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a blog by Chris Barrow

About making sure that what you have already paid to learn is actually being done

Friday’s Dublin workshop was the third in a series for a group of 7 independent orthodontic practices who have “clubbed together” to do some marketing and also to hire me for a year.

In our first meeting last July, I delivered my standard “Marketing Day” (the same day that my Extreme Workshop clients saw last week in London and Manchester).

In the second meeting last October we looked at Moments of Truth in their patient experience.

I rather suspect that last week they were expecting another nice day off work, listening to CB entertain them from the front of the room.

But that was not to be.

In thinking and preparing for the day, I decided to do some live coaching of each practice on their digital visibility (motivated by the desire to see results for them and to see how much they had done since our first meeting).

So, up on the hotel room walls were blank flip-chart sheets – one for each practice – and I began the day by displaying each client’s web site on the big screen and discussing what and wasn’t working for me, based on my observation of best practice as I travel around.

We then moved on to their Facebook Business Page and their Instagram account before asking about either a practice blog or patient/GDP newsletter.

7 times – a detailed review of how they look online, from the perspective of a potential new patient.

The objective was to create a task list of improvements.

Would you be surprised if I told you that each practice created an extensive list of tasks required to bring their online visibility up to scratch?

The feedback from the Principals was a combination of gratitude for the insight and, in some cases, bewilderment at just how much needed to be done.

Some of the required changes are subtle reactions to the evolution in the way that the general public are now researching online.

Others are much more basic – one client last week embarrassingly had two rather obvious typos on their home page that had gone unnoticed.

In the interests of balance – I’m in the middle of redesigning my own web site at the moment because I have an even bigger list of improvements to make.

The reality now is that your web site (and your Google Analytics) need to be monitored constantly to ensure that your audience are encouraged to engage with you.

Additionally, your social media pages require constant updating – with the correct content and a steady accumulation of reviews. On Friday, only 2 of the 7 practices attending had more than the magic 100 cumulative reviews that trigger Google to advance your organic search ranking.

You need a monthly email patient newsletter (a GDP newsletter if you take referrals) and a blog is a bonus that can increase traffic if done properly.

On Friday evening, my clients went away with extensive task lists to improve what they already do – it’s a good job I didn’t take the easy option and just do Coach Barrow panto from the front of the room again.

Sometimes we have to stop collecting new data (reading more books, attending more courses) and just make sure that what we have already learned is actually happening.

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