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Ep.63: Patient Attraction Trends for the Rest of 2020


Ep.63: Patient Attraction Trends for the Rest of 2020

2020 went from a hopeful to a haphazard year and has left many reeling and scrambling to get back on track.

This week, I give you 3 good patient attraction strategies to add to your marketing tool kit. These should make a difference and help you build your revenues back up so you finish out the year strong.

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Patient Attraction Trends for the Rest of 2020

 

Year 2020 was off to a great start and then COVID happened. It completely halted business for months.

However, it also created a massive increase in social media usage by would-be cosmetic patients. And that, in turn, created stiff competition among surgeons to grab that attention of patients who are ready for cosmetic services.

While most surgeons are currently enjoying the surge of pent-up demand for cosmetic rejuvenation, nobody knows what the future holds.

That means if you want more leads, more inquiries, more conversions, more money and more growth, it’s smart to adapt your patient attraction plans accordingly.

 

Here are 3 patient-attraction trends affecting you the most, as well as strategies to adapt for the rest of 2020:

 

#1 Improve Your Brand

 

The increase in non-surgical technologies makes this industry very attractive to non-core providers who want to cash in so now you are competing for cosmetic revenues with internists, gynecologists, NPs, PAs, RNs, med spas, laser techs and even aestheticians.

It’s time for you to brag about your extensive surgical training and experience. Show off your medical degrees, board certification, awards, plaques, PR and your pro-bono efforts.

Educate patients on surgical vs non-surgical procedures and explain to patients via computer imaging when surgery is necessary to get the results they want. Then show off your surgical expertise with your great before/after photos of your other real patients who had the same problem you were able to fix.

In other words, make a big deal out of things your competitors can’t, won’t or don’t.

 

And, as Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

It would behoove you to build your brand based on trust, safety and excellent customer service.

#2 Deal with Discounting

 

When it comes to price, you can no longer ignore what prospective patients see in the marketplace.  They are bombarded with special deals and promotions. When price cutting is rampant, it’s confusing to patients to distinguish price from value.

If you have not done a good job explaining why you offer so much more value than your price-cutting competitors, these prospective patients don’t have a good enough reason to pay your higher prices.

Please don’t take this lightly. Obviously, you shouldn’t compete on price alone. But you MUST compete on brand.

That means you more spend time and effort educating prospective patients on your superior skills and expertise, you give them a great result and then you WOW them with added-value customer service.

It’s the way you make patients feel that makes them willing and happy to pay more to get more.

The point is to spend the time, money and effort on attracting the best quality patients to you who care about your status, develop a relationship with them and keep them coming back because they “value” you and your services more than saving a buck.

With that said, you also want to encourage and acknowledge those patients who help you grow your practice organically by returning, referring and reviewing so check out www.KissRewardsClub.com to automate that process.

#3 Social Media Dominates

 

Posting on facebook and Instagram used to be a fun thing to do and now it’s a must. It’s time to learn how to get traction using these communication platforms since this is where all the eyeballs went.

You can post for free using educational and entertaining posts; however, the platforms are only showing your posts to 5-10% of your audience since they want you to pay for advertising.

To combat that, be sure you are connecting with your patient list using email as well, since most of your patients are not seeing you on social media like you think they are.

 

And, here’s another challenge with social media. You don’t own the data. The platforms can turn off your account on a whim and make you disappear from the platforms.

To combat that issue, have your posts link to your website so you can collect your audience’s name, email and cell and nurture that relationship.

Here are more strategies to help you gain social media traction:

Ad Campaigns

 

As you are painfully aware if you have been trying to advertise on social media platforms, plastic surgery does not get along well due to the nature of your content.

You are one step away from porn, you are seen as persuading consumers to have medical procedures and you are hurting the consumers’ self-esteem…..says Facebook.

That’s why it’s so difficult to get your ads approved.

You are forced to “pay to play” to get the audience reach you need  because they strangle your organic reach, but do you see the catch 22?

The platforms force you to advertise YET they won’t approve your ads – crazy!! Here’s what you do….

It’s called “User Generated Content”. Those are the comments your audience makes about your posts so most of your efforts should be going towards user-generated content that engages your audience to interact with you.

You see plenty of examples of this on social media when the surgeon asks his audience a question and has them respond below and now you see a stream of responses.

For example,

The surgeon is in the kitchen cooking his favorite pasta dish and he asks the audience what’s their favorite.

Or, he’s chilling by the pool and asks the audience what they’re doing this weekend.

Or, a really good one is to get a puppy and have the audience suggest names for it.

You can also use polls and contests to get your followers to leave comments.

I read a stat that said 85% of consumers find User Generated Content more influential than brand content so please spend extra time on creating content that inspires your audience to engage with you.

Then there’s Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is having someone with a good following of loyal fans talk you up by posting about you to their followers, in hopes they will choose you for cosmetic rejuvenation.

Start with your current patients to find out what kind of following they have and if they would be willing to spread the word for you.

You can also google “influencer marketing platforms” who will partner you with influencers; however, consumers are waking up to the fact that most influencers are promoting for the sheer motive of getting paid or getting free services and that hurts your brand so choose wisely.

Conclusion

As you can see, a lot goes into your branding and social media presence and it takes effort since you are the star of the show. Today’s prospective patients want to get to know you so show them your surgical side as well as your fun, human side.

See you online:

@catherinemaleymba

Transcript:

Beauty and the Biz

Ep.63: Patient Attraction Trends for the Rest of 2020

Catherine Maley, MBA: Welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of your Aesthetic Practice, and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits. And just to give you an update on what’s going on in Sausalito, California, I’m in Northern California. And there are California fires going on in Northern California. However, they’re about an hour away from me, but it is just bizarre what’s going on. Although I guess this is expected, we do have– it gets pretty hot here in California. And then on top of that, we’re going to have power outages. And they even told us that we’re going to have them on Friday. So, we’re supposed to– I don’t know how I’m supposed to do work without power. But okay, so we have that going on too. And of course, we still have COVID happening, and then the brakes on my car went. So, I’m just talking this week up to a tough week, and it’s just bound to get a lot better.

Anyway, today we’re going to talk about Patient Attraction Trends For The Rest Of 2020. Because here’s what happened, I personally thought your 2020 was going to be fantastic. I love that it was an even number. It was my 20-year anniversary of being in this industry. And I just– we were off to a great start and everything was terrific and then COVID happened. And that completely turned all of us upside down. However, it also created a massive increase in social media usage by would be cosmetic patients because we were all sitting at home, they were doing nothing, I personally was working. Anyway, that in turn created stiff competition among surgeons to grab that attention of patients who were ready for cosmetic surgery. So, while most surgeons are currently enjoying the surge of pent-up demand for cosmetic rejuvenation, nobody really knows what the future holds, do we? Now, that means if you want more leads, more inquiries, more conversions, more money and more growth, it’s smart to adapt your patient attraction plans accordingly. I would not do business as usual, because it’s not the business world as usual, it’s all changed.

So, I’m going to give you three patient attraction trends affecting you the most, as well as strategies to adapt for the rest of 2020. So, you end up having, if not a great year, at least an okay year. So, here’s number one, you’ve got to improve your brand. And the increase in non-surgical technologies makes this industry very attractive to non-core providers who want to cash in on the cash side of medicine. So now you’re competing for cosmetic revenues with internist, gynecologist, NPs, PAs, RNs, med spas, laser techs, and even estheticians. It’s time for you to brag about your extensive surgical training and experience, you really want to show off your medical degrees, explain board certification, so everyone gets it, show off your awards, your plaques, your PR, any of your pro bono efforts. Anytime you’re speaking in medical associations, if you do YouTube videos, they’ve got to know. The patients have got to be educated by you on surgical versus non-surgical procedures. And you’ve got to explain to the patients via computer imaging when surgery is necessary to get the results they want. And then you show off your surgical expertise with your great before and after photos of your other real patients who had the same problem that you were able to fix.

So, the point being, make a big deal out of things that your competitors can’t, won’t or don’t. And, as Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Isn’t that the truth? It would behoove you to build your brand based on trust, safety and excellent customer service. There’s that Warren Buffett saying that says price is what you pay, value is what you get. If you don’t get out of the introverted mode and start bragging about how experienced and skilled you are. The patients aren’t going to know that. So please, think about that.

So, here’s number two, you have got to deal with discounting. Now when it comes to price, you can no longer ignore what prospective patients see in the marketplace. They’re bombarded with special deals and promotions. So, when price cutting is rampant, it’s confusing to patients to distinguish price from value. So, if you haven’t done a good job explaining why you offer so much more value than your price cutting competitors, these prospective patients don’t have a good enough reason to pay your higher prices. Please don’t take this lightly. Obviously, you shouldn’t compete on price alone, but you must compete on brand. That means that you spend more time and effort educating prospective patients on your superior skills and expertise, you give them a great result. And then you wow them with added value customer service. It’s the way you make patients feel that makes them willing and happy to pay more to get more.

By the way, a big reason, especially surgical patients, the reason they’re paying more to get more is not only because they see that you’re terrific, they’re looking for peace of mind, they’re looking for reassurance that they’re not going to make a mistake, they’re going to get a good result and they’re not going to regret it. So, they’re paying extra to not have a problem more or less. So, keep that in mind. So, the point is to spend the time, the money and the effort on attracting the best quality patients to you who care more about your status, and then you develop a relationship with them. And then you keep them coming back because they value you and your services more than saving $1. That’s the point. Not everybody’s a good patient for you. It’s only the ones that are willing to pay a fair price for your expertise and skill. That’s a good patient for you. So, with that said, you also want to encourage and acknowledge these preferred patients who help you grow your practice organically by returning to you, referring their friends and giving you great reviews. So, check out [inaudible 06:39] to automate that process, we’re having really good results from it.

And then here’s number three, social media dominates. Posting on Facebook and Instagram used to be a fun thing to do and now it’s a must. It’s time to learn how to get traction using these communication platforms since this is where all the eyeballs went. You can post for free using educational and entertaining posts. However, what most don’t understand is these platforms are only showing your posts to five to 10% of your audience, since they want you to pay for advertising. So, they’re literally strangling the list that you think you’re talking to and you’re not. So, to combat that, be sure you’re connecting with your patient list using email as well, since most of your patients are not seeing you on social media like you think they are. So maybe some will see you on email, some will see you on social, you have to cover your bases. And then here’s another challenge with social media, you don’t own the data, the platforms can turn off your account on a whim and make you disappear from the platforms. Now to combat that issue. Have your posts linked to your website so you can collect your audience’s name, email and cell and then nurture that relationship. Now here’s some more strategies to help you gain social media traction.

Ad campaigns; now, as you are painfully aware, you have been trying to advertise or if you’ve been trying to advertise on social media platforms, plastic surgery does not get along well due to the nature of our content. You’re one step away from porn, you’re seen as persuading consumers to have medical procedures and you’re hurting the consumers self-esteem says Facebook. And of course, social media is not hurting their self-esteem but you are, that’s insane. Anyway, that’s why it’s so difficult to get your ads approved. You are forced to pay to play to get the audience reach you need, because they’re strangling your organic reach. But do you see the catch 22? The platform’s force you to advertise yet they won’t approve your ads. Isn’t that crazy? So, here’s what you do. It’s called user generated content. Now, those are the comments your audience makes about your posts. So, most of your efforts should be going towards user generated content that engages your audience to interact with you and share you with their friends.

Now, you see plenty of examples of this on social media, when the surgeon asked his audience a question and has them respond below. And now you see a stream of responses. So, I was just checking it out before I started. So, here’s an example. The surgeons in the kitchen cooking his favorite pasta dish, and he asked the audience, what’s their favorite? Or he’s chilling by the pool, and ask the audience what they’re doing this weekend. Or a really good one is to get a puppy and have the audience suggest names for it. You can also use polls and contests to get your followers to leave comments. I actually read a stat that said 85% of consumers find user generated content more influential than brand content. So please spend extra time on creating content that inspires your audience to engage with you. Then there’s influencer marketing. Now influencer marketing is having someone with a good following of loyal fans talk you up by posting about you to their followers, in hopes they will choose you for cosmetic rejuvenation when they’re ready. You want to start with your current patients to find out what kind of following they have. And if they would be willing to spread the word for you. You can also Google influencer marketing platforms, who will partner you with influencers. However, consumers are waking up to the fact that most influencers are promoting for the sheer motive of getting paid or getting free services. And that could hurt your brand. So, you want to choose wisely. I personally would keep it as authentic as possible. Hopefully, you’ve got some influencers in your own patient database who come to you anyway. But now that you’ve talked to them and they open up and tell you yes, I do have, you know, 50,000 followers. And then all they want is some– they’re doing Botox with you, Botox and filler let’s say. It’s really time for you to get out of your shell and say, you know what, if you wouldn’t look at, let’s do this on face gram or FaceTime or I’m sorry. Let’s shoot this up on Facebook or put it on Instagram. You want to ask in today’s world, or at least have your staff asked, because this is still a really good one. Anytime you can brag about you through a third party is the point. Everybody believes it more coming from a third party than directly from you. So that’s what the goal is here. It’s kind of like having testimonials, but done in a more friendly, educational fun way.

So, here’s the conclusion of all this. As you can see, a lot goes into your branding and your social media presence. And it takes effort since you’re the star of the show. Isn’t that crazy? If you didn’t have enough to do, you also now have to do the marketing, the managing, you have to lead the team, you have to do the surgery, you have to make sure that patients are happy, you have to do the consult. It’s insane. So, today’s perspective patient, that’s the issue though, they want to get to know you. So, you have to show them not only your surgical side but you also have to show them your fun human side. So, all I can recommend is please block time for it or better yet, have somebody on your staff who is the roving reporter and they’re in charge of following you around with an iPad or an iPhone and catching you doing things in the day in the life of a plastic surgeon. And that’s your content. Okay.

So, I hope this was helpful to you. And if it was, please check out Beauty and the Biz. And I would love for you to subscribe. And then of course, if you enjoy the content, I’d love to get a review from you. And if you’ve got any feedback or questions or topics you want me to cover, just leave me a message at my website at catherinemaley.com or I can see you online. I love following all of you online to see what’s up although I also same thing. I’ll follow you and then it drops off and I’ll be like, where did he go? And it’s because they’ve decided they don’t want to show it to me anymore until you pay and that’s insane, but it’s true. Anyway, you can follow me on Instagram at catherinemaleymba. Thanks so much and we’ll talk again soon.

Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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