Whole books can and have been written about work-life balance and retirement planning for dentists, it is clear dentists are not immune to these struggles. Owning your own practice can be a real challenge, and may be proving more difficult and time consuming than you imagined when you first opened your doors. You undoubtedly have your own, unique reasons for starting your own practice, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that you wanted to help people. You have a passion for what you do, and you’re good at it. What you don’t want to do is get mired in the day to day details that pull you away from the practice of dentistry, but that’s where it gets tricky. It is those day to day details that cry the loudest for attention, and it is all too easy to get sucked into dealing with them, which leads to longer hours, less time at home, and no time at all for long term strategic planning or retirement planning for dentists.
Without bogging you down in the details, the essence of marketing for dentists is about attracting enough customers to your practice to achieve critical mass and maintain profitability – then attracting even more customers to grow your practice to whatever size you wish it to be (no upper limit here, except the physical limitations imposed by the space you’re in and the population of the area you’re serving). At a minimum, you need to be thinking about two things, when it comes to marketing for dentists: getting your message out and defining exactly what that message will be.
Dr. Michael Schuster has designed an intensive one-day course on life-planning that can help you address those issues, and retirement planning for dentists. A seasoned professional with decades of practical, hands-on experience, he has made it his mission to share his solutions with dentists who may be struggling as he himself once struggled. This course has been forged by firsthand experience, and in it, you will find practical, hard-hitting solutions to the problems you’re facing. The course covers a staggering number of topics, but some of the biggest are:
Once you’ve identified your primary demographic, you can then get to the heart of the matter. For instance, if you’re targeting mostly retirees, then you won’t want to spend too much time, energy and money making fancy Facebook ads and videos, which will largely go unnoticed by the group you’re targeting. What this is really about is tailoring your message delivery system to the audience. If your message is where the audience isn’t, no one’s going to see. Your task is to make sure the two are aligned.
Every bit as important as designing an effective way of getting your message out, is deciding and defining precisely what that message will be. Here, the single biggest component is your brand. Yes, even a dentist’s office need branding, so what’s yours? If you don’t have one, you need one.
Think about marketing for dentists from the perspective of your patients. For non-dentists, all dentists are pretty much the same. They’re the somewhat unpleasant place you go when you have a problem with your teeth. That’s it. You ask ten non-dentists what dentist’s offices are all about, and nine of them will give you some variation of that answer. Your brand is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition. It’s your story, and an accounting of what makes you different. What makes your practice unique. Take a close look at the practices of the ten most successful dentist’s offices you know about. In every single case, you’ll find a compelling message and brand. They have a story to tell, and they tell it to their potential customers very well. That’s what you need to be doing too.
Schuster Center offers help on life planning for dentists.