Starting a medical aesthetics practice is no walk in the park. Like most small businesses, those early days of operation can be extremely challenging. Margins are often tight as you seek to hire a well-functioning team, form your business plan and provide your start-up services. Local awareness of your practice may be low as you seek to build a customer base and set in motion your marketing strategy. You might find yourself needing more direction on how to grow your aesthetics practice.
First off, be patient. It takes time to grow your practice. To be successful you will need to earn the loyalty of your current patients as well as bring in a continual stream of new patients. It won’t come overnight, but with time and continued strategic effort, your practice can grow into a thriving, regularly booked med spa.
With these goals in mind, read on for our four suggestions of how to best grow your practice.
Your services speak for themselves. Do everything to make sure your treatments are delivered in a professional, safe manner by specialized injectors who deliver great results.
How can you know that your results are up to standard? If patients are regularly coming back for return appointments, you are on the right track.
First, you will need to invest in the best medical aesthetics training for your injectors. While there are many BOTOX and dermal filler courses available, check out our guide on finding the BEST training for your staff here: BOTOX Training Courses.
Next, it might be tempting to try and provide as many services as possible to your patients. However, if you add too many treatment options too quickly, quality can suffer, your marketing can become muddled, and you might find your budget overextended. Start with specializing in a few treatments. Try to become a household name in your local market for your main treatments.
Realize that the ‘bread and butter” for most med spas are found in their BOTOX and filler treatments. Make delivering results in these core services your first priority.
Grow as your practice is able, while always making sure the highest standards for treatments are being reached. Focus on outcomes and you’ll start blazing a path to growing your aesthetic practice.
It's not enough to just get a new patient through the front door. From your first marketing interactions through their tenth treatment and beyond, patients need to feel that they are a priority for your practice.
Make sure you are working to build a relationship that is long-lasting and incentivizes them to come back again. For example, you should be reaching out to them after their appointments about booking follow-up appointments. This should happen in the office or through follow-up emails or phone communication.
Make sure to regularly take patients' temperatures about their experience. Send patient experience forms to see any areas of improvement. Make sure to get their email and phone to send out promotions, information about new treatments, and other relevant information. (Of course, you need to make sure they opt-in to these services).
Phone conversations are some of the most important moments that show you value your patients. To learn sample scripts and tips to help your reception desk nail their calls, read:
Answering Patient Phone Calls.
The fact is, patients have multiple options when choosing an aesthetic provider. Developing a relationship with each patient starts with the first visit.
If you have done your part providing excellent services, results and prioritizing your patients, word-of-mouth referrals should begin to flow in. Don’t be afraid to ask your existing patients for referrals. If you’re not receiving any, there could be an issue with the visit itself or the results.
While some referrals should come naturally, focus your efforts on encouraging your patients to refer their friends and family. An incentive such as a rewards program or treatment discount can help nudge your patients to pass those referrals along. Make sure to post and mention your referral program in-office and also in your online content.
In addition to referral rewards, encourage your patients to share their experiences on their social media accounts. Patient content is the most generative for referrals because prospective patients see results from people they actually know. Often would-be patients won't trust a company until they hear from existing patients through reviews or patient content. Encourage patient-generated content through giveaways and incentives. (For more tips, check out our guide to social media marketing).
It may be tempting to offer your services on a site like Groupon to boost your bookings. While this strategy can have a place, realize that most of these patients are looking for a deal that gives you the slimmest of margins. Plus, they will likely never come back again. Instead, focus on the patients who have a relationship with your practice. They are most likely to refer friends and family who, like them, would likely develop a long-lasting relationship with your practice.
Your patients are the best ambassadors for your practice!
Developing a strong marketing strategy is key to bringing in a continual stream of new patients.
An effective marketing strategy needs to be multi-faceted–covering many different communication platforms to reach new and existing patients. As you are able, focus on basic marketing pillars such as emails, text, social media, paid ads, etc. Each of these platforms helps keep your practice in the forefront of your patients’ minds and extends your visibility to potential patients.
It may seem intimidating to effectively tackle all the different marketing channels. This is why developing a strategic business marketing plan is necessary! Give your practice the best vision and tools to grow, by creating a plan with measurable goals and monitoring. Read our page on creating a med spa marketing plan to learn more: Med spa Marketing Plan
Make sure your practice’s website holds a prominent space on the internet. SEO, search engine optimization, is the process that helps increase your visibility in prospective patients’ search results. Simple practices such as page linking, improving website speed, providing content that matches patients’ search questions, etc. can dramatically improve your Google ranking. (Dive deeper into improving your website's SEO, by checking out our SEO Comprehensive Guide).
Lastly, realize that as you grow larger, you should seek to automate your processes. Replacing manual marketing with automated processes saves time, creates a unified front, and helps you segment the needs of different demographics within your base. For example, new visitors could automatically trigger welcome emails, while a dormant patient should be offered a one-time offer to get them booking again. (Learn how to transition in our Guide to Email Automation).
In all your marketing channels, make sure that your unique brand comes through. If done well, your marketing can keep your practice relevant and visible in reaching new patients.
The success of your practice depends on your ability to scale and continually reach new patients. As you focus on delivering excellent results, prioritizing patients, encouraging word-of-mouth referrals, and investing in your marketing, you are setting your practice’s future up for growth.
Even within aesthetics’ competitive market, intentional growth strategies can lead a new practice to become an established and thriving medical spa.