How To Use IGTV For Your Medical Spa

How To Use IGTV For Your Medical Spa

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Video is a great way to engage your audience. IGTV is the longer form video option on Instagram that we can describe as close to having your own YouTube channel, but attached to your Instagram name. You can use IGTV to be able to grow your brand awareness and foster a connection with your brand. One advantage as a brand is if you post onto IGTV, as of the time of recording this, as a newer feature, Instagram is giving it priority within the app by giving your followers notifications of a new IGTV post no matter where your posts fall on that user’s feed….so great for brand awareness.


Here at AI, we’re excited about IGTV for our clients. Our client’s followers can get a better look behind the scene and at the treatments they provide in addition to developing a deeper trust with the provider. For clinics looking to target more millennials, IGTV allows them to connect on a platform they are already spending so much time on.

YOUTUBE or IGTV: I still like YouTube to upload videos because you should think of YouTube as a search engine. It is where people are going to find answers to questions. So if you know you are getting a lot of the same questions over and over again in consultations, this is a great place to upload a video of that answer and use that as the title of your video because that is “searchable.” One advantage of being able to post your videos on Instagram though is many clients may have audiences built up on IG and not wanting to start again with building an audience on another platform. If they post on IGTV, their Instagram audience automatically has access to these videos so they have an instant audience who can view them. For clients fortunate enough to have built a YouTube audience already, IGTV is a great place to tease new video content to cross their Instagram audience over to YouTube.  

So now that you are thinking of using IGTV, need some help thinking of what to post on there? We like to break them down into three categories:

Behind-The-Scenes: Think of this style as being more like a documentary. You can let people in on VIP look of  what a day in your personal or business life looks like. This may be anything from taping a procedure you have consent on to a brand intro video. If you want it to be more personal, try shooting a “get ready with me” style video at home of what you are using on your skin on #SELFCARESUNDAY!

 

Tutorial: If there is anything your clients are searching for on YouTube, it is probably a tutorial of some sort. Your clients are already seeking information on things like how to apply eye cream or if a beauty tool you may sell like LightStim is right for them.

 

Commentary: This style of video is what we are recording right now! I could have done this as a podcast because it’s really just me going on and on about my ideas on IGTV, but doing it on video helps put a face to the brand. Your commentary could be anything relevant to your audience from “Top 5 questions you should ask your injector in a consultation” to commenting your views on a hot topic of the moment like Kyle coming out to say she dissolved her filler and what products can be dissolved with a video of what that looks like. Commentary videos can even be testimonial videos of your clients!

 

Number one rule is to not overthink things, so get a few ideas on paper and map out at least 12 you can use to drip out one video per month over the next year. And pro tip: be sure to add a cover/thumbnail to your IGTV video. I believe it’s 9:16 and you can make one in Canva from scratch or use a photo from the shoot with some text overlay and make it look GOOD!


The 5 New Instagram Updates You Need to Know!

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As you know, our favorite social media platform is constantly changing! Sometimes it seems impossible to stay on top of everything, but the most recent 5 updates are ones that we are really excited about! Read on for a quick summary and how you can implement some of these to make your profile more engaging to your followers!

SPOTIFY SHARING
We are so excited about this one! Sometimes music can be a lot more powerful than words, and if you are experiencing some good vibes and want to share, its super easy! Just tap the 3 dots on your Spotify profile and choose "share to stories".  And there it is! Your stories just got a lot more interesting!

BRANDED FACE FILTERS
This one is another really powerful tool!  You can now create your own, branded Instagram stories face filters by using Facebook's AR camera platform.  This way you can maximize your branded impact with your followers while standing out and having fun!

GROUP VIDEO CHAT FEATURE
What a fantastic way to stay close to and engaged with existing and potential aesthetic clients! Instagram now lets you chat with up to 6 people at the same time.  Imagine being able to do group consults are answer the tough questions with similarly interested people.  This feature will prove to be incredibly powerful for your aesthetics practice.  Look out facetime!

COMMENT MODERATION
So happy this feature is now available.  Instagram has now made it possible to identify and block offensive comments.  So much better than Yelp!

NEW EXPLORE PAGE
Instagram has revamped their explore page and has created a New Channels feature which allows you to see a variety of topics at the top of the page.  This is great because it allows you to follow what is happening within our industry as well as to watch what is happening in other industries that you find inspirational!  By customizing these channels, the explore page will seem even more curated.

Here at AI we have been having a ton of fun playing with these new features!  Stay tuned and maybe you will see some of our custom face filters.  As always, any questions or comments, please reach out!  Have you played with something amazing? Created something new? Please share! We love to see the success stories of our clients.

All our best,
Nicole + Jasmine
PS: Want to stay connected to how social media constantly impacts our Aesthetics businesses? Be sure to click on the link and join our conversation in Aesthetics Business Live, our FB group dedicated to social media and business development best practice sharing.

Social Media Online Summit For Aesthetic Practices - May 19th!

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Want to Build A Monetizable Social Brand that Boosts the Influence of Your Aesthetics Practice?

Click HERE to register for May 19th! 

In this summit, we go through the tools, tips, and timesavers we use at Aesthetic Influencer to help aesthetic practices build their influence, gain clientele, and boost their business using social media. 

You will learn:

--> How to create a solid brand story for the practice and cut through the noise to stand out in your market as an influencer.

--> How to integrate a local strategy to attract patients in the area surrounding your clinic. 

--> The top 5 things you need to do to get started immediately.

--> Which management tools and creative apps we recommend to help save time and maximize your efforts.  

 

 

The end result? A monetizable, high-converting platform that boosts your aesthetics business in a simple, easy-to-implement way.

For more information and how to register, click HERE!

$300 a Day in Retail in 5 Easy Steps

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5 Steps to Selling $300 of Retail in Your Next Treatment

Once you start to delve into the numbers, it becomes apparent that having cosmeceuticals as the catalyst for significant growth of your practice really doesn’t take a whole lot.

Now, don’t take that to mean it doesn’t take any effort because it certainly does, we mean is it doesn’t take a lot of dollars.  For example, if you want to make $6,000 in cosmeceutical revenue per month, and your practice is open five days a week, that means you only have to sell $300 a day in cosmeceuticals, which, in the big picture, feels and sounds very doable. And that’s because it is. Here’s how to make that daily dollars goal a reality in just a matter of one treatment:

Step 1 - Build Trust

The saying is true, trust is the foundation of any strong relationship, and that goes for your clients, too. When building trust with your client, the key is customer service.

When you carry out top-notch customer service, you turn a “cold” consult into a warmed up client that’s ready to convert because they trust that you’re not just after their money, but their best interest.

Some ways you can demonstrate exceptional customer service is by taking time in the form of having a friendly conversation before jumping straight into business, taking adequate time to listen, and being thoughtful and helpful in your responses. Surprising and delighting your clients by going the extra mile to follow-up, giving samples, or doing whatever makes sense for your business is also a surefire way to impress.

Keep in mind, trust can be built right off the bat, but it often takes a few touch points to really solidify that trust. So, know that you have to stay the course to see the payoff of 1) a loyal client and 2) a loyal client that will buy more than just a treatment.

Step 2 - Give the Best Consult of Your Life

Consults are what kick off your relationship with your client, and are your first impression, so you have to make sure you nail this piece to set up yourself up for success with sales.

In a great consult, you’ll want to take in all of the client’s concerns, offer a very accurate skin diagnosis (the use of visual imaging here makes a huge difference because your client can see all of their sub-surface damage), and a strong recommendation for skincare.  

For a consult to result in a cosmeceutical sale, you’ll need to set the expectation for your client/patient that to get the results they desire, they’ll want to combine their treatment with the proper skincare products.

It’s also important to note that if your patient is having a more aggressive treatment such as needling or lasers, they’ll be required to use your post-care product recommendation, so set that expectation by asking the patient if they prefer to hear their product knowledge during the treatment or after.

This step also reinforces that your client is going to be educated (another key step to successful cosmeceutical sales) and that by using the products you as the provider recommend, they’re protecting their investment.

Step 3 - Stick to Solutions

As the provider, it’s easy to step into your expert role and forget to relate to your patient. However, one of the most crucial steps in building trust is in making your patient feel comfortable with having a conversation with you because they feel like they understand you, but more importantly, that you’re making an effort to understand them.

You can do that by providing solid solutions centered around the patient's concerns and fighting the urge to focus too much on what you see. As you continue to build trust and you’ve helped your client solve the most relevant issues for them, you’ll be able to expand your conversations more into the problems you see as important from your perspective.

Step 4 - Educate, Educate, Educate

Taking time to educate your patient will not only help build trust but also assist in overcoming objections your patient may have during your consult or after their treatment. Because when you educate your client, you have the opportunity to solidify your expertise and explain why you’re doing what you’re doing both with your treatment and product recommendations.

One of the best methods to use in regards to educating on cosmeceutical products is features and benefits. For example, rather than recommending a product that “contains retinol” for your patient's concern over signs of aging, you’ll find a more engaged response of you educate your patient on a product that contains retinol, which stimulates collagen and increases cell turnover, meaning it will immediately address their concerns of wrinkles and pigmentation.

See how that response shows them that you know what you’re talking about and you’ve tailored your recommendations and proposed solutions to their specific concerns and aren’t just giving them a blanket recommendation?

Step 5 - Recommend 3 Products

Three products. No more, no less. If you recommend more than three, it’ll be overboard, and you’ll lose your client by throwing too much product at them. Start with a good antioxidant, retinoid, and sunscreen, everyone needs those. And these are products that are game-changers for the skin and work more effectively than products such as lip balms and cleansers. By garnering excellent results for your clients with those products, you’ll create more opportunities to sell additional products in future appointments.

Bonus Tip: Manage Objections

Now we realize these steps make it seem simple to get a “yes,” (and sometimes that yes will be incredibly easy to get) but even if you do all these steps, you’re still bound to encounter some objections.

To get over those objections, you need to manage them, and you’ll do that by clarifying your client’s concerns and offering specific solutions to those concerns. Again, this may not dissolve your client’s objection today, but you’re setting the stage for making future sales consistently.

Once you put these steps into practice, you’ll quickly see that:

1) Securing $300 in cosmeceutical sales becomes easy once you get into the groove of your sales process.

2) If you can do this successfully with one client, there’s no reason why you can’t do it with two or three of your patients per day.

Do the math on that, and suddenly, with persistence and process, you’ll be bringing in an additional 5-figures a month and 6-figures a year for your practice.

And the sky’s the limit on how you can use that revenue to fuel your growth.

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The Top 3 Areas to Reinvest Your Cosmeceutical Revenue

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When you hear “increased revenue,” what do you envision?

More commas and zeros in your P&L spreadsheet? Padding you and your staff's paychecks?While those things are certainly nice, they don’t illustrate the true potential that lies within a bump in your cosmeceutical revenue.

We’ve talked extensively about how to grow your cosmeceutical revenue using educational strategies and digital marketing tactics, but what we haven’t dived into is what you can do with that added budget to continue growing your spa or practice to steadily and sustainably bring in more revenue in every area of your business.

When it comes to continuing to grow your revenue, the key to long-term growth is reinvesting. These are the top three areas of your practice you’ll want to funnel those funds from your cosmeceutical sales:

1) Uplevel Your Equipment

Services are every practice’s bread and butter, so if you let those slip, you’re going to find all your subsequent revenue streams will suffer.

One of the best ways to make sure your services, and the results they provide for your clients, don’t become subpar, is to upgrade your current equipment that is in need of a technological or operational upgrade or invest in new equipment that will allow you to expand your service menu.

If you’re looking at the long-game strategy with this reinvestment, by buffing up the quality and selection of your services through new equipment, you’ll also expand your opportunities to continue growing cosmeceutical sales revenue through selling more at-home care regimens and complementary products.

2) Grow Your Team

So, you’ve steadily increased your sales through services, and you’re well on your way to seeing a big increase in your cosmeceutical and retail sales, but you’ve also realized with growth comes great responsibility…

Okay, that may be a touch dramatic, but in all seriousness, it is your responsibility to evaluate and evolve in all areas of your practice when you’re experiencing significant growth in one or two key areas. And one of those areas is staffing.

By reinvesting your cosmeceutical revenue into team growth, you ensure that your business has the workforce to keep up with client demand and make room for more schedule availability, provide a higher-caliber customer service experience, and keep your staff’s attention and time devoted to the tasks they’re best at and enjoy most.

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3) Build Out and Beyond

Once you’ve reinvested into the two biggest elements of your practice with your cosmeceutical revenue (services and staffing), now you can take a look at some of the outlying areas that could use a boost.

A few smart and strategic reinvestment areas include:

Building out a beautiful retail area - Maybe you’ve only sold cosmeceuticals through client conversations or only have a few shelves of product to display in your lobby. Those are great ways to get started, but once you see increased strength in your cosmeceutical sales, it’s in your practice’s best interest to dedicate a front-and-center space for your retail that’s visually appealing and gets your clients interested in the products you sell before they ever step foot into your treatment room.

Creating an enticing staff incentive program - Even the most dedicated of employees do better with incentives. If you actually want to make cosmeceutical sales a full-team effort, creating an incentive program that rewards your employees for peak performance is a good way not just to boost sales once, but keep your staff invested in the overall growth of your practice.

Open a new office location - Believe it or not, cosmeceutical retail revenue can be the sole source of funding for opening another location of practice.

As you can see, by reinvesting your cosmeceutical revenue into your practice in the right places, you stand a chance to grow your entire practice exponentially. And if you repeat your retail prices at multiple locations, you can envision how retail reinvestment can truly pave the way for building an empire.

So, when it comes to leveraging cosmeceutical sales, what are you waiting for?

Want to learn more about how to drastically increase your cosmeceutical sales to grow your practice? Click below to get our FREE Aesthetic Retail Roadmap and Guidebook!

Click here to download!

3 Digital Marketing Strategies You Need In Your Practice to Leverage for Increased Cosmeceutical Sales

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We don’t have to intimately know the ins and outs of your business to make the bold claim that your entire audience is online.

Yes, your entire audience. Even if you cater to mid-lifers and those that are older, the largest growing population of internet and mobile-device users fall into this age demographic.

Gone are the days where digital marketing meant just having a functioning website and posting to social media semi-regularly. Embracing the full digital marketing landscape is important because your audience has come to expect being able to interact with you across all platforms, including social media.  American consumers repeatedly report that the information they find on social media has a direct effect on the decisions they will make, not only for healthcare, but also for their aesthetics purchases.  

When it comes to booking a consultation or purchasing a service or product, they will likely check social media to find others who have been made happy with your work and recommendations. Digital marketing, and specifically social media, give you the opportunity to interact and build trust with your clients without you physically being there.  It does the talking for you.  So, how do you tap into this and make it work for you?

And if you can meet them where they are, and use strategy to leverage your online presence, it can mean serious business by way of increasing your cosmeceutical sales!

1) Use Social Media As a Conversation Starter  

You know your business needs a social media presence if you want to keep up with today’s digital marketing standards…that’s a no-brainer these days. What’s not so intuitive is how to use social media to make an impact on sales. Maybe you regularly promote your services, monthly promotions, and products on social media, but all you hear are crickets.

That’s because social media isn’t really meant for selling, it’s meant for socializing (hence, the social in social media). The more you think of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as a place to meet and mingle with potential clients and customers, not sell to them, the easier job you’ll have of moving those people further down the sales pipeline a little later on. While selling directly on social works, it almost like a cold call.  You want people to be able to “warm up to you” so that when you do ask them to purchase, you already have a pseudo-relationship started, and your conversion rates will be higher.  

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For example, rather than asking people to purchase their skincare regimen straight through social, use your presence to promote an open house-style event at your spa or practice, where you extend a welcome to come spend time and learn from you. Then, at your event, you’ve already sufficiently warmed up your potential clients and will be more successful with converting them into a paying customer.

You can also promote educational and entertaining content such as blog posts, demonstration videos, and client testimonials to build interest and credibility around your business without directly pushing for a sale. We strongly advocate this here at Aesthetic Influencer. People want to know who you are, and social media is a fantastic place to show off your best!

By using this predominately non-selling strategy, it makes your promotional posts, for example, when you directly promote a cosmeceutical product launch, much more effective because at this point, you’ve built anticipation and credibility within your audience.

2) Nurture and Sell Through Your Email List

Speaking of “warm” leads (aka people who are somewhat familiar with your business and are more likely to purchase at this point in their buyer’s journey), your email list is a fantastic pool of primed buyers.

Except…email, no one really loves email. Email may feel antiquated, but it’s still one of the best digital marketing tactics to get your audience to click “buy" or book a consultation with you. However, this still requires some strategic thinking.

It’s not enough to just ask for your potential client to buy with every single email you send; you still need to woo them.

One of the most effective methods of doing that is by bringing subscribers onto your list by providing high-value content that educates and informs and continuing to provide that nurturing content balanced alongside emails that directly promotes your products and asks for your subscriber to buy.

An example of this would be writing an email that educates on the wonderful benefits that growth factors have for skin, and if they are interested in experiencing those benefits themselves, you can purchase your full regimen by clicking “here”.  In our industry, education does many things, but most importantly, it builds trust, and helps you sell.

3) Generate Consultations With Highly-Targeted Ads

In case you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon already, know that this isn’t any rickety old cart that’s about to go bust with the next wave of digital marketing trends. We all know the power of a good aesthetic consultation when it comes to the opportunity to sell skincare products. Want a good way to have a consistent flow of them coming in? Read on.

In fact, it’s currently the most powerful advertising platform in the world…

That’s right, if you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about Facebook ads.

Facebook has the greatest targeting capabilities that have ever been available to business owners, making them a fantastic incorporation it into your digital marketing strategy.

From being able to target your exact ideal client demographics down to income and interests, to targeting by zip code and even to people who like the pages of your competitors, Facebook ads allow you to gather high-quality leads who you know will be interested in your offerings.

Facebook ads also allow you to track activity that you can directly tie to your cosmeceutical sales so you can determine the immediate return on investment of your ads (in case you haven’t learned by now, we are HUGE fans of tracking metrics here at AI).

The good news is when you consistently practice these strategies, your return on investment grows greater over time.

Because while someone might take three, six, or nine months to buy from you after being nurtured through meaningful and educational content via compelling ads, social media, or being on your email list, someone who only gets asked to buy over and over again not only isn’t going to buy, but will eventually tune you out altogether.

Of course, successful cosmeceutical sales are also supported by a variety of additional factors such as knowing your metrics and having a reliable sales process in your practice, but when you incorporate a multi-faceted digital marketing strategy, you’re ensuring your sales success for the long haul.

Any questions? Please don't forget to join our fabulous facebook community, Glowing + Growing in Aesthetics,  where we personally take on all of your questions and challenges!  We can't wait to see you there!

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4 Must-Have Items You Should Receive From Your Cosmeceutical Products Rep

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Possessing a thorough knowledge of the cosmeceutical products you sell is a no-brainer. After all, how could you expect to truly get a client to buy into your at-home care plan or regimen if you don’t demonstrate that you’re an expert in what you offer?

However, that’s not to say it’s up to you to be doing all the legwork when it comes to rounding out your product knowledge. Between managing an office, helping provide treatments, and a host of other tasks you may be responsible for, it helps to know you’ve got a great cosmeceuticals rep you can count on. Here are the top four things you should receive from your rep that you’ll want to make sure you leverage to make the most of their expertise and your time:

1) Education

To know every single thing about every product you carry would be wonderful, but to do your research, gather all the information, and know how to present it to both your team and your clients can be quite the undertaking.  And that’s exactly why product reps exist. They know everything there is to know about the product they’re selling, and their knowledge is also there for you to rely on.

Whether it’s providing a lunch and learn for your staff so they can ask questions and learn the proper applications and contraindications, or it’s getting a complete one-on-one debrief and demonstration on the product without having to spend hours scrolling through and reading online materials, your product rep’s education is there for your disposal.

Work with them to find the best way to learn about the product so that you and your team are well-equipped to handle educating your own clients adequately and efficiently.

2) Marketing Materials

While it’s your job to market your retail through educating your clients, it’s not your job to figure out the other marketing components.

However, that is your product rep’s job.

In addition to providing a plethora of information about the product, cosmeceutical reps should have a marketing toolkit they can pull from to provide you with the proper materials you’ll need to promote your products in a way that’s visually appealing and aligned with your brand’s messaging.

Whether it’s brochures, information sheets, social media and newsletter graphics, or product images you can use on your website or create your own brand’s marketing collateral, product reps will be able to give you the marketing foundation for that products’ sales success.

3) Testers

If you think of sales as a one-two punch process, testers are the “one.”  When it comes to cosmeceutical products, testers are your chance to give your client the “try before you buy” experience without having to wait for their next visit to close the sale.

Most buyers simply want to get a glimpse of the look and feel of what they’re considering before pulling the trigger on their purchase. This is why we try on clothes in dressing rooms, get to take cars for a test drive, and get a free class pass at fitness clubs.

With testers, your product rep is giving you the opportunity to demonstrate, educate and give your client the hands-on experience they need to make their buying decision.

4) Samples

Back to our analogy, samples are the “two” of your one-two punch and can be used strategically for a couple of reasons:

1 - To give your prospective client more time to try out the product. This approach is best used when you’ve demonstrated the product with your tester, but your client is still on the fence. You’ll just need to make sure you put your follow-up process in place to close the sale at a later date.

2 - You’ve successfully sold a product (or products) and want to prime your client for a future product sale by gifting them a sample. Again, your follow-up process should be in place for all the products you’ve sold to ensure your client is enjoying them, seeing results, and has all their questions answered, but you’ll also want to ask about any samples you provide as well.

In essence, samples are another element of the marketing toolkit that your cosmeceutical rep possesses and that you’ll want to leverage to lead to your sales success. And, as with everything, knowledge is power, so now that you know what you need, don’t be afraid to ask!

Your cosmeceutical product rep should be providing all these elements upfront, but if not, that’s what they’re there to help you with to reach and exceed your sales goals.

It’s time to take the reins on your retail, let your rep help you get a handle on it!

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Successful Cosmeceuticals Sales Start Here!

 

If we’re being technical, the act of making a sale is quick. As soon as someone hands over their payment, you’ve officially made a sale.

The transaction happens in the blink of an eye, but anyone who’s sold, well, pretty much anything, especially cosmeceuticals, knows that there’s a much more extensive process to making a sale.

It’s a journey, almost like a relay race, and if your team isn’t 100 percent on board with walking your client through the sales process properly, you’re not going to make it to the close. Here’s how you can use your team to control the structure of the sale and ensure the baton doesn’t get dropped in the hand-off.

The Provider’s Seal of Approval
Every cosmeceutical sale should start with the provider for a couple of reasons. Introducing a product too soon in the process can be confusing for your client or can come off as an unwelcome advance. Sales is about relationship building, thus presenting a sale too soon can feel like proposing on date three…it’s a little off-putting.

The provider’s seal of approval anchors the sale and sets the tone for the rest of the process.  While the first reason is important, the second is truly critical because the provider is who legitimizes the medical use of a product purchased at your clinic, spa, or office.

The provider has the strongest tie of trust to the client, and they hold the position as the leading expert in the practice or spa, so it’s crucial their recommendation is properly communicated to the staff to carry out the sale.

Educating Your Client to the Sale

Because providers rarely have time to “sell,” or sit and go through the details, applications, and information on the product, it’s critical that staff take over this process and bring it to life. But, as we previously mentioned, their process and message must align with the provider’s. If it doesn’t, or the staff recommendations deviate, that’s where clients become confused, trust is breached, and a sale can be lost.

The way to ensure that this miscommunication doesn’t occur is by using supporting staff experts such as aestheticians and nurses to educate the client’s way to the sale. Some of the methods of educating to the sale include explaining the features and benefits of the product, how to use it, and why they should purchase it at your practice or spa versus alternatively-labelled products that claim to have the same results from different providers who may not be reliable in their cosmeceuticals’ quality.

Through the education process, a client will decide whether the product is for them right now (yay!), but even if it’s not the same day, know that the sales process still isn’t finished…

Closing with a Consistent Message

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “the fortune is in the follow-up,” whether you have or not, know that it’s entirely accurate. There are hundreds of reasons why someone might be a “no” on buying a particular product or service today, however, that “no” can turn into an effortless “yes” (thanks to your educational sales process) down the line. That "yes" might come a day or two, a month, or even more than a year later, but you won’t know until you follow up.

Let your prospect know they can expect someone from your team to be in touch within a particular time frame and stick to that time window.  Also, know that your prospect might get back in touch before you follow up, which is again, why everyone on the team from the provider all the way down to the support staff who answers the phone need to be on board with a consistent message.  

Once you have this key component of your sales process solidified between all the members of your team, it’s time to start closing those sales and changing the lives of your clients.

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The Number One Rule of Cosmeceutical Retail You Never Want to Break

One of the most critical keys to the success of any business, no matter the industry, is having a thorough business plan.

According to a survey conducted by Palo Alto Software, out of the thousands of business owner respondents, those who completed business plans were twice as likely to successfully grow their businesses or obtain capital than those who didn’t write a plan.

Not only does having a plan allow you to gain a firm grasp on all the moving parts of your business such as revenue streams, profit margins, and methods for how you’ll market your business, but this plan also sets the direction of your focus. After all, you can’t meet your goal if you don’t have a map to help you get there, and the same goes for retail and cosmeceutical sales.

Why Your Retail Needs Its Own Plan

So, at this point, you might think the biggest retail mistake is not having a business plan, which is partially the case, but more so, the number one rule of retail you never want to break is not treating retail like its own business unit or entity. Yes, retail will tie into other revenue streams and elements of your business plan. However, if you truly want to make retail a highly profitable section of your business, which it should be if you want to experience long-term sustainability, you need to outline a plan that focuses solely on the actions you will take to grow and expand your retail revenue.

The First Step In Creating Your Plan

As we previously mentioned, your retail plan will inevitably tie into other elements of your business, for example, treatments and services, but that’s not where you’ll begin. Retail has numerous facets that make up the bigger picture, and the first place to start is your goals. If you created a pie chart of all your business revenue, how much of the pie would you want retail to take up? Now, if you take that overall percentage and divide it into monthly totals, then weekly, then daily...how much retail do you need to sell per day in your clinic? When you take this step of mapping out your ultimate goal and breaking it down into smaller, incremental goals, you’re able to get a realistic picture that guides the creation of the rest of your plan.

Reverse Engineering Your Remaining Retail Plan Components

Once you’ve mapped out your monthly, weekly, and daily goals, now you can move forward with the actual merchandising and selling of retail. What most clinics do is purchase a mass quantity of inventory and then they’re stuck with having to move all that product. This approach immediately puts your business in a deficit, and you risk losing money or only breaking even on your retail in the long-run.

By setting your goals first, then you can reverse engineer the rest of your plan. For example:

  • Merchandising: How much product should you have on-hand and how can you source those products so that you’re achieving the best profit margin?

  • Educating: How will you train and educate your staff so that they feel empowered and equipped to sell your retail with confidence and expertise?

  • Selling: How do you plan to position your product lines with your treatments and services? How will you and/or your team approach the sales process and point of sale with your clients?

  • Promote: When will you run product promotions? What strategies and tactics will you use during these dedicated promotions or pushes? How will you fit retail into your spa or clinic’s overall marketing plan?

As you can see, with the proper planning, retail can transform from simply being an additional offering for your clients to being a highly profitable income source for your business.  The question is, will you resist the urge to dive headfirst, or will you take the time and few extra steps up front to ensure your future success?

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These Quick Hacks Make Marketing Your Practice On Social Media Even Easier

Does this sound familiar? You’ve setup your Facebook business page, you’ve tweeted, you have yourself on a semi-schedule to “do it for the gram”, and you even snap to yourself, but all you are getting back in return is crickets? Don’t worry, you're not alone, but these hacks will get you back on track to building brand loyalty and relationships through social media.

#1: Ditch the code for the wi-fi: It is no secret Facebook is looking to take over the world, but they need small businesses to succeed to help make that goal happen so be sure to take advantage of this little hack. They can turn your business into a wi-fi hot spot for free so all people need to do to get online and do some work while waiting for a treatment is “check-in” to your practice or medical spa. We all know it feels good to have 10,000 fans on Facebook, but local love that can walk through the doors is priceless. When those people check-in to your spot on Facebook, all of their friends have access to seeing that as a story on their news feed which may draw a few more eyes to explore what services you offer or spark a few inquiries to their friend that result in a referral. After checking in, Facebook also gives people a prompt to like your page so you might even end up with a new fan!

**Read more about how to do this on Facebook's blog here.

#2: Get noticed while patients are catching up on their timeline: Be sure you are spreading the word about where you can be found on social media. You should have quality signage with clear calls to action about following you and what patients should be tagging their their photos with in your high traffic areas. We are in and out of a ton of offices, and while most will at least put a sign by check-out or in the waiting room, one often overlooked place is in the treatment rooms! More often than not, people are already mentally out of the door while they are at the checkout desk making their next appointment, but they might be scrolling around Facebook or Instagram while waiting in the patient room so give them a visual cue to remember to follow.

#3: Smiles are Instagram gold: Want to know why cat videos go viral on YouTube? People like things that make them smile and entertain them. Once people find you on social, don’t just bombard them with your promotions. Don’t forget part of the magic of social media is in entertainment and the ability to make someone smile. Don’t be afraid to post a photo of the surgeon making a silly face or even participating in some fun social media holidays because what the best business accounts do on social networks is incorporate bits and pieces of business as well as personal to leverage the full power of social media.


Which of these ideas sparked your interest? Follow us on Twitter @Aesthetic_Scout and tweet us to let us know!

 

Using Metrics to Optimize and Increase Your Practice’s Cosmeceutical Retail Sales

  Metrics make your retail work for you.

Metrics make your retail work for you.

When setting a goal of increased retail sales, one of the biggest mistakes a business can make is not calculating and analyzing their metrics. This applies to businesses in every industry, but it’s especially critical in the world of cosmeceutical retail due to the aesthetic industry having the unique edge of leveraging services and treatments to sell products. As you set quarterly and annual sales goals for your practice, there are a few steps you’ll want to take to ensure your goals have substance and they can successfully be met. The way you do that is by running reports, pulling your stats, and crunching the numbers.

Here’s how to get started:

Examine Your Metrics and Identify Success Patterns.  

Before we dive in, let’s start off with the big elephant in the room. Your bottom line. Yes, we’re compelled to jump to revenue and profits, and while that is obviously a significant piece of the bigger picture, there are other numbers we need to consider first. Because it’s these metrics, such as the number of patients in your practice, the average number of products sold per transaction, and service to retail ratio, among other metrics, that will help you grasp the full scope of your current position as a cosmeceutical sales powerhouse.  So, as you’re examining those aforementioned metrics, here are a few questions to ask:

  • How has your net number or ratio changed since the previous year, quarter, and month?

  • When did you experience spikes or upward trends in your numbers? Make a note of those time periods.

  • What factors contributed to an increase or decrease in your numbers? Did you have high employee turnover a particular quarter? Did you run a well-targeted marketing campaign?

As you can see, by running your numbers and analyzing your metrics, you’re better equipped to find causation and correlation between the actions you’re taking, or not taking, to increase your sales. When you run your reports, we recommend pulling numbers from the previous two years of your practice, if available, to help establish your baseline in the next step.

Determine Your Baseline

Now that you’ve assessed your metrics and identified your success patterns, or what actions create a positive trend in your sales, you’re able to determine your baseline. Without a baseline, you risk wasting time, effort, and resources on actions that haven’t proven themselves to generate a significant return on investment as well as being unclear on your progress as you move forward. It’s also important to note that if you’re more of a newly established business or your cosmeceutical sales have remained relatively consistent over the previous two years; this step is important for you as well, it’ll make things easier.

To determine your baseline, or your starting point to grow upwards from, calculate the monthly averages of your metrics by totaling your weekly sales and dividing them by the number of weeks in the month. Then, in addition to those monthly averages, total your monthly sales averages for January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December and divide by three to determine your quarterly average. Many client relationship and retail management software programs can generate these numbers for you, but it’s helpful to know how they’re calculated. You can repeat the process to find your yearly average, however, tracking your metrics on a month-to-month and quarterly basis will be the most beneficial as you monitor your progress and work to accomplish your retail sales goals.

Set Realistic and Actionable Goals

Alright, now that you have a clear picture of your monthly and quarterly averages as well as the actions that may have contributed to those outcomes, it’s time to set new goals for increasing your cosmeceutical retail sales. Beyond doing the pre-work for your baseline, the most important factors in accomplishing your goals is making them realistic and creating an action plan. For example, setting the goal of doubling your retail sales in the next quarter compared to the same quarter last year might be realistic or overly ambitious, it all depends on your baseline and the time and resources you currently have available to allocate toward your goal.

If your retail sales were lower over the previous year’s quarter, doubling those sales may be very reasonable, especially if you only sold retail passively alongside treatments opposed to this quarter when you plan to spend more money on advertising, staff training to increase product repurchase rate, and reassessing your gross margins. However, if you were taking some of those actions in the previous quarter and had a fair amount of retail revenue, but you’d like to gradually increase it, coming in with a goal of bumping up your sales by 15 or 25 percent might be more attainable. Once you’ve set your new metric to hit, it’s time to outline your actions because we’ve all heard the saying:

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Some actions we’ve already mentioned include bolstering your marketing efforts through ad campaigns (we highly suggest using Facebook ads for your business), influencer marketing and creating new and appealing promotions as well as devoting more time to staff education and training.  You can find all of these topics covered in our downloadable guidebook below, just click to receive your free copy.

Click here to download!

However, you might also want to consider hosting an event, forming strategic partnerships in your community, or reassessing the lines you carry. These are all broad ideas, so once you settle on a few to focus on per month or per quarter, now comes the time to break out all those actions into the details.  For example, when creating a new promotion, you'll need to develop the corresponding copy and images, subsequent flyers, email newsletters, social media posts, and advertisements. Then you need to set deadlines for implementing those tasks. See your plan out from start to finish, delegate tasks to your team (this can include the step of creating an actionable plan), and plot out your steps on a calendar.

Laser-focused action leads to results.

Stay On Top of Metrics for More Sales

Finally, as you make headway with taking actions associated with meeting your goals, you don’t want to let those metrics fall to the wayside.

Remember, what gets measured gets managed.

Set aside time in your schedule to stay on top of tracking your metrics by running weekly and monthly reports, and notice how the actions you’re taking are affecting those numbers. And most importantly, remain flexible to testing and tweaking.

If you see something is working, stay the course and get creative with more ways you can leverage that tactic. If something crashed and burned, make a note of it and shift some elements around to see if you can garner better outcomes. All in all, boosting your cosmeceutical sales is essentially a big experiment. You need to know what you’re starting with, the results you’re aiming to achieve and the steps you’ll take to bridge the gap. You may not hit the mark on your first try, but if you remain diligent with tracking your metrics and open to trying new tactics, you’ll be well on your way to meeting and exceeding your cosmeceutical retail sales goals.

The War On Snapchat

snapchat

The war between Snapchat and Instagram has been nonstop with new features being launched on both platforms left and right. Snapchat made itself more advertising friendly with their new Ad Manager and a business location geofilter, but everyone has been waiting on Instagram to add filters to their stories and today it finally happened. There are eight face-filters that were released today including a cuddly koala which may be a girl's new favorite filter since puppy dogs have been getting old, a new erase feature, the ability to add in a hashtag as a sticker to your post, and a rewind option so you can throw confetti around like kindness and watch it go back to where it came from. Zuckerburg alluded at the Facebook F8 conference last month to expect a ton of updates related to augmented reality so we know we have only scratched the surface of new offerings and can't wait to see what gets released next!

What is your favorite new filter released today?

Year Of The Bot

The improvements to the Instagram platform are never ending these days and almost hard for us to even keep up with. While Instagram may have shut down bot services like Instagress, there is another whisper of bot that we have been paying attention to, Messenger bots. We will say it once, twice, and you will hear us say it again: You will not be able to have a marketing strategy that ignores Facebook. Facebook’s trio of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps all hit the 2016 list of most popular apps on mobile. The more they can get users to stay on their platforms, the more ad space they can sell. The more they can get those three apps to complement each other, the more they can sell businesses on the fact that they need to be there too.

While we are still evaluating it ourselves, Marketing Land sites some marketers as looking at messenger as a new alternative to email marketing. While we still believe in the value of growing your own email list outside of social media followers, the launch of Instagram placement for click to messenger ads can allow you as a business to start an immediate conversation with your customer.

Are you using bots on your website or Facebook messenger for your clinic? Tweet us @Aesthetic_Scout and let us know your thoughts!

Why Selling Cosmeceuticals in Your Practice Helps Build Trust

Since we work in a service based industry, we all can relate that the number one attribute that makes the difference in our success is building trust with our clients.  Trust builds client loyalty and all of the rewards that come with it, including repeat visits, repeat purchases, and new client referrals.

Trust is typically built with providing good service and meeting/exceeding client expectations, but did you know that selling cosmeceuticals also builds trust?

There are three distinct opportunities to build trust in your practice with cosmeceuticals.

1.     Build trust by providing stellar recommendations.  Let’s face it: You are the professional. You know your client’s skin better than anyone else! Your recommendations are always going to be better than those coming from stores or beauty counters. 

2.     Build trust by providing opportunities through education.  Did you know that education leads to more sales than well-proven selling techniques? As we mentioned before, since you are the professional, your training and expertise are far more equipped to answer your client’s questions and help them reach their true treatment goals.  When you educate your clients how to use the right skin care through a regimen completely tailored to their specific goals and needs, trust comes naturally.

3.     Build trust by providing immediate solutions.  We all know that even the best skin care products take time to work, but the simple act of providing a recommendation on the spot of high-efficacy products fills the “instant gratification” gap that most of our clients have.

One thing about trust always remains true: trust gives you access.  Access provides opportunities for education and recommendations.  Education and good recommendations leads to increased sales for your practice!  Win-win… you benefit your practice by doing exactly what you love to do, which is best servicing your clients, and your practice grows along with it!

An additional benefit and takeaway is that you’re helping to meet the growing consumer demand from clients who want expert advice from a provider they trust.  They are increasingly ditching department store and pharmacy brands for professional product recommendations from their trusted providers in the aesthetic space.  In fact, the demand is growing so fast that the medically dispensed product segment of the professional market officially outpaced the rest of the professional skincare market in 2015 and is expected to remain that way for the years to come! This means huge growth for your practice by doing what you do best- making great recommendations with products you trust, and serving your very loyal patient base!

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Three Considerations for Retail Display to Boost Your Sales!

Here at AI, we are often asked to consult on creating success in cosmeceutical retail and decided it was about time to share our wisdom pearls with the world!  After all, our mission is to help support the aesthetics industry by sharing knowledge and experiences.  There are often misconceptions when there is a decision made to sell cosmeceutical retail. Many clinics think that the products will grow feet and walk off the shelf, followed by a nice chunk of cash magically landing in the bank account!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that.   When you make the choice to devote your time and energy to delivering results in the aesthetics world, it doesn’t always leave a lot of time to master the art of selling retail.  Fear not my friend- I am going to share some tried and true secrets that can help you really maximize your retail efforts with a few small tweaks to what you already have!

Believe it or not, your retail display is a HUGE factor in your sales because it is what paints the picture to your clients, otherwise referred to in this post as consumer, (because when they leave your office after the appointment, that is exactly what they are), that business is thriving and well, and your retail recommendations can be trusted.  Think about it.  When you go to the grocery store and want to purchase your favorite yogurt, do you want to search for it in the midst of a random group of yogurt? What if it is locked behind a cabinet door? Do you want to ask the grocer to unlock it for you? What if it is way in the back and only one left.  Does this paint a picture of fresh, or a picture of sketch?  The same rules apply to your display.  You don’t want to make your consumers work extra hard to buy something from you.  You don’t want them leaving thinking they cannot trust your recommendations.  If it is clean, easy, and in line with what they are used to seeing in a sales setting, you will win their trust and ultimately, the sale.

Does your retail display need a facelift? It’s easy to start by making just a few tweaks that will increase your sales without requiring a hefty investment! Here is a quick 3-step checklist to make sure your retail display is up-to-par and working for you while you work for your patients.

1:  Number of Products

The number of products you keep on your shelves is important.  You want the display to look healthy and that business is moving.  A good rule of thumb is to have 3-6 of each product on display at all times.  This way you don’t have too much inventory, it doesn’t look cluttered, but it is enough product to show that you do mean business and you have committed to selling the best products. Bonus: Products should be out in the open for people to interact with, touch, feel, and try.  Having to ask someone behind the desk to open a locked cabinet to see a product is very intimidating, and will scare a lot of your consumers away from making a purchase.  

 2: Testers, Testers, Testers

I cannot stress this point enough: put your testers out! Your clients (consumers) will buy a product that they can feel, smell, and interact with.  Put them out there!  Don’t worry about theft.  The money you will make by having testers available will far offset what you may lose by someone snatching a tester.  Bonus: your product reps will likely provide you with complimentary testers.

3: Eye Level is Buy Level

Place the products that you want to sell the most of where people can see them.  These would likely be your higher valued, more efficacious products such as treatments serums or creams.  This is considered prime real estate in the retail world, so don’t dedicate it to cleansers or lip balms that are more easily sold at your cash wrap or even promoted as a gift with purchase (big purchase, of course).  Bonus: when it comes to decorating, try not to dedicate more than 20% of the space to décor or signage.  Let the products do the talking for you.   

We hope these tips help you increase your sales and reach your goals.  Stay tuned for more marketing and social media articles.  For complete business and marketing awesomeness, join our private Facebook group, Glowing + Growing in Aesthetics to network with like-minded aesthetic professionals.

Click here to download!

3 Retail Goal Setting Tactics that Every Aesthetics Clinic Should Use

“Goal Setting” is a term that gets thrown around for just about everything, but for good reason!  In aesthetics, we always talk about goals, whether it is asking our clients what their treatment goals are, all the way to our staff business meetings when we are defining how many treatments and products we need to sell to reach our “goals”.  But in a busy world of injections, IPL, facials, peels, and clients, it’s not always easy to find the time to properly analyze business and set the appropriate goals for growth.  

Trust us- we were in the same boat when we first started, but we found a system that really worked for us and are sure it can help work for you.  While the full system is way too much information for a blog post, we will share with top 3 key points that can get you well on your way to setting goals that will strategically help you sell more retail!

1: Know Your Why.

Why did you decide to sell retail products in your practice in the first place? Was it to earn extra revenue? Was it to provide better service to your clients? Understanding your why will really help you to target how you want to grow.  Do you want to provide better service? Sell more units of your top selling products?  If you need some inspiration on identifying your why, we HIGHLY recommend watching this awesome video by Simon Sinek for an incredibly impactful 18 minutes of “why” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA

2: Analyze Your Business.

This can seem overwhelming, but when it comes to selling more retail, you don’t have to do a complete business overhaul.  Here are some things you can look at to help you find the gaps where you have room to grow: how many clients do you see each month, how many of these clients leave purchasing product, and how much retail did you sell last year?

3. Set a Benchmark Based Off Your Metrics.

Once you have answers to the above questions, it is really easy to see what is performing well, and where your retail recommendations may need some work.  A good industry benchmark to keep in mind is to have at least 50% of your clients having procedures or treatments with you purchasing at least one product.  If you have less than this metric, you know you can focus on promoting products with the services that can bring you revenue increases.  If you sold $50,000 in retail last year, and want to do $75,000 this year, a great thing to do is to break that into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.  For example, out of the average 261 working days per year, selling $75,000 annually in retail equates to selling $6,250 per month, or appx. $288 per day.  This is likely equivalent to selling a full regimen to 1-2 clients!  Reverse engineering your goals has its advantage because it takes something that is otherwise intimidating and makes it super achievable in your clinic.  It also can help keep staff motivated.  Bonus: remember to track everything.  What gets measured gets managed!

 We hope these tips help you increase your sales and reach your goals.  Stay tuned for more marketing and social media articles.  For complete business and marketing awesomeness, join our private Facebook group, Glowing + Growing in Aesthetics to network with like-minded aesthetic professionals.

 

Click here to download!

Boost Your Bottom Line This Holiday

Is your practice ready to set the stage for a successful holiday promotion?

 

Fall is in full swing which means Christmas is pretty much  tomorrow and it is time to get your holiday promotions started if you haven’t already done so. You know you should be taking advantage of holiday promotions at your practice, but gift cards are one item that tends to be forgotten about as a strategy to boost holiday sales. A great holiday gift card promotion can help position your aesthetic business for growth well beyond November and December into the next year as they can turn into an opportunity to also re-book clients between booking for follow-up treatments and asking gift card recipients to fill out a client card so they can receive future correspondence from your office.

Properly promoted gift cards can make an indulgent gift and terrific source of holiday cash flow to help boost your bottom line after slower summer months. As a start, set your office’s goals to 5% of your total service and retail revenue. Here are a few suggestions to get you started with reaching this goal.

Decide On Your Offer

While it may be easy to think to discount your gift card in order to get people to purchase such as offering a $100 gift card for the price of $80, in order to preserve the luxury of your aesthetic brand, consider offering a separate $20 gift card in addition to the gift card. This could help serve as bringing in two patients for the price of one if the person doing the gifting gives the added value gift card away as a smaller gift to someone such as a co-worker, or serves to bring them back in for another service if they decide to keep it for themselves. Who can resist a potential gift for themselves as they are gifting friends and family? One tip is to be sure to word your offering so that the value added gift card can not be used the same day.

Create Luxury Packages

It’s great to have gift cards for monetary amounts as an option, but consider putting together some luxury packages to help people visualize what they could be giving when purchasing a gift card from your office. During the holidays, you can be surprised at how generous purchases for their loved ones can be so don’t shy away from higher priced packages such a “A Year Of Botox.” It can also be profitable for you to combine services which customers can purchase at a percentage off to encourage the trial of services they may have typically never purchased. Entice your in-office customers with a few beautifully boxed and bowed items. If they are going to be spending top dollar, why not present their gift card in something worthy of the money they are spending instead of just a plastic card in a paper envelope?

Make It Easy

You have been collecting customer emails all year on your website and in-office so it is time to cash in on your office e-mail list with a holiday email marketing campaign. Typically the holiday season kicks off on Black Friday with people expecting great deals to pop up in their in-box so don’t disappoint! Be sure to schedule email and social media communication throughout your campaign such as teasers, reminders and last chance notifications. Get emails together now reminding your patients that the holidays are approaching. A sample of what that promotional plan would look like may include an email announcement which you will set to send out on Black Friday with an reminder email set to go out December 6th about your gift card promotion with the denominations and/or packages you will be offering. There are always the last-minute shopping bunch which are out there still searching for something amazing so be sure to set up two additional reminders right before Christmas on December 20th and then a final “last chance” notice set to deliver on December 23rd. This plan assumes you are setup to sell gift cards online, but if not, at least have an e-blast ready telling everyone where they can send an email to place an order.

When it comes to your office website, be sure to have the option for gift card purchases highlighted on your home page. Link this to a landing page stating the denominations, available packages, terms and conditions, and exactly how they can make a purchase such as link to buy or dedicated email address for purchase inquires if purchases must be done in person or over the phone and mailed. In your office, treat this promotion like any other promotion and be sure you have in office signage displayed in treatment rooms, the waiting rooms, and even the restrooms. Most of the people coming into your practice or medical spa are not even thinking about purchasing a gift card from you so don’t be afraid to put out a sign as simple as “Ask Us About Our Luxury Gift Card Packages.”

Get Social

Now more than ever, social media is making it easier for you to spread the word about your aesthetic business and letting your community know about your gift card promotion is one more way you can use platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to your advantage. It is very hard for any campaign to be successful these days without going digital whether it be through your email list, website, or social networking sites. If your practice or medical spa is on Instagram for example, you can create a beautiful post in Canva which is sized specifically for the platform. You can then post your new graphic creation and caption on your business Instagram account to promote to your followers.

To make your promotion go even further, if you have set up your Instagram account as a business account, you can pay to promote that post as an ad from within the Instagram application on your phone to a population segment of your choosing such as females between the age of 30-45 who are fans of Allure magazine on Facebook and are viewing your ad within a 20 mile radius of Calabasas, California. Did you know you could get that specific with your targeting now that Facebook owns Instagram? Perhaps you will even promote that same post again, but to men in the area on December 22nd and December 23rd as a last-minute gift option for panicked shoppers. The possibilities are endless with a clear promotional strategy and digital ads being in your control.

 

Jasmine Hill, MBA serves as a co-founder of Aesthetic Influencer, a Los Angeles based organization assisting medical practices with developing their brand voice and digital strategies. She can be reached at hello@aestheticinfluencer.com. You may also follow @AestheticInfluencer on Instagram for more tips on digital tools like Instagram and Facebook for your aesthetic business.

 

 

 

Should Your Aesthetic Practice Use Instagram Stories?

This article first appeared in Medical Esthetics. 

Instagram launched their Snapchat-like feature, Instagram Stories this week. The feature lets you share a series of photos or videos (up to 10 seconds) to your followers that will disappear from view in 24 hours. Some aesthetic offices have already adapted to Snapchat, and the platform has given rise to several plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists becoming celebrities by dominating the Snapchat platform and solidifying their place as Aesthetic Influencers. Many of you know who ‘Dr. Miami’ is by now even if you don’t Snap! Yet most physicians and aesthetic offices, haven’t embraced or have been slow to make continuous behind-the-scenes content for Snapchat because let's face it, there are only so many hours in a day.


When speaking to offices about whether they should be on Snapchat—and why or why not they are not—one of the biggest challenges we often hear is that it is hard to find people to follow and difficult to browse content like on Instagram, so building an audience there has been tough. Even larger brands and influencers who have been on Instagram for years have had trouble converting those followers to Snapchat. With the introduction of Instagram Stories, you don’t need to build a new audience on a new platform and can instead continue to focus on one platform.

 



We always counsel that unless you have the team to be able to focus on multiple platforms and produce great content for them, it is better to focus on creating great content for fewer platforms. Many people we spoke with over the past two days with a decent following on Snapchat were surprised to see how much better the reach and engagement on their Instagram Stories were on the first day even though they had spent months growing their Snapchat audience.


Will Instagram Stories Catch On With Your Audience? We aren’t sure yet of how successful Instagram Stories will be because you still can’t face swap on it or make cute puppy faces, which was half of the appeal of Snapchat. For now it is pretty basic and all you can do on Instagram Stories is write doodles on your photos and shoot video. But we think the adult audience on Instagram will make Instagram Stories a valuable platform for aesthetic practices.
It offers an easy, cost effective way to market millennial services such as laser hair removal and lip fillers. The format of Instagram Stories allows you to also engage your more mature clientele by creating videos or image series that illustrate what to expect when coming in for your first filler appointment or providing an overview of CoolSculpting versus SculpSure.


Should You Give Up On Your Snapchat Account? If you are an aesthetic physician or office that has already found success using Snapchat, or if you are currently trying to attract a younger patient range for services such as lip fillers, breast augmentation or buttock augmentations, then we recommend that you continue to spend effort on Snapchat as it is an excellent way to reach this target base. For the rest of you who have not crossed over into Snapchat at all or have done so with minimal success, we recommend investing your time in growing your Instagram audience. Content that fits the Snapchat format can now be posted through Instagram Stories instead. Content that we find is the best fit for Snapchat and Instagram Stories includes introducing a new procedure, announcing an upcoming beauty night or special event, or online, pop up events that allows you to answer some common questions you get from patients.


A Strategy To Grow Your Aesthetic Brand Using Instagram Stories. Creating and building audiences is hard work, but there are few tools as valuable as social media in helping you differentiate yourself from the next doctor or office and grow into a true brand. Instagram Stories will give most aesthetic practices a way to add a more personal touch to their standard posts, which may sometimes feel stiff. We predict it will become a great way to show your audience that there are real people behind the scenes, something that could potentially help you build stronger relationships with your current followers while also attracting new patients to your practice. Slowly, more and more aesthetic professionals are recognizing the power of Instagram for marketing their business. If you haven’t already, maybe it is time to get serious about putting together a true Instagram strategy because the platform is continuously creating more tools and apps to help optimize your posts and increase your digital exposure.

 

Jasmine Hill, MBA serves as a co-founder of Aesthetic Influencer, a Los Angeles based organization assisting medical practices with developing their brand voice and digital strategies. She can be reached at hello@aestheticinfluencer.com. You may also follow @AestheticInfluencer on Instagram for more tips on digital tools like Instagram and Facebook for your aesthetic business.