Plastic Surgery Advisor

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How To Generate More Leads

Everybody wants more leads. I’ve been working with cosmetic surgeons, facial plastics, and plastics for 23 years. And what do you all want? Leads. So, I’ll give you some ideas to get them without breaking the bank.

We’ve got way too many marketing channels in today’s world. I mean, you have to be everywhere and that takes time, money and lots of effort. So, I’m going to give you an idea of how to be everywhere without killing yourself doing it.

Hopefully, you have a marketing plan. A lot of practices don’t. They are just winging it. But please have a marketing plan to include the website SEO, Google reviews, and photos. By the way, if you’re not going to do anything else in marketing, the best thing you could possibly do is get as many Google reviews as you can and as many before and after photos as you can and be sure you’re watermarking them.

AI is becoming a real issue in our industry since it’s so easy to “doctor” photos so you want to be able to prove your photos are legit.

So, we’ve got social media, YouTube videos, link building, press releases, directories, social media advertising, blogs and articles, and Google AdWords. So that’s all the external marketing you should do. I highly recommend you concentrate 50% of your time, money, and efforts on external efforts.

But then please don’t forget about internal marketing. All of you have so many patients that came to you willingly. They know, like, and trust you and they would come back for more, I promise. So, in that case, for internal, you want to do again social media to attract new patients, but it’s also to hang on to your current patients.

So, internal marketing includes retention, loyalty clubs, referrals, events, direct mail, texting, and email marketing.

So that’s it in a nutshell, the marketing mix. So, here’s my rule when it comes to marketing… if you can’t track it, don’t invest in it. Practices used to throw a ton of money at all sorts of things like charity events, newspapers and TV. You couldn’t track any of it, so you never knew if it paid off.

In today’s digital world, technology can track every click and action you take. They know everything about us. So at least use that to your advantage in today’s world. You should be able to put a dollar in and know exactly how much you got back.

And in our industry, I would say as long as you’re breaking even and you have a good marketing mix, there’s a nice backend. That means this patient you broke even on, can be worth 10X their initial value when they return, refer their friends, give you a great review, allow their before/after photos to be seen on the Internet and share you social media.

Because most cosmetic patients are not “one and done”.  If they care about their appearance today, there’s a really good chance they’ll care about their appearance next month, next year and for years to come. So, once you have a patient, hang on to them.

So back to tracking, there are many tools you can use to track your numbers and results. There are tracking phone numbers, call recordings, promo codes, Bit.ly Links and UTMs that allow marketers to retarget us when we indicate we have interest in something. I own an exercise bike because I click on an ad or banner, and then it followed me around the Internet and then offered me 10% Off and I bought one.

And then there’s tracking software, such as Google Analytics and vendor analytics galore. So, we can’t blame it on I don’t know if it’s working or not. They’ve got the data, and they’ll give it to you.

So, here’s the major point from my favorite saying:

“The key to success is not doing more. It’s doing more of what works.”

One of the issues is that you like the shiny object stuff. I think, frankly, you get bored, and you’re like, “Yeah, let’s try that. Let’s try that too.” And that’s not helping because now you’re diluting your efforts. And your impatient for results, so there’s a good chance you quit before the results have had a chance to surface. So, I’m going to explain a way to focus your efforts so you see results right away and later.

First, follow your successes. Doesn’t this seem logical to you? Anybody who has given you money, go get more of it from them or those similar to them. Look at your revenues and who they came from.

How old were they? What zip code were they in? What procedures did they want? Now market to them again and other people like them since there’s a really good chance if they gave you money once, they will give you money again.  

So, if we really want to simplify things, what are the three things working the best right now for leads? It’s SEO, then Social media which seems to be taking over, and then there’s always going to be word of mouth. Always, always, always. In our industry, there is nothing better than the girlfriend talking to the girlfriend about you. That is golden. How can we make that happen more often is the real question.

So knowing all of this, you want to develop your own content creation machine. And just hear me out. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. So, what do you do all day? You do consultations, right? So, here’s what you do. You get a staff person to grab their iPhone and iPad, and you have them take photos and videotape you doing a consultation with a real patient. You can do it with staff, but I like to use a real patient, and I’ll tell you why.

Where are you the most comfortable? The answer is in your own office doing a consultation, right?  You’ve done it over and over. You know it so well, you’re very articulate. You’re comfortable. I would have the background with your degrees, you know, showing things off. And if the patient doesn’t want to be seen on the video because this is going to go out on the Internet, tell them you will only videotape the back of your head because it’s not about the patient at this point. We want that video to be focused on you doing your thing which is explaining your procedures.” You will also be more natural if you’re actually consulting with a real patient or use a staff person if you have to and be sure you get the proper consents.

So, it’s a typical consultation that lasts around 20 minutes and includes you listening to what the patient wanted, you offer your recommendation, the patient asked you the typical FAQs about pain, scarring, etc.  Now you have this raw video. So, here’s what we’re going to do with it.

First, you’re going to grab the audio out of it, and now you can turn it into a recording, so it can be a podcast. By the way, I have a podcast, Beauty in the Biz with more than 250 episodes. Do not start a podcast unless you’re really committed to it. It’s a lot of work because it happens every week. So, the audio can go on your podcast, you can put it on your website, you can Twitter it, and everyone forgets about LinkedIn. I would definitely hang out on LinkedIn. And you know why? When the economy is uncertain, you want to attract new patients who still have money and who are least affected by the economy and last effected by the economy.

Now you’re going to transcribe the audio from your consultation. And it’s so easy to go to www.fiverr.com and have it transcribed for under $50. It used to be $5 but inflation is raising those prices too.

Now you have, 1 to 10,000 words, and you’re going to turn those into articles, blog posts, consumer guides, press releases and RealSelf questions. And again, you can upload your own LinkedIn educational newsletters.

Okay, now you’re going to take the video and upload it to Facebook video, Instagram reels, YouTube long and YouTube shorts, LinkedIn, Vimeo, TikTok and your website.

By the way, video is everything. Please get comfortable with it. It might help if you grab your iPad or iPhone, and just talk to yourself so you get used to being filmed. Of course, you will think you are awful, but with practice, you get used to it, and you just get better at it. We all are terrible at something when it’s new, and then it gets easier.

Okay. And all that is left is the photos to be uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

So, do you see what we did? We took one 20-minute video and repurposed it for different marketing channels so now it’s 21 pieces of content.

But actually, it’s not just 21 pieces of content. It’s more than 100 pieces. You know why? Because when you do that consult and edit the video, you’re going to segment it out.

You edit the video into 1-2 minute segments addressing one FAQ at a time. For example, the patient asks “What’s the downtime for a breast aug?” You run that through your content creation machine and now you have 21 more pieces. Then the patient asks if they are going to have a scar. So you take that 1-2 minute segment and run that through your content creation machine and that’s another 21 pieces and you do until you have exhausted the FAQs.

And that’s how you build your digital footprint all over the Internet so would-be patients keep seeing you everywhere and google sees you as an authority and ranks you over your competitors.

But you’re not done. Now you want to watch the data to see if the content is getting clicked on, liked, shared, commented on, and questions about it are coming up. That means you have a proven concept that is of interest to your audience. So, now you advertise about it.

Please do not advertise until you have a proven concept. Advertising before testing is a huge gamble because you don’t know what the patients want or are interested in. Nobody does until you test it. So now that you have a proven system, now you turn into a social media ad and I would start with Instagram. However, consumers are clicking and scrolling like crazy ad has to include super eye-catching graphics and headline to even get noticed.

And I’m sorry to say, it’s got to have a killer call to action with a tight deadline like $1,000 Off for 24 hours. I don’t love to advertise that way, but it’s worth testing.

So how do you execute something like this? Because right now you’re probably saying, “Are you out of your mind? How am I going to do all this?” and here’s the answer…

The world of marketing and advertising just got a whole lot easier, thanks to these two apps. The first one is Canva.com. It’s kind of like the graphic designer you never wanted to hire, because now anyone can design ads, banners, signage, or edit videos.  Canva is out of Australia. They are not even public yet, I don’t think, and they’re already worth like $26 billion and growing. It’s quite remarkable.

The second app is GPTchat AI software. AI is coming at us really fast so I suggest you check it out and play with it. For example, you can upload the transcribed audio from your consultation and ask AI to, “regenerate this in a more friendly voice.”

And you can keep regenerating the content in many different ways. It’s really amazing what these two technologies can do for you.

However, I’m not recommending you get involved in all of this. You have already had to adapt a lot. You used to be the surgeon, then you had to manage staff, then you had to become business owners, and now you have to be the marketer too. So crazy!

I recommend you check it out just so you know what’s going on, but then let your staff do it for you and make you look good.

But we’re forgetting one more vital piece to your content creation machine. Any time you’re going to put something out there, please tell your own patient list about it via email marketing.

I don’t care what everyone says about email. It’s proven over and over that you’ll always get a much better return from email marketing because the audience knows you. I’ve tested this every which way and every time I test it against your own patient list versus the Internet world of strangers, The email list gets a better response every time.

The secret is to make sure its informational, has a call to action, and always remind your patient list to Forward to a friend. Share with a friend. Tell a friend, bring a friend. Keep reminding your patients you want more patients just like them.

And that is how you get more leads. Of course, if you need help with this, you can schedule a comp consult with me at www.CatherineMaley.com.

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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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