Every practice and every business needs to market themselves. But it’s easy for marketing to become a big black hole that consumes all of your hard earned profits!
Knowing your goals and having a solid marketing plan to support them is vital to creating a successful and profitable aesthetics practice or medspa.
Before you dive in with a marketing plan or hiring an agency to help with your online presence, you need to know who your target patient is.
Is there a particular age demographic you want to target?
Do your prospects live within a certain mile radius of your aesthetic medical practice location?
Have they had any cosmetic procedures done before? Or are you targeting prospective patients that are completely new to these procedures?
If you aren’t sure where to start, you can often get key demographic data from your state, county and city government websites. You can also use Google or Yahoo maps to create great looking geographical highlights.
Your logo is the symbol of your practice. As you grow, it’s how people will recognize your brand.
But like a lot of your marketing collateral, it’s going to be hard to measure the direct ROI (return on investment) of your practice’s logo.
If you’re just starting out and have a limited budget, you should have something that you like and want to show to people as your logo, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on it.
One resource that can help you get a professional looking logo without breaking your budget is 99 Designs.
Perhaps the most obvious, and important, is your website!
Your website is something your prospective patients will look at even before they give you a call or inquire about your services.
A website is your doorway to being found in a Google search, to selling your services even after business hours and to ensuring you’re putting your best foot forward to make the right impression within the first 10 seconds someone visits.
If you’re just starting out and don’t yet have the budget to hire a professional to help you with your website, we have a few tips to share to help you make a good first impression.
When you’re excited about your new practice and everything you want to help your prospective patients with, it can be tempting to want to include every detail about your services… and throw in the kitchen sink.
Do your best to refrain from over-sharing and overwhelming prospective patients. Instead, make your website about them.
If they walked through your practice door for the first time, would you launch into a 10-minute speech about how you got started and all of the services you offer?
Or would you greet them and ask them what brought them in today?
Make the very top part of your page all about your patient and how you can help them. Then, as the page progresses, you can move into more detail about your experience, your specific services and your story.
You should include your phone number or a button to contact you in the header of every page.
You can also easily set up a live chat function for anyone to connect with you if they have questions right from the website.
One service we like is Provide Support. It’s easy to set up multiple users and to login from a web interface or from an app.
Many prospective patients are not ready to book an appointment or contact you when they first visit your website.
If this is the case, having an asset that helps you collect their email address for future follow up can be invaluable.
You can do something as simple as sending them a gift certificate or discount on their first visit for signing up or offer a free information resource that you can email to them. This free resource is called a lead magnet and can be a great way to provide value to your prospects and to start building a rapport with them.
As much as the online world is an important part in how we market our services today, you still have patients coming into your office and there are opportunities here to promote your services that you cannot ignore.
There has been an evolving trend towards having less paper for a long time. The pandemic has accelerated this as many practices have looked for ways to reduce touch points.
While brochures and posters may not be part of your current promotion strategy, make sure you have a TV or monitor set up in your waiting room that can display digital billobards and rotate through information and any current promotions.
Other assets you will want to consider for your practice are:
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is recommended that you make a list or keep a spreadsheet of assets you think you will need.
If you keep an on-going list as you develop your marketing plan, it will be faster and easier for you to know what next steps to take as you prepare to execute your plan!
In today’s market, the avenues for finding and promoting yourself to prospective patients can seem endless!
This can be overwhelming for a new practice just starting out. And expensive if you don’t approach it with a solid plan.
You don’t need to do everything straight away. You can start with just a few elements to have in your marketing mix, test them and then slowly expand or change them out depending on what’s working and what isn’t.
You can break your marketing channels down into two basic categories: traditional marketing and online marketing
Traditional marketing channels include print media, billboards, television and radio.
Some of the benefits of using traditional marketing channels include better reach to your target audience, ads can hold the attention of your target audience longer, you have more control over your content and where it is place.
Some of the drawbacks of using traditional marketing channels are that they can be more expensive to use and it’s harder to track their effectiveness or return on investment.
Online marketing channels include your website, email marketing, pay-per-click advertising with search engines, search engine optimization, blogs & content marketing and social media.
Some of the benefits of online marketing channels are that they are quick and easy to implement, easier to track their effectiveness and often cheaper (or even free!) to get started, making them an available option for just about any budget.
Some of the drawbacks of online channels are increased competition, less control over where and when your ad will appear and having only a few seconds to catch the attention of your intended target audience.
One of the biggest places we see practices fall down is after they’ve put a lot of effort and investment into marketing to find their ideal patients, they do not have any processes in place to follow up.
The majority of people inquiring about your services may not be ready to book an appointment with you yet.
Patients may be at any point in their journey. If they aren’t ready to book a procedure yet, but they are calling around or researching online, you know they are very likely take the nex step and book a consultation or appointment when they’re ready.
You want to be the practice they call when they are!
But how do you do this? You need to outline your sales funnel. This is the series of stages or steps that your ideal patient will go through as they proceed from research to consultation to becoming a paying patient.
A good place to start with your sales funnel is to simply outline each action and decision point your ideal patient would take.
Depending on who you defined as your ideal patient, your list could look different from that of an another practice.
Here is an example of what your list might look like:
Thinking through your patient’s journey to booking their first treatment and turning them into a repeat patient is a great way to figure out how you can gain a competitive edge.
You want to be the practice that they call when it’s time to book that appointment. And while there are no guarantees that they will choose you over another, there are many actions you can take to sway their decision in your favor.
To do so, you’ll want to outline any actions or communications you can do to keep in touch with each prospective patient that contacts you and help you identify when they’re ready to move to the next phase in the patient journey.
For example, during the research phase, you might want to have online ads running with a compelling offer to book a free consultation. Or advertising a free download for 8 tips they should be aware of when getting a particular treatment for the first time.
After you have collected an email address from them, you can follow up with weekly or monthly skin care tips to build a good rapport and stay top-of-mind until they’re ready to move to the next phase.
Another idea for the initial visit milestone could be that you follow up with a personalized treatment plan and package based on their visit.
There are many ways. youcan engage your prospective patient at each step. Outlining your actions during each phase will help you plan your engagement and outreach efforts and move prospective clients through each level in your funnel towards becoming a paying patient.
Once you have a plan ready to go, you can use a patient tracking or marketing software to help you do the heavy lifting by automating some of your repeat tasks like follow up reminders, weekly tips, and so on.
If you don’t already have a service in place, one service some of our members find quite helpful for supporting their sales and marketing efforts is PatientPop.
Your ultimate goal should be to turn every patient into a raving fan of you and your practice.
Perhaps an even bigger blunder than not following up with new prospects right away is neglecting to keep engaging the patients who have already been through your doors.
They may not need as much nurturing, but you should absolutely continue to send them helpful hints and booking reminders. Remember, they are likely just as busy as you are! And they will appreciate the help in staying on track with their treatments.
There are a lot of things to consider when opening a new aesthetic medical practice and setting up your marketing and sales efforts to build a profitable practice that is poised to grow!
But if you follow the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to having bustling practice with happy patients, growing profit margins and beating out your competition!
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