Start at the beginning. It's really very simple and a lot of fun when you follow my ten points, because in the end you get to create the practice of your dreams, and what's not to like about that?
1. Vision: what is it? Who are you and why will everyone love you? Refrain from using words like "caring", "professional", or "quality" when creating your vision. Go for strong verbs and nouns - ideas that compel your own personal action.
2. Goals: both quantifiable (stay in business) and qualitative (have fun while doing it)
3. Budget: $0 to $15000 - gold star for having a budget. I've had clients with less, and clients with more, and the difference came down to heart more than money, so don't fear.
4. Timeline: Last month? Right away? A year from now? Choose a time frame in which to reach your goals.
5. Resources: who do you have to assist you - family, staff, professionals? Other businesses and friends willing to help spread your message to your marketplace? Any chits and favors you can call in? Kids to send out in the streets? (that was a joke...)
6. Elements: BRANDING BRANDING BRANDING!! Imagine you go to a grocery store in your sweats - how do people judge you? Imagine you go in your Sunday Best - now how do they judge you? I can tell you this - you don't go to the store naked. You're wearing something - or, is something wearing you? Get control of it - after all, you're the one choosing what to wear everyday in every situation in which you find yourself - no one else is to blame. You will also choose your branding as you go forward with marketing methods, even if you don't have a clear message (see point 1 above) - and a fuzzy vs clear message, ie brand, absolutely makes all the difference. The graphics, words, photos, and layouts that you have to use in order to market any method convey a message in and of themselves. If you don't maintain control over the message you're sending and the elements you send it with, you lose money, time, energy and make it that much harder to realize your vision.
7. Planning: First, choosing your Methods. Your question above is asking about which methods to invest in. Another gold star for asking the question. Now you get to choose what to do with all the available options. Some may work better than others - websites are a great idea, but depending upon your market, the amount of SEO and ads is debatable. Always go for those methods that give you the highest return on investment first, and that means simply talking with people, inviting them to your practice. (Email me and I'll send you my Fear of the NO: Happy to Get a No scripting and internal marketing card template.) Second, figure out what Tools you need to create in order to implement your chosen methods.
8. Implement: just do it. It takes 9 times of seeing your message before you even register as a blip in the consciousness of your marketplace. The worst thing you can do is not follow your plan to the end - don't ever give up.
9. Evaluate: how will you know what has worked and what hasn't if you don't keep track of your ROI, not only on the plan itself, but each method you chose, looking at 1. how many patients scheduled, 2. how many walked in the front door, and 3. of those, how many accepted appropriate treatment by each chosen method. Only then do you have the data you'll need to write your next plan, and so on. This is trial by error - but if you never evaluate, you'll never find the errors.
10. Repeat. Keep doing steps 1-9 above as long as you feel like practicing.
For my marketing plan workbook and marketing plan spreadsheet, just email me. As always, I promise you will never, ever be spammed by me in the future. I'd rather teach a man to fish than sell the catch of the day.
Hope that helps,
Here's to making dentistry MORE FUN!