How Dental Offices Should Write Content That Drives Results

How Dental Offices Should Write Content That Drives Results

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In this training, dental marketing expert, Chris Pistorius will talk about the importance of posting quality content to your Google My Business page. Chris will get into the details of what to and not do when it comes to writing content for your dental practice.

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Hey everybody, how are you tonight? Thanks for tuning in or watching the recording of this. Um anybody watching live looks like we’ve got a few folks uh pulling into the podcast right now, please let me know of any questions. We’ve got a chat feature here that uh that you can ask questions as we go through this. Um may be more than happy to either ask them or answer them live here or I’ll be sure to post them on linkedin facebook everywhere that we’re going to post this with the answers there as well.

So today I want to talk about dental practices and writing content. Usually those two things don’t go hand in hand. Um It’s something that’s a big part of our strategy here at kickstart dental marketing to get dental practices Great. S. E. O. Results. Uh Great. It’s great to build authority that way. Um content is king and you’ve just got to really, you know, bear down and write good quality content that your people, your clients or your patients and your potential new patients are gonna want to see.

So what I want to do tonight is just talk a little bit about how to write google my business posts that drive results using a google. My business profile is actually one of the most effective ways I think to gain exposure for your dental practice and improve your SEO rankings. Google my business. If you don’t know, it already is a free marketing tool. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up. It’s a great tool to capture the attention of potential patients as they are actively using google search and maps to find their next dentist.

So while most, it’s really known for giving businesses visibility on google maps and sharing customer reviews. But your google my business profile really has way more to offer than that and that’s what I want to get into. One of the most useful features that a lot of people don’t even know about. Our google. My business posts. Um Google my business posts allow you to share information about your practice, your services, your products, events offers. It’s located below your knowledge panel on your G. M. B. Profile and these posts offer room for detailed information about your practice and they do reach a pretty broad audience.

So what exactly is a google my business post, Google My business post is a type of social media update that can be published on your google my business profile. Google my business posts allow you to connect with your audience when they’re online, including the business hours, you’re open details about your practice, any events offers and more so kind of think of it as the facebook for google if you will. So when you do this right and when optimized your google my business profile shows up very highly in search and maps.

Um and by regularly creating quality and I do mean quality, google my business posts can really help you with your rankings on google posts can be used to tell patients about Events offers and specials announcements. A lot of other stuff too. But here are just a few tips that I think will help in best practices to help you write an effective google my business post that will drive results. It’s what we do here all the time. So it’s the same strategy that we’re using now. Um um Number one in the five steps to creating a great google.

My business post would be picked your post type first of all, google. My business provides several different post options here to use depending on what you’re trying to accomplish and the message that you want to get along. You know it’s really about you know your focus and your messaging um that you want to share, selecting the right type of posts on google. My business can really make your content more effective. Um one ways offer posts an offer post is a perfect for providing like a limited time deal at your dental office.

You can include a headline description. Uh Start and end date. And what’s cool is that these posts are only shown during the time that your offer is available. Another type is update posts. We use this quite a bit. It’s when you have news about your practice like new products, new services, a new doctor, maybe you’re expanding. Maybe you have a new website and you can use this type of post. This is a great way to keep patients informed about the latest updates to your dental practice event posts.

Unlike update post event posts um allow you to um if you have a special event like for instance one of our practices has a has a raffle. They do every month and they give something away. Right? So something like that. These posts can include a date range or times of day and they’ll stay live during that range product posts. Um So when you want to feature physical products that you have think toothbrushes Invisalign um sleep appliances you know anything like that. You know this is the post type to use.

You can include details like product names, description, price and a call to action which is very important. Um I think with any of these choosing the right photos and videos. Really helped to photos and videos are a great way to make your post more compelling. When you create a G. M. B. Post always include a photo or a video repeat after me. Always include a photo or a video. The posts you create need to attract engagement and photos, videos. And clear calls to action are really the foundations of a great post. Now.

The photo or video you upload with your new google. My business post should be authentic to your practice. So I don’t like stock photos here. Um Any image you should be visually appealing, engaging and represent your practice. Well if possible avoid having text over your photos particularly as images get cropped differently for desktop and mobile devices. Um you know, at the end of the day people buy from people even in dentistry, so don’t use those stock images. You know, it’s so easy nowadays with your iphone or android to do a quick picture, a quick video, it doesn’t have to be professional.

Um it just has to be authentic. I think that’s what people really want the most. So um let’s talk a little bit about picking a keyword driven title for your post. So keep your post title concise and include a keyword you want to target when you write a post if you’re not sure what keywords your audience would use to find your business. Check out the google. Keyword planner is a free tool um and allows you to get suggestions of keywords. Um you know, google my business posts can potentially influence your SEO ranking factors.

We find that it’s a huge factor in getting our clients to rank highly on google. So it’s smart to really create clear search engine friendly titles. Um also choosing the right call to action here or C. T. A. Um C. T. A. Is is an important part of this and you know we’re not selling used cars here so you don’t want to go overboard with a call to action like that’s not all or you know by now, you know, that’s that’s not really where we want to go with this where we want to go or are things like you know, learn more sign up call now, things like that are really more appropriate for dental, use a link in your post to you can use a link that relates to your google my business post.

The more specific a landing page you can use the better for example you could use the button, learn more and then send users to a landing page perhaps on your website that’s specific to the event when you’re promoting events. Now you also with google my business post, you want to consider the whole desktop versus mobile thing. So your google my business post will look different on a mobile device and then they will on your computer obviously. Um so while your post can include upwards of 1500 characters, it’s often recommended to keep them below 500.

That’s what we typically do. The entire content of a post is then visible on desktop devices but then it gets, the text gets truncated a bit on a mobile device. As a result, you’ll want to keep the most important information at the start of your post. So it doesn’t get cut off on mobile on the mobile view. Keep in mind that hashtags if you’re into social media that you use on social media won’t be relevant on google my business. Um They don’t impact your SEO or search rankings.

So it’s really best just not to use them at all. And don’t get rejected. Everybody hates getting rejected, right? So to avoid your G. M. B. Post being rejected follow google’s guidelines for G. M. B posts. They have a lot of rules for her starters don’t include your email address or your phone number in your post. Those are already listed in your google my business listing. And when you create a post to see to your call to action button will link to your website already. So there’s no need to include your website in the U. R. L. U. R. L. In the post.

So steer clear of using all caps too. I hate that. Don’t scream at people write some words may also be deemed offensive. So use your best judgment here. Don’t post anything. You know, that’s going to get you in trouble or talk badly about local competition. We don’t want to go down that that road. Um, and lastly, just like I talked about, don’t use stock images. Don’t don’t use stock photography. Google. My business posts are really meant to highlight your practice, use photos of your team, your office, you know, happy patients or even an image of yourself customers, patients love getting to know the the owner of a practice, the doctor, right?

And this is a great tool to do this, especially with video added benefits. Um, you know, your business profile has a variety of features, including a Q and a section. You may not have known that. And what’s cool is that google’s machine learning can actually try to use some of the content from your posts to answer questions in your google my business knowledge panel. I know that sounds a little robotic, but it’s true posts you create on your GMB listing also help potential patients see that you’re an active and engaged practice alongside positive reviews.

When people utilize google search and maps to find practices like yours, your posts on google. My business will help you stand out from the rest of the competition. It’s all about being different, right? That’s what marketing, a lot of it is about and finding what’s unique to you. So when you can do anything like this to stand out from everybody else, why not do it? So having such amazing visibility in both google search and google maps is a huge win for dental practices. I’ve seen it day after day, the impact that this can have on a practice and really this free marketing tool Gmb is an incredible for practice, is looking to improve their SCL rankings in search.

So you know, contact our team if you’re not sure how to create a post or what to post about. Um or if you just don’t want to deal with this. I totally understand it. We have extensive experience in optimizing google, my business accounts in dentistry and we can definitely develop a great strategy for consistent patient driving posts and other type of content. The best way to start this process if you do want to speak with us is just go to our website, kickstart dental dot com. Uh, there’s a button there there hopefully is for free strategy session that would be directly with me.

I do all of our initial strategy sessions and I’m definitely talk about google my business, google my business posts and your market, your competition and what we think it would take to get you to the next level. So, um, I hope you enjoyed this. I hope it helped out a little bit. Um, hit me with any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer very quickly. Thanks and we’ll talk to you soon.

Digital Marketing Ideas to Reach Your Ideal Dental Patients

Digital Marketing Ideas to Reach Your Ideal Dental Patients

Digital Marketing Ideas to Reach Your Ideal Dental Patients

Modern consumers are always online. As a result, it is important for dental practice owners and marketers to keep up with new trends in user behaviors that will impact their marketing strategy.

The ever-changing platforms and channels of the digital world can be challenging for growing practices. From small businesses to growing businesses, keeping up with the digital marketing world can feel like a full-time job.

Here are some tips to sift through the plethora of web-based marketing solutions and create a streamlined and effective digital marketing strategy for your brand.

Marketing Strategy vs. Digital Marketing Strategy

In today’s high-tech world, the terms marketing strategy and digital marketing strategy may seem interchangeable. So let’s examine the differences between the two.

A marketing strategy is the overall game plan that helps businesses achieve their business goals through specific marketing or revenue-based initiatives. A digital marketing strategy utilizes select online marketing channels to attain specific digital goals.

A digital marketing campaign refers to the specific actions you take as a part of your digital strategy to achieve a particular outcome.

Understanding Your Audience Is Key

Who are you marketing to? To create a smart digital marketing strategy, you need in-depth knowledge of your ideal patient. The best digital marketing strategies arise from well-researched buyer personas that represent your ideal patients.

You can create buyer personas by researching and analyzing your company’s target audience.

Perform a Content Audit and Plan Your Owned Media Campaigns

Owned media is the concept at the core of digital marketing. The more owned media channels your practice has the larger your digital footprint. Any content that your company owns and controls is owned media, including:

  • blog posts
  • service descriptions
  • social media posts

Evaluate your existing content regularly, and add fresh content to keep followers engaged and attract more website visitors.

Effective content creation ensures a strong online presence for your dental office. Even better, search-engine-optimized (SEO) content boosts your search and organic traffic.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Consumer usage of mobile devices is at an all-time high and continues to grow. Therefore, incorporating a mobile-friendly website into your marketing plan should be a significant consideration in a smart marketing campaign.

Ensure that your website loads quickly and is easy to use on a phone or tablet device. Today, Google boosts sites that perform well on mobile phones as most consumers today complete their local searches via their phones.

Digital Marketing 

As a dental business owner, you’ll want to focus on marketing strategies that provide the best value for your business and most relevance for your industry.

Start by creating a digital marketing budget for your campaign. You will need to research digital pricing to get a sense of what your type and size of business requires—research digital marketing costs to build a realistic budget for your practice.

Once you launch your campaign, take advantage of Google’s free resources such as Google Analytics or Google Ads to track and measure the results.

Search engine optimization is perhaps the most important digital marketing enterprise in use. SEO aims to direct the target audience for your website, generating more leads and a higher conversion rate. You can achieve this by using specific phrases and keywords that relate to your services.

An effective SEO strategy brings more traffic to your website from members of your target market. These are the users who are actively looking for your dental services. As a local business, it’s important to attract leads from your local area. SEO is great because, when done correctly, it’s targeted to your service areas.

Other Digital Marketing Strategies

Content marketing involves engaging and connecting with users by creating content that is relevant and informative:

  • video content
  • infographics
  • blog posts
  • and more

Guest posts, also known as guest blogging, are when you contribute a blog post to another person’s site to increase your exposure and authority, as well as to add links to your own website. This type of content should not be sales-related but should provide value to users as an informative free resource.

Well-executed, relevant content is one of the most effective online marketing strategies to increase sales, traffic, and conversion rates. In addition, an effective content marketing strategy should optimize your content for high rankings with search engines, increasing your prominence in Google search results.

Email marketing focuses on retaining existing patients and gaining new patients by building brand awareness and increasing sales via email. Email marketing is similar to content marketing in that the focus is on providing valuable information to subscribers. As a result, email marketing generates about 50% more sales than other digital marketing tactics.

Social media marketing is probably the most popular marketing strategy for dental practices since it’s easy to get started and fairly easy to maintain. Social media marketing campaigns can utilize multiple platforms based on the preferences of the audience.

Social media marketing may also employ online advertising platforms. For example, Facebook Ads is a paid advertising service where you can create ad campaigns with targeted goals and objectives. You write your copy in the voice of your business to help reach its intended audience. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

You may have heard of “Social Media Stories,” which started on Facebook and have become so popular that they’ve extended to Instagram. Facebook Stories are images and videos that appear independent of your regular feed and disappear after 24 hours. The ephemeral format drives followers to engage with the story before it disappears from their feed.

You can utilize video marketing across multiple digital and social media channels. Its purpose is to market and promote your business and increase viewer engagement.

Lastly, influencer marketing is a relatively new type of word-of-mouth marketing by individuals with a large social following. Influencers have established a strong trust from their following and gain a reputation as experts within their niche.

Let Us Bring Your Marketing Ideas to Life

Our marketing firm is a full-service marketing agency focused on the dental industry.

We pride ourselves in building collaborative client relationships on mutual respect and trust. Our experience, knowledge, and expertise make us one of the most sought-after agencies for dentists nationwide.

Let us help you take your practice to the next level.  Give us a call or send us a message on our contact page for more information on our services. We look forward to hearing from you!

KickStart Dental Marketing Announced as a 2021 Top Dental Marketing Agency by UpCity!

KickStart Dental Marketing Announced as a 2021 Top Dental Marketing Agency by UpCity!

For more than a decade, UpCity’s mission has been—and continues to be—to help businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. The UpCity Recommendability Rating was developed to determine a service provider’s credibility and recommendability, giving UpCity the confidence to recommend them to the more than 1.5 million businesses that visit their site.

Each year, UpCity analyzes and scores more than 70,000 service providers based on their UpCity Recommendability Rating and acknowledges the top national and local providers with an UpCity Excellence Award. The results are in, and we won!

We are ecstatic to announce that the KickStart Dental Marketing team has been recognized as one of the Top Dental Marketing service providers of 2021 in both the U.S. and Denver by UpCity!

KickStart Dental Marketing is a full-service dental marketing agency, born out of the idea that they can help dentists & orthodontists win online by providing a great marketing strategy, creativity, and leveraging technology to get great results. Their world-class dental marketing services are perfect for a dentist who is looking to grow their practice. From startups to established dental practices, their top-notch team gives your practice a competitive edge and helps you win online.

2021 National Excellence Winner in United States

Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success of UpCity, had this to say about KickStart Dental Marketing:

“KickStart Dental Marketing provides the best service to their customers while not infringing upon conflicts of interest. This ethical support to their client base is one of the many reasons they have achieved the Excellence Award for the fourth year in a row.”
–Mark Tepper, SVP of Sales & Customer Success

This recognition has been driven in large part by our 5-star review rating on UpCity. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our incredible customers:

Chris Pistorius, the CEO & Founder of KickStart Dental Marketing says, “It is such an honor to receive this award and I want to thank the UpCity team for the recognition. Our customers are priority number one for KickStart Dental Marketing. Thank you to our customers for choosing us for their marketing needs. Without you, we would not have achieved this continued success.

Thinking of Selling Your Dental Practice? Here Are Some Things To Consider!

Thinking of Selling Your Dental Practice? Here Are Some Things To Consider!

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Chris Pistorius:                  00:05                     Hi everybody. This is Chris Pistorius again with Kickstart Dental Marketing. Today I’ve got a really special guest. We have the CEO of Lone Peak Dental Group with us. His name is Ray Caruso. Ray, I hope I pronounced that right. Is that correct?

Ray Caruso:                        00:21                     Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Chris Pistorius:                  00:23                     Okay. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

Ray Caruso:                        00:27                     Yeah. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Chris Pistorius:                  00:29                     Yeah. So like I said, Ray is the CEO of Lone Peak Dental Group. They have 60 plus practices kind of in their umbrella. They cover 15 states all over the United States. They do most, I think, almost all pediatric and orthodontic practices. They do both new builds from scratch as well as acquisitions, of course. And I think probably you’re the expert on this Ray so I’ll let you maybe tell us a little bit more about the business and what got you involved.

Ray Caruso:                        00:59                     Yeah. So I’ve been in dentistry since I was 19. I actually started out as a dental assistant way back in the day and I’ve just stayed with dentistry my whole life. So I’ve loved it. Been a great part of it. I worked with a very large DSO as a youngster and got to watch them grow. Stayed with them for 11 years. Worked my way up into director role and then moved on to another dental service organization up in Chicago. Worked with them for another four or five years in a chief operating officer role and was recruited to come over here. The interesting thing about this group is all of our offices are owned in some capacity by the practicing doctor. And that’s where we look at it as our secret sauce and the two DSOs I was in before, while they had amazing, great things for their doctors and their team members, one thing they did not provide was ownership at that actual office level.

So they got to-

Chris Pistorius:                  00:59                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        02:06                     See the fruits of their hard labor. It wasn’t just at a HoldCo level or some kind of stock option or whatever. This was actual true ownership. And it’s really been a blessing because those doctors really, really care about it. It’s great for the team members, it’s great for the patients, great for the community. And it’s very similar to a locally owned mom and pop, if you will, practice. And for me, what that does is it brings in these local owners and their associates and it allows us to still provide best practices and good human resources and marketing and things like that so that they can be even more successful than maybe their counterparts that are trying to do it all on their own.

Chris Pistorius:                  02:55                     Great. Yeah. I know that can be very appealing for some dentists out there that kind of got one foot out the door of retirement, but they don’t really want to retire, but at the same time there’s a lot of stress that comes from owning a dental practice and just doing the day to day operations. And I know that we have several clients that have mentioned before that, “I love being a dentist, but I don’t necessarily having employees and running businesses and things like that.” So it-

Ray Caruso:                        03:23                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  03:24                     Definitely can be very appealing, right?

Ray Caruso:                        03:26                     Yeah. And even for our associate doctors because we do build two, three brand new dental offices where it makes sense for those communities. And we take our known docs. And if we’ve got a doctor that’s been working with us for two or three years and they’re phenomenal and they’re like, “Hey. How can I be an owner?” We start looking. And if it all lines up and matches up, every single new office has always had a current doctor become the owner of that practice.

Chris Pistorius:                  04:06                     Oh, that’s very cool. So you provide some opportunity on the other side of the spectrum where people are getting ready to buy a practice or should they spend millions to do it themselves. So that’s great.

Ray Caruso:                        04:17                     [inaudible 00:04:17] because-

Chris Pistorius:                  04:17                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        04:19                     I wouldn’t have gone into so many of these communities and it’s a doctor who says, “This is where I want to get back to that area.” And so we’re like, “All right. Let’s do that.” And we’ll build out a pod in that area along with them. Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  04:29                     Yeah. That’s awesome. Okay. So when you look too, on the acquisition side of things, did you kind of have an ideal situation, like a particular type of market. I know you all pediatric and ortho, but when you go to acquire mode, what’s the best way to put it? Kind of [crosstalk 00:04:56] practice. Yeah. Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        05:00                     [crosstalk 00:05:00] We have four main gates that we look at and really-

Chris Pistorius:                  05:04                     Okay.

Ray Caruso:                        05:05                     We won’t even cross into that yard unless we can get through these four gates. And the first one is we have to have that doctor. If we’re going to acquire that practice, they have to maintain some level of ownership. Whether it’s-

Chris Pistorius:                  05:05                     Okay.

Ray Caruso:                        05:18                     20%, 30%, even 40%. Some doctors don’t want to sell the whole thing, they want to hold on to a big piece of it. Our goal is though to have an owner doctor because that’s how we’re designed, that’s how we train, that’s how we work, and all of our training and all of our design is around how to support an owner, not how to tell an associate what to do. And so that’s-

Chris Pistorius:                  05:18                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        05:46                     Number one, we have to have that. And then number two is a pediatric. It has to be a pediatric practice. We know what our lane is and we stay in it. If it has ortho, great. If it doesn’t have ortho, we’ll look to see, is this something that we can add, but that’s not a priority. It would be something down the road if it made sense. The third thing that we’d want is it in the geography that we’re currently in? Will we be able to support it with the people that we have? And then the fourth is, well there’s a fourth. I just can’t remember what it is off the top of my head. You put me on the spot.

Chris Pistorius:                  06:24                     No problem at all.

Ray Caruso:                        06:27                     Yeah. Oh, it’s [crosstalk 00:06:29] it’s the number of chairs cause pediatrics-

Chris Pistorius:                  06:33                     Ah.

Ray Caruso:                        06:33                     Based business. And if it’s a three chair practice in a four story of a professional building, it’s not going to work for us. We need to make sure that we’ve got the ability to treat a lot of kids because that’s really what we’re all about.

Chris Pistorius:                  06:51                     Right. Okay. Gotcha. I think it’s good to kind of stay in your lane, know-

Ray Caruso:                        06:51                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Pistorius:                  06:55                     Know what you’re good at, maybe what you don’t know, and go there. I know with our business kickstart, kind of when we first started, we kind of said, “Hey. Anybody that can pay, come on in.” And then we realized very quickly that not everybody’s a great fit for us and that’s okay because we’re experts with specific types of marketing in dental and it’s just we learned pretty quickly that it’s good to find the right fit on both sides. So that makes sense.

Ray Caruso:                        07:25                     It’s very, very true. Very true.

Chris Pistorius:                  07:26                     Yeah. So of the practices, now they’re all individually branded, right? They’re not branded with your name.

Ray Caruso:                        07:33                     That’s correct. Yep.

Chris Pistorius:                  07:34                     Okay.

Ray Caruso:                        07:37                     Two or three of them might have the same name in the same town or the same community, but for the most part-

Chris Pistorius:                  07:42                     Okay.

Ray Caruso:                        07:42                     They’re all separate.

Chris Pistorius:                  07:44                     Okay. And then when you set these up, I’m assuming, I don’t know maybe you’ve read the book E-Myth Revisited. I don’t know if you’ve ever read that, but-

Ray Caruso:                        07:52                     I have not.

Chris Pistorius:                  07:53                     Okay. It’s a great book. And it talks a lot about like setting up your, and not just about dental practices, but business in general, it talks about kind of setting up your business as if it were a McDonald’s. So not that you’re ever going to do that, but just to set it up so you have like processes, procedures, just all documented and that anybody that you hire can kind of come in and they get this workbook, if you will and it details every part of their job that they need to do.

Ray Caruso:                        08:21                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Pistorius:                  08:22                     And I can imagine that when you acquire a practice or even start from scratch, you probably have something like this that you know has worked in the past in successful practices and you probably, I don’t want to say cookie cutter, but you applied some of those winning strategies. Is that a fair way to look at it?

Ray Caruso:                        08:40                     Yeah. That’s a great way to look at it. We’ve got what we call processes or systems or whatever you want to call them, but-

Chris Pistorius:                  08:48                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        08:48                     Processes for certain things. We also have policies and then we have guidelines because not everything is going to work in every community.

Chris Pistorius:                  08:57                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        08:57                     A really small town in upstate Washington is going to run differently than an office in San Antonio.

Chris Pistorius:                  09:05                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        09:05                     So there are some areas where it’s a guideline. This makes sense. But what we’ve put together is really a full service model that will encapsulate pretty much everything no matter where you go and we call it kid-sperience because we’re a pediatric practice and we’re looking at how can we improve the experience. I got with my team and we came up with this service model that will allow all of our practices to have one way to do many things, whether it’s how we answer the phone, how we confirm patients. This has nothing to do with scheduling.

It’s all about how the customer service interaction with the team and the parents or the team and the patient. And all the way through to rescheduling their next visit and bringing them back in for re-care and things like that. So that is our best practices strategy, if you want to call it that, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in upstate Washington or if you’re in San Antonio. It works, everywhere.

Chris Pistorius:                  10:17                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        10:18                     So that’s our like model, handbook for everybody. We’re still in the process of rolling it out. It has been adopted in many of our practices, but not everywhere. And in everything that we acquire, it’s a prerequisite. This is something that we speak to our doctors in advance of saying, “Hey. Here’s how we’re going to work together and this is what we believe and this is how we anticipate we will be training all of our offices. How do you feel about this?” So far no one’s ever looked at it and go, “Oh my God. This is ridiculous.” They’re all like-

Chris Pistorius:                  11:00                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        11:01                     Amazing.

Chris Pistorius:                  11:02                     Yeah. Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. Part of what we do is we can help on the front desk training side of things. So our job for our clients is to generate new patient leads essentially.

Ray Caruso:                        11:17                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Pistorius:                  11:17                     And the unfortunate part of it is sometimes we can generate those leads, but if we don’t have really a solid front desk staff with good training-

Ray Caruso:                        11:27                     Yep.

Chris Pistorius:                  11:27                     Sometimes those leads can kind of not close, if you will. So-

Ray Caruso:                        11:31                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  11:32                     About a year ago, we generated kind of an online training platform just to help people and front desk staff understand they’re not all referrals. Some people are just going to find you on the internet, not know anything about you or why you’re great, and you’ve got to know how to sell yourself a little bit to those folks and make them understand why you’re a special practice. So-

Ray Caruso:                        11:54                     Yep.

Chris Pistorius:                  11:54                     I think just having that kind of stuff in place can help a ton and I can tell you most dentists don’t have stuff like that in place. So it totally makes sense when you say that where they’re like, “Oh, wow. This is great,” because they probably always wanted something like that, but they just not had the resources or time to do it.

Ray Caruso:                        12:10                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Pistorius:                  12:13                     Okay, great. What would you say to a dental practice owner that maybe is considering selling or maybe partnering up with an organization like yours? What is some advice that you would give them on evaluating offers and kind of getting into this process?

Ray Caruso:                        12:31                     Yeah. Well, I think that it’s good for anybody who’s thinking about doing a sell to talk to people who have sold, whether it’s to a larger group or to a smaller group or even to another partner because you want to hear what’s the truth and you want to know, “Well, how did it go a year from now? How did it go two years from now?” And when you are, let’s say, somebody out there wants to talk to me. Don’t just talk to me. Talk to the doctors that are in my company that have sold their practices to me or to our company. I shouldn’t say is to me. I’m not [inaudible 00:13:17] And talk to some of these doctors who we’ve built new practices for and see how’s their experience been.

Because that’s an important piece. A lot of times people are talking about EBITDA and valuations and how much money can I get and if that’s it, great. Good for you. Make as much money as you can. Right now the industry’s hot and brokers will tell you anything you want to hear. But the reality is, is you want to hear from people that you trust, not to say a broker you can’t trust, you can trust them, but they’re-

Chris Pistorius:                  12:31                     Sure.

Ray Caruso:                        13:49                     Also making money off of the money in which you sell the practice for. So they’re going to want to tell you why it’s worth so much and they may want to push you towards somebody who’s going to be willing to pay that much. And it’s, hopefully I don’t get blacklisted from all the brokers, but just because you’re willing to pay that much doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the right fit. So look at who’s the right fit for your organization. If I’m out there buying general practices, I may not be the right fit for you because we do all of our marketing and all of our training and everything is geared around pediatrics and ortho.

So are you going to get the right fit there? Find out about the organization. Yelp them. Look them up and see what Glassdoor says. Find out what their employees are saying about them. And by the way, I’m not perfect. You can look us up. There’s all kinds of stuff out there, but the reality is, is know who you’re going to get into. You’re basically walking down the aisle. Who are you going to be with?

Chris Pistorius:                  15:04                     Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that’s great advice. And maybe just not your experience here, but you’ve been in the industry a long time and a common question that we get that doesn’t really relate to marketing and what we do, but a lot of practices are having issues right now with hiring staff, finding qualified people, getting people to stay sometimes, and it seems like some of these practice owners are getting into these cycles of they hire somebody and then for a few months they leave and then they’ve got to rehire and retrain and it’s like they never stopped training. What’s-

Ray Caruso:                        15:41                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  15:42                     Some advice you could give an owner on hiring and firing and do you hire typically with dental experience or without? What’s your advice on that?

Ray Caruso:                        15:51                     Oh, man. We’re going through that too.

Chris Pistorius:                  15:51                     Really?

Ray Caruso:                        15:57                     Well we can blame it on the wake of COVID, but the reality is, is just look at your leaders. If your leaders aren’t training well and holding people accountable and ensuring that they’re taken good care of, then they’re going to leave you.

Chris Pistorius:                  16:15                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        16:16                     The number one reason for people leaving is not pay. The number one reason is their direct supervisor. So keep that in mind. All right. Secondly, so for hiring, do you look for dental experience? Yeah. I mean, if you want a dental assistant it’s better-

Chris Pistorius:                  16:16                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        16:35                     Two or three years experience, but keep in mind-

Chris Pistorius:                  16:37                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        16:38                     You hire one and you get them for 13 bucks an hour or something, I’m just making up a number, and then you train them for a year, immediately they’re worth $17 an hour. So make sure that you make that adjustment because they’ll know after six months or a year that they have experience, they can go right across the street and get paid three to four to $5 an hour and you’re the one who trained them. So keep that in mind. Be looking at market rate and adjust for-

Chris Pistorius:                  17:04                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        17:05                     Too. The other thing that we do because I started noticing that we had a lot of turnover in our office manager. We call them team leaders, but in that office manager role and I started to recognize, “Well, why did we have so much turnover in this role?” And it all came down to accountability. We were working towards bringing more accountability to that role and they just weren’t ready for it, they didn’t want it, they weren’t used to it. And so we might’ve gone too soon, too fast. I don’t think so, but it could have also been that we set the expectation and then we kind of forgot about it and didn’t train them and keep going back to helping them and helping them and helping them and supporting them and supporting them and supporting them. So then when it came to like, “Hey,” they felt like they weren’t being able to do a good job.

Chris Pistorius:                  17:05                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        18:03                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  18:03                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        18:04                     [inaudible 00:18:04].

Chris Pistorius:                  18:03                     That’s [inaudible 00:18:05].

Ray Caruso:                        18:06                     You brought out a book that you appreciate. I’ll tell you the best book that I could tell you about is from Patrick Lencioni. It’s called the Ideal Team Player. And he goes into the three virtues that you look for when you’re hiring people. And it’s something that you really can’t train on and that’s humble or humility, hungry or what you might call work ethic, and then he calls it smart, but really it’s the emotional quotient, the ability to interact well with people. And-

Chris Pistorius:                  18:06                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        18:42                     And then the opposite of that is ego, lazy, and disrespectful to people. So if you could just find those people that are hungry, humble, and smart, you’re always going to win.

Chris Pistorius:                  18:56                     I’m just curious. Do you ever use personality tests when hiring?

Ray Caruso:                        19:00                     No. No we don’t. As far as like our smile center, that’s what we call our corporate office. I like to be pretty cheesy. Our smile center, we did assessments to help us interact with each other better, but from-

Chris Pistorius:                  19:00                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        19:18                     The office level, no. We haven’t done that, but I do like the disc profile. I think that’s super helpful.

Chris Pistorius:                  19:24                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        19:25                     I’ve been in-

Chris Pistorius:                  19:25                     Yeah. When we hire, we use the Colby test, I think, or something like that. There’s several out there, but my advice there is that don’t let it be the end all, be all. Just use it as a guide-

Ray Caruso:                        19:42                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  19:42                     Versus saying, “Oh, well, this test doesn’t line up with what we want. So no way.” Go with your-

Ray Caruso:                        19:42                     Right.

Chris Pistorius:                  19:48                     Gut, but just use the personality test as kind of a guideline. Those are great insights. I think that can definitely help a lot of people. So I’m going to start wrapping up here, but I think you guys are still in acquisition mode out there looking for practices in both startup and acquisition. Where do you see your business over the next five years? How big do you guys want to get?

Ray Caruso:                        20:12                     You know, I would love to just go by the results or what I look back in my rear view mirror and say, “Hey. We should be at 300 practices,” or whatever.

Chris Pistorius:                  20:22                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        20:23                     But the reality is I look at it as how are we influencing the industry? So five years from now, have we influenced the industry to where people see that the ownership doctor model is better than other models because we are better for the community, we’re better for the doctors, we have longer-term relationships with our doctors, we typically have low turnover, typically, and we’re better for our patient base in our patient population.

And so for us to be able to influence, we have to get bigger. We must get bigger because otherwise a company with 60 practices doesn’t have the same influence as say a company with a thousand practices. And-

Chris Pistorius:                  21:16                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        21:16                     Us to be at that table for us to be able to treat more patients, for us to be able to influence more doctors we have to grow. And so-

Chris Pistorius:                  21:24                     Right.

Ray Caruso:                        21:26                     If that’s a 150 practices after five years and we’ve got 150 amazing practices that we’re doing what we believe, so be it. I think we’ll be a lot further along than that.

Chris Pistorius:                  21:39                     Right. That’s exciting. That’s great to have goals and whether you hit them or not, at least you have something you’re trying to achieve for. And I don’t think it’s always all about growth either. I mean, we talk about our annual goals here and a lot of it’s around what you mentioned, making sure we’re doing the right things for our clients, making sure we’re not going too fast.

Ray Caruso:                        22:00                     Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Pistorius:                  22:01                     Grow responsibly type stuff. I’ve been part of companies in the corporate world in my past where it just exploded growth, which is fun, but once the growth slows down, you look back and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. What did we do?” And you can ruin a business that way too. So I always-

Ray Caruso:                        22:18                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  22:18                     I always say, “Grow responsibly and the better your process and procedures are is going to dictate how fast you can do that.” So-

Ray Caruso:                        22:25                     Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  22:26                     Well, awesome. Right. Thanks so much for being a part of the show. If somebody happens to maybe want some more information about your organization, if they’re looking to maybe make a move, what’s the best way to maybe reach out to you?

Ray Caruso:                        22:39                     Yeah. Just email me directly. My email is so easy. Ray@. Ray at Ray. No,

Chris Pistorius:                  22:50                     Okay. And that’s L-O-N-E, right?

Ray Caruso:                        22:53                     Yep. L-O-N-E, yes. Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  22:53                     Okay.

Ray Caruso:                        22:56                     Not loan like, yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  22:56                     Yeah. What are you getting into here?

Ray Caruso:                        23:02                     Yeah, right? Yeah.

Chris Pistorius:                  23:03                     Yeah.

Ray Caruso:                        23:03                     Well Chris, it’s been a pleasure. I really appreciate you doing this.

Chris Pistorius:                  23:07                     Yeah. I appreciate you taking the time. I know how busy you are and I’ve learned a lot, I know, and I know a lot of our listeners have too and maybe we’ll check in with you in a few months and see how you’re doing. Okay?

Ray Caruso:                        23:18                     Yeah. Do that. I’d love to hear from you again. Thanks Chris.

Chris Pistorius:                  23:21                     All right. Thanks Ray. We’ll talk to you-

Ray Caruso:                        23:23                     Great weekend. Bye-bye.