If you build it, they will come. The degree to which this turns out to be true will depend largely on the strength of your aesthetics training and how much thought and planning you put into attracting patients to your aesthetics practice.
Whether you’re thinking about expanding your current practice with the addition of medical aesthetics or launching a new aesthetics-based venture, you’ll need a concrete approach for effectively reaching, engaging, connecting and converting new and established patients. With this in mind, the following tips and approaches can be a great place to start.
The Wide Range of Aesthetic Patients
Part of attracting more potential clients is understanding the markets available. When you consider its treatment potential, adding Botox to your services can be a great way to capitalize on a hot market and see an increased return on investment (ROI). With a wide range of applications, Botox can treat many of your existing patients while helping you attract new ones. Its treatment applications include:
- Excessive sweating
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Eyebrow, lip and nasal tip descent
- Glabellar lines
- Excessive jaw width
- Forehead creases and radial orbital lines
How to Expand Your Patient Base and Attract More Customers
From choosing the right social media platforms to interacting with your audience, there are various ways to market your aesthetic practice and expand your patient base. Below are some approaches that may help.
Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit
The truism that people do business with those they know, like and trust is one you can use to your advantage. Pick the low-hanging fruit by letting everyone who already fits this bill — starting with your current patients — know about your aesthetic practice.
Create Referral Incentives
Whether you’re looking for a handyman, a dental provider, a mechanic or any service at all, you’re most likely to find them by asking someone you know, like and trust for a referral. When your best friend tells you they’ve had a great experience with X handyman, your colleague tells you she loves X dental practice or your dad swears by X mechanic, the deal is generally done.
Even if there’s a better handyman, dental practice or mechanic out there, your mind will typically already be made up based solely on the strength of the relationship you have with the person who gave you the referral.
This is why creating programs to incentivize referrals can be a great way to attract patients to your practice. Say, for instance, that an existing patient learns a successful new patient referral will earn her $100 off her subsequent Botox treatment. Or that for every three new patients she brings to your practice, she’ll receive free dermal filler.
When these sorts of incentives are put in place, existing patients will be that much more likely to talk up your practice and help spread the word about your services.
Develop a Clear and Compelling Brand Identity
Aesthetic medicine represents a booming market, with more and more practitioners entering the space every day. Whether you live in a more sparsely populated area and are the first aesthetic practice in town or you’re in a large city with dozens of competing practices, it’s essential to develop a clear brand identity.
Your brand identity is your practice’s public face and personality. For instance, maybe you’re aiming for:
- High-brow and exclusive, aimed at wealthy urban sophisticates
- Casual and upscale, designed to attract everyday people with discretionary income
- A bit edgy and artsy, targeted at high-earning creatives
Whatever your face and personality, they need to be compelling and aligned with your target audience’s values, aesthetics and lifestyle.
The more specific you can be about developing your brand identity, the easier it’ll be to differentiate your practice from your competitors. Remember that your brand identity should be consistent across every point of contact your target audience has with your brand — your website, social media channels, billboards, physical practice and so on.
Focus on Creating Value-Added Content
Value-added content means creating educational or inspiring content that offers something of value to your target audience rather than directly attempting to drive sales. Of course, offering something of value is a sales tactic in that it raises awareness about your practice and helps to build trust, but any sales that occur are simply incidental.
Look for opportunities to offer value by educating, inspiring or “edu-spiring” your target audience with tactics like these:
- Sharing informative blogs on your website about the procedures you perform
- Taking Did You Know? approaches to your social posts
- Encouraging patients to share their success stories on their social channels
- Hosting free educational events
Creating value-added content generates a positive experience for your brand, thus attracting patients to your practice.
Targeting the Right Audience
Next, you want to target your marketing strategy to the right audience — but how do you figure out who that is? Focusing on a particular demographic can help you tailor the services you plan to promote. If you’re targeting a predominantly female audience, for instance, figure out what your female patients want. The same concept applies to a predominantly male audience, as well.
Additionally, men and women can be further distinguished by age to target more specific groups. Let’s look at some examples below.
Here are some trends for female patients in the medical aesthetics industry, broken down by age:
- 18-30: Women in this age group may be looking for a quick fix to help them feel more confident about themselves. Breast implants tend to be a popular procedure for these younger patients.
- 30-50: Many women in this age range aim to maintain their current youthful appearance, preventing signs of aging like crow’s feet and smile lines. They may be more drawn to wrinkle fillers, laser procedures, Botox, liposuction or tummy tucks.
- 50+: Many women in this age group have no intentions of slowing down — they want to stay competitive in the workforce and look as young as they still feel. They’re more likely to have the financial means for pricier procedures like facelifts, eyebrow lifts and blepharoplasty.
While women make up most of the aesthetic medicine industry’s clientele, men represent an increasingly large segment. They tend to have more interest in less invasive cosmetic procedures, like microdermabrasion and hair removal, to gain a youthful appearance. To target male consumers, ensure your marketing materials and office decor are geared toward a gender-neutral audience. Knowing your demographic is one of the most crucial tips for targeting the right audience.
Online Engagement Tools
Finding ways to connect with both current and new patients is beneficial for growing your business. Here are some online engagement tools that may help you do so:
- Appointment reminders: Calling a patient is one way to confirm an appointment, but auto-reminder emails and texts may improve patient retention even more.
- Patient portal: Consider installing a kiosk in your waiting room that allows patients to access their information and records, which they can also access at home. That way, they can be a more active participant in their treatment and care plan.
- Feedback surveys: Online surveys are a great way to collect data on patient approval. You can use the feedback to improve aesthetic services, better meeting your patients’ needs and expectations. This, in turn, can encourage repeat visits and increase your following.
- Social media: This is a great way to promote new services, offer fun promos and contests and showcase your brand personality.
Client Retention: How to Keep Your Customers
Client retention is essential to attract potential patients and maintain a strong client base. Let’s look at three examples of client retention strategies below:
- Loyalty programs: A loyalty program might involve monthly deductions from dermal filler and Botox clients’ accounts. These deductions are then banked as a “rewards balance” that they can apply to subsequent treatments.
- Client education: When clients have a comprehensive understanding of how their treatment will work, they can be more likely to give informed consent and show more satisfaction with their results. As a result, they can feel more comfortable with subsequent treatments. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize client education in your aesthetics business.
- Multimodel approach: Research shows that client retention is often higher when aesthetic patients are treated with a combination of soft tissue fillers and neuromodulators. This suggests that a multimodel approach creates a superior result to the individual application of products.
Join the AAAMS Network for More Tips on Making Your Aesthetics Practice Successful
The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS) is the industry leader in fully accredited aesthetics education. We understand that the success of your aesthetic practice depends as much on business know-how and market insight as it does top-tier skills training.
We also provide support for building and developing your aesthetics practice through the AAAMS Aesthetics Network, our professional networking platform. It provides instant access to peer-to-peer learning and collaboration, mentorship opportunities from seasoned aesthetic practitioners, a wealth of learning resources, special invitations to industry events and much more.
Want to learn more about how AAAMS can give you the skills, confidence and support you need to launch a successful career in aesthetic medicine and grow your practice? Explore our courses and see everything our Aesthetics Network has to offer.
We look forward to training with you!