Even without being a marketing genius or having tons of budget to spend on advertising, there are some simple steps you can take to efficiently grow your aesthetic clinic or medical practice.
What you need to keep in mind when working on growing your business:
- Make yourself a business annual plan. Success only exists when measured, and that’s what ultimately fuels all efforts and commitment
- Getting new clients is great, but your current client portfolio certainly bears opportunities at a lower cost
- Without growing your costs, there must be opportunities to allocate more budget to your marketing efforts
- Your network can help you
- Any advertising campaign should come with a proper measurement plan, so every penny spent is worth the cost
Building an annual business plan to grow your aesthetic business:
There are a few things your need to consider before getting in front of your Excel spreadsheet:
- What have been your results month by month in the past 2-3 years, or since you got started? What’s the trend?
- What have been your main sources for new clients acquisition? (advertising, word-of-mouth, existing clients promoting your business, local clients searching nearby practices, etc.). If you can’t answer this question, you need to start gathering this information from your existing clients!
- Among all the potential sources you can think of, what have worked best so far, and where do you need to improve? You can’t afford to rely only on one or two client acquisition channels if you want to grow your business, stability is not what we are looking for here.
- Come up with potential actions for every single source, paying or not.
Once you’re there, you’re ready to calculate the most important metric that will support your whole business strategy: how much are you ready to spend to acquire a new client? In marketing words, what is your target cost per acquisition?
To answer this question, you need to calculate the average amount a client spends at your practice in total, including further interventions if your clients tend to come back after a year. That is your “lifetime value”. Out of this average value you need to extract what goes to your overhead costs and what’s your net profit. If you are serious about growing your business, you will reinvest the totality of your net profit for a couple of years or until you reach your objectives.
In this case, your average net profit on a new client will also be your target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). This is what you can work with to spread budgets on the different client acquisition sources you have listed, and from there you can build a nice spreadsheet budgeting your marketing efforts and revenue forecast.
Leverage on your existing patient portfolio
If you started your business a while ago and have gathered some patients information, you own data many people would pay a lot of money to obtain, because it’s worth gold.
First thing first, you need to make sure you manage your patient record in a clean and safe way, non-only because it will help you use it in the best possible way, but also because it is a legal obligation to keep your patient personal data safe.
Then you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategy. As scary as it sounds, you can get started on your own with a few simple steps:
- Make sure you get some feedback from your client after their treatment is over, and that they hear from you
- Make sure you get some news for them at least twice a year. A new product, a new service, some prices evolution, a new package of services
- Set reminders to get in touch with your clients after a few months: ask them about their health, recovery, scar healing, side-effects… And take the opportunity to invite them to consider other interventions if they’re happy with the first one
Use your budget efficiently
There often are small opportunities, even in small clinics or individual practices, to cut some overhead costs that you can reallocate to your marketing strategy and client acquisition efforts.
Check this article about how to cut costs in your medical practice. In a nutshell, there always are some cheap or free tools to help doing small tasks otherwise done by paid employees or expensive software.
In a nutshell, digital tools are your best friends as there are now plenty of free or very cheap apps for every possible tasks. The daily management of your clinic, the patient record, Cloud solutions, boking system, phone operator… If you breakdown your day in simple tasks, there is probably a free or very cheap tool out there that will help you reduce its cost in time or fee.
Build a measurement plan for your marketing efforts
If you are going to spend money on an advertising platform, make sure you can control what is your exact return on investment for every campaign: you need to make sure you’ll be able to identify the source of any email or phone call you get.
A simple way to achieve this is to start with digital: Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook, Instagram, etc. It takes some skills and time to advertise on these platforms, but even getting some help to manage your campaigns will still be cheaper than most offline advertising channels. And if you have only one question to ask to your marketing consultant or agency, it will be about KPIs, how they plan to measure success, and how they can give you an accurate Cost Per Acquisition for every single campaign they will run.
At the end of the day, you need to evaluate everything you do against this one metric, your target CPA.
Promotions and events
As you’ve understood by now, one key to success is to keep in touch with any contact you have established with existing or potential new clients. And the best way to do it is to create some news for them that they might actually be interested in:
- New promotions, reduced cost on certain interventions, package prices, private sales for existing clients, you name it. Make sure you factor the cost modification in your target CPA
- Events, open doors, your participation to bigger events. Organize a breakfast or sundowner some day to talk openly about your services, answer questions, present some cases
- Grab some industry news that might interest your audience: changes in the regulations, new products, new studies. This also will demonstrate professionalism and give more opportunities to publish on your social media.
There are many ways you can acquire new clients, but everything needs to start with a solid plan and a way to measure your success. Don’t start a campaign if you’re not sure you can identify how many leads you got through it.
Don’t put all your efforts in one acquisition channel, you need to consider all the possibilities before you decide what your focus will be next month. Good luck to grow your aesthetic business!
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