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a blog by Chris Barrow

Every patient is an influencer

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about “social media influencers”; those people who have so many followers on Instagram and other channels that their opinion gets noticed and their endorsement drives sales.

Just in case you were wondering – here are the top 10 in the UK:

1. David Beckham 2. Emma Watson 3. Cara Delevingne 4. Gareth Bale 5. Zayn Malik 6. Harry Styles 7. Niall Horan 8. Brooklyn Beckham 9. Zoe Sugg (Zoella) 10. Sam Smith InfluencerMarketingHub

If these people post about you and your product/services, you can rest assured that enquiries will come flooding in from people who “wannabee like them”.

Not much good for a dental implantologist but the Millennial cosmetic dental types would have a field day.

Back on Planet Earth, your dental practice is never going to have the budget to pay for their endorsement.

I do, however, see some practices getting very excited about a B-list endorsement from the ivory-toothed (and somewhat orange-skinned) “stars” of reality, talent and game shows plus low-level soaps (careful what you say there CB).

All well and good – I can see why offering free treatment in return for endorsement MIGHT be a good idea – although I was chatting to a client recently who had delivered three such treatment plans and has seen no money or referrals – be careful.

Thinking about this – it occurred to me that today’s mantra is very appropriate:


We have already read in this blog about Dunbar’s Number (look it up on Google), suggesting that “t’internet” has created a world in which the average bod (that’s you and me) is connected either digitally or physically with an average of 150 other people – family, friends and colleagues.

Social media + Dunbar’s Number = everything has changed.

Another recent conversation was with an associate thinking of buying a retiring Principal’s practice. Naturally, he is worried that his first leap into ownership can make or break him.

When asking for a potted history of the practice, he shared the fact that there are around 10,000 active, adult patients who already attend regularly.

I nearly fell of my chair and explained that, given satisfactory due diligence, I would leap at the chance of buying the place.


Because 10,000 x 150 = 1,500,000.

You don’t need footballers, models or a boy band to get your practice flying.

You just need a robust end of treatment protocol and an excellent patient experience to turn your existing and new patients into your influencers.

Every single patient that turns up in your practice is an influencer.

Give them something positive to say about you – and they will.

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