Productivity


If you want to grow your dental practice, social media is a great (and generally free) way to do it. However, with more social media platforms than ever before, it can be overwhelming to know where to spend your precious energy. That’s why we strongly suggest creating a social media calendar.

What is a social media calendar? It’s simply a document that helps you organize your strategy and plan for special occasions so you can coordinate your posts. This document can be “old school” paper and pen or it can be digital. It just needs to be easy to understand, update, and share with the people who are helping you manage your social feeds.

A good social media calendar will help you accomplish three specific goals:

Keeps You Organized

Social media can often get placed on the back burner when things get busy, but you don’t want to forget about it! I don’t know about you, but calendars help keep us accountable. By having everything laid out on one calendar or spreadsheet, it makes the tasks seem more manageable. If things get really busy, you can even use an automatic posting service to do the posting for you!

Keeps You Consistent

By planning everything out on a calendar in advance, you’re more likely to post consistently on all your profiles. Because everything is organized and ready, it makes it easy to post regularly. With social media, consistency is everything. If you’re posting consistently, you will stay in front of your audience even attract new followers. Remember, those followers can turn into customers!

Saves You Time

Setting aside some time to organize your entire social media calendar can save you time in the long run. It may take a little bit to get it up and running, but it will leave you feeling prepared and less stressed when it comes time to start posting. Now you’ll no longer try to frantically throw together social posts at the last minute!

Also, if you’re not the only one working on your business’ social media, a calendar can be a great way to share ideas and work with your colleagues. We all get stuck in a rut from time to time. If your calendar is available for others to work on, you can have some assistance with ideas, which will free you up to do the other things that are on your to do list!

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Marketing a dental practice is not easy. It’s not like you’re running a candy shop or an amusement park. Some people are afraid of the dentist, and for those that aren’t, it’s still not the first place they choose to visit. However, we know that in order to be profitable, we have to get people excited about coming to the dentist — and not just any dentist! We have to make our own dental practice seem the most fun, the most comfortable, and the friendliest place they could choose. That’s where good dental marketing comes in.

If you’re feeling stuck or need a little inspiration when it comes to your dental marketing strategy, check out these TED Talks:

The Little Risks You Can Take to Increase Your Luck

In this TED Talk, educator Tina Seelig shares three (easy) ways we can increase our luck in business. She says, “luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic — it’s much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious.”

Growing your dental practice is all about taking calculated risks and not all risks are created equal. This talk may change the entire way you look at your professional career.

The Happy Secret to Better Work

Are you happy? It’s kind of a loaded question, but Shawn Achor presents his argument in this TED Talk that being truly happy leads us to do better, more productive work. He says, “75% of your job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support, and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”

So, can positive psychology help you grow your dental practice? According to Shawn, absolutely it can! Added bonus? He’s surprisingly funny for a researcher 😉

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

This TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth is one of the most popular of all time, and it’s not surprising once you sit down and watch it. In her speech, she talks about why IQ isn’t the only thing separating those of us who are successful and those of us who tend to struggle.

Grit is the key factor when it comes to defining who is the most successful. What is grit? It’s passion and perseverance for long-term goals. When it comes to marketing, this is important because some things take a long time and a lot of consistency before you see results. Do you have what it takes to see your goals through even when it takes a long time?

Good dental marketing comes down to sharing thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. Everything you put out into the world should have the goal of connecting with your current and future patients; you want them to see you as someone they can trust and turn to for help. Have these talks inspired you? If you have questions about marketing your practice, please feel free to contact the Dental Soiree team!

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If you’re anything like the team here at Dental Soiree, you spend a good amount of time on your phone! There’s no way around it. These things run our lives… everything from our calendar to our banking account to our travel itinerary is on our smartphones. Being connected is important not just for staying in touch and on top of our busy lives. It’s also a great tool to help you grow your dental practice.

If you leverage the tech that’s already at your fingertips, you can spend less time trying to accomplish #allthethings and more time doing the few things that really are going to make a difference. At the beginning of 2018, there were 3.8 million apps in the Google Play store and 2 million apps in Apple’s app store. Rather than be overwhelmed by all these options, we encourage you to download the three apps we outline below for the ultimate productivity boost.

Evernote

If you can only download one app, you should definitely choose Evernote! If you’re like me, your mind is running a mile a minute and ideas are always flowing. Evernote is the best way to capture your lightning when it strikes. This app keeps all your thoughts in an organized, easily searchable platform.

The best features of Evernote come in the labeling and categorizing aspects. You can easily keep your blog ideas separate from your dinner party planning notes or your ongoing list of hot new places for drinks. Get started with Evernote for free and upgrade to Pro or Premium based on your needs.

Canva

Now that you’ve captured all your ideas with Evernote, it’s time to make them POP! Of course, we’re passionate about attention-grabbing images, and Canva makes it easy to create your own with simple drag-and-drop functionality. You can use your Canva graphics on social media, and even in your freebies, eBooks, or emails. It can be overwhelming at first, but start small and you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

Smart, stylish templates take the guesswork out of creating the perfect post, and with the numerous fonts available, you can choose the perfect look for your brand. You may be using Canva to increase your efficiency, but the true upside is not sacrificing style. All the handy options they provide allows you to remain consistent in content and message. I call that a huge win!

Buffer

Being consistently present on social media and in your potential patient’s feeds is vitally important. It can be time consuming, though. Buffer is a great option to manage all your social media accounts from one site. See who is locked on your thread, determine what type of posts get your target audience excited, and watch your followers grow.

When you want to show up online as an ever-present social media guru, Buffer is the app you need. You can schedule content so you’re showing up even when you’re spending time with your family or at the gym. Does your most recent blog post need some attention? Post it to all your accounts at once in Buffer!

At the end of the day, working to grow your dental practice and make sure it’s successful should be your number one goal. These apps help streamline and improve your efficiency so you can grow your dental practice without sacrificing your sanity.

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Chances are, you’ve run into a bot while using Facebook Messenger already. So many businesses are using bots to interact with both potential and current customers on Facebook and it makes sense. 80% of adults and 91% of teens using messaging apps every day, so it was only a matter of time before the traffic became too large to manage without some kind of automation.

Is this something you’ve considered implementing? Have you wondered whether bots can help grow your dental practice? Let’s dive in a little further…

How Facebook Messenger Bots Work

You might think you have to be one of those “techy” people to be able to successfully use a bot, but there are actually a lot of companies out there that create user-friendly tools and programs so people like you and me can easily get a bot set up and running.

Sometimes, bots are used to reach out to a targeted demographic to announce a sale or special offer. Sometimes, the bot acts more as like an assistant, helping people that have reached out via Messenger with a question or request.

For example, I’ve seen a hair salon use a Messenger bot to guide a potential customer through the process of booking an appointment. When I saw this, it clicked that this is definitely a great way for a dental practice to utilize this technology, too. Available dates and times are displayed for the customer (or patient), and once a time slot is selected, it would be removed from availability. The bot can even send an appointment reminder via Messenger. Pretty cool, right?

Share a Special Offer

One of the more popular bots out there, ManyChat, boasts an 80% open rate when it comes to their Facebook Messenger marketing service. If you want to promote a special offer or new service, this is definitely something to consider. It does take a little more effort to set something like this up, though.

You would need to have a list of people that are interested in hearing about your services, kind of like an email list. You would them put them into this bot “funnel” while of course giving them the option to opt out at any time. Unlike email, you don’t have to worry about your messages getting lost in a promotions or spam folder, and you don’t have to agonize over the perfect subject line. Just craft the message and let the bot handle everything else!

Will Bots Help Grow Your Dental Practice?

There are over 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users (as of December 2017) and 30,000 bots already handling all kinds of tasks for businesses. There’s no reason why this tech can’t help you grow your dental practice, especially if you feel like you’re losing perspective patients because you’re too busy to respond to everyone’s inquiries.

Some have free trials of low monthly rates, so there’s little to no risk involved with trying it out. You never know, it could end up becoming a super effective part of your social media strategy!

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Let’s just get real for a second. Being a dentist is HARD work. Our days do not stop when the practice closes at 5pm. We’re usually staying late to finish up paperwork, squeezing in last minute appointments, and working on the business side of the practice well into the evening. And while we have a great team to support us, it there are a lot of specific dental social media tasks that get put on the back burner even know we know they’ll help us grow our practice.

What the heck are dental social media tasks? Well, truth be told, we shouldn’t be just copying someone else’s social media strategy. What works for one industry will not work for another. We’re in a unique field where it’s part medical but part relationship-building, and we also need to make our often fact-based content accessible and fun for the everyday person to interact with. That’s no small feat!

To help you manage your time and focus on the social media tasks that matter most, I’ve prioritized the top three crucial tasks you should be doing at least every week. If you only have time for these three things, you’re still well on your way to having a strategy that works.

#1 – Plan Your Strategy

The number one thing you need when it comes to a killer dental social media strategy is a plan. No, you can’t just wing it. Trust me, you will save a lot of time and energy if you sit down and come up with a plan. Are you going to post Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays? Are you going to share something everyday? Is one of those days going to be set aside for your latest blog post? Product reviews? Health tips?

Whatever you decide, make it consistent and do whatever you can to batch out some content ahead of time so you’re not always playing “catch up” on content that should have already gone out. If you sit down for 2-3 hours once a month and create your social media content, you won’t have to think about it again (except when you log in to engage… which I will talk about next).

#2 – Engage, Engage, Engage

If you’re on social media and people are leaving comments, you should be engaging with those people. They’ve taken the time to react to your post, and just a simple “thank you” can go a long way. So many of us spend unnecessary time on social media scrolling through our feeds or finding accounts to follow that will hopefully follow us back. If you spend a little more time on engagement and less time on everything else, you’ll see it pay you in dividends.

#3 – Know Your Keywords

I’m cheating here because this one isn’t technically social media related, but it’s important. Keywords are something that some people freak out about because it has to do with SEO which can be intimidating. However, knowing which search terms are suggested for your website (there are online tools available for this specific purpose) and working these phrases into your blog posts, website copy, and even your image alt tags can make a huge difference. When someone searches for that phrase online, your website will be much more likely to pop up near the top of the search results, and we all know what a game-changer that can be for business.

Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to know everything about SEO or you need to be writing new content constantly. Focus on what matters, and outsource where you can. If you’re interested in investing in some creative branding services, we would love to help! Dental Soiree specializes in creating engaging social content for dental practices with the specific goal of helping them grow and become more profitable. Learn about our packages or get in touch with us to discuss your needs by filling out our contact form. It’s time to kiss traditional marketing (and the non-stop hustle) goodbye!

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Running a small business is a practice in flexibility, resourcefulness, and moxie. For a business owner, it can feel like these skills are sometimes just as important as the skills you’re marketing to your clients!

It can be so easy to fall behind on your task list or feel out of touch with your team. You’re a busy person, and there’s only so many hours in the day! However, productivity tools are there to help you run your business more smoothly and effectively, without having to dedicate more of your brain power or valuable time.

I want to share three of the “must-have” productivity tools I use with my team every single day to work smarter, not harder. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to reach my goals if it weren’t for these tools, and the best part? They all have free versions that you can try out to see if they’re going to work for you before investing any of your valuable resources into them!

#1 – Trello

Trello is a visual planning tool that allows you to work alongside your team to lay out every task and procedure you have. I have boards set up for every website, every project, and every client we work with. Everything is super organized, which means my team can go in and find anything they need on their own, which means no more emailing back and forth!

When you set up a board, you can create lists, and each list can contain task cards that you can easily move around. For example, on my Dental Soiree “Editorial” board, I have several different ideas for blog posts in my “Brain Dump” list. When I write one of these posts, I can move the card to the “Drafted” list. Once it’s reviewed and gets images, I can move it to the “Reviewed for Publication” list and then to the “Scheduled” list once it’s been uploaded and scheduled.

Trello is one of those productivity tools that makes it so easy for everyone on the team to work together, even if they’re spread out all across the country. It helps us cut down on phone calls and emails, and frees us up to just do the work that matters!

#2 – Voxer

When you have a team of people all working together to handle the multitude of tasks that go into running a small business, communication is SO important. If you’re not updating each other on the status of projects, team goals, and new leads, you can expect that things will fall through the cracks.

However, because everyone is so busy, and not always in the same building or even the same city, it can be difficult to meet on a regular basis. If we’re being honest, meetings aren’t always the best use of everyone’s time, though there is a time and place for them, for sure! The rest of the time, you just need a quick way to connect on the go, and that’s why I love Voxer. It’s an app that you install on your smartphone that actually works just like a walkie-talkie. If I have an idea or update for one of my team members, I can just hop into Voxer, and let it fly!

Typing in’t always easy, especially when you’re walking or trying to multitask. I love sending messages, photos, and even my location using this handy free app, and I ask everyone who joins my team to download it onto their phone, too.

#3 – Hootsuite

There are so many social media management platforms out there these days, but I love Hootsuite because it handles EVERYTHING. There are great tools out there that are specific to Instagram or Facebook, but when I can find a tool that does it all, I’m all in.

Hootsuite can manage your social media profiles (the free version allows you to manage up to three different accounts) and schedule posts in advance so they can stream out automatically. They also offer analytics to see which posts were the most effective. If you have members of your team that help manage your social media, you need a tool like Hootsuite. Everyone can work collaboratively and see what’s already been posted and scheduled. It’s a must-have in my book.

When you’re busy running a business, getting even a little bit of your time back can make a huge difference. Chances are, you have a team because you know one person can’t do it all. Using productivity tools is another great (and inexpensive) way to stretch your capacities even further without having to sacrifice anything. In fact, they’ll probably uplevel your business once you and your team get over the initial learning curve.

If you need help managing your digital marketing strategy, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you create more meaningful connections with the people you genuinely want to connect with. We offer personalized packages so you can get exactly what you need, and nothing you don’t.

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