What’s more precious, money or time? The correct answer is both. When Jill and I founded Modern Dental Practice Marketing, we decided that we would invest in people as part of our business. First, I’ll tell you what we’re doing and what we’ve learned, then I’ll give you some practical ways to get involved with– and get new patients from– your community.
MDPM is a proud sponsor of the North Texas Hispanic Dental Association, a local branch of the Hispanic Dental Association. We built and maintain the NTHDA blog, Facebook page, and newsletter. In addition, we volunteered at the NTHDA’s booth at the Southwest Dental Conference, and just last weekend, we lent a hand at Give Kids a Smile. The NTHDA is made up of a wonderful, dedicated, and very generous group of dental professionals who value people above all else.
MDPM is also involved with the North Texas Dental Association. Throughout 2011, we will publish the NTDA quarterly newsletters. We work with the North Texas Latin American Physicians Association and will soon become active in the American Academy Oral Systemic Health. Jill is looking forward to being on the board and membership committees of various philanthropic dental organizations this year, as well.
Sure, being a part of these organizations makes us feel great. We love helping people! It’s also a great investment in our business. We’re networking and building relationships with like-minded professionals who also value philanthropy.
What does this have to do with YOU? Well, let me ask you, how involved are you with your community? Sponsoring a sports team is great, but unless you go to the games and let the team (and fans) know who you are, it’s not a great investment. In this way, time is just as important as money.
There are essential marketing services you need, and your time is not required for these: website, blog, newsletter, print ads, radio, TV, etc. However, we are in Generation G, and you need to get on board. Gone are the days of writing a donation check and getting a good return in the office. Today, you have to engage, get involved, show your generosity in more ways than offering cold, hard cash.
I’ve spoken to many dentists who take on a charity dental case, but don’t advertise it. They’re afraid they’ll be inundated with people wanting free dentistry. And it can happen! Some dentists are involved in their church, but don’t allow that side of their life to cross over into their dental office. Letting people know about your generosity and volunteering should be done deliberately, but in the right way. It takes a seasoned dental marketing professional to spin it in the right way.
There is nothing wrong with being involved in the community in the name of your business. Generation G is defined by a generation of consumers who want to do business with companies that are giving and generous. If your nature is to be giving and generous, you’re one step ahead.
I want to give you a few examples of engaging with your community through giving.
Sponsor a Team: Whether your favorite team is Little League or men’s softball, roller derby or stock car racing, sponsorship should mean more than paying to have your logo on team t-shirts. With your spouse or a few team members, show up to the events (at least once or twice a season) and have a tailgate party for the team. Hot dogs are cheap! Talk with the team members, their families, and fans. Tell them who you are and show them that you care.
Volunteer Together: Whether you host an event at your office, like Halloween Candy Buy Back or photos with Santa, or you volunteer at a community event, like a health fair, get the team involved. You need to be free to mingle with potential patients and show people that you’re involved while your team members manage the actual event. Plan to get the team excited by announcing the event at a team meeting, passing out t-shirts, and asking for volunteers to fill predetermined roles. Their involvement is key to successful events.
Parade Around Town: If your town has a parade for July Fourth or Christmas, sponsor a float. Buy your team dinner, ask them to bring their kids and spouses, then plan and decorate the float together. Come up with a creative theme, and designate duties for each team member. I’ve yet to see a dentist in a parade, but what an opportunity to get in front of the community!
If you’d like to learn more about the new age of dental marketing, call Jill at 972-781-8861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to discuss your brand, your image in the community, and how to make 2011 a spectacular year for your practice.