How To Market Your Dental Practice

How To Market Your Dental Practice
Dental Marketing

Marketing seems to be an impossible concept that sits somewhere between the summit of Mount Everest and the dark side of the Moon. I would not claim to be an expert but I do believe we can break this concept into simple tasks requiring little to no technical skill.

The Concept

Marketing is telling the right people about your relevant products and services. It is that simple. Freeway billboards, flyers, TV, radio, Instagram, tattooing a logo on your forehead, and the little signs on your grocery store shopping carts are all ways to let someone know that you exist. The real question is: "How do we effectively tell others?"

The Marketing Process Visually Explained

The Process

If people do not need or want what you have, telling them you have it is a waste of time.

Step 1: "Understand the people"

  • Pull demographics reports to identify the potential patient base and their needs/wants.
  • Survey current patients to better understand needs/wants and satisfaction.

Step 2: "Create what they need or want"

  • Consider narrowing the focus to a specific type of patient (age, single vs families, socioeconomic status, etc.) because this will usually dictate the practice environment, branding, and procedures necessary to service this population.
  • This does not mean we ignore all other procedures, but it helps to focus marketing dollars.

Step 3: "Tell them you have it"

  • Get the message out using multiple avenues.

Track sources for new patients and focus efforts on the successful activities. When patients funnel into the practice there will be no need for fancy sales tactics because we already identified the proper candidates. Keep it simple. Eliminate challenges for patients to make decisions while empowering team members to provide the best possible service. Practice numbers will increase.

Finding Patients (The Actionable Stuff)


Existing patients are the best advocates for the practice, but only if the experience worthy of bragging about. I recommended that a doctor unexpectedly handout $10 Starbucks gift cards to patients when he started his scratch practice. Less than 18 months later, the practice is booming and they have a busy practice and 250+ Google Reviews. I take no credit for this. He created an experience worth discussing. Make it genuine and casually remind patients that we welcome friends and family. If this sounds expensive, remember that we are only fronting a marketing expense while building trust for return business. These efforts will compound and only increase reach as time passes.

Dental Marketing Materials

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are a free and easy way to access local prospects that meet criteria for the ideal patient demographic. If the ideal patients are young families in Redondo Beach, CA there are several Facebook Groups with thousands of members to interact with.

Examples of Facebook Groups for Dental Marketing

Remember these two principles:

  • Give without taking
  • Consistency wins the long game

It could be months before realizing any results from this avenue. Responding to posts, answering questions, and consitently providing valuable information will grow influence in these groups. Do not under any circumstances post spammy advertisements and pitches for the practice. This is the fastest way to a lifetime ban followed by negative press within the ideal patient base.

Social Media and Content Creation

Creating “content” and posting it on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, and a blog increases awareness and validates authority in the marketplace. This is a highly scalable method for communication. Create a message and distribute to thousands while it permanently lives on the platform for all to find.

Key Considerations for Content Creation and Social Media:

  • Document the Process: Show what you are working on, your thoughts, and your interests instead of “yard sale flyers” about free X-rays with paid cleanings.
  • Not everyone will enjoy the content, but some will. Listen to them and post based on their interests.
  • Consistency is Key: Continue when it is appears unsuccessful and maintain consistency when it appears successful.
  • Short form video is one of the best ways to share messages, and the various platforms currently favor this content.
  • Organize Often: Continue reading for organization tools and tips for starting this process.
  • Most importantly... Get started ASAP!

It will be uncomfortable. The content will likely be awful for some time. Post often and do not obsess over quality of each post. Just start posting. I recommend the book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon (Audiobook Available on YouTube). It’s an hour read that will make this process infinitely easier to stomach.

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Branding and Online Identity

Create a vision for the practice. What type of experience will the patients have? What differentiates this practice over others? Make sure to create accounts with companies like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Healthgrades, Zocdoc, Nextdoor, Apple Maps, Yellow Pages, etc. Even though they might not all be high traffic sources, it is better to have many online platforms signaling back to the practice website. These may not yield quick results, but it will help in the long run. Prioritize Google Reviews over other platforms. Some platforms hold positive reviews hostage until they receive recurring payments.

Online Traffic Sources

Many businesses exist to make a profit. I have no problem with this. Many businesses do not deliver on the promised results. I do have a problem with this. Be very selective when employing a marketing agency. Request examples of previous results, make sure to understand the plan for marketing the business, and how and when the results are expected to arrive. Remember, they are responsible for helping to provide opportunities. If the phones are ringing, the office must have systems to capitalize on those opportunities. That is the doctor owner’s responsibility.

Marketing agencies can often help with technical aspects of marketing such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, (SEM), paid advertising, and other areas.

Here’s a common problem I see. If the practice sees a decline in revenue, Doctor pulls the marketing budget to save money. If opportunities arrive after marketing, Doctor pulls the marketing budget because “things are going well.” Today’s marketing efforts are the seeds of the fruit we enjoy 6+ months down the line. Again, it’s all about consistency.

My Favorite Tools for DIY Marketing


Creating content alone is challenging, but consistently posting is even more difficult. Notion is a notetaking platform that has a variety of applications, including a “Content Calendar.” This is a game-changer because I can now research, plan, script, map it on a calendar, and track the various phases of each project. This allows me to keep a consistent posting schedule while managing everyday life. The best part is that it is completely free for solo users.

The Notion Content Calendar


I am absolutely not a graphic artist! For over 7 years I have used Canva to create graphic designs. Nearly all images and video from this site and my social media are a product of Canva. Since I am not producing Hollywood blockbuster content, the expensive software options are excessive. I upgraded to CanvaPro a couple years back because it provides unlimited access to premium designs and stock footage and video. No need to worry about acquiring usage licenses. I have a referral link which adds no additional cost to the subscriber but will fund my occasional working coffee session. Thank you in advance!

CanvaPro User Setup

Ghost was built on the platform. Since there is no coding or computer programming required, it was easy to create a functional website within a relatively short period of time. There are several great YouTube tutorials with step-by-step guides for setting up a customzied website and blog within a couple hours. Visitors can become members, subscribing to paid or unpaid memberships. One of Ghost’s strengths is it’s blogging platform which allows frequent email communication with a couple clicks. Create an article and schedule a post and email blast to the membership with realtime metrics. Website edits are free, instantaneous, and can be executed from a cell phone. It’s amazing! I have the GhostPro option which provides custom website name integration, fully managed email service, and added security features. If you plan to use Ghost, this referral link adds no additional cost to the purchase, but it does add a couple bucks to Ben's Coffee Fund so I can keep pumping out articles. Thanks! User Interface


This software company is amazing for doctors looking to understand their prospective patient base. You can tap into informatin such as dentist saturation, population denisty, average household income, etc. before making marketing decisions. I highly recommend this software.

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