them.
  • You want to balance work and home life and find that Facebook is a mixed blur of the two and that the balance is becoming compromised.
  • You are aware that there are three personas under which you may interact on Facebook and don’t know how to manage this-
    • 1) As a real-life person Interacting with real life friends and family e.g. Joe Blogs
    • 2) As a business person interacting with patients, the media or other local businesses e.g. Dr Joe Blogs
    • 3) As your business on Facebook interacting as a group of dental professionals with patients e.g. Joe Blogs Dental Practice Ltd
  • You want to check in to various restaurants and places of interest, but because you don’t really know who these people are that our friends you are worried that these so-called friends may find out you are not at home! A possible security breach.

I’m sure there are many solutions to this problem, but if you are a friend of mine on Facebook (either personal or business) then you may know that I have just been through the process of separating out friends I actually know and friends I only know on Facebook.

There are some massive benefits, other than solving the problems above, to separating out your Facebook account the way that I described below, follow my process and then see what other surprising benefits I’ve uncovered.

Oh, and not everyone might take kindly to being removed as a personal friend, one of mine didn’t (Which actually proved my point that they weren’t proper friends in the first place)… I’ve blanked out the name but check out the message they sent me towards the end of this post!

Separating real-life friends from business friends on Facebook

Step 1 – Decide on the Criteria

If you’re going to separate out real-life friends from business trends decide what the criteria for this separation is going to be. Is your personal Facebook account going to only be for personal friends and family? Or,  are you going to include people that you have met in person but may also be linked to business and work?

What I did

I decided that anyone that I have personally met and been introduced to is allowed to be a personal friend of my personal account on Facebook. In the past I allowed anyone that sent me a friend request on Facebook to become a friend, I therefore had many people as friends whom I had never actually met and didn’t really know as a real person..

My criteria was therefore, if I have looked the person in the eye in real life (and like them) then that person can be a personal friend on my personal account on Facebook.

If someone is a friend on Facebook  and I have not looked them in the eye then chances are they are a business acquaintance.

Step 2 – Create a Public Figure

Artist, band or public figureGo to the page creation section on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ and click on ” artist, band or public figure”,  follow Facebook’s instructions and create your personal persona e.g. Dr Joe Blogs.

What I did

I actually had an older business page called “Mark Oborn Ltd”, This was a local business page on Facebook, I simply changed it to a public figure.

The public figure page I created uses the name @markobornprofessional https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional You could set your public figure up as @DrJoeBloggs or @JoeBloggsProfessional.

When you create your public figure page make sure you include a little bit of personal information about you as well is what you do in business life. Use this in the description of the page, by way of example my description is “The professional page of Mark Oborn, online marketing consultant, coffee fiend, hat wearer and foodie.

Step 3 – Tell your personal account friends what you are doing

You then need to let your personal account friends know that you have created a new Public Figure page, do this by creating a status update NOT by sending lots of personal messages, if you send lots of personal direct messages you may find your Facebook account gets blocked for spam abuse (this is from personal experience, I sent lots of messages initially and had a notification from Facebook that I might get banned… be warned!).

What I did

My first status update was:

It’s time to sort out my Facebook account.

Using Facebook for business has changed over the years, I’ve so many ‘friends’ on Facebook that I don’t know in person, this is historical to the way Facebook was in the early days. I’m not sure I’m happy with that!

If I ‘check in’ to a place, do I really want people I don’t know being notified of that? Not really!

Do my personal friends really want to see my professional stuff? Not really! And if they do I’d rather they had a choice!

There are a few ways around this dilemma, I could set up ‘friend lists’ and show posts to only 1 set of friends, but I’ve decided on an alternative, an alternative that I will be advising clients to adopt, and if that’s my advice to them, then I better do the same thing myself.

Over the next few months, my personal Facebook account will be slowly reduced to “real life friends” only and used as a genuine personal Facebook account, rather than the current blend of personal and professional as it is now.

For current Facebook ‘friends’ that I don’t really know as a real life friend I’ve set up a Mark Oborn Professional page.

There will be cross over, but ‘real life friends’ can then chose if they want to see my ‘professional’ stuff too. I’ll welcome anyone that wants to follow my professional page without question and all posts will be public.

And so, I will be ‘unfriending’ lots of people over the coming months, this is not “I am not your friend any more”, it is simply that we’re actually professional friends and so the best way to chat, laugh and be friends with you will be via my professional profile.

That is, after all what you get to see when I’m in work mode, the Professional Mark Oborn.

The Professional Profile will simply be my usual mix of hats, beer, coffee, random rambling posts and stuff related to dentistry. I’ll NOT be using it as a marketing channel!

I hope/know you will understand 🙂

All the best,

Mark Oborn (either Personal of Professional)

https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional

and here is a subsequent post on my personal Facebook account:

Dear Dudes of dentistry wot is not personal friends,

Please remember this is my PERSONAL Facebook account, I don’t post about marketing, dentistry or coaching on this page, so if you’d like to see stuff from me please also ‘like’ my professional page.

I know there are a few professional people ‘following’ me on my personal profile that I don’t know in person, you’ll only see ‘public’ posts if you do this… whooosh… listen for the tumble weed as I DON’T ROUTINELY MAKE PUBLIC POSTS from my personal account… coz it’s personal, see?

If you’d like to actually chat, engage and see my daily Facebook stream (that’s what FB is all about) then please join me on my professional page by clicking ‘like’ on the link below… or if you do actually know me personally then add me as a friend and you can then see my personal posts here.

Have a GREAT day:-)

https://www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional

Step 4 – Begin the migration

This basically means clicking ‘unfriend’. Yep, it’s tough and may take a long time if you have thousands of friends, but arguably why have you got thousands of friends on Facebook? It’s impossible to have that many friends!

Also know but it’s quite possible for business acquaintances to be real life friends, for me this wasn’t about removing anyone in business from my personal account, it was about removing people that I didn’t actually know from my personal account.

What I did

There were so many people that I had as friends whom I really wanted to be friends with, influential people in business, people that could help me in business and indeed people that I could help. But I wanted to stick to the criteria set out at the beginning. If I had not looked at them in the eye in real life then they will not be personal friends on Facebook.

Okay, I didn’t rigidly stick to this, there are a few people that I’ve spent many years talking to on Facebook that I have never met. Over those years of chatting they have become virtual friends  and I value that friendship, these people  I have left as personal friends on Facebook.
Now here is a funny story…

There were a couple of people  who I believed may have been friends on Facebook and that I’d never met in person, these select few people I decided to send a personal message to (Remember not to do this too often as your account may be blocked for spam), that personal message was:

Hi ,

I hope you don’t mind my unsolicited message, I’m in the process of separating out Facebook into people I know socially and people I know professionally, as I feel I know you professionally it would make sense that we continue to chat etc via my new professional profile www.facebook.com/markobornprofessional where I will continue to post nonsense, hats, coffee, Dorset and the occasional business post on dentistry plus life and business coaching also.

Please don’t take it as an insult but I have unfriended you (that’s such an awful phrase as it is so far from the truth) from my personal ‘social’ Facebook account, I look forward to seeing you and welcoming you on to my ‘professional’ account as and when. To join me on my professional account, please visit the page and click ‘like’.

Very kindest regards indeed,

Mark

To which someone replied:

No thank you Mark. You have never responded to any comment I have made on your posts, which tells me that you are either uninterested in the opinions of others, or have your head so far up your own derriere that you never even noticed. Either way, I doubt either of us adds value to the other so goodnight and thanks for the message.

Clearly, they weren’t friends in the first place and so I was happy to see the back of them. Interestingly, I sent EXACTLY the same message to someone else who replied:

Thank you for such a lovely message, Mark and what a great idea . Thank you. It just becomes overwhelming, doesn’t it ? it is a pleasure to be your professional Facebook friend.

It just goes to show, one can never tell how people will respond to the dreaded ‘unfriend’!

Step 5 – Begin using the new profiles in different ways

I now find that when I login to my personal Facebook account I can see posts from my friends, my family and what’s going on locally. It’s become a more welcoming, chatty and friendly pace to be. Sure, I see business posts from friends, but they are real friends  and I’m interested to know what they are talking about.

My Public Figure account has personal information on it (That I’m happy to share publicly) but because it is more business oriented it gets far more reaction from the business community, it is also growing far more rapidly than my personal account, which is absolutely fine by me.

What I do

  1. Facebook pages appI post personal updates about books I’m reading, things I like doing and where I’m visiting to both accounts. Sometimes I post to my personal account, sometimes I post to my business account, it is purely random.
  2. I post business updates to my new public figure account only.
  3. I use the regular Facebook app on my phone to log into my personal account. I am then very clear when I press this button that this is personal time.
  4. I use the Facebook Pages app (Downloadable from the Google Play store or similar on Apple) on my phone to log into my public figure account (these two accounts are linked and use the same Facebook login details). I am then very clear when I press this button that I am in business mode and it is during work time.

The benefits of separating personal and business life on Facebook

  1. Facebook becomes fun again. I can keep up-to-date with my personal life, friends, family and people I know without being interrupted about or having to think about work.
  2. Facebook becomes more productive for business. I’m able to advertise my Public figure, create unique status updates recommending that people send me messages or phone me.
  3. Create out of office messages using Facebook Response Assistant. A Facebook public figure allows you to set your status as ‘away’ for 12 hours, during this time It’s possible to automate responses if someone sends a message, far better than responding to a personal direct message on a personal account in the small hours of the morning!
  4. Get insights into your Public Figure. You will now be able to see the number of people that each of your posts has reached, the number of people that like your page, where they are and how engaged they are with each post. Very useful business analytics.
  5. Add labels to any messages. This enables you to tag messages from patients or clients with useful labels, consider using  treatment tags or ‘prospect’, ‘client’ etc
  6. Create events and have them all located in one place which is easily findable on your Public Figure profile page, e.g. https://www.facebook.com/pg/markobornprofessional/events/?ref=page_internal
  7. Get reviews. You may want patients to review you as an individual dentist, this is possible with a Public Figure profile. Here’s an example
  8. Balance life and work again and remove the incessant NOISE!


With a public figure page you can still engage with other local businesses, like them and chat with them,  the only thing you can’t do is engage or interact with individual people, unless they also have a public figure page or interact with your public figure in some way e.g.  commenting on a post.

It seems to me that using a public figure is far more ‘real to life’, in life we all know that we have a personal, friendly, family persona… We also have that business persona, the face we put on when we go to work… Separating Facebook out like this is far truer to real life, more congruent with real-life and keeps the work/life balance in harmony.

If you need help, please just comment here or ping me an e-mail  from the website, I’m happy to do what I can to assist.

Yours professionally and personally,

Mark

How to Make Best Use of Your Facebook and Google Reviews

So many people are working really hard to collect as many Facebook and Google reviews as possible, but what can you do with them once you’ve got them?

Of course they look great on your Facebook and Google profiles but here are a couple of examples of how you can use them in other situations.

Encouraging more people to request an appointment

I’ve written many times about the issue of trust in dentistry; reviews add social proof to your website and this proof that you are trustworthy can increase conversion rates.

Whenever we ask someone to do something on our website, for example request an appointment, using social proof next to the ‘call to action’ can increase conversion rates.

Here’s an example of using Google reviews right next to an appointment request form.

Reviews and request an appointment

Adding value to your fees/prices page

One of the most visited pages on any dental practice website if the fees page. If all you list are just your fees without adding value then you are doing yourself a disservice. Without letting patients know what they get when they spend an amount of money is a surefire way of making yourself look expensive!

A great way to add value to the service you offer is to let your happy patients do that marketing for you. A simple way to do this is to add Facebook reviews directly to your website, Here’s an example.

screenshot-2016-09-20-15-06-17

How to add a Facebook review to your website.

Locate the reviews on your Facebook page, once you have done this click on them.

Locate the reviews on your Facebook page

Choose the review you wish to embed, then click on the little arrow top right to bring down a list of options.

Choose the review

Click on the embed option.

Click embed

Copy the code and paste this into your website on the fees page.

Embed code

You now have an interactive review on the fees page of your website which goes a significant way to reduce risk.

Advantages of using embedded reviews are:

  1. They are much harder to fake, anyone can make up a review, but not anyone can get a review from a real person on Facebook.
  2. Because people can interact with the review by commenting it demonstrates a trustworthy organisation that is open and transparent.
  3. Because there is openness and transparency the patient can see that this review is not being manipulated… unless it’s obvious that you have reviewed yourself 🙂


I’d love to know your thoughts also…

How to create an online dental marketing machine – Download your Marketing Project Planner

I recently created this Gantt chart for dental practices to utilise in order to develop their online marketing.

The chart lays out various activities to be done over a 17 week period. Each week you need to take some small action towards reaching your final goal of creating an effective and efficient online marketing machine that works for your dental practice 24/7/365.

The chart takes a steady walk through social media, creating an e-mail marketing campaign, Google optimisation and ensuring your website works effectively.
Some activities have hyperlinks which take you to additional resources, either for more information or to help with third-party sites.
Many of the activities have associated comments, hover your mouse over the red triangle in the corner of the cell and the comment will be revealed. These give further information and advice on this particular activity.

This free resource is available to members of The Implant Hub (free registration) who will need to be logged in in order to download this chart.

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Tracking Your Paid Advertising (PPC)

It’s one thing to spend lots of money on paid advertising on either Google or Facebook, it’s another thing to know if these things are working or not.

Tracking is extremely important, here’s an example.

A client wanted to run an advert campaign on Facebook and Google but didn’t know which one would be more successful, they wanted to run campaigns for dental implants and orthodontics.

We set up both Google and Facebook ad campaign and directed visitors to the relevant pages on the client’s website.

Running paid advertising (PPC) in itself is just ‘presence optimisation‘, in other words getting more people to the website. What’s also important is ‘conversion optimisation’, in other words getting more people to convert… And it is this that we monitored.

The campaign monitoring is set up in two halves:

  1. The advert itself on either Facebook or Google Adwords pushes campaign data into Google analytics by using Source, Medium and Campaign tracking.
  2. Google analytics has goals set up which are triggered via these campaigns.

On the client’s website they had 3 conversion mechanisms that we were tracking:

  1. A request an appointment form, we know that a new patient appointment is £55 so we can allocate this amount each time the form is triggered.
  2. A discounted dental health check available online only, we know that this appointment is worth £25 so we can allocate this amount each time this form is triggered.
  3. A free consultation, we know that patients that book for these tend to go ahead so we allocated an arbitrary £200 each time this form was triggered.

Each time the form is filled in it bounces the user off to a ‘thank you’ page, this thank you page is then set up in Google analytics as a goal with the necessary amount allocated against it.

Because the adverts are sending through data such as ‘Facebook’ or ‘Adwords’ and ‘Implants’ or ‘Ortho’ This can then be pulled out as a Google analytics report and we can see visitor data for each of these.

Facebook versus Google PPC

 

Because Google analytics can then multiply the number of times the goal was triggered for each campaign and source we can then extrapolate the value of each and compare this to how much we have paid.

Here’s what we found for the past 30 days:

Campaign results of Facebook and Google PPC

The question now is, what would you do with these results?

Here’s a summary of how the process work.

added tracking codes to adwords cmapigns--utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Implants-utm_source=Adwords&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=Ortho (1)