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One of the biggest problems that dentists face today is the presumption of competence.
That might sound like a nonsensical statement, but it’s true. Dentists are viewed as advanced-degreed professionals and, as such, they’re presumed to be competent. In the minds of your prospects, one dentist is a basically as good as another. That’s a problem when you’re trying to attract higher-value cases. The fact that you’re a dentist does nothing to differentiate you from any other dentist.
You can’t count on completion of postgraduate training to help you stand out. The vast majority of dental patients can’t differentiate between postdoc programs and wouldn’t care if they could. Similarly, any publications you may have authored for professional journals won’t be read by prospects.
But what can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors is a book written by you, at a level that your patients can understand, about dental problems that concern them. That sets you apart as a dental expert in the minds of your prospects.
But I Don’t Have the (Time, Talent, Desire) to Write a Book
Dentists are busy people, and it’s understandable that the prospect of writing even a relatively short book is daunting. The good news is that you don’t actually have to do the writing. There’s a time-honored tradition of ghostwriting that you can take advantage of.
Ghostwriters are professionals who specialize in writing for other people. Given that dentistry is very technical profession, you might be concerned whether someone who’s not in the profession could write a book about solutions to dental problems. But your book shouldn’t be a technical treatise on, for instance, the difference in various brands of dental implants. Your prospects care about how their lives will change as a result of your efforts on their behalf. The vast majority simply don’t care about the “nuts and bolts” of dental procedures.
Look at it this way – if you happened to need a cardiac stent, would stop the physician to ask about the technical specifications of the stent he or she planned to use? Or would just get on with getting treated for your issue?
Lack of familiarity with the technical aspects of dentistry may actually be a plus. Most dentists tend to write for other dentists. The ghostwriter is far more likely to be able to phrase the problems and solutions in a way, and at a reading level, that your prospects can easily understand. Professional writers can also bring an easy, conversational tone to the work that makes for good reading.
Let’s Be Clear, Though
Using a ghostwriter to produce your book isn’t a “fire and forget” project. Your writer should interview you first, or at the very least supply a questionnaire for you to fill out. The book needs to reflect what you’re passionate about, your unique approach, and the care and patient experience that you provide.
You should also expect an outline from your ghostwriter so that you can see the proposed flow of the book and the areas that will be covered. Once you’ve signed off on the outline, the actual writing begins. There may be additional questions during the writing that you’ll need to field.
Once the first draft of the copy is produced, you’ll need to go through and mark what you’d like to have changed. It’s important to be thorough at this point. With a good writer, there shouldn’t need to be more than two revisions to satisfy you.
If you’re working with an agency that offers ghostwriting services, the cover design and printing should be handled for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to make the arrangements yourself and shopping around can save you a great deal of money.
More and Better-Informed Patients
You can use your new book as a lure for prospects by offering an electronic version on your website. Prospects who receive your book will be well-educated on what they can expect from your services. With their email addresses in hand, you can remain in front of your prospects until they’re ready to choose you. And your book is an excellent means of allowing them to get to know you, which will take you out of the class of “just another dentist.” You become the preferred choice to solve your prospects’ dental problems.