Dental Marketing 101: 3 Ways to Grow Your Practice on Any Budget

There are several ways to grow your dental practice. Some of them require an investment of money. Others require only time. And some require both.

No matter how tight your budget is, however, you can invest in dental marketing and start growing your practice by focusing on these three categories of marketing.

1. Direct-to-Patient Promotions

High-impact direct-to-patient promotions should be designed to do a combination of building loyalty, getting referrals, and expanding your business with current and future patients. One of the best ways to connect with your patients is through an email or physical newsletter. A patient newsletter doesn’t have to be long, but it’s a great way to deliver a few pieces of news, an update on your practice, and a list of events, activities, or community involvement. It’s also a place where you can highlight great patient accomplishments, which you would share on social media as well. This helps connect you with your patients, remain top of mind, and update them on your practice and any promotions or programs they might be interested in joining.

Examples of programs or promotions you might include in your newsletter are toy drives, contests, giveaways, discounts on luxury services for patients to try, senior specials, and running a fun kids’ club.

Another great direct-to-patient promotion you can highlight in your newsletter is a referral rewards program. Giving a small gift card, a credit for future services, or an additional service, like a basic teeth whitening, if they refer a new patient are great ways to encourage people to refer their friends and family. Make sure to check your state board so you see what's allowed. These direct-to-patient promotions don’t have to cost much at all and can be very effective.

2. Community Promotions

Community promotions are a great way to build your reputation with influencers and connect with people whom your current patients aren’t connected.

Community promotion activities can be as simple as updating and distributing brochures, creating practice videos that you put online and promote to people in your community, attending, hosting, or creating events like a family night during Children’s Dental Health Month that people in your community can attend.

In addition, you could connect with other businesses to form strategic alliances to refer patients or offer a special promotion to each other’s patients or customers. You could run ads on Facebook or other social media platforms, in print, or on the radio or TV. Finally, you could reach out to businesses and schools in your community and offer to talk with them about dental health. Community connections can turn into patients or referral sources very quickly.

3. Dentist and Team Promotional Activities

Dentist and team promotional activities are things you and your team do in your office and through direct outreach to people who aren’t patients, such as specialists or pediatricians.

These activities are helpful because they can open doors to people who influence large numbers of patients, such as specialists or pediatricians and can build information, including testimonials, which can be used in future marketing efforts.

Examples of these activities include:

·      sending brochures or other materials to dental specialists or pediatricians,

·      conducting an internal campaign to get reviews or testimonials from happy patients that you can share with others,

·      conducting tours of your Delivering WOW office for influencers, patients, and the general public, and

·      team-building and learning activities, such as helping your team members prepare elevator pitches about why patients love your dental practice.

These activities help keep your practice top of mind with key influencers and show people what makes your practice so special and unique from your patients’ perspective so influencers feel confident referring patients to you and patients know they’re going to be treated like a VIP by you and your team.

Pulling it All Together

No matter what your budget is, I recommend every practice engage in one or two activities from each of these categories every month. For example, next month you might launch a physical or email newsletter where you promote a patient giveaway. You might also attend a senior event in your community and conduct a campaign to collect reviews or testimonials from happy customers. This opens communication with your patients with a giveaway, rather than asking for something in your first newsletter. At the same time, you will be connecting with your community and building reviews or testimonials to help you promote your practice in the future.

The next month you might promote your referral rewards program in your patient newsletter, speak to a preschool, and deliver brochures to five specialists.

I like to plan my marketing activities at least 12 months at a time. This 12-month picture helps me make sure I’m consistently engaging in each of these three ways to grow my practice.

I also created a Google spreadsheet that includes a sample 12-month marketing calendar, a list of 84 marketing strategies that fall into these categories, and a budgeting tool to help evaluate the return on investment for each activity.

When you’re starting out, I recommend investing five to seven percent of your revenue into marketing activities. If that’s not a possibility right now, start with as much as you can and focus on some of the lower-cost activities. When you find activities that are working consistently, you can begin increasing your budget and directing the additional money into the activities that are proven to work with your practice.

If you need help with getting started, I invite you to join me on the inside of Delivering WOW U, You'll have access to a detailed training on creating a 12-month dental marketing plan, plus access to the strategy spreadsheet, 12-month marketing template spreadsheet, and budgeting tool. You also have access to the Delivering WOW U forums where you can connect with me and other dentists building their practices to get ideas, support, and feedback on your dental marketing calendar and activities.

3 Skills Every Dentist Needs To Build a Thriving Dental Practice

What would it feel like to build a thriving dental practice that runs so smoothly you can make more money than you ever have while working less than you ever have?

What would it mean to you and your family to know your income is predictable and controllable, in good markets and bad?

All of that's possible, but before you can build a practice like that, you'll need to develop three essential skills.


With these three skills, you'll have all the skills you need to grow a thriving dental practice:

1. Top-quality dental skills

Patients expect their dentists to take great care of their teeth. As basic as it sounds, if you don't do good work, news will spread and you'll struggle to get new patients. This can't be overlooked. Everyone who serves patients needs to be very good at what they do.

2. Business Skills

Without basic business skills, you'll struggle to do what it takes to make more money in less time. To avoid that, it's important that you develop basic business skills that include delegation, leveraging resources, hiring, evaluating, and firing team members, patient relations, profitability analysis, sales and marketing, reading basic financial statements, and strategic planning.

There's no need to go back to school to get a formal business degree, but I do suggest you read at least one new business book right away and then at least another new business book every year, even if it's an audiobook you listen to on your commute.

I also suggest you subscribe to at least one relevant business podcast, network with successful practice owners online or in person, hire an executive coach to help you and hold you accountable, or find a mentor who's willing to share their knowledge and advice with you.

3. Leadership Skills

You can't have a strong team without a strong leader. Leadership skills are critical to scaling your practice because you can have the most sophisticated systems and processes in place, but your dental practice will only be as strong as the team implementing them. To build a strong, trustworthy team and then empower them to work independently, you'll need to learn how to listen and communicate effectively, influence, motivate, and encourage others, make wise decisions, and work in teams.

 Developing these leadership skills will help you get the best out of your team and build the trust necessary for you to empower them to run your practice without you needing to do everything. As with business skills, I suggest you continuously work on improving your leadership skills no matter how strong a leader you already are. The best leaders in the world consistently work on improving their leadership skills. You should too.

 Again, you don't need a formal degree, however I do suggest you read at least one new leadership book every year, subscribe to at least one leadership podcast, attend leadership conferences, network with strong leaders online or in person, hire an executive coach to help you and hold you accountable, or find a mentor who has strong leadership skills and is willing to share their knowledge and guidance.


Developing these three skills will position you to build a profitable dental practice doesn't doesn't need you to do everything in order to make money.

 Your dental skills will serve your clients well. Your business skills with help you plan and execute well. And your leadership skills will empower your team to operate without you so you can build a practice that helps you make more and work less!

Dental SEO: The Next Era of Marketing for Dentists. Publish or Perish

It’s been said that marketing is everything.  If that’s true, clinical skills, social skills, and marketing skills traditionally thought as compartmentalized are slowly giving way to each other.  I believe that in the next 10-15 years we will start to see a whole new kind of dentist become wildly successful.

What kind of dentist is poised to succeed?

The dentist who can start to think of herself in an entirely new way.  The dentist that values relationships in more capacities than simply face to face.  Where traditional face to face relationships are being supplanted by content-driven experiences.  Social media is an example of one such model that has changed the way we build relationships between brands and consumers.  The quality of content you publish impacts how much of a connection prospective patients will have with your brand.

Just as the telephone changed the way people communicate, so have other technologies.  Texting is a major disruptor.  Would you have ever guessed 20 years ago that you’d be using software to auto-remind your patients on little mobile devices that their cleaning is tomorrow?

But that’s not all…

We’re heading into a new era of dental marketing.  I’m talking about a tectonic shift in the way people decide if you’re the dentist for them.  One where knowing how and why people choose a dentist is something you absolutely must understand.  Discussions about publishing content which changes the way patients feel towards you will take over the myopic SEO, PPC, direct mail, blogging and other alphabet soup topics that dentists have today.  The discussion will revolve around how to create a content-driven experience that attracts and educates patients who come to know, like, and trust you.  The roundtable discussion will involve marketing professionals of all kinds, and the topic will be becoming remarkable.

What’s one thing you can count on, if you take this approach?

You’ll rank higher in search engines, if you have the right strategy.  And knowing how to do dental SEO doesn’t need to be overwhelming.  A step by step strategy must be formed, and that starts with going from a reader of articles, to a publisher of articles.  The next era of dental marketing is simple: publish or perish.

The first step:

Find opportunities to publish on other people’s platforms.  They’ll appreciate the content you provide, as long as it benefits their audience.  This can be specialists you refer to, other business owners in your neighborhood that know you, friends with relevant blogs, and editors at local media outlets.

The next step:

Create the content, or hire someone to help you.  Even if you’re not a writer, you can verbally explain a few concepts to a professional writer.  A great writer, photographer, podcaster, or video producer will be able to take clinical-speak and technical details and form them into an engaging story or catchy, informative article.

The final step:

Earn a link from this person you offered content to.  This video from Google’s Webmaster Tools Spokesman Matt Cutts explains that Google views a link from a credible source can improve your Google rankings:

Click here to watch the video

The more useful information you publish on other’s websites, the more often you can earn links.

What it means to your new patient flow:

SEO isn’t the only way you’ll attract new patients doing this.  You will also develop an audience on that platform.  One that you can eventually bring back to your blog, when you’ll begin to receive offers from guest bloggers.  Just like Facebook ads can help you draw an audience back to your website, this is one more audience you can persuade to hop into the virtual version of your dental office.

Inertia will ensue, making you the go-to informational resource that every winning dentist will strive to be.  If you can be the one dentist in your community to pioneer this approach, you’ll be much more likely to take the lead as the informational resource you need to be.  And it may be one of the few ways you can actually stand out from corporate dentistry.  Publish or perish.


Justin Morgan is an dental SEO Expert who helps dentists stand out through telling a unique story.  He is the Author of The Book on Dental Marketing, set to be released January 1st, 2017.  He can be found at

How Masterminds Can Fast Track Your Success And Help You Finish Well with Dr. Bill Williams


Dr. Bill Williams, the Author of Marketing of the Million Dollar Practice and the Founder of Solstice Dental Advisors has over 40 years experience in practice. He has built 2 multi-million dollar practices, and knows what works to be successful.

Through his Masterminds, he focuses on helping dentists to finish well by making smarter decisions of how they run their practice from day-to day.

He teaches:

  • How to double the value of your practice at retirement
  • The $10,000 Day A Dentist
  • Trust Building Techniques
  • Psychology of Sales
  • Team Dynamics: Getting the most out of your team
  • Cause Dentistry (being involved giving back, missions, charity clinics, free dental days, etc.)
  • Efficiency techniques to improve profits and lower overhead
  • KPI's: What they tell you – Ratios, Totals, Averages

In this episode, we discuss the importance of having the mindset of success if you want to multiply your profitability and efficiency. We discuss the role of marketing, and why all dentists need to have a strategic plan to market their practices. Bill shares tips for closing more cases, as well as his secrets to building multi-million dollar practices.

This is one episode that you don't want to miss!

Links In This Episode:

5M Mastermind

Solstice Dental Advisors

The Delivering WOW Facebook Group

How To Treatment Plan for Success with Andre Shirdan


Andre is an author, inspirational speaker, coach and certified trainer. He is the Creator of The CREW Process, and co-creator of the periodontal StatCk (Stat Check). Today, Andre celebrates close to 30 years in dentistry and the practices using his CREW Process have found great personal success.  Andre is known to be motivational, genuine, down-to-earth, frank and devilishly funny.

In this Episode, Andre and I discuss what is takes to be successful in getting your patients to accept treatment plans. Andre gives special focus to the area of treatment planning in the area of Periodontal services.

Here's what we cover:

  • Why so many patients have a hard time accepting their Periodontal treatment plans.
  • Why every dental office needs a clinical protocol for diagnosing periodontal disease.
  • What common mistakes dentist making as it relates to treatment planning periodontal treatment.
  • The role of verbal and diagnostic skills
  • What it takes to have better conversion on treatment plans

Andre also discusses his revolutionary approach to systematizing the diagnostic process, based on A, B, C, D's

A- Asymptomatic

B- Bleeding


D- Depth/Disease

F- Failing

Click Here To Get a FREE Copy of The Stat Check!

How To Implement No Cost Strategies to Build Your Brand Through Strategic Alliances

A great way to build your brand and grow your practice is through strategic alliances. Strategic alliances allow you to gain access to people and resources you may not otherwise be able to access.

In a strategic alliance, you team up with another business or organization to do a project or certain initiative together. You agree to share resources so you can both gain access to whatever resources you feel you cannot get alone.

For instance, you might develop a strategic alliance with a bridal shop. You might offer a 50 percent discount on teeth whitening certificate to all brides who schedule an appointment and mention the postcard or flyer they got from the bridal shop. The bridal shop gets to offer brides a greatly discounted gift in the form of teeth whitening. You get the opportunity to land a new customer. The bride gets the chance to put on her best smile for her special day.

Teaming up in this way with a bridal shop is a perfect fit for your dental practice, as brides are often in the market for cosmetic dentistry.

Another alliance that we set up was with a top local sushi restaurant. They designed an electronic coupon for a free dessert for our patients to receive during their birthday month. We include this “gift” to our patients with the auto responder that goes out to our patients on their birthdays. It is a win-win-win. Our patients get a free gift, the restaurant gets more customers, and we are able to add value to our patients without paying a thing.

You can get creative when considering strategic alliances. Look at what you can provide to the other side, and what you expect to receive. It’s important that both sides are receiving value; otherwise the alliance will not work.

A strategic alliance can help you to grow your practice in a significant way, as you gain new customers, resources, and other benefits of joining forces with another organization.

How To Create a Strategic Alliance:

To set up a strategic alliance, contact a company in your area who has a similar target customer as one who you would have as a patient in your practice.  Let them know that you believe that there is a good fit for your practices to work together to grow or enhance both businesses.

Yes, some businesses won't be willing, but the answer is 100% no from those who you don't ask!

What's Next?

Join the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout, my FREE Facebook Group to Join Other Dentists Are Getting Results by Taking Action! On the inside you will get direct access to Dr. Holmes as well as past podcast guests to help you scale up and get results!

Click Here to Join Now!

How to Achieve Your #1 Goal in 100 Days with John Lee Dumas

Every year I kick off the New Year saying this will be the best year ever. And guess what, it always is. The #1 reason why I'm so confident is that I plan for success. I set goals! I am so thrilled that you have decided to follow my podcast. I am committed to bringing high-quality guests: Top Experts in Dentistry and Non- Dental Entrepreneurs. This podcast will always deliver!

I'm going to kick off 2016 with a topic which can change not only your path of success but also your life, I’m going to kick off the new year with some advice from John Lee Dumas.  After hosting over 1200 interviews on his award-winning podcast EOFire with successful entrepreneurs, John is definitely an authority on what it takes to achieve business success.

In this Episode, John and I discuss the importance of setting goals. John shares his story of success, including what makes his podcast unique, which system has helped him to focus on what matters most, and how he built his massive brand.  John also shares his passion project. It’s called the Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your Goals in 100 Days. It’s a hardbound, 300-page physical book that walks you step by step through the process of not only setting a goal but accomplishing it within 100 days.

The #1 Reason Entrepreneurs Succeed?
They SET and ACCOMPLISH Goals.

The Freedom Journal is YOUR accountability partner and will guide you through the process of setting and accomplishing your #1 goal in 100 days.

The Freedom Journal will:

  • Guide you through establishing a SMART goalS – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Relevant
    T – Timely
  • Hold you accountable for 100 days with…Daily – Affirmations, quotes, tasks, and resources;
    Sprints – 10 day sprints to accomplish mini-goals;
    Quarterly Review – Check status every 25 days.
  • Help you establish & maintain a goal-oriented mindsetEntrepreneurs fail because they don't have someone to check in with them – to help hold them accountable to doing what they say they'll do.Now you do.

    Let The Freedom Journal guide you on your journey to success. Let The Freedom Journal guide you on your journey to success. And everytime a funding goal is met, Pencils of Promise will get a donation of $25,000 to build a school in a developing country.

    Ready to accomplish your goal in 100 days? 


Links mentioned in this episode:

John Lee Dumas

Entrepreneur On Fire

The Freedom Journal

How To Get the Best ROI From Your TEAM

For many dentists, labor costs are one of the biggest expenses incurred. However, it's interesting how many dentists don't work to turn their employees into a profitable return on investment. If the dentist is not a strong leader, who is committed to building a great team and setting a clear path to achieving the vision of the practice, profits are escaping every day.  To turn your team into an investment, you've got to be a great leader who can build a team that is committed to helping the practice grow, knows what to do, and performs.

Strong leaders have an ability to inspire others, to build other leaders. They are able to paint a picture of how big the possibilities are for reaching massive goals, and enlist their employees to help them exceed them. Strong leaders give clear directions of their expectations and ensure that their employees know what to do. They are not afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, or to speak up when an employee is not performing. They inspire action.

To be a better leader for your team, share your goals and your vision. Make sure that your team knows what they, as well as you, are working for. Make sure that they understand that through your practice, everyone can achieve their personal dreams. If the business is profitable, everyone wins. A profitable practice means that EVERYONE is doing something right. It means that you have an office culture that is different and unique. It means that you have great systems for consistency. It means that you have a great brand. This level of success can not be achieved with you alone. You need your team. A team which can overdeliver and wow.  

Some dentists know that there are people who are not a great culture fit for their practice, but they keep them. They are too afraid to speak up. As a result, their practice will never reach its maximum potential and other employees don't see them as strong leaders. 

That being said, once you have your dream team, invest in their success. Carve out time for weekly lunch and learn/ practice growth sessions, provide your team with kindles and purchase books for them for their personal development. Reward them with awesome team building activities off site, and reward them with bonuses from profits!

Team members need to know that they are there to perform specific tasks to help the business grow. They are not there to hang out for the day and collect a paycheck. They need to know that if you wanted to or were able to perform their tasks, you could keep their wage and do it yourself. However, for any business to grow, it must leverage employees to scale up and accomplish more. Dentists must ensure that their team has specific directions of which tasks they must perform, and they must be held accountable. Take the time to have your best team members create manuals for their positions so future new hires have checklists of all of what they must do. These manuals should include photos of setups for operatories and trays, links to training videos that they must watch in your practice management software, and scripts of how common questions should be answered.

What this team looks like is one which brainstorms on growth strategies. This team prevents waste and negotiates with suppliers to get the best cost. This team is an advocate for the practice and helps to bring in new patients while they are out in the community. This team, in turn, is not an expense, but an investment.  

Invest in being a better leader and in giving your team the tools to soar, and they will return massive dividends!


Dr. Anissa Holmes, a Global leader in Social Media Marketing, and owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, helps dentists and small business owners receive massive growth through developing their culture, systems and brand.

Dr. Holmes, through her podcast, The Delivering WOW Dental Podcast and her book Delivering WOW- How Dentists Can Build a Fascinating Brand And Achieve More While Working Less, shares tips for designing a unique business culture to deliver a “Wow” experience every time, strategies to triple leads and new customers as well as strategies to build an amazing team.