Category Archives: share-labs

GDPR For dental practices

GDPR – Yes, more regulations to comply with

You may be aware that the general data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May of this year, the regulation doesn’t give exact wording for what you should do in a dental practice but it does give definitions. I’m therefore recommending that if you use any form of dental online marketing that you ensure you meet the standards as they are interpreted.

CONSENT

Doing consent well should put individuals in control, build patient trust and engagement, and enhance your reputation

According to the information Commissioner’s Office, consent

“…must be freely given, specific, informed, and there must be an indication signifying agreement. However, the GDPR is clearer that the indication must be unambiguous and involve a clear affirmative action.”

It must also be unbundled, have an active opt in, have your organisation named, be documented and easy for the individual to withdraw from.

To comply with this, I suggest you add a consent box to every single signup form on your website.

GDPR consentAccompanying this should be a tick box which everyone will have to tick, this should then be stored in their record in your e-mail system as a record of consent. Should anyone question whether you consent to send e-mails you can check back in the register to prove that they have clicked this box.

I also recommend adding a double opt in.

Potentially someone could maliciously enter someone else’s e-mail address into one of your forms, to prevent this all individuals should be required to verify their e-mail address, when they complete any form on the website they should be sent a verification e-mail which they need to click on, if they do not click on this e-mail, for what ever reason then you cannot use their e-mail address for any e-mail marketing.

What happens about existing e-mail subscribers?

It seems that if someone is considered a ‘customer’ then you can legitimately send them e-mails, you can therefore continue to send patients e-mails IF they can be demonstrably proven to be customers.

People that have not been to the practice is more difficult.

If the e-mail program you use is considered a service and there has been ongoing recipient e-mail engagement (opens or clicks) then this may be sufficient to show an existing customer relationship, as a customer you can legitimately send e-mails so long as the e-mails are considered a unique service in themselves.

Remember, the e-mail program needs to be a valuable service in its own right.

The system I use for e-mail is Aweber, this system is able to filter subscribers that have not interacted with an e-mail after a given date. I would suggest that you filter non-active subscribers within six months and delete any subscriber that has not interacted with your e-mail system during this time.

This will then demonstrate that you have an active GDPR policy for historic e-mail contacts. Of course, all new contacts will have consent requested at the beginning.

IMPLEMENTATION

You have until May 25th 2018 to implement this so I recommend you pass this information on to the person that manages your e-mail marketing.

Resources for bedtime reading, should you so desire, please ensure you have read these documents in full before acting on any advice given above:

https://ico.org.uk/media/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf

https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/consultations/2013551/draft-gdpr-consent-guidance-for-consultation-201703.pdf

HAVE FUN 🙂

 

Facebook may demote your news story if you use baiting style posts

Just before Christmas Facebook announced an update to their algorithm… You did know that Facebook use an algorithm to show posts didn’t you!

I’ve been critical of these algorithmic updates in the past as they have sometimes been simply to allow Facebook to gain more revenue, on this occasion, I’m actually quite pleased to see this algorithmic change.

According to a blog post written on Facebook’s newsroom blog on 18 December 2017 they are beginning to demote posts which bate people into responding with likes, comments or shares. The technique is often called ‘engagement baiting’ or ‘Facebook baiting’.

We’ve all seen those posts:

  • Share baiting – “Share this post to be in with a chance of winning a new Porsche.”
  • Tag baiting – “Tag your friends in this post to be in with a chance of winning a new washing machine”
  • React baiting – “Click like to say you agree, click angry to say you disagree etc”
  • Comment baiting – “Comment ‘Amen’ to say you agree”
Tag baiting and comment baiting

Image source: newsroom.fb.com

Somewhat annoying!

This new engagement baiting algorithmic update is in addition to Facebook’s ‘clickbait headline‘ update which went live in May 2017, Both of these algorithmic updates are to reinforce Facebook’s rule of authenticity.

If people stop using Facebook or get annoyed with these posts then ultimately they may use Facebook less and Facebook will lose revenue…I admit that I have used engagement baiting techniques in the past and they’ve worked well,  (I used the reaction buttons to get people to vote on whether they wanted a marketing club or not) but this technique could now potentially see my posts demoted as a result.

Facebook edge rank algorithm

Image source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EdgeRank

If you create a post on your page on Facebook it is not necessarily shown to all of your fans, Facebook uses their edge rank algorithm to calculate who to show that post to, if your post uses either engagement baiting or has a click baiting headline you may find that the post gets completely demoted… If you continually use this technique you may also find that your whole page gets demoted and none of your posts get shown!

I welcome this update, I welcome the authenticity that it brings and am looking forward to a less spammy news stream on Facebook.

[VIDEO] Attracting traffic to your dental practice website – Part 2

I’ve just completed the monthly dental marketing club live stream on Facebook, this month we looked at the 2nd part of search optimisation and getting your dental practice website found.

The video is just under an hour long  and goes through how to optimise a website to be found on Google.

This video looks at Website Traffic Optimisation (part 2), and includes using:

Social media to attract more traffic to your site.
Email to attract more traffic to your site.
Paid advertising on Facebook and Google (PPC) to attract more traffic to your site.

Optimising for traffic is an important part of your online marketing strategy, next month we will be looking at conversion optimisation, and equally important aspect to take into account.

The dental marketing club is free to join on Facebook, the live streams happen on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 1 PM UK local time. The next live stream, looking at conversion optimisation is on Thursday 8th of February 2018.

[VIDEO] Attracting traffic to your dental practice website

I’ve just completed the monthly dental marketing club live stream on Facebook, this month we looked at the first part of search optimisation and getting your dental practice website found.

The video is just under an hour long  and goes through how to optimise a website to be found on Google.

This video looks at Website Traffic Optimisation (part one), and includes:

Keyword/phrase Research. Techniques and strategies to research the words and phrases that people search for in the local area.
Search Optimisation. What you need to do, where, when and how in order to get your website found.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often seen as a dark art, it doesn’t have to be that way and with some clear understanding of how to attract traffic you can begin to create an online dental marketing machine.

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.

[Guest Blog] Getting real value from dental marketing

I occasionally welcome Guest blog posts from people I like, know and trust. I’ve been working with Minesh Gandhi on a joint project for the last 7 years, we’ve seen traffic increase  on the client website  from 200  visitors per month to over 4000 per month, new patients from the website regularly exceed 50. Together Minesh and I form a formidable team, I have looked after the website optimising it for the maximum amount of traffic and conversions whilst Minesh has taken an overall strategic view  of the marketing at the practice, guiding and coordinating efforts across all media.

Here’s what Minesh has to say  about marketing in dentistry:


The UK dental industry is worth £5.8bn [1]. So how can you make sure you’re getting your fair share of the business?

While word of mouth is still one of the strongest areas of business growth, increasingly, growing your business, attracting new patients and holding on to them is down to effective marketing.

So what is effective dental marketing?

Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Are all of your customers on Twitter? Do they all respond to emails? Of course not! The very best marketing adopts a hybrid approach, to maximise its impact and the number of people it will reach.

It is difficult for a potential client to choose your dental practice if they don’t even know it exists. Generally, someone will need to see your business name or logo as many as 15 times before they are likely to think of you when they need a dentist.

So marketing needs to be embedded into the culture of the practice, so that everybody is thinking: Does this make a good story? Can we share it on the website? Will it make a good Instagram photo? Can we share it in our email marketing?

Not many dental practices will be able to afford their own marketing department, or they may have an admin person who dabbles from time-to-time. For most practices, it is more cost-effective to get an expert involved by working with an outside agency. By all means, email your agency with those ideas you’ve had about a good story or a good photo, because you know your business better than anyone and they know how to convert your ideas into effective marketing.

The essential marketing tools are a well-designed website, optimised for SEO and regularly updated, and social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps also Instagram and LinkedIn.

While it may be tempting to get one firm to design your website, another to run your social media and another to run you off some leaflets, it makes financial sense to use a single agency. That way, you avoid duplicating fees and you avoid time wasted on briefing the same information to a number of agencies.

Your website should be informative, fast, easy to navigate and attractive. Its only real purpose is to get patients through the door. So make that clear on every page with something like ‘Contact us to make an appointment’ and the option to either get in touch through the website or by phone.

Image by Salvatore Vuono freedigitalphotos.net

Blogging keeps your website up-to-date, and blogging regularly pushes it up the Google rankings. The blog must be about the company brand, but should also provoke discussion by bringing in bigger news or industry-wide issues. Each post should be optimised for keywords, such as ‘dentist’, ‘dental practice’, ‘dental surgery’ and your location, such as ‘London’, ‘North London’ and ‘Euston Road’.

Twitter is a great way to share content and build up a relationship with customers and potential customers. Always share your web and blog updates to Twitter to ensure they reach the widest possible audience.

Facebook is the most popular social media in the UK, with around 32m users, so it pays to be using it regularly. A Facebook feature called Facebook Graph Search means users can search for businesses that have been ‘liked’ by their friends. With 92% of people trusting recommendations from friends, it’s important to maintain an engaging Facebook presence that encourages patients to like your business.

A good marketing agency will build up a profile of your patients and potential patients. Maybe Twitter won’t be right for them. Other possible marketing tools include email marketing, such as Aweber, and ‘free’ advertising – offering a regular column in the local paper or slot on local radio. For an older demographic, leaflets and newspaper advertising may be more effective ways of reaching them.

Using as many of these approaches as possible will generate leads and convert them into patients on your books.

I have been working with The Dental Centre London, a busy four-surgery practice for five years. I have supported The Dental Centre with key projects, including a re-brand and email campaigns to existing and prospective patients, as well as overseeing a communications plan for when they moved premises.

The practice now receives 50+ leads per month as a direct result of the strategy.

Effective marketing needn’t be expensive, it just needs to work. By targeting the right audience in the right way, the financial rewards of good dental marketing are clear.

An accomplished hybrid marketing professional, with a proven track record working within the Dental industry to support clients with revenue growth.

Minesh Gandhi

Marketing Specialist

07841 638764

minesh@hybrid-marketing.co.uk
www.hybrid-marketing.co.uk

References

[1] www.practiceplan.co.uk/resource-library/the-dental-industry-environment/dentistry-uk-summary-market-report-2014 Site accessed 5/6/17


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Do something remarkable with your dental surgery or laboratory

What is it that you do in your dental business that can be remarked upon?

Is what you THINK you do so compelling that your customers/patients simply HAVE to talk about you?

As technical dental professionals we get caught up in the DOING. We get caught up in what’s technically or clinically right or wrong. We get caught up in things our customers just don’t care about!

Most patients are not interested in whether the ceramic used is feldspar/quartz or lithium discillicate. Most patients aren’t interested in whether you use an Ankylos implant or Nobel Biocare… what they are interested in is the result. However, is the result going to be enough for them to be running home to tell EVERYONE about your services?

Well, in some cases yes, particularly with large reconstruction cases… but what about the regular work you do…

… are they going to be running home to shout from the roof tops about the direct composite you just did distally on an upper 7?…

… are they going to be telling people at the party they are going to tonight about the excellent root treatment you just did? (surely they must, after all you just spent £3000 on an endo course AND you took a week off work to do that course… they must care about THAT, mustn’t they??)

Now, I ask the question again “What is it that you do in your dental business that can be remarked upon?”

and

“Is what you THINK you do so compelling that your customers/patients simply HAVE to talk about you?”

In most cases I recon NOT, so what’s the answer?

Paddi Lund is a great exponent of this, many people totally miss the point with Paddy Lund, I am not going to get in to all the things Paddy does, however here are 3 things:

  1. He has no signage on the pratice other than a small brass plaque which says “Patrick Lund Dental Happiness, by invitation only”
  2. The front door of the practice is locked
  3. He has an old fashioned coffee machine. It is one of those machines that spluts and spurts and has loads of levers and buttons which need to be pressed to make the perfect coffee. He uses this to make a coffee for each of his patients. It’s not a coffee machine, it’s a piece of theatre.
Now, what do his patients run home to talk about? His RCTs or his direct composites? No, they go home and tell a story about their experience..

“Guess what, I went to the dentist today and…can you beleive this… his front door was locked…when he let me in he made me this stunning coffee from this fantastic machine, this machine etc etc etc”

Paddy has done something remarkable, something about which to be remarked; he has created an experience where he defies his patient not to talk about…they simply can’t resist telling their friends.

So what can you do? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Create an unusual entrance lobby (In my new lab we are building a doodle wall, everyone that comes in will be invited to doodle on the wall. I will provide water colours and inks; each person will be encourage to take part and be creative. Nothing to do with making teeth, but something about which to remark!)
  2. Have an unusual work of art, and site it so that patients see it. Encourage them to interact with it or comment on it. Or even make it!
  3. Greet them in an unusual way, anything that is unexpected
  4. Change your answer phone message to someting they are not expecting
  5. Send unusual or amusing recal letters
  6. Have theme days in the surgery – what about a 70s day, all patients to come in 70s gear and play 70s music all day..I defy any patient to NOT talk about it!
  7. Create a customer service extravaganza on your website… live chat, feedback options, patient’s only area where they can book appointments, anything to engage and interact with your patients
  8. Promote your patient’s businesses by Tweeting about them on Twitter
YOU may not like it, but often the wackier the better… do anything to MAKE your patients go home and say to their friends…

“You’ll NEVER guess what happened at the dentist today…”

And finally go and buy Seth Godin’s book “The Big Moo”, it will change the way you think about dental business marketing and what is important to your customers.

So the question now remains open to you… what are you going to do? Why not comment on this blog post and join in the discussion.

As always, stay sharp.

Mark