Consultant content

Who Are You? Using Your Practice Brand to Your Advantage

Date Posted: 04.30.20 Speaker: Jill Allen

During this webinar, Jill Allen, Owner and Orthodontic Consultant at Jill Allen & Associates, talks about the importance of finding your practice voice. Marketing happens across many different platforms and being consistent and strategic about your brand is imperative for success. Learn about your voice, your brand, and your strategy for getting your practice back up and running when things come back online.

Video length = 0:32:38

Jill Allen
Jill Allen, owner and orthodontic consultant at Jill Allen & Associates

Matthew Bycroft (MB): Alright, good afternoon. Welcome to “Who Are You? Using Your Practice Brand to Your Advantage,” presented by Jill Allen of Jill Allen and Associates. My name is Matthew Bycroft, I’m the vice president of sales and marketing for Cloud 9 Software. Cloud 9 is a browser-based practice management system for orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, group practices, and DSOs. And this year Cloud 9 software is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Currently we support over 13,000 users across 1500 locations. This webinar is scheduled for one hour, all participant lines have been muted, you may submit questions via the Q and A button on the left-hand side of the screen. And questions will be ans– will be addressed rather, at the end of the webinar as time permits.

It’s my pleasure to introduce our speaker, Jill Allen is a national orthodontic consultant with a passion for helping doctors bring their practice dreams to fruition. Jill and her team specialize in startup practices and doctors in business eight years or less or eight years to retirement. Jill offers customized solutions for each office, her goal is to give each team tools to increase growth and streamline their processes. Jill has more than 27 years of experience and has worked in every area of an orthodontic practice, her proven management solutions produce positive results in case acceptance and production, which creates strong successful practices for the years to come.

And with that, please welcome Jill Allen.

Jill Allen (JA): Hi everybody. Thank you so much Matt, that was a nice introduction there. I am so excited to be talking to everybody today about just kind of, how can you leverage your practice brand and use it to your advantage. And so, as we kind of dive into this little webinar here, I’m not necessarily going to be talking about the fundamentals of marketing for a practice in regard to maybe our traditional way of doing it, but really talking about how we can, like I said, kind of leverage and determine what is our practice brand and how do we get that out there, especially more onto our social media platforms, as most of us have had to have been doing, especially with what has happened with this COVID craziness that we have all been dealing with. And hopefully for a lot of the practices that are on, we see a light at the end of that tunnel and you are going to be opening your practices back up soon.

So the first thing that I want to just talk a little bit about is I think that it’s very important as practices when you’re thinking about your marketing strategies, and what does your brand say about you, is to make sure that we kind of find what is your practice voice, and what do we want our patients to know about you as a doctor, about you as a practice, and maybe now is a really good time too, to just kind of figure out like, what are the values that go along with our practice and our practice vibe.

And so, I thought I’d just kind of show with you for Jill Allen and Associates. This was a little exercise that myself and my team went through, but the reason that this has been so helpful for us is in going through and determining, okay, what are our values? It then helps us determine how do we want to market our brand out to all of you. And I think as a practice and as an office manager and as a doctor and a team member, you guys want to make sure that you really understand what are your values, and then how do you leverage that, like I said again, through your brand.

So for us, we’re helpful, we’re honest, we take ownership, we’re authentic, all these different things. But then what that does is that helps us kind of pull together and determine what’s going to be our voice or our talking pillars. So when we are out and we’re looking at, it’s not just how we are coming across in our practice, but especially now, when you think about brand recognition over the websites and out over all of the social media platforms, you really want to make sure that you’re holding true to your values, that you have these talking pillars, is what I like to call them. And I think what we’re looking for is we’re wanting, our market, our clients, our patients out there, we want them to start building trust in our brand. And I think a consistent message is what helps us do that. We also want to gain recognition, so if our posts, the things that we’re putting out there have, they seem to go together, they have some congruency with them, it’s really going to help bring that whole brand voice together and really help patients and new clients be more comfortable and familiar with you when they actually make it into your practice. It’s like they already know you, they already have a feel for you, they’ve already made an opinion of you.

And so now this is just very, very generic, but just kind of some pillars that I put together, and these are not value pillars, but these are just kind of helping, because I have a lot of docs that are like Jill, like I know what I want to say, but I don’t know how I want to put it out there, and I want to have a consistent message, but I just don’t know how to do it. So, I tried to have a little fun here, and I’m not saying that this is what you need to do by any means.

So let’s just think about it, if you want to have a marketing pillar, and marketing is so vast and wide, but maybe you say, “hey, I think I’m going to try and consistently “have something that goes out on my Mondays “on my different areas.” And I’m talking social media right now, where maybe I’m just going to market my practice some way. So then it kind of helps you put together your marketing plan and say okay, what do I want my patients to know about my practice? Maybe it’s a new technique you’re using, maybe it’s, and all of this time you’ve spent, a lot of time in training and you’ve said, “hey, we’re going to introduce a new technique “into our practice.”

Like, if at least you kind of have an outline of what you want to get across, and then you think about it in that way, I think it really helps keep that message strong, but yet, it all goes together with your brand. Maybe you’ve got a “Talk it Out Tuesday,” where you just know that you’ve got some consistent questions that patients are asking, or maybe you even do a live where you open it up and you let people ask you questions. Maybe you’ve got a “Work it Wednesday.”

And again, I just was trying to have a little bit of fun with this, but maybe you’re going to highlight, different practice things that you’re doing on Wednesdays. Thursdays, maybe it’s something get to know you as an individual, and I think that’s the most important thing, especially when we’re talking about anything social media wise, is we notice we get the most hearts and the most thumbs up, and the most likes when we’re doing things that people can relate to. They don’t really care about articles out of a magazine, but they care if you’re out having fun on a walk with your dogs. So you want to be personable and be watching for that, and then maybe you’re having fun on Fridays, I don’t know.

But the thing of it is you’re picking your pillars, maybe one of your pillars is you really want to be able to teach your patients something. So maybe you’ve got a “Teaching Thursday” where the doctor does a little 10-minute snippet, and just teaching something cool. I’ve watched a lot of different social media things, and I’ve had some docs that are out doing science projects every Thursday or whatnot for their patients. So just have fun with it, but remember the consistency of the pillars is going to help promote that brand and that consistency there.

The next thing that I think is really important to think about, is when you are thinking about social media, like I was just talking about, is you really want to be thinking about, who are you trying to get your message across to, because each of the different platforms could have a different demographic group that you may be talking to. And so I think sometimes what I see a lot of our practices do is they take one message and put it out over all platforms, not realizing that it may not gain as much traction on certain platforms as others. So I think you need to be really smart about what you’re doing when you are thinking and thinking about your different platforms and the messages that you’re going to be putting out there.

So an ad that you may run on Facebook may be different than an ad that you run on Instagram, even though there’s some crossover there, or when you think about, if you’re doing something out on, let’s say Tik Tok, maybe you’ve decided you’re going to dip your toe into the Tik Tok water, and you’re going to do a funny little video. Well, that video won’t go over as well on LinkedIn, as it may on Facebook or Instagram or on your YouTube channel. So you want to really be looking at all of these different platforms and saying what material, and I think back to my pillars, what material do I want to get out?

And maybe with some of the different platforms, they may have a stronger– like, educational videos, and I should’ve put YouTube on here, may be better on your YouTube channel than on your Facebook Group, on your Facebook. Or maybe on an Instagram TV, on your Instagram TV, something a little bit more educational, maybe your fun posts are going to pull over from Tik Tok and drop onto your Facebook. So you want to kind of think about how all these different platforms can play together, and then what’s that voice and that tone and that pillar that we want to be working through as we are going through these.

So the next thing that I think is really important for us to think about, we were just talking about everything socially, is then how does this relate into our collateral pieces that we are using within our practices? So, when we’re thinking about it, do our business cards– are they up to date? And our walkout folders and our letterhead and referral pads– does it match the tone of the voice of our practice, of our brand?

I see this a lot when I’ve had doctors that have transitioned into a new practice, they still have the old, and I don’t mean that old as in age old, but you know, the previous doctor’s name on different collateral pieces in the office. And they really haven’t really, truly brought their brand, their name, their tone into the practice yet, and because we’re busy because we just don’t have time. But if you think about that, that’s really conflicting and confusing to patients. We want to have this really strong brand that holds through in everything that we look at from our pins to our swag items, to our business cards, to our walkout folders, everything that we’re using.

The other thing that I think is really important is if you are working with swag items, make sure that you are using the right files to build those swag items so it looks right. We don’t want to see a goofy– something that promotes our business, but it isn’t the right file that was used to print, and so it just, excuse me, it just looks off, I think it’s really important that we want to make sure we’re using the right files so that it’s easier for us to reorder, but it also, again make sense as we’re moving forward.

The other thing that I think is important when we’re looking at collateral and swag and this is more just of an overhead standpoint, but really think about buying based on price breaks. So maybe if you’re a smaller practice, yes you get this great price break at 4,000 walkout folders, but do you really need 4,000 walkout folders? Probably not, we probably need a hundred a year, and I know that’s small, but just talking through that. So really be thinking about what your budget is, because when we’re talking about this, this is part of your marketing budget, when you’re looking at sometimes swag items or different things. So we want to make sure that we’re staying in budget, and again, that we’re staying consistent with our messaging, as we move forward there.

The next thing that I think is important to really think about and talk a lot about, is scripting. And I think scripting is even bigger than just, how do we answer a phone? We want to make sure that we’re sending the right message, and it’s consistent, and again, it represents who you are as a practice, and what you are trying to convey out to your patients. And so when you think about scripting and hopefully you’ve had some downtime and you may still have a little bit ahead of you, what we don’t want is rogue, our employees just kind of going rogue on us.

So when we answer our phone, is it consistent no matter who answers the phone, it’s kind of like going through Chick-fil-A. We know that we’re going to get a consistent greeting when we place our order and we’re going to get a consistent thank you, when we finish up our order, it’s my pleasure. It would feel wrong to go through Chick-fil-A and not hear that. And I think that’s what we need to strive for in our practices. So do we have a consistent message when we answer the phones? Is our voicemail consistent with the tone and the message that we want, in the event that we can’t pick up the phone? Do our emails have the same tone? I think that we should have scripted out emails, we should have scripted out texts, so that our employees are not, again going rogue on us, and it matches the tone of the practice. So if we want to consistently have a message or a tone that bleeds through into our emails and into our texts, we should have pre-scripted texts where it’s kind of just a plug and play, so that the patient has the same tone, same feel, whether they’re calling in, whether they’re getting an email or whether they’re getting a text. And then I think again, that still bleeds through into our website and out onto our social media posts. We want just a consistent message going through the whole way as we are making it through and really moving forward here.

The other thing that I think is really important is, when we talk about our meat and potatoes marketing, and if you have been through or worked with me or heard me give a presentation on marketing, I really believe that, we’ve got four main pillars of marketing that we want our patients, and we want to be doing within our practice. So we want to be out promoting our brand out to our dental offices. And I think a lot of that goes, I call them GOAT gifts, greatest of all time gifts. And what I mean by that is we want to be, I think at minimum touching our “hot until not” doctors at least four times in the year.

We want to be taking out branded gifts, it’s not, we just, oh my gosh, I need to quickly go pick up some Kroger cookies and take it over. It’s like we have thought it out, we’ve planned it out, and we are promoting ourselves in doing these gifts and building relationships. So I think that that’s really important that we think about that, but again, it needs to hold true to our brand, we need to see brand consistency, we want to be working with those pillars and what our values, what we’re trying to get out when we’re out there making those touches.

Another thing is, when we’re out there doing our community events, these are opportunities to get return on investment opportunities. So maybe these are some of our tabling events or different things that allow us to be out in front of our patients out in the community. I would hope that again, from a marketing standpoint, if you’re out in front of the community, do you have a branded shirt on, does your material that you’re giving out, is it consistent with everything else that they may have had an opportunity to see of you or learn about you before they’re getting to meet you in person? So we really want to make sure that we are not just making random marketing purchases and going out and tabling at these events, but we’re being smart about the messaging that we’re trying to get across.

And then finally, it’s our brand awareness opportunities. And anytime we’re out and about, I always tell my docs, you need to think about every time you choose to do something that falls into the marketing category, is this about brand awareness or return on investment? Because we do have just a lot of brand awareness opportunities that we may not be able to relate back to a return on investment. And what I mean by that is putting our names, let’s say on the back of a t-shirt for a fun run, is a great brand awareness opportunity, but we may not actually see a true one for one return on investment, where let’s take it and say, maybe we’re going to run an ad, and I’m just going to use Facebook, let’s run a Facebook ad, and we’re going to set a dollar amount to that, and we’re going to set the parameters of the age group and the income level and male or female, all these different things, and we’re going to run it for X amount of dollars. We can then go back and look at that and say, okay, did I get a return on investment? What were my analytics to that report to say, oh, I’m off of that Facebook run, I can pull that back into my office management system and say, hey, I had three people calling because of that ad, and I had one person convert. So my return on investment opportunity off of that money, I can track that. So again, when we’re looking at return on investment versus brand awareness, I think that that’s really important when we’re looking at that and thinking about that from a marketing standpoint. So GOAT gifts, community events, brand awareness opportunity, and then what is going to be our return on investment opportunities.

The next thing that I just think is so key now more than ever, is to make sure that you guys are evaluating your website and making sure that they really match your brand. And I think that we should be evaluating websites at least every three years or so, and just making sure that is our website up to date with where we’re at in our practice. I feel like a lot of times practices kind of think that websites are get it up and running and don’t pay much attention to it any more. And I think that that can be a real stumbling block, especially if you’re kind of moving ahead with times, but your website is kind of left in the past.

Is your website mobile compatible? I don’t think there’s anybody barely walking around out there that doesn’t have a smartphone. So does your website work on a smartphone? Do you have extra tools on your website to help your patients get in contact with you? One of the biggest, hot buzz words that we’ve been hearing through all of the shutdown is virtual consults, virtual consults, virtual consults. Well, are you marketing, is that something that your practice is doing, and are you marketing for that? And can your patients see that? Can they tell that even though your virtual location or your office is closed, you’re still open virtually. So we need to be touching and dealing with our websites and making sure that they’re staying up to date.

Another thing that’s really important is from an SEO standpoint, Search Engine Optimization, do we have a good website that is search engine optimized? Because that can be very important, especially if you’re a newer practice or a younger practice, if you’re not coming up on the first page, organically, meaning by search words, that can be a real problem, especially if you’re trying to grow your practice and get people to see you. So are you search engine optimized? Do you need to maybe work with a company, if that’s maybe a little something that’s out of your wheelhouse, do you need to work with somebody to help you with that?

And then I think most important is reviews. Do you have reviews that link back to your website? So when you’re looking out there, do you have reviews? Do you have pictures? Do you have good content on your website? And I’m telling my clients from a review standpoint, you guys should be striving for a minimum of three new reviews a month on your social media platforms. I’ve had some docs that are like, well, I got to a hundred and I’m good. Well, your reviews are only as good as how current they are. If you look at a doctor’s website and you say, “oh that’s great, “they’ve got a hundred reviews,” but the last review they had was two years ago, from a credibility standpoint, socially, even though you’ve got a good amount of reviews, you’re probably still not going to look as credible as maybe a competitor who just had a review a week ago.

So it’s really important that you’re thinking about that, keeping aware of what’s happening on your website, and just remember that, your websites are kind of like dating sites, your patients are more than likely checking you and your team and your office out, and seeing what all you have to offer first from your website before they’re ever picking up a call– or picking up a phone, or deciding to text you, or deciding to send out some type of an opportunity for you to get ahold of them.

So as we kind of think through this and talk through this, the biggest thing that I think you need to be thinking about is why you need to be doing this now, because marketing again, it isn’t just about just talking to dentists or just having your name out in the community, but it’s also about making sure that especially as the social media platforms, they aren’t going away, they’re only getting more important, you really need to be building your audience, and I think now is a good time. Probably one of the things that so many of my clients will ask me is, “Jill, should I pay somebody to do this “or do I do this myself?” And that’s a really hard question to ask because everybody’s a little bit different in their skillset. I think ideally if you as a doctor can do this on your own, I think it’s wonderful, I think that, it will ultimately always be your tone that’s coming through, but maybe you’ve got a great team member on your team that you can task with building your brand and making sure that all of your platforms match and that you’ve got consistency, or maybe sometimes you do need to just look outwards and find a marketing or a branding company to help you with that. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer, is just, are you consistent with what you’re doing?

So the other thing is we want to just make sure that we are building brand awareness for the future. So we want to be really building for the future, we want to be looking at what we can do to help build our practices and create a buzz of warm leads. So again, remember people are, it’s kind of like a dating site, they’re checking you out way before they’re ever texting you, calling you or sending you an email. So we want to make sure that all those touch points, maybe they see you on Facebook, and then maybe they see a funny video, and then maybe their friend says, “oh you should call and check out their website,” or “you should check them out, they’re really great.” But before they want to get in, they’re going to check you out. So are you consistent the whole way through. And then just remembered that, anything that you’re doing with marketing, it can be low cost and it can be grassroots, but it all comes down to what is your time worth?

And I think that’s the biggest thing, right now in our practices, we’ve got a lot of time, at least right now, a lot of us are gearing back up to get going, but we’ve had a lot of time potentially to be working on this, but as you get going again, do you have the time to do that? And it’s, do you have the time to put somebody in, to be kind of your quality control to make sure you’ve got consistency through your brands? And I think that’s the thing that we really need to be looking at and working on as we are evaluating all of this.

So I know that this is a little bit of a shorter webinar, but I really wanted to touch on this because I think that this is so important right now, and give us some time to talk through if anybody’s got questions for me on this, but if you still have a little bit of time, I hope that all of you are opening up next week, but if you still have time, I think now is the time with being closed down, and being shut down a little bit to really evaluate just your brand and the consistency with it, so that when we pop up and we’re ready to go for the summer, your patients are getting the same message through the practice.

So I’m going to open it up, and I know Matt you’re going to help with some questions. And I know this is going a little bit quicker, but I figured, it seems like there’s always a lot of questions when it comes to marketing (laughs).

MB: Thank you Jill, that was fantastic. So attendees, just as a reminder, you can submit any questions that you have via the Q and A button on the left-hand side of the panel, and we currently we don’t have any questions submitted, let’s give it just a minute,

JA: Okay.

MB: And see if we have any come in.

JA: Sure, and I get too, if we don’t have anybody that’s got any real pending questions right now, you can always reach out to me, I’m happy, especially if you have something you don’t necessarily want to ask in a group, I’m always happy to just answer questions, just reach out on the website. I’m always available, always happy to help.

MB: Absolutely, and it still looks like we don’t have any questions coming at this time, so as Jill indicated, you are more than welcome to contact her at to send any questions her way. Many thanks Jill Allen to you for your great presentation today and the folks on the phone, thank you for attending. If you’re interested in learning more about Jill Allen and the practice, you can go to And if you’re interested in learning more about Cloud 9’s practice management system, please contact us at And thank you everyone for attending today’s session.

JA: Yep, and it looks like maybe Laura, might’ve had a question. I know she’s got a hand up, I don’t know Matt, if you’ve been…

(interruption drowns speaker’s words)

MB: Is there a hand up? Let’s see, I didn’t, let me look here. Well I can see Laura put her hand up. Laura, can you– are you able to submit your question via the Q and A panel?

JA: (Laughs) It was an accident she said.

MB: It was an accident, well accidents happen, right?

JA: (Laughs) Perfect.

MB: No problem at all.

JA: Oh let’s see. “What are your recommendations for getting information out “about our opening up?”

And this is coming in from Michelle, she’s asking, “what are recommendations “for getting information out about opening up?” I think that you should just be putting, I think that anything socially is important if your doc or office manager can do, I think especially your doctor can do a little video that can just be loaded up to any of your social media sites, I think that’s great, Especially if you’re going to have maybe some new ways that you’re going to have patients check in with you, maybe there’s going to be some new things that they’re going to be seeing in the office. I think trying to get that information out in a very comfortable setting via a video, I think is the easiest. Now some docs or office managers may not be comfortable putting out a little video, maybe they’d rather type it up and send it out, but I would definitely get things posting on your social sites, and then of course still use your office email if you have that.

But I just really feel like you get, and I’m seeing this just across the board, we’re just getting such good responses by using those social media platforms to get the information out, and I think the video is the best one because I think everybody wants to see their doctor know everything is okay, and it just comes across a little friendlier. That would be my suggestion.

MB: Great question. Any additional questions from our attendees today? Okay, well in that case we will go ahead and wrap it up. Jill Allen thank you again for your time and your content today, really enjoyed it, and thanks everyone for attending the session.

JA: Yeah, thank you, have a great day.

MB: Take care, bye bye.

Jill Allen
About the Speaker Jill Allen

Jill Allen & Associates is an orthodontic consulting firm located in the heart of Golden, Colorado. Jill Allen, owner and orthodontic consultant, has a passion for working with orthodontists in all stages of their career. Whether they are looking to start-up an orthodontic practice, purchase an existing practice or just needs some modernization in a mature practice. Jill and her team work to help their clients set up the proper systems and protocols so that they can achieve and maintain strong, successful, practices for years to come.