Get Your Dental Team Involved

When it comes to marketing and your practice, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the work alone—get your team involved! Having your entire team work together to maintain marketing efforts can bring life to your campaign. It may even bring up ideas that you would never have thought of on your own! After all, your office isn’t just you—it is your team, too. So, take a moment out of your day and discuss different ways your dental team can work together to create marketing ideas to further help out your office and reach patients! Here are some ways you can get everyone involved:

Blogging

Yes, your staff can help with blogging! While they may not feel comfortable writing posts, they can create ideas for your freelance writer to expand upon. However, in addition to having a freelance writer create your blogs each week, your staff can also add in their own words and thoughts. Think about it this way. As a hygienist, you might see or hear different things than the front office staff or even you, the dentist. This makes for a unique viewpoint on blogs and information. Same goes for the front office staff. Share your experiences with patients or give tips on how to make the most of their visit or even ways to expedite the form process. No matter what, any information can be helpful! Put on your thinking caps and start thinking of blogs! Before you know it, your whole team will be experts in blogs—now that’s a good thing!

Social Media

We all can be found on social media. You may even see your staff on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram during their breaks. So, since most people utilize social media on a daily basis, why not include them in on sharing information and photos?

Did you take a group photo in the office today? Take a photo with a patient or even of your workspace? Share it! Instagram is a great channel to share photos and show the personal side of your office. Did you attend a lecture or have a work outing? Share! Share! Share! Show your patients that you are more than just a dental office. You can share photos of your office, your staff or even images you create. The great thing about social media is there is no limit to what you can do so include your staff and see what you can come up with!

Ideation and Brainstorming

This is where more fun can happen. Include your staff on the ideation and brainstorming process of marketing. From blogs to social media and newsletters, ask your team to help out. The more information you can compile the better your marketing efforts can be because you may be missing out on information or experiences they regularly experience. Encourage your staff to share their thoughts and ideas so you can continue to expand your office. If your team doesn’t quite feel comfortable sharing their ideas just yet, you can place a “Suggestions” box in the office for them to share their ideas without judgment from anyone else.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today! By involving your dental team, you are not only improving your marketing efforts, but you are creating a better work environment, too.

The Anatomy of a Newsletter

Another way you can reach your patients, or even peers in the medical community, is through newsletters. I recently started incorporating newsletters for further reach and to share valuable information. Whether it is information about my office, upcoming lectures, or educational information, I can utilize newsletters to get out the most important information every month through email. To help you incorporate monthly newsletters into your marketing efforts, let’s take a look at what can be included and how to structure it.

Get Organized

As you start to think about creating a newsletter, stop for a moment and get your thoughts in order. Before you begin to create your masterpiece, try to get as many of these thought out as possible:

  • Topic – What topic are you focusing on? The topic should be a core part of your business to establish your authority and credibility.
  • Content types – What types of content will you include in your newsletter? Choose varied types of content to interest and engage subscribers.
  • Newsletter name – What will you call your newsletter? Every book, newspaper, and magazine has a name, so should your newsletter!
  • Goals – what do you hope to achieve by sending an email newsletter to your subscribers?
  • Design – what will it look like?
  • Timing – when will you send your newsletter and how often? Most experts agree that the best time of day is in the morning.

By gathering this information before you sit down and begin, you can make the newsletter a lot quicker than if you think of all of the information you need beforehand—start brainstorming!

Create an Editorial Calendar

Much like an editor for a newspaper, creating an editorial calendar is proven to be extremely helpful. This step is a breeze because you have already determined when and how often to send your business newsletter. Now all you have to do is plan things out a few months in advance. Or, if you want to live on the edge of your seat, you can decide as you go! Either option actually works, but you have to make sure you stay on top of everything. However, by planning things out a few months in advance, you can have time to research, delegate, design and create the content needed for your email newsletter.

To create your editorial calendar, you will need to know what needs to be done when and by whom—this is so you won’t have to worry about keeping up. You will have it all readily available! You should also keep in mind how you will be integrating your newsletter with other areas of your marketing, such as blog posts, social media, articles, etc. Your editorial calendar can help you:

  • See where you can leverage other content
  • Avoid overextending your team
  • Create a more cohesive and consistent customer experience and brand image

After you have everything prepared, you can get started on your newsletter! And, with your editorial calendar, you will be set for months or for even the next year! And, don’t worry, if you go off track and change your editorial calendar as you go, that is ok, too.

Remember, your newsletter is for your practice and your personal marketing needs. Share important information and have fun while doing it!

Breaking Down Social Media

Social Media isn’t just for personal use. It can be We’ve all been there before—do I use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or all of them? While the use of any social media channel is important, you don’t have to stress yourself out too much when it comes to choosing a network because anyone will do. However, I highly recommend beginning to create your online presence through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ because these three are the most versatile and well known ones.  Let’s take a look at each social media channel and how to utilize each in the best ways possible.

Facebook

Facebook continues to be the reigning champ of all social media sites—it is the #1 spot where friends connect and share online, and you should too! When it first rolled out, Facebook was simply a meeting place for friends. However, Facebook has grown into a venue for businesses to market themselves through interaction with customers and self-promotion.

Whether you are just starting out or your practice is well known, Facebook is a great way to develop your brand identity and show your human side. After all, you are more than just a dental office—you’re super heroes! I mean, we can be super heroes can’t we? Facebook is where you can loosen the tie a bit and don’t have to be afraid to be funny. Think about what your key audience would want to see. Share images, links, videos, anything, as long as it is connected with your business and something your target audience will enjoy. And, if you want, you can even create your own images or videos to share!

Twitter

Twitter was originally created for sharing short-burst thoughts, but it has grown into one of the three core social media platforms. For this reason, you need to pay attention to your tweets (I’m still getting the hang of this too, so don’t worry). Think about motivational, educational and inspiring posts—keep it in the realm of what your practice offers, though. When it comes to your practice and your Twitter, think about what makes you stand out and how you can reach your intended audience because a potential follower won’t waste time on your page if your tweets are not interesting. With over 302 million active users, Twitter is a platform you should not miss out on, so make your content interesting and fun so people will want to follow you and retweet you!

Google+

While Google+ is still working to find its place in the social media world, it still should not be left out. With over 150 million active users, and 50% of all users logging into Google Plus daily, it is important! It may not be as popular as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but it can significantly impact your search engine rankings in a positive way. Here are a few ways you can utilize Google Plus for your advantage:

  • Authorship – get your picture next to your listings in the search results.
  • Relationship marketing – with Google hangouts you can connect to and get to know your followers (patients).
  • Driving traffic – by building up your Google Plus profile, you can share content and news about your business.

These are just the basics, but it can help you get started in making your practice known on social media! So, remember, don’t rule out social media—it isn’t just for personal use. Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for your practice!

While Dentistry Saves Teeth, Sleep Dentistry Saves Lives!

Senior woman in the dental office.Did you know that dentistry not only saves teeth, but it saves lives too? I hope so. If you are reading this, you may already know that not only does your role as a Dentist save patients’ teeth, but it can potentially save lives as well! It’s a great role to be in and it continues to grow and advance every year—take advantage of that! Let’s take a closer look at how you can not only help save teeth, but potentially save lives, too.

What do you mean?

As a dentist, not only can you help protect your patients’ teeth, but you can also help in the relation of sleep dentistry. One of the most serious health concerns in our society today is the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The majority of patients with OSA have two main characteristics: loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. While the diagnosis of OSA can only be made by a medical practitioner such as a sleep specialist or ENT specialist, you can still be the one to notice the first signs to recommend seeking diagnosis.

What are the facts?

Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue falls back and blocks the airway for 10 seconds or longer. Some patients may even stop breathing hundreds of times each night, which can be extremely detrimental to their overall health. Some facts that health care professionals need to be aware of include the co-morbidity correlations with obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Hypertension
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Renal disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nocturnal strokes

There appears to also be a high correlation between patients who have GERD (gastroesophageal reflex) and OSA. With so many conditions, it is important to understand OSA and how you can recognize signs and symptoms before your patient or their doctor might. The earlier OSA is recognized, the better equipped we are for treatment.

As a dentist, you hold a unique position because you see your patients twice a year. By understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its symptoms, you may be able to recognize OSA in your patients before they do. By recognizing symptoms, you can recommend they visit their doctor for proper diagnosis. From there, you can provide your patients with effective treatment to potentially save their lives in the long run.