When you’re just starting out in your new career as a dentist, you might be wondering how best to go about advertising yourself and getting clients through the door of your brand new clinic. Advertising can be tricky at the best of times, and if you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have an enormous budget to devote to getting your name out there or for hiring someone to help in this area of expertise either. So how can you really sink your teeth into advertising with little know how and a small budget? Here are some tips and tricks you may find useful.
Cheaper and Free Advertising Options
Okay, you’re probably thinking ‘but who uses Yellow Pages anymore?’ and you’re right. The days of the phone booth with the big, bulky yellow book are all but a memory in most places, but that hasn’t meant the end of the Yellow Pages themselves. They’ve just moved online and they’re better than ever!
In fact the Yellow Pages now offers varying packages of services suited to specific needs for businesses both large and small. For example, their Silver and Gold packages, while between $300-$500 to set up, offer a whole host of customisable, professionally handled options including business logos, keyword additions to your listing as well as an expertly trained team to manage the listing for you so you don’t have to worry. They also include advertising in that price, so it’s a great option if you want to go with a trusted and reliable advertising choice in the first instance. Do you have an even smaller budget than $300? No problem. They also offer free options that, while not as packed full of perks, are handy to take advantage of nonetheless.
Another great cheap or free option to get your name out there is the use of Classified ads. This can either be in your local newspapers, which are likely to charge for listing your business per week or online through free classified sites such as Backpage, Craigslist, Gumtree, Locanto and more. This can be a great way to advertise for free and you can post essentially copied and pasted adverts on each of the sites, saving yourself time. Just be sure to check out the site posting rules – some have rules on how frequently adverts can be posted and sometimes need you to rewrite the posting so that it’s slightly different to the previous one.
Even if you aren’t very savvy when it comes to things like Twitter, Facebook and the like, you can still easily setup a Facebook business page for your practice and get people to follow or like it. This is a great way to engage patients and potential clients as well as provide an easy way for patients to book appointments online through your Facebook page – something that is a huge hit with the social media generation. Facebook business pages are also free to create and use, and offer the option of paid advertising for all budgets from the very, very small to the large.
Engaging Clients And Getting Referrals
Engagement of clients is key to keeping them happy and feeling like you care. Sending out flyers and various literature used to be one of the best ways to engage your clientele, but with social media being a huge hit for everyone these days, there are some truly unique ways you can engage your customers – both newer and tried and tested.
- Hold a contest and offer the winner a prize.
- Have a patient suggestion box.
- Send out email/snail mail newsletters.
- Run polls on your Facebook page.
- Consider sponsoring a local peewee sport team
- Post employee of the month updates on your social media channels. Perhaps even create an interview with that specific employee so your followers can get to know them better!
- Overall, be creative and use multiple engagement streams to target as many different types of customers as you can. Remember that not everyone will respond to the same types of engagement, so it’s important to exercise a number of avenues.
Likewise, getting referrals can be done in a number of unique and fun ways along with just straight up using the usual routes, like asking.
- Just ask! Don’t be afraid to ask your current patients to tell their friends about you and your practice, especially if they had a world class experience.
- Post a sign at checkout stating that new patients are welcome.
- Offer a reward for the most referrals. You could even offer a half price combination such as ‘half price off a cleaning for you and a friend when they book their appointment’ or the like.
- Provide a great service that people will talk about for weeks to come!
Marketing, as we mentioned, can be tricky and sometimes feel like a minefield of potential problems, especially if you aren’t very well versed in any kind of marketing know-how. Luckily there are a number of ways you can master basic marketing via social media and other avenues, some of which we have already mentioned (such as Facebook ads). StumbleUpon is another great tool that is actually cheaper per click than Facebook, so works well to get your name out there.
Another great way to market your business without breaking the bank is to really make your website stand out with great content. Even if you aren’t a writer yourself, you can mock up some great reading for your audience either through rejuvenating old data and giving it your own spin. Hiring freelancers can be a great way to save money on content as well, especially if you only plan to publish new posts sporadically at first.
Google AdWords Works
Advertising through Google AdWords is a great option for small, fledgling businesses to get their name and face out there to the world. Working on a ‘pay-per-click’ pricing model, you only pay for the advertising when people click on the ad placed on websites. Google AdWords also pairs up with prolific bloggers and website owners to advertise on sites with lots of readership and traffic, so you can be sure that your ads will be seen by a number of people around the area. Even if they don’t click on your ad, chances are they will see it and make a mental note, or even jot down your phone number if they are interested in booking an appointment. In this sense, Google AdWords works really well to generate a new customer base through people you might not have access to through your Facebook or other marketing tools and it’s a cheaper way to get your name noticed.
Using Google AdWords
Google Ads are one of the fastest ways to generate clicks to your website. Google Ads allows your dental website to feature toward the top of the Google Search Page base don the keywords you would like to target. For Example you may want to target “Dentist Sydney CBD”, If you target this keyword your website can feature toward the top and generate traffic. That’s really the first step in generating an actual conversion.
Getting Clicks from Google Ads is the easy part, generating new patients for Google Ads is a completely different ball game and requires well thought out Ad Copy, Landing Pages and some unique selling propositions with value statements to compel new visitors to contact your dental practice.
We create dental marketing campaigns using Google Adwords & optimise the campaigns to generate new patients and target specific higher end treatments.