How to Take Advantage of Today’s Marketing Trends: An Old-Fashioned Approach
By: Patrick Chavoustie
Often, dentists are overly consumed with being “state of the art” or “trendsetters” when it comes to marketing their dental practice. In my day-to-day conversations with dentists who are potential – clients, we spend much of our time talking about modern day marketing tactics such as websites, social media, SEO, pay per click and reputation management. In today’s market, these types of tactics are extremely important, but nothing beats face-to-face networking. Building your brand one handshake at a time may be “old fashioned,” but it’s also time-tested, proven and all but foolproof. Building networks and being a cornerstone in your community will not only bring in new patients the old-fashioned way, but it will also light up your website traffic and social media accounts. If you want to be popular on Google, be popular in real life. Here are a few ways you can put you and your practice on the path to success.
Sponsor Youth Recreational Sports Teams and Clubs
Sometimes, for as little as a few hundred dollars you can sponsor a local youth rec team. This means your name is on the jersey of eight or more players. These jerseys are seen by parents of the players, but it doesn’t stop there. Extended family and opposing teams’ families will see your branding as well. You can also increase your reach and branding with signage in brochures and at rec sports facilities. Not only are you getting your name into the local community, but your dollars are also going to a worthy cause. It’s a win-win! Want to take your support to the next level? Volunteer to coach a team! It’s a great way to give back while solidifying your position within the community.
Adopt a Local High School and the Schools that Feed It
High schools are getting huge! My son’s high school has 2,200 students and a staff of over 200. Getting in front of these students can mean getting in front of more than 4,400 parents. There are great options to promote your business at schools on all sorts of levels. Yearbooks, musicals and play programs, sporting events, calendars, dances, proms, school publications, graduations and so many other opportunities are available. You could even look at holding a free teeth-whitening day to show appreciation for teachers and support staff. Perhaps you can attend and set up a sign and table at “Back-to-School” and Parent-Teacher nights or Career Days. Contact your local middle and high schools and ask what events and other options there are to support the school. The possibilities and reach are nearly endless.
Join a Chamber of Commerce
Joining a Chamber of Commerce is a wonderful way to meet other business owners in the area. This allows you to connect not only with them but oftentimes several of their employees. Most chambers are relatively low-cost to join, depending on the membership level you choose. Joining a chamber of commerce can offer endless opportunities to meet people and build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Most chambers allow members to offer and promote discount offers to other members, too. Joining a chamber can also increase your website reach on Google and other search engines by building a link from the chamber’s website directory to your website. If you want to take it to the next level and maximize this source, offer to volunteer as an ambassador or look for volunteer opportunities. Many chambers allow current members to be ambassadors for new chamber members. This allows you to create a one-on-one relationship with every new business owner who joins. Networking actions can equate to a great deal of new clients month after month.
Create a Discount Plan for Local Business Employees
Offering a discount card or plan for the employees of local businesses can really help you stand out in the community. As health and dental plan costs continue to rise for employers, they are often looking for alternative ways to offer and find benefits for their employees. Negotiating special pricing for local employees will drive new patients to your practice while building strong relationships with local business owners. This benefits everyone. For additional reach, ask employers to announce your partnership on their social media sites tagging you and your business, again, extending reach beyond your current social networks.
Become a Referral Source for Your Fellow Small Business Owners
If you want to be the go-to referral source, be the go-to referral source! Make sure to encourage your clients to support your fellow small business owners. Let them know who to ask for and to remind them that you sent them their way. People will never forget someone who becomes a source of new business for them. Being mindful about helping others build their business is a fantastic way to be relevant in building relationships within your community.
There are lots of ways to be popular on the internet but one outstanding way to be popular off the internet. Build a solid marketing plan and include one, or all, of the above ways to get active in your own backyard; it’s a sure-fire way to be a star in your community.
Patrick Chavoustie leads the digital marketing team at Omni, a dental website, SEO and marketing firm located in Colorado. When not working hands-on with his clients Patrick enjoys, golf and travel along with spending time with his wife and three teenage sons.
The Metro Denver Dental Society is a not-for-profit component society of the American Dental Association and the Colorado Dental Association.