Dental School Grads: How to Grow Your Digital Presence and Build Your Business
In 2016, after 10 years in the online marketing industry, Christopher Brown and Michael Mazzuca founded DIGI SEARCH, a dental- and medical-specific digital marketing agency. The two built the business on insights gained while Chris was growing his family’s practice through innovative digital marketing campaigns.
Christopher is also a proud member of SoFi’s Entrepreneur Program, which empowers a select handful of promising entrepreneurs by giving them financial flexibility, access to investors, and a support network of peers and mentors to help them succeed. Since joining SoFi this year, DIGI SEARCH has more than doubled its client base.
In our continuing effort to support entrepreneurs, we invited Christopher to offer some tips to help dental school grads build their businesses. Here’s some advice he has for the dental community.
Name: Christopher Brown
Company: DIGI SEARCH
Degree/Alma Mater: B.A. in Film Production from University of Notre Dame
Business Goal: Online marketing for dentists and medical industry
Joined SoFi Entrepreneur Program: 2016
Congratulations! You’ve spent years studying endodontics, periodontics, and maxillofacial surgery (and other hard to pronounce disciplines), and have proudly framed your DDS degree. Now it’s time to distinguish yourself from the competition and make a name for yourself in the world of dentistry. Here are three quick and easy tips to help you hit the ground running.
1: Establish a consistent digital profile
Seeing is believing, so there’s nothing more important than creating a digital profile that makes a great impression. Before entrusting their gums and cavities to you, potential clients want to get to know you. And that means paying attention to details. Don’t underestimate the amount of competition you have and the impact that clarity and consistency can have on people checking you out online.
A solid plan includes developing your UNAP (URL, name, address, and phone). How you display this information can impress—or turn off—someone searching for a dental provider. For example, do you want to use Dr. in your title, or follow your name with DDS or even D.D.S.? These decisions can affect how you show up in Google search results.
Also, think through any other abbreviations you’d like to use in your address and when citing streets, boulevards, avenues, etc., in directions to your office. Whatever you choose, it’s important to stay consistent throughout your UNAP and in any marketing materials you produce.
2: Build bridges online
Once you’ve created your UNAP, it’s time to build your online presence. An easy way to establish a professional portrait is through social media. Create profiles on the big three for local businesses—Facebook, Twitter, and Google My Business—and update them frequently. Your goal is to give prospective patients a look into your expertise and personality through your social media posts. But be careful to avoid mixing business with pleasure; keep your professional profile separate from the one you create for friends and family. You don’t want a patient suffering from a tooth ache seeing you knocking back bourbons with pals during happy hour.
Another great way to build your online presence is by blogging. You can easily create a dental-specific, service-oriented blog to give you an outlet to discuss your specialties in depth. Once your blog posts are published, share them on your social media pages to extend their reach.
3: Get reviews: Happy patients create new patients
Word of mouth straight from the mouths on which you’ve worked is one of the best marketing tools a dentist can have. So make it easy for patients to provide feedback online through review sites like Yelp or other social media channels. Direct them to your social profiles on Google My Business and Facebook; both feature ratings systems, and Google has the added bonus of providing high visibility in local search results. Great recommendations from happy patients will help you stand apart from the crowd and begin trusting relationships with those who aren’t yet patients.
While there are many other online strategies available as you cut your teeth on your new career, those listed above are great jumping-off points. Dentists well into their careers can also benefit from these tips, so if you’re working with a mentee, introduce these suggestions. With this edge, you can begin to build your brand and patient base, while capitalizing on word of mouth marketing straight from those pearly whites of your customers.