Episode 204 – How to Avoid the 3 Most Common Marketing Mistakes

“All they want to know, is can you help me with my problem.”

If your goal is to have new patients say to you, “I saw your ad and felt like you were speaking directly to me” then today’s episode is for you.

Mark Thackeray, host of the Dental Marketing Secrets Podcast joins Everyday Practices podcast co-host Regan Robertson for a candid conversation about applying simple tactics to hold your marketing accountable and avoid these three common mistakes:

  • Crafting marketing messages patients don’t care about
  • Attracting the wrong type of patients
  • Not understanding the differences in social platforms


Regan 0:01
Hi Doctor, Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.

Mark 0:47
And I remember I had a number of clients, there’s a guy in San Francisco specifically who said he stopped me during one of our shoots. He said, “I just have to tell you, when I saw your ad on Facebook, I knew it was like you were talking directly to me.”

Regan 1:05
Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson, and my co-host Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary, buckle up and listen in.

Welcome to Everyday Practices podcast. I am your host, Regan Robertson and my dutiful lovely co-host Dr. Chad Johnson is MIA because he is currently as we speak pulling a tooth. So what can you say about that other than duty calls? I am here today with a very special guest. I was an interview on his podcast Dental Marketing Secrets just a few weeks ago, and I had the pleasure and joy of meeting Mark Thackeray. He is the owner of the Practice Rocket. His specialty is high-converting social media campaigns and that is a hot topic. I was blown away on the interview that I had with you and your breadth of knowledge and your accomplishments, Mark. So welcome to the show.

Mark 2:23
Oh, thanks, Regan. It’s so fun to be here and I think Chad was, he probably jumped on and then took one look at his guest list and he was like, “I’m out of here,” because he was, I actually had him on the show too and he’s great but he’s like, not that guy again.

Regan 2:35
I doubt that. I doubt that. So I, just to give a little bit of authority to some of the accomplishments. I know, we don’t like to brag on ourselves, but Mark you, you have been known to increase the amount of new patients to dental practices by almost 30% year over year and what was interesting to me about that, you know, flat numbers, statistics, that’s impressive in and of itself, is that you were able to do that with a budget reduction in marketing by 15%. That’s a big deal and I know every business owner wants to know how to do more with less and I know that social media overall can be extremely daunting. And I think it would be a great conversation to have today Mark to know, you know how you’re able to do this for practices across the nation. So how did you get your start in, in marketing? What, what fuels you and drives you to help doctors like this?

Mark 3:31
Oh, well, I’ve got kind of an interesting story. You know, I actually went to school for marketing and advertising, it was a PR and advertising degree. Well, I did, I did two degrees, that and International Studies but I was leaning towards the business side and ended up just jumping out of college. I graduated from college and then started a photography business. Lo and behold, and I, you know, I’d always grown up taking pictures, and I thought, “Oh, that’d be fun to do.” My friend said, “Hey, let’s let’s do this,” and, and we looked at the competition and said, like most people, “Yeah, we could do better than this, you know.” So we kind of picked up the camera and ran with it. And, you know, eventually it got to that point where I needed to figure this out, you know, I mean, I had a wife at the time, we just had our first child. We’ve been doing this for I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and, you know, through the we were doing all the right things, you know, we were hustling, we were networking, we’re posting on blogs, posting on social doing all these things, right, that everyone tells you to do and I went to college for this for crying out loud, you know, and so and but, I still had just was at this level, you know, I couldn’t break through that plateau but eventually I got oh, sorry, there’s some noise in the background, which

Regan 4:57
Its real life.

Mark 4:58
Totally know exactly, but I got introduced to these guys that talked about marketing in a different way. You know, I mean, it was all about more direct response marketing and making your marketing holding your marketing accountable for it. So every dollar you put in you should be getting something back and that really resonated with me, you know, because I was hearing a lot an awful lot about branding and things like that and one of the guys said, “Branding is great, but you can’t take that to the bank, you know?” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, no kidding, I’ve tried, and they don’t, they don’t do much for that,” but eventually started employing or applying some of these tactics and it just changed everything for me, you know, it really dramatically shifted my mindset on on my whole approach and marketing and my, my trajectory just went like this, you know, just kind of rocket hockey shit hockey stick shape, really where it just shot up from there and, and I just, you know, I eventually fell in love, I fell in love with marketing, because, because of what it did for me personally, in my business, so then transition that into, into helping others to identify how they could do that for themselves, you know, because we all can, but it’s just a matter of understanding those principles. It’s not necessarily that you have to go to school, or anything like that. It’s just recognizing those opportunities that are there, and communicating them in such a way that the, you know, in this case, your patients understand, and it resonates with them. Wow. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been a fun ride, you know, because I was doing that for several years, I grew my photography business and then really what happened was that, but yeah, I was traveling at this point, I was traveling all over the country, almost every week, and I was booked up, and it was so so much fun but then we had a, one of my daughters was born and she had and when she we knew, while my wife was pregnant, that she had some health issues, some long term health issues and it was going to be, yeah, it was gonna be a long road ahead and so we, I made the decision that I could have been traveling way too much. It’s been, it’s, it was tough, too, because, you know, I built it up to this point. Finally, it’s like, “Oh, I made it kind of thing, you know,” but then, so we transition transition into me just just being marketing, consulting and then that’s where I really got into dentistry. As I had a friend started with a friend who was a dentist, he needed help helping him and that just kind of, you know, spiraled into that direction but it’s been a great road, you know, for a while too, I was the DSO for, or I was the marketing director for a DSO and really enjoyed that my time there, but then recognize that I could help practices even better, just one on one, you know, and so, so yeah, it’s been, it’s been great. I’ve loved I’ve loved it, where it’s taken me I didn’t think I’d ever be in this position, but so grateful to be here.

Regan 7:28
Wow, that’s a great story. I appreciate you know, getting the, getting the background background is very helpful and understanding kind of why this is important to you. What, what are some of the general like, common problems you see, from your expertise, dentists trying when it comes to marketing and failing miserably at?

Mark 7:46
Yeah, you know, I mean, that’s a great question and I think the first mistake that a lot of practices make is that they, they fail to communicate what they have to offer from the patient’s perspective. You know, we, as humans, we go through life with this, what’s in it for me mentality, we’re constant, that’s, you know, we’re constantly going through where they, you know, we’re always playing our own story, you know, and just what, how does this apply to me, and, you know, and then the other thing to remember with all this is that we are literally bombarded on all sides with marketing messages, you know, they say, it depends on the study, you look at, but three to, like, 7000 different messages every single day, you know, and, you know, physiologically, we just can’t process that, you know, I mean, that’s just, “Oh, man, it’s just so much noise,” and in order to cut through that, like, you have to, you have to have, you have to be able to speak directly to that person and most people don’t, you know, most most most practices, most companies for that matter do this, you know, they put themselves up on the pedestal, they’re trying to highlight themselves and make themselves look good, because they think that that’s what the patient wants to see, they want, they think that the patient really wants them to wants to know that they’ve been in business for 27 years, or they went to this, this, this school, you know, this, they have this degree or that degree, you know, and in reality that’s not really what a patient’s after. they’re after, can they all they want to know is can you help me with my problem? You know, and if you can, then great but if you fail to communicate that from their perspective, then they’re, they don’t even listen, like they don’t even know you exist, you know, they just we’ve become so adept at at just discarding that information. They just moving on you know, and so that’s kind of the first mistake and do you see that at all Regan to where you’re going around? You probably see that?

Regan 9:33
Absolutely. I think you know, what, what stood out to me there is that is a common problem I know we see is putting authority first. So you want to justify as a as a doctor, this is why I am qualified to help you but there is a key component missing and that’s the hook, that’s the what’s in this for me. What problem is is solving ever before you get to the authority stage of I’ve done this for 27 years for 1000s of patients and all in that year. Ah, yeah. So so how do you, how do you help doctors kind of get out of their own head?

Mark 10:06
Yeah, you know, it can be, it can be tricky because, you know, and I, I totally empathize with him because I was in that same position where, you know, you’re not really and I went to school for it too. So I even have no excuses but they don’t, they’re not taught this in dental school, really, I mean, they’ll go over marketing a whole lot, I think they’re getting a little bit better at colleges, here and there, but they really don’t have much, much time spent studying different marketing practices or principles and so I totally empathize with them and, you know, we just, we just kind of feel like that’s, “Oh, that’s, that’s the approach,” but the, what I typically do is step back and try and honestly, one of the best things you can do is to just ask your patients just talk and engage with your patients, and ask questions, you know, and especially your best patients, you know, you’re, you want to understand why they chose you because they, they have dozens of options out there, you know, sometimes hundreds of options. If you live in a metro area, you have hundreds of options nowadays, it’s just bonkers, but so they can choose anyone. So ask them why, you know, ask them why they chose you what, what makes them keep coming back, you know, just be upfront with him and ask him say, “I love to, I love you as having as a patient, you’re like our ideal patient. Alright, love to have 100 of you, you know, if I could just clone you, I would you know what, I’d love to learn more about how I could attract more people like you. So are you okay if I ask a few questions,” and just be just be sincere about it and they’ll tell you, “You know, I mean, they’ll say, Well, honestly, I wasn’t really sure I had this hesitation but one thing that really stood out to me was the way that you, you explain this, you know, you took the time to educate me on on this procedure, and why I needed it, you know, and what the long term consequences are, if I avoided it,” or whatever the case may be, but then just go deep with that, and really understanding them as a person as a patient, but also understanding their life, you know, their daily, their daily routine, you know, I mean, understanding them, if they’re, maybe they’re a mom, and they’re, you know, constantly shuttling kids back and forth and so for them, it’s about convenience, it’s about scheduling, everyone has a family and all that and, and then you can plug into that, you know, but it’s, it’s, it’s really comes down to understanding your patients, you know, understanding who you’re the right fit for, as well as who you’re not a great fit for, you know, because we’ve all been there to you know, or a patient walks in, and you know, like, deep down, you know, that they’re not a good fit, you know, you just have that sinking feeling like this is gonna be a nightmare but you some somebody do you feel obligated to treat them, you know, and see them because they’re here and they want to be treated but that’s, you know, you can you can do things in your marketing to, to attract the right people, and also to repel the people that aren’t the best fit. You know, that’s something I learned when in my photography business and that was like, an aha moment where it just holy cow, the world like opened up to me when I realized I don’t have to, I don’t ever have to deal with those people again, you know, I mean, and it was, it was so neat, because I remember, I remember talking I did a lot of weddings and events and, and so people have talked to other photographers and they’re like, “Oh, man, I had the crazy bride Zilla, you know,” and just, you know, there’s, there’s these horror stories of brides or moms like taking over the day, and it’s just a disaster for everyone and they come ask me like, “Oh, have you ever had that?” And I’m like, “No, not really, no, I don’t, I don’t get those type of people and, and it’s but it’s the point I want to make is that you can do that for your practice where you can really define who it is that you’re, you’re attracting, you know, who you’re a good fit for, and, and even repel those people that that’s just not it’s just not going to be a good experience for either side, you know,

Regan 13:44
Well let’s talk about that a little bit. That’s very intriguing, because the it’s counter intuitive to a we, you know, in the industry, here a lot attracts the patients you want to attract and I think that that can be a difficult mindset to get into if you are just trying to get patients in the door in general. So it can feel counterintuitive, to kind of cut off, you know, a certain audience member, but the truth in that counterintuitiveness is that it really leads the way for abundance. So as a visual storyteller, Mark, how did you, what were some of the questions that you asked yourself, and then you looked for in clients so that you could attract that ideal audience for your services?

Mark 14:25
Oh, for me, yeah, for me, you know, one critic, one good approach that you can take is if you’re not sure who, you know, if you’re kind of new to this whole idea, and concept of identifying your ideal patient or your ideal avatar, your ideal customer a lot of names for it, then, you know, you can look at people that you can deliver, like if you, if you had one person that you know, you know came into your practice for example, and you know, you could that had a specific situation, but you know, you could knock it out of the park for him every time, that’s a good place to start. You know, I mean, if you just, “Oh man, lined me up with wisdom teeth like I could do that. all day, and I make it amazing, like, everyone loves it, you know, I do that 24 hours a day, you know, that’s, that could be a great place to start,” and one caveat with all this too is that, you know, a lot of times when people get into this, they think, oh, man, you know, that’s I don’t want to narrow, I don’t want to shrink the size of my net, you know, I want to cast a wider net, I want more door patients and, you know, what you’re doing right now is, is you’re, you’re, you’re using a specific net, you know, to catch a specific type of fish, you know, but you’re, eventually what you’re going to do is, once you’ve mastered that, and really understood and gone deep with that audience, then you’re moving on to the next one. So you’re not in ultimately, you’re not limiting yourself, but you’re just you’re playing to that one specific audience right now because when you try to the the problem with casting a wider net, is that as a result, your messaging has to be generic, and it has to be vague, so that you’re not, you’re not excluding anyone in that audience, you know, and as a result, it just falls flat. You know, I mean, people don’t, they don’t pay attention to that stuff, it’s got to be very specific and address pain points and issues and desired outcomes. So as a storyteller, really, it depends, you have to, once you understand who it is that you’re going after, then it makes it so much easier, because now you understand that, okay, these people, you know, like for going back to my photography exam, once I understood that I was a good fit for older couples, you know, they were, you know, I live in Utah and so there’s a lot of people get married at, like 20, 21, and 22, 23, which is great and I did the same thing. So I’m in that group, I can, I can make fun of it too. So I understood that I was a better fit for those people that are a little bit older, because my style was different, you know, they wanted what they wanted was a really a totally hands off experience. They didn’t want they trusted me entire completely, they wanted me to get like capture everything from almost like a candid, you know, photo journalistic style, where it’s just hands off, it’s just very, everything’s organic and natural. I’m not up in their face, I’m not dictating or directing things to happen, i’m just, they’re capturing it all as it unfolds. Whereas a lot of the people in this in this area, when they’re getting younger, they they come to you with like a laundry list of things that here’s, here’s my Pinterest page, I want all these jobs that are on here and I’m like, “Oh, whoa, I’m just a tool here.”You know, I kind of felt like just a tool at that point but when you when you really go deep and you understand who you’re the best fit for, it’s easier to then address some of their concerns and their pain points. So in this example, I can now say, you know, I’m not the type, if you have, if you have a laundry list of shots that you want, I’m probably not a good fit for you but if you’d rather if your whole focus is on creating a truly unforgettable experience, not only for yourself, as a couple, but but also your friends and family that are traveling in from out of state because a lot of times these are destination type weddings and events, then then let’s talk you know, I mean, if you want some someone who’s going to capture every single emotion and detail without you knowing they’re even there, then let’s talk, you know, and that’s such a different message, you know, and it resonates with with the right people and I remember I had a number of clients, there’s a gal in San Francisco, specifically who said, you stopped me during one of our shoots, she said, “I just have to tell you, when I saw your ad on Facebook, I knew it was like you were talking directly to me,” you know, that is just the weirdest thing and I knew from that point that we were that you’re going to be our photographer and it was and that’s the cool thing about it. You could do that with marketing, you can be that personal and that, that intimate with them once you understand what they’re going through but it takes that time, you know, I mean, it takes a lot of investment on your part to dive deep with them and ask them questions.

Regan 18:44
Wow. So identifying who you are getting that avatar of who you would like to have come to the practice is your step one in it. And you slid right into social media. I mean, the algorithms today that are controlled, if anybody hasn’t watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, I highly recommend you go and watch it. I am a tick tocker, I love to watch tick tock and it feels like they are speaking to me and that takes a lot of effort. It’s a lot of watching, knowing and understanding my personal behavior. So, so from your perspective, I think you just hit on why this is important for social media. And when a doctor, what are some of the questions that a doctor could ask because I’m an advocate for not just because another doctor is doing it doesn’t mean I necessarily should be doing it. Right? So is it important that no matter your region, no matter who you’re trying to reach a social media, one of the tactics that you highly recommend no matter what they do, or is it personal to them, just like you preferred working with older couples is a you know, the tactic kind of to me aligns with that as well. What are your thoughts on social media and avatar attraction?

Mark 19:48
Yeah, that’s a great question, Regan, and I think for the most part, yes, I would say that it could benefit almost all practices, you know, and there’s there’s certainly some that that don’t need, you know, when we encounter those to where, where they’re just They’re on the tail end of their career, and they’re okay with just toning it down, like just fading out into the sunset, that’s their dream, and by all means, that’s great. That’s tremendous. You know, but I think, and then there’s also some outliers, too, that live in perhaps, rural areas, where there, there’s one of two dentists, maybe one dentist, and that’s it but to them to, I always counsel them, well, what you got to think ahead to, you know, I mean, the chance that someone could always move in, and that could be your competition, and they could be very active on social media, and they could swoop in and almost overnight and become the preeminent leader in your, in your, in your area. So you also have to kind of play that game of defense a little bit as well but for the most part, what I love, honestly, what I love, and you hit on one of one of the aspects Regan is that what I love about social media is it’s incredible ability to target the right people, you know, I mean, a lot of it comes from your understanding, but it once it starts picking up on it uses its algorithm to, to do more of what’s working, you know, I mean, that’s what’s so neat about it is that it can really go, go fast and go well in a hurry and the other thing that I love to share about social media, too, is that it can work for you all the time, you know, I mean, and it can work for you in different ways. Social media is a lot different than it’s a different than like Google, for example and this is one of the channel one of the mistakes that a lot of practices make is when they start advertising on social media, they treat it like Google and the reality is that the user is the user. That’s the right word I’m looking for the user intent is different on Facebook and Instagram than it is and on tick tock than it is on Google Google, they’re going in with the intent of finding an answer to a question, you know, “I’m ready to find this answer immediately. I’ve got an itch, I want to scratch it right now,” but when they’re, when they’re on social media, that’s different. A lot of times they’re on there to relax or to veg out or to connect with other people or just stalk, watch other people, you know, I mean, they’re just there to get entertained a lot of times and so your approach needs to be a little different and that’s where most people most practices really fall flat is that they just they just try and do the Google approach but what’s cool is that it’s oh man, there’s so many ways to INEC we could go super deep in this, but you can you can track you can target people at every different level of this of their conversion process. So let’s say, you know, everyone kind of goes through a normal process to become a patient, become a client and there’s different steps along the way. So some people there, they don’t even know that they have a need, you know, so they’re this far away on this side of the spectrum, whereas others are there more than Google feed, they’re like, “Oh, whipping out their credit card, I’m ready to buy now who’s it going to be?” And there’s, most people are down in the middle, you know, I mean, most people are just along the beginning stages or starting to gather information, you know, weighing their options and that’s where social can really come in and do a tremendous job is you can attract those people, you can get them to maybe opt in for a free resource and then you can be the one to nurture them along that path, you know, you can be provide the education, you can provide the value, they look to you as an industry, authority and a leader, because you’re publishing information, you’re helping them make the best decision possible and then when the time comes for them to make a decision, you are the incumbent, you know, I mean, you’re you’re seen as the one who’s well, you’ve been helping me this, but you know, I might as well just go to you and it really, man, I mean, you’re capturing like, the vast majority of the audience. There’s only a tiny fraction that are ready to buy now, you know, and so if you can, if you can focus your efforts on on reaching that other audience, you’re gonna have the lion’s share of of opportunity. So those are the kind of the two things that I love to share about social, do

Regan 23:44
Do you, so you’re thinking of one patient, that patient may have multiple needs, like you address, they may have a family, so convenience may be important to them, they may not have insurance, so affordable payment options may be affordable to them, or bait, you know, be attractive to them. Do you just sort of in a social media campaign? Do you kind of throw the kitchen sink and hope that you can, you know, attracts them on one of those problems or do you tease apart problems to attract them? Like if I’m a doctor, getting ready to, you know, put the patient’s need first, and not be like Google and answer a question, what is it that I should do or focus on to be able to have the highest chance of getting their attention?

Mark 24:24
Yeah, what I like to do is with our approach, really is just to, you know, look back, if any kind of based it off your experience to you know, I mean, if you’re getting commonly asked questions, or it can be a great place to start, you know, and so you can, you can start to address those, you know, because that’s really where people will begin that process. Once they’re, once they recognize that they have a need, they’re going to start most likely they’re going to start asking those questions, especially when it comes to the dental industry, you know, because those are things that you know, we just don’t know a lot about, you know, I mean, we yeah, we know what a crown is, for the most part, we know what an implant is. We have no idea what The process is to get an implant. You know, I actually got one, this big, huge front tooth of mine that got knocked out playing soccer a couple of years ago, I got it took, took me a year and you know, I’d been in dental for a while and I still, you know, like the ins and out like understood the basics.

Regan 25:14
It took you a year to get an implant.

Mark 25:14
Oh, yeah.

So you had a missing tooth there for a year?

Mark 25:18
Yeah, flipper. Yeah, they extracted it. You should have seen my face after, I was like, oh, my it looked like I was in this fight. You know, I was like, oh, so bad.

Regan 25:28
I chipped that front, that same front tooth and yeah, when I was pregnant with my first child, so I, I was very nervous and thought, “Oh, my gosh, because I’m pregnant aaybe they can’t fix my to me, that’s gonna be an issue.” I was so embarrassed but they it was an easy process, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know, either.

Mark 25:43
Well, and that’s the thing. You know, I mean, so even someone like me, who had been in dental for a few years, actually, at that point, like, I still didn’t understand the process fully and I still had questions. And so you meet them where they are and that’s where a lot of them will be. It’s at that stage where they’re asking questions, you know, and especially, because here’s what happens, you know, I mean, if we, if they don’t have any of that, you know, structural information, if they don’t have any contextual information, what happens is that they just they default to price, you know, and we’re all the same, like, “Well, I understand money, you know, I mean, I don’t understand, like, there’s this, there’s this guy that’s charging, you know, 30oo, 3500 bucks for an implant. This one says, 1499 for an implant? I have no idea. You know, I mean, I understand this one, how is this one system twice as good?” Or, you know, you play that like, mental game of, you know, ping pong back and forth? Right, but yeah, and so if you could come in and address a question like that, you know, then you’re gonna get people’s attention, you know, and you’re gonna, you’re gonna capture those people that are at that stage and so I usually, our approach and I always encourage practices to do this, just focus on one kind of issue, and make that kind of your, your message right there and then always leave them, you always want to invite them to, to take the next step. You know, we don’t we as humans, we don’t really do things unless we’re invited to or challenge to do something, you know, I mean, so you see, like, an all the movies, you know, like, Liam Neeson is not going to go off to, like, chase these bad guys unless than one took his daughter, you know, and make us just, he’s just not going to do that and neither will we and so we’ve got to get challenged and see that as a good thing, you know, I mean, when you understand that the value that you’re providing someone, and how the difference that can make in their life, and really fully grasp that it should be, it should come a lot more naturally. You know, I know that we don’t want to be salespeople, we don’t want to be associated or categorized like that, but we’re trying to get them the desired benefit, we know what’s possible to them, you know, what that outcome could look like for them, and what it could mean the implications of their on their daily life and so it’s really our moral obligation to help them see that, whether they, whether they do it or not, you know, that’s up to them, we’re not going to headlock them or you know, put them in a headlock and make them do it, but, but we want to make sure that they’re aware of their options but so yeah, I would just, I would pick with one, one kind of one issue, one common question and really go deep with that and you could do maybe a couple of questions that are that are similar to that and then invite them to learn more, you know, and that could just be through maybe you put together a PDF guide, or maybe record a video as a, as a doctor and answer these questions and they can opt in for that and then you can, then you can keep, keep, you know, keep nurturing them along, and keep providing them helpful information.

Regan 28:29
So I hear connection, connect with them on a problem first, for example, they may not even a patient may not even know that they need a dental implant, or that they could benefit from a dental implant, they just know that they have a missing tooth, or a tooth that’s about to die a perilous death and then you get to educate and I like what you say there because so many times we get wrapped up feeling like we are having to sell and, and there’s a really interesting tug of war that goes on between business goals, and not wanting to feel greedy and not wanting to feel like it’s a, it’s a money game, which I agree with you fully is a surface game when you when you play the game of how much does something cost, it’s the wrong conversation to have. So I think you’ve just outlined a beautiful strategy using story that pulls in connecting with them on their level, educating them and that was interesting with the downloadable PDF, you know, educating them on the features, the benefits, why this is important to them. Is that the time then after you’ve gone through those stages to bring in the authority to then outlay you know, the the empathy and the authority of understanding where they’re at and then why that doctor is qualified because I don’t want to miss over that it is always important, right, that the doctor’s credentials do matter. They spend a lot of time in in school and CTE programs and whatnot, is that the appropriate time to bring in the authority?

Mark 29:48
Yeah, and you can start to you can start to weave it in and my, my advice has always to, to translate that into a direct benefit for the patient, you know, so into into terms that they can under stand as a direct benefit to them. So if you’ve been, while I’ve been, you know, certified and all these different specializations, then well, okay, you can always ask the question. So what? So what does that mean? So that, you know you as a patient, it’s easier for you, we use the latest technology and that will make it easier in terms of it’s less time-consuming, less invasive, your recovery is going to be better, it’s going to look better, more aesthetically, and just go into depth detail on what that means because too often we just assume that they know what that means. “Well, here’s the benefit, you should figure out what that means,” but we have no idea. You know, like, I don’t know what that means. So tell me. So yeah, that’s, that’s a great, it’s a good time to do that and it’s always in the context of why it’s why it’s important to them. So I always add those two words to it. So what you know, so that you so you make sure that you’re doing that you’ve touched on another thing too, Regan, is just this this element of, of story, you know, and maybe we’ll dive into this in a little bit but I think that’s so so critical as but for the the point I wanted to make actually before this was was on empathy you because that’s, that’s, and I was gonna tie that in the story. Sorry, I get a little but yeah, empathy is so cool because once you once you can articulate and if you’re if you have that ability to articulate their situation, even better than they can, then then that’s instant credibility. You know, I mean, that’s happened, we’ve all had that happen, right? Someone comes to us, and you’ve, maybe you’ve, I don’t know, you’ve messed up somehow, and someone comes over and kind of calf, you’re at this stage, right? You know, well, it’ll, it’ll get better, but you’re gonna have to go through this and this first, and all of a sudden, you’re like, “Oh, man, that guy knows what he’s talking about,”

Regan 31:39
The visual that underlines like, when I, you said, meet, meet doctors, where they’re at, or meet patients where they’re at. So the visual that I get when I close my eyes is, you know, somebody’s sitting on a curb somewhere, maybe their heads in their hand, and you come alongside them and sit down next to them. Yeah, and and hear what they have to say. That’s, that’s what I hear when I see, you know, when I hear the word empathy, and what that, what that feels like to that patient.

Mark 32:01
Yeah, yeah, exactly and they’re, they’re just this forms and immediate bond, you know, I mean, we had, so give me an example of personal example, but we had, you know, when our daughter, so she had some, some physical issues and eventually, later on, we found out she had, she was diagnosed with cancer and thankfully, she’s, she’s okay, now, we’ve been gone through a lot of things and she’s okay, she’s doing great. So we’re so so fortunate but I remember going to people and you know, we’d have we talked to family and friends and, and it but then I remember one of my friends whose daughter had leukemia, with having him come over and it was early on in Leicester, we found out and just being able to talk to him, and it wasn’t anything that he said, but just the fact that he knew exactly what we’re going through, you know, it just immediately I felt better, you know, I felt like, okay, we can do this, you know, whereas I was talking to my family, we my parents and siblings and, and whom I love and adore, and we have great relationship with and I respect, but it wasn’t the same, you know, like, they, they don’t know what it’s like, you know, and so, so you have that opportunity to do that same thing with your patient, you know, if you can, if you can describe that to them, and articulate that in such a way that that patient’s like, holy cow, this person gets what’s going on, like, they know exactly what’s going on, then it’s night and day, you know, I mean, all of a sudden, they, they’re gonna, they’re gonna trust you, and they’re gonna listen to you and that’s the power of empathy in there. So, just wanted to add that in.

Regan 33:30
That’s beautiful. It’s really beautiful for the dentists that are listening, that I mean, I would say the large majority of folks listening to our podcast in particular have social media, Mark, what can they do when they pop over to their social media to kind of test the waters and and see if they’re using social media as well as they could be and effectively?

Mark 33:50
Yeah, great question and that’s another huge benefit of social media is it’s, it’s a great way to test things out, you know, especially organically you to try out different things you can I, you know, did this for one of our clients, where we just asked a question, say, “What’s your biggest challenge, single biggest challenge right now?” And, and the man just flooded with comments, there was like, 13, 14 comments and within the hour, you know, and that’s the thing you can, you can engage in dialogue, on social and really dive deep, it’s, you can have almost a one on one conversation with these people, if you’re, if you’re commenting, and eventually we could direct message them or whatever you want, however, you want to approach that, but you’re just you’re mining all this information, you’re better understanding where they’re at and so I think, just having those conversations, putting those being very open, and even vulnerable, and say, “Hey, you know, I mean, I’m, I want to get better at this. You know, I’ve had some feedback on this.” I’ve had one one client that did this was so cool. They posted like a one-star review, and said, you know, just basically said, you know, “Here’s here’s a chance for us to get better and we’re serious about this, that’s why I’m posting this. I want your feedback.” I know and it was like, “Holy cow, I mean, people, it was an eye opener for people and, and it was awesome. You know, I mean, it was so revealing, and so, so endearing and a lot of ways, you know, so that’s another great thing you can do. But

Regan 35:12
So, wait did that doctor propel and see success because they were brave enough to post a one-star review that they received?

Mark 35:18
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, it was, it was so cool. You know, I mean, it was very vulnerable, and open up and share why, why it didn’t go so well, you know, from their perspective and things that they want to try and do better, but also encouraging input to just say, “We really were sincere when we say we want to make this the best practice out there.” You know, and so just just asking that, and following up and showing, demonstrating that you’re doing that. So yeah, those are, those are some good, some good ways to get started but I think also, once you have those conversations, making a mental note, or, or keeping the easy to do now, with with your phone, or your Google Doc, or whatever you want to use, just start copying and pasting some of the phrases that they use, or that you hear in your office all the time. So get your team involved, have them start listening, and be like, “Oh, I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels every single day,” or “All I do is shuttle kids around.” you wanna, you want to use the same language that they’re using, you know, because that’s going to, again, that’s gonna resonate with them, it’s gonna feel like you’re one of them. Because you, you’re using the same words, you know, and so that’s a great copywriting little tip that you can you can do is just try and use those words that they’re using. So if they’re coming up a lot, you know, that’s something to take note of.

Regan 36:32
Now, business, business Facebook pages, if we talked about Facebook, for example, as the platform of choice for today, or Instagram, they can I know that Facebook can work against that business algorithm a little bit. So is there advice that you would have for doctors who maybe aren’t getting the level of engagement? They may be asking questions, but it’s kind of cricket. So there’s some, is there something that they can do to help encourage and boost that engagement?

Mark 36:56
Yeah, this is, this is a tough one, you know, because it’s changed so much. You know, I mean, it used to be where your, your whole goal was to build up followers, you know, and you get people to like your page and then as soon as what’s great about that was you post on your page, and all your followers would see it at some point but now, that is not the case anymore, unfortunately, you know, right, it’s more of a, they’ve almost gone to more of a pay to play model, you know, where, unless you have and here’s the caveat to that, here’s the, here’s the one exception to that is, is unless you have really engaging content, so it helps to undertake a step back and look at things from Facebook and Instagrams point of view. So their whole goal is to try and keep you on their platform as long as possible and if they can show you content that’s going to, you know, maybe it’s a video that you watch for 30 seconds, or maybe it’s a funny post or something like that are really engaging posts, that’s could be polarizing could be not, but that’s gonna keep you on their platform, and stay there longer, rather than flipping over to, you know, my case, ESPN or, or something else, you know, or, or a text or whatever and so if you’re, if you’re just posting stuff that’s not engaging, which this happens all the time, you know, in the dental world, where it’s like, this canned content that, you know, it’s like 16 different uses for Colgate toothpaste or whatever, you know, and people are like, “I don’t care.” Like, you can see it, you can spot it a mile away, and, but if that’s the challenge, you know, is coming up with content that’s engaging, and it’s tricky, you know, it’s tricky, you can spend a lot of time on that, and still not see the engagement and so it’s, it’s a, it’s a tough battle. One thing that we’ll do is, you know, videos are great way, you know, video is a great way to get started, but you have to overcome that, you have to be comfortable with that, you know, it’s a very vulnerable, a lot of, a lot of doctors, a lot of team members aren’t, aren’t comfortable doing that, you know, but you can do like a video tour or you can do have your office you can do you know, get patients involved if you can, or you could just sit it on your, on your desk and do like a q&a, you know, and just say, “Hey, we’re gonna we’re gonna do this every Thursday,” and Facebook and Instagram love video, because again, coming back to that it helps people stay on their platform longer generally. So, so those are good ways to kind of do that pictures are always generally good. You there’s there’s times when you don’t want picture like you can you can break that up. Like what that example with where it’s someone where a kind of client that just asked the question, it wasn’t the review one but it’s just a question with no pictures and that was a great, great way to break that up because sometimes we’re too image heavy, you know, on Instagram and Facebook.

Regan 39:33
So yeah, I’m hearing be okay with, uh, be okay with with testing things out. Be okay with testing if picture’s worth being brave enough to maybe post a video and see how that works. You know, should doctors if they if they post a video and they get no views or little views, should they take it down and try because I think that can be one of the barriers is I just want everything to be perfect. I know that dentists often struggle with perfectionism and you know, really saying everything and to me that is part of the vulnerability of it is, is this, is this perfect? So is there value in, in trying different things and leaving it up and going and going forward with it? Do you think that just shares more of the realism or do you think that they should, if it does something doesn’t work, delete it and start all over again?

Mark 40:18
No, I totally agree with that. I think it helps, it helps to tell your story as a practice, you know, I mean, just just that you’re okay, making mistakes, and you’re gonna do whatever you can to obviously make those right. If it’s, if it’s a clinical error or anything like that, but, but also that as a human, like, you’re comfortable enough to share that, you know, you’re coming from a place where you’re, you have self-confidence, and you’re okay being like, “Hey, I totally messed up, you know, and here’s what I did wrong and, or I’m still learning Facebook.” It’s okay, just forgive me, you know, people, man, people are so forgiving that way, especially what with social media, that’s what’s so cool is you don’t need fancy fancy production gear, you don’t need a nice camera. You know, audios that audio is the one thing that’s like, you should be able to hear nice, you know, it should have some some decent audio, but as long as you’re close to your phone, like you’ll be fine. You know, and so you don’t need it doesn’t need to be perfect and people actually prefer that it’s not because sometimes when they see it’s overly, overly done, or you know, I mean, it just looks like someone’s come in, it looks like an ad, you know, and again, we’re trained to just, I’m just scrolled through that, like,

Regan 41:21
That’s interesting that you bring that up, because I was just talking to our online producer, Kashmere today about another podcast that I follow that I love and adore and I’m not going to name it because I have a critical feedback for it. When it began, it was very raw, it was very real. I knew that the that the topic, they were passionate about the topic, they were bringing the tools right to us, it was a really very valuable thing and I feel like at this point, it’s become overproduced. So now it feels almost like an advertisement and it’s it’s very shiny, it sounds like, the, the sound quality is higher production, the outline is clearly really well thought out but it’s lost some of that authenticity and I think that that is such a gift that social media does give us is the chance to be real and authentic. Dr. Andy Droll, which I know I have mentioned on this podcast probably multiple times, because it was the favorite video of 2020, he just turned on his camera during the middle of the pandemic, when he was closed and looked right into it and said, “I miss seeing you.” Not I missed seeing my patients not I miss seeing you. And he was teary and he was emotional about it and he was just sharing, you know, where the practice was at what they were working on and the uncertainty around it and his his genuine sincerity and getting excited to see patients again one day and it was just to me that you couldn’t beat that it was it was authenticity and it was it was, it was empathetic, it was bringing in you know, getting on their level of you can’t see us and we can’t see you and we feel that it was beautiful. So I think that’s I think your message today is is very poignant across any tactic and I think do you find, I think patient retention goes up when you when you start the conversation that way.

Mark 43:07
Yeah, I 100% You know, and to piggyback off that, I think what he did so well is just made it very personal. You know, and that’s one thing that, you know, as you’re getting started, a lot of people can, can fall into the trap of, hey, I’m writing to a group, you know, I’m posting this to the world of Facebook or my community or whoever that might be even an email, you know, I’m a posting all my patients, but the reality is you want to, you want to write this, like you’re just I’m just writing Regan, you know, I’m just gonna, I’m just sit down on my desk, I’m just gonna write make Regan a message right now, you know, and make it that make it sound like that, you know, there was a great example to where it wasn’t one of my clients, but I heard about it from someone else and I thought, “Oh, it’s brilliant.” You know, I mean, just just a simple email. It was like one line long that said, “You know, Regan, what can I do to help?” You know, it’s not like that, you know or what are your What are you? What are you working through right now. And it was just a simple one-liner, you know, that that and it opened up the door for so many wonderful conversations. A lot of patients responded to that reacted to that and, and gave them so much more insight and, and again, it kind of comes back to that to telling the story that of who you are and who you are as a practice because and that’s the thing. I think a lot of a lot of practices, a lot of doctors out there a lot of providers out there, they got into this because they genuinely care about people, you know, I mean, they’re, they love that service aspect of their profession and they love those relationships like it just it makes him so excited and, and so yeah, just help share that. You know, I love that video. I think everyone should do that. 100%

Regan 44:40
You know what this reminds me of speaking of storytelling, Garth Brooks, of all if you are kind of if anybody out there is a country music fan or Garth Brooks fan. I waited a very long time to go to my first Garth Brooks concert and I was so excited. I was very excited to be there. I went down to Tacoma Washington to go Tacoma Dome, which is huge and, and I felt like the entire concert he was speaking to us from his living room to me directly even though I was just a little, you know, head of a needle in this haystack of a fans and not only that, but he was actually he had a cold at the time. So his singing wasn’t even like where it should be and he still showed up, he gave it his all I felt like he was connecting with me and if you’re listening to this right now, I, dentists, I recommend you go look at Garth Brooks social media, because he definitely makes me feel like he’s speaking to me or  to you, while addressing the need and I think you just highlighted that to a tee. You know, put that one person in your mind, you’re speaking to one and by speaking to one, you’re speaking to all you want to attract.

Mark 45:47
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You know, I mean, they are and this is, the whole thing with when we’re talking about storytelling is making that person the hero of the story. You know, I mean, you are not, you know, I hate to break it to you if you feel this way, but you’re not the hero of their story. You know, I mean, a lot of people get attached to that but yeah, if you can shift that mindset and really put them up on a pedestal, I mean, you’re there to serve them, and you’re there to help them achieve their goals. You know, you’re the guide, you’re the trusted guide on that path to get them there. You know, you know what, what needs to be taken, you know, what steps need to be taken, and you can you can direct them to help get them there. So, yeah, that’s a great, Garth Brooks is such a step up is a great example.

Regan 46:32
Wow, this has been a fantastic conversation, Mark, I hope to have you on our podcast again, it’s been a joy meeting you, knowing you, and thanks for helping all of our audience today, you know, pull forth and authentic story and reach patients where they’re at.

Mark 46:47
No, it’s been my pleasure, you know, I love talking about story just because it has, I mean, we’re wired for stories, you know, I mean, we as humans, that’s what we, that’s why we go to Facebook, you know, I mean, that’s why we spend so much time on social or, or watching TV or YouTube or is because we love those stories and there’s a cool fact of actually wanted to share this too. But neuroscientists have discovered that people on average, spend about 30% of their day daydreaming, you know, and less and less, they’re already engaged in the story and it’s just, I mean, it’s just, yeah, it’s been scientifically proven that we are, like, we’re looking to be involved in a story our whole time, you know, and it’s, it’s a tremendous way to cut through all the noise and the clutter. In fact, I kind of compare it to the difference between music and noise, you know, I mean, there’s noise going on all the time and you can compare that to all the advertising and all that stuff but when you when you just rearrange that noise with certain notes, and, and for any composition, I can’t remember the right terms but, but if you rearrange those in the right way, it becomes music, you know, and all of a sudden, you can, you can pick out a song, like from way out there and you can pick out a song that you haven’t heard in 20 years and you know, all the lyrics to that song. You know, and that’s the power of stories, stories works in the same way. So it’s, I love, I love talking about as you can tell, I can keep going but I really appreciate you having me on here, Regan.

Regan 48:10
Absolutely, and I will have you back. If you are hungry for more Mark daiquiri head on over to Dental Marketing Secrets podcast, where he releases fresh content quite often, or practice rocket.net Thank you, Mark, for being our guest and I wish you the best. Thank you for listening to another episode of Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome? Drop us an email at podcast@productivedentist.com and don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentist.com/podcasts See you next week.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

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