Whether you’re just starting or have been a dental practice owner for a long time, finding new patients is always a challenge. We all know that building a loyal patient base is crucial to sustaining cash flow, but acquiring new ones is key to scaling your business to new heights. To draw the attention of your target audience, you need to stay updated with the latest trends in the industry.
Acquiring new clients is easier said than done, but once you apply these top tips, you’ll be able to attract people to your business. Here are the top dental practice client acquisition tips to help you get more visits and increase your patient count.
1. Create a strong referral system
So you’ve built a solid patient following, and they come back to your clinic for routine dental care. Why not reward them for their patronage and encourage them to bring friends and family to your practice? A strong referral system is an easy way to acquire new patients while strengthening your relationship with your existing patients.
Be proactive with your approach and plan on how you can create a referral system. To start with, you can create referral materials that your patients can fill out. Once they successfully refer a friend or family member, you can incentivize them with discounts, special offers, or free dental supplies. You can also create a dedicated referral system on your website that enables users to track their rewards and referrals.
You want to ensure that your patients are well-aware of your referral system. To do this, you can start posting on social media and sending messages on your email list. Word-of-mouth marketing is still relevant in today’s digital era, and referrals are a surefire way to bring new patients to your practice.
2. Highlight your practice’s expertise
Competition in the dental industry is tough, and patients are always looking for practices that have proven expertise in a particular area. You have to give people a reason to choose your services, and highlighting your practice’s expertise makes you a clear-cut option in the eyes of many. For example, if your dental practice focuses on cosmetic dentistry, you want to make that the focal point of your marketing efforts.
By positioning yourself as the expert, you can earn your patients’ trust and nurture them with your services.
3. Expand your professional network
If you want to grow your patient count (and elevate your career success), you need to expand your professional network. You can learn many things when you meet people inside and outside your industry. For one, you get to stay on top of the dental industry trends. You also get access to insider tips that will prove useful when encountering a difficult problem.
Beyond that, networking lets you build partnerships with professionals and open up opportunities to land new patients. For example, you can team up with a local physician and present your services as a complementary offer. Both businesses can benefit from patient referrals, which can help boost profits and expand brand recognition.
You can also join networking organizations and share ideas with like-minded people. Having strong connections can open doors you never thought existed, which alone is enough to put your practice’s name on the map.
4. Build a competent staff
As your dental practice grows, you’ll need to hire new staff to continue accommodating your patients. You can only take your practice so far by yourself until you need help from other people. But don’t make the mistake that most practice owners make; hiring people based solely on their resume.
When bringing new staff into your practice, you have to be diligent with your recruitment approach. You want to assess the skills and competencies of the people you bring in to ensure they fit well with their desired position. A well-trained and competent staff can make a huge difference between attracting ten new patients and driving them away.
Take the time to evaluate your applicants before welcoming them to the team. You’ll save plenty of resources, and your practice will find it easier to attract new clients in the long run.
5. Keep your website updated
Every business nowadays should have an updated website to maintain its online visibility. But having a website is not enough to attract new clients. Your website should load fast and have optimized content for SEO to generate leads. According to Google, around 61% of users leave a website when they have difficulty accessing it. Those numbers are huge! The last thing you want is for potential patients to be turned off by your website because it’s sluggish and contains irrelevant content.
Some of the key characteristics that your website should have are:
- Fast response times
- Easy-to-navigate user interface
- Optimized for both desktop and mobile devices
- Clear call-to-action
- Integrates modern SEO practices
- Fresh, relevant content
When you combine all these elements into one, you’ll have a fully functional website that’s ready to cater to the needs of new and existing patients.
6. Publish compelling content
We briefly mentioned how important it is to highlight your expertise in the dental industry. One way to demonstrate that is through your content. Creating high-quality content provides value to your readers and brings engagement to your website or social media page. When writing content, pick a topic your patients are likely to search.
For example, if you specialize in orthodontics, you may want to cover topics like how dental braces work or why a person should wear retainers. Publishing relevant content also helps you rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), thus enhancing your visibility online and helping you attract more site visitors.
Content creation isn’t just for clicks and likes; you can also use it to build trust with your target audience. Solve your readers’ problems through well-written content and prove your knowledge and expertise. You’ll be surprised how many leads you can generate when you write compelling content.
7. Harness the power of social media
Having a social media page is just as important as having a good website. Social networks enable you to interact directly with patients and make it easy for them to discover your practice. Considering that 82% of the U.S. population uses social media, it makes sense to establish your presence there.
It takes time to build a following on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but once you gain traction, you can attract new clients to your practice. The good news is that these platforms have built-in tools that enable publishers to run targeted ads. You can run your ads and cater to a specific audience to ensure they are receptive to your marketing strategies.
8. Keep an eye on your competitors
Part of attracting new clients is knowing what your competitors are doing. Take a look around and see what their strengths and weaknesses are. Are they successful at bringing new patients to their clinic? If so, what strategies do they employ to cater to their target audience? When you observe your competitors, you can formulate unique ideas that will help distinguish your practice from other clinics.
Conducting competitor analysis allows you to identify opportunities that your competition currently does not address. For example, if a competitor lacks modern dental care solutions, you can implement them into your practice and use those to attract new clients. Be creative with your efforts to stand out from the pack.
Many dental practices face the challenge of acquiring new patients. While it may seem daunting at first, you can address this issue by being proactive with your patient acquisition strategies. When combined into one, these eight tips will help draw new patient visits and keep your dental practice relevant now and in the future.
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