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Four ideas to help market your startup practice

Building a brand new dental practice from the ground up can be an expensive endeavor.

Between equipment, supplies, hiring staff, and your office space, many startup practice owners can be hesitant to pull the trigger on marketing initiatives. But without marketing, potential patients in your community won’t even know you exist.

Here are four low-cost ideas you can test to help get the ball rolling when finances are tight.

1.   Cross-promote with local businesses

Once you open your dental practice, you become part of the local business community. You can start your new role off on the right foot through community outreach and cross-promotion initiatives. Easy ideas include hosting a give-away of prizes from local businesses (which is also a great way to build your email list).

2.   A referral bonus

The value of attracting a new patient is greater at the start of your business than when you are well-established. Offering a referral bonus to your earliest patients can be a cost-effective way to help fill your chair. Put an expiration date on any referral program to create a sense of urgency and keep costs from becoming too high.

3.   Digital ads

An interesting newer feature on Google, Facebook is to run digital advertising campaigns that allow people to call your practice from your ad. It’s a good idea to link these ads to a specific, promotion, so that your front end staff know the calls are coming from the ads. Something like 50% off teeth cleaning for new patients. This way, when someone calls about the offer, you can have a scripted response ready to get them scheduled and on their way to becoming a permanent patient.

4.   Leverage Facebook Live

While it’s unlikely social media marketing will be your primary source of new patients, it does need to be part of your marketing plan. One idea to differentiate your social media presence is to take advantage of Facebook Live.

For your first video, focus on sharing your passion for dentistry and how excited you are about opening your practice. Then, set up a weekly schedule where you go live to talk about dental topics. Be sure to post the topics in advance on your page so that patients can plan to join in live and ask questions.