Expert Author Cindi Albright
Do you remember the connect dot activity game in your child's coloring books?
Connecting the dots; what a great concept of seeing the whole picture when every dot is connected. Often times the puzzle will show a partial image of the picture, as an adult you pretty much already knew what the completed picture would look like, but from a child's perspective it wasn't always so easy. And how many times did you think you knew what the picture would look like?
There were even different skill levels for various ages. For the beginners the dots were big and few, pretty easy to connect if the child knew the number sequence. The game becomes more complex with age and experience. There is even the occasional slip of the hand and the line of connecting is skewed or out of sequence. What happens to the big picture then?
There is a parallel with connecting dots and dental marketing. When first beginning to market your new dental practice, you will probably set up a marketing plan that may seem elementary; but there is nothing wrong with beginning slow and steady. Beginning with a few simple strategies assures success. Once a few goals have been completed, advancement in skill level is expected; before you know it, your dental marketing game plane will have several tasks (dots) working toward one big picture.
What might an example of an early dental marketing plan look like?
• Dot #1- It could be as easy as setting up a blog to post informational articles
• Dot #2- Might be a plan of linking your blog posts to a Facebook fan page.
• Dot #3- Should include a twitter page and linking your Facebook status updates to show on your twitter feed, or vice versa.
• Dot #4- Might include capturing emails from those who read your blog.
Children will usually connect the dots with crayon only to react with tears when they make a mistake. In frustration you might see the page ripped out of the book, crumpled and tossed to the floor. This happens in marketing too, there will be times when one marketing idea went in another direction causing the big picture to be something different than you first imagined. However, if you find yourself frustrated by the structure of your marketing, make some minor adjustments and plunge ahead.
I think what is important to consider in this case is that there will be times when an outcome will be different than anticipated or it took longer than the time frame planned, however there will be always be issues that arise that can delay the process of getting all of your dots connected. Be flexible and allow yourself some room for setbacks; you will notice that the connection from one goal to the other will not always be a straight line; but then that might not be so bad, sometimes a little curve adds more fun.

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