Contributed by Catherine Maley
Your patient database is the most valuable asset you have.
When you have a “herd” of aesthetic patients who know, like and trust you and visit only you for their enhancement, you are well on your way to success. At that point, you can pull back on expensive advertising and external events. You can now concentrate on keeping your happy patients loyal to you. And, you can now focus on growing your practice organically with patient referrals.
Developing Your Herd of Aesthetic Patients
So, how do you develop this loyal “herd”? It starts with lead generation techniques. You strategically promote you and your practice to prospective patients who are interested in looking their best. Your efforts get them to raise their hand to let you know they are interested in learning more about what you can do for them. Of course, it is then your job to show them why you are the perfect choice for them. It’s also your job (and the job of your staff) to keep those patients loyal to you by giving them a WOW experience every time they are in touch with your practice.
Lead Generation Strategies
There are many strategic ways to build a database of prospective patients who are interested in your aesthetic services now or later. Here are some of them:
Add a feature on the Home Page of your website that allows the visitor to enter their contact information in exchange for your e-newsletter or a special offer coupon. You need the compelling offer since they are giving you something of great value. You want to then follow through by sending them the promised information and then you want to go one step further. The more you can bond with the patients virtually, the more likely they are to visit you. So, keep in touch with monthly e-newsletters and periodic offers so when they are ready for aesthetic enhancement, they turn to you since you’ve been such a great resource to them.
Advertisements with a Mission
Most ads look the same in the aesthetic world. They include a pretty girl, a laundry list of your services and maybe an offer. Be different! See what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. Design your ad to look like a rave review by a reporter. That means a strong headline, an article rather than a list and at the end, offer a free report to learn more. Include your website, telephone number, email address and/or a toll-free number the prospective patient can call to hear more and leave their contact information so you can send them the free report. Again, follow through and follow up to develop a relationship with these prospects.
Whether you hold your own Open House or participate in a health fair, go prepared to obtain as much contact information as possible from likely candidates for your services. Have them fill out a guest book or a drawing form (if permissible by your medical bylaws) or submit their business card. You can then follow up with them so they can learn more about you.
To truly be successful in lead generation, you must always be on the lookout for ways to meet new prospective patients. Then to develop a dialogue with them so they know, trust and like you. They will then visit you when they are ready and refer their friends. And, that will bring you even more leads.
Wishing You Much Success –
Catherine Maley, MBA is Author of Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients are Saying available at www.CosmeticImageMarketing.com. Her firm specializes in growing aesthetic practices using PR, advertising and creative marketing strategies and tools. Catherine can be reached at (877)339-8833 or [email protected].
The New York Times has been known for decades as the Old Gray Lady, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the paper is a little out of touch when it comes to plastic surgery and the Web marketing revolution. But at least they’re trying. Read the NYT article from today’s Fashion & Style section to get their take on the cultural shift that is motivating surgeons to engage potential patients on the Web.
While the article is full of inaccurate references to board certification and delivers a feeble criticism of “flashy” Web sites, it does fairly portray the doctors and patients who are happier for their online activities. Email me your reaction to the article and I may publish it in our next newsletter.