Waking up to a Brave New World Post Covid-19

Everyone can see that the world has changed. Let’s look at this from a marketing perspective, particularly the 4 C’s of marketing.

  1. Customers
  2. Convenience
  3. Communication
  4. Cost

It wasn’t too long ago that:

  • No one would have known what a zoom meeting was. The ability to communicate conveniently from the comfort the patient’s own home has increased exponentially. This makes the cost to the customer considerably lower, particularly in terms of time.
  • Many would have said it was impossible to run businesses which were classically face-to-face in a more hands off way. Yoga teachers, dance teachers, restaurants and pubs have all been thinking out of the box to deliver their services with little or no contact making their offering much more convenient to the customer.
  • The older demographic wouldn’t have known how to use the technology. The customer is now more competent as they have been communicating with the family.
  • Patients (customers) have become conditioned to be concerned about personal contact, it will take time for this conditioning to ease in their mind.
Infographic: Zoom Grows Exponentially | Statista

The customer‘s expectations of how a service can/should be delivered has changed – in order to keep up we need to step into the mind of the customer.

The ability to offer services in a more convenient manner has had a paradigm shift.

People have become more used to communication digitally, they have become tech savvy and now know how to use that technology.

Customers have got more used to reduced (time) cost by not having to travel, for example restaurants (they get a takeaway instead), yoga classes (they join a zoom meeting instead)

What will the brave New World look like?

I predict that:

  1. Patients will now expect at least part of their journey with you to be digital.
  2. Patients will be more tech-savvy and be able to use digital media to communicate with the practice.
  3. Patients will be more aware and concerned about close physical contact, at least in the short term. They will therefore expect physical contact to be kept to a minimum.
  4. The context we live in has changed. Patients have become used to fast moving and fast changing social context and will be therefore more open to adaptation in your new patient journey. This makes it an ideal time to move into the digital era, be more relevant and efficient.

Get planning

I therefore suggest you get planning, I recommend the following:

  • Create a new patient journey flow
  • Draw a diagram to represent this flow
  • Which parts can be made digital?
  • Which parts can other people do with training?
  • In what way has the social context changed? Create a list, for example:
    • people don’t want to leave their homes
    • social distancing is the new normal
    • concern and feeling scared about spreading or catching the virus and creating a 2nd peak
    • convenient solutions now required in a different way to before
  • Think about how the new social context is relevant to you, your practice and how you can use technology to improve things.

This is how I imagine the New World will be

Patients will continue to use practice websites as the primary mechanism to investigate their dental problems (Google optimisation), identify possible solutions as well as evaluate alternate providers (remember, whenever we make a purchase decision we will always have a list of potential solution providers, we may come to an answer about which provider we use very quickly – sometimes in milliseconds, or, it may take us some time – sometimes years).

They will continue to evaluate providers but have a different criteria for comparison.

In order for a dental practice to make it onto the list of potential solution providers when the patient is evaluating, the practice will need to fulfil the new patient’s criteria of:

  • “Allowing me to be as distant as possible so as not to spread the disease.”
  • “I’m scared of catching the disease, so I don’t want to see too many people.”
  • “I want the lowest time cost option as I’ve become used to spending more time at home and doing the things I want to do.”
  • “I’ve got used to using technology to communicate, I think it’s relatively quick and simple to do.”

The primary mechanism to encourage prospective patients to take the next step is therefore going to be a virtual consultation.

Patients will be happy to contact the practice either using a virtual chat system (this can be automated) or by completing a form on the website.

The consultation will be offered via a Zoom (or similar) meeting, it will be the 1st part of your new patient consultation where you can have a broad discussion about patient concerns, possible treatment options and get the patient booked in for the 2nd part of the consultation which will be clinical.

The booking for the new patient video consultation and booking into the clinic will all be done virtually with participants in any geographical location, not necessarily at home or in the practice. This video consultation may or may not be done by a clinician. The patient has then spent the least amount of time out of the house, keeping them safe but also allowing them to do more of the things they want to do in their leisure time.

Follow-up e-mails will be sent to patients after their virtual consultation to follow up on the process and ensure they have no unanswered questions.

A reminder e-mail will be sent to patients prior to their clinical assessment, reminding them of how the practice is taking social distancing seriously helping to keep the patient safe.

When the patient comes into the practice the e-mail marketing system will be automatically updated, removing them from any prospecting list and adding them to a patient list.

Once they have been in for their appointment the e-mail system will automatically ask for a review.

Resources you could use

  • Aweber – for e-mail marketing. Plans from $19 per month.
  • Calendly – for virtual consultation scheduling. Free plans available.
  • Zoom – for virtual consultations. Free plans available.
  • Zapier – for linking virtual consultations into e-mail marketing. Free plans available.
  • Manychat – for virtual Facebook chat bots.

So, are you ready for the brave New World?

How your marketing message should change during the Covid-19 crisis

The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as:

“ … the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

Nothing has changed. The role of marketing is exactly the same during this crisis as it was before, but what HAS changed is the customer’s requirements and the fact that the profitability will come at a later date, not now!

I am primarily thinking about marketing to existing patients here, rather than new patients, but the concepts I talk about work for both.

Let’s delve deeper.

The primary question any marketer should ask of their customers/patients is “What problem is this person trying to solve?”. During ‘normal’ times the problem could be straightening crooked teeth, replacing missing teeth, wanting to improve dental health or just needing somewhere to call a dental home.

… But these aren’t normal times!

The relationship between stress and time horizon

In times of increased stress our ability to think with a longer time horizon reduces.

This means that in a relatively stress free environment we are able to have a longer time horizon and think about events happening in 6 months time or even a few years time.

As stress increases the time horizon of our plans will reduce accordingly.

A person that is critically ill (highly stressed) is only focused on the next few minutes of survival, as they recover and the stress reduces, so their ability to think in hours, then days, then weeks etc increases.

What that means is, the more stressed your patients feel about the current virus crisis, the shorter the time horizon will be.

They will stop thinking about treatments happening 6 months from now e.g. implants and straightening teeth.

They will start thinking about immediate problems which may arise.

So the question is, what problem are your customers trying to solve now?

A New Type of Problem Being Solved

There are 4 classifications of problems that current patients are facing, in order of ascending severity/seriousness/immediacy:

  1. “I’m okay now, I have no dental problem, but what if…?”
  2. “Is it okay if…”
  3. “What do I do about…”
  4. “Help me now”

The way we answer those questions and the mechanisms we use e.g. social media, e-mail, websites will change accordingly.

“I’m okay now, I have no dental problem, but what if…?”

These people have no dental problem at the moment, they may be plan membership patients with a healthy dentition that visit you for their dental health check and hygiene appointments, rarely requiring any form of additional treatment.

These patients want to feel you are still there for them in the event of a problem.

“Is it okay if…?”

The people in this category may have an issue they are concerned about, they might want to know “Is it OK if I leave this filling which needs doing for 3 months?”.

These patients may want to contact you to be reassured.

“What do I do about”

Moving along the immediacy scale is patients are likely to have some form of dental problem which needs to be solved, remember, their timeline may well be short so it’s unlikely to be about straightening crooked teeth. It’s far more likely they will want to know about some mild pain they have, a tooth that seems loose or bleeding gums etc.

These patients will want to contact you for reassurance and advice.

“Help me now”

This final group of patients have (in their eyes) a dental need which has to be fixed NOW.

Bear in mind that this is classified by the perception of the patient, not you or any form of government advice.

The reality may be that the patient doesn’t have a dental emergency (clinically) but if they believe they do, then as far as they are concerned, they do.

These patients need an immediate way to contact you to either have their mind put to rest that they don’t have a dental emergency, or for your advice and guidance on how to deal with the situation at present to them.

Engaging with these patients

You therefore need to have engagement mechanisms for:

  • Patients wanting to know you are there if they need you – reassuring e-mails and social media posts that you are still working and able to help if required should be the thrust of marketing to these patients.
  • Patient looking for reassurance – frequently asked questions section is on your website could be used to help answer these general questions. A simple form on your website should also be implemented to allow patients to make a general enquiry.
  • Patients looking for reassurance and advice – as urgency increases a patient is unlikely to want to spend time looking through your website at frequently asked questions etc. They need some advice as they are concerned. If you have the ability to answer your practice phone during the crisis this could work, but I also strongly recommend looking at creating a video consultation.
  • Patients requiring an immediate contact – at the furthest end of urgency spectrum patients need away to get in contact with you and possibly have a more detailed discussion. Either advice over the phone or a video consultation should be made simple and easy for the pension to access. Remember, the time line these people will be short, asking them to go through multiple steps and to jump through hoops to be able to contact you may put them off. A simple mechanism whereby a patient can book in a phone call or video consultation with you, when it is at the front of their mind, should be available.

Social media

I strongly suggest you use social media and bear in mind the 4 different categories of patient above in your posts. Think about the individual problems that these groups will be experiencing, ensure you have solutions for them and then talk about these solutions on social media.

E-mail

Communicate with your patients letting them know you are still there, still working and still have the patient in your mind… Even though you might actually be digging the garden or helping a child with homework!

In those e-mails link to the relevant resources so that patients in each of the 4 categories can contact you in a way that is right for them.

Creating a video consultation

I strongly suggest you create a video consultation, it’s actually quite simple using Calendly (scheduling software ) and Zoom (video conferencing software). These 2 systems links seamlessly together enabling you to create a virtual video consultation with booking facility which can then be used via e-mail, on your website or on social media.

It’s also worth pointing out that this can be done for FREE using the website mentioned above.

Here is a video you may want to watch about creating a virtual video consultation.

Summary

Should you be marketing during these times?

Yes.

Have the concerns and needs of your customers changed?

Yes

Should your marketing message change?

Yes

Should you stop marketing longer term treatments such as implants, veneers and orthodontics?

Yes (remember the shortened timeline)

Should you start marketing about reassurance, the fact you are still there and contactable and that you care about your patients?

Yes, yes, yes!

Covid-19 Dental Practice Communication Advice

Latest update – 23/3/20

What follows are my findings and understanding of the best practice for communicating with patients during this crisis for dentistry in the UK.

As the situation unfolds I will add additional resources and information to this page, please ensure you visit regularly to see the latest updates.

This page will NOT focus on anything clinical, there are other resources for that.

23/3/20 – Digital communication checklist if the practice is forced to close

With more practices closing each day I thought it would be good to create a checklist for your digital marketing.

  • Stop regular social media posting – I’m not convinced that it’s appropriate to continue cosmetic dentistry or other forms of marketing whilst the crisis is in full swing.
  • Begin public service announcement social media posting – giving patients information and advice about the latest virus updates from the government.
  • Place a message about being closed on the homepage of your website.
  • Place a message about being closed on Facebook, use Canva to create an image of this. Images and text messages seem to get better views, so using both will get your message out. Once you have created this post, pin it to the top of your stream so it stays visible.
  • Create a looping message on Twitter with closure details – messages tend to decay on Twitter so the loop, once per week is fine.
  • Notify patients via e-mail, letting them know what to do in the event of an emergency.
  • Update your opening times on Facebook and Google.
  • Consider setting up a Virtual/Digital consultation, please see the post further down on this page

If you think there’s anything missing from this list, please do let me know.

20/3/20 – Creating a virtual initial consultation

With the current situation many dental practices are considering the possibility of closing their doors, having a virtual video consultation gives the ability to remain in contact with potential new patients.

In this video, I (very roughly) explain how to use Calendly and Zoom to set up a virtual video consultation for FREE.

I put this video together very quickly and am learning myself how to get this working effectively, so I reserve the right to make changes to this as the situation and learning develops and grows.

Resources:


19/3/20 – What marketing should we be doing at the moment?

Right at this moment in time, my personal thoughts are that as members of the healthcare profession we should have our patients as a primary focus (to be honest, it should always be like this).

With the current situation most people are going to be concerned about their health and what they do if they have a dental emergency, rather than looking for elective treatments.

My current recommendation is that we continue to update social media streams and create blogs in the same way that we have always done, except this time the message should be focusing around key areas.

  • what to do if you are in dental pain
  • what the practice policy is for keeping you safe if you have to visit
  • what the practice policy is for patients in the middle of treatments (for example, patients that have temporaries fitted)
  • what the emergency policy will be if the practice has to close completely

By keeping your communication streams open, it will help the local community feel less isolated, after all, isn’t that the true role of healthCARE professionals?

Client Note – if you are a client of mine, please keep ME updated with the above information and I can ensure that your communication continues to go out to your patients and local people.

17/3/20 – keep patients up-to-date

3 things to get you started.

  1. Send a communication e-mail to your patients letting them know that you are dealing with the situation. I recommend you follow Chris Barrow’s suggestion and download his example.
  2. Be clear that your advice may change to patients over time as the situation evolves.
  3. Let patients know that you are actively involved in information groups enabling you to make the best clinical decision at any given moment.

Modify Your Opening Hours

In view of the present situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), provide your customers with the most up-to-date information about your business:

  • If your business hours have changed, adjust your opening and closing times.
  • Update your business description with information on whether your business operations are affected by COVID-19. You can also let your customers know about extra precautions your business is taking.
  • Make sure your phone number is correct so that customers can reach you.

As the situation evolves and you need to modify your opening hours, be sure to keep all of your listings around the Internet up-to-date – especially your My Business listing on Google (previously Google maps) and your Facebook page.

Client note – If you are client of mine and I am managing your search optimisation then I will update all of the listings around the Internet in one go, please let me know of any updated opening hours so that I can keep everything in sync.


Places/people to go for support

Google Adwords PPC for Dentists

Quite a few clients come to me already running Google adwords campaigns, my questions to them are always the same:

  1. How many appointment requests have you had as a result.
  2. How many phone calls have you had as a result?
  3. How many free consultations have you had as a result?
  4. Which geographical location close to you is working best and therefore have you optimised for this location?
  5. Have you integrated your adwords into your Google analytics so you can track what these people do on your website?

Guess what the usual answer is to all of these questions above!

By optimising your account you can ensure you spend a minimum amount of money, in other words getting the maximum amount of clicks to your website for the same budget.

It’s also possible to optimise the campaign for ‘conversions’*, rather than clicks…

If you allocate certain events on your website and define them as a ‘conversion’, for example clicking a phone button or clicking a button to request an appointment these events can be tracked… You can then let Google know how much you are prepared to pay per event and ensure you get the maximum bang for every pound spent.

This is a little bit technical to set up, which I guess is why many practices don’t bother, but it is incredibly easy to spend money on Google… It’s a whole different thing to make money, and that’s what this video is dedicated to…

The video has a total runtime of just under 15 min, I look at creating events on your website such as the phone call or download, tracking these in analytics and then integrating them into Google ad words to ensure you get the maximum number of conversions for the minimum ad spend.

Let me know what you think…

*a conversion in this instance is defined as someone taking a specified action on your website, this could be a phone call, appointment request, downloading or requesting a free consultation.

It’s all about connection

One of the fundamentals in any business is to truly understand what it is you are here to do and how the world will be a better place as a result of your business.

Let’s be honest, the world isn’t going to be a better place just because someone has a new amalgam filling! So this is more than what you do day-to-day… It’s about making the world a better place and making it a better place for the local people.

If you ask that question of yourself and your own business, what would the answer be?

I’m going to give you a template by way of a personal example of myself… yes, I want to explain to the world how it will be a better place for me having lived in it… And at the same time I want to give you an example so that you can use this in your own business.

I’ve been reflecting considerably over the past 6 months or so… And this is what I have discovered.

Mark Oborn Ltd… Indeed ME… is all about connection.

Marketing isn’t Something You do, It’s Something You Are

Marketing isn’t simply a function of your business, it isn’t something which gets done for half an hour once a month or which gets discussed at your monthly marketing and business development meetings… No, it’s far more than that.

This is what I mean.

Fundamentally my business is about connecting dental practices with local people that have a dental problem and are looking for a solution. It’s simply presenting the dental practice in the right way and communicating with the right people at the right time and in a way that makes sense to them.

And yet, this connecting isn’t something I do when I’m working day-to-day, it’s something I truly am.

  • I dance. When I dance (at least twice a week for 3 hours each time) I’m dancing with a single person for a three-minute track, during that time I have a deep connection with that person and in that dance. Such joy.
  • I buy locally. When I buy locally I looked the person in the eye that has taken to the time to source these amazing goods for me, I truly connect with them and an able to thank them. Such joy, in their eyes and mine.
  • I ride my motorbike. When I ride my bike I am connecting with the world around me and the road, without the safety blanket of a metal box around me. Such joy.
  • I’m a member of a local Community Supported Agriculture scheme. When I buy my vegetables from Adam and Dee I’m able to connect with them and look them in the eye, and thank them for sustaining me. Such joy, in their eyes and mine.

Connection to other people, the planet, my work, my friends and family and the world around me is incredibly important.

Marketing isn’t something I do, it’s something I am… And what I am is about connection

What is important to you? How does this come out in your business? Is your business just something that you just do (like dentistry), or is it something that you are?

Making a Practical Difference

So, you’ve taken some time to think beyond what you do day-to-day and have begun to think about who you are (and I don’t mean a dentist or a marketer) and you now know how the world will be a better place as a result of who you are

How do you make a practical difference?

Again, I’m going to use a personal example. I suggest, as I did, you then begin to look at the world around you in terms of:

  • How will you impact the people you work with?
  • How will you impact your customers?
  • How will you impact your suppliers?
  • How will you impact the local people?
  • How will you impact the local economy?
  • How will you impact the local environment?
  • How will you impact the wider environment?
  • How will you impact the planet?

Knowing who you are (remember, I’ve said I am about connection) you can then look at this as a frame of reference for the questions above.

Here’s what I came up with… And I’m going to share these images on social media over the coming weeks and months.

What is really important to note is that some of this may not resonate with you… And that’s fine, the point is that you use the following as an idea and as the starting point for you to think about your own business and yourself, and who you are and what motivates you…

If I am to truly connect with my clients I need to have a code of honesty with them, if they upset me it doesn’t benefit either of us for me to keep quiet… And the same works the other way round, if I upset them it doesn’t benefit either of us.

With gentle and honest communication, even through difficult subjects we can truly connect with our clients and the people we work with.

Like I said, honesty is important, and that includes money and pricing. I have never and will never offer any form of discount on my services. I want to be totally honest all of the time and transparent, this then enables me to connect with not only existing clients but prospective clients.

Everyone knows they pay the same and that the whole pricing system and structure is fair, honest and open.

My personal belief is that the planet around me sustains me. I eat a very healthy wholefood diet which is predominantly sourced locally. This doesn’t mean I’m going to take a horse and cart everywhere but it does mean that I will do what I can to limit my footprint and include the environment in EVERY business decision, thereby connecting more with the planet which sustains us.

What is the local environment like in which you live?

I live 0.8 miles from the sea and I’m painfully aware that if I put lots of chemicals into the sewerage system they could easily make their way into the sea. If we connect to the damage we can so easily cause we can find ways to help prevent it.

I do what I can to limit the amount of electricity and gas I use at home and this has to be the starting point… Just use less fuel!

I accept I need to use fuel so I buy it from an energy company which produces energy in the UK (and thereby helps to sustain the local economy) which is also renewable and/or carbon neutral.

I’m a digital marketing agency after all! But going digital means we can cut down on envelopes in the post, cheques going backwards and forwards, letters being sent etc. I’m about 95% digital at the moment and am committed to getting this to 100%.

A finally… This is the really big one for me. Dentistry is about connecting a local business (YOU) with your local community…

Like I said, marketing isn’t something I do… It’s something I am…

… and connecting with the local people in my home and personal life when I purchase from them gives me a deep sense of joy…

Where is the joy in what you do… Indeed where is the joy in who you are?

How to Get Your Website Working for Each Category of Visitor

When someone visits your website do you know where they are in their decision-making process?

Not everyone that visits your website is going to be ready to click the request an appointment button or the phone call button, in fact, this is likely to be the largest cohort of website visitors… People that are NOT ready to take any immediate action and contact you.

Unless you have something explicitly on your website for them to do then you have lost this visitor and lost an opportunity.

Patients that visit your website may not all be ready to book an appointment straight away, They may:

  • Be simply looking for information on how to solve a problem e.g. replacing missing teeth or looking for information about a specific treatment to resolve that problem e.g. dental implants
  • Have done their research about their problem and treatment and are searching for the right service provider, needing a little bit of convincing to take the next step.
  • Have researched the service provider and decided that you are the one they wish to go for.

We therefore need to provide things for each of these people to do, in order that they can feel as though they have taken action whilst on your site and gone some way to solving their immediate issue, at the same time we get to collect their information!

For the respective categories this should be:

  • Free guides and downloads for patients wishing to solve a dental problem. Handed out freely in exchange for an e-mail address (GDPR compliant, of course)
  • An incentive to request an appointment, this could be a free consultation, refund of initial assessment or explicit promotion of your new patient health check. This will help to convince patients if they are wavering about requesting an appointment.
  • Request an appointment facility. This needs to drop into an automated e-mail campaign where patients are followed up if they don’t come in to see you.

All of these conversions (downloadable guides, e-mail follow-ups, free consultations etc) should be tracked in Google analytics, we can then see where traffic comes from and focus more on that traffic source and/or conversion page.

Using free information downloads & free consultations etc and incorporating these into an automated e-mail system allows us to send relevant e-mails at the correct time for each patient. Once they book an appointment these prospecting e-mails should automatically stop and they should be asked for a review. This then sets up a fully automated and robust follow-up system which works 24/7/365… Never sleeping!

With a system such as this, you now have something for everyone to do on your website, no matter where they are in their decision-making process, the prospective patient is happier as they have received the information they want and you are happy as your marketing is now working more effectively!

Goodbye Anoop

I had the pleasure of meeting Anoop Maini on only a couple of occasions and yet, awaking to the news this morning that he is no longer with us fills me with a recognisable sense of loss.

I have a small insight into the pain his family will be feeling at this moment, that pain is is unreal.

I know the questions they will be asking of themselves, of him and of God and the universe. Questions that have no answers.

Every fibre of my body this morning feels compassion and love towards these people whom I do not know.

His death has surely rocked the dental world, and once again I’m reminded of the fragility of our grip upon this place we call home.

For the family and friends of this great man I say this…

“You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

Sending all of the Maini family love, peace and metta.

Free Facebook live event

Creating an online marketing machine never sleeps

Click the get reminder button below to ensure you are reminded at the correct time.

How to create an online digital dental marketing machine that attracts the right type of patients 365 days a year…
…without sleeping, moaning or pulling a sicky!
After working with multiple dental practices around the world for the last 10 years…
… regularly generating 40-50 new patient enquiries per month continues to prove my theory that:
You should look at your digital marketing the same way you do your dentistry, in a holistic way…
…simply because things work so much better as a complete system rather than the typical piecemeal style of marketing.
Here’s why:
In order to work digital marketing needs to be connected as a complete system…
… not a random spread of different marketing techniques dotted around the Internet
A prime example is:
“I’m doing social media” or “I’ve got an e-mail newsletter” or “I’m spending lots of money on Google Adwords”.
Yet so many practices I come across are trying to cast their net far and wide with this randomised style of marketing…
…because they think that they really do need to be doing something, because something is better than nothing, right?
When in fact this only makes it more difficult to track, more difficult to keep on top of, more difficult to follow-up any leads and really hard to track your return on investment, because…
… how can you track things across so many different platforms?
And all of that work then just doesn’t seem that effective, or worst of all your efforts go completely to waste.
As a result these practices then either give up with their marketing, or label social media or e-mail as ineffective and not working…
… when actually, it’s not the specific platform or media that isn’t working, it’s the marketing strategy.
So here’s what I do to ensure my dental practice clients get the best results.
I took a long look at the academic theory of how relationships are built, as well as the psychological elements that the brain needs to make a decision and put this all into a system.
This resulted in a neat system of interlinked websites/social media/e-mail/paid advertising, in order to meet prospective patients “where they’re at” in terms of their…
– Primary problem they want to solve- Primary aspirations- Primary challenges- And naturally helping them to make the right decision
Doing this allows your marketing to be far more effective, working all the time whilst you sleep to…
…look for more of the right type of new patient that fulfil your own specified new patient profile.
Which in turn drops patients into a gentle follow-up process that does most of the hard work for you.
This isn’t like a secret money bean this formula that you hear some gurus talking about.
This is a scientifically-based system that naturally brings people to a point of logical conclusion instead of trying to…
…force our sales message on them (really not good for health care!).
I want you to understand how all of this works together, that’s why I’ve put together a free Facebook live event to explain how this marketing system links together and works to prove that it isn’t just some random idea I’ve just had.
On this event I’m going to reveal:
1. How to optimise your digital marketing to increase traffic (the digital version of footfall)
2. How to optimise your digital marketing to increase conversions. Traffic is pointless unless that traffic converts, you see!
This isn’t a Facebook live event that is hosted by some random marketer that thinks they know how dentistry works. It’s hosted by me who has:
– Over 30 years experience in dentistry as a London-based dental technician. I understand dentistry!- An MBA majoring in marketing and creativity. I understand business and marketing!- A qualification as a Master Practitioner Neuro Linguistic Programming (communication modelling system). I understand communication!
So if you’re having to regularly come up with new marketing ideas every couple of months because your current ones run out of steam…
… And you want to find out how to work as a holistic marketer, just like you work as a holistic dentist…
… Then make sure you join me on 23rd of July at 7:30 PM on this free Facebook live event, click the get reminder button



looking forward to seeing you…

Tips for getting more from Instagram

How to get more on Instagram and use Instagram for marketing – 3 Top Tips

Instagram is on the increase (BIG TIME) but how can you use it for marketing? In this video I go through 3 top tips for improving the effectiveness of Instagram, if you don’t want to watch the video and would rather read the transcript I have also included is below.

Transcript

Well, hello there, peoples. Instagram. Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, that’s all we hear nowadays. But how can you use Instagram to build a following, to educate people, to get them to take action? In this little video I’m going to give you three little tips, little sneaky things you can do on the Instagram to do exactly that, and if you’re watching this on Instagram, remember to click the follow button. If you’re watching this on Facebook, click like, and make sure you click on the notifications to see first. And if you’re watching on YouTube, subscribe and hit the little bell button to make sure that you get notified as these videos go live.

So, Instagram. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to show you a little Instagram page that I set up, actually exactly one month ago, it was about the 28th of April I set this page up. And it’s nothing to do with dentistry, it’s nothing to do with marketing. It’s to do with healthy living and eating good quality food, specifically vegan food. That’s not the reason I’m showing you it. I want to show you what I’m doing from the marketing side of things. I want to show you three little tips that you can use to build your Instagram following, and to get people to take action and to visit your website, and to do more.

What I’m going to do is I’m going to share my screen with you. This is my little Instagram page, and you will probably know that the best way to interact with Instagram is if you use it on your phone. Far easier to do on your phone than it is to do on a computer, but for the purposes of this, the computer screen actually works really well. What we’re going to do is we’re going to look at this page here, and you can see if I highlight, I haven’t got that many followers, 213, but that’s okay. I’m quite happy with that after the first month. But some little tips, some little tips.

One of those tips is to always, always, always use hashtags. Hashtags are these little babies, these little babies here that go after your content. Put your content in, and then use hashtags. Use hashtags that other people are using that you want to be found for. So, my little tip, my sneaky little tip, is to look for other people that are successful in your niche, whether that be vegan food, whether that be dental marketing, whether that be dentistry, look for people that are successful, people that have got lots of followers. Look at the hashtags they are using, then create a little text file and put those hashtags into the text file. Let the text file grow and grow and grow, more and more hashtags. Then, every post you use, use those hashtags.

And I’ll show you the reason why this works really well. The reason why it works well is because you can search for hashtags on Instagram. You can see this is one of the hashtags I used, vegetarian recipes, and you can see it’s had 848,000 posts. Let’s go for another one. Let’s go for vegan food. You can see we’ve had 15 million posts. Now, on Instagram, you can follow a hashtag. What that means in reality is that various followers can follow not only you as a person, but follow the hashtags you are talking about. If you don’t use the hashtags, you miss out on a whole load of people that will see your post. I used these vegan hashtags, and within seconds–oh yes, I mean seconds–I’ll have 30 or 40 likes of a particular post. That’s without having the followers. That’s just getting the likes of that post.

Here is the proof. Let me go back to my page here and have a look here. I’ve got 176 likes of this one, 52, 140, 49, 63. Didn’t use hashtags in that one. That was because it wasn’t about vegan food, that was as restaurant I visited. Sixty-three, and so on and so on, 21, 113, 63, 74, 68, 73. You can get a lot of likes through relatively very few followers by using hashtags. That’s tip number one.

Tip number two. Tip number two is to update your story. You’ve got two types of posts on Instagram. You can have your regular daily posts of the images that I’ve just shown you with a little bit of text and your hashtags, and you can have stories. Stories are little snippets of video which you can put daily, and you can highlight. If you update your story and you think you’ve done a particularly good one, you can highlight it. If you go to your profile page on the phone, you will see where you can highlight the story. When you highlight a story, you can name that particular highlight, and you can group highlights together, give them a little name, and you can even upload a little logo.

Here is what I have done. I have created stories. Some around motivation to be vegan, some around food ideas, some around store cupboard essentials. If I click on this, essentials, I’ve got to log in to see the story, but when you log in, you will see that story. Same with food ideas, you got to log in to see the story, and same with motivation. What we can do is we can group stories together. When you do your posts, your regular posts, use the hashtag, use nice images, and when you do a story, make sure your story’s around a particular theme.

If you’re in dentistry, you might want to do a very short 15-second video about replacing missing teeth, one of the options, perhaps implants. Then give another one the next day about bridges, another one the next day about dentures. Same with straightening crooked teeth. You might do a little story, 15-second blast about Invisalign, next one about [inaudible 00:06:31], next one prevention orthodontics, and so on and so on. Then group those stories together in highlights, and create little story highlights as I’ve done here, and create them and upload little logos to them. It can be a really good way of people finding quality content that they’re looking for on your Instagram page.

And the final thing to do, if you look here, is to have your website. You must put your website in there. Make sure you have a business Instagram account. That’s very easy to do, go to the settings, make sure you switch it to business. It will then link it through to a Facebook page. And make sure you have a link. The link to your website is really important because unless you pay for links on Instagram, this is the only place you can get a link in, so get your website in there. At the moment, I don’t have a website for this particular project, I just used my Facebook page, but get your website in.

So, there are your three top tips for Instagram. Use hashtags, lots of them, store them in a text file, put them in every post. Group together your stories, do them as highlights, upload little logos for each highlight, and think about how you’re going to group your highlights together. And get your webpage link into your bio. Please do let me know what you think. If you are already on Instagram, make sure you follow. If you’re on Facebook, make sure you follow and click notifications, select see first so you get updated. And if you’re on YouTube, click subscribe and hit the little bell button. See you soon.

10 Years 10 Business Tips – #10 – Maximise your own skills and outsource the rest

This is the final blog post in my 10 years celebration series and oddly, lands on my birthday!

So, it’s happy birthday to me, and happy birthday to my business. Although I’m a little bit older than 10!

So this post is about maximising your own skills and outsourcing the rest.

I first came across this principle whilst reading the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, so many small businesses try to do EVERYTHING themselves. I realised very early on that I simply couldn’t do this.

Within one year of starting my business and was still working full-time in the dental laboratory I employed a virtual PA to work within my marketing business.

She worked around 10 hours per month and sorted out all of my accounts and dealt with phone calls and managed my diary. I still have a virtual PA to this day and simply couldn’t do without one.

You MUST invest in your business!

I’ve also invested heavily in technology.

I started managing my client work manually on a spreadsheet but it soon got out of hand, I use Act! Premium a customer relationship management software to keep track of prospect and clients… I seriously could not do without this piece of software.

When I first started I also did a lot of my tasks manually, for example I used to search monthly for the range of keywords my clients want to be found for, I did this manually on Google and entered the results in a spreadsheet.

TIRESOME!

There is now extremely powerful software that can not only search for hundreds of keywords but also compare where clients rank against competitors, there is so much data it simply is not possible to do this manually.

Website design is also something I’m not good at. I can do the content and make it work but I’m not a designer! I see too many small businesses attempt to do websites themselves, believe me I can tell when I see one.

I firmly believe it’s worth investing in a good website designer as well as branding designer to get things on point, looking good and working well. I’ve got a few on the recommendations page of my website.

So the key is, understand what YOU can do uniquely that NO-ONE else can do… And then outsource or delegate (to either a human or software) the rest.

That way you can build a successful business which is scalable beyond what you could do on your own.

SORTED…