Every dental practice regardless of its size needs good marketing in order to thrive and remain sustainable. Our CEO, Chris Pistorius was featured to speak about this topic on the Shock Your Potential Podcast.
Read The Interview Below
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to season five of the shock, your potential podcast with your host, best selling author and international speaker, Michael Sherlock. The shock your potential podcast is dedicated to entrepreneurs. Looking to up their game, increase their income and scale their businesses to new Heights shock. Your potential is a professional services company providing affordable services to small businesses, matching entrepreneurs with virtual assistance and offering specialized leadership and sales training to companies around the world. Learn more email@example.com and listen in now to another motivating episode that will help you to shock your potential.
Speaker 2 (00:42):
Thank you for joining us on another episode of shock your potential. I am your host, Michael Sherlock in all month long. We’re talking to some of my favorite people. Why? Because they’re authors and authors who have a message to share about something that will make a difference to you. I guarantee you, my guest today is Chris Astoria and he’s the founder of kickstart dental marketing. Now we’re not only gonna talk about dental because he also specializes in marketing for other professionals, including medical professionals, marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, just like you. And from his more than 15 years of digital marketing experience, he has worked with countless business owners across multiple facets of marketing consulting coaching. And he is built his digital marketing agency into one of the top Mar marketing agencies in the country as listed on places that are pretty impressive, like up city SEO for growth design rush expertise of agency Vista.
Speaker 2 (01:38):
Now he doesn’t just do all this. He also shares his expertise by giving marketing seminars across the country, and he hosts his own weekly marketing podcast, which I can’t wait to talk about. But before starting his marketing agency in 2009, Chris worked, this is where he’s got his chops from and just lean into this. He worked for online marketing giants, like AOL time, Warner decks, and MapQuest, and he holds several online marketing certifications. He’s trained also by Google on how businesses can get the most out of their marketing efforts. And he’s also the author of the book we’re gonna talk about today, the ultimate guide to internet marketing for dentists. And I can’t wait to talk. I have a real big history in, uh, in medical sales. I love it. I can’t wait to talk about this. So Chris is joining us today from beautiful Denver, Colorado. Thank you for being with us.
Speaker 3 (02:30):
Hey Michael. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Speaker 2 (02:32):
Yeah. I love, I, I love talking to people about marketing because I’m so terrible at it, but I guess I’m not terrible because I’ve got a podcast. We use it in certain ways, but I, I, it’s just fascinating to me how digital marketing is changing and growing and what we learn and how algorithms change and adapt is. We learn how to do things better. It’s fascinating. So I hit some of the highlights of your bio, but tell us a little bit more about you, you, your business and how it helps people to shock their marketing potential.
Speaker 3 (03:04):
Yeah. Well, you said a lot there for sure. I appreciate that. Um, when you say names like America online and map quest, that really dates me. I think so. <laugh> um, but yeah, that’s, you know, I definitely learned a lot there. I learned a lot about, you know, what to do, and I learned a lot about what not to do as well, because if you think about both America online and map quest, um, in their day, they were like the Google of, you know, of mapping and, uh, as well as search engines. And when you don’t innovate and you don’t stay ahead of competition, you can see what happens. And you’d be hard pressed to find people that even young people nowadays even know what America online was. Right. And as well as map quest, you know, you know,
Speaker 2 (03:52):
I, I have to admit when I, when I wanna know where something is, I actually pull open a, a, you know, browser page and type in map, map quest.com. And then I go from
Speaker 3 (04:02):
Speaker 2 (04:03):
I’m as old as you are.
Speaker 3 (04:05):
<laugh> but you’re the one that still uses it. I get it.
Speaker 2 (04:08):
I’m the one <laugh>
Speaker 3 (04:09):
No, but back in the day, man, we were on fire with that stuff. And, uh, it was pretty cool. And, you know, just a little bit of lack of innovation leadership and taking on a little bit more than you can chew is, is the lesson learned there, but yeah, that’s, that’s where I started. And, you know, I started in, you know, just, uh, back then, it was all about, you know, banner ads is basically all we had to sell to marketing or to, to companies. And so, you know, we knew everybody, you know, it was like the internet gold rush, right, where everybody knew that the internet was gonna be this next big thing, but they didn’t really know how to effectively use it marketing wise. And so companies like America online were just coming out with products and hoping that it worked and selling a bunch of it because we’re America online.
Speaker 3 (04:52):
And, you know, so there was a lot of hair on fire stuff back there. Well, now marketing internet marketing is stabilized, but the problem with internet marketing now is that there’s so many choices, right? So, and, and what I’m talking about is specifically for local marketing and so creating such a complex marketing environment now with online, you know, business owners, not just dentist, everything that I talk about today, isn’t gonna be just about dentists. It’s really about local marketing in general, but, um, it’s caused complexity and it’s caused business owners not to have time to figure all this stuff out. And they kind of, you know, the, the go to method is just put your head in the sand and, you know, hope for the best. And that’s why I started this company, you know, is for, to try to untangle the web a little bit for local businesses and help them understand that, you know, there’s a way through this and there’s a way to really promote your local business using online marketing.
Speaker 3 (05:45):
So yeah, I started way back with those companies and learned a lot about what to do, what not to do. And then, um, I’ve created a company I’ve owned now for 13 years, um, that helps Dennis specifically, you know, untangle the web and, you know, figure out the best way to promote their practices. But yeah, live in Denver, a little suburb Southeast of Denver. I’ve got, uh, a wife, uh, two kids, one just went to college, date myself a little more. <laugh>, uh, three golden retrievers and a, uh, little Chihuahua mixed dog. So that’s, that’s all about me. <laugh>
Speaker 2 (06:16):
I love it. So what got you interested specifically in dental practices?
Speaker 3 (06:22):
I get to ask this a lot and I wish I had some cool story, like a one company and a bar fighter or something, but no, it’s when, when I first started and I left AOL, you know, I started the agency and at the time my kids were really little and, um, you know, I had a pretty good job that I just left to start this. So I started at zero. And so at first we took on anybody that would pay us, basically like, yes, we’ll be your dental expert for auto body, or for a lawyer. We had, uh, what else do we had a mechanic? We had, you know, all these different types of local businesses and it was cool cuz you know, we were helping them. But what we found out after about a year was that it’s hard when you take on a new industry that you really know nothing about to effectively market for them.
Speaker 3 (07:05):
Right. We had to learn the lingo. We had to learn who their customers were, how to market to those customers. And sometimes it just took too long and we were kind of felt like we were doing a disservice to some of our clients. So we’re like, you know what, let’s niche down. Let’s just be an expert in one particular niche and go from there and you know, no cool story. We just kind of looked at the clients we had and we had at the time, I think five dentists and they were doing great, getting good results. They paid their bills, which is always good. They’re pretty easy to work with. And we were like, let’s do this. Let’s just try dentistry. And that was, I guess, about 11, 12 years ago, maybe mm-hmm <affirmative> and here we are today.
Speaker 2 (07:43):
I think it’s really smart because it, it tell, it does tell a story. It does tell a story of, you know, especially I’m the followers. The majority of my followers on the podcast are entrepreneurs. And I remember even when I left corporate America the last time, cuz I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur <laugh> and I wanted to do speaking and training and I knew I wanted to do it on leadership in sales and everybody kept saying, pick a lane, pick a lane, just one lane. I’m like, I don’t wanna pick a lane. I wanna pick all the lanes. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. Um, and that, and that can work, uh, depending on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. But every time you get more specialized, if you find the right niche that will pay you, pay you on time, pay you what you’re looking for and that you can learn, um, even better. It’s really powerful. And I’m, you know, right now I didn’t intend to go down, uh, a niche, uh, in the chemical industry. But because of some, uh, other things that I’ve done now, I’m like getting more niched in that area. I don’t wanna stay just in there cause I love leadership and sales as a whole. But you know, as you find this and you find that you have successes with dental practices, um, to replicate that for others in other areas, it can be really, really powerful for your business, but incredibly powerful for your clients.
Speaker 3 (08:57):
Yeah. I mean, it was a decision process for us because we were like, wait a minute, why, why would we narrow down our focus and only be able to sell to, you know, this many people when we can sell to everybody. Right. And it took a little convincing and, and we kind of stutter stepped into it, but yeah, it’s great. It, it it’s really helped us and quite frankly, our clients like it, cause they like that we’re only focused in their niche. Right? Yeah. And so when we do podcasts, it’s all around them and it’s, you know, so it, it seemed to help our business at least.
Speaker 2 (09:26):
Well, and I know that we’ll first be releasing the audio version, but a few months from now we’ll release the video. And for, if anybody who’s listening to just the audio, you need to go and look at kickstart, uh, dental marketing and look at their logo because Chris, your logo is fantastic. <laugh> just checking it out behind you. It is such, yeah. I, I, I just love it. It’s like a Mo being shot off like a rocket in space. I’m assuming is what it is. That is fantastic.
Speaker 3 (09:54):
Yeah. It’s uh, yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s hard to get too creative with a tooth, but that’s as good as we can do. I think <laugh>,
Speaker 2 (10:03):
I love it. It’s absolutely fantastic. So, um, you know, when thinking about, um, cuz you work with, I’m assuming dental practice is not just locally, but all over the country, but teaching them how to operate more locally. What are some of the things that you’ve learned about digital marketing to try and for businesses that really need to, uh, I, I don’t know if I, what word I want to use, but really wanna capitalize on their local marketplace.
Speaker 3 (10:29):
I think the first two things that you have to do, no matter what kind of business you are is number one, identify your new customer avatar and put it on paper. So that means who is it? Who’s your ideal customer, right? I mean, you’ll take any customer typically, but ideally who is it that you wanna walk in the door? Is it a 25 to 35 year old female with two and a half kids and a golden retriever. Okay. Let’s put it on paper and that’s who we wanna market to, or is it a 45 to 65 year old that you know, is retired. Right. And it’s okay to have more than one avatar. Right. But you’ve gotta have those. You’ve gotta have ’em on paper and you’ve gotta make sure the rest of your team knows that as well. Secondly, I would definitely, it’s an old term, I think from Dan Kennedy, he talks about us P which is unique selling proposition.
Speaker 3 (11:14):
What makes you different from your competition? Right? Um, in dentistry it’s a little harder, right? Because dentist is a dentist, isn’t it? Well, no, we’ve gotta find out what’s different about them, right? Like we have a, we signed on a client the other day that does, uh, at home appointments sometimes. Right. Oh wow. Well that’s a huge, unique identifier. Right? So whether you’re an auto mechanic or a lawyer, whatever, it may be, come up with what you do a little bit differently. What is it makes you different? And then when you have those two things, that’s when you can really get into, okay, what mediums or what advertising platforms are gonna work best for me, based on who I’m trying to attract and what makes me different from the rest of my competition.
Speaker 2 (11:55):
Yeah. And I think about, you know, as you’re talking about that, I was thinking about the first time I realized, um, a, a dental practice in my hometown was, um, advertising sedation, um, dentistry. Right. And I was like, why would you wanna be sedated to go to the dentist? And, and I was having this conversation with my oldest brother and he said, I have to make them give me gas when I’m, you know, that was back in the days of gas instead, whatever. Yeah. I think you can still get it laughing gas or whatever. He goes, because I get so nervous that it’s gonna hurt that. I need to have that sedation. And I went, holy, I never even would’ve thought of it, but it’s brilliant. And that practice did really, really well because they had a unique niche and a, and a unique avatar. Right. Which was that person who no matter what age they were, were terrified of the dentist, but knew that they needed to go.
Speaker 3 (12:46):
Yep, absolutely. It’s stuff like that for sure.
Speaker 2 (12:49):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> well, and things like too, it just because you do, um, crowns or, or, um, implants doesn’t mean that there’s only, you know, one kind of person who needs that, but you have to also know who’s, who’s the person that’s not just the 80 year old, that’s getting that done. That’s, you know, the person like me who had an abscess tooth in my forties and you know, needed to find the specialty place with that. So it’s, it’s, uh, it is important for any business to narrow down their avatar, but in dental, I can see how that’s really, uh, productive.
Speaker 3 (13:19):
Speaker 2 (13:20):
I love it. Well, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna hear from our sponsor for the month, Chris, and we will be right back.
Speaker 4 (13:27):
Do you want to be a go-to expert? That news reporters, anchors and media producers turn to, are you a media professional looking for credible, reliable and timely guests? If you answered yes. To either of those questions then shock your media. Potential is for you. This one of a kind platform connects vetted experts with news professionals around the globe. As a part of our launch celebration, you can participate for free in our shock, your media potential virtual conference running March 28th through April 1st together with my co-host Eddie Luisi known as stage manager to the stars and also stage manager for good morning America, we have interviewed 25 media personalities and professional to ask them the questions you need to know the answers to like, how can I make myself more newsworthy? How do I best pitch a story? How do I get invited back again? And again, and much more. Some of our guests are household name with exceptional on camera careers. Others are award-winning directors, producers, camera operators, audio engineers, celebrity hair, and makeup professionals. And so much more to learn more about our platform and our conference today
Speaker 2 (14:50):
Go to shock your media potential.com. And we are back with Chris. Pastorious from kickstart dental marketing. Now I also know you’ve written a book and we, uh, highlighted it a little into the intro. And I want you to talk about your book, but I also would love to know what made you want to write the book because I’m always very motivated and interested and excited about what makes people actually sit down and put pen to paper or typing on the computer and bring things out in book form. What, what inspired you? What, what made you finally say, okay, it’s time to write a book and then tell us about it.
Speaker 3 (15:30):
Well, quite frankly, selfishly, I felt that if I wrote a book about this, that it would help make me a market expert about it. And you gotta think about, you know, we’ve already niche down, right? We’re already trying to be, um, experts in dental field for marketing. I, I felt that if I had a book that I could say, look, I wrote the book on Dell marketing that can help. Right. And you know, marketing’s a lot about trust and it’s a lot about getting people to know you like you and trust you. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I think when you have a book and you have a specific niche that, you know, you are more trustworthy, cuz you’re all in, you’re dedicated to their niche. And so that’s really the reason I did it, but what’s funny is once I got into it, um, I was like, wow, I think that, you know, this is something that can, and what the book is all about is like, look, if you’re not ready to hire a marketing agency, right.
Speaker 3 (16:23):
Cause sometimes we’re not cheap, you know? Right. You’re not quite there yet. And there’s a lot of businesses out there, there in that situation, this book will get you on the path to help increase your revenues. If you just do the things in the book, you know, if you have the time, you’ve gotta dedicate time to it. But if you have the time, you can, there’s some things that you can do very low cost that will help you, um, in this case, um, you know, market your practice. And so that’s what the book’s all about. But once I got to writing it, I was like, wow, this is, you know, I think this is going to help. A lot of people that, you know, are maybe struggling and you know, just need a little push in the right direction because as you well know, Michael, I mean most small businesses fail even dental practices in the United States.
Speaker 3 (17:07):
And the number one reason why that is, is because they’re typically good at something, right. They’re good at baking cake or they’re good at, you know, they’re a good auto mechanic, but they don’t know how to run a business. And they certainly don’t know how to market a business. So even though you’re a great technician at something doesn’t mean you’re gonna have a successful business if you don’t know the other things. And so where I think this book will help fill the gap is that it’ll help people, that aren’t worried to spend money in marketing, but they need to promote their business. It’ll help them kind of fill that gap. So that was my motivation behind it kind of selfish in the beginning. But then I got to writing in, I was like, wow, this is really gonna help people. So, um, that’s, that’s really my motivation behind it.
Speaker 2 (17:47):
And it’s, uh, I find that with a lot of people, especially that our experts in an area as they write the book, I don’t know if this was the case for you. It also helps them to even understand their business a little bit better. So, you know, while you’re making other people’s businesses better by giving them access to the book, did you have any aha moments in the writing process where you’re like, oh, well that’s a different way to say that. Or that’s a more, uh, streamlined way to explain that to clients, to get them, uh, you know, interested in what they can do
Speaker 3 (18:18):
Without doubt, without a doubt because, um, I’m, I oversimplify things sometimes and I’m like, oh, I’ll write a book, no big deal. I’ll do it over a weekend. No, that’s not. Um, so just anybody that’s thinking of doing that, it’s, it’s harder than it seems, especially when you’re not so smart like me, but it, when you write a book, you have to do a lot of research is what I found. And so you look, you look, what other people do you get inspiration from things. And in that process, I learned a ton, right? <laugh> I thought I knew a lot about marketing and a lot about how to talk to people and you know, just tips and tricks. And once I really started researching, I was like, wow, I didn’t even think of that approach. Or I didn’t really think of a way to, you know, tackle that problem this way. Right? So in the whole experience of writing the book, absolutely the research phase of it was a lot of, uh, I’ve learned a lot of new things.
Speaker 2 (19:07):
So I’ve worked a lot in the medical field for a lot of my career and I’ve worked with a lot of medical, dental practices, cosmetic dentistry, those types of things, where when I was doing consulting work, I was helping them to increase their revenue sources. So find different profit centers within their practices. And to your point that you made, you know, a lot of times when there’s people that are specialists in something, they’re a mechanic, they’re a dentist, whatever that that’s where their specialty is, marketing and sales and those elements don’t NA don’t always come very naturally. So when somebody is thinking ma like, let’s say a dentist is listening to this podcast right now, and they’re thinking, you know, I’ve been thinking about something like this for a while. You know, we put the shingle up and we did all right, we’ve got some good referral sources into us. Um, but it’s really time to, you know, invest in something like this and really try and strengthen our local presence through digital marketing. What kind of questions do they throw at you in the beginning? What kind of, what kind of fears or concerns do they share with you? You know, when they’re like, well, I think maybe, but I’m not really sure what’s that beginning of the relationship, like
Speaker 3 (20:14):
Yeah. You know, it’s funny because we talked to dentists about kind of that same thing and we tell ’em that a lot of times, the reason people, people don’t go to the dentist is because of time, fear and or money. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and it’s kind of the same questions that we get when I practice engages us. They’re yeah. They’re afraid of the time commitment. They’re definitely just afraid in general. Cause it’s something new and then of course there’s the money aspect of it. Right? So we get a lot of questions around those three topic, you know, it’s, we also get a lot of clients from, um, they’re already engaged with another agency and for whatever reason, the relationship just isn’t working out. And so they come to us and when that happens, it’s, they’re already a little bit on point because they feel like they didn’t have a great experience the first time.
Speaker 3 (21:02):
And it’s kind of like, alright, what are you gonna do differently? So, you know, we have to really take our time to make sure that we answer questions like that. But usually it’s the time fear and money thing. And we’re like, all right, what do you do? How do you do it? I get a lot of look. I just wanna be a dentist. Can you just go find new patients for me? Right. Because dental school I’ve found is a really good job of, of creating awesome dentists, but they actually, they don’t go into business much at all in terms of how to run a business or their own dental practice. And it’s almost scary. So they really want that help of, of marketing and, you know, fill me up. I want to go fill teeth and new group canals and all this stuff, but I don’t necessarily know how to, how to bring in the new patients. There’s a lot of questions around that as well.
Speaker 2 (21:46):
Yeah. And that’s, uh, the same with me, medical providers of all clients who lawyers as well, you know that yeah. You know, here’s all the things you need to do to be excellent at your job to serve your clients or your customers or your patients, but not, here’s how you make us build a successful business. And it, you know, with all the physicians that I’ve worked with in, throughout my career, it’s really amazing how many of them, um, have no idea what they’re losing, just because they’re focused so much on their area of expertise and not investing in either the people, the resources or the tools or all three of those that are gonna really build them. And you know, you are saying it’s important when you’re, um, creating your avatar that not only are you writing it down and you’re understanding that, but that your entire team understands that avatar because the way they interact with your patients is good, bad, and ugly for what it does for your business. And if you don’t know how to motivate your team through that, sometimes they, you can have the best marketing and they’re turning people off. Also if they, if they aren’t really sure what, what they’re doing with them, when they walk through the door or when they call to, to say, Hey, I’m interested in, you know, maybe moving over to your practice, that team, all those pieces have to work together.
Speaker 3 (22:58):
Yeah. I tell Dennis all the time and it’s kind of like my shock and awes that you’re not you, the dentist position is not the most important position in the office. <laugh> right. Because it’s the front desk person, because you can spend a hundred thousand dollars a month in marketing. And none of it matters unless you have a really rock solid front desk person, because they’re the ones answering the phones. They’re the ones responding to emails. They’re the ones responding to text messages. So if though, if we don’t have a solid rockstar performance there, you’re not gonna have a practice nobody’s gonna be there. So you’re absolutely right. And in local business, if you’re the auto mechanic whoever’s answering that phone. Yeah. And when you get in those type of services, what we found back in the day was that a lot of phone calls didn’t even get answered because okay. You know, they didn’t have anybody there or, you know, whatever. So those are kind of the basics for sure. But yeah, you’re absolutely right.
Speaker 2 (23:46):
Yeah. Cuz nobody ever walks out of the dentist’s office and says, wow, that was the greatest filling I ever thought and left that dentist,
Speaker 3 (23:52):
Unless they’re still hopped up on the gas. I dunno.
Speaker 2 (23:55):
That’s true. And then they might <laugh> I love it. Well, Chris, we’re gonna have all of your contact information on our show notes, including the links to your book, but just in case somebody wants to look you up right now, before they look at the show notes, what’s the best way for them to find you.
Speaker 3 (24:09):
Yeah, just the website, uh, kickstart dental.com. Um, and I always offer this, even if you’re not a dentist and you have some questions for me, or if you want some help, I can help you. And just go to my website, there’s a, uh, free strategy session button there. Just fill out the form. I do all the strategy sessions myself. Won’t charge you a dime if you just have some questions and be more than happy to help out anybody.
Speaker 2 (24:34):
I love it. Well, before we go, do you have any last words of wisdom or pearls of advice for my listeners and viewers?
Speaker 3 (24:41):
Wow. There’s so much knowledge and advice in this brain of mind right now. <laugh>, you know, I think it’s, I think that people, that view podcasts like yours and people that view podcasts like mine, they always have good intentions of wanting to make their business stronger. Right. Oh yeah. But what I’ve found is that of the people that do that, there’s a pretty small percentage that actually take action on things. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. There’s a lot of people that want the information, they get excited about it and then don’t really do anything with it, right. For a multitude of reasons. So I think my best advice is take action, do something, you know, find your passion, find something that you’re excited about and go do it. Whether it’s a new marketing idea that I might have given you go implement it’s okay. To fail, just fail fast and learn from it and move on. But take action. I think is probably what I would say.
Speaker 2 (25:35):
I agree. I love that is so true because you’re right. People will listen. Go. That was great. That was awesome. Oh, I’ll get back to that later. And then it’s just
Speaker 3 (25:42):
Lost and I’m guilty of it too. I I’ve done it as well.
Speaker 2 (25:46):
Me too. I’m not gonna admit to that at all. Oh, I just did <laugh> oh, well <laugh> Chris. Thank you so much. You have been a fabulous guest. It’s been so good having you with us today.
Speaker 3 (25:56):
Thanks for having me.
Speaker 1 (25:57):
Thank you for joining us. On another episode of the shock, your potential podcast. Learn more about us firstname.lastname@example.org, including details on Michael’s two best selling books. Tell me more how to ask the right questions and get the most out of your employees and sales mixology. Why the most potent sales and customer experiences follow our recipe for success. And as always, don’t forget to subscribe. Great. And like today.
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