In this episode, Ajay is speaking with Dr. Tiffanie Garrison-Jeter, founder of Definition Dental and Wellness Spa. Here, Ajay discusses the best ways to market a new practice and reach out to target patients to grow her practice with an improved ROI.
Dr. Tiffanie Garrison-Jeter has been partnering with patients to provide smiles and confidence since graduating from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 2012. Her experience ranges from military dentistry, where she served actively in the United States Army for five years, corporate, community health, and finally private practice. Dr. Garrison-Jeter founded Definition Dental and Wellness Spa in 2018 and is partners with her patients to promote their wellness, overall health, and confidence.
Ajay: Pretty good. How are you?
Dr. Tiffanie: I'm doing great, doing great. Just finished the day.
Ajay: Okay. That's good to know. I know it's normally a long day, right? You know, Dr. Garrison, if you could tell us a little bit about your practice so that I would be able to understand your questions better and come up with a reasonable answer.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay. So, I am a dental practice; general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry. I started from scratch, zero patients, zero walls in the building, so literally from scratch. We opened up in 2019, so February made it two years that I've been open in private practice. So, I do general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry. I do Botox, fillers, that kind of thing as well. So, yeah, that's me.
Ajay: Okay, good. And so, you are solo practitioner, right?
Dr. Tiffanie: Correct.
Ajay: Okay. All right. That's interesting. And are you a new graduate or did you used to work somewhere before?
Dr. Tiffanie: I graduated in 2012, so I've been a dentist about nine years. I did military dentistry for five years. I did corporate dentistry. I've been in community health, and then I decided to strike out on my own. So, I've been in practice nine years, private practice for two.
Ajay: Perfect. Perfect. Okay, good. Now that I understand, so let's dive into your question so that if we need to dig any deeper we can even do that.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay. Okay.
Ajay: So, let's start with your questions. I already asked you questions, I'll let you ask me.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay. So, what is your background? What type of practitioner are you?
Ajay: So, I'm a patient, I'm not a doctor. I have been doing marketing for doctors, or in the healthcare practice, for a very long time; 16, 17 years. Before that I was in corporate marketing. And so, I started to realize that there's a lot of information, a lot of wisdom, that we have that we'll start sharing.
So, that's why we are doing this podcast, where I'm doing it the other way around. Most of the podcast it's the host is the one who answers the question. So, we are doing marketing, and we do market only for healthcare marketing, healthcare industry, and very extensive experience in that. And that's all we do, all sort of marketing.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay, great. So, my first question would be, what is the best option to promote a new service? So, in my case, I'm a general dental practice but I do other things that are outside of normal. I do Botox, I do the fillers, I do non-invasive body contouring, B12 shots, and different things like that. So, what is the best option to promote a service that's not a traditional service that practitioners like me would?
Ajay: Sure. So, obviously when you are providing something different from what I call the core competency that no one doubts about – If you hold a degree in dentistry, you are a dentist, no one doubts that. So, when, when you are doing something different, the first thing is to make sure that you have to build that credibility, so that people know that they can trust you to come to your service. So, whether it is certification, which is very important. The patient testimonial is going to do wonders, because right now, in any event, 90% of the people will check your reviews before they select someone. So, having patient testimonial is important.
Now it could be a catch 22; if you don't have patients there then how do you get a testimonial if you are launching it. So, again, you have to build the credibility so that people can believe that, "Yes. This is the right person." Especially in the healthcare it becomes very important, that they believe that they are with the right doctor. And once you have it, then I would say you need to really focus on, I always call it introspecting.
Sit down and say, "Who is my ideal patient? Who is exactly I am after?" Because as you start to think about your ideal patient then that's when you will be able to say, "Huh. Okay. My ideal patient is whatever; someone who is 40 years, has this." Once you've sketched that, at that point then you start to see where do these people congregate, right?
Social media is obviously one of the things that is very effective because you can really pinpoint who you want to go after. And once you are there then you have to start the dialogue. We always suggest a podcast is a very good thing to do. Every now and then you can have newsletters, you have blogs. So, whatever is the medium, you need to start to get into a dialogue with these people, so the more your name they see, the more it – It's almost like it becomes familiar.
Once you have become familiar with someone then you already start to trust. That's the reason we end up going to McDonald’s, not the other mom and pop when we are driving next to it, because we know it's familiar, we can trust, we know what we are getting out of it.
So, that would be my suggestion; is first make sure that people know that you are able to do that. And whatever is the certification, anything that is required, have it. If you have patients already, that's fantastic, get a lot of testimonial from them. Figure out who is your right customer, and then you have to reach out on where they are. Like I said, social media just a start, but it's a matter of trying to figure out where these people are, you may – that maybe a group that you can go and give a talk because that is your target audience. So, that's something that once you start to find tune in it, you'll know exactly what to do. Did I answer your question?
Dr. Tiffanie: Yes.
Ajay: Okay. I just wanted to make sure that you understand, if you have any question about my answers, you can always ask me.
Dr. Tiffanie: Yes. So, you said about having your target patient in mind or your target client in mind. So, I have my target in mind, it's just what's the best way to reach them where you're going to get a good return on your investment? That kind of leads to my next question. Because when I worked as a startup, I tried friends and I tried all different manners of Google AdWords and this, this and that, that print marketing wasn't as successful for me. I don't know if it was because I didn't do it right or what do you thinking about digital versus print marketing as far as the best ROI?
Ajay: So, you know now the print marketing at best is relegated to a secondary role, really everything is digital. Even large corporations, like now 60% of their budget goes to digital marketing, so that tells you what is happening. And so, I would say digital definitely makes more sense because you can pinpoint in digital, you can pinpoint, you can see the return. It's very easy to gauge the effectiveness, testing, everything. So, first thing I would say is go for digital. And once you think that okay, you are doing everything that you can in digital, only then I would try anything print.
Print has become fairly ineffective even – To give an idea, even if you get someone's attention, you do a direct mail and you get someone attention, they're going to go and check on your – What on your website anyway. You have on your website, they'll check your testimonial and all that before they are going to even contact you. So, first thing first is print and only then you should think about digital. I'm sorry, other way around. What I'm saying? First is digital only then you should think about print.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay. Got you. And then, my last question was, so you've got the social media and that's growing, any tips on how to monetize that to turn that into actual paying patients or clients that are going to actually buy your products? So, it's nice for them to click on stuff and like it, and that's cool and everything, but how to use that marketing platform to turn it into actual patients, actual people buying the product?
Ajay: So, one thing that's – Obviously you can use a digital, the social media paid advertising right in the pay-per-click advertising. But so that is already there since you have done Google AdWords. So, you can do the same thing on Facebook, Instagram, and all. But having said that, when you want to create a group and increasing group, do you have – What social media you're on right now?
Dr. Tiffanie: Mainly Instagram, but Instagram and Facebook.
Ajay: Okay. Instagram and Facebook, so great. So, when you have people and I'm assuming that you are sharing, you are constantly updating, responding to people on your social media platform?
Dr. Tiffanie: Yes.
Ajay: Okay. So, the thing to monetize, we have this standard saying that, after every eighth touch points, eight time giving them something, some useful information, ninth time, you can ask for their business. So, if you have a group on Facebook or Instagram, and if all the posts is about, here's a special, this is a new thing, then people tune it out. So, first thing first is you need to engage them. So, improve the engagement level and once – And that's where I was telling you that the magic is, eight times you are giving them some very useful information and ninth time you ask for the business.
So, yeah, if once people are engaged with your social media activities, then you can ask them. You can ask for referrals, you can ask them if they are interested, you can make a special offer, maybe a free visit or anything like that. So, that's the main thing. If you have a group there, first thing is engagement. And once you start to get the engagement, then everything will be downhill from there.
Once people are engaged, that means they're already trusting you and they are interested in what you're talking about. Once they have the interest then, of course you can ask them. And create a very strong referral program. That's one thing that I know. Generally speaking, you get referrals just by asking for it. So, having a good referral program is something that I see a lot of – That's where I see a lot of healthcare providers and doctors and dentists missing out on, something so simple. That you already a patient who is already happy, you can just ask them to refer someone else they know. Okay?
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay. That's pretty much all the questions I had.
Ajay: Okay. And I have a question for you. So, how is the engagement on your social media? Do you know?
Dr. Tiffanie: So, I feel like there's lots of people that look and like, but as far as actual engagement, like commenting on something, or sharing something, that's where the disconnect is for me. It's like, they'll like it, or they'll look at it.
Ajay: So, that would be something that you can – I would say you should totally focus on. See what you can do to engage them. Again, what you are posting there has to do with engagement and you also want to make sure they would be engaged more, if they are the right audience also. So, that's kind of funny thing. If you have a lot of people who are not the prospective patients sign up and become part of your group, then they won't have interest.
So, that is the tougher part. It's a long-term work there. I can tell you, but it will pay off big time Dr. Garrison, by trying to see what you can do to, number one, grow the group, your followers. In the end, see how do you increase their engagement. Again, I wish that it was easy, so everyone could do that, but if you want to focus on one area, that's what I would say. Focus on it, and that will give you the biggest return.
Dr. Tiffanie: Okay.
Ajay: Okay? All right. If you have any other question Dr. Garrison, you can always ask. I know that Oliver said three questions, but it is not like there's a limitation. If anything else that's burning, let me know.
Dr. Tiffanie: No, that's pretty much it.
Ajay: Okay, sounds good. Then –
Dr. Tiffanie: It's the only question that I had.
Ajay: – It's wonderful, and hopefully I gave you the answers in this useful line. I know that it's always easier said than done. Execution is everything, but again as you said, it starts with knowing what to do. You already seems like you are doing all the right things, it's just a matter of just taking you to the next level.
Dr. Tiffanie: Right. Yeah.
Ajay: Okay. All right, Dr. Garrison, it was wonderful talking to you.
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