Whether you’ve reached a professional zenith or are just starting out, marketing and branding should be high on your “to do” list, right under patient care. You might be a seasoned cosmetic surgeon with hundreds or even thousands of satisfied patients, but most of the time, good word-of-mouth won’t be enough to help your practice reach its full potential.
How can you take control of your professional image and reach more patients? Here are five things to keep in mind.
1. Know your competition
This will help you differentiate yourself from your peers. Highlight your achievements, board certifications and the menu services your practice offers so that patients and potential patients can easily see how you stand out from the competition.
Do you specialize in specific laser procedures that your peers don’t? Target that specialty in your marketing materials.
2. Assume the patient’s POV
If you step out of your shoes as a cosmetic surgeon and into the shoes of a potential patient, you could find that your views on marketing change radically.
While you may think that offering discounts is a generous move, it may make a potential patient feel nervous. She might assume that you aren’t experienced enough to have a full patient load, or that you’re not a top-notch provider and have to drum up business with enticing giveaways or discounts.
Consider how your patients want to feel every step of the way from consultation to procedure to follow-up.
3. Build trust
You and your staff will attract and keep patients and build your practice by establishing and nurturing confidence and trust.
You could be the world’s leading authority on MOHs surgeries, but if your receptionist makes constant scheduling errors or your office manager has a temper that results in run-ins with patients, that only works to whittle away at how patients feel about your practice.
Pay attention to how your brand can help patients feel safe and secure in your care and make sure to build that vernacular into your website and marketing materials.
While you may be trained across a variety of cosmetic procedures, keep in mind that patients gravitate toward surgeons who specialize in a few-or even a single-procedure.
If you’re known as “the nose guy” or “the body sculpting queen,” that niche can attract patients to you over other colleagues who may be the proverbial jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none. It doesn’t mean you have to drop other areas of the field, but it’s a strong branding tactic that can draw patients to your doors.
5. Keep your website and social media current
Your website should be the first focus of all your branding efforts. Include a gallery with written and video testimonials from satisfied patients. And if you do specialize on one or two procedures, make sure to include several testimonials from patients who received those procedures.
Another layer of website maintenance is social media. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to master Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+ and others all at once. Pick one or two and focus your branding efforts there.
Cosmetic surgery practices don’t usually consist of single-visit patients but rather ones who grow with your practice over months and years of careful, expert care. Branding builds the foundation for these long-term relationships. It’s a process of repetition so the patient is introduced to-and reminded of- your skills and how she can benefit from them.
For more resources, check out our cosmetic surgery financing for patients.