How to Attract New Patients to Your Dental Practice
If your clinic hasn’t quite reached the heights you were imagining when you started it, you may be wondering how to attract new patients to your dental practice. There are many different marketing tricks you could use to become the go-to dentist in your town. On the one hand, you can stick to the old-fashioned method of stuffing flyers into mailboxes. Alternatively, you could try dental SEO marketing in Chicago, IL, which has been an effective technique for other local businesses.
Whichever strategy you decide to apply, the goal will be the same. You just need to focus on getting as many new dental patients as possible. With that being said, we can’t recommend any marketing strategy before we consider the factors that may hinder your chances. So before we list some of the ways to get new patients into a dental office, let’s do a simple SWOT analysis.
A SWOT matrix is a planning tool that will help us determine the strengths and weaknesses of your dental clinic. On top of that, this model should also reveal the external opportunities for growth you may not be taking advantage of. Lastly, it’ll allow us to see the threats your business is facing.
Before we continue brainstorming your dental marketing strategy, take the time to enter these variables into the equation. Make a two by two grid with the internal and external positives — strengths and opportunities — on the left. Put the drawbacks — weaknesses and threats — on the right, and consider the results.
Remember, the point of this prelude is to figure out what sets your business apart from the competition. Once you do that, you can apply the things you learned to various dental marketing tricks from our list.
The Best Ways to Get New Patients Into a Dental Office
Now that we know the strengths and opportunities we’re playing to and the weaknesses and threats we’re trying to avoid, it’s time to strategize. These are some of the dental marketing ideas new patients are sure to take notice of.
Take Good Care of the Patients You Have
Even though the point of this guide is to learn how to attract new patients to your dental practice, the first thing we’ll recommend is to pay attention to the ones you have. After all, the best way to market your business these days is through word of mouth. Treating your patients well will always pay off in positive referrals and online reviews. But how can you ensure that you’re giving each patient all you’ve got?
Well, there are two basic rules to being a good dentist. First, you should be friendly and approachable. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t want to revisit dentists whose social skills were lacking. Secondly — and rather obviously — you should be a skillful professional.
Being aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the dentists that work at your clinic is a great way to ensure that all of your patients are receiving the care they need. If one dentist isn’t entirely skilled at creating veneers, pass the patient off to a dentist that can do it more competently.
You should also be clear about the services you’re able to provide. Don’t advertise as a clinic that’s capable of creating dentures if you don’t have the equipment to do it. Aside from that, a good way to show that you’re both a responsible dentist and a good communicator is to set up automatic notifications for patients’ checkups.
Since everyone loves a good deal, offering various discounts is one of the best ways to get new dental patients. There are plenty of sites and newspapers that let you advertise different kinds of deals. On the other hand, you could use your site, social media profiles, or digital newsletter to notify people of the discounts you offer. Or, if none of those options work, just print out some flyers and pass them around.
If you really want to attract new clients, come up with special discounts for first-time patients. For example, you can offer discounts for teeth whitening treatments or Invisalign trays. Additionally, you can bundle certain services (like oral exams, cleaning treatments, and X-rays) and market them at reduced prices.
Set up Clear Signs in Front of Your Office
If you’re trying to attract locals, make your office visible. Invest in eye-catching signage like window graphics. Whatever you do, don’t try to make your own promotional materials unless you have design experience. The results are usually underwhelming at best, and drive away potential patients at their worst.
Your signage should be visible to passers-by and people in vehicles, so it should be bright, and most importantly, legible. It needs to advertise your services and make your business seem professional at a glance.
Set Up a Fantastic Site
Even in this day and age, some dental clinics are still using the same websites they set up in 2010. If you’re trying to attract new dental patients, that simply won’t do. So if you happen to have some disposable income, we recommend that you use it to spruce up that old site.
Hire someone to make your site more functional and engaging. Take photos of the reception area, waiting room, and the dental units themselves. People who are looking for new dentists often want to see what the office looks like before they commit to so much as a free checkup.
If you have a bigger budget, have your website designer put in a blog section as well. That will allow you to use SEO for your dental marketing.
Post Localized SEO Content
SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been around for about as long as Google has existed. Simply put, using general professional terms as well as local versions of the same keywords will make it possible for potential patients to find your services. The goal is to have your site come up the next time someone searches for “best teeth whitening in Chicago.”
Just be careful not to sound like you’re advertising your business too much. That tends to turn people off — so try to post informative content instead.
Now, you could find out more about SEO and try to come up with the topics and keywords on your own. But since you presumably already have a full-time job as a dentist, we recommend outsourcing that particular task.
Use Social Media Platforms to Your Advantage
There are plenty of different ways to market your business on social media. You can opt for the traditional route and pay for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, or Google. Alternatively, you can try to create educational and entertaining content.
Many health professionals have managed to break through on Twitter, TikTok, and even Youtube. You just need some original ideas and a working knowledge of hashtags. Before you know it, you’ll have patients flocking to your office to get their underbite fixed by “that dentist from the Internet.”
How to Attract New Patients to Your Dental Practice — Build a Brand
Ultimately, learning how to attract new patients to your dental practice isn’t the tough part. Implementing the tips we’ve discussed may take some effort — as well as money.
Still, you have one thing that’s always going to be free — your expertise. Even if you don’t make a name for yourself on the Internet, you can always offer your skills in other places.
See if any of the local schools or community centers will let you host an educational session or even perform free exams. If not, try to find a newspaper or TV show that’s looking for a resident dental health expert. Before you know it, your business will be booming!