I want to talk to you about a marketing experience that I highly recommend.
First, let me explain my personal relationship with marketing. I used to think that marketing was, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst cheesy and sleazy. Plus, I knew some marketing could be a financial waste, so I avoided it. When I started AccommoDental, my house call dental service, I relied on referrals from other at-home caregivers, the local hospital, and the dental school. I was busy enough, so marketing didn't seem worthwhile.
One day, I arrived at the home of a new patient whose daughter was his caregiver. The daughter told me that she was so grateful that she FINALLY found my phone number after calling 24 other places before she could get in touch with us to make an appointment. I felt awful about her having such a hard time connecting me and her father. Right then and there, I stopped thinking strictly about the ROI of marketing and more about marketing as a public service.
I started to feel very strongly about making sure that patients who needed my services could easily be connected to me. I started advertising in a local newspaper, put car magnets on my car, and most recently, I decided to invest in a booth at my local dental meeting.
Being a first-time exhibitor at the dental meeting is the marketing experience I want to share with you today. My local dental meeting is the Buffalo Niagara Dental Meeting. I've attended this meeting as a student and a dentist, but this year, I was excited to be on the other side of the table and tell attendees all about AccommoDental.
First, you should know that being an exhibitor is a hefty investment. You've got to purchase the booth, stock the booth with marketing materials like brochures and business cards, AND stock it with fun materials like candy or prizes. Then you have to make sure somebody is working the booth, and in a one-woman business like my own, I was the person manning the table for two days. So yes, I invested in materials upfront and took two days away from work to advertise at this one meeting. Even though it's a heavy lift for one person, I still highly recommend it.
Here are five reasons why you should advertise at-home dental services by being an exhibitor at your local dental meeting:
You’ll make meaningful connections.
Being an exhibitor allows you to connect with attendees and speak directly with dentists, hygienists, and assistants who are curious about your residential dental service. The majority of attendees at your local dental meeting are members of YOUR dental community where you serve patients.
You get to share the mission of your business.
Focusing on my mission of serving patients who are best-served at home is moving for me and was also moving for attendees. It's nice to spend some days reflecting on the WHY behind your business.
You might get to interact with students!
I was very grateful to interact with students who were genuinely curious about dental home care as a career option. I told them to check out my free scheduling template guide, A Day in the Life of a House-Called Dentist. If we can encourage more people to offer at-home services, especially early in their career, we can ensure dental home care becomes normal someday.
Exhibiting sparks some great ideas.
Attendees had brilliant questions that challenged and inspired me. They're questions about processes, travel radius, hours and a million more things gave me a lot to think about.
It was just so much fun! My booth had a prize wheel and everyone stopped to spin for a prize! It was silly, but it was fun. I enjoyed chatting with neighbors at the other booths, too. it was just a fun way to spend a few days :)
I highly recommend investing in an exhibitor booth to market your business and, more importantly, to connect with your community.
For those of you wondering about the ROI, yes, I have gotten more referrals from attendees that I met while I was exhibiting at the dental meeting. Financially, this was beneficial.
When you decide to be an exhibitor at your local dental meeting, contact me on the ResiDENTAL Movement website to tell me how it went!
Support the Home Smile Care Foundation
Whether you decide to pursue dental homecare or not, please know that you can support those in need of it by contributing to the Home Smile Care Foundation.