You’re more than a dentist – you’re a source of insight and information for your patients. How you view, establish, and share your expertise in your marketing can transform your practice.
Your patients naturally look to you for advice when it comes to their oral health. But by promoting your knowledge, you can build a wider audience and become a recognized dental expert, driving your marketing efforts.
Here are three tips on how to build and execute a thought leadership strategy that will build your influence and attract new patients to your dental practice.
1. Publish and share content that answers questions
Content is king. But your content’s reach is limited to how many people are looking for it – in other words, how useful it is..
Content creation, at its foundation, is about listening. Listen to what your patients are asking you. Listen to the problems they’re seeking solutions for, and use that to guide your content strategy.
Your most valuable expertise is your ability to diagnose your patient’s oral health condition and educate them in a way that compels them to agree to treatment.
Published (online or offline) content doesn’t sleep, travel, vacation, or keep office hours. It’s available 24/7 to answer your patient’s questions and solve their problems. Therein is it’s value.
Blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, video, social media, and email are all publishing powerhouses. Use them to stoke your expertise, and experiment with different formats to see what works best.
2. Teach your team to be an extension of you
This goes beyond a “corporate mission statement.” Gone are the days of lock-step adherence to a pre-fab set of company values.
Release team members from the restraints of merely doing what you once said in an employee handbook. Rather, teach them to be an extension of your passion for patient care during their personal patient interactions.
Give them permission to listen and leverage their perspective to serve patients. Your patients will naturally associate this cohesiveness with your practice as a whole, in tandem with your expertise.
Influence flows from you, to your team, to your patients. It’s an endlessly effective cycle for patient care.
3. Trend towards engagement, not promotion
Yes, the idea of engagement is trendy. But don’t let that keep you from its greater value.
Patients are accustomed to promotions, like referral discounts, giveaways, and more. However, their effectiveness as a marketing tool is not as strong as it used to be.
This is because they often don’t lead to consistent engagement, or build a connection with patients that convinces them to stay with you instead of shopping around for the next deal or discount.
You want patients to feel like you’re listening to them. A reputation for listening to patient concerns helps build engagement more than any giveaway or promotion.
Discover their pain points (whether through your everyday interactions or more formal research), and provide the answers they want. Take advantage of your expertise, and provide consistent content that helps patients feel empowered about their oral health.
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