Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I have a funny story to tell you.
I was working yesterday and one of my administrative assistants called into my room and told me that someone from Dental Economics was calling me.
Now to you non dental people this is a dental magazine. I would say the circulation is probably around 40,000-60,000. A free magazine but every dentist knows this magazine.
I have written a couple of articles for this magazine in the past.
I was very busy at the time and couldn't not break away. I asked my administrative assistant to ask them if I could call them back.
So my mind started to wonder. What could they want?
I thought to myself they have read the blog and want to do an article on me. Or I thought maybe they had read some of my articles and they wanted me to submit something for their magazine.
Then I started to remember how difficult it was for me to get an article published in there magazine.
I continued to think how far I have come and now it is so cool to have them start calling me.
The word was out about this guy in Apopka, FL.

So I finished with my patient and asked my admin. assist. if she had the name of the person who called and where was the number so I could call them back.
She said they didn't leave a number they were just doing a phone survey on how liked their magazine.

WOW!!! was I wrong. See what happens when you let my mind wonder.
My assistant and I got a real belly laugh out of this one.
Then I started to think what an ego I have. I still laugh thinking about.

So here I am talking to you with my egotistical tail between my legs.
I know you like me and if you had magazines you would let me write in them.

Anyway, I saw Cloverfield on Monday night. I thought it was pretty good. I don't know how I liked the Blair Witch Filming method but the movie was pretty good.
I watched Vantage Point last night. Pretty good also. My wife liked it more than I did but still okay.

I wanted to write to you today about websites.
I have been wanting a website for about 6 years now. I just don't know.
I have been quoted from $0-$5000 to do one.
Now if you know me I don't want to do something if it is going to suck.
So I have talked to a ton of people about how we can make a website that is awesome.
That is when they start talking about how much it is going to cost.

Now before I spend all my money I start asking around about other peoples websites.
I think a while back I was doing a lot of DentalTown and I threw out there a question on whether I needed a website or not.
Of course these are all web people and an overwhelming majority of them said a website is a must.
Then I started asking my friends if they had websites and none of them did.
And if they did have one it stunk to high heaven. I could of made these websites.
They had old pictures, old fonts, old everything. I would ask them questions about there sites and they would say that I haven't touched that thing in a couple of years.
So if you do have one, you just don't have one. You have to update it. It is a living breathing thing.
So I started to think...who is going to do all this updating?
If I get one (and remember it can't suck) I have to be committed to it.
So am I ready to commit the time and the money it takes to have a website?

Now why would I have a website. To get new patients? To teach people about our office?
To have downloadable forms for people to get before their first visit? Directions?
Show off?
Are these good enough reasons for the time and money commitment?
New patients...I don't know. Is the Internet the new yellow pages? This year for the first time have not paid the yellow pages. All we did was bold our name but it was so expensive.
Also the people we get from the yellow pages was always hit or miss (and more miss than hit).
They would have a problem and we would fix it but this would never lead to a long term relationship.
So you say, how do you get your patients? Well word of mouth has always been the best. A friend or neighbor tells a person how great our office is.
Now could they tell them about our office and then the person look us up on the Internet? YES.

This is where a person can tell something about our office.
Now what does it tell a person if you have a boring website?
That is why I don't want a boring site. So for me it is better to not have a site then to have a boring one.
Can it save time with forms? Yes
But when I think about it, if I wanted to find a dentist in the area I just moved into... I would go to my computer and Google "Apopka Dentist". Wouldn't you?
I know at least some people are.
Because more and more people are telling me they found us from the internet AND WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A WEBSITE.

Now I just had an endodontist call me today and ask if his staff could come to our office and have a lunch and learn with our office. I asked what are they going to be teaching us? They said they are going to come here and teach us how to use their website.
Apparently, they have some mack daddy website that if very interactive. We as a general dentist office can make appointments for our patients.
When my patients are getting work done and the endodontist takes an xray it instantly gets put on the website (I guess there is some password stuff we have to learn about) and you can watch and follow, through the xrays, your patient getting a root canal.

Now I have enough problems already with time. Is this something I really want to take on.
I know how much time it took to get digital x-rays going. I know how much time it takes to have computers in every room and right up all our charts on the computer.
I know how often the computer guy has to come out here to fix a glitch in the system.
Is this something else we want to tackle?

Because once you start with, "Thank you for making you New Patient Exam appointment, feel free to go to our website and download all your new patient forms" and your forms aren't downloading for them...problem.
Or if you are telling people to go to your website to get directions to the office and they can't find directions on your site...problem.
What about this? You have a site that you have committed to and you have spent a crap load of time on and money on and you get no hits.
People are typing in "Apopka Dentist" and you are like the 12th one down the list.
You know no one ever goes to the site that is 12th on the list.
Then you have to pay a search engine person to make your site first.

I want you all to think about this until Friday.
I want to hear from you. If you have a site I would like a comment about your can be anonymous. How big is your site.? Is it just a template or is it the mack daddy one?
If you are bold enough put your website address on the comment and we all can check it out.
If you are thinking about one...tell me your thoughts.
On Friday I will tell you what I am doing.

I am on vacation next week but I am going to bring my laptop with me (so I will probably write).
I have to prepare for the lecture on Thursday. Lots going on in my life.
I want to hear from you about your website. JUST DO IT.

I will talk to you on Friday.


Anonymous said...

You should contact your local community college or university and speak with someone in the Communication Arts Department or Graphics Arts Department. Due to the convergence of media and information many colleges/universities require students to take web design as curriculum. When I was in college (graduated May 2008 Yay!), we each had to create a website for a business – FOR FREE! It was the best relationship because we got experience and something to put in our resume/portfolio and the company got a free website. I guarantee if you call a local school, they can partner you with a student who can design your webpage. You don’t need to hire a professional designer. I remember my professor told us if we were going to freelance for a website (after we graduate), we should charge $50 per page and $5 per graphic/photo. As for the upkeep, it’s not that bad. What would you need to change? Your info is still going to be the same…unless you change addresses. Don’t be afraid to hire a “rookie” – they can produce the same, if not better graphics. Good luck!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


If you need more patients to fill out your daily appointment calendar, then maybe, just maybe, a website that is designed SPECIFICALLY to drive new folks into your office, I could see you spending time and money on it. If not, DON'T DO IT!

Dentists get their traffic, like most professionals and skilled labor, by word of mouth. Your dad got the practice started, you've been in it over 10 years, you speak at dental meetings around the state, you're active in a lot of different spaces and places ..... don't you have enough going on? Just spending time blogging us 3 times a week takes time out from other family activities.

If paper work, patient files, appointments are all handled on a computer data base in-house and you have no pressing need to send x-rays or other imaging electronically to a lab or other dental facilities, why think of a website as a means of handling such sensitive and confidential information?

Yes, you have an EGO, John; a very healthy one at that, thank goodness. You will not massage that ego by getting a website. It's just a marketing tool that does take time and effort to maintain. What's the real benefit.

Now, go have fun on vacation and practice your speech!

Kyle DeLoach
Life Coach to the Dental Profession

PS: Coaches never give advice. They help others achieve whatever they want to accomplish.


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