Wired to be Awesome Blog

Marketing your Orthodontist Practice takes Constant, Consistent Work (just like gardening)

If you’ve got a green thumb, then you know how much hard work it is to grow a garden. If you plant a few tomato plants, you can’t just wait 60 or so days to come back and harvest a bumper crop. There’s a lot of work to do between planting and eating those juicy red tomatoes! Marketing your orthodontist practice is a lot like gardening – it takes a lot of constant, consistent work. Marketing and gardening both require a significant up front investment If you’ve ever planted a garden or started a marketing campaign, then you know what a great analogy this is. Both gardening and marketing take a good amount of planning before you ever start planting seeds or reaping names from your lead generating campaign. With gardening, you have to know which plants need full sun, which can’t be planted by others, and how much water they need to grow well. With marketing, you need to know who your target market is, where you can reach them, and have some creative ideas that will leave a lasting impact on them. Both also require regular evaluation (or weeding) Regularly evaluating a garden means weeding it – otherwise, your garden will be overrun completely! It also means pruning and guiding those plants – otherwise your nice row of tomato plants will turn into a tomato jungle. Marketing your orthodontist practice is also going to take regular evaluation – to make sure that it’s effective, efficient, and consistent with your practice’s image. But come harvest time, gardening (and lead generation) are 100% worth it! Home grown veggies are... read more

Local Marketing for Your Orthodontist Practice Starts at City Hall

As school draws to a close, it’s the perfect time of year to do a quick Google search: to find your local town or city hall. You see, most businesses (and practices) forget that local marketing for your orthodontist practice starts at city hall. If you’re lucky, your city or town will even have a website – meaning you won’t actually have to go to city hall to read the flyers, bulletins, and brochures stapled haphazardly to the “Local Announcements” board. Thankfully, most cities and forward-thinking towns have made the upgrade to the digital age, making it easier than ever to get the word out about your practice! First of all, if your community still uses a physical announcement or bulletin board, see if you can get a flyer posted on it, too! Just remember that the board probably gets cleaned off regularly, so you’ll want to stop in periodically to post a new flyer – and to check for other great town announcements! Then, see if your town offers a business directory. Odds are, they do! Get your practice listed there. Usually, it’s free or low cost to do so, too. Once that’s done, check to see what summer or upcoming activities are planned. In many towns, the city hall and local businesses work together to sponsor a “get the kids outdoors and moving!” themed rewards program for the youth. See if you can find a similar program in your town, and get involved! Not only does it get the word out about your practice, it can also significantly increase foot traffic and good will, too. Your city... read more

Going Down the ‘Tube: Using YouTube to promote your practice

Did your parents have a video camera when you were a kid? It was probably one of those giant contraptions that weighed twenty pounds and balanced on one shoulder (so that’s why they have back pain now…). After they taped your home run at the baseball game or stunning sonata at your piano recital, you came home and stuck the tape into your VHS or Betamax. How times have changed! These days we all have handheld video cameras on our phones ready anytime and anywhere. Videos can be uploaded instantly to YouTube for the whole world to see. YouTube is a great way to market your practice. By posting videos on YouTube, you can help familiarize people with your office, educate current and future patients, celebrate newly straightened teeth, and more. Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of YouTube to promote your practice: Make your office a familiar and friendly place Going to the orthodontist for the first time can be intimidating, especially for younger kids. You want them to know that you’re a cool and fun person and that braces aren’t scary. YouTube videos can help new patients to be ready and even excited to go to your office. Here are a few ideas of YouTube videos to familiarize new patients with the world of orthodontia: An introduction video where every member of the office says hello and explains what they do Take a tour of the office Have a recent teen braces grad tell kids what to expect for their whole orthodontic experience Have an adult braces grad tell adults what to expect... read more

Market your practice using food?

Close your eyes and picture your favorite food – the kind that makes your mouth water. Is it a thick, juicy steak cooked just right? A bowl of bright red strawberries drizzled with whipped cream? Or a warm chocolate chip cookie oozing chocolatey goodness? Are you picturing it? You’re probably even smiling a little bit right now, aren’t you? They say that the quickest way to someone’s heart is through his stomach. That saying can easily be expanded. One of the best ways to promote your practice is by appealing to people’s stomachs. The quickest way to get referrals is through the heart of a dentist, a patient, or a slew of future patients is through food. Let’s market your practice to these three groups using food: Dentists are hungry Remember being a poor dental student? Back when you attended even the most boring lunchtime lecture because you’d get a few slices of pizza? Grown-up dentists (and their support staffs!) haven’t changed that much. Free food is a great way to get your foot in the door of local dentist offices and to help them remember you when it’s time to refer dentally-challenged patients. Here’s several ways to feed your way into those dental offices: Take the dentist out to lunch or dinner Bring lunch for the entire office Deliver tooth-shaped sugar cookies or a mouth cake – complete with braces Drop off tasty gift boxes – not just at Christmas Dentists are a great source of referrals, but it’s also important to think about promoting your practice to your entire (hungry) community. Feed the entire community The best... read more

Market your Orthodontist Practice at Local Fairs this Summer

As the school year draws closer to an end, summer is already on your patients’ minds. But it should also be on yours for several very important reasons. Our favorite reason has to do with the fact that summer is carnival season! Local fairs and carnivals can be a fantastic place to market your orthodontist practice, if you know how and where to do so. We’ve got three great ways for you to get involved in your community, enjoy the summer fair season, and market your practice all at the same time. Market your orthodontist practice by setting up a booth Many local fairs and events allow local businesses to set up booths. While these booths usually have a fee associated with them, every business we’ve talked to has seen fantastic returns on their investment for their entrance fees. Once your booth is set up, let your creativity kick in. You could set it up as an educational booth, giving away informational brochures, toothbrushes, or other fun branded gear. Or, if you’re up to the challenge, why not set up a dunk tank? It’d be a great way to make a ‘splash’ with your community! Plus, your patients will have an absolute ‘ball’! Sponsor or help plan local events and fairs If setting up a booth isn’t feasible, then we recommend you look into sponsoring the local fair. Or do both! Sponsors for these kinds of local events get to have their business information, and perhaps a short marketing blurb, on flyers, handouts, or signs at the event itself. You’ll need to talk to the event organizers to get... read more

3 of the Best Orthodontist Marketing Awards Ever

If you’ve got kids (or know someone who does), then you know what bedtime is like. It involves screaming, crying, refusals, and tantrums. And it doesn’t matter how old the kid gets, it’s still pretty much the same. Why do we bring that up? Well, there’s something that goes on at bedtime that’s crucial to that child’s dental health: that’s when kids brush their teeth! And, let’s face it. There are some nights when kids fight too much and too hard – and the tooth brushing gets skipped. For an 11 month old with only two teeth, that may not be a huge deal. But for a 13 year old with braces, it’s a lot bigger deal. So to help your patients (and their parents) make bedtime a whole lot more pleasant, let’s chat about 3 of the best orthodontist marketing awards ever. The 3 best orthodontist marketing awards for kids and teens: #1. Sticker charts Kids of all ages love sticker charts! Okay, so older teenagers might be fine with just crossing the day off of the calendar. But there’s something immensely satisfying about filling up a calendar so that the patient and their parents can see what kind of progress they’re making with their orthodontic care – or brushing their teeth every day. #2. In-office awards We’ve seen kids who are absolutely terrified of dentists and orthodontists. They’ll freeze up during the exam or adjustment. But once the visit is over and there’s a chance to visit the in-office awards bucket or prize machine, they’re all smiles. #3. High-fives all around Last but not least, there’s something... read more

Incentivizing your Orthodontist Patients?

Is your dog’s name “Bad Dog”? If your dog only gets attention when he jumps up on people, then he’s always going to jump up on people. It’s not that he’s trying to be bad; it’s that he’s trying to get your attention! It’s the same with kids (and some adults), too. We tend to mimic the behaviors that get us attention. That’s why incentivizing your orthodontist patients is so important. It’s teaching them the importance of good hygiene skills and a good set of teeth. Recognize their achievements “I told you I loved you when I married you! Do I have to tell you again?” A recent TED talk found that the #1 reason for job satisfaction in adults is recognition. If adults are finding and keeping jobs based on being verbally recognized for a job well done, then why not apply that to your practice? Your patients want to know what you think about their hard work. And let’s face it: wearing braces in adolescence is a hard job! When your patients follow through with their care plans, give them a high-five or tell them they did a great job. Everyone loves to hear that they’re doing a great job. Reward and incentivize your orthodontist patients Going back to the dog training metaphor, dogs learn to do some pretty awesome tricks when the action is associated with positive attention and rewards. Here’s the thing: people love getting rewarded, too. And while you won’t be teaching your orthodontist patients how to catch a flying frisbee with their mouths, you are teaching them lifelong dental hygiene skills and life... read more

10 Easy and Effective Marketing Ideas for Orthodontists

The last time I checked, there isn’t a single school of medicine, dentistry, or orthodontia that offers courses in marketing. Which, is really a shame because it takes more than good bedside manner to market your practice so that it can sustain the growth it needs to survive. That’s why a great office manager can make or break any office – and these 10 easy and effective marketing ideas for orthodontists are to help make your day as manager that much easier. Our top 10 easy and effective marketing ideas for orthodontists: Build a cohesive brand image Create a comfortable office ambiance Promote team uniformity through uniforms and training Schedule patient appreciation days Celebrate patient and staff birthdays Offer patient rewards to encourage compliance Offer patient or community awards to build name brand (practice) recognition Use Social Media to reach out to your community and patients Maintain a clean, interactive website as a place to educate and inform patients and prospects Hold patient referral contests Thankfully, these marketing ideas are easy to implement – even as an orthodontist practice. Building a cohesive brand image can be as simple as creating a simple logo or sign to hang outside of your office – and then making sure it’s also visible inside of your office. If you want to take it a step further, choose colors to represent your practice. Then, use those colors to decorate your office inside and out. Doing that while creating a comfortable office ambiance will make sure that your office is remembered as a comfortable and safe place. Making sure that your team looks like a team will... read more

Recognizing and Rewarding Teamwork

Watching little kids play soccer can be downright hilarious. When they first start out playing, they all swarm the ball and accidentally kick each other. As they learn, though, they realize just how important teamwork is – and how it works. Rewarding teamwork isn’t just limited to the soccer field, though. Kids need to learn how it works in all sorts of settings – even at the orthodontist. Hey – it takes a team to make it through those braces, right? Make rewarding teamwork fun Using an incentive or gaming program is a great way to reward the patient. After all, it’s only hugely important that they stay motivated and compliant, right? Letting them set the rewards can go a long way, too. That way, they’re working towards things they want to earn. Then, let them know who they can count on as their teammates. Who do they have? Well, we sure hope that their folks are on their team! Keep some “Parent Prizes” on hand Nobody likes nagging. Parents especially hate nagging their kids to brush and floss their teeth every day. Reminding them to change out rubber bands or to wear the infamous headgear isn’t any more fun. Why not find a way to keep your patient’s parents motivated, too? Okay, so you’ll have to set the limits on what parent prizes you offer. Because while many parents would love an open bar, that may create a hassle with other parents (and your local liquor licensing board). Instead, let them earn some small prizes (because you can never have enough pens!) or let them earn points towards... read more

3 Tips to Better Engage your Orthodontic Patient

“Kids these days…” If you can appreciate that phrase, odds are you’re a parent, a grandparent, or you work with kids every day. Not that the phrase is always a negative one – in fact, working with kids is a fantastic career! However, when it comes time to engage your orthodontic patient, you’re going to want their full attention. So how can you do that? Here are 3 top tips to grab your patients by their eyeballs so that you have their full attention. 1. Engage your orthodontic patient through technology As your patient comes into the practice, odds are they’re trying to connect to some sort of free WiFi connection. In fact, we’re willing to bet you probably already provide that as a way to promote patient (and family) satisfaction. Well, you’re already getting them to click on a button that says they agree with whatever your internet rules are, right? Why not change that up a bit. Instead of having them agree to the rules they’ve never read for the umpteenth time, have them answer 2-3 questions about their care plan. Ask them to honestly answer if they’ve taken care of their teeth. If your internet provider can swing it, make them answer a question or two periodically to stay connected. Yes, you’re holding their internet hostage. But they’ll totally pony up for it. Hey – they have some candies to crush. 2. Play educational spots on the TV One of our favorite dentist and orthodontist additions was the TV in the ceiling. Seriously – whoever thought of that should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Why not take... read more

3 Occasions your Practice should Always Celebrate

People love a good party. But that’s not the only reason to throw a shindig at your practice. Actually, there’s a lot of psychology behind celebrating occasions and having traditions at your business. It’s part of turning your practice or office into a community – a place where your patients and families will love to go and recommend to others. That’s why your practice should always celebrate these three types of occasions. Always celebrate big events By big events, we mean holidays, community events, and anything else that makes your area unique. For example, if you travel through Utah on July 24th, they’ve got their own holiday celebrating the pioneers that settled the area. Why not join in on the celebration? With the holiday season upon us, make your practice part of the festivities. Decorate the office for the season. The decorations can be as generic or religiously/culturally-driven as you want them to be. After all, you’re celebrating *with* your community! Commemorate anniversaries Another important occasion to celebrate is anniversaries. By anniversary, we mean practice-related anniversaries. You could celebrate your doctor’s graduation day, the day that the practice first opened, or even the day that your first patient’s hardware was removed – and you got to see the finished results. You can celebrate as many (or as few) as you deem appropriate. But celebrate at least one – and let your community celebrate with you with ads, coupons, or an open house. Remember birthdays Finally, always remember to celebrate the birthdays of your patients. Maybe you combine everyone’s birthday into one and just do it on one day. Or maybe... read more

3 ways your orthodontic practice should be using video marketing

Video marketing is one of our favorite techniques for a couple of reasons. First, it puts a face to your brand name. It humanizes your practice so that you’re not another unknown – you’re the kind doctor and staff from that one video! Another reason it’s great is that some people are visual learners. They need the visual reinforcement that video marketing can give them. Rather than focusing on the countless other reasons that video marketing is great for your orthodontic practice, though, let’s focus on some specific ways you can implement it today. 1. Use pre-recorded videos to celebrate special occasions One of the cutest things we’ve seen is when clinics or practices use pre-recorded videos to celebrate special occasions with their patients. It’s your patient’s birthday? Great! Send out an email with the link to the “Happy birthday!” video where your staff is singing happy birthday while holding balloons in front of a huge sign. A birthday video is a great place to start, but it doesn’t have to end there. Why not make videos to celebrate “Happy you got your braces off!” day and “Happy you don’t have to wear that retainer anymore!” day? 2. Teach proper hygiene or dental practices Another video that would be easy to make today is one that teaches your patients (and their families) how to perform proper dental care and hygiene. Not only can you reinforce good habits, but you can make sure that they see *how* to do it, too. Plus, parents will love being able to point to the computer (and your video!) instead of having to nag. 3.... read more

The 5 best ways your practice can show gratitude this month

We can’t help but think that gratitude and November go together like, well, November and Thanksgiving. As this season of gratitude and giving get closer, we’re reminded of the 5 best ways that a practice can show gratitude to their patients and practice. 1. Show gratitude to your staff Your office staff, if it’s anything like ours, does amazing work to keep everything running smoothly during the year. Lots of times, we only ever hear about solved issues – and having that kind of a staff does wonders for your practice (or business!). 2. Thank your patients This one should be obvious, but it can be so easy to remember how much we’re helping others that we forget to thank them for letting us help them. Let them know how much you appreciate them – and how much more you appreciate it when they follow their treatment plan! 3. Thank their parents Let’s face it: those kids aren’t usually driving themselves to come to your practice. Thank their parents for choosing to help their kids have better, healthier, and straighter teeth. Let them know how much it means to you that they’ve entrusted their child’s dental health into your capable hands. 4. Give thanks to your community Your community can be thanked on almost any level. Maybe it means sending a “thank you” to city hall; maybe you’ll be acknowledging a local board or committee. Or maybe you’ll be expressing your gratitude to a professional organization. Your practice and business belong to a variety of communities, though, and each of those would love to be acknowledged this season. 5.... read more

Kid’s Care Week is Coming Up! How do you “Make a Difference”?

Kid’s Care Week is coming up! Every October, kids nationwide come together to do service, educate each other, or otherwise do whatever they can to “Make a Difference!” This year, Kid’s Care Week is October 26-November 1, with October 27th being “Make a Difference” Day. So what can you, as a practice, do to support the kids in this important work? Our Kid’s Care Week Ideas for Your Practice Give them a list of service suggestions Kids don’t always know right off hand what they can do to help – or where they should help. Give them a list of ideas. Let them come in and offer to tutor other patients – especially those patients who could use a little extra help before the end of the school year! As a community influence, we’re certain that you’re going to know of a wide variety of important ways to serve others. Help them become educational influencers Some of the kids will invariably want to help educate others on important causes. Well, what’s more important than dental hygiene? Let some kids help you create new educational brochures, flyers, or artwork that can be proudly displayed in your offices! Schedule a large service project Parks always need attention. Trees always need planting. Certain areas in town always need cleaning. Why not put this week to good use and schedule some much-needed community TLC and let the kids help? Not only will they be helping for kid’s care week, but they’ll be learning some awesome community pride, too. Keep an in-office list of suggestions – by other kids! We’re sure that there are... read more

Building Community through Celebrating Birthdays!

Now, we hope that you’re making a big deal about your patients’ birthdays. It’s a great way to build a solid relationship with them. That’s not the birthday we’re talking about today, though. We’re talking about celebrating birthdays – as in the birthday (okay, anniversary) of your practice! Why make celebrating birthdays or anniversaries part of your practice? There’s a few great reasons to do so: it’s a great way to mark big milestones or growth, reinforce credibility and maturity as an established practice, and to reinforce or build your brand or image. In other words, those years that you’ve been at that location? That’s something to celebrate. Having to move to a bigger location to better accomodate all of your patients? Also something to celebrate! Here’s a few of our favorite ways to celebrate! Send Presents No birthday is complete without presents. Company birthdays are a great time to not only recognize employees with presents, but also a great time to send presents to your patients and their families – especially if those presents are something that gets them coming back in through your doors! Offer a special promotion, discount, or voucher as your present Not only does this make a great way to celebrate, it’s also a great way to generate some extra buzz and traffic as people come to celebrate with you! Run a contest or a “Caption this!” Winning a contest is always fun and a great way to generate some interest. One of our favorite contest options is a “Caption this!” contest. Take a photo and offer a prize to whomever can come up with... read more

National Field Trip Month: celebrate with a field trip!

Thanks to the simple fact that each month has several different celebrations, there’s a TON of great ideas to pull from each and every month! Not only is October Health Literacy Month, it’s also National Field Trip Month. Here are a few great ways to get into the field trip spirit this month! 3 ways to celebrate National Field Trip Month: Host a Field Trip for your Patients If you’re lucky enough to have a great local museum or there’s a family-friendly movie playing, why not sponsor a practice-wide field trip to that location? Not only will your patients love it, but their families will love that you’re thinking of them beyond just their teeth. Plus, you’ll probably get some extra bonus points (at least with their parents) if it’s educational in nature. Sponsor an in-school Field Trip Sometimes, taking an actual field trip simply doesn’t make sense for a particular school – or grade. In those cases, it may be more realistic to host an in-school outing – in the school multi-purpose room or gymnasium. In those instances, your practice could put on a skit, bring out some of the fun (or scary!) looking dental equipment or tools, and otherwise educate and entertain the students for a short time. They’ll love being out of class, the community will love the outreach, and everyone will love getting to see your practice in action. Block Out a Field Trip – to Your Practice! If you’ve got the time and ability, another great idea is to sponsor a field trip – to your practice’s office! Not only is it a great... read more

How to Celebrate Health Literacy Month in Style

Your patients probably aren’t going to be too thrilled that October is Health Literacy Month, even if we both know the huge importance of it. That’s because they haven’t learned how to celebrate it in style! Together, we can change that and help everyone have a healthier October – especially as everyone gets excited for Halloween. Sharing Health Literacy in Your Office Now, we know that you’ve already got great literature to give to your patients and their families in the forms of handouts, brochures, and reminders. But what if we, for the month of October, really made an effort to make sure that some of that literature got read – or even remembered? Maybe that means that your office prints the health reminders on tooth pillows. Or maybe that your staff plays charades with your patients – using words from the dental hygiene brochure that nobody’s picked up (let alone read!) in months. Maybe they’ll read it for their next visit – so that they can beat their high score! Getting Health Literacy in Your Community We’ve heard of several dental and orthodontic practices that really take health literacy seriously in Octobers. Not only do they put out extra flyers, put out extra ads in local papers or websites, but they’re doing something beyond just providing the extra education. Many of these practices are providing a Candy Exchange Program for Halloween! After the kids collect their ridiculous amounts of treats for Halloween, the kids can come swap their candy at selected practices for small prizes, big prizes, or maybe even some tooth-themed gear. The practices that we’ve seen do... read more

Delight Your Patients (and Parents!) by Sponsoring a Homework Corner

While your patients may not mind procrastinating their homework for an appointment, their parents may! That or you may have noticed a few overachieving patients who bring their homework to appointments rather than risk falling behind. In either case, there are two constants: your practice and their homework. Why not combine these two unlikely partners to better help your patients? Have your Staff Tutor Patients You’re already teaching your patients important dental hygiene and care. Why not throw in some American History or Basic Algebra for good measure? Your practice is full of knowledgable people. If each one of you offers help in even a single area (of your choosing), you’ll most likely have all of the basics – and then some! – covered. When your patients come in, let them know you, and your staff, are there to help them better understand their studies. They’ll love the homework help and you’ll have their undivided attention! Sponsor a Dedicated in-office Tutor As things get busier, it may be more realistic to go from having your staff double as tutors to having a seasonal, in-office tutor. Seasonal could be just for a few weeks around the start of the school year, during the first semester, or the entire school year. If school is year-round in your area, maybe you want to upgrade the “seasonal” tutor to a year-round one. Especially if this extra service is a huge hit! Sponsoring a Homework Corner If tutoring, or having a tutor, isn’t up your alley, there’s still another option. What about sponsoring a homework corner? Turn one corner of your waiting room into... read more