In marketing, finding your USP means finding your Unique Selling Proposition.
Or what makes you different to every other dentist in the town/county/internet.
If you are serious about loving your job, and treating the kind of cases that you have an interest in (as opposed to whatever walks in through the door), then finding your USP is essential.
When I was starting out, I found this very difficult.
After all, I was less experienced than most dentists that I knew, and almost every dentist that I knew could perform the same treatments as me, they had better marketing (or so I thought!)
What made me different?
To understand your USP, we also need to kind of think about brand positioning - how do you compare to others in your arena?
There may be an amazing cosmetic dentist in your town, but they may be expensive, or it might be difficult to speak with the dentist without arranging an appointment.
Every business has a weakness, the Achilles heel.
So if you wanted some of that market share, you could position yourself as having easy access, and priced competitively (at least until you have a bit more experience).
Let us say that you want to be doing much more cosmetic dental treatment, and less "drill and fill."
If we now think from a prospective patients point of view, they are looking around for dentists, and if they see your social media and this other dentist, who may seem better initially.
If you have an easy entry point to your service, maybe its really easy to arrange a call with yourself - then this would make it likely that some people would take you up on this and start a conversation. From here, its all about what you say and reassuring the patient that you are capable of carrying out what they are looking for.
To help with this, you will need good before and after photos.
In addition, you need to be able to tell the story of these cases, you just need to be able to answer the question: If I give you the money, will I get the result I am after?
Many younger dentists may not feel comfortable doing the big cases, but when it comes down to it, this is a mental barrier - anyone can do the big cases, as long as the treatment plan is structured, and as part of the mentoring I do with my dentists, we have regular calls, to discuss how to carry out the big cases, when they come about.
The long and short is that you will need to do a big case one day, and even if you are doing it for no profit, you should think of it as learning and developing a marketing asset (the before and after cases).
This is the same as learning any new skill. We have all seen the webinars on how to treat these cases, but doing them is something else. Anyway, this is probably a topic for another day.
Back to USPs. Why not take what we have learned so far, and just make a new category?
Let's say you live in Cambridge, you want to do lots of align and bond cases, and there are a million orthodontists around you.
Let us avoid the temptation to say that you offer quicker treatment than orthodontists (they are specialists, they can do a minimal treatment plan quicker than most of us!)
What you can offer is a comprehensive solution to a great smile, using minimal treatments.
You could be the Best minimally invasive cosmetic dentist in Cambridge. Boom, that's your USP.
Now, you need to start talking about why you think minimally invasive treatments are the best. (they have their pros- and cons, be respectful of this), but if you are consistent with your messaging, then you will gradually become known for this kind of treatment.
You could talk about how you contour and bond in order to create that perfect smile. Go into the details, it will show that you know your stuff.
Other topics could include:
- How do different composites give different long term results?
- How do you make sure composite does not stain in the future
- Different types of braces work (pros and cons)
Once you start, you will get more and more ideas, and if your message is clear and consistent, you will be building trust with an audience, but this takes time and effort - sorry, there are no shortcuts here.
Although I love a good video, you don't even need to press record, just write a blog (like what you are reading now, and publish it to your socials)
The beauty is that if you are an individual dentist, this USP is linked with you, and you can take this marketing platform wherever you go in the future.
I would argue that its important to be specific with your USP. Don't try to be everything to everyone.
Be the one person who can help with this specific problem that a patient might have.
And think of the problem in their terms. So not about "implants", think about rebuilding smiles.
If you spend some time thinking about this, and thinking about what really excites you, then you will start to think about different things to talk about on your social media and websites. A lot of people struggle to think of topics to cover, but in most cases, they are not clear on who they are and what they want to do.
Take the time and think about this, think about how you can be unique in the eyes of the public.
WEBINAR - How To Get A £25k Case Acceptance
If you would like to find out more about how I personally run my consultations then click the link below to check-out a full 1h15min audio recording of a consultation, which resulted in a £25k treatment plan case acceptance.
There is a deep dive in the psychology of the consultation, and structure that will let you get the same results.