By: Stephanie Burns
Especially if your dental office is in its early years, you are intensely focused on building up a large patient-base to keep your days busy and profitable. But, because dental school expenses are still a thing of the fairly recent past, hiring a sleek advertising firm to do your publicity is probably not the most economical choice. Why not try producing your own marketing materials? While we all know that, ultimately, word-of-mouth is the best way to get your office known in the community, here are 5 quick editing tips that will give your advertising an eye-catching edge. Be sure to check NOMAddict next week for our 5 quick design tips!
1. Find your voice. Decide how you want the content on your material to “sound”: are you aiming for professional but warm, or conversational and laid-back? Knowing the basic demographics of your patient-base will help you decide: if you are a pediatric dentist, go for fun. Treat mainly retired baby-boombers? Try for something more formal. Right next to a college campus? Don’t be afraid to be a little more zany. The most important thing is that after you’ve picked a voice, keep it consistent throughout all of your materials.
2. Check for danglers. You never want to have the last word in a sentence all by itself on
(See, doesn’t that look funny?) These “danglers” draw unnecessary attention to themselves and when people are distracted by the placing of your content, they’re not going to be paying attention to what it says. If you end up with a word all by itself, go back and either take words out of the line above it, or bring words down from the line. No word should be an island!
3. It takes two (at least!). Before you print off anything that you are planning on distributing, always have at least one other person look at it to catch any errors you might have missed. Even if you think you’ve read the flier 50 times and know it inside and out, a fresh pair of eyes will notice glitches you glossed over.
4. The dictionary is your friend. And we’re not just talking about spell-check, although that’s helpful too! If there is any question in your mind about what a word might mean, look it up to make sure that you are saying exactly what you want to say. Even be willing to occasionally check on words that you think you know—you don’t want any unintended meanings to muddy the waters of your message.
5. Stick to a style guide. A style guide is basically a rule book that not only tells you to dot your I’s and cross your T’s, it also tells you when and how to do it. If you are wondering whether you should write “USA” with no periods, or “U.S.” with two periods and no “A,” a style guide will have the answer. Some popular style guides are the Chicago Manual of Style, the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, or the Associate Press Stylebook. Also consider creating a smaller style guide that is specific to your company. Is your company name “Johnson&Smith Dental Care” or “Johnson and Smith Dental Care?” Decide on your company-specific style guide and stick to it!