What do you think you need more than anything else to attract more of your ideal clients?Many people will say, “better information to show me how to do what works.”Others will say, “more motivation and drive to implement what I already know.”Another common answer is, “more time to fit marketing activities into my schedule.”And lots of people will say, “I need better goals and more clarity about what I want to achieve.”In writing this ezine/blog for the past 20 years I’ve talked about the importance of all of those.But I’m finally understanding a factor that is much more important: good habits.Over the past year, I’ve been a big advocate of the writings of James Clear. He writes a blog about success and habits. And he just came out with his first book, Atomic Habits, which is fantastic.Even though James isn’t a marketing expert, I’m convinced he’s right when he says that the ultimate determinant of success is building positive habits.This idea is simple but true: Self-employed professionals who establish regular marketing habits have a much better chance of succeeding than those who don’t.And the crazy thing is that the four items – information, motivation, time, and goals – I mentioned above don’t actually make a huge difference.Information. These days, we have access to more information about marketing than ever before in history. And much of it is free and instantly available through a Google or YouTube search.The problem is that most of us have not established a regular habit of studying what we need to know to become better marketers. The information is useless unless we become proficient at implementing it.And even if we pay good money for courses and programs, much of it goes to waste. I just learned recently online that 97% of people who buy a course online never complete it.Motivation. If we measured motivation by intention, we are all motivated. Don’t we all want and need to grow our businesses? But we keep getting distracted and don’t follow through on our intentions. Again, the issue is poor habits.Time. If only we had more of it. But unsuccessful marketers have just as much of it as the most successful ones. The key is that they dedicate more time to implementing regular marketing habits.Goals. Nothing wrong with goals except that they are only a starting point for success. And they can get us stuck in the future, instead of doing what needs to be done today – the routine marketing habits that we perform every day or week.”A habit or system beats a goal every time.” – James ClearThe research is in and the conclusion is clear.Establishing positive and consistent marketing habits have a bigger impact on marketing success than anything else.We may have great information, high motivation, lots of time, and clear goals, but unless marketing activities are performed regularly and habitually, the chances of success are slim to none.The question you should be asking is, “How do I start establishing better marketing habits?”James’s Atomic Habits goes to great lengths to share a multitude of ways to become an expert habit practitioner. So I highly suggest you get his book. It could be the most valuable ‘marketing’ book you’ll ever read.But let me also give you my perspective on what it takes to establish new marketing habits.The C – SPAT ModelThis is a model I came up with for one of my marketing programs.Coaching or Context. A coach declares the game, how it is played and how to win at it. And this creates the context in which you play the game. It helps if you have an outside source that can hold you accountable to play by the rules necessary to succeed.This principle is why when you’re working with a coach or in a program that you suddenly find it’s easier to take action and form positive habits. The context of the game helps shape your behaviors.Notice that all professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants go through rigorous training in the form of a professional school and internship. And in this context, professional habits and protocols are established.As independent professionals, we’d all prefer to do things on our own, charting our own direction. That’s nice, except that it doesn’t always work very well, does it?Study. A big part of the game is study and learning the body of knowledge necessary to perform effectively. Again, the information required to be an effective marketer is readily available, but you need some assistance in sorting the wheat from the chaff and studying what is most useful.Planning. All successful marketing needs a plan. The alternative is implementing random marketing activities with little structure and direction. So it’s not how much you know, but how you put what you know into action.Action. Success doesn’t come from being busy or doing a lot of things, but in doing the right things at the right time. This is where establishing regular marketing habits comes in.To some, it might be writing an article once or twice a week. For others, it may mean setting up more meetings with networking contacts. Or it could be booking regular speaking engagements.The secret to making this work is to leverage the first three steps of the model – Coaching, Study, and Planning, into marketing Actions that you perform as consistently as possible.Tracking. What gets measured gets done. And when we fail to measure, habits don’t tend to stick. When we measure and track habits, the chances increase dramatically that they are performed consistently.It can take some time to establish positive habits. You know that’s happened when you don’t even have to think about it anymore; you just sit down and write that article every Monday or make five calls to prospects every week.And when you’re in action like this, you create a feedback loop, learning what works the best and what doesn’t. This enables you to fine-tune and adjust over time until your marketing habits become more established.So, stop putting so much attention on searching for the “perfect” marketing strategy, getting motivated, finding more time, and setting goals.Instead, use the C – SPAT approach to establishing positive marketing habits.Cheers, Robert
Habits – The Big Secret to Marketing Success
Dental Marketing – Creative Strategies for More Patients
Here are the not so common but very creative marketing strategies that you can utilize in your dental practice:1. Launch a referral program – It is and should be the number one strategy to use especially in healthcare related service as it is believed that 92% of people trust personal recommendations more than all other forms of marketing. It is simple but extremely powerful and has the potential to significantly increase new patient generation to your dental practice. I have listed some ideas on how you can kickstart this program:
Launch a Patient Loyalty Program – This is designed in a way where you would be able to collect email addresses & cell phone number for future marketing strategies like email marketing, social media campaign or mobile marketing. This is also letting your patients know that you are thankful for their business.
Launch a Patient Review Program – This is designed to increase your online reputation. You can selectively hand out cards to patients so they can leave reviews on your social networking sites or other websites like yelp, your Google business page or on your website so that they can claim their rewards.
Ask for a Patient Referral
Here is a 3 step guide on how to ask light-heartedly for a referral:
Selectively asking – ask only those who you know and who you like, an example is a long-term patient whom you have developed a good rapport.
When a patient has had a good experience – when a patient is being graceful in letting you know that they have had a great experience, you can tell them in a way that is not pressuring like, “It’s excellent to hear that you had a wonderful experience. When your friends or family tell you how bad their experience was, you can send them here.”
Use a script – Thank you for your feedback! I am very proud of our team and It is part of our goal to give a positive experience for patients like you who appreciate what we do. We know that not everyone has a positive experience like this with their dentists. If you have any family or friends who might enjoy the same experience you’ve had, we would love for you to recommend them to us.
2. Turn your product or service into a challenge – What problem do your services solve? Do not go with the flow of explaining the services that you offer. Instead, make your product the focal point and create a challenge for that. For example, you can ask patients dental related questions or even better is make a quiz on who they think is following good dental hygiene. It forces them to engage and your business will be unique and top of mind.3. Use popular hashtags on social media – Utilizing popular hash tags such as #FlashbackFriday or #ThrowbackThursday can increase the number of views you want for your business especially those that are in the millennial age group. You could also use this so that you could target person looking for a particular topic or service so you never know because it can also be a good source of how you can get new patients to check out your service.More Dental Marketing IdeasWhen it comes to dental marketing there’s no shortage of good ways to start. Here are a few more suggestions for marketing your dental practice. Take a look and see what you think will work for your practice.Get Local with SEOWhen people in your target area start searching online for a dentist do you show up? An easy way to check is to grab your phone, type in “Dentist near me” and see what comes up. If you’re not at the head of the pack you’re missing out on a lot of new patients and leads.A goal for your dental marketing efforts is to rank on local search, like when you typed “Dentist near me”, and get found by people in your target market.Leverage Existing PatientsIn addition to the above suggestions, working with what your dental practice already has, like existing patients, is an excellent place to start. For example in idea number one we discussed creating a patient loyalty program. Not only does this leverage existing patients, it’s good business that can (and will) drive referrals to your practice.Dental Marketing: It’s Not Rocket ScienceMarketing a dental practice can feel like rocket science, but it isn’t, using a little creativity and common sense can go a long way. Thinking about how to please your patients is one way to get more of them!To Social Media or Not to Social MediaIf you’re going to use Social Media to market you dental practice I recommend taking a moment to think about it.Social media is a great dental marketing tool but it requires time, effort and tact. Consistent effort and quality content are a must for social media to work for dental marketing. If you or your staff do not have the time to market your practice, the right way, on social media it may be best to look at other options. Other options for engaging social users are hiring an agency, training someone in your office to do it or using paid ads to reach social media users.Other ways to use social mediaAdditionally, when using paid ads to target new patients for your practice, be sure that you’re only targeting patients in your geographic area. If you’re in New York City you don’t want to be marketing to people in Los Angeles, right? It’s an easy and costly mistake to make.Make a contest and go viralUsing contests is a great way to grow your dental practice. Everyone wants whiter teeth, right? Create a grand prize, as an example, of teeth whitening for life (or whatever you want to offer).When your prize is something everyone wants you’ll have no trouble getting people to join your contest. Digital contests can boost your dental practices marketing exposure for pennies. Adding bonus actions to increase entrants chances to win is another way to squeeze a little more out of your contest.There’s a 1,001 ways to market your dental practice. Most of them you can do yourself. Sometimes, it’s better to hire an expert to do it right, the first time. You can learn more about hiring a dental marketing expert in the box below.