Defy the “back” button. Be yourself – online!

A dentist friend sent me a message on Facebook with a link to a Ted Talk video about social media.  (I’ve embedded the video at the end of this article.)  The video reminded me of what I’ve been preaching for years about content you put up on your website.  But, the same principles apply to ALL online content you create, including social media.

Here’s how I feel (strongly) in a nutshell:   You CANNOT hire out (delegate to a third party) the creation of your online content… IF you want it to be REALLY EFFECTIVE (or at all)

Dentists are lazy when it comes to marketing.  I think it must be related to the historical tradition of simply hanging your shingle and letting referrals (other people) send new patients to you.  That evolved into letting an incompetent Yellow Pages lackey “creating” the exact same ad for you as every other dentist in the Yellow Pages book.  Your only possible edge over the others was either a fortuitous alphabetic placement due to your name or buying a bigger ad.  The bottom line:  “effortless marketing” for dentists is now ineffective!

That’s HISTORY, folks.  The world is now instantly connected.  And, if your marketing is BORING, then it will be passed over, or folks simply hit the “back” button.  Maybe we should change the name to the “SEE YA!” button?

There’s a dentist born every day.

Nevertheless, dentists are easy prey for marketing companies who are quite happy to sell them the same canned online content over and over and over again.  The marketing company only has to create the content once… and then change the “ENTER NAME HERE” to sell it to thousands of dentists.  Easy money.

The dentist is happy because he or she can now proudly claim to have a website, a blog, published article, a Facebook page, and so on.  The dentist writes a check, and POOF!, there’s the online “presence.”  Except the dentist really ISN’T “present.”  It’s someone else.  It’s likely someone else who has never even met the dentist.

And, the dentist will be happy – initially – if the website, blog, or FB page looks really cool.  The dentist will show it off to all his / her friends and family who will surely applaud the beauty and high-tech appeal.  But, eventually reality sets in, and the dentist realizes that it has produced NOTHING for the practice.

Show up to the party!

Here’s the take-home message:  If you didn’t write it, you’re not fooling anyone.

People like connecting to people… real people.  People like doing business with people they like.  How can they get to know (and like) you, if it’s NOT YOU online?  They can’t.  While it may seem counterintuitive, sincerity and genuineness come through even in text on a computer screen.  Write like you talk.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

When there’s congruence between your online content and your actual personality, it WILL resonate with people (your prospective patients).  It comes through.  It really does.  But, if someone else wrote it, you can be sure you are simply sabotaging your own potential success online.

Be GENUINE.  Don’t be afraid to “let it all hang out.”  People relate better to casual and genuine communication than they do formal, flowery, and encyclopedic “information.”  Get busy and start writing your own content.  Proper spelling and grammar are always helpful.  But, don’t get hung up on literary perfection.  Most of today’s software has built-in spell-check.  Some even have grammar checks.  Get someone else to proofread it for you, if necessary.  But, be yourself.  Let your online audience get to know you.  Then when they meet you, they won’t be surprised to find a totally different person.

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18 Responses to Defy the “back” button. Be yourself – online!

  1. Sherold says:

    Mike – wow – I think you have much more to offer as a social media guru for the dental industry – see how Gary Van parlayed his wine biz knowledge into his new venture. Think about it;) Excellent article. Keep bucking that status quo.

  2. Darrell Pruitt says:

    So true.

  3. Hey Mike – I have been saying the same thing to my colleagues! It is part of the reason my entire professional and personal life is so intertwined, and also so happy. I am who I am – and I only want to work with people I like, and who like me for what I am.

    If I swear, or we have a difference of opinion and we can’t reach a respectful relationship – no matter whether it’s personal or business then I hope one or both parties moves on. I let it all hang out in my opinions – although I have to admit on my ‘business’ pages and websites I am respectful enough to understand that some people don’t appreciate the foul language or alternative ways of thinking. I try to avoid politics and controversy – and yet…..there are many times I also let that over lap.

    This is a different world we live in. It’s not hard today to figure out who is ‘real’ and who is ‘faking it’. There is no point in trying to be something you are not….to me it’s great way to waste this short life trying to fill shoes that you aren’t comfortable in. If you are going to explore social media, then be yourself.

    You and I differ on opinion often Mike – but I LOVE your point of view, and respect what you have to say. You make my life interesting, and I am glad to have you as a friend regardless of whether or not we agree on everything.

    Respect and Smiles!


    The Everything Dental Guy aka DMDrep.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Glad to know you, too, Warren – my friend from the REAL “Great White North!” 😉

      I say we agree FAR more often than we disagree. 🙂

  4. Alan Mead says:

    Right on the money! This is so good, it hurts. I expect that very few dentists will heed your advice, but those that do will find a huge payoff!

  5. M says:

    Did you realize that the top two links in the “blogs I like” section offer these paid canned social media services? One is even operated by a fictional character.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      I like their blogs. That’s why they are under the heading: Blogs I Like. 😉

      A fictional character is incapable of doing anything (except in the imagination of the reader). However, an actual person operating under a “nom du plume” certainly can. Very common, actually.

  6. Nomi Waters says:

    To “M”…. Who you calling a fictional character?

  7. Nomi Waters says:

    Well, I am kindof “social”… but no, I wasn’t aware that I offered Social Media services either, but we could start a rumor…oh wait, “M” is already doing that! And let me tell you… “M” .. I am anything but canned, sometimes a girl just wants to have fun….

  8. LOL! Is it ironic that “M” is talking about “fictional characters” but is uncomfortable revealing his identity?

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