By: Angela Weber, CMO OrthoSynetics
If you’re an orthodontic practice owner with ambitions to grow your patient base and even open up new locations, you know you need to aggressively market your services. In many smaller practices, the staff members pick up the marketing responsibility, but you will one day likely find yourself at a crossroads where your marketing efforts can no longer be supported by your practice team who also need to focus patient care.
One solution here is to hire a marketing professional. Bringing an employee on board dedicated to this aspect of your business can yield great results, but the endeavor can also be a tricky one. I’ve found that some clients who go down this path often end up frustrated with unmet expectations. To avoid this disappointment, you should start by making sure you hire the right person and set appropriate expectations. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Figure out what you need most
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is practices who expect too much from one person. Finding a jack of all trades is extremely difficult. The marketing profession is filled with talented individuals with very different skill sets. For example, someone skilled in graphic design isn’t necessarily going to be a great representative at community events.
One person won’t be able to do everything, and it’s unrealistic to expect that they could. Just to give you an idea, on every marketing account at OrthoSynetics, we have a copywriter, a web developer, a graphic designer, and an account executive. When needed, I’ll supplement our team with other experts like a videographer. No matter whom you hire, your marketing employee will also need the support of other marketing experts. That doesn’t make your marketing person a bad employee—just human.
- Create a detailed job description
And I do mean detailed. What are the tasks the person in this position must perform? What types of skills are required? That could mean sales, graphic design, writing, event planning, web development, customer service, and even office decorating. How will their success be measured? What does a typical day look like for this individual? Is this a remote position, are they required to work inside the practice, or do they go out in the community? With a highly specific job description, you’ll attract candidates who are likely to be well suited for the job and you’ll have a good framework for evaluating them.
- Determine adequate compensation
Careers in marketing encompass everyone from a Chief Marketing Officer of a Fortune 500 organization to a public relations account rep to a logo designer. In your practice, a marketing administrative role will look a lot different than a community relations coordinator. Do some research online to find appropriate pay ranges for your new hire to make sure you can attract the right applicants and get a good value. Good places to start this research are to look at local job listings that closely match yours.
- Remember your practice culture
When I’m hiring someone to join our marketing department, I often anticipate their success by considering whether they would be a good fit with the existing team and if they will represent our brand well. Your orthodontic practice needs to keep cultural fit in in mind since the marketing employee will likely be representing your brand to patients and parents. And once the new hire is made, they should be trained on your practice inside and out. Work with them to define what sets you apart to make sure that your difference is represented properly to the community.
- Keep an open mind
Despite my recommendations for you to develop a clear picture of the hire you’re looking for and a detailed job description to match, try to embrace the unexpected. Sometimes a candidate will come in for an interview that changes everything. I’ve often found myself recruiting for one particular thing and met a candidate so special that instead of wondering if they’d fit into the marketing role, I’ve changed the marketing role to fit them. Be open to these types of individuals as long as their new duties still fit with your overall practice vision.
Still have questions about hiring a marketing employee or in need of marketing team support? Let’s talk. Feel free to send me an email at [email protected].