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!
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.
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
It sounds simple doesn’t it, think positive… But I realise it is not always quite so straightforwards.
It takes time.
It takes effort.
But it’s worth it.
When Bill Gates created Microsoft he wasn’t thinking “This is pointless, no one in the world has a computer”, rather he was thinking “How can I make this new product accessible so everyone in the world DOES have a computer!”.
When Steve Jobs created the iPhone he wasn’t thinking “This is pointless, no one knows how to use a touchscreen phone”, Rather he was thinking “How can I make this new product so intuitive that EVERYONE CAN use touchscreen phone”.
If you ever think “This won’t work” then STOP.
Re-think the question to “How can I make this work?”
If you have a product or service that people want, if you have a way to deliver it that is uniquely yours and if you have the passion behind your idea then you will not fail!
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but is also one of the most important.
The first step is to identify similar businesses which share your customer demographic. The trick is to be really clear about who your ideal customers are, where they hang out, what they like to do etc?
Once you know who your ideal customers are you can then identify similar businesses which do not compete with you directly but share the same customers.
Examples that have worked really well for me are:
Video production companies.
Business coaches and consultants.
Training and education businesses.
In some instances I’ve been approached by these businesses looking to share common interests with me, other times I have approached them.
The key is to have something which is mutually beneficial to offer both your clients, that way you get a win/win situation for both your business, their business and all of your clients!
It’s about looking for commonality between businesses and then helping each other.
An example could be that I could approach a video production company and ask them to give me some top tips on how to produce videos for a business website. I could then reciprocate this and write them some top tips on how to market and attract more customers to a business.
We could reciprocate these articles, perhaps on our own blogs.
The video production company gets some excellent content helping their customers with their marketing.
My customers get some excellent content helping them with their video production.
It’s a win/win/win for both companies and all customers.
Working together like this also engenders a sense of friendship, trust and community and I found the building my business based on these values has been both sustainable and beneficial.
Begin working together… Sharing together… And building the rewards together!
I’m now privileged and humbled to have been in business for 10 years. April 5th 2019 sees 10 years since I set my company up.
This series of blog posts gives you my top 10 tips to surviving in business… This isn’t necessarily how you should do it, but it is how I did it!
I do this in my business and in home life.
Many businesses think they make a profit but they don’t.
Profit is what is left AFTER the owner has taken out what they want from the business.
Profit is what remains with in the business each year, it can be used for a variety of reasons but it is not drawn by the business owner.
Keep your drawings and costs under control, whilst keeping turnover high to ensure you make a genuine profit.
I draw the minimum I can out of the business, I keep costs at home as low as possible while still enjoying the lifestyle I want to enjoy.
This allows me to keep the maximum amount of profit in the business, this can be used to make calculated and planned investments.
As a small business owner, personal finances are inextricably linked to our business. If we always live to our means the reality is that we will push ourselves and live outside of our means.
Stay humble. If you can’t afford it you can’t have it.
Just because you run your own business or have X profession doesn’t mean that you should earn a particular amount. If your business doesn’t generate it then you don’t own it!
I remember once being called into a practice, the practice owner told me they were in desperate need, their business was about to fall apart, they were about to make their team redundant, they were about to lose everything… Apart from the brand-new Mercedes AMG parked in the driveway.
I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t have a Mercedes AMG, but I’m suggesting that that may be a symptom of why their business was in such disarray, perhaps they just spent too much!