I hear this question often:
"What are the best ways to have a schedule full of NPs for my new start-ups?"
Here is the short answer in this podcast episode:
In this article you'll find more answers!
In this post, I have the short version of 10 things that have proven to work for each new location for fast growth without spending thousands on marketing.
- Choose the right spot for your practice.
- Create your brand story. Answering these questions will help you: What inspires you to start a practice? How will you make a difference for your patients, teams, and community? How will you make a positive social impact?
- Focus on-ground marketing. Ground marketing is a great way to bring patients in fast.
- Choose the proper digital channels.
- Find the right website/agency that will tell your brand story, optimize your website for local SEO and ensure a positive user experience with technical SEO.
- Use the free tool, Google My Business. A well-optimized Google My Business Page could bring you more new patients than Google ads, for free.
- Make your new patients your best marketing.
- Simplify the process for high case acceptance.
- Train your team to assure the highest ROI for all of your paid marketing efforts, to ensure high case acceptance and a high referring score.
- Finally, it is all about the mindset and believing you will be busy, your patients will find you, and your community will love you. You got it! You will do great!
Let’s look more into each one of the ten proven steps for fast growth.
#1. Choosing the right location.
It starts with choosing the right location. Choosing a location is one of the most important strategic decisions you will make. Choosing the right location will be the difference between needing to spend 20K vs many more thousands of dollars on marketing.
#2. Create and tell your brand story.
What inspires you to start a practice. How will you make a difference for your patients, teams, and the community? How do you want to make a positive social impact?
According to my business school studies, any business entering a market should have the Core Three Foundational Elements:
#1. Your value proposition (why they should buy from you).
#2. Your positioning (how are you better and different).
#3. Your message map that communicates your unique value proposition.
Begin telling your story and answering those questions. Your answers should inspire respective team members, patients, and the community. If you spend time answering those questions and creating your brand story, this will be the most pivotal part of your success.
Where could you post those stories?
The best places to post are on Youtube, Your Website, Instagram and Facebook.
#3. Focus on ground marketing.
Ground marketing is an effective way to bring exposure to your brand within your community.
Some of my favorite ways to do ground marketing are:
- Delivering flyers with a teeth whitening special for New Patients to residents around the new location.
- Delivering boxes of goodies to local businesses - especially to all beauty salons around the new location. This box can include branded items such as:
- Business cards
- Bottle of water
- Free Whitening Offer - Your golden ticket
- A handout containing information about what makes you different from other clinics
Example of the golden ticket:
- Boxes with goodies to medical doctors:
- Introducing the practice
- Offering to work together to make the community healthier, together
- Include branded freebies
- Business cards
- Free Teeth Whitening with a new patient exam - Your golden ticket
- Sending a letter to HR directors of all businesses in the area offering a Free Lunch & Learn for their teams about the importance of dental health for their overall health.
- Sending a letter to all school nurses offering to come in and do dental screenings or educate kids about the importance of dental health.
- Sending a letter to all daycares in the area offering to come in and educate kids in a fun, interactive way about taking care of their teeth.
- Joining community business networking groups. Once you become a member of those groups, many of them are super supportive.
#4. Choose the right digital platforms.
The best is to choose the platform that your potential patients use.
The ones to consider to give you the best results are:
- YouTube - Google will scan to index content on YouTube before indexing your website info. Spending time and energy on YouTube will give you a fantastic return.
What is the best way to use YouTube? Creating short videos is the best. The videos can be:
- To welcome new patients
- To tell your brand story
- To share what makes your office different
- To answer CAQs
Here are three quick tips that will save you thousands of dollars and help you create the right content fast.
- Decide which content you want to promote.
- Go to https://answerthepublic.com/ ( platform purchased by Neil Patel) and see what CAQs potential patients ask.
- Answer some of those questions and upload them to Youtube and then transfer written answers to your website with a link to your Youtube video.
Some of the other best digital platforms for a new start-up are:
- Google My Business
Google ads can be super helpful and are needed in highly competitive areas. Using Google My Business would be my top priority to have in place to start getting new patients phone calls.
#5. Choosing a website agency carefully.
See my tips on selecting an agency without any IT experience. I have checked out many agencies that promise to deliver, and sadly that is not the case.
A great digital marketing agency will prioritize the following three things:
- Telling your brand story on the main/landing page.
- Well optimized website for local SEO.
- A user-friendly website from technical SEO.
Any great agency will prioritize the three things above.
Ensure your website has online scheduling capabilities - not to request an appt. but the option to actually schedule an appointment. You are spending marketing dollars, and patients need to be able to schedule 24/7. With online scheduling, your ROI on any marketing is higher.
If you would like a recommendation, let me know and I will connect you with the right agency.
#6. Using the free tool, GMB, also known as Google My Business.
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that offers an excellent opportunity for new patients.
The secret is to optimize your Google page - see my tips on optimizing your Google pages here.
It is free and I believe it could be more powerful than Google ads.
Up to this time, I have not spent $1 on Google ads, and yet, I get about 450 NPs per month.
#7. Once your patients come to the office, they are your best marketing.
My friend Fred Joyal whom I admire very much, says: “Everything is marketing from the moment patients call the office, to the moment they enter the office, receive care to how their next appointment or finances are handled. “
Once patients have a positive experience, they will start leaving reviews and referring to you.
To collect more Google reviews, my appt. cards ask for a kind review with a QR code leading them to our Google My Business Page.
Here is the recording of my meeting with Fred Joyal, where we talk about the things needed to get a practice busy.
#8. High case acceptance simplified.
Once patients come to your office, track your case acceptance.
You want every single patient to be scheduled for the next appointment. Your scheduling for the next appt. should be over 90% for any routine dental work.
Simple things help to improve case acceptance dramatically can include:
- Educating by showing what patients need
- Using simple dental language
- Using visuals, such as an atlas, iPod with GPDDS app to show dental conditions,
- Intraoral cameras, or scanners
Being a start-up, some great and affordable options
#9. Train your team to assure the highest ROI for all of your paid marketing efforts, to ensure high case acceptance and a high referring score.
To ensure your best marketing efforts, your team will make all the difference in how many patients will schedule, stay at your practice, and refer to you.
Training in your team will give you the highest ROI with any marketing dollars you spend.
The team should be trained on those three basic but crucial things for the practice to grow fast.
- Know your brand and your story
- Understand the top procedures you will offer and the many CAQs patients might ask
- Have positive phone skills
#10. Finally, but most importantly, the mindset that you will succeed and be busy.
You will grow and great patients will find you. Everything will work out in your practice.
Mindset is primarily affected by the foods we eat, the number of hours we sleep, doing things we love, and recharging our batteries. Self-care to have a strong mindset is essential for your growth, so do not forget to have a few beers, go dancing with your friends, chill out with your family, or do anything that brings you joy (besides seeing your practice grow).
Rest, recharge and keep your mindset healthy as you start marketing your new practice and begin getting busy.
Wishing you luck in marketing your new location without spending an extensive amount of money.
Article written by Dr. Kathryn Alderman. Here's a bit more about Dr. Alderman:
"I own a group practice, and occasionally I take on new clients to help them grow their practice fast."
You can listen to her full story about creating her group here:
The best ways to connect with her:
Email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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Youtube: Nebraska Family Dentistry