Expand your dental practice with these tips from the American Orthodontic Society.
Pediatric dentistry is a rewarding and exciting career. You have the opportunity to help shape and encourage early dental hygiene habits in your pint-sized patients, which can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Are you looking to expand your dental practice and bring even more families through your doors? If so, then there are several ways you can jump start the growth you want to see.
Today, we’re sharing 8 effective strategies to help you get started. We’ll also explain how courses offered through the American Orthodontic Society can help you sharpen your technical and clinical skills along the way.
1. Ask for reviews.
Glowing, happy parents are the best marketing tool your dental practice could ever hope for. As soon as possible after their child comes in for a visit, ask them to leave a review on your website or social media page.
There are many different review apps you can use to make this step fast, easy, and stress-free. By following up with an email and a link once they leave your office, you can encourage parents to share their sentiments while the visit is still fresh on their minds.
Studies show that 84% of people trust online testimonials as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members, which demonstrates the enduring power of word-of-mouth marketing!
2. Create clubs for kids.
Want to encourage kids at your dental practice to get excited about their upcoming visit? Create a dental club where they always feel welcomed, cherished, and celebrated.
Clubs give kids a sense of belonging, and help ramp up their excitement. This can help calm feelings of dental anxiety, especially in small children.
Give your club a simple name, and keep the materials simple and on their level. In addition to putting up bulletin boards and flyers around your office, don’t forget to take the action online, too!
Provide activities that your patients can work on to earn prizes, such as completing an at-home dental hygiene checklist, keeping up their grades, or just participating in the program! If you want to keep it purely digital, you can assign points to each activity, and patients can “cash in” their points in an online store as they complete them.
3. Offer special services at your dental practice.
Another way to grow your pediatric dental practice is to expand into new territories. Have you considered adding special services, such as basic orthodontics, to your realm of expertise?
Think about it. As a practicing dentist, you’ve already established a loyal patient base, so you aren’t starting from scratch. That’s a good thing, as research shows that it costs five times as much money to bring in new clients as it does to keep existing ones!
By adding orthodontic services, you’ll be able to keep your current patients happy and even more engaged. In turn, they’ll become your greatest champions.
We offer a range of different in-person and online orthodontics courses designed to help you expand your skill set, refine your knowledge, and grow your competencies in this area. Take a look at our full course list to learn more.
4. Stay active on social media.
It isn’t enough to simply create a profile on Facebook or Instagram, post on it a few times a month, and expect to see an uptick in engagement. To grow your dental practice, you’ll need to stay active on these platforms and keep your followers involved through frequent posts, shares, and comments.
To get more eyes on your content, consider using the “live” feature on your social media site to share real-time videos of your team members at work. You can also snap pics and upload them right in the moment.
For comparison’s sake, studies show that Facebook Live videos generate six times as many interactions as traditional videos. Viewers love feeling like they’re there in person, even if they’re just scrolling their feed from miles away.
5. Make sure your website is easy to use.
Your dental practice website might look sleek and beautiful, but is it easy to use and intuitive to navigate? If not, then you could be losing a sizable number of prospective patients. There are many elements that can boost the user experience (UX) on your site. These include:
- Establishing a cohesive design.
- Creating a sitemap.
- Writing creative, clear content.
- Performing usability testing during the design phase.
While you’re at it, make sure your site is mobile-responsive, too. That means it works just as well on a handheld smart device as it does on a desktop. More than half (53%) of mobile users will abandon a site in three seconds if it’s slow or clunky to load, so this is definitely a feature to prioritize.
6. Keep content fresh.
Do you write and share blog posts to your pediatric dentistry website? You’re a local expert in your field, and people in your community are interested in your insights.
Not only does fresh, high-quality content help establish you as an industry thought leader, but it can also give you a boost on Google, too. Maintaining a regularly updated blog is a great way to boost your site’s search engine optimization, or SEO.
When online users ask a question that your blog content can answer, Google sees your site as relevant and informative. In turn, it moves you higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The first page of Google captures more than 90% of all internet search traffic, so it’s time to start writing!
7. Offer discounts at your dental practice.
Sometimes, the price of dental care can prevent patients (or their parents) from scheduling appointments. By offering special discounts or seasonal promotions, you can help offset this financial burden.
Promote the discount ahead of time and make sure your staff members are available to answer any questions and explain the details. Share it across your social media sites and encourage your followers to get the word out.
In the same vein, if your dental practice offers any type of payment plan, make sure your current and prospective patients know about it. These programs can make the cost of dental care more affordable and accessible.
8. Create a referral incentive plan.
Referrals are one of the easiest and most effective ways to bring more patients to your pediatric dental practice. To encourage more people to tell others about your team, create an incentive plan that rewards their efforts.
From discounts on future services to free practice swag, there are many different types of promotions you can offer. While a majority of business owners say their referrals come from social media, other avenues include email, business cards, and verbal recommendations.
Grow your dental practice with the American Orthodontic Society.
As you brainstorm ways to expand your dental practice, we’re here to help you succeed. Courses taken through the American Orthodontic Society can help prepare you for a dynamic and diverse career, delivering the insight and experience you need to grow. When you’re ready to get started, take a look at our available courses. Then, join today to dive in and get started!
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.