5 Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Dental Marketing Consultant
It’s a question as old as time:
“Should I hire a dental marketing consultant?”
Ok, maybe not as old as time, but it’s been around for a while.
Marketing can make or break your dental practice. Nobody wants to waste money on a third-party professional if they can’t create real results.
So, how about we walk you through the whole shebang?
We’ll lead by breaking down everything a (good) consultant can bring to the table, so you know what to expect.
Then, we’ll run through a list of the top 5 factors to consider before choosing a dental marketing consultant.
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll get a much clearer picture of whether or not a consultant is right for you.
Better yet, we’ll help you identify what to look for in a good dental marketing consultant to help you make that choice when you’re ready.
What does a dental marketing consultant provide?
You’d hire an attorney for legal advice, right? So, why wouldn’t you hire an expert for your dental marketing?
Dental marketing consultants exist to help you maximize your profits and get more patients in the door without pulling your hair out.
In general, dental marketing consultants can offer the following:
- Time: This is one of the main reasons why most folks consider hiring a consultant in the first place. Consultants work full-time on a specific issue, letting the rest of your team get back to the roles they do best at.
- An outside perspective: When you’re worrying about the day-to-day needs of your practice, it’s hard to take a step back and look at the big picture. A consultant can analyze your business without getting bogged down by the details.
- Analysis using real numbers: Dentists love their work, but crunching numbers and analyzing KPIs? Not so much. Consultants can help you with the business side of your practice, identifying places where you can improve.
- Tailor-made marketing plans: Consultants can help you identify marketing opportunities that fit your business.
- Specialized marketing know-how: Whether it’s branding, social media, SEO, ad campaigns, or anything else, consultants can help. Plus, they often have connections to resources like coders, professional photographers, and more.
- Accountability and tracking: Often, practices say, “Oh, we’ll just do it ourselves! We have the people!” … And then, two months later, things just aren’t getting done anymore. Consultants can keep your team accountable, yes, but they can also track your results.
So, should you hire a dental marketing consultant?
Not every practice will benefit from a dental marketing consultant – and that’s fine. However, many dental offices see significant improvements when they hire a professional.
To know whether your dental practice could benefit from consulting, ask yourself these five questions:
1: What are your goals for marketing?
You can’t just “add more marketing” to your small business.
Marketing is a goal-oriented strategy that aims to achieve a specified outcome. So, ask yourself, what are you really looking for from your marketing?
Is it more referrals? Better case close rates? Increased brand awareness? Partnerships with local businesses?
You might have very broad goals (like “make more money”) or you might have very specific, focused goals – like “let’s get my social media in order.”
Different consultants can specialize in certain fields, such as social media or paid advertising. Your goals will define the type of dental marketing consultant you need.
Then again, you might have no idea. And that’s fine!
Consultants can help you identify and refine your goals into clearer, actionable steps. Then, they’ll develop strategies to help you achieve those goals, whatever they may be.
2: Do you have a marketing strategy?
Deja vu, right?
Despite how similar they might seem, your goals are different from your strategy.
Knowing you want something is great – knowing how to get it is better.
Trying to perform dental marketing without a clear strategy and system can lead to a lot of frustration.
We see it all the time: Dental practices feel like they have everything under control, until very suddenly, they aren’t. A crisis hits. They react.
They think, “Oh no! Everything’s on fire! We need marketing ASAP!”
But in truth, all that stress can be avoided by focusing on proactive marketing – which is where you need a clear, actionable marketing strategy.
This is where consultants shine.
They can put out the fires in your practice, sure, but they’ll also ensure you stay successful in the long term.
Dental marketing consultants can fine-tune your marketing strategy for any situation. A good strategy means more success!
3: How full is your plate right now?
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you don’t have time to market your practice yourself.
Most office managers and practice owners wear too many hats to keep track of. As such, it’s often difficult to give marketing the attention it deserves.
A consultant can help establish clear dental marketing systems, freeing up your time and energy for other tasks.
They’ll spend their time marketing, allowing you to spend your time focusing on what you do best: creating beautiful smiles!
With that said:
Marketing is always going to require some involvement from you, even if you hire a consultant.
Investing in other parts of your business is often a critical aspect of marketing. You can’t just throw money at an external source and expect your problems to go away.
You’ll need to be prepared to work with your consultant to create real change in your practice. That goes for your team too!
Fortunately, the time required from you will be minimal, and more importantly, extremely efficient on ROI. For example, some consultants can help you knock out your entire social media plan for the week with only 10-15 minutes of your time.
4: Where is your business struggling? Do you know what’s working?
- Are you generating enough new leads?
- Are you successfully closing these leads?
- Are you losing patients?
- How’s your treatment acceptance?
- Are you profiting as much as you could be?
Even if the answer to these questions is yes, are you basing that answer on real numbers? Do you have evidence to prove it?
Often, dental practices struggle to identify the underlying causes of their issues. Pointing out red flags is easy – figuring out why that flag is there, and how to fix it, is not.
A dental marketing consultant can provide a fresh perspective and pinpoint precisely where and why your marketing efforts are failing.
Better yet, they can tell you what is working so that you can capitalize on that success.
5: What’s your budget?
Don’t handwave your costs with an “it’ll pay itself back” mindset!
Although that can be true in the long run, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to be aware of your budget before starting.
Even with the best consultant in the world, it takes time to develop, implement, and profit from dental marketing.
However, underspending doesn’t pay off, so you need to make sure you work with your consultant to create clear expectations and plans.
Take the time to identify your projected ROI (return on investment) before going in. Also, ensure your chosen consultant is completely transparent about expectations and costs.
We offer free consultations to discuss all this and more! If you’re interested, fill out the form below or schedule a zero-obligation call with Shannon.
How can you identify a good dental marketing consultant?
Do your research…Click to open a new window to a blog… before committing to any dental marketing agency or consultant. It pays off! Not every consultant is made equal, so you need to make sure you’re getting the right help.
Ask yourself – does your chosen consultant have:
- A list of referrals and proven results? The best metric for a consultant’s quality is a track record of success.
- Experience with dentistry? The dental industry has unique considerations, so it’s not enough to just hire a “marketing person.”
- An open, friendly approach to communication? Transparency is key, and you need to have clear metrics for success.
- Proficiency with multiple types of marketing? Hiring a melting pot of specialized marketers rarely goes well, so it’s usually best to find one person who can do it all.
- A “practice-what-you-preach” mindset? If they aren’t implementing everything they want to give to you themselves, that’s a red flag.
- A personality that fits with your practice? You’re going to be working with this person for a little while, so make sure you and your team can get along with them!
Here at Roadside, we work hard to exceed every one of these expectations (plus a bunch more that didn’t make the list).
If you’re looking for a dental marketing consultant – or heck, just about any sort of marketing help, we’re here for you!
So what’s stopping you? Go ahead and fill out the form below to learn more.