CallSource works with both major and niche industries. As a content writer, I make sure to stay up-to-date with these industry groups to provide relevant and compelling content to you, our readers.
One person that I’ve been following is Dentist Howard Farran, DDS, MBA. Dr. Farran has a long list of accolades, some being the founder of and CEO of Dentaltown.com, Orthotown.com, Hygienetown.com, TodaysDental.com, and author of #1 Amazon best-seller, “Uncomplicate Business.” Dr Farran is also an international lecturer as well as the host and founder of the podcast “Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran.”
In Incisal Edge magazine’s second annual “32 Most Influential People In Dentistry,” Dr. Farran was named number 5. Incisal Edge gave him the title of “The Connector,” which seems very relevant as Dr. Farran does connect many people together both in the dental community and a bit outside of it.
All of that being said, I’ve found Howard to be a very useful as well as entertaining person to follow on LinkedIn and other social media platforms to gain new insights into the dental industry and its trends.
I know that dental professionals are very busy people – and that’s why if you don’t already have the chance to follow Dr. Farran and listen to his podcast (which I highly recommend you do), I’ve gathered up some great tidbits from a few of his podcasts that I have shared with our dental audience here at CallSource.
Below is a round-up of great facts and expert advice from Dr. Howard Farran and his podcast guests.
In this episode, Howard and Leonard focus on the importance of online reviews for dentists.
Some Key Takeaways:
- Google dominates online reviews
- “I think the most important site, no matter what, 100% is Google. There’s no doubt in my mind that you have to dominate Google no matter where you are in the country because Google runs the world. Google runs the Internet. So if they don’t like you, they don’t trust you, they won’t show you online. And if they don’t show you, you’re invisible and if you’re invisible, people can’t find you.” – Leonard Tau
- Online reviews should be the main focus before spending too much on marketing
- “Well, I think that they need to focus their attention on making themselves credible and visible before they spend their money on marketing, and too many people throw too many dollars into paper click advertising, whether it’s on Facebook or Google, social media, display advertising, SEO without making themselves credible. And if you don’t have reviews online, no matter what you’re doing, you’re not going to be effective with your ROI.” – Leonard Tau
- Online reviews are just as important as word-of-mouth, no matter where you are located
- [Dentists] always say, “I’m a word-of-mouth practice. I don’t need reviews,” or “I’m in a small town and there’s no dentists. There’s only a couple of dentists in my town.” Well, what happens when that young guy comes into town who has a ton of social capital, has a ton of followers online and opens up two doors down from you and all of a sudden he takes a number of insurances and he pulls out some of your patients from your practice. You don’t have a lot of reviews. Then you have to react. I don’t want you to be reactive… Reviews are literally the foundation or the building block to doing other things online.” – Leonard Tau
- You have to actually ask for reviews – you can’t just hope that patients will choose to go online and write you one
- “The first thing, the most important thing you have to do is ask patients. You have to make it a culture in your office to ask patients to do it. If your patients aren’t doing it, and you’re not asking, you never going to get them.” – Leonard Tau
In this episode, Howard talks social marketing with Shannon Gilpin, owner of a social media marketing agency, about how dentists can use social media marketing to their advantage.
Some Key Takeaways:
- Just because you own your own practice doesn’t mean that you should feel obligated to be able to “own” every aspect of your business on your own – it’s ok to have help in some areas
- “The problem we dentists have is we went to school for eight years because we want to do surgery on teeth, we want to do root canals, fillings and crowns, and then you graduate and they tell you, “Oh, you got to own a business too.” And I’m like, “I don’t own a business. I’m a dentist. I do surgery and operatory all day.” But they can’t do their root canals, fillings and crowns if they don’t have patients.” – Howard Farran
- Trust is very important to consumers when choosing a dentist – so make sure you have an active social media presence and online reviews to have great social proof
- “People are scared to go to the dentist. We deal with that a lot, and they’re worried about costs and everything. So, when you see those reviews, those positive reviews that this is a trusted dentist, this dentist is going to treat me like family and take care of me, that’s important to them.” – Shannon Gilpin
- A good, personal social media presence helps your branding
- “You have to have photos, but then 70% of those photos with a human face that you recognize, get higher engagement rates. So, that’s what I like to do for branding photography, is go in and show the hygienists, show the dentist, in that way people become more familiar with them, more familiar with their brand and them as a person rather than just some stock dentist.” – Shannon Gilpin
- Address your negative reviews with the reviewer – but don’t try to be too defensive or remove the review
- “I would suggest never deleting the reviews because that shows up bad on your part. That shows that you’re hiding something. So, always reach out to them and make sure it’s visible and take care of it as much as you can, and once you’ve handled the situation, ask them to either update their review or change it, whatever it may be. But I would never delete it or try to hide it because that just shows that you’re not trustworthy.” – Shannon Gilpin
In this episode, Howard talks to marketing expert Ken Newhouse on how to earn more patients with effective marketing strategies.
Some Key Takeaways:
- It may not come naturally, but dental professionals need to start measuring data in their offices
- “I always tell everyone there is one business I would never go into; it would be helping dentists advertise themselves. I would never want to go into a dental marketing business, because the dentist doesn’t measure anything. If you go to any dentist and say, “How many people land on your website each month?” “I don’t know.” “How many of them convert?” “I don’t know.” “How many people called your dental office last month that was a new number that hasn’t called your office?” “I don’t know.” “How many of them did your receptionist convert to come in?” “I don’t know.” “How many treatment plan presentations did you present?” “I don’t know.” “How many of those did you convert?” “I don’t know.” “So, what do you think of that new marketing company?” “It didn’t do [anything].” – Howard Farran
- There are a lot of areas to pay attention to for a successful marketing program – and it goes all the way from your website to your internal staff
- [An effective dental marketing program is] “certainly multi-faceted, there are a lot of different components to a successful dental marketing program. . .Number one I would say, ‘It has to be multi-faceted, so number one I would say it has to be automated, and I can expand on that in just a second. Number two, you’ve got to have a website that can convert.’ Then lastly, you’ve got to have a sales staff including the dentists, I know most dentists don’t like to talk about money, and maybe they shouldn’t. That’s something I can’t answer, but the staff, if they understand how to use very persuasive communications, how to actually talk to people.” – Ken Newhouse
- Incentives matter! (And if you need help coming up with an incentive plan for your office, download our Incentive Plan Checklist here!)
- “Well, incentives matter.” – Howard Farran
- Your staff sees you making money, they’re working harder, you’re seeing a lot more patients, and you’re making money, they’re not stupid, they know what you’re making, and bottom line, they’re bothered by the fact that they’re really working hard for you and not benefitting from it? I’ve had a couple people say to me, ‘Why should I pay them, I’m not going to give him any of my profit.’ They don’t understand that you’ll get the performance of your staff if they’re worth keeping will dramatically improve. . . If you have the right person in your office, they’re going to really work hard and they’re going to make you a lot more money, and your office is going to run a lot, lot better.” – Ken Newhouse
Hopefully just a few of these tidbits from some of Howard Farran’s podcast have been helpful to you – and you should definitely check in to listen on a more regular basis when you can.
Who else do you follow in the dental industry that you think your peers can benefit from? Let us know in the comments below!