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Getting Noticed in a Crowded Marketplace

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Sometimes low-tech works best

A full day of continuing education is underway at the 27th New Dentist Conference. The Conference offers fresh perspectives from emerging speakers. This morning Dr. Tanner McKenna will present a course on coaching the dental team, and this afternoon Dr. Joshua Austin presents a course on social media and the dental practice.

Earlier this year ADA New Dentist News spoke with Dr. Austin about his experiences opening his solo practice during the recession. Even more challenging, he built his practice in San Antonio, a community that already had many dental offices.

One big surprise? Sometimes low-tech works best. Here’s how it appeared in ADA New Dentist News:

Dr. Austin targets younger patients and he doesn’t advertise in the Yellow Pages, assuming that his patients won’t search the phone book when looking for a dentist. But some older approaches have been effective — for instance, using direct mail to attract new patients. “I’m a technology guy, so I was skeptical that a mail campaign was for me,” he explains. “It’s not cheap when you consider the cost of a high quality mailing list and top-notch printed materials. But the investment paid off — I have a lot of families, a lot of good patients who found me as a result of that tactic.”

 What about you? How have you helped new patients find you? Leave your answer in the comments. Don’t forget to follow the conference at #NDC2013.

Social Media, Leadership & You

The ADA Practical Guide to Social Media PlanningRita Zamora just concluded the CE course Social Media, Leadership & You at the 27th New Dentist Conference. Earlier this year ADA New Dentist News spoke with Zamora about using social media in your dental practice. Here are three tips she gave ADA New Dentist News for upgrading your professional presence online:

Show, Don’t Say your Practice Values If marketing is an opportunity for you to say what your values are, then social media is the place to show those values. If one of your values is family-friendliness, then your social media presence should demonstrate your comfort with kids and awareness of the challenges parents face.

Social Media is Social Don’t be the bore at the party who talks about work the whole time. If you are fortunate enough to have a dog, a cat or a baby, you have some of the most popular ingredients for popular social media. If sharing those topics doesn’t work for you, you can post about training for a marathon, hand-tying your own flies for an upcoming fishing trip, or volunteering at a food bank. Like any conversation, it’s worth making the effort to navigate the space between “too impersonal” and “too much information.”

Not Dry, Not Drowning, Just Drip If you never update your social media, your online presence can grow dry and uninteresting. But posting too frequently can drown users in a sea of low-quality content. It’s best to drip out high-quality posts over time and reinforce a message of quality, not quantity.

Interested in learning more about using social media in a way that makes sense for your practice? Pick up The ADA Practical Guide to Social Media Planning. Learn how to use social media in a way that will engage potential and existing patients; make your practice more visible in a growing sea of online information and protect and further your professional reputation online.

How about you—do you have a plan for using social media to support your professional goals? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to follow the conference at #NDC2013.

Leadership is Asking “What Needs to be Done?”

Dr. Chris SaliernoA full day of leadership programming is underway now at the ADA 27th New Dentist Conference. If you are joining us later this weekend for networking and CE, we’re looking forward to seeing you! Don’t forget to follow the conference at #NDC2013

Dr. Chris Salierno kicked things off, welcoming the crowd and introducing national leaders. Leadership is a big deal for new dentists, and an important topic for us here at New Dentist Now. The famous management consultant Peter Drucker said, “Successful leaders don’t start out asking, ‘What do I want to do?’ They ask, ‘What needs to be done?’”

Over at the blog for Psychology Today, they outline 7 Things Successful Leaders Do Differently. Here’s the first item on their list:

They put relationships first. Successful leaders not only build networks, but they also nurture the connections they make. They make time for their clients and colleagues. They make time for people they mentor. They make time for their personal relationships.

Where have you made the relationships that matter most to you? Leave your answer in the comments.

Building Your Network at the New Dentist Conference

New Dentist Conference Logo It’s finally here! The ADA 27th New Dentist Conference. Don’t forget to follow the conference at #NDC2013.

You may have heard that the conference is a great place to network and that’s true—it is!

If you aren’t a seasoned networker, you might want to check out these tips from Toastmasters International about how to work a room at a conference.

If you are comfortable networking, but you still feel like sometimes you get stuck in small talk and have difficulty connecting, consider this tip from Dave Kerpen on the LinkedIn Blog:

Everyone else is asking, “Where are you from?” and “Where do you work?” and other small talk at conferences. […] ask better questions, such as “What are you most passionate about?” and “What charity do you care most about?” and “Who at this conference would you most like to be connected with?” That way, you get people talking about something they really care about, and you can form a more meaningful relationship faster. Of course, the most important question you can ask of someone is, “How can I help you?”

 Not a bad question—how can we help you? Leave your answer in the comments.

How to Find a Mentor


Interested in finding a mentor?

We’re getting ready for this Saturday’s 11th Annual New Dentist Committee Awards Luncheon taking place at the 27th New Dentist Conference. Several of the awards honor accomplishments in mentoring.

No matter where you are in the arc of your career, there is no substitute for a one-on-one mentoring relationship. If you are ready to find a mentor, here are some suggestions, originally published in ADA New Dentist News:

Get Clear on What you Want to Learn Saying, “I don’t know what to do with my career,” is a broad question, difficult for a mentor to help you solve. More helpful are the concrete, practical questions you may face. Are you looking for someone who can help you navigate the options for practicing in an FQHC? Hoping for help in charting a path to leadership in organized dentistry? Seeking a dentist with a knack for developing a practice from scratch? Defining the kind of information you’d like to receive will make it easier to begin your search.

Get Clear on What you Have to Offer A good mentor can help you grow past limitations and reach your full potential. Mentors want to feel needed, but that doesn’t mean you will need advice on everything! Do a self-inventory, and prepare a mental list that identifies your strengths as well as the areas in which you’d like to grow.

Meet In-Person, Maintain Online Email and social media are great ways to keep a relationship going, but to get one started, you’ll need face-to-face encounters. Attending state or local dental meetings is an ideal way to meet successful dentists in a low-stress environment. Some dental societies offer formal mentoring programs as well. Give your state or local dental society a call to see what’s available in your area. Find a directory of state and local dental societies at ADA.org/societydirectories.

 If you are currently being mentored, and it’s going well, congratulations! Where did you and your mentor meet? Let us know in the comments.

Meet us for a Drink in New Orleans!

New Dentist Reception

New Dentist Reception

The New Dentist Reception is a casual gathering at Annual Session where you can connect with colleagues and meet up with old friends.

The reception takes place Friday, November 1 (5:30-7 p.m.) at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive. Originally built in the 1820s as a sugar refinery, Generations Hall is an easy walk from the convention center.

New dentists and dental students are invited to attend. Tickets are $15 each (limit two per person) and include light fare and drinks. Guests must be 21 years of age or older. You may purchase tickets when registering for Annual Session at ADA.org/session. The New Dentist Reception is code E001.

The New Dentist Reception is provided by the generous support of Wells Fargo.

Meditation — When Doing it Wrong Works out Just Right


Exercising willpower

It seems like everywhere we turn we are being urged to meditate in order to reduce stress, improve concentration and otherwise enhance awesomeness (Here’s some bullet points from the Mayo Clinic on the potential benefits of meditation.)

Kelly McGonigal, Ph. D., author of The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It recommends meditation as a way to train the brain and teach the mind how to handle both inner distractions and outer temptations. The book recommends a meditation practice of spending five minutes, eyes closed, observing your breath.

The challenge is that other thoughts sneak in. According to McGonigal, being “bad” at meditation is exactly what makes the practice effective.

The act of catching yourself being distracted and re-focusing your attention on breathing is the same impulse required by willpower. Teaching yourself to return to meditation uses the same “muscle” as teaching yourself to skip dessert or avoid making a snarky remark.

Have you tried meditation? Share your experience in the comments.

An Employee is Crying — Now What?

An employee crying

Tears in the workplace

Maybe it’s for personal reasons, maybe something happened on-the-job, whatever it was that triggered the emotional response, now there are tears. If you are the boss, what should you do when an employee cries?

Over at the Harvard Business Review blog, Amy Gallo has a comprehensive set of practical steps for managers when an employee cries at work.

If the problem is a personal one, Gallo recommends keeping your response simple:

If you’ve identified that the problem is a personal one, stick to simple and comforting responses — “I’m sorry” or “This is a horrible situation.” Don’t tell him that everything’s going to be OK or imply that he should buck up. And resist the temptation to tell a story of your own.

How about you — have you ever been in a situation where you needed to respond to an employee’s tears?

Failing a Dental Licensure Exam

Failing a dental licensure exam is NOT the end of the world

Failing a dental licensure exam is NOT the end of the world

Failing your licensing exam may seem like the end of the world, but it does happen, and dentists do go on to achieve licensure and practice dentistry.

You can read licensure stories from ADA member dentists, and if you want to appeal your results or apply to re-test, you can find more information in Understanding Licensure.

Getting ready for your clinical exam? Download a free checklist (PDF).

(Almost) Every Day Sunshine

Denver Skyline

Blue Skies over Denver

Which city gets the most annual days of sunshine?

  • San Diego
  • Miami
  • Denver

If you answered Denver, you’re correct!

We’ve been researching Denver in advance of the 2013 New Dentist Conference, taking place in the mile high city, and we’ve learned some interesting facts from the Official Travel and Visitor Bureau for Denver, Colorado. Turns out the city enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine every year, more than San Diego or Miami.

If you are attending the conference, taking place July 18-20 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, you’ll want to be sure you pack your sunscreen. At 5,280 feet above sea level there’s 25 percent less protection from the sun.

One more bit of weather trivia – with less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Denver.