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Teaching Your Practice to Market Itself (Ep.183)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and teaching your practice to market itself.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits. Now, today’s episode is called “Teaching Your Practice to Market Itself.”

Some surgeons have a “one and done” mentality so they spend a fortune advertising for new patients and their staff spends a crazy amount of time working those “leads” to find the diamond in the haystack who is ready to move forward with surgery.

Other surgeons realize its smarter, easier, cheaper and faster to create a great experience and connect with their patients so those patients, in turn, refer them to others who also become surgical patients.

Neither is the right way; however, creating a referral-based system teaches your practice to market itself. That way, you energize your staff, attract more of your ideal patients, deepen your patients’ engagement with you and solidify your own commitment to build a practice worth talking about.

⬇️ Click below to hear “Teaching Your Practice to Market Itself”

AND Referred Patients = a Healthy Practice

In teaching your practice to to market itself, the health and success of your practice can be gauged by this simple factor – how many patients refer you to others they know. If you don’t know the answer, pull a report called “revenues by referral source”. 

I have surveyed top cosmetic practices all over the US and the average mature practice gets 45% – 70% of their revenues from referrals. That’s good to know and tells you where to spend your time, money and efforts proportionate to external advertising efforts.

And, if your percentage is less than 45%, that indicates you spend a lot more time, money and effort attracting new patients to replace these “one and done” patients who are NOT bragging about you, which is the key take away with teaching your practice to to market itself.

But here’s what we know… referred prospective patients are more likely to convert to paid procedures, and more likely be willing pay a premium for the added social proof of a referral.

That leads to lower advertising costs as well as labor costs since these are highly qualified leads that convert, and that leads to increased staff satisfaction and morale.

Here are strategies to grow your own referral-based practice so that you can begin teaching your practice to to market itself…

Develop a Referral Mindset

This starts at the top. Your staff probably treats your patients about the same way you treat your staff. And, if you have a customer service mentality, then your team will likely adopt one as well.

Think about ways your everyday behavior might be affecting your practice’s ability to generate referrals while adopting this mindset, “The surgeon takes care of the staff, the staff takes care of the patients, the patients take care of the practice”.

Give your patients ”Braggable” Service

This starts with the right team and everyone in your practice is part of customer service. This idea must be drilled into everything you and your staff do, think and say. This is a core aspect of teaching your practice to to market itself.

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

You can train someone to do the tasks required; however, you can’t train them to be naturally friendly, kind, and compassionate. Hire those innate characteristics and people skills.

Never-Ending Improvement

Regularly meet with your staff to remind them of your vision and standards of behavior you expect and how important customer service is to your practice’s survival. Have them read your reviews, both good and bad, have them review before/after photos of great results and make a big deal out of thank you gifts and cards you get from your happy patients.

Give to Get Mentality

Focus on the question, “How can we serve our cosmetic patients better than we are?”  This question makes your mind think of how you can add value to your patients’ lives and that changes everything. Find ways to empower your team to create, deliver, mend, and extend the total patient experience.

Exceed Expectations

Identify every potential touch point of a patient’s journey with your practice. Do a patient walk through with one staff person focused on visual, another on smell, another on auditory and another on kinesthetics. Now brainstorm how do we make this experience with us even better to help in teaching your practice to to market itself?

Surprise & Delight

Everyone loves surprises, so how could you incorporate them into your practice?  For example, when a patient puts down their deposit for surgery, thank them with a goody bag with pre-surgery products to help with scarring and/or faster recovery.

Be Different to Stand Out.

Look at what your competitors are doing and do the opposite. Examples include: No wait or Starbucks is on us, “We want you happy guarantee”, give patients the morphed computer print outs and anything else you can think of that would differentiate you.

Get Social to Get Referrals

All of your efforts above should be highlighted on social media since this is engaging and authentic content worth sharing and can grow your reach exponentially to help in teaching your practice to to market itself.

Interact with your audience on social media and encourage them to participate by asking them questions, getting their feedback and inviting them to share their thoughts and their selfies!

Use these strategies to set up a systematic approach to generate word-of-mouth referrals so your cosmetic patients voluntarily participate in your marketing and attract new patients to you so that you’re now teaching your practice to to market itself.

That’s how you teach your practice to market itself.

So if you like this content, I have something new for you.

It’s called the Cosmetic Practice Vault and it’s chock full of my business and marketing strategies in easy-to-follow training videos, swipe and deploy graphics and proven scripts for your staff. Think of this as your practice playbook moving forward.

During the introductory period, you get lifetime access and strategy calls with me.

You can check out the details at


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Picture of 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.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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