‘Think Big’, ‘Go Big or Go Home’, ‘Bigger is Better’ – we’re often encouraged to think in large terms, especially when it comes to business. However, when it comes to marketing it can be wise to balance ‘big’ wider-reaching methods, such as online advertising, with a ‘smaller’ localised approach, such as networking with your local community.
Working with local companies can mean mutually beneficial relationships that create opportunities to grow your patient base. Here, are some ideas on how to build and expand your network and reach more potential new patients.
Become a business buddy
Find local companies that are aligned with what you are trying to achieve for your patients, e.g. better health, wellbeing and/or appearance, and discuss ways you could work together to benefit both sets of customers. This can be as simple as exchanging flyers or posters to display in each other’s premises. Local gyms are a great place to start. For example, you can offer discounted aesthetic dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, to their members and in return, the gym can offer reduced membership to your patients. Beauty and hair salons are another great option – and this quid pro quo arrangement serves another purpose, reminding the public that teeth whitening is strictly the practise of dentistry, whereas eyebrow tints and hair bleaching are best sought with them!
Hold an open evening
Consider staging an open evening to showcase your practice to your new-found buddies, their clients and their families. A few canapés and bottles of fizz with some of the practice team on hand to answer questions puts potential patients at ease and shows a commitment beyond ‘fixing teeth’.
Network online as well
Don’t just collaborate offline, ask your new business network to share your social media content, and do the same in return. Retweeting content, posting on each other’s Facebook pages and inviting businesses to feature in your e-newsletters or on the company’s intranet, is a great way to expand your online presence.
Measure your results
Make sure you monitor uptake by using discount codes so that you have a measure of which businesses are biting and those that are not. Request feedback and share success stories; one gym member’s pre-wedding weight loss can be complemented with your bride-to-be’s newly straightened smile.