Jameson https://jmsn.com Dental Coaching and Marketing for Today's Dental Practice Thu, 21 May 2020 19:51:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://jmsn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Jameson-Favicon-Color-03-e1556488627301-48x48.png Jameson https://jmsn.com 32 32 The Jameson Files is a podcast that features interviews with inspirational leaders in the field of dentistry. The name "The Jameson Files" is a throwback to a dental journal column written by the original Dr. John Jameson. That legacy is carried on today through his daughter Carrie Webber, your host for the podcast. Through the podcast we want to explore the origin stories and real life experiences of some of today's leading dentists as well as thought leaders in the field of dentistry. If you want to watch these podcasts you can visit our website at jmsn.com. Jameson clean episodic Jameson nate@jmsn.co nate@jmsn.co (Jameson) Leadership Inspiration for your Dental Career Jameson https://jmsn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/the-jameson-files.jpg https://jmsn.com/blog/ 8 Marketing Tips For Reopening your Dental Practice to Potential Patients https://jmsn.com/marketing/8-marketing-tips-for-reopening-your-dental-practice-to-potential-patients/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=8-marketing-tips-for-reopening-your-dental-practice-to-potential-patients https://jmsn.com/marketing/8-marketing-tips-for-reopening-your-dental-practice-to-potential-patients/#respond Fri, 15 May 2020 19:23:23 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215169 1. Set the tone. You’ve done your homework and have chosen to reopen your dental practice. There are a lot of opinions out there, so how do you handle the…

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1. Set the tone.

You’ve done your homework and have chosen to reopen your dental practice. There are a lot of opinions out there, so how do you handle the marketing of reopening? In our experience, if the plan is a solid one and you’re abiding by state laws and CDC recommendations, the best tone is warm and welcoming. It’s OK to be excited to reopen for more than emergency appointments right now. While you want to show your patient base that you’re cautious (more on that later), there’s no reason to be anything but excited to see your patients again and provide necessary and excellent dental care.

In light of this, you definitely want your verbiage to make your patients feel welcome. Though you probably have a mile-long list of procedures you are now adhering to, (including check-in social distancing procedures, extra cleaning procedures, and more), if you send out an 18-point list to your patients, they might feel that they are causing you trouble by coming to your practice. It’s easier than we think to make potential patients feel like we’re not ready for them, causing them to conclude it might be better to wait or go to a more welcoming and ready practice. There’s a fine line between cautious and reluctant or unsure. If you’ve done your homework, there’s no reason to feel anything but confident in reopening your dental practice.

Tell them you’re taking CDC recommendations and are making some changes, then explain what they need to know to get in the door. Prepare them for some extra time and let them know if they need to bring anything or wait in the car (for social distancing). If your patients are scheduling appointments, then they are happy to see you again!

2. Post to social media.

Pictures of the team are a great idea right now. Make sure the team is wearing masks in the picture to provide reassurance. For other wonderful ideas:

reopening dental practice infographic

3. Create your reopening sign.

You need a good reopening sign for your dental practice. Some of our clients reached out to us for advice on what their sign should look like and say, so we created this template. Feel free to modify and use it.

Download the dental practice reopening sign template here. 

reopening dental practice welcome sign

4. Add a COVID procedure and safety page to your website.

This page should mention everything you are doing in line with CDC guidelines or beyond to keep your practice the safest it could possibly be. In contrast to your marketing efforts and communications mentioned in the first point of this blog post, this page is allowed to be a bit more technical and detailed. Contact us if you’d like help with this.

5. Make sure you have a special COVID-related banner on your homepage.

This will go along with your COVID guidelines procedure page and link to the same.

6. Publish some new content!

There has been an explosion of Google searches in the past four weeks related to “dentist near me” and “dentist” due to dentists being closed for everything but emergency appointments (or unfortunately, closed altogether). We have seen our clients’ websites quickly overtake competitors by publishing as little as four good blog posts in a two-week period. Usually, this kind of progress takes months.

It’s a good time to take advantage of the spike in searches for patients looking for YOU!

For more on why organic marketing works, read this post.

Here are just a few things you can blog about:

  • How to Talk to Your Kids About COVID-19 and Social Distancing
  • How Dental Health Affects Your Total Health System
  • 10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Support Your Immune System

7. Post to Google My Business.

Google My Business is the platform that shows content to Google searchers in the results page before they ever even get to your website. It’s a fantastic opportunity for business owners to showcase their most helpful content. 

Even one Google My Business post with some material related to re-opening (such as the team image or the social media ideas above) will go a long way toward helping your potential patients know you have the lights on and are ready to offer your potential patients premium dentistry. The post should also clue them in that you are practicing safe CDC-recommended guidelines.

8. Tell them why you are the long-term practice of choice for them.

What do you have to offer your patients that the dentist next door does not? Why should they establish a connection with you now that will last long into the future? It’s very possible these patients just lost their dental home. How can we help them transition to a new dental home, especially if they were not ready to move away from their previous doctor and practice? 

Point out your membership plan, your expertise in chosen specialties, or your comfort techniques. Highlight the long-term benefits your new patients will be able to experience.

Marketing is a long-term game. Besides the fact that you’re open and practicing safe guidelines, what other reasons do potential patients have to choose your practice over the other ten nearby?

We hope these marketing tips help you move forward with confidence, sensitivity, and hope to reopen and practice the dentistry you love for the patients you love.

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How to Move Back to Methodically Building Your Dental Practice https://jmsn.com/management/how-to-move-back-to-methodically-building-your-dental-practice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-move-back-to-methodically-building-your-dental-practice https://jmsn.com/management/how-to-move-back-to-methodically-building-your-dental-practice/#respond Fri, 15 May 2020 15:17:58 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215160 5 Tips to Get Back on Track with Practice Growth Like many businesses around the world, your dental practice has had a serious setback with the recent closure. Now, as…

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5 Tips to Get Back on Track with Practice Growth

Like many businesses around the world, your dental practice has had a serious setback with the recent closure. Now, as you are poised to reopen or as you walk through your first days fully open, you might find yourself still in crisis mode, waiting for the next round of reinfection and forced closures with dread sitting in the pit of your stomach as an uncomfortable reminder of the uncertain times we live in. 

Little feels like business as usual, but your practice needs you to be proactively considering the future and firming up its foundations to ride through this crisis. Where do you start?

Here are five things to consider as you move through the next several weeks. 

1. Acknowledge where you’re at.

Before you begin planning for the future of your dental practice once again, take a look at where you are right now. 

Assess your financial situation. Take a look at your case acceptance rate prior to shutdown. Examine your cases to determine where you are with collections. Knowing where you stand will allow you to pivot where needed and make your efforts more effective. Data is foundational to making informed, strategic decisions.

Also acknowledge how you’re feeling right now. Are you scared for the health of your practice members? Are you afraid you’ll have to shut the doors permanently if patients don’t return soon? Confront your fears. Talk with a trusted advisor, friend, or family member—whoever will listen and hear what you’re saying. Take a walk, breathing deep from your belly. Write it all down. Do what works for you to calm your fears and refocus your mind from the crisis of the moment to moving forward strategically. 

2. Refine your communication processes.

Have you had a hard time reaching out to patients during the shutdown because you’re not sure how? Perhaps you’ve never communicated with your patients via email or text before except through the automated system with appointment reminders. Now is a great time to change that. 

Brainstorm ways to stay in regular contact with your patients moving forward. You can provide helpful information that lets your patients know you are thinking about them and care for their well-being. 

Make sure you’re also communicating with your team. Let them know where things stand and your vision for the future. Reassure them that you are committed and are being strategic in determining the next steps for your practice. Outline new procedures and everyone’s role in the success of the practice.

And if you don’t have a system in place to send out automated appointment reminders and new patient forms, what better time than now to set that up?

3. Evaluate your payment options.

People from all walks of life are concerned about their finances. Those who would typically pay out-of-pocket may be reluctant to do so right now. Examine your payment options to be sure your office is ready to help those who are spending conservatively. Make sure your team understands the options, such as CareCredit, and is ready to outline the details to patients.

Additionally, look internally at your payment options. Are you still accepting certain insurance plans that pay you less than it costs you to collect payment? As recommended, your practice is spreading out appointments so patients can effectively practice social distancing, so you need to optimize every appointment. That means it might be time to dump the insurance plans that don’t pay you and your team for your time and expertise.  

4. Delegate and develop leaders from your team.

There’s a lot on your shoulders, but you can share some of the day-to-day responsibility with team members. You’ve watched individual team members grow and learn new skills. Now is the perfect time to help team members regain a sense of control over their professional lives with new leadership roles. 

Delegate the things others can do. Focus only on what you can do. But be sure to provide team members with the tools they need to be successful in their roles. Most often, the only tool needed is information. Communicate the goal, your expectations, and any existing processes clearly. Encourage team members to create processes that work for everyone involved and allow for accountability. 

5. Develop a sustainable marketing strategy.

Has your primary strategy to reach new patients focused on paid advertising? If you look at the ROI for the ads, you will discover that they’re not paying for themselves in new business. 

Ditch the ads for an organic marketing approach. 

What is organic marketing? It’s an ad-free approach that concentrates on creating connection points with potential patients by increasing your online presence. Valuable information and content, such as blog posts, social media posts, and a website that is built to offer patients and potential patients the best user experience, are key in this approach. 

Organic marketing works. While it might be a term you’ve only heard recently, it’s an approach to marketing that has been around for more than a century. It has withstood the test of time with reliable, repeatable results. 

Pivot your practice’s marketing efforts. There are sustainable options that will pay for themselves and more.

Firming Up Your Foundation

A successful practice is data-driven, communicative, effective, and financially stable. Focus on those foundational principles as you move forward in this time of recovery. 

It is possible to thrive in a challenging time, and Jameson’s very existence is proof of that. Dr. John Jameson was a practicing dentist in a blue-collar town hit hard by a severe economic downturn. Dr. Cathy Jameson developed new systems and a strategic approach that turned the practice around. Not only did the practice survive the economic downturn, it thrived and grew. You can, too. 

Here are a few resources to help you in your efforts:

Keep an eye on our resources specifically designed for the new normal we’re all navigating. We’re updating the coronavirus resource page as we have more information to share. 

We wish you, your family, and your dental practice family well. We’re here to help you, so please reach out.

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10 Tips for Utilizing Social Media Marketing for Your Dental Practice https://jmsn.com/leadership/social-media-marketing-dental-practice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=social-media-marketing-dental-practice https://jmsn.com/leadership/social-media-marketing-dental-practice/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 21:36:24 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215165 Is social media marketing worth the effort? You have patients to see, continuing education classes to participate in, and a practice to run. You don’t exactly have an overabundance of…

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Is social media marketing worth the effort?

You have patients to see, continuing education classes to participate in, and a practice to run. You don’t exactly have an overabundance of spare time. So is putting effort into social media marketing worth the time it takes?

The short answer is yes. 

But don’t take our word for it: look at the results. 

Case studies may help answer your question. 

Practice A

Practice A approached the Jameson team with the goal of increasing the number of new patients calling their office on a monthly basis. The practice leader was open to our evaluation and contracted Jameson to devise and execute a well-rounded marketing strategy that didn’t include costly advertising. 

We helped the practice refresh their website and we started taking care of the content for social media. The results are clearly a winner.

practice-A-website-traffic

That increase in website traffic from social media was part of a two-pronged approach that resulted in a $44,900 increase in production for this practice.

practice-A-website-revenue

Practice B

practice-B-website-traffic

Another practice we’ve worked with has seen a combined increase of $74,000 in production from new patients driven through online marketing. Again, social media marketing is an important component of that organic marketing strategy. 

How do we get such great results, and can you do the same for your practice?

10 Tips for Utilizing Social Media Marketing for Your Dental Practice

Before you read these tips, we want to make something clear: This is what we do every day. We don’t have to juggle treating patients and running a practice while analyzing data to create and execute a strategy for organic marketing. It’s what we live and breathe. It’s unrealistic to expect to get the exact same results we’ve been able to achieve for our clients on your own. But you can definitely see results from your efforts if you follow a few key principles. These tips are based on those core principles.

1. Tap into the thing we all crave: human connection.

Connecting with others person-to-person makes us feel seen, heard, and understood. It gives voice to those who are otherwise silent. 

Human connection requires us to share pieces of who we are, encouraging us to be vulnerable. And by doing so, we’re encouraging others to do the same, which is far more important to our society than many realize. Sharing pieces of ourselves is how we process our experiences. It’s how we understand ourselves and someone else’s motivations, needs, challenges, joy, and successes. It makes us better, more empathetic human beings.

How do you do that without being unprofessional? Just be yourself. Use your voice in a way that is most you. Authenticity and sincerity are the basis for all successful marketing campaigns.

2. Filter everything you plan to post through the lens of connection.

The goal is to connect with your patients and potential patients. You don’t have to bare your soul to achieve that. But you should avoid talking at your followers. Talk to them. Start a conversation. Make an effort to understand possible pain points your patients may be experiencing. Talk to those pain points and answer the questions you know many people have about dentistry. 

3. Be helpful.

You are an expert in your field. You have depths of knowledge and experience that your patients never will. Offer up that knowledge and expertise in small, meaningful ways to help them. 

Social media is a great place to answer the questions you know your patients have. You can either do that through a question-and-answer style post or you can create a short video for them to watch to expand their knowledge on a particular topic.

You don’t have to make it complicated, either. Keep in mind that information that may seem like common sense to you might be something your patient has never heard. 

You could even debunk myths to help your followers make better dental decisions.

4. Be consistent.

Consistency is key. Aside from the way it affects your overall visibility, being a consistent and reliable voice on social media helps to boost your patient’s view of you as a trustworthy source. It shows that you can be relied upon to continually connect with them. To offer quality information. To guide them indirectly in dental decisions. To show your care for your patients. 

Consistency and connection are cornerstones of an effective social media marketing strategy.

But consistently posting can be the hardest part of managing your own social media. Acknowledge that you’re busy, and coming up with five posts per week can feel like an impossible standard. If you’re going to do this yourself, devise a plan that allows you to post less frequently but consistently.

5. Point people to your website.

In all of this content creating, don’t forget to create evergreen content on your website that you can point followers to. The goal is to convert your followers to patients, after all, and the best way for them to learn about you, your team, and your approach to dentistry is through your website. 

We help our practices with this through content marketing. By using a data-driven approach, we choose topics that are in line with their goals and place them in prime positions online to be seen by those who are looking for a dental home. We also focus on adding value to our practitioners’ relationships with current patients through content geared toward patients. The goal in every piece of content is to connect practice to patient. 

Do the same and then use social media to introduce your followers to the valuable content you’re creating on your website. Even if you don’t have blog posts, there is other valuable content on your website. 

For example:

Do you have an online appointment request form? Be sure to share that so people know they can request an appointment at midnight when they think of it right before drifting off. 

Another example:

Are you taking emergency only patients right now? Let your followers know that on social media and point them to your website where you have information on how to determine whether they’re experiencing a dental emergency.

6. Don’t be afraid to be entertaining.

If you’re naturally a jokester, then don’t be afraid to let that shine on social media. You can show your sense of humor without coming across as unprofessional or untrustworthy. Here’s a great example of that from Dr. Trey Edwards and Ada Smile Place

If humor isn’t your thing but you’re a natural-born fact-lover, share away! You’ll discover your fellow fact-lovers will interact with your posts and stick around for more of the same. Use your innate skills, quirks, and personality. Your patients, now more than ever, need a little entertainment and connection.

7. Share more than stock photos.

Let your followers get a glimpse of the work and fun that happens behind the scenes. Allow them to connect with you person-to-person through pictures of you with patients, visitors, team members, and more. Of course, only use photos of patients who are eager and willing. 

For pediatricians, taking a photo with the kiddos who are part of your cavity free club is a simple way to mark achievement. For a family or general dentistry practice, a photo with the Mom who wins the Mother’s Day raffle is perfect. 

I know what you’re thinking, though: What do you take a photo of during social distancing? Take a photo of exactly that! Show how you’re honoring social distancing in your practice. Show the measures you’re taking to keep everyone safe as part of your new normal, which reminds me… 

8. Introduce yourself and your team.

You’re not the only face your patients see. Your whole team plays a big role in the patient experience. So introduce those faces one person at a time. Write a short profile that features your team member’s expertise and personality. Do the same for yourself, as well.

Congratulate team members on achievements. Showcase team members who are being recognized for their hard work. Create opportunities for the people supporting your patients to tell their stories, such as what led them into patient care, and provide patients ways to root for and connect with the team members they love. 

9. Share the responsibility.

We’ve said it above and we’ll say it again: You’re busy! Your time should be spent in production and case presentation. You should be doing the things only you, the doctor, can do. 

So this is your chance to develop a leader in your team. Ask a team member or two to help with social media. Outline specific goals and expectations and work together to get started. You need the help, and your team members want the practice to thrive, too. 

10. Consult a dental marketing team.

While things are slow, you may be able to consistently manage your own social media. But plan for the future by talking with a dental marketing team so you are poised to hand it over to professionals so you and your team can focus on production. 

Starting off DIYing it can put you in a better position to contribute in a more meaningful way to the efforts of your marketing team. And the tips above will also help you to evaluate your marketing team’s strategy. It must be a strategy built on connection to be successful.

If you need a few more resources to get moving, check these out:

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10 Tips For Choosing a Name For Your Dental Practice https://jmsn.com/jobs/dental-marketing/10-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-name-for-your-dental-practice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-name-for-your-dental-practice https://jmsn.com/jobs/dental-marketing/10-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-name-for-your-dental-practice/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 16:33:16 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215090 By Marisa Porter and Mindy SchoenemanChief Creative Strategist and Editor-in-Chief From the logo to your patients’ impression, to other practices in the city, here are 10 things to consider when…

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By Marisa Porter and Mindy Schoeneman
Chief Creative Strategist and Editor-in-Chief

From the logo to your patients’ impression, to other practices in the city, here are 10 things to consider when choosing a name for your dental practice.

Choosing a name for your practice is no small thing.

Do you use your name? Do you somehow use the name of the area in which you practice? Do you go with something that lets people know what type of dentistry you practice? There are as many different approaches to take as there are name possibilities. It can be overwhelming to choose! 

Seeing the big dental marketing picture is what we do every day. Here are 10 things to consider when picking a name for your dental practice.

1. It’s going to be everywhere.

Have you ever seen a sign for a business or practice that looks like someone couldn’t make up their mind when choosing a name, so they chose three instead? 

The result is that the practice has three names. One is the name of the doctor. One is the name of the practice that they wanted on their sign. And one (and this is my favorite), is the “SEO” name someone told them to have. 

Don’t do this.

Chances are these three names only exist because you were listening to the advice of someone you trusted to advise you well. Sadly, the possible benefits of this name situation do not outweigh the negatives. You don’t need three different names. The first one to ditch should be the falsely-so-called SEO name. It won’t help you get new patients (click here to read what will), and it’s confusing. 

2. It should let potential patients know you are a dentist’s office.

Don’t be too obscure about your name. Don’t be too clever. 

Most dentist practices get this. Your name should have some variation of the words “dental,” “dentist,” “teeth,” or “smile” in it. People need to know what you are immediately. 

The average person dedicates around two hours of their life every year thinking about dentistry, most of which occurs while they’re in your chair. Because of this incredibly short window of time, make sure your logo and name make it simple to understand what you do at a glance. This advice applies to your website presence as well. Your name should exude professionalism, confidence, and trust. Potential patients need to feel confident about the doctor they’re selecting to hold their oral health in their hands. You won’t get a chance to engage with them for another whole year (or never if they like the first dentist they pick).

3. The tone should match the audience you want to target.

Pediatric dental practices should be fun and friendly. Thankfully, they usually are! Animals and superheroes are both great ways to go. As far as a child is concerned, they’re not there for their oral health—they’re there for the fun—make it fun! Animals aren’t the only things kids love. Think about what your patients love most to play with or watch.

Your little patients and their parents will both appreciate it.

Sophisticated cosmetic dentistry practices should have a low-key, quiet presence. Avoid bombastic, overly enthusiastic displays of glamor. This creeps people out quickly (are you trying to make money on my desire to have beautiful teeth?). Instead, go for calm and serene with a touch of elegance. Some cosmetic practices go for the “fine wine” look, but we have seen patients lean away from this. Instead, we advise to match it to the tone of a respected hospital. People expect to pay premium prices for premium medical services. For this reason, make sure the sound of the name and the look of your brand is as premium and sophisticated as the complex services you provide.

Family dentistry is that sweet spot in between. It should feel solid and warm. Friendly, but grownup. Warm enough to welcome people’s kids, but grown-up enough for the parents. Trust is the keyword here.

4. It’s going to need a logo.

No big surprise here. Just remember that your practice’s new name will need a logo. If the name’s whole focus is on the city in which you practice, are you going to convey what it is you do in the logo? Would you rather depict something to do with oral health? If so, can you do that with a city-based name? What about both? Can you say Chicago Dental and have a tooth with a skyline?

Yes.

You don’t need to decide the logo today, or have a picture in your head of what it should look like. You just need to realize it’s going to come down the road. Make sure any stakeholders aren’t against the image you most cherish when it comes to your name.

Here are some successful logo ideas I’ve seen paired with the names that helped get them there.

  • City names with a city skyline (designed by Jameson)
    • Omaha Family Dentistry 
  • Pediatric practices with fun elements (these are always appealing to kids and their parents)
    • Must Love Kids (superhero logo)
    • Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry (a cartoon car and a truck—updated by Jameson)
  • Other mascot ideas
    • Like Jaynes and his Texas cowboy—(we love this redesign we created for Jaynes Pediatric)!
  • Doctor’s name with “family” or “cosmetic.” This can work, but it’s a challenge. It leaves you with no visual element to pull from except for one which is completely abstract or with the choice to use another tooth. The reason this can still work is that you can always pull the abstract element from a popular local idea. Farless Dental Group is one case study that we think worked really well (see below)!
choosing a name for your dental practice
name for your dental practice
choosing a name for your dental practice
choosing a name for your dental practice
choosing a name for your dental practice

5. The type of dentistry you want to practice should be in the name.

Cosmetic, family, and pediatric are the three most common, but there are many more beyond that. The name of the focus of your dentistry should absolutely be in your name.

Putting the main focus of your dental practice ties into setting yourself apart from the dozens of dentists a town typically has (make that hundreds if it’s a city).

It also limits you to remain in that focus for a while, but that’s not a bad thing. Rebranding is always possible. We would say, as long as you’re not rebranding every year, don’t be afraid to let your logo and name reflect your current focus, even knowing that your goals may change over time. As in most business choices, being niche is usually better than being too general.

One of the first ways people filter out all the dentists they don’t want to visit from the ones they might want to visit is through differentiation. Potential patients are going to exclude all dentists which they think are not the type they are looking for. If they know they need some major cosmetic help, they’re going to seek out dentists that include that in their name. Your name and logo are two of the most important places to differentiate yourself.

6. The doctor’s name doesn’t have to be in the name of the practice.

It can, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not important for SEO purposes, because whatever name you choose is the one that Google will promote when you attach your content and reviews to it. 

Pick something that embodies your practice values and vision and is not lengthy or difficult to understand.

If you plan to someday bring other doctors into your practice, it can be beneficial to choose a name for your practice that isn’t strictly branded to you. It’s also helpful to keep the name in mind if you plan to retire some day and sell your practice to a dentist looking for an established practice to take over. 

7. But it’s okay if the last name is in the practice name.

Are you building a legacy? Do you practice with your son or daughter (or parent)? Both are good reasons to include your name in the practice name. 

The only time we think you should think twice is if your last name is particularly difficult to pronounce and spell. People need to be able to read the name in their mind to hold on to it. And if the name is too difficult for them to do so, potential patients will pass over it to simpler options (if there are any in your area). 

8. You need a name that resonates with the patient type you want to work with.

Choosing a name for your dental practice brings to mind the vision you have for your practice’s future. The hopes you have for your practice’s health and vibrancy take shape in your mind. When you’re unsure about this step of choosing a name and excited about the possibilities, it’s only natural to want to share your news with everyone you know. You will want to ask for their feedback on your name choices. You’ll want to know which name resonates the most with everyone.

But you don’t want a name that resonates with everyone or just anyone.

You need the name that resonates with your potential patients, which means that market research is going to be more helpful when deciding your name and logo than a focus group limited to those immersed in dentistry every day.

9. It should not be similar to another dental practice within your area.

For example, the word “smile” and “smiles” is often used in practice names. If you search for dentists in Washington, Missouri, you’ll find three dentists with the word “smiles” in their practice name. Washington is a town that consists of about 14,000 people. Everyone knows everybody, and most have heard of at least two of these dentists without having visited either. 

It makes it more difficult for these practices to differentiate themselves from practices with similar-sounding names. 

The winner of the three, though, is Little Smiles because the name clearly lets you know it’s a pediatric practice in a short, succinct, and adorable way.

10.  Don’t be afraid to change your name to fit your practice as it is today 

A Dental Rebranding Case Study

GSO Dentist was developing into Farless Dental Group. Dr. Farless wanted to better align with the experience his practice was already giving their patients—the friendliest comprehensive dentist in Greensborough.

Words identified by the client as reflective of their brand goals are as follows. Fresh. Progressive. Clean. Trustworthy. Honest. Current.

The current color was #26A54C green. Black was a secondary color. The blocks gave a feeling of integrity. The rounded colors and italic serif “f” give the brand a more old-fashioned feeling which does not reflect the new direction encompassing the adjectives fresh, progressive, clean, and current.

Minimalist, solid shapes and elements with clean, straight lines and were considered to create the final logo. Squares were considered, but so were other shapes. We studied origami, a modern take on giving geometric shapes depth without creating the contours that take us back to the late 90’s, before the iconic movement. 

Iconic, flat shapes were also considered along with those that gave a more modern take on shape and depth.

The result was a new name reflecting the practices new position in the community and an updated logo that was respectful of the practice’s existing logo. 

choosing a name for your dental practice

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How to Pivot Your Dental Practice Marketing During COVID-19 https://jmsn.com/marketing/how-to-pivot-your-dental-practice-marketing-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-pivot-your-dental-practice-marketing-during-the-covid-19-pandemic https://jmsn.com/marketing/how-to-pivot-your-dental-practice-marketing-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2020 15:28:31 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215093 Staying connected with your patients during coronavirus closures by making plan for your dental practice marketing. You’re frustrated, sitting at home when you should be practicing dentistry. After all, you…

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Staying connected with your patients during coronavirus closures by making plan for your dental practice marketing.

You’re frustrated, sitting at home when you should be practicing dentistry. After all, you went to school for this, and paid tens of thousands of dollars to care for people’s oral health. And now you’re stuck at home, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for someone to tell you it’s safe to go back to work. 

Thanks, coronavirus. 

Your frustrations and fears are normal. Your patients are feeling the same way at the moment. But, you can put yourself to work even before you don your scrubs by focusing on your best marketing strategy at this time.

Begin by focusing on your dental practice marketing. You can save your practice from the full brunt of the COVID-19 panic with a thoughtful communication strategy. 

Keep reading to learn how dental marketing can keep you connected to your patients and even attract new patients.  

Combatting Coronavirus

Before you do any marketing, begin with one simple action: take care of yourself. 

This may seem ridiculously trite, but it’s your first step in developing a great marketing strategy for your business. Personal wellness can lead to a clear mind and clear thoughts, and this mindset will help you develop strategies that will best serve your patients. 

Get outside and soak in the sunshine and fresh air. Exercise and focus on eating healthy, nutrient-rich food. After all, physical health begets mental health. Make appropriate social connections with friends and family, and consider picking up a book that you’ve been meaning to read for a while. Feed your mind and your body. Think of this time as a much-needed sabbatical from a busy practice. 

When you take time for yourself, you’re showing your team members leadership through this pandemic, and you’re serving your patients well. 

Connect with your patients.

There’s so much you cannot control in this world right now. You’re at home on a Wednesday at 2 pm, and you cannot control the fact that your practice isn’t open. So don’t focus on that. 

Focus on controlling the controllable

So, what can you control in this out-of-control world? In the short term, you can focus on connecting with your patients.

A well thought out text that says, “we’re still thinking of you,” or a blog post helping them cope with distance learning, keep their home virus-free, and care for their family’s health are all ways to let your patients know you have not forgotten about them, and you are here for them now as well as  later when the doors reopen. 

Connect with them in their normal life. Provide them with a sense of humanness, not business, during this time. This will help you stabilize now and soar later.

Use your social media channels to put something out there once or twice a week. Make it personal and help your patients focus on positive feelings like hope or positive action like taking care of their families, space, and routines. You could post a picture of your team saying “Hey, we miss you guys” or “We’re all in this together.” A compassionate and thoughtful message during this time is more likely to make you the first practice they think of when they want to remove months of coronavirus plaque from their teeth.

Show you’re real.

This is a great time to show your patients how much you care. After all, they know you are not experiencing the economic benefit of dentistry during this time, so communications will automatically feel more authentic and caring, as long as they are genuinely patient-focused.As you produce these small messages, be they videos or pictures, think about using pictures of you in your home environment rather than at the office. You can film a short video in your home environment simply saying, “How’s everybody doing? We hope you’re staying safe and taking care of yourself.” 

Use this time to project a more personal image of yourself on social media rather than just you in your scrubs. This will help break down the barrier between you and your patients. 

Update your patient platform.

Use this time to update your patient platform. As you’re putting together personal social media and website content that remind your patients you’re still out there and working for them, update all the information your patients need to know about the current state of your practice. 

You need to communicate your care for your patients clearly with short but succinct messages. Tell them you’re putting a pause on business temporarily to protect them and your staff. 

Use either email or a patient communication platform to talk to your patients and let them know what you currently can and cannot do. Let them know which services you can still provide at this time. For example, if your state allows you to perform emergency procedures, say this. If you can, give them a timeline for when you think you’ll be back to business as usual. 

While your doors may be closed at the moment, your patients will appreciate you reaching out to them and offering to book advance appointments. That way they are assured that their dental care will continue once your business reopens..

Schedule your communication.

Even as you stay home, adhering to your state’s requirements, you might find yourself busy or distracted with different tasks. Creating a schedule for when you will communicate with your patients will help you market your practice more purposefully. 

It’s not necessary to schedule weeks or a month in advance, and this may not be practical given the situation has been evolving rapidly., It might be more useful to  decide which days you will be sending messages out. For example, you can say “On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will send a message out to my patient family.” 

When you schedule your messages regularly, you will not waste time wrestling over whether you’ve put out too many or too few messages. 

Develop your dental practice marketing strategy.

This downtime is the perfect time to evaluate and improve your marketing strategy. 

Begin by going back over some old cases. Try to gather 20 to 30 “before” and “after” images and information on specific cases. You do not need precise numbers or personal information, just a list of age ranges and genders, along with which procedures you conducted for that particular patient. Include any other details that might be relevant to a potential patient looking for the same type of procedure. 

You can use these images and stories on your website or in a publication your team can put out once you’re back together. Prepare all of the back data to make the publication simple for your team. 

Just remember that images matter. The right image will sell an idea and illustrate your abilities better than words can explain. It will show what you can do for your patients.

Think like a patient.

Take some time to think like your patient would and consider what they would care about. 

Your patients are in the same boat as you, many of them at home away from work or enduring the stress of working from home while being in the same house with all of their family members. What are your patients’ concerns, worries, thoughts, and motivators? What are they thinking about right now? 

Pivot your marketing strategy so you can meet the needs of your patients. Start from the perspective of a patient who does not know you. What would that patient be looking for? 

Consider what you would do if you needed a service. If you were looking for a spa or a dog groomer or a mechanic, what would you do? Where would you go to find a business that could help you, and what would you look for that would indicate the business is trustworthy? 

After all, you’re a consumer too. So as you consider how to market your business, think like a consumer. 

Begin with a basic Google search on your phone. Search for “dentists near me” and see if your name pops up. This is what a new patient would see. If your practice does not show up on the first page, then you need to think about your SEO marketing strategy.

Look at your Google business listing. What shows up there? What pictures and reviews and posts do you see there? Consider what the business listing information tells patients about you. 

Evaluate your website.

Look at your website and other marketing materials. Think about them from the viewpoint of a prospective patient, someone who does not know you at all. What is the first impression, and what do the materials tell them about you?  What is the website telling a patient about your practice? What solutions do you offer for a patient’s needs at this time? 

Within three to five seconds, a patient should be able to see what services and solutions you offer. If you cannot see this quickly, then you need to revamp your website. Think about what you could do differently to create a connection with the patient and send the message that you care about them. Think through a patient’s journey from a Google search to your website.

If you feel your website answers these questions immediately, then dig a little deeper.  Do the services sound personal or generic? Do they sound like you’re confident in your practice, or does the website just define the service generically? Consider adding a scrolling message that communicates the current state of your practice or has an encouraging message. This way, when a person visits your site, they see the message immediately. Make sure your regular hours and days are posted as well, so when you get back to work, patients will see when they can call you or expect you to be in the office. 

Seek professional help.

You’ve spent some time now walking through the process of finding a dentist as if you were a new patient. You may see some opportunity for improvement in your current marketing strategy, and you may have some ideas on how to fix it. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you want to take your marketing to the next level, seek out a marketing team that’s focused specifically on dental practices. 

An effective marketing company will give you more than just good ideas. They should have great dental marketing software that allows you to accessee data that will help you serve your patients even better. 

Now is a good time to give a marketing company a call and set up a time when you can talk strategy. 

We’re still working.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Jameson are still working on dental practice marketing. We’d love to answer any questions you have and provide feedback on any ideas you may have for your business. 

We also have plenty of resources to help you communicate effectively with your patients, keeping them updated on your practice’s current state. Eventually, and hopefully very soon, you will reopen your practice. When you do, you need an efficient way of letting your clients know you’re back in business. We want to help you stabilize now and soar later. 

Visit our coronavirus resources page that will provide you with crucial resources as you look at restarting your business. 

For all your dental marketing needs, feel free to contact us.

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Leading Through One of Dentistry’s Hardest Times https://jmsn.com/uncategorized/leading-through-one-of-dentistrys-hardest-times/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leading-through-one-of-dentistrys-hardest-times https://jmsn.com/uncategorized/leading-through-one-of-dentistrys-hardest-times/#respond Tue, 14 Apr 2020 16:29:24 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=215035 By Carrie Webber of The Jameson Group Steering Your Dental Practice Through The Big Pause As you sit and read this message, every one of your dental colleagues in the…

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By Carrie Webber of The Jameson Group

Steering Your Dental Practice Through The Big Pause

As you sit and read this message, every one of your dental colleagues in the United States is experiencing what can only be described as “The Big Pause” of dental services and dental care as we know it. Limited by healthcare and health organizations’ recommendations and government mandates, here we sit doing the best we can to ride out the storm that is the COVID-19 shutdown.

Yes, I suppose we all are being guided to take comfort in knowing that we are all in this together and it is something we must shoulder and wait out. But how do we tell our minds and our hearts to just sit and wait while our practices sit dark and quiet, our teams sit at home wondering what awaits them in the future, and our financial futures look like murky waters with no clear vision of what is to come? 

At Jameson, our 30 years of coaching dentists and teams have seen our clients navigate natural disasters, personal upheavals, recessions, country-wide tragedy, illnesses and more — and we have learned, while it is not easy, the pillars on which a healthy practice stands through the storms of life are built on the foundations of leadership, grit, and perseverance, holding true to adaptation and execution when the time comes to answer the call to lead.

So, what do you do now as you sit and wait? 

Give daily focus to your business and plan for the future. 

Take CE courses, update yourself on the current state of affairs, and determine any next steps that need to be made for financial, team, and practice stability. Reach out to your chosen group of experts, advisors, and mentors for continued guidance. Reduce the noise of opinions and the stress that comes with that by determining your filter of information and sticking with it. Make concerted effort to work with those experts you have brought into your business circle for the sake of your business and stay in contact regularly to get the best possible information and advice to guide your decisions.

Reach out to your team members with personal messages to check on their well-being. 

If you have had to make the difficult decision to lay off or furlough your team, make sure you check with your chosen HR firm on the parameters through which you can communicate with them. Social graces are typically acceptable. If nothing else, make an intentional effort to reach out weekly just to make sure they are doing OK and to let them know you are still there and still care about their well-being. 

Stay in contact with your patients through email and social media. 

You may be the one direct connection to a healthcare professional your patient family has! You are also a solid presence of what was normal in their lives and what will be once again in the future. Stay in touch, use the tools available to you through patient communication software and social media and put it in your calendar to reach out and post updates so that it doesn’t fall by the wayside. Your patients need to hear from you now so that they stay connected to you in the future.

Don’t disappear. Don’t hide. Be present for your practice. 

As Simon Sinek recently stated, “Keep physically distant and stay socially close.” I think that is the perfect summary for how our presence as leaders for ourselves, our teams, our patients, and our community can be powerful during times of silence. People need to hear from and be connected to their trusted leaders during times of crisis. Focus your energy on a best-possible presence for those who look to you as a leader in their lives — both your team and your patients.

Give daily focus to your personal self-care. 

Read healthy content, learn from your trusted resources, limit external noise, eat healthy food, rest, create a routine and follow it as if this were your normal daily life. Check in on your loved ones and reach out to people in your professional circle. Stay connected and stay focused on taking good care of yourself. 

As you create a new “routine” for your day-to-day, it may help you to make a point of intentionally blocking time for development, self-care, and stress relief. Stress is going to be pressing hard on all of us in the days to come. Determine for yourself what stress-relief looks like — exercise, meditation, reading, whatever is right for you — and schedule it into your day.  Make lists for your day and prioritize them. It is deeply important that we as business owners and leaders channel our nervous energy as best as we can at this time to focus on anything that is productive, healthy, and helpful. 

Author, Mary Roach said this about making lists to control the routine of her day: “I make lists to keep my anxiety level down. If I write down 15 things to be done, I lose that vague, nagging sense that there are an overwhelming number of things to be done, all of which are on the brink of being forgotten.” Make your lists and focus forward.

The day will come when your practice re-opens and you must be ready to step into that space and go full force into recovery and balancing the scale. It will take a great deal of energy, focus, and effort. Rest and prepare today in order to be ready for tomorrow. 

Give daily grace to yourself for what you can control and what you cannot. 

Focus on that which you can control. Plan as best as you can for the future and relinquish the pain of the uncontrollable pause that is the present. We will return to practice. It may look different. It may take new focus, new systems, new verbal skills, but you can focus on those scenarios and skills now and take control of your frantic mind through the discipline of learning, planning, refining, connecting, and leading.

Plan to be nimble and adaptive in the early days of practice re-entry. You can work now on the skills and systems you will need in the near future to do just that and do it well.

The Jameson Group is proud to help dental practices just like yours now and into the future. For more information on the resources Jameson is providing during the COVID-19 crisis, visit www.jmsn.com/coronavirus and access our marketing, coaching, and industry expert resources complimentary to you. We are ready to be guides for you through the pause and into your practice re-entry. Here is to focusing on the future as we steer our ships through The Big Pause. 

Carrie Webber is the co-owner and Chief Communications Officer of The Jameson Group, a dental business, hygiene and marketing coaching firm in the United States that has helped dentists and teams become more productive, more profitable and ultimately more fulfilled in their practicing lives through coaching, leadership and marketing services for 30 years. For more information and access to Jameson’s resources and services, visit. www.jmsn.com or access their COVID-19 Free Resources page at www.jmsn.com/coronavirus.

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Recover and Restore Your Dental Hygiene Schedule with a Super Hygiene Day https://jmsn.com/covid-19/recover-and-restore-your-dental-hygiene-schedule-with-a-super-hygiene-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recover-and-restore-your-dental-hygiene-schedule-with-a-super-hygiene-day https://jmsn.com/covid-19/recover-and-restore-your-dental-hygiene-schedule-with-a-super-hygiene-day/#respond Sat, 21 Mar 2020 03:53:49 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=214896 When dental practices have a lapse in treating patients, it is often difficult to catch up with the number of lapsed hygiene patients due in the retention schedule, especially as…

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When dental practices have a lapse in treating patients, it is often difficult to catch up with the number of lapsed hygiene patients due in the retention schedule, especially as the doctor’s schedule is often too limited to realistically work in these extra evaluations. The result can be missed production in the hygiene department. The good news is that there is a way to speed up the rebound and catch up. It is the SUPER HYGIENE DAY! 

A super hygiene day is a full day where the entire team in your practice is primarily focused on hygiene appointments. This means everyone from the assistants to the doctors and front office staff are able to give their full attention to moving your hygiene appointments through the schedule quickly and thoroughly. It’s also a great opportunity for diagnosing and preplanning needed treatment so your business team will be fully activated as well.

To summarize, the super hygiene day is designed to:

1. ​Reactivate unscheduled hygiene patients

2. ​Treat patients who are overdue or past due

3. ​Prevent a severe gap in treatment

4. ​Allow diagnosis of treatment

5. Increase case acceptance

How do you prepare for a super hygiene day?

1. ​Utilize all chairs for hygiene appointments.

It’s as simple as it sounds. Dedicate treatment space to hygiene patients for the entire day. That means you’ll need to prepare each space, of course.

2. Pre-Stock the rooms for this patient-filled day.

While you won’t be using more supplies than you would typically, you will be using those supplies in a shorter span of time. So much sure you’re stocked up for the day. Stock each space to make each appointment run smoothly for your hygienists. The more time they have to focus on patient care, the better.

3. Pre-Set the hygiene trays (as much as possible) to keep the sterilization area moving along on that day.

It might be an unrealistic expectation for your practice to have enough hygiene trays for the entire day, but get as close as you can. It will keep the appointments moving and again allow your team more time with the patient. After an absence, your team and patients need time to reconnect. And even a few extra moments with a patient can make them feel as if they are the most important person your team will see that day. 

4. Have the support team ready to assist in all directions.

Everyone’s job on super hygiene day is to support the hygiene team however they can to best serve the patient. That means your team will need to know their role in making the day a success. Make a list of things team members will need to complete that may be outside of their usual duties, and start delegating. Think about who will perform duties such as:

·         Prepping each room between patients

·         Sterilization

·         Charting

·         Capturing radiographs

·         Suctioning

·         Providing oral hygiene instructions

·         Completing chart notes

·         Completing and reviewing treatment plans

·         Reviewing and getting acceptance of financial options

5. Consider scheduling periodontal patients first.

Periodontal patients are the most urgent. To prevent a relapse in disease, it’s vital that these patients are seen by the hygiene team regularly and often. Once you have those patients scheduled, fill the rest of the schedule with preventive therapy.

6. ​Prioritize the doctor’s time with emergency patients and hygiene evaluations.

A dental emergency is a dental emergency. It’s something that should be expected after an absence of treatment. The doctor should schedule crown seats and emergency patients, but the goal is to have the doctor available for hygiene evaluations.

7. Schedule existing patients.

Because the new patient evaluation takes more time, attempt to schedule only existing patients. This will keep the day moving along as quickly as possible.

8. ​The super hygiene day can be more than one day.

It’s not a fixed holiday, of course. You can celebrate a super hygiene day once or twice per month and quarterly depending on the number of overdue hygiene patients.

9. ​Consider hiring a temporary hygienist.

Temporary help to meet the demand of having all the chairs filled is a great idea if you have the space.

10.  ​To prevent cancellations, consider having the periodontal patients pre-pay for their reserved appointment.

A hygiene appointment can, at times, be painful and stress-inducing for a patient who hasn’t had a professional cleaning in quite some time, especially if that patient suffers from periodontal disease. Safeguard your schedule against cancellations by taking payment for ongoing treatment up front.

11.  ​Plan for the appropriate time needed.

How do you do that? Count the number of appointments that have been canceled due to the current situation, then add the appropriate number of hours to the super hygiene day.

Have a successful super hygiene day!

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Stabilize and Soar—How Dental Practices Can Survive and Thrive During Uncertain Times https://jmsn.com/leadership/dental-practices-can-survive-and-thrive-during-uncertain-times/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dental-practices-can-survive-and-thrive-during-uncertain-times https://jmsn.com/leadership/dental-practices-can-survive-and-thrive-during-uncertain-times/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2020 22:10:08 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=214866 “Those who stabilize now will soar later.” —Cathy Jameson. Our heart breaks for those of you who are forced to close your doors for two weeks, three weeks, or more.…

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“Those who stabilize now will soar later.” —Cathy Jameson.

Our heart breaks for those of you who are forced to close your doors for two weeks, three weeks, or more. We know the uncertainty is the worst thing. Most dental practices can handle a temporary closure if they feel they can reschedule, rather than indefinitely cancel, patient appointments.

As healthcare professionals, we know you want more than ever before to help. Dental hygiene affects immunity, and keeping medical and dental appointments with trusted medical professionals adds to a feeling of normalcy and calm for people.

The saddest thing we see is when dental practices go into an effective lockdown mode, focused so much on the immediate events that they opt to cease all communication with their patients (other than to perhaps notify them of indefinite closure), and fail to positively engage with patients as to their dental and overall health and well-being. 

This is a mistake.

I called my dentist to move a child’s dental health checkup. I was disappointed when the dental practice did not rebook my appointment. I expected them to. I wasn’t planning on going anywhere. I just knew we had to practice this social distancing thing for awhile. Dentistry was not less important to me yesterday than it was the week before. It was just, unfortunately, one of the things some of us have to put on hold for a bit (and I hope for a very short bit). I felt like their hesitance to rebook my appointment meant they might not be planning on being here for me in the future. I wanted the reassurance that they would be, even if they were just as uncertain as I was as to when that would be. 

People will start going to the dentist again. Where are they going to go?

“It’s best to prepare for what you know now than to imagine the possibilities in the future.” —Craig Groeschel

So what do we know now?

You know that your patients are at the least uncertain and at the most scared. You know that nobody really knows how long this will last. You know that your patients are googling how to survive this disruption to their lives and careers, what to do with their kids at home, how to boost their immune systems. All of these are topics you can speak to from the expertise of a medical professional, human being, career veteran, and parent (if you’re a parent). 

You have something important to say to your patients right now. You may not be able to offer dentistry procedures today, but you can offer information, hope, and expertise. 

All of these things will strengthen your bond with your local community of patients. 

And when they start venturing outside their doors again, booking doctor and dental appointments and setting up normal life again, to whom do you think they’ll go?

You. 

We want to point out the silver lining here.

The silver lining is that those dental practices that choose to continue to offer help to their patients in the form of uplifting, compassionate, and positive communications will be the ones that stabilize now and soar later. 

This is an opportunity, not a closed door.

At Jameson, we know a thing or two about surviving hard times. We’ve weathered a number of crises in the last 30 years of business. Instead of hunkering down in despair, use this time to stabilize, then plan and dream. 

This will prepare you for a strong, robust reopening. 

The Three Most Important Marketing Efforts For Dental Practices To Engage In During Social Distancing

Answer Your Patient’s Questions Now

Parents are feeling insecure about their careers, schedules, and kid’s school schedule. Most never planned to homeschool and aren’t sure how to navigate distance learning. It’s scary for them. 

They are losing their minds trying to work and take care of kids at the same time. 

Career professionals who’ve had major events canceled are wondering how they’re going to close that deal, meet the right people, etc. They’re also wondering how their companies are doing and whether their paychecks and jobs will be there for them. 

Meet them where they’re at. We recommend creating lots of content right now on scheduling your day when you have the kids at home, how to boost your immune system (this includes rigorous dental hygiene), how to strengthen your career when you’re stranded, online resources for professionals, self-care techniques that can be engaged in at a time like this (which is more than any other time and more-needed), and taking care of your teeth when you can’t see your dentist. Other topics include what constitutes an emergency and anything else that can help your patients cope. Speaking to their needs will provide the best chance that they remember dental health and your practice in particular when the doors re-open.

This is even a chance to gain new patients who are asking their search engines the same question. 

But don’t stop communicating. Don’t stop talking to your patients. And don’t stop marketing. 

Just bend your marketing to the current climate. 

Plan Your Dental Practice Reopening Campaign

Any new marketing initiative takes weeks or months to get off the ground in today’s world (depending on the goals), and when dentists are busy, (and thankfully, most of our dental clients’ bookings keep them on their toes), the real-world timeline for approving campaign outlines and content often delays the process, and therefore the effectiveness, of a marketing campaign. 

Not today. This is the time to imagine where you’re going to be in six months, one year, and five years down the road. This is the time to rebuild your website, revamp your marketing, and plan your content during and after this crisis. 

This time can be a gift. You can pause. Temporarily doing nothing often leads to “the very best somethings,” (as grown-up Christopher Robin says). 

So after rescheduling your patient’s appointments, posting your notices, and providing immediate and helpful content, make a cup of coffee or tea, call an expert, and figure out your reopening campaign.

If you haven’t woken up to the online culture of our world, do so today.

Gyms are temporarily closing. Online on-demand fitness memberships, having spiked already, are abundant. 

Amazon is so overwhelmed with online orders that they are hiring 100,000 new team members and are limiting the availability of non-essential items.

Doctors and medical professionals are offering virtual consultations and now, some dental practices that are so equipped are offering Teledentistry.

Never before has the technology and our culture been so poised to create and offer online solutions and answers. 

This is a wake-up call to any practice resisting the online mindset of today’s dental patient. 

At Jameson, we’ve spent the last few years creating online learning and communications, creating models for dental practices to respond online, chat online, book online, and, often overlooked but just as important, provide information online. Every effort we made in this direction for us and our clients is paying off. The old model of expecting your patient to come to you, wide-eyed and un-researched, is dead. Patients come savvy. They come well-read. They come having asked dozens of questions and receiving hundreds of answers from a vast number of dental offices or online resources before they pick their practice. Whether or not they pick yours will be dependent on how well you’ve answered their questions online

One other mistake some dental practices are making is proceeding as if nothing has changed, with business as usual.

Whether you believe the world is in a health crisis or not, many or perhaps most of your patients do. They see the threat facing us as real and tangible, and a casual attitude about it will not convey your compassion and caring for their well-being. 

This is your opportunity to show your patients how much you care. Don’t miss it.

In closing, don’t panic. Look for opportunities to communicate with and help your patients online. Take this forced quiet time as the only time you’ll likely ever get to focus for a full week on intentionally planning for the future success of your practice. Seize the opportunity and prepare to soar after this crisis is over.

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COVID-19 Response – 16 Practical Steps Your Dental Practice can Take Now https://jmsn.com/covid-19/covid-19-response-16-practical-steps-your-dental-practice-can-take-now/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-response-16-practical-steps-your-dental-practice-can-take-now https://jmsn.com/covid-19/covid-19-response-16-practical-steps-your-dental-practice-can-take-now/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2020 16:44:42 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=214756 Utilize cell phone triage – Have the patient use the cell phone to take a picture of the area and text to the dentist/dental team member. If it is an…

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  • Utilize cell phone triage – Have the patient use the cell phone to take a picture of the area and text to the dentist/dental team member. If it is an existing patient – you can determine the need for next steps. If it is a new patient – you will be limited on what you can do for next steps.
  • Have a detailed questionnaire/conversation before scheduling appointments and prior to any procedure about flu-like symptoms, travel abroad for self and family/friends/co-workers, etc. to permit a thorough evaluation of the patient. Here are some sample questions below:
    1. Have you recently traveled to an area with known local spread of COVID-19?
      1. Yes / No
    2. Have you had close contact (within 6 feet) with someone who has a laboratory confirmed COVID – 19 diagnosis in the past 14 days?
      1. Yes / No
    3. Do you have a fever (greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C) OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
      1. Yes / No
    4. Do you have a fever (greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C) OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
      1. Yes / No
    5. Do you have a fever (greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C) OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
      1. Yes / No
    6. Do you have an immunocompromised condition due to a systemic disease, treatment of cancer or other illness/condition, advanced age (65 or older), etc?
      1. Yes / No
    • Consider taking the temperature of the patient as they arrive to the office.
    • Reconsider scheduling high-risk patients unless they need emergency treatment.
    • Evaluate carefully the need for scheduling of ASA 2 & 3 patients
    • Use of 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to beginning of an appointment of any type  by the patient to reduce microbial load in the oral cavity.
    • Use of rubber dam isolation or Isodry/Isolite and high-volume suction to limit aerosol in treatment procedures.
    • Proper disinfection protocol between patients with a possible repeat of the protocol for a 2nd time.
    • Generate signs for all exit/entry doors. If you are making a delivery – have them call and leave at the door. Give explanation on limitation of people in the office and direction on what they should do. (To prevent over-crowding of waiting areas for the possible spread of infection)
    • Consider having patients wait in their cars instead of the waiting areas to prevent inadvertent spread of the virus (call patient when treatment room is ready for them).
    • Consider staggering appointment times to reduce reception room exposure.
    • Consider rescheduling elective procedures on ASA 2 & 3 patients
    • Have business team take measures to prevent exposure.
    • Set a timer for every 2 hours – wipe down all door knobs and other surfaces that get high use.
    • Have sterilization team, lab technicians and auxiliary team take adequate measures to prevent exposure.
    • Limit access to reception room use to only patients. Accompanying individuals must wait in their respective transportation.
    • Remove all unnecessary items in the reception area all magazines/toys/brochures/clip boards/cups of pens/etc. from reception area to prevent contamination.
    • Consider setting up a table outside the entry door with hand sanitizer and Kleenex with a sign asking them to use the hand sanitizer to wash hands for at least 20 seconds and then use the Kleenex to open the doors. 

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    How to Know If Your Dental Practice Is in the Best SEO Marketing Hands https://jmsn.com/marketing/best-dental-marketing-agency/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-dental-marketing-agency https://jmsn.com/marketing/best-dental-marketing-agency/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2020 02:32:27 +0000 https://jmsn.com/?p=214006 You don’t have to spend weeks learning the ins and outs of SEO to be able to spot bad advice and seek a dental marketing agency that incorporates SEO best practices. Your common sense will take you where you need to go if you follow it and keep these five tips in mind.

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    By Mindy Schoeneman
    Senior Editor, SEO Strategist

    SEO can be a confusing thing.

    For marketing professionals who claim to understand it—as well as doctors who don’t—SEO can feel like an enormous, overwhelming thing that isn’t defined enough to see or wrap your hands around.

    Thankfully, you don’t have to spend weeks learning the ins and outs of SEO to be able to spot bad advice and seek a dental marketing agency that incorporates SEO best practices. Your common sense will take you where you need to go if you follow it and keep these five tips in mind.

    1. You don’t need to change your practice’s name for SEO reasons.

    Did your SEO guy tell you that to rank locally, you need to change your practice’s name to include the city or area in which you want to find more potential customers? If so, your practice is not in the best hands.

    What You Should Do Instead

    Talk to a dental marketing agency that offers organic content marketing plans. To rank locally, you need content that is relevant to what you do and the area you’re in. Specifically, you need content people in your area will actually look for online.

    After all, what’s the point of having content if no one is looking for it?

    2. You don’t need to overwhelm your website’s content with keywords.

    Did your SEO gal tell you the written content on the website needs to be revised to repeat your name and your city several times across every page? It’s not necessary, and it might actually hurt your practice.

    What to Do Instead

    Read your content as it currently stands. Does it sound natural to have those extra mentions of your name and city in there? If it doesn’t sound like it naturally fits you, it isn’t going to sound any better to potential patients. Ask for a revision or talk to a dental marketing agency that doesn’t employ outdated keyword-stuffing methods.

    Example:

    Dr. Abraham in Sioux Falls, SD, is the best cosmetic dentist. Schedule your free cosmetic consultation in Sioux Falls, SD, with Dr. Abraham today.

    How did that text flow? Did you find yourself stumbling over the repetition of the location? If you did, then Dr. Abraham’s website visitors will, too.

    3. You don’t need to participate in a backlink scheme.

    A backlink is a term used to describe a specific online event or scenario. Let’s say you’re searching online for gluten-free lasagna recipes, and you find a recipe you’d like to try. As you’re looking it over, you see they’ve also recommended a gluten-free brownie recipe for dessert. The text looks something like this: “the perfect gluten-free brownie recipe for dessert.” If you click it, you’ll discover it takes you to another website with that gluten-free brownie recipe (which, by the way, if you’re interested, is a delicious recipe). That link embedded into the text is called a hyperlink, and because it’s pointing back at someone else’s website, it’s called an external backlink.

    Google, who runs the biggest share of online searches, has a complex algorithm that determines what search results should be shown to the person querying the search engine. Google has been telling SEO marketers for years that backlinks and content are two of the biggest factors in determining rank for any given website page.

    So, did your SEO person tell you backlinks are the key to SEO and ranking? If so, it’s not a red flag. But if your SEO person followed that up by trying to sell you on the idea of paying for backlink development through a third party that offers hundreds of backlinks, then it’s time to throw up a stop sign. Do not agree to that.

    What to Do Instead

    If you did say yes, then it’s imperative you ask for a reversal on that decision. If your SEO person can’t undo what’s been done, then it’s time to discuss the situation with a dental marketing agency that understands quality versus quantity where backlinks are concerned. 

    An evaluation of your current online reputation and ranking is also urgently needed.

    A good backlink will come from a website that is a natural fit, like having a link from your profile on the American Dental Association’s Find-A-Dentist site back to your practice website. It’s also ideal if the webpage linking to your website is up-to-date, mobile-friendly, and free of on-page ads.

    The best backlinks are developed naturally, not through a paid service from a backlink farm.

    4. You shouldn’t settle for mediocre or anemic content.

    Did your SEO firm tell you your content is “good enough,” despite your concerns? You already know what’s problematic with that situation, don’t you?

    You need content that is a reflection of your intentions for your patient’s care and well-being. Content that is intelligent, emotional, and compelling. That’s what potential patients will connect with.

    If your SEO firm is settling for “good enough,” then they’re most likely writing for robots, not humans.

    What to Do Instead

    Evaluate your content. Put yourself in the shoes of the potential patient who’s looking for a new dentist and visits your page for the first time. Remember, the average person knows nothing about the technical aspect of dentistry and what your education means on a personal level. Unless they’ve received a recommendation for a specialist, they’re walking into their search looking for something they can’t articulate to steer them to one practice or another.

    Now imagine this example as the first thing you read when you go to this practice’s website:

    Schedule an appointment! Dr. Abraham and his staff have been serving Sioux Falls, SD, since 2003. Our mission is to provide our patients with quality dental care.

    There’s nothing glaringly wrong with that content. It’s informational. It’s functional. So, it’s “good enough.” Right?

    Look at this example of great content that can be found here at Brocks Gap Family Dentistry:

    Your family is extraordinary. Your dental team should be, too.

    That’s not informational. Is it? Even though it has fewer words, the second example conveys so much more. It takes the focus off the doctor and puts it squarely on the target patient (which is what you want!). It also uses words that evoke an emotional connection in the reader, conjuring up a visual (of their family) and an overall feeling for what the practice does (takes care of families, specifically their family) and who is best served at this practice. This shows respect for the patient and the patient’s family, as well as an understanding of the trust being placed in the hands of the dental team by the patient. It says, “We will work to be worthy of your trust.” Who doesn’t want to feel that from their dental team?

    Don’t settle. Work with someone to develop the content your practice deserves and needs.

     5. Beware of bargains for your SEO or website.

    Did your SEO agency or dental marketing agency only charge you a few hundred dollars a month to rebuild your website and make it SEO-friendly? Did they charge you a few hundred dollars to refresh and keep the existing website? It costs money to make and place a beautiful dental crown made from durable materials with the perfect fit. It also costs money (and time!) to write, edit, and publish content that helps new patients choose you and the high-quality crowns you create. More often than not, you get what you pay for in dentistry and in marketing.

    What to Do Instead

    Interview a few dental marketing agencies, and talk to them about their approach. Does it sound like it’s built on common sense? Go with the one that makes the most sense and the one that can show you results that are both believable and common among their clients.

    The Biggest Secret of SEO

    SEO is complicated, but it’s also incredibly simple. The secret is that all ranking factors can be gauged and anticipated when you keep one guiding principle in mind. It’s not really a secret, but it’s something most SEO agencies never talk about because they’re afraid their clients won’t understand why they need them once they know the simple truth.

    The “secret” is SEO is all about people, not robots.

    Your content should be written for people—the kind of people you see in your dental chair every day. Your website should be easily accessible to people of all abilities and from all types of devices. Your online reputation should be bolstered by those who link to your website and point to you as a skilled, trustworthy professional. Your name and brand should speak to who you are and what you provide for your patients.

    Your SEO and website should stand as a testament to your principled approach to practicing dental medicine.

    The post How to Know If Your Dental Practice Is in the Best SEO Marketing Hands appeared first on Jameson.

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