How to End 2019 With a Bang
Catherine shares her practical tips and examples on super easy ways to ramp up profits over the holidays. Just in time to reap the rewards before the year’s close!
Ep.24: How to End 2019 with a Bang
Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz.” Discover how to grow your practice with effective cosmetic patient attraction, conversion and retention advice from author, speaker, trainer and cosmetic practice business and marketing coach, Catherine Maley MBA.
Hello and welcome to “Beauty and the Biz” where we talk about the business and marketing side of the cosmetic practice. I’m your host Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What Your Patients are Saying” as well as consultant to cosmetic practices to get them more patients and more profits and, before I jump in I just want to give you, a little update on Sausalito California. Due to the fire hazards and PG&E we are having another blackout here and it’s tough when you’re trying to run a business because there is literally no electricity anywhere, all over Marin. So, the last time this happened a couple weeks ago at least there was still pockets of power. So, when my laptops ran out, my desktop is gone but my laptops work for a while but then when I run out of power I had to run over to Starbucks like the rest of the world. We all ran over there and powered up, you know, whatever we had. But in this case, this time all of the county, the whole county of Marin is blacked out.
So, I had to spend the day in the city and the city has parking issues, so you’re only allowed to park for two hours in most of the neighborhoods that I used to live in. So, I went to my old Starbucks, that was a long time ago. I’ve been gone for like 13 years from the city, but I lived there forever and of course all the Marin-ites were over there, because we had no power over here. So, I had to keep moving the car and it was just a really long day but I’m grateful. I have a house in one piece. It’s just really, it’s tough around here right now and apparently this blackouts just going to keep going. I missed a lot of it because I’ve been traveling but I’m here now and then I’m going to head over to global meeting in Miami so I’m hoping to miss more of it, but this is insane. Anyway, so just in case you want to know that.
So, today’s episode is called “How to End 2019 with a Bang” because here’s what might have happened to you. You might have been very ambitious at the beginning of the year but now the years running out faster than you expected. So, you might be behind in your numbers that you forecasted because maybe you bought new equipment and it didn’t work out as you thought it was going to because that stuff doesn’t just sell itself. You’ve got to market and then if that’s the case now maybe your marketing expenses increased. So, you might have made more money, but your profit margin is still off or maybe you had some major staff turnover or perhaps you lost a key player who took some of your patients away. But whatever it is, it doesn’t matter at this point. All that matters is what you’re going to do about it now. So, in this podcast I’m going to give you lots of ideas for how to end 2019 with a bang.
So, of course here’s the biggest challenge. To get somebody’s attention in this noisy marketplace you have got to figure out how to get around all the noise rather than compete with it because if you thought it was tough to advertise before and you weren’t getting the results you wanted. Now that the holidays are coming everyone’s going to be after the attention of the consumer. So, the trick is to be very specific and focus. So, you want to pick a target market. Don’t go after everybody. Get a target market and stay there. But then you want to pick a theme that, that target market cares about. For example, enter the conversation the cosmetic patient is already having in their head. So, let’s say you take a female cosmetic patient. There’s a really good chance she’s thinking to herself, I’ve got to look good for the office party. This is my chance to get in good with the boss or my health club holiday party is the, perfect chance for me to finally meet someone or my sister is bringing her new husband to our family dinner this year. I have got to show up with a really great look, because there’s a little sibling rivalry on that one.
So, you take that, and you turn that into emotional copy for your advertising or your marketing. So, for example, “This holiday season look five years younger in your family videos, photos with friends and at office parties. We can help erase your lines, smooth your skin and slim your curves. so, you shine this season. Give yourself a gift that sparkles, you. Enjoy popular, lasting beauty treatment of your choice at a special price just in time for the holidays.”
See how compelling that copy is. It’s got an emotional tone to it. Then, of course you want to use eye catching graphics. I know plastic surgeons don’t normally like to use red because it reminds patients of blood but quite frankly during the holidays and anytime red is a real eye catching color so I would use it. I would also use gold and silver and really bring it out, use glitter and shiny and it can really stand out when you use red and gold or red and silver. You also want to include social proof because you’re always reminding the patient why they need to see you. You show a before and an after photo and they get the point. Then you’ve got to have compelling offers to get people to notice and actually act. It’s one thing to get somebody to notice but it’s a completely other to get them to act. So, we’ll talk about compelling offers too.
So, here are a few examples of themes and compelling offers. The first one is called “Tis the Season to Look Fantastic” and then you can say during the holiday season you get a free Christmas goodie bag valued at $100. We women love goodie bags. It can be a surprise goodie bag or you can tell them what’s in it. But always include the values so they see it’s even more compelling. Another theme is called “Treat Yourself This Holiday Season” and then you show a girl, a cute girl maybe in a Santa outfit and she’s thinking about her wish list and that would be wrinkle free face, kissable lips, curvier curves or flatter tummy. Then of course there’s some kind of a gift card when she acts now before the end of the year.
Another theme is have extra time off to transform yourself this holiday season and then show before and after photos especially like the mommy makeover ones. You show a woman whose tummy is all out of shape thanks to all the children and sagging breasts and then you show a mommy makeover with perky breasts and a flatter tummy. That could be just what they needed, and they might have time off during the holiday season or maybe their family or their mom can come watch the kids while they recuperate. So, in this case you could use something like, “First ten to respond get a $250 holiday gift card towards their surgical procedure.” Another theme is “Want a Holiday Lift” because there’s a really good chance they need an eyelid lift or a neck lift, or a face lift or a cheek lift. So, the aging patient has lots of things that they want lifted. So, that’s a good theme. You can also use, “Avoid the lines.” Get it? Avoid the lines. So, you not just avoid the lines at the store, you also avoid the lines on your face and then the compelling offer can be “Get free Botox with your filler treatment.” That’s cute, huh and then another one can be “Looking for the perfect fit this holiday season,” and then you show a girl in a red, gorgeous, form-fitting red gown or dress.
So, the copy can be something like, “With the holidays fast approaching are you ready, for family videos, candid photos and close-ups that end up on Facebook forever? Want to fit into that slinky, holiday gown to be the envy of every party or finally fill out a dress with full natural-looking cleavage?”
Do you see how I’m using those kind of words because you’re entering the conversation she’s having in her mind? She’s got family to deal with, she’s got office parties, she’s got regular friend parties and she wants to look fantastic. Then you’ve got to spread the word because you can have all these themes and compelling offers but not unless somebody sees them. So, of course you always want to email your current patients because they’re your best bet. You can also still use direct mail.
I wouldn’t just mail anybody. I would mail your VIP kind of group like people who know you the best. You can send them something special in the mail and you can even use a theme for them something like, “Glam up for the holidays and then a gift for you and then the gift, expires this year. So, you want them to, get it open it and give you a call right away. You can also text people special holiday offers however I wouldn’t do that willy-nilly. I would get their approval before I text anybody because well I think it’s the law. So, you know you could do is have an extra box in all of your communications that say text us at to get a holiday gift card towards a quick holiday fix and because you’re really kind of bribing them for their cell phone which I think is a good idea.
Then, of course, boy use social media as much as humanly possible. You’ve got Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. You can post for free however you know they’re only going to show it to maybe 10% of your list no I’m so you do want to throw some money at it and boost ads or use banner ads. You can also make sure you put it on your website. You can have website banner ads on your homepage, but you can also have on your navigation bar special offers and make sure you’re showing these themes and compelling offers for the holidays and then make sure they expire at the end of the year and then if you’re blogging is be sure to add blog banners as well. Now here’s something that I really like and it’s the holiday birthday card, but you don’t make it a holiday card, you make it a happy birthday card and you send it to anybody who has a birthday in December because those poor people get ripped off for their birthday don’t they? Because it all gets mixed in with the holidays. So, if you show that you realize it’s their birthday and you want to offer something special you send them a birthday card, or you email it to them, or you text them. You know what, in this case I would text them because it’s really nice. They’ll appreciate you acknowledging, their birthday and then inside you can, have a $50 or $75 birthday gift card towards anything they want before the end of the year.
Now, everyone’s got a huge stack of leads and consults that didn’t book. So, normally they just sit and collect dust. This is the perfect time to dust them off and contact these people. It’s the end of the year, people are spending like crazy. The economy is really good so I would take advantage of that. Credit is flowing, the birds are chirping so I would be calling these people and offering things like a free gift with surgery when you book this year or remind them that you have easy pay plans that they might not have known about before. Perhaps when they came in back in, I don’t know the summer you didn’t have a special program. Now let’s, say one of the vendors that you use now offers a 12 month interest free pay plan and you didn’t have that before. Call them and tell them that. That could be just what they needed to get off the fence and have it done. You can also call them and tell them that you’re going to have a price increase in 2020 so they can lock in their 2019 price as long as they book their surgery this year. They don’t have to have surgery this year, but they have to book it this year and put down the deposit. Here’s another idea, you can call people with a script similar to this one. “Hello Sue since you’re considering having a _______ procedure I wanted to let you know Dr. Smith’s going to be away a couple weeks in January so I want to be sure we can accommodate you should you decide to move forward with your surgery. Did you have a date in mind, or should I tell you what we have available?” Then you just zip it and let her tell you what the answer is. Now, you have no idea but there’s a chance she’s going to say, oh I’m sorry I already had surgery, but I really appreciate your call. No problem at least, you have an answer now but there’s even a greater chance that she says, huh I’ve, definitely been thinking about this I’m, just so tired of being indecisive about it and I know I need to do something, and you know what, give me some dates and let me see. The point is you’re trying to get him or her to step forward and on the decision-making stair to go the next step. So, this could have been just what they needed to start deciding or start thinking about this again and just make a decision.
Here’s another script that works super well. “Hello Sue since you’re considering having a procedure this might interest you. Dr. Smith gave me a few $500 holiday gift cards to use towards surgery if you booked this year and I wanted to offer one to you how does that sound?” Again, zip it and let her tell you how that sounds. That is a very nice, compelling offer and that could be just what she needed to jump off the fence so give it a try.
No other fun strategies that help end 2019 with the bang. You can do a social media campaign with the 12 days of Christmas and I like it but you have to be consistent and it can get complicated for your patients and your staff so just make sure you have very succinct offers every single day and please make sure your receptionists know about these offers and so do any staff that work with the patient’s because you want to keep this simple. If it gets complicated they’ll just bag it and they won’t do it at all because they don’t understand it. Another great idea is a holiday package. So, for example we have done signage and it says and it’s not just signage, its banners. You can do anything, use everything, use email marketing, use direct mail, use everything, use texting if you have to but the theme would be, ” Need a quick holiday lift? Glow this season with our non-surgical treatment for women over 50!” So, do you see it, we’re talking right to women over 50 but we also have a photo of a woman over 50 and then it says, ” This non-surgical signature treatment includes a series of fractional laser skin rejuvenation, two syringes a filler to plump and fill folds, 50 units of Botox to smooth wrinkles…” and then maybe a skin care product. Now you show the regular price of let’s say it’s $5500 but the combination special holiday price is only 3997 so they save $1500 let’s say. So, do you see how that was pretty compelling. It went specifically to a certain target market. It gave her a whole bunch of things that’s going to give her a wow treatment, a wow result and she’s saving $1500 if she acts this year. That’s how to do it.
You can also add an ad to your phone greeting. For example, you can have your receptionist say, “Good morning Dr. Smith’s office now offering holiday beauty quick fixes, Katharine speaking. How may I assist you today?” There’s a really good chance they’re going to say really, what beauty quick fixes. I definitely need to look good for the holidays and that starts that discussion. Another one, you know how it’s really popular to say BOGO. I never used to know what that meant BOGO. It’s buy one get one so you could literally show like let’s say ornaments and say buy one package and get one free. So, you can have a package of skin tightening or cellulite reduction or laser hair removal or IPL. The point is you’re not discounting it now, you’re charging full price, but they get one free. So, now they’ve got a friend that they’re going to introduce to the practice and that’s a super great idea. So, you’ve got one person who’s loyal to you and now they’ve referred their friend who’s also going to become a loyal, raving fan.
You can have a holiday Botox event and the theme can be, ” Lose the lines,” or, “Hate lines? We do too,” and this can be like a walk-in thing or like on social media you can say well one day only and then have a super special Botox price but then you have to decide are you going to let him just walk in, do they have to text you, do they have to call you, DM you. Figure out how you’re going to work that. One thing you don’t want to do is make it inconvenient for people. If you say you can just come on in they don’t want to wait too long. So, you either keep them busy with hors d’oeuvres or appetizers or holiday cookies or you have them make an appointment. It’s up to you. Now when it gets towards the end of the year another great theme is, “Pucker up for the new year and it’s the kissable lips and your graphics would be people kissing. Some hot guy doesn’t hurt and showing the lips. Show regular, normal lips. You know, a lot of people don’t do their lips because social media shows the goofiest puffed out duck lips on the planet. If you show your normal everyday here’s the lips you can get and if they’re just kissable lips, they’re not crazy lips. That photo alone can open up that dialog pretty easily.
Regarding giving back I really like when a plastic surgery practice participates in community involvement. So, you could have a theme “Jolly Holiday Shopping with Purpose” and then some of your proceeds go to community charity. I know when I was younger every year we would do Toys for Tots and we didn’t have the Internet, we didn’t do we certainly didn’t have social media but all my friends and I, we would get together, and we spent a lot of time at Toys for Tots. If you did that as a team and you all went over there, we would segment the toys and we would wrap things and we would group them by age or by gender and then in today’s world you could take a ton of social media photos and videos and Insta-stories and you can really show that you care about your community and other people not just making money. That can go a really long way. Also, if you’ve ever wanted to work with other groups in your neighborhood such as high end retail boutiques or salons or spas but you haven’t figured out a way to do it this could be an idea.
What you’re going to do is buy gift certificates from them. Now keep in mind these alliances need to have the same demographics you have, that you want to get to know. So, to show your goodwill you’re going to buy gift certificates from them and then give them to your favorite patients or those who are going to have surgery. So, let’s say for example you don’t have any skin care or estheticians in your practice. So, you do a gift certificate, you buy a bunch of their gift certificates and you give them out during the holidays, and you use it like a promo, a compelling offer. So, a free facial treatment with your surgery and it doesn’t matter what kind of surgery they’re going to have. It’s just a nice offer from you for them to go to your alliance and then come to you for the surgery. The alliance when they see that you’re sending them patients and it doesn’t have to be a flock of them, it can just be a few you will get their attention very quickly and now it opens up that discussion for how you two can work together in the new year.
Now, back to your office. I love checkout for the holidays. You want to use a theme like “Not Sure What to Give? Let Them Decide,” and have a really cute gift certificate display and I would offer a free goodie bag to the person buying that gift certificate because now they get a gift and then they’re going to buy a gift for a friend. and I would do that all day long. If somebody’s going to bring you a patient who’s going to be worth a fortune to you if you take care of them for the long run you would do this all day long so don’t be cheap about it. Here’s another idea at the checkout. Have a really cool, eye catching holiday gift bag. I’d have it red with cellophane and make it really blinged out and there’s a sign on it that says, “Need a last-minute gift?” And then in there you can show gift certificates, skin care products, stocking stuffers. The point is a lot of people are busy during the holidays and they do need a quick gift and you need more patience so that’s a perfect segue to that and then my last idea is your social media booth and that should be in your practice, in a corner where they can do selfies and tell their friends where they’re at, what they’re up to. I mean, that’s all they do all day anyway isn’t it? Aren’t we always documenting, everything we’re doing all day. Well, have your patients do that in your practice so they can spread the word for you. But the social media booth is literally just a backdrop with your website address on it printed all over it and you can have that done on Amazon for less than $200. You can even have a red carpet underneath it and you can even have a sign that said you know any photos taken in here will be seen on the Interne so FYI. In San, Francisco whenever they do movies, they’re always filming on San Francisco streets and there are always signs. If you walk down this sidewalk there’s a chance you’re going to be seen in a movie, which of course we all want it. But anyway, for the social media booth if that is the world we live in now use that to your advantage and get your patients to do selfies on your turf and have them to send it out to their friends, all their followers and everyone who likes them and shares with them and that will help, you too.
So, that is that. I hope this is helpful to you for the holidays and end this year with a bang and then of course would you please subscribe to Beauty and the Biz and if you enjoy it I sure would appreciate a review. Please share this with your friends, your colleagues, your staff and then of course, if you’ve got any comments or questions or feedback or certainly suggestions for future topics I’m always available and open for that those ideas. Since I do this once a week I’m always looking for content. You can just shoot me a message on my website catherinemaley.com or you can DM me at Instagram @catherinemaleymba. Thanks so much. Hopefully I will get some lights back, but the show will go on no matter what happens here, so I’ll talk to you later.
We hope you found valuable insight on this episode of “Beauty and the Biz.” For more episodes tools and Catherine’s free book visit www.catherinemaley.com, that’s www.catherinemaley.com and be sure to subscribe to get the latest practice building strategies delivered to you and don’t forget to share this “Beauty and the Biz” podcast with your staff and colleagues.