If you’re just starting your dental practice, how long do you think it will take you to fill your chairs? One month? Two? Six? What if I told you that you could book out your start-up dental practice on a budget of less than $1,000?
Starting up a dental practice is an expensive project. Between equipment, supplies, team members, and your office space and build-out, many start-up practice owners become stretched financially.
So, how does anybody have enough money to get a start-up dental practice off the ground? If you follow these steps, you only need a little bit of money left. You just need to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and use Facebook to do things differently. Here’s all you need to do.
1. Start early and go live on Facebook.
If you want results—patients in your chairs, a profitable practice, people in your community talking about you and referring patients to you—you’re going to have to get out there and do things that might be a little bit scary at first.
The best way to start building your audience is to start early and go live on Facebook. Set up a Facebook page for your dental practice. This is new for many dentists, but it’s important. Most dentists aren’t very comfortable going live on Facebook. I wasn’t when I got started, but I knew it was important. So don’t wait until you build your audience. I still get nervous when I go live, but I’m much more comfortable now than when I began. But I knew you and other dentists needed to hear my message in order to build a better, more fulfilling practice.
I also know that your future patients need to hear your heart for changing lives through your practice. There’s a mom with kids who hate going to the dentist. There’s a mom who hates going to the dentist for herself! And you’re the person who can change that—but that can only happen if your patients know about you. Your community needs you, and they’re all on Facebook.
2. Speak from the heart.
Facebook provides you with an absolutely incredible opportunity to share your heart with thousands of people in your community. I’ve seen hundreds of start-ups tap into the power of Facebook to get new patients extremely quickly. So what do they do? They speak from the heart.
Go live, and share your excitement about your practice. Tell them your vision for your practice. Talk about why you went to dental school. Tell people why you’re launching your start-up, what your practice will look like when it’s open, and how your patients will feel when they come into your practice.
It won’t be perfect—and that’s okay. This video will show your community that you’re a real person, and that you’re building a practice to serve your community. Plus, once you’ve done your first Facebook Live video, you’ll never have to do your first Facebook Live video again.
3. Go live regularly.
After your first video, continue to build that momentum by going live once a week to talk about dental topics and updates on your practice. When you do this, you’ll position yourself as an expert while you’re building your video views and audience engagement.
The more videos you make, the more people will start to comment and share, and you’ll be able to use Facebook’s amazing tools to retarget those people later on for high-value services like implants and Invisalign.
If you have trouble thinking of what to talk about every time you go live, here are some ideas to get you started:
- How can I have a cavity if my tooth doesn’t hurt?
- Why do I need a crown—can’t I just have another filling done?
- The options to replace a missing tooth: denture vs. bridge vs. implant.
- Why do I need a root canal, and what does it mean to have a root canal?
- Why do my gums bleed? What is periodontal disease, and how can I treat it?
- There are whitening options for every mouth.
- Why do we get our teeth cleaned at the dentist vs. just brushing at home?
That’s nearly two months of Tooth Talk Topics, which will give you plenty of time to come up with more ideas on your own. And, you can ask the people who watch your videos to let you know in the comments what other topics they’d like you to cover.
4. Start running community engagement campaigns.
One you have begun to set yourself up as a trustworthy and reliable expert, you’re ready to start running what’s called community engagement campaigns.
Simply put, community engagement campaigns are promotions you host on Facebook to build relationships with people in your community. This gives you an opportunity to network in your area while attracting only potential patients to your promotion. For example, you could run a gift card giveaway with prizes donated by other local businesses. You could run a smile makeover competition to coincide with your grand opening. You could give away a $1,000 gift card or free tooth whitening for life, a 30-day floss challenge—the possibilities are truly endless.
Make sure the promotion involves local businesses or services in your office. If you give away an iPad or Amazon gift card, anyone around the world will sign up. Local businesses or in-office service focuses on potential patients in your area. Community engagement promotions help get positive attention on your practice and often fill up your schedule before you even open your doors. They are incredibly effective.
5. Set up custom Facebook audiences for future promotions.
Once you have started filling your chairs, be sure to set up Facebook ad targeting audiences for your dental practice. Setting up these audiences allows you to spend a few dollars promoting your videos to warm, engaged audiences.
It’s not hard to do, and with the right training, you can make sure that your videos are getting out in front of exactly the right people—the people who are going to start filling those chairs in your practice in the present and the future, and telling their friends to come, too.
Are you ready to fill your schedule even before you open the doors to your practice?
If you like the idea of getting all your spots booked out before you open the door, jump on Facebook, go live, and run community engagement campaigns. It’ll get people talking about you online and offline and help your phone start ringing with patients excited to get in your chair.
If you want help, join me for the Marketing and Practice Growth challenge, where you’ll learn exactly how to get your practice up and running the right way. And if you want to join a community of Dental Bosses just like you, I have a Facebook group where more than 1,000 Dental Bosses are already learning and growing. Join us in the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group if you want support and training as you grow your dental practice.