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Why every dentist (including you) can become a social media influencer.
In an episode that could be described as “everything you wanted to know about the current state of social media,” Ryan interviews Blake McClellan, CEO of Implant Compare and ringleader of the Dental Influencers Alliance.
Blake explains how the future of social media is changing. It’s getting more human and offering every dentist a way to tell their brand story and be heard. He also offers ways for you to reach out and influence your audience to drive more business.
Ryan Issac: Hey Dentist Money Show listeners. This is Ryan Isaac. Today on the show I interview my new pal, Blake McClellan. Blake hails from the now infamous and growing DIA conference coming up here pretty soon this year. Also CEO and founder of a really cool new platform called Implant Compare.
Ryan Issac: Today on the show we talk about Instagram marketing, how to be an influencer and how to leverage new technologies and social media to grow your practice, expand your network and tap into that desire to educate and teach people around you.
Ryan Issac: Maybe it’s your patient base, maybe you’re a speaker. In any case, we talk about the Fyre Festival. We talk about upcoming conferences. We talk about what things in marketing are dying today, what things are not working anymore, and where the industry is headed.
Ryan Issac: What are the trends in marketing that people need to be paying attention to? What dentists can do today, with their staff, with their marketing teams, to immediately improve some of the things they’re doing.
Ryan Issac: So great conversation today. Blake’s a super nice guy. Really grateful that he took the time to be with us today. We had a lot of fun. Good chat and hope you like the interview. Enjoy the show.
Speaker: Consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discussed during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by Dentist Advisors, a registered investment advisor.
Speaker: This is Dentist Money.
Ryan Issac: Welcome to the dentist money show where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I’m your host today, Ryan Isaac. Here with my newfound friend, Mr. Blake McClellan. Blake, thanks for joining us. How are you doing man?
Blake McClellan: Doing good. Doing good. I apologize to everybody. I’m supposed to be good at live streaming, yet my own computer can’t even.
Ryan Issac: Just crashed.
Blake McClellan: Get Zoom calls, so it crashed. Obviously, we’re doing this from mobile.
Ryan Issac: We’re going to send carrier pigeons back and forth with a few, maybe, smoke signals or something old school. Let’s hand write letters back and forth. I’ll send you some interview questions and you hand write a letter back in response. I like that idea.
Ryan Issac: No one writes letters enough anymore, man, in today’s world. The lost art of handwriting, don’t you think? It’s gone.
Blake McClellan: 100%, it’s my favorite thing about customer service. When I buy something from somewhere or something and they write a handwritten letter. That’s my favorite thing.
Ryan Issac: Okay. Tell me, do you remember any companies that you’ve bought something recently and you got a handwritten note inside of it?
Blake McClellan: Saks Fifth Avenue, they’re notorious for that. Right?
Ryan Issac: Okay.
Blake McClellan: I’ve gone there to get suits and stuff and man, they’re really notorious for doing that. That’s something they teach. But recently Delta Airlines, I was getting on my flight to Switzerland and I’m sitting back in just Comfort Plus. I get back there and the flight attendant comes over and hands me a card that has a handwritten letter, just saying, “Thank you for being a medallion member. We appreciate status.” And blah blah blah.
Ryan Issac: Oh cool.
Blake McClellan: And the girls beside me, they loved it. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, you must be important.” You’re like, “No, not really. But this is really cool.”
Ryan Issac: Just normal stuff, man. I’m trying to think. I just bought something from, I bought some flip flops from this company called a Hari Mari, if you’ve ever heard of them before?
Blake McClellan: No.
Ryan Issac: Shout out. I was a lifelong Rainbow flip flop customer. Anyway, made a switch. Little deviation from my normal, but I bought a pair of flip flops from them and they’re awesome, by the way. They’re really killer. But they had, same thing, handwritten note inside of there. And it was just cool.
Blake McClellan: It’s a lost art, like you said. It’s a lost art.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: Like dentistry. I’m surprised more people don’t do that, you know what I mean? With such the struggle, as much money as you spend on customer acquisition, or patient acquisition and stuff. Just to keep them on board. That little card.
Ryan Issac: Dude, for sure. Let’s circle back to that. But before we get too off track, I don’t like when other people give intros, because they always feel awkward. So how about, Blake, you just tell us who on Earth are you?
Ryan Issac: Everyone’s like, “I already know this guy.” But just tell us who are you, what do you about, what do you do? What’s your career? What’s your life about? And let’s start there.
Blake McClellan: Yeah. It’s funny. Right now you said that people know who I am and stuff. That, to me, is still farfetched. It’s so fun when I go to a dental conference or something or someone knows who I am and they’ve been following me.
Blake McClellan: But I’m trying to be disruptive in dentistry. If I could give a little short one liner on myself, that’s what I try to be. And as well as the medical industry. But from small town Texas. Came from very, very humble upbringing and made my way out East and fell in love with dentistry and oral maxillofacial surgery.
Blake McClellan: Started out living out of my car, kind of a rep, selling a bunch of crappy products and long and short, I’m having a lot of fun in the education and marketing space.
Blake McClellan: Lately I’ve really honed in on my art, I think, and that is helping leverage technology that’s out there and available now and bringing it over to the dental community. Whether that’s with DIA and the tech conference style that we did with the DIA or with the Implant Compare and bringing over live streaming and stuff like that.
Blake McClellan: Even though I’m apparently not a pro, given our Zoom fails today.
Ryan Issac: Oh man. Technology today. Well, let’s start with a little bit there. Let’s, back up to DIA. That’s coming up again. Is this the second or third one that’ll be running?
Blake McClellan: This’ll be the second.
Ryan Issac: Okay.
Blake McClellan: This is DIA 2.0. This’ll be December 6th and 7th, in Scottsdale.
Ryan Issac: Okay.
Blake McClellan: In your backyard there.
Ryan Issac: Yeah, we’ll be there. What can people expect at DIA that’s different than other conferences? ‘Cause it’s got a reputation. It’s got a reputation, man. I heard there’s great shoes and everyone’s having a good time and it’s a lot of fun.
Blake McClellan: Yeah. I was with someone from Zimmer Biomet the other day. One of the heads of education there. Was talking to them about DIA, explaining it. He goes, “Yeah. How we found out about it, is one of our KOL’s called us and said, there’s nobody here with a tie on.”
Ryan Issac: Yeah. That’s my kind of crowd, man.
Blake McClellan: Okay. He goes, “You’re not going to believe it. No one has a tie.” And that’s exactly, if I could put on DIA, it’s comfortable dentistry. I mean, it is everybody lowering down the whole image of I’ve got to act to get into this board seat. It’s just very relaxed. There’s no kind of different passes. You’re either an attendee or you’re a student. That’s it. There’s two badges.
Ryan Issac: Which is kind of a bummer. The badge with the 14 banners below it, though. I mean, that’s kind of cool to have-
Blake McClellan: That’s a good way-
Ryan Issac: Goes to your waist.
Blake McClellan: Yeah.
Ryan Issac: He’s flexing on people with your banners. “I’m a speaker, a presenter, a writer, a podcaster, a booth operator.”
Blake McClellan: So we learned our lesson from the first year and this year we’ve got a little surprise. We’re going to have lapel pins.
Ryan Issac: Oh cool.
Blake McClellan: If you remember Office Space?
Ryan Issac: Flair?
Blake McClellan: And the 52 pieces of flair. Yeah.
Ryan Issac: Yeah. We got flare going? Oh man. Okay.
Blake McClellan: Bring back some lapel pins, and-
Ryan Issac: I’m going to wear suspenders.
Blake McClellan: Koresh Shaw is bringing some Canadian flags for all the Canadian DIA’ers out there.
Ryan Issac: Solid.
Blake McClellan: And yeah, it’d be really neat. It’ll be like exchanging Pogs back in the day.
Ryan Issac: Pogs, man? Yeah. Shout out to the 90s. That’s really great. Okay, so DIA. And for those that haven’t attended before, what kind of content could people expect there? What’s going on at this place?
Blake McClellan: Well, everything from clinical, clinical endo to clinical oral max. To business tips to, we’ve got Reese is going to be speaking there. We’ve got people talking about social media, of course, but we’ve got one speaker we’re really excited about.
Blake McClellan: He won an Emmy for his commercial. He worked with Marriott, Disney, I believe American Express. And he’s worked with several large brands and lectures on influencer marketing and brand storytelling and so what we’re trying to do is get some educational tools, for especially, a lot of our audiences, influencers, if you will. Right?
Blake McClellan: They have 20,000, 30,000, a hundred thousand followers maybe or 10,000 followers. And you know, when you do that, you have this influence or impact? It’s what do I do with it?
Blake McClellan: And so with DIA and everybody that’s a part of it, they’re very authentic. They all have a different story and a mission. Like the dental yogis, for instance. And they truly just love helping people out and get into yoga and meditation.
Blake McClellan: And so I think we try to bring all that energy into one room and then give some tools on how to succeed as a clinician, just as a business owner, as just a human being and how to maintain happiness.
Blake McClellan: So it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a lifestyle.
Ryan Issac: Cool. Yeah. Looking forward to it, man. Our team said it was one of the most fun events that they went to. I wasn’t there last year, but I’m so excited. I’ve been thinking about it.
Blake McClellan: The best part about this is every company now is terrified about who they send, because they want to bring their best, right? I’ll say one of the companies that really brought their all and they’re doing it again this year. Bisco.
Blake McClellan: They were awesome. They were a lot of fun. They embraced the whole ethos of it all. Same thing with Weave. You guys.
Ryan Issac: Yeah, cool.
Blake McClellan: Elementa. Same thing. Everybody had their own little thing and this year, now it’s 2.0. It’s “All right. Now I have a little bit of idea what this is. Now what do I do?”
Ryan Issac: Yeah, that’s cool man. How about let’s jump back to something else you said. Big part of what you do, Implant Compare. Tell us a little bit about Implant Compare.
Blake McClellan: Yeah, so essentially it’s a live streaming platform for dentistry. So it initially started, we were going to do focus on just implant education and it was going to be like a social media platform.
Blake McClellan: And now it’s evolved to where it’s really like a television network, where we have a bunch of different channels. Where we have different doctors or different educational institutes or influencers go on and they have their own channel in the Implant Compare platform.
Blake McClellan: And then they can host their own live surgeries, live webinars. We even do hands on at home, where we ship people the materials, so they can participate in the suture course or something, while they’re at home.
Blake McClellan: They just tune in live and the speaker interacts with them and all of that. And then now we’re kicking off a pilot program, with some of the implant companies, that is a mentorship program where doctors can use our cameras to record their case and submit it to maybe their favorite teachers or somebody that they’re taking their course and get feedback remotely. So we’re kind of just streamlining the education process.
Ryan Issac: It’s kind of a unique profession where you can actually showcase the work. I tried to think, “What if I live stream financial planning?” And it would be a camera of my bald head looking at a spreadsheet and kind of reading stuff.
Ryan Issac: It wouldn’t be that exciting. Talk a little bit about this draw to live streaming surgeries and implant cases and you see so much of it now. It’s obviously really helpful.
Blake McClellan: So with live video in general, the statistics show that people just view it much longer. It’s more enjoyable content. With video on demand or recorded video, YouTube, I think they average like three minutes of video.
Ryan Issac: Yeah, that’s my limit.
Blake McClellan: That’s about it, right? You’re skipping through, just watching a few things. Either get it or I didn’t. And so what YouTube consists of is some really talented people that highlighted their videos and truncated it down to just a short little snippet, because they know that right?
Blake McClellan: And it’s not very educational, it’s just more of a showcase. It’s just like watching-
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: An Aston Martin commercial and zipping through the hills and it looks really awesome. It doesn’t make me a really good driver that I can go drive the Amalfi coast at a hundred miles an hour.
Blake McClellan: With live education you’re seeing the good, the bad, no matter what. And often, in surgery, the biggest fear is what happens when it goes wrong? What happens when something’s not ideal?
Blake McClellan: And that happens pretty much every day, in every case, something is not ideal.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: And so they really see what the adversity looks like and what’d they do in those moments? How that clinician’s persevering and getting through that and what unique ways or techniques that they may do.
Blake McClellan: It’s also allowing them to be interactive. It’s to compliment a lot of these courses that it just costs a lot of money to travel and you think about how much it costs to shut down a practice, hop on a plane, the flight, the hotel, everything. It may be tax deductible, but-
Ryan Issac: Yeah, you’re still losing three days of production and expenses you’re incurring. Yeah. And it’s a pain in the butt, man. It sucks to be gone a lot. Honestly.
Blake McClellan: I will say that we really are strong with the younger demographic, as well as pretty good balance of male to female ratio. I think millennials and females tend to be more family centric or more home-bound.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: We’re used to the lifestyle that accommodates to us in a busy lifestyle where it may be. But traveling to these dental conferences and powwows, that’s not the thing anymore. And it’s a cumbersome workflow, so they’re just not attended like they used to be.
Blake McClellan: So where does the learning happen, if that’s not the way anymore? We’re trying to build an ecosystem where it does happen and it’s easy. It’s all free content. Some channels may charge for a private little fellowship, but overall the platform’s free and 99% of our channels are free.
Ryan Issac: It’s really fascinating, man. Again, I’m not a clinical guy, so when I see all this, I just assume that it’s all, everyone’s doing it, right? Like, “Oh, you’re posting pictures of surgeries and procedures.”
Ryan Issac: But how do you see dentists using this well and screwing this up a little bit, too, in some of the posting videos and pictures of procedures and in live content? What are people doing well, what are people messing up?
Blake McClellan: They say influencer fraud is a $1.3 billion industry now.
Ryan Issac: Influencer fraud?
Blake McClellan: Yes. So that is people who have bought fake followers, are maybe not very strategic with their marketing plans, or it may be, and these brands are spending this money on these influencer campaigns.
Ryan Issac: Interesting.
Blake McClellan: And they’re going terrible. They’re going terrible. And because often, just because someone made a lot of influence, doesn’t make them a marketing genius. And these companies have no idea about social media in the first place, so they’re just thinking, they’re wanting this person to have all the answers.
Ryan Issac: It’s follower count. You must be an expert. You got the follower count, so.
Blake McClellan: Number looks good. Right?
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: And you can literally buy followers in Russia at an ATM machine.
Ryan Issac: That’s so cool.
Blake McClellan: There’s a lot of fraudulent accounts out there and stuff. And so we’ve all got some fraudulent followers. That part you can’t fight. That’s going to happen. It’s the percentage of it that you can control. Being an authentic account and things like that and not actually going to try to buy fake followers.
Blake McClellan: And that’s hardest thing for brands to understand. I think the best thing is that the community gets together and kind of builds an unspoken agreement of ethics. Don’t post things just to get a short dollar. Post about products you work with and try to build relationships with those brands.
Blake McClellan: Because if it’s something you use all the time, i.e. Joe Rogan, one of the best podcasters out there, one of the most influential people, he only talks about and creates sponsorship opportunities for brands he uses.
Blake McClellan: You have to do it with brands that you actually work with and you believe in and things of that nature. I think that’s the biggest thing. And creating a story, versus just a simple post that says, “Go buy this product,” like you said.
Blake McClellan: And so now what social media can do, it can allow you to have that outlet of you wanting to tell your story. You want to share what you have. Maybe you really just love doing the socket shield technique. Whatever it is. You can be that niche and be it online and have that outlet.
Blake McClellan: And so it’s nice, as an outlet, to be a part of the community and share that and maybe connect with clinicians. But also, I think if your intentions are to build a brand for yourself doing that, whether it’s as a clinic and you want your clinic to just grow more, and putting out maybe patient testimonial videos and things of that nature, it’s serves value in that method.
Blake McClellan: Or you can, again, do it as a branding thing for yourself as a speaker and then create your niche in that form. When you look at Dr. PeyRay, he’s the Allinex guy and full arch guy and he’s got nothing but bloody full arch pictures and that’s all he does and super gruesome.
Blake McClellan: But you know, he’s got a huge following and people, his courses sell out overnight because he’s got a concentrated following on his niche and he stays true to that art. I think if you treat it like art and you let it be an expression of yourself and you’re authentic, the rest will just fill in the blanks there for you, automatically.
Ryan Issac: Yeah, I think it’s human nature for a lot of people to kind of have this, I don’t know, innate desire to educate and teach, share knowledge with other people that you’ve gained. And so even if I’m a dentist and my objective is not to be a national speaker or a big trainer on these things, I can still connect with my local community, my patient base.
Ryan Issac: I can still connect with other doctors in my network and just kind of share what I do in my little local practice. Right? It’s still a viable channel to do that kind of stuff.
Blake McClellan: Absolutely. It’s a community and you’re getting involved with a community of thousands of people and that’s what DIA did, was bring everybody into a room. You had people who had been following each other for years and they’re all just hugging as if they’ve known each other.
Blake McClellan: Don’t just look at it as, “Okay, it’s only for people who want to make money off beings famous.”
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: Don’t look at it as, “It’s only for people who want to teach clinical data and clinical content.” It’s for everything. It’s an outlet and it’s a way to be apart of a huge community and I guarantee you’ll learn something. That’s the best thing about it. You’ll absolutely learn something.
Ryan Issac: Do you think that’s changing? I feel like when it, kind of, was born, Instagram was such a novelty and it was kind of fun to take pictures of whatever you’re eating. Then it kind of morphed into this thing where, I don’t know, maybe this is my own projection of it, but I felt like people kind of got a little cynical about it.
Ryan Issac: “It’s just fake. Everyone’s there to just try to sell something to make money.” But now it does feel like it’s changing again. For some people, maybe it’s the people I follow. Maybe it’s my own network that’s influencing this, but I feel like people are starting to view it as what you’re talking about, a platform to actually share good content and create actual value for people and share and educate and teach. Do you see the evolution of it changing much? Or how do you think it’s viewed by most dentists?
Blake McClellan: Instagram has had its ebbs and flows for sure. And I think that it was the winning horse for Facebook. And so part of this feeling an annoyance with it was them configuring their algorithms. And they learn as we use it more.
Blake McClellan: And so a big part of that was nothing to do with overall the use of it, the community or anything like that. I think it was more of the way that Instagram treated it and they were building it around your Kylie Jenner’s and your-
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: These Instagram models. And that’s how the Fyre festival happened.
Ryan Issac: I’m supposed to ask you about that actually. Jenny says, “Hey, you got to talk about DIA and Fyre. So get to that when you’re done with your thought.
Blake McClellan: Absolutely. Let me come back to it. So yeah, I think it was built on the 1% and it wasn’t focused on the large pull of that.
Ryan Issac: And that got annoying to people. People get turned off by that. Kind of cynical about, you’re just like, “Eh, it’s not me. I don’t want anything to do with it anymore.”
Blake McClellan: Right. Instagram became as essential as a website. You know, as a brand. If you’re starting a website, you better start Instagramming and the new term is Instagram first model. That there’s businesses starting on Instagram first. We did that with Implant Compare.
Blake McClellan: But I think that the biggest issue right now is making sure that they listen to the actual users and the large mass. But what’s been great is now we’ve had so much content coming from the people we follow, that if we’re not really interested and we’re tired of following that account, we just get rid of it.
Ryan Issac: Yep. It’s kind of how I treat Twitter and I wonder if evolution in these social networks is kind of the same. I go to Twitter and I only follow people that help me learn stuff. Like learn to write better stories and better content for podcasts and things. And presentations we give.
Ryan Issac: I don’t follow friends or bands I like, or even famous people that I, it’s not entertainment for me. Twitter, for me, it’s like a source of content and education I use for my own content and presentations and stuff like that.
Ryan Issac: So is Instagram kind of becoming the same thing that you’re seeing, with dentists are kind of doing the same? It’s not just like follow everyone that you know, everyone you go to the gym with, everyone at the office, it’s more purposeful now.
Blake McClellan: Absolutely. I think people are being more selective. I think that now there’s just, again, the algorithm even shows you only to your top 10% of followers first and based on how they responded, then it shows it to the other 90%.
Blake McClellan: And I think that with the stories that, vlog, if you will, whatever that maybe you want to call that. The stories feature is a way to really humanize your account, so people are able to feel like they’re connected with you now. Because you’re giving this behind the scene, raw, unedited content versus this beautiful portfolio of photos and stuff.
Blake McClellan: So it’s made it to where we’re really emotionally connected to the accounts we follow. For now, it’s great. And I think two years from now we have a different conversation. I do think YouTube is a sleeping giant and I think it’s going to come back with vengeance.
Blake McClellan: I think that they’re going to listen to the users. But for now I think Instagram is really doing a great job, overall, as a platform and the community’s really embraced it. I think it was late to the dental community. We’re in this phase that was already happening on Instagram, for a lot of people last year. The year before that.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: And it’s just now hitting us.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: If we hit the wave. We’re just getting started.
Ryan Issac: Yeah. So go back to what’s the inside joke here between DIA and the Fyre festival.
Blake McClellan: The audacity of these five guys who have to start a dental conference, to go and then write the marketing and branding of a failed event, based on Instagram influencers. I think one thing we’ve been very transparent about with Dev DIA is that one follower, 1 million followers, we are all the same.
Blake McClellan: We’re all just normal people. Not one is better than the other. Not one has more value than the other. It’s all about just connecting the community and being real. And so, I think everybody in our generation knows about Fyre festival. We’ve all saw the Netflix documentary come out and so all the guys we were joking about how terrified we were about DIA and we had PTSD watching the Fyre festival documentary.
Blake McClellan: Because we had no experience in this. It was all on energy and hopefully this will go well. So this year, Brian Baliwas, who is the, I would say, the creative genius of all the branding stuff we do and everything. He’s really the rock star there.
Blake McClellan: He created the logo with the tooth and the fire flame and we ran with it. So if DIA’s a total flop this year, we’ll blame it on Brian and the logo creation.
Ryan Issac: Hopefully, you guys don’t go to prison, too and there are no documentaries on it. Now it’ll be-
Blake McClellan: If anybody’s going, it’s PeyRay. We’re going to throw him under the bus.
Ryan Issac: Like what you hear on the Dentist Money show? I do. Then set up a free consultation. There is no obligation and let’s chat about how we can help you make a better plan for your future. All you do is go to the website at dentistadvisors.com. Click the big green button, book free consultation, or call us at 833-DDS-PLAN.
Ryan Issac: Okay, so what’s the evolution of some of this then? In my mind, here’s what I’m trying to connect for our listeners. We’re constantly to think of how do we take this kind of information and translate it into something actionable that a dentist can do, to just help them with their finances, help them produce more, help them be more profitable, help them market better.
Ryan Issac: What are some basic steps? I don’t know, I think that there’s a lot of people who look at people who do this well, influencers and they look at people who just do social media well. And it just, it feels like. “They’re good at that. But I could never, that’s not me. I don’t know how I would achieve the same thing.”
Ryan Issac: Where does someone begin to even, how do you know what’s worth sharing and how do you know how often to share it with your followers and how often to post things. Where do you begin with that?
Blake McClellan: Well, I think that first and foremost, you have to realize is that everybody, again, is human. And if I could give you one thing to take away, it would be be bold. Be vulnerable, be bold. Put yourself in front of the camera and just be okay with it. The more production and more thought you put into content, it’s usually the worst that it is.
Ryan Issac: It’s terrible.
Blake McClellan: Don’t go and show some snail crawling across your sidewalk on your Instagram story as your first post. That’s not what people want to see. Introduce yourself to the world first. Put something about yourself. Put something on there, human input. Share a few photos about what you like. Your family, your practice, where it may be, but the more human you are and the more raw that you are, I think you’ll see that the community is more receptive to that.
Blake McClellan: You know, Instagram is built on being fake and ostentatious and just showing off everything that you have and really just being about living this life that no one could obtain.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: And now Instagram is more of an outlet for all of us to share the behind the scenes of our life, while also showcasing the highlights of our life. I think that your Instagram feed is your highlight point and your story is your behind the scenes shoot.
Blake McClellan: The raw moments of you. But let it be your vlog. But the more you treat it as an outlet and then getting connected with the community and stop thinking about how many followers I got. Can I be influential. It’s not about that at all.
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: Just embrace the community and if the community decides you need to be out there in front of the world and they’re going to take you there and it’ll happen on its own.
Ryan Issac: What’s the mix of professional content, something that has to do with my business versus like, “Hey, this is me in my spare time. These are my hobbies. This is my personal life.”
Blake McClellan: I personally have my own Instagram. It’s a private Instagram.
Ryan Issac: Okay.
Blake McClellan: It’s just for some friends from college and local friends and family, stuff like that. But I think the more you can keep your brand real, even if you’re just advertising your practice and you’re putting, everybody’s paying someone to do marketing for the practice and they go ahead and put the check mark by the social media management.
Ryan Issac: Yep.
Blake McClellan: Maybe $500 to $2,000 a month where it is, and I don’t know why you’re doing that because it doesn’t work. They’re putting out bad content that just seems very scripted and corporate and automated. That is not like your followers are watching that going, “Oh man, I really want to be a patient there.”
Ryan Issac: Yeah.
Blake McClellan: Facebook, you’re only about 2% of your audience now organically sees your posts.
Ryan Issac: Say that again. On Facebook, about 2% of your audience is organically seeing your content?
Blake McClellan: Correct.
Ryan Issac: As a page or as a normal person?
Blake McClellan: As a business page, because-
Ryan Issac: 2% man?
Blake McClellan: There’s so many ads and all of that. That’s organic. Now if you pay, you boost that post on this little feature they make it easy for you on now. Now more see that. But now their numbers are so low on who’s actually organically seeing that. So where’s the value in all that time you spent building up your Facebook following? What’s it worth now? Now you got to spend $20 just to get them to see something maybe?
Ryan Issac: Yeah, it’s crazy man. Okay.
Blake McClellan: I’m a big believer in humanizing your brand and telling your brand story in the way of video. I think that Instagram stories are a great way to showcase your team and your practice and how real it is and how you have fun behind the scenes. And there’s more to you than just sticking needles in people’s faces.
Ryan Issac: Yeah. Yeah.
Blake McClellan: And I think that it’ll show that your brand can be exciting and fun and human. And the other thing is, every single day they’re having patients cry in their chair, because they’re changing their life or they’re making them feel better. Right?
Blake McClellan: Why are you not putting that on social media? Why aren’t you just making a simple video and putting that on social media? Those are things that you can save your practice money on, instead of hiring these big production companies to come in.
Blake McClellan: You can just do this internally and grow your brand organically and stop wasting that money every month on paying someone to post the same post that they’re posting on a hundred other dental office’s Facebook page that day, saying happy tooth day or whatever it may be and no one’s signing up for anything.
Ryan Issac: What time is it? It’s 2:30. That was my question. Going back to that. You were just saying this. I see this as a consumer. I follow a lot of dentist’s pages on Facebook and Instagram and you see the corporate memes that get reshared on 20 different pages on the same day.
Ryan Issac: And so how do you avoid that? When you’re hiring, if I’m a dentist, I’m like, “All right, who do I have to be in charge of this stuff? I don’t have the time.”
Ryan Issac: Do I put someone in charge of my office that this stuff’s just intuitive or when I’m going to hire someone, how do you vet someone you’re going to put in charge of this stuff, to make sure that’s not happening and it’s going to be better content?
Blake McClellan: I think that you have to create a culture. It’s a work culture thing. Look at some of the most successful companies right now. It’s because of the culture that they create. And so I think that you need to make the same culture at your practice, make it a social sharing practice.
Blake McClellan: Because what you’ll find is, often your staff or your team members, they are already on social media, they’re active on it and they know how to use it well. You don’t need to be the 55, 58 year old dentist who doesn’t have an Instagram. Try to learn Instagram. And try to master it.
Blake McClellan: Instead, you need to bring it in and have your team help you. I think you need to reward them or incentivize them in some way, shape, or form, to thank them for doing it. To make it so that they make it a goal to be successful at it. Versus just surviving it.
Ryan Issac: Yeah, check it off a list. Right.
Blake McClellan: Exactly. You’ve got to create something, whether it’s Amazon gift cards or Starbucks gift card or something like that that says, “Look, you get us to here and I’ll do this, get us to here and I’ll do this.”
Blake McClellan: And those are ways that they can be incentivized. Everybody is always looking to make side money, right? And especially your team members. I’m sure they don’t think that they make enough already. So help them with that. Give them that motivation.
Blake McClellan: But the clinician needs to adopt it, as well. Have the team explain it to you and teach it to you, but embrace it and use it. Because that’s when the followers go, “Oh, this isn’t just his team or her team, this is them behind the account.” And so what your users relate to you, you actually have to adopt it and get onto it.
Ryan Issac: Okay. So let’s wrap some stuff up with any other common mistakes you would tell people to watch out for, that you see you with social media?
Blake McClellan: I think Live is a great leverage tool. It needs direction, so always have a plan, but I think you should leverage the live aspect of it. Instagram Live is a really cool tool, that I think we’ve embraced it recently at DIA.
Blake McClellan: We started doing these fireside chats on Wednesdays. I think this week we had bloody tooth guy and it’s kind of like a podcast, very impromptu, just 10 to 15 minute conversation. I think that’s a really cool tool to leverage and I think you should be embracing your patient testimonials.
Blake McClellan: Just use your iPhone and shoot vertical video. Instagram television, for those who don’t know, it’s a feature on Instagram that they’re trying to use to compete with YouTube. And it’s for long videos. I believe it’s 30 minutes.
Blake McClellan: If you have under 10,000 followers and it’s 60 minutes, if you have over 10,000 followers. But you can upload very long videos, which I would do three to five minute videos and put those patient testimonials and just tell the story of your practice. It’s free to do. You’ve got the iPhone, turn the camera on, have someone at the office throw something really quick together and then put it out there and let the world see what you’re doing as a clinician.
Ryan Issac: It humanizes the curated posts with the filters and the perfect shot and it humanizes someone’s entire account. For sure.
Blake McClellan: People might think Gary V is gimmicky or something. A lot of people in my generation anyways, I know, that love him. I know that most people in tech or in any social media platform are big fans of him and his whole thing is just put content out there. Every company should be its own media company.
Blake McClellan: We’ve often hired these marketing companies and firms to do these things that have no idea about our practice. If the social media is supposed to be a intimate glimpse into your business, how can you source that out to someone who doesn’t even step foot in your practice?
Blake McClellan: I think it’s something that if you embrace it, you can be really lean on your marketing and a lot more effective, just in utilizing these free tools that are out there.
Ryan Issac: Okay. What about future of the industry? Future of marketing? Any thoughts on where it could be headed or what to keep an eye on?
Blake McClellan: Yeah, I think look for a major disruption in the marketing side of things. I think that all the companies realize that the traditional marketing approach they’ve done have not been working as effectively.
Blake McClellan: Facebook marketing is not what it was five years ago. It’s very challenging now, after everything that’s happened with Facebook. And so their content’s got to be more creative. And I think that education will be the driving force now.
Blake McClellan: And more clinicians will teach based on education, not by sponsorship. And then the companies will support that. That’s where I’m hedging my bets, but I think that education should lead this industry, marketing should compliment it.
Blake McClellan: And there’s an effective way for that to work really well. But I think marketing has been driving the education in this industry for too long and it needs to flip.
Ryan Issac: It needs to flip. And don’t you think that fits the way that we, as consumers, that’s how we want to buy stuff nowadays anyway. We want to go to the internet, we want to teach ourselves a little bit about the thing we’re going to go buy or interact with and then buy it or not buy it, but we want to be educated first.
Blake McClellan: I think social media has really opened up that channel in allowing some innovation and great products and great companies to get out there and tell their story. That’s one thing about our mission of DIA is we’ve got a waiting list of companies, because we don’t want to oversaturate it with a bunch of people trying to sell you stuff at a conference.
Blake McClellan: Ours is about innovative products or great companies, with great stories and letting you just kind of hang out with them and grab a beer and so you know, I think that it’s making dentistry a lot more informed and we’re making better purchasing decisions because of it and practicing better dentistry because of it.
Ryan Issac: Yeah. Very cool man. Okay. Two personal questions. They think you’re really fascinating to get insight on. One is, what is one habit in your life that you feel has driven a lot of your success or that has just made a big impact on your life? One habit that you’ve got.
Blake McClellan: I think being transparent and open with friends and colleagues and also building relationships that are non, you can’t benefit from. Just having relationships with people that you trust and you respect without having to gain anything.
Ryan Issac: No strings attached. Yeah.
Blake McClellan: No strings attached, that you just have their insight. Peter Bolden, for instance, me and him don’t have any businesses together, but we meet up from time to time just to share what’s on your plate and what’s on mine and getting war stories and how are things.
Blake McClellan: I think it’s really important to have people you respect, so that keeps you on even keel, to know where you’re at and you can get some solid feedback you trust.
Ryan Issac: Okay, what’s something great you’ve read recently? Business-related, fiction, whatever.
Blake McClellan: Nonviolent Communication.
Ryan Issac: Nonviolent. That’s the title of the book? Nonviolent Communication.
Blake McClellan: Yes. I listened to, I heard about it from the Joe Rogan podcast and as a CEO, you live a very manic life and getting people to succeed and work for you and trying to empathize with people and not telling them what they did wrong, expect them to change.
Blake McClellan: This book was really good about helping you explain, helping someone empathize with you and empathizing with them, so that you actually achieved a real result. And so it was a really unique approach to conflict resolution.
Ryan Issac: Cool.
Blake McClellan: Yeah. Very good book.
Ryan Issac: Thanks for sharing that man. Okay. Last, where can people find you? Where can people find DIA? Register? Where do you want them to come find you around the internets?
Blake McClellan: Yes, so Implant Compare. It’s @implantcompare on Instagram and we also have influence@influencedindustry is the DIA, Instagram. And then if you want to visit DIA, come check it out. I think we still have some tickets available.
Blake McClellan: Influencedental.com is the website and then, of course, if you want to check out the Implant Compare app, it’s free. Just download it on iTunes or Google Play or a visit implantcompare.com
Ryan Issac: Cool. Blake, thanks for chatting with us here today. Thanks for being on the show man. Looking forward to DIA this year. We’ll choose our clothing and our swag wisely and thanks man. Appreciate it. Good luck in everything you do.
Blake McClellan: Well thank you. Thanks for having me. It was really enjoyable and just to throw a little curve ball at you, our after party on Saturday night is Burning Man themed. So now you’ve got another-
Ryan Issac: What? All right. I’m going to bring my one wheel. I’m going to bring my one wheel and some multicolored robe and some crazy glasses or something.
Blake McClellan: Get your goggles ready.
Ryan Issac: I’ll get my goggles. Thanks man.
Blake McClellan: Thanks so much. Take care.Practice Management