Not only is it hard to build a steady clientele, but it is even harder to do so while maintaining a business’ growth. Many find it tricky to acquire new patients without offering profit-loss discounts on their services. Here are marketing strategies that can help attract new clientele without hurting sales.
Social Media Outreach
In a highly digitized world, it has become easier to interact and establish relationships with a multitude of people at once. Through channels like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, many working in the aesthetic industry have grown a loyal base of customers and even become influencers in the field. The truth is that building a personal brand on social media platforms can elevate status and consequently, build client retention on your services. This means that customers continue to return and avoid defecting to another business due to familiarity.
The most important part of the social media outreach process is consistency. A growing brand requires constant relevancy and the attention of an audience. This can be done by leveraging popular hashtags when posting content, and even trailblazing by creating innovative content.
Promotion ideas to grow popularity can include Botox parties, group packages, or concierge services. Brittney Güney, RN shares, “A lot of it is just patients seeing that I promote Botox parties on Instagram and that I'm able to do parties or concierge services. Then they start asking questions about it.” Advertising services entice customers to consider you over others, but moreover to book a consultation and see for themselves.
Referrals From Current Clients
A Marketshare report notes that word-of-mouth can improve marketing effectiveness by as much as 54%. If a great customer experience is already provided, chances are that referrals are bound to happen naturally. However, to have a higher incoming pool of customers, there also needs to be a conscious effort to cultivate referrals.
One way to do this is to utilize the business's first pool of customers. Some customers have been around from the start and have continued to return. Pick a handful of them to start off a “loyalty program.” Many use loyalty programs to acknowledge the group and reward them for advocating on a business's behalf. This system could be point-based. For instance, a referred friend that books your services becomes a point, and they receive 10% off their next appointment.
This provides an incentive for current clients to bring friends so they can save on future treatments. However, it is important to understand business numbers in order to decide on how much of a discount can be offered. Investing in a reward program should not affect your business’s ability to yield profits.
With that said, there are little to no-cost ways to build referrals too. For instance, ask your clients if they would be willing to have their pictures taken, posted, and tagged on social media. Most of them will end up re-posting their amazing results creating growing insights of friends asking them about who their provider is.
With the growing social acceptance and popularity of some aesthetic treatments like Botox® and chemical peels, it is easy to host events that provide people with these products in more comfortable and fun settings. Hosting something like a Botox® party or open house can be profitable by providing packages for participants.
Crystal Coatney, PA-C explains “I find that patients do not like to drive far, and battle traffic to receive their treatments. It’s much more relaxed and calm if I can come to them and they especially like the group atmosphere.”
One way to introduce events is by letting current patients know in-home services are offered and that they can receive better group pricing with more sign-ups. To reach a new audience, try partnering up with spaces that would benefit from an event like this. These can be places advertised for rent, spas, fitness studios, amongst others. Once a location is determined, think about the different types of services that can be offered in this setting.
The overall goal is to create engagement and make it enjoyable for attendees. While some of them might be current patients, identify new guests and make sure to register them. This opens the door for follow-ups and potentially a future consultation.
Collaborating with Local Businesses
Networking with other small business owners in other beauty services will allow you to generate more local interest and hence more customers. In order to create profitable partnerships, think of businesses that offer complementary services. For instance, many aesthetic injectors find working with nail bars, hair salons, and spas that don’t offer the same treatments most profitable. Local businesses can offer their space and customers while you provide food, drinks, and aesthetic services.
This not only saves on expenses but also creates a service that would refer clients to one another. This two-way referral process can be established in many ways such as offering partnerships a reasonable commission for treatments completed.
Whether it is a product, treatment, or consultation, freebies entice customers and improve client satisfaction and retention. However, it is hard to offer free services in a way that does not affect sales. As a solution, it is best to invest in a “freebie” system that allows patients to enjoy the experience while still profiting from the service.
An idea is to set up a “naive Botox®” stash instead. This includes keeping extra vials of Botox® (unused, unopened) to treat patients without charging them for it. This can help you throw in extra minor treatments for patients that need it.
A good way to demonstrate the use of the naive Botox® supply would be an existing client who comes in for routine treatment of their forehead, but would also benefit from treating their crow's feet. They have a budget and are not ready to invest in treating an extra area. Knowing that treating the entire upper face will deliver the best outcome, offer to treat their crow's feet complimentarily for their birthday so they can see the difference for themselves. Pricing can also be adjusted in a way that makes up for the value of this naive stash.
All in all, it is important to take business day by day. Building a customer base can be intimidating, and exploring cheap avenues to grow it may feel overwhelming. But when the focus is on investing in the experience of the customers, eventually the business will reap the benefits.