Month: April 2014

Do Good, Do Good Business: Dentists Who Give Back

If we’ve learned anything from the meteoric rise of the one-for-one business model made popular by TOMS, it’s that do-gooders do good business. Not that profit should be your sole motivation for taking on a social initiative, but it certainly helps. The business of dentistry is challenging these days, with practices across the country reporting fewer new patients and difficulty coaxing their existing patients into the chair for anything less than a dental emergency. Adopting a social cause looks good, does good, and feels good for dental teams and patients alike. Here are a few dentists who’ve nailed it.

Dr. Steven Ellinwood and Dr. Todd Briscoe of Fort Wayne, IN engaged in a friendly competition to see whose practice could raise the most nonperishable food for a local food bank of their choice. Dr. Ellinwood, whose office chose the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne to receive donations, is no stranger to giving back to the community. Ellinwood participates in several charitable events each year, including canned food drives, bowling fundraisers, glove collections, and a Halloween candy buyback program. Dr. Briscoe’s team championed a smaller food bank nearby.

Cleveland dentist Dr. Michael Stern made headlines when he hosted the first Dentistry From the Heart event in Ohio. For an entire day, Dr. Stern and his team offered fillings, cleaning, and extractions free of charge for more than 100 patients. Since 2001, Dentistry From the Heart events in 48 states have provided treatment for 45,000 people, valued at $8 million. The event, along with other DFH events in other states, generated major publicity and spots in the local paper, magazines, television stations, and blogs. Learn how to host an event in your state here.

Using the same one-for-one business model as TOMS, BOGO Brush donates one toothbrush for each eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush purchased. When you consider that Americans toss 450 million toothbrushes each year, you can see why the 100% biodegradable BOGO Brush is so popular. Brushes are available singly or in a yearly subscription.

Consider partnering with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and its Give Back a Smile program. Give Back a Smile provides restorative dentistry for men and women whose teeth have been damaged or knocked out as the result of domestic violence. “Whenever I looked in the mirror I saw a monster. Today, I see a beautiful woman,” says one recipient, who lost a tooth and an eye at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

I couldn’t resist including this one. Dr. Ken Harris of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry split all proceeds from the sale of his “Nothing But a Smile” calendar to two cancer charities. The calendar, which featured nude images of a well-known rugby player and several male patients, ranging in age from 22-74 years old. Only in England.

How does your practice give back to the community? Leave a comment below.

About Jill: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development at MDPM Consulting, is a mother of two and a dental devotee. Questions about marketing, social media, or branding? Contact Jill at 972-781-8861, or send her an email.

How Can Dentists Use LinkedIn for Marketing?

With more than 200 million users worldwide, 1 million of which are healthcare professionals, and 1.5 million active groups, LinkedIn is an invaluable social media tool for your practice. LinkedIn isn’t particularly glamorous like Pinterest or Instagram, nor does it have the high patient engagement factor like Facebook and Twitter. Even so, the site offers excellent opportunities to connect with other dental professionals.

Step 1: Create or Update

If you haven’t yet created a LinkedIn profile, do so now. Otherwise, verify that all information on your profile is current. Fill out as many sections as possible, including professional memberships, honors, nonprofit involvement, and published articles, if applicable. A robust, keyword-rich profile will appear more frequently in user searches. Follow interesting and relevant companies, fellow dental professionals, and nonprofits, and subscribe to their updates. I suggest Dental Economics, the ADA, and MDPM Consulting, for starters.

Step 2: Join in the Conversation

Join and participate in group discussions to connect with professionals by specialty, associations, and geographic area. Ask and answer questions, and share content that will intrigue and engage other group members. Most LinkedIn groups have private job postings that non-members cannot view, giving you an edge in your career progress. LinkedIn allows you to join as many as 50 groups, so choose wisely.

Step 3: Build Your Network

Each additional contact opens up new opportunities and greater visibility. Don’t limit your contact list to professionals. Import your contacts from your email and other social media networks, then add coworkers, friends, peers, and partners. Most group members are more than willing to add fellow professionals to their own network.

Step 4: Sharing Is Caring

When sharing content, focus on quality over quantity. Yes, you want to increase your visibility, but not with shameless self-promotion. It’s give and take. When someone posts content that interests or intrigues you, share it with others. Content should be relevant and fresh, a good mix of original and shared media. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn content should be strictly professional. Leave witty anecdotes, memes, and personal beliefs for your personal social media profiles.

Step 5: Drive Traffic

Showcase your best blogs and articles on your LinkedIn profile and in your groups. Your “best” blog posts on LinkedIn will appeal to other professionals. Another dentist probably wouldn’t see the value in an article about the importance of flossing, unless of course it happens to be part of a recent study. Find out what works best by test driving different copy, pictures, and titles and comparing the number of views.

About Jill: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development at MDPM, is a woman on a mission. To connect with Jill, contact her at 972-781-8861, or send her an email.