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Robert Ingersoll once said, “We rise by lifting others”, and this couldn’t be more true especially for dentists.
As a dentist, you have the ability to help people around your city improve and maintain their smiles, which many of us know that a healthy smile can lead to a growth in overall personal confidence. Many of us get into business or entrepreneurship to not only become our own bosses and grow something of our own but to also find a way to give back to our communities and those less fortunate. This also allows us to create closer connections to those we are trying to bring in as patients.
Whether you are a dental practice that is just starting out or have been in the game for a while and have established multiple locations, remember that it’s not always about how many people you can help or how much you can donate at once. The important thing to remember is that every little bit helps and can make a significant difference in someone’s life
If you’re interested in finding ways to create better connections with your target market and more importantly give back to your local community but have no idea where to begin, we have compiled a great list of five ideas to help you get started.
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Now getting into our community service list, the first way you and your dental team can give back is to make school visits where the focus is on dental education. You have to admit that children and dentists don’t really go together, whether it’s due to anxiety or fear or just not wanting to go and sit around waiting to have their teeth checked. People fear what they don’t know and understand, so this is your opportunity to help shift their perspective to a more positive one by going to their school, their classroom, a setting that is both familiar and comfortable for them, you now have the upper hand of sharing the benefits of dental care.
Make sure to bring some tools and teach them about the different ones you use and why you use them. This allows them to visually see them and to get accustomed to what you need to help make their smiles better. The benefit of this is helping calm their nerves and getting them more comfortable when they see them in your office. Also, this approach allows the students to learn more about you and your team through a fun engaging and less, intimidating manner.
Establishing a healthy and consistent dental care routine must begin at a young age and education plays a big role in this. What you can do today is outreach to the administrators of nearby elementary schools and you can literally go to the school website and get their emails and numbers from there. Pitch your dental education idea and ask to schedule various visits so you can speak to as many students as possible.
When you do your presentation, make sure you pack a goodie bag filled with branded material such as toothbrushes, kids floss, stickers, tooth erasers and little fun treasures. More importantly, don’t forget to add your business card in the bag with a possible discount or promotion on the back, this is mainly for the parents and to entice them to call.
The second way to give back to your community is by hosting a food drive at your practice. I love this idea because this not only gets you and your team involved but you encourage your patients to participate as well. Everyone wants to do some good in the world and if they can bring in a canned good to help someone else out they will because it’s easy and something they don’t have to go out of their way to get.
Food drives are great especially during the holidays when some families are facing hardships, are struggling to make ends meet, and sometimes can’t provide a hot meal for themselves or loved ones. In order to do this effectively, you’re going to have to plan and organize all of your details properly. Such as how long do you want to run the drive for? Would it be a few weeks or an entire month and where will you be dropping off these goods to? You can connect with the local church or nonprofit that can assist you in helping distribute these goods to individuals and families in need.
To get a lot of traction for your event I highly recommend that you promote it all over your social media accounts. Put up signs around your office, especially waiting room, to encourage patients to bring in an item on their follow-up appointments or to stop by at any time they have available. Create an event on Facebook, boost it, create a post and boost it, do stories and talk about the event on different days, show when your patients are bringing goods to put in your collection box. Make it fun, make it engaging. The more excitement you show around it the more it will spread to others and encourage them to join in. Remember positivity and fun energy can be contagious.
Jumping on the back of helping feed the needy the third community service is volunteering with Feeding America for the day. Now this is a more hands-on approach and can be a great team bonding outing for your practice. Speaking of team bonding ideas, we actually have another great video that lists some fun ideas you and your team can plan for this upcoming year. If you want to get some laughs and increase better communication you’ll definitely want to partake in some of these activities.
Now back to Feeding America. The great thing about Feeding America is that they set you up with all the tools necessary to come in on your day of volunteering so you won’t have to worry about much other than bringing your smiles and good spirit. Here is Beaufils Dental, a practice I have worked with, they took this opportunity to bring their team together and help the community out. Just submit an application and they will get back to you as soon as possible. I’ve actually gone ahead and made this easy for you by including the application link for you in the description below, click on it and learn more.
Community service number four is a great program by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry called “Give Back a Smile” which provides dental care to an adult survivor of any domestic or sexual violence who has received traumatic dental injuries as a result of the abuse. Better yet, there will be no cost to the victim so you will truly be helping to transform someone’s life in more ways than you may imagine.
This is a free volunteer program that any dental practice or laboratory can sign up for to donate their time and services too. When visiting their website they will outline a summary of what you can expect from these patients who have experienced trauma, as well as the best approach to consider and implement it when working with them. Remember trauma and fear can leave lifetime wounds, so it’s important to create a safe and trustworthy space for the patient. I’ve also the added the link for “Give Back a Smile” in our description so you can learn more and sign up.
Friends I want to thank you for sticking around this far and listening to these volunteer ideas, I truly hope that it’s sparking some interest and inspiration within you and that your team can implement at least one of these this year.
Our fifth idea to give back and get closer to your community is to make a monetary donation to a charity that is near and dear to your heart. One way you can go about this is by hosting a month-long promotion where you will be donating a portion of your treatment costs to help those in need.
Now you can elect to pick a single treatment to do this with, such as a portion of all dental cleanings or new orthodontic patient enrollments, or you can do it with any and all sales that come through your door, this is up to you. Once again, promote this on your social media channels, do stories, organic post promotions and make sure to boost them so you can reach a bigger audience outside of your own following. At the end of your promotion do a live video on both Instagram and Facebook where you announce how much you were able to raise and more importantly thank everyone in your community for coming together and helping you and your team reach this wonderful goal.
Remember it’s not about the dollar amount specifically, it is about the effort in showcasing the care for those in your local city. As dentists you were created to help create and restore smiles. Use your gift to continue to spread goodness in your community for as long as you possibly can. Trust us when we say you don’t have anything to lose but so much to gain. Whether you use one of the five ideas provided in this video or one of your own, we know that doing some community service will only bring you closer to those who are looking to serve and gain as loyal patients.
Once again my name is Marli Espinales and if your dental practice is a need for growth and new patients make sure to contact us today to start a conversation. We are here to help you revamp your website, to help you grow your community with social media marketing services, increase organic website views, generate conversions through Adwords, and more. Our contact link is listed in the description below so don’t hesitate in reaching out and starting a conversation.
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