Are you a dentist who just recently opened up your own private practice? If this is so, then congratulations — you have taken a wonderful leap into a very exciting journey that will reap you with rewards that you will never achieve working for somebody else. But before you get to the time that you’re making a bundle coming to work several days a week, you have to first go through the dreaded startup period that every dentist deals with. During this stage, you have just a single challenge facing you: strategies of marketing for dentists in order to be able to bring in new patients on a steady basis. Each patient is worth tens of thousands of dollars during their lifetime, because once they’re a patient of yours, the majority of them will keep returning for any dental assistance they would need.
Most dentists who just opened up their own clinic will do the traditional advertising for their practice: buy a large advertisement in the Yellow Pages as well as buy large space ads in the local newspaper. While these advertising methods play a part, there is no doubt that their effectiveness is slowly declining as time goes on. Less and less people are using the phone directory as a means of looking for local services, and the newspaper industry is desperately struggling to keep going as they continue to lose their readership to online sources. Undoubtedly these methods will still bring in a trickle of new patients; however, it would be foolish to solely rely on them as your one and only source of marketing.
So what can you do? I highly urge that you consider developing an online campaign. The people who stopped using the phone directory have shifted their searches online. For example, a resident of North Vancouver will go to a search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing and search “North Vancouver dentist” in order to find a dentist to go to. If you build a website that talks about your practice and discusses your services (whether it’s teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, cosmetic dentistry, and everything else), you can optimize this site for those local keywords allowing yourself to be found when these people search the Internet. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of dental-related searches in your local area, so be sure not to miss out on the amount of new patients the Internet can bring you.