Aesthetics Marketing: Identifying Ideal Patients
Next in our series of 10 Tips for Marketing Your Aesthetics Practice, aimed at helping new injectors to get their aesthetics practices off the ground, is our second tip…
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2. Identify your ideal patients
Let’s take a look at why identifying the ideal patients you’re looking to attract to your aesthetics business is important and how they help to focus your marketing activities.
Why you need ideal patient avatars
We totally understand your reluctance to exclude anyone from your marketing – no-one wants to think they’re missing out on business, after all! This is not the aim of this exercise.
The reasoning for creating these avatars, also known as personas, is to focus your mind – and, as a result, marketing activities – on your ideal patient. As the saying goes, “aim to please everyone and you’ll end up pleasing no-one”.
By targeting a specific type of patient, your messaging – if successful – will simply be more appealing to this audience.
A good example of this can be found by considering the treatment imagery you use. Let’s say you offer ethical medical aesthetics treatments designed to enhance the patient’s natural features. A patient looks at your Instagram account or website and sees photos of over-filled lips or “frozen” faces. Straight away there’s a disconnect between your services and your messaging.
This means you are likely to attract patients who will be disappointed with your service because it isn’t what they’ve been led to expect. This patient is unlikely to be happy with a natural-looking result which may lead to bad publicity (word of mouth, online reviews, etc). They may also be less suitable for treatment as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a possibility.
There are patients who will be more valuable to your practice from a purely business perspective. The trick is to build a holistic ideal that represents these patients. This is not just about looking at patients from a financial point of view. You should also be considering factors such as those who will benefit the most from the treatments you offer. These are likely to be your happiest patients and the ones who are the most valuable in terms of word-of-mouth recommendations.
How to create ideal patient avatars
You can create as many ideal patient avatars as you like but it’s best to start with no more than three. These avatars or “patient personas”, represent the types of patients you want to attract and you should use them to inform all your marketing decisions.
Think about the types of treatments you will be offering, your pricing strategy and your location. Now consider who you believe would most benefit from your treatments, who will be able to afford them, who is nearby and how far people would likely travel to see you, etc.
Use these answers to form the basis of your avatars and work from there.
Make them into fully rounded human beings – give them each a name, how old are they? are they male/female/other? think about what media they consume – are they on social media? Which channels? What newspapers do they read or websites do they visit? Whereabouts do they live? What are their lifestyles like? Do they have kids? Do they have pets? Do they drive or take public transport? What kind of music do they listen to?
Get to know your ideal aesthetics patients to tailor your offering
This exercise may seem silly but these simple questions – and there are so many more – help you to tailor your offering to resonate with the audience.
For example, knowing whether someone drives or not will help you to know whether it’s appropriate to include driving directions and local parking information in your communications. You could apply to the local council for time-appropriate parking permits that your patients can use. Or you may want to work out a deal that includes paying for their parking in some situations. These are the sorts of insights your ideal client avatars should provide.
Knowing more about their lifestyle, if they have children, etc. can inform the times they are most likely to be available for treatments and you may wish to tailor your working hours accordingly. Even questions which may seem random – such as asking about their favourite media and music – tie in to the kind of music you play in your clinic, any publications you may wish to make available for people to read and, potentially, where it may be best to advertise.
Considering their entire journey from wherever they are (home, workplace, kid’s school, etc) to their aesthetics appointment will also feed into improving your customer care. This is often overlooked despite it being an extremely important area of marketing!
If you’re looking to make a marketing decision, start by thinking if your avatars would like it or if it would be useful to them. Would they remember it positively? Would they tell their friends about it? Would they Instagram it..?
Lastly, remember to keep your avatars in review and add to them over time as your practice expands.
Let us know how you get on if you put any of the advice above into practice – we’d love to hear how you get on!
Remember to check out our 10 Tips for Marketing Your Aesthetics Practice article for the full rundown. For further information and advice on attracting new patients and converting them into loyal clients, check out our Business Marketing for Aesthetic Medicine eLearning course.