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Sep 18, 2018
by Vivant Skin Care
The majority of aesthetic professionals cite providing excellent client care as their top priority, followed by maintaining their personal/practice reputation, growing the business, and making more money. To reach to reach those goals, especially the last two, you’ll need to align your goals with the mechanisms driving consumer choice.
Blogging. Social media. Advertising. Word of Mouth. Referrals. Location. Pricing. These are all motivating factors, but how do you know where to focus your efforts?
A recent study published by the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides some insights. The results analyzed and weighted the relative importance of different variables in driving consumer choices in medical aesthetics.
What are the main takeaways?
Experience was the number one motivating factor in consumers’ choice of a provider. Consumers prefer someone with at least a decade of experience. Keep in mind that the study was conducted among plastic surgery patients. Someone weighing their choices about a surgeon is definitely going to be very concerned about experience. For aesthetics, less than a decade’s experience is likely not a deal breaker, but the point stands that experience counts in large amounts. So if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Make sure your marketing efforts reflect that attribute. If you don’t have years of experience, showcase your education.
Experience is more than just having a lot of years of practice under your belt. The real value is in expertise. Develop a specialty. Introduce advanced treatments into your offerings so you can build your track record and knowledge in that particular specialty to be the most trusted professional in your area. And always take before and after photos so you can share your results and grow your reputation as an expert.
Referrals Matter. A Lot.
For most aestheticians, repeat business from existing customers and customer referrals are the largest sources of revenue, so it’s strong patient connections are incredibly important. Correspondingly, the method of referral was the second-biggest driver of consumers’ choices. Consumers are highly influenced by friends and family and people who have visibly great results. When those people talk favorably about your work, that’s a huge benefit. Of course, the reverse is true as well. Complaints from a dissatisfied patient can be magnified by word-of-mouth, so it’s extremely important that you do everything you can to make sure a client leaves happy.
Encourage your clients to share their experiences with their friends and on social media. You can place a tent card on the desk at check-out, add a blurb in your email communications, or invite feedback on social media. You could offer incentives and rewards for referrals that bring a new paying client as well.
You Need a Strong Online Presence
While referrals are a large part of the business, 52 percent of respondents said that their decision was “influenced very much or extremely” by the clinic’s website. You don’t have to post on Instagram every day, though it certainly won’t hurt, you do, at the minimum, need a professional and informative website. It’s not just for the practical reasons of providing hours, services, and contact information. It’s also to give potential customers an idea of who you are and what kind of experience they can expect. If your competitors have a website and are active on social media, someone shopping for aesthetic services will be drawn to them. You won’t even be on the radar.
Make the most of what you’ve got. If it’s not your wealth of experience or expertise in a particular specialty, play up your personalized treatments or your attention to detail. Nurture your client relationships. Ask for referrals. And build your online presence.
Remember, that your practice extends well beyond the treatment room. It’s in the way your clients talk about their experiences. It’s in the way they look. It’s in the images you share on Instagram. It’s even in your hashtags. #getglowing
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