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If I had a dollar for every marketer who wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn, I could buy my own marketing agency

Jan. 11, 2021
Like other dentists, Dr. Chris Salierno receives plenty of online solicitations. Some of the worst come from marketers on LinkedIn, full of generic blah blah blah. What's your message for them?
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Editor, Dental Economics

Of all of the mind-numbing checks we do digitally on a regular basis—from emptying our email SPAM folders to scanning our social media notifications—one of our more fascinating chores has to be accepting LinkedIn connection requests.

Don’t get me wrong; I like LinkedIn. I think it serves as a handy online business card and CV for people of interest. I’ll even peruse the homepage sometimes to see what folks are sharing. My main problem with a “business social network” is that I receive a lot of solicitations. Like, a lot of them. I’m sure you do, too. And I think you’ll agree with me that the largest category of solicitors is, by far, marketers.

A thoughtful marketer is worth his or her weight in gold. In my role as Chief Editor of Dental Economics, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting some brilliant minds in dental marketing. They understand how to help dentists stand out from the crowd and attract the right kinds of patients to their practices. You see, to these guys, marketing is a science and they’re the Chair of the research department. Or marketing is a battle and they’re the commanding officer. Pick whichever metaphor you prefer. My point is, it takes sound strategy and planning, and if you just run in like a crazy person, your experiment will explode or you’ll get shot, depending on which metaphor you choose.

So, I have to chuckle to myself when I see a connection request and a generic message from a marketer on LinkedIn. You know the kinds of messages I’m talking about. “Hey! I checked out your profile and was super impressed. I just have one question: are you accepting new patients? If so, I’d love to schedule a short call with you to figure out how blah, blah, blah.”

If you’re a marketer in the dental space and you’re reading this, please listen to me: we receive dozens of these requests every month on LinkedIn. If you want to capture our attention, please don’t use the “cast a big net” approach. Definitely don’t harass us with condescending follow-up messages such as, “I guess you don’t want to grow your practice.”

How you pitch to us is a clear indication of how you’ll be pitching to our prospective patients. My advice is to share, not sell. Become a beacon of great content for dentists. Publish your awesome ideas on social media or in our trade publications and build your brand while building the trust of the community. We dentists need a lot of marketing help; you just have to capture our attention. But that’s why you’re the marketing experts.

Chris Salierno, DDS, is the chief editor of Dental Economics and the editorial director of the Principles of Practice Management and Group Practice and DSO Digest e-newsletters. He is also a contributing author for DentistryIQ and Perio-Implant Advisory. He lectures and writes about practice management and clinical dentistry. Additional content is available on his blog for dentists at ToothQuest. Dr. Salierno maintains a private general practice in Melville, New York. You may contact him by e-mail at [email protected].