Once you’ve made the decision to go your own way and are fully qualified, it’s time to focus on how to successfully market your aesthetics practice.
As your own boss, you’re responsible for bringing in the work as well as carrying out the procedures and managing the admin side of the business.
Of course, you can employ a digital marketing agency to help you but if you don’t have the spare cash available at the start then you will need to include establishing and executing a marketing plan into your to-do list.
Ensure you also remain up to date with the CAP Code and ASA regulations surrounding advertisement and promotion of your aesthetic services.
It’s a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve never dealt with marketing before so we asked Rebecca Waterfield from Digital Marketing Agency, Blaze Media for some simple but effective tips to help you on your way.
1 – Embrace Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and it’s probably the easiest and cheapest way to get your aesthetics brand out there in front of your target customers.
First of all, you need to work out who your customers are and where they are online. Instagram and Facebook are probably the best platforms to start with.
In addition to being two of the most popular social networks, Facebook and Instagram are extremely visual platforms, allowing you to easily share photos and videos directly to your profiles, which of course, comes in useful for an industry that relies so heavily on imagery.
Ask your clients for permission to take before and after pictures that you can use as posts which will showcase the quality of your work and ask them to leave reviews on Google and Facebook which will bolster your reputation.
Prospective clients like to do their research and, more often than not, will want to see prior photos of a practitioner’s work, which is why good quality before and after photographs are a must.
You can also share relevant news, promote blogs (we’ll come to that soon) and engage with potential clients and peers.
The thing to remember is that you need to post regularly and have consistency across your platforms
2 – Collaboration
As the saying goes ‘no man is an island’ and the same goes for business owners, so take some time to work out if there are other companies who would be useful to get to know and then work with.
The beauty and aesthetic industry can be very close-knit with everyone happy to help each other so consider approaching beauty salons, nail bars, clinics and spas that don’t offer the same treatments as you.
Build a relationship with them and you can offer referrals both ways – you could even include a special offer if they send clients your way or offer them commission for work passed
3 – Get Your Website Up To Scratch
You might not feel like you need a website but even a basic site can help you in terms of getting your name out there.
Let’s face it, most of the time, if you’re looking to make a purchase, whether it’s a product or a service, the first thing you’ll do is search for it on Google which is why having a dedicated website is so important.
A Facebook or Instagram page provides you with an online presence, however, chances are that your social media page alone will not rank highly in search engine results, while a website, given enough time and the right content, potentially will.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the cashflow to pay for an all signing and dancing website to start with; you can consider a simple website including:
- Home Page – information about you and your business, your qualifications and even a link to your social media platforms
- Service – a page listing the aesthetics procedures you offer along with an explanation of them and any requirements or restrictions for each service
- Contact Page – somewhere people can get in touch with you and also sign up for a newsletter (more on that in tip 6)
- Blog Page – a regularly updated blog is a great tool to increase your visibility and also position you as an expert in your field (more on this in the next step)
You should also include any terms and conditions, privacy policies (cookies and how you store people’s information to avoid a data-breach) and payment terms so potential clients are completely informed before booking with you.
This will take some time to set up but it can save you time in the long run – it’s also always worth asking a solicitor to check over terms and conditions to make sure you’re compliant.
4 – Blog Regularly
Google loves a regularly updated blog and you should try to write and load at least a blog a week.
Research has shown that having regular new content can increase traffic to your site by over 400%.
If you’re stuck for content then here’s some ideas to generate content:
- Your reaction to industry news and changes to regulations
- A day in the life of an aesthetic practitioner
- Your journey from a career in the NHS to establishing your own business
- A case study on each procedure you provide
Remember that you can repurpose content from your blogs to provide content for your social media platforms.
5 – Encourage Clients To Become Brand Ambassadors
Satisfied customers can be ambassadors for your practice, and exceptional results can be statements for your work.
Create a promotion that rewards existing customers to refer your services.
Consider providing consultation discounts for referred clientele, or offer complementary rewards, like gift cards for a spa session or massage therapist, for customers who refer three or more prospects.
6 – Email Campaigns
Maintaining an up-to-date client mailing list is free, yet extremely valuable for your business.
Sending out regular updates and offers by email (but not so often that people unsubscribe – around once every two weeks is a good guide) is a great way to stay in touch with your clients and let them know about any new treatments they may be interested in.
Using free software such as Mailchimp will let you create and schedule engaging email campaigns and also provide you with a piece of code that can be added to your website so visitors can sign up from there.
When it comes to the content of your emails, use imagery to hold attention and don’t be too long winded – studies show that around 200 words is the best number to aim for to encourage more people to click through and engage with you.
7 – Join Forums and Directories
Just as important as to how your clients and potential clients view you, is how your peers view and interact with you.
Join relevant bodies such as the ACE group, attend networking events and industry expos as well as lectures and functions.
Well-written directory listings that really showcase your business, and make it easy for people to contact you, are a must.
Make sure your business is listed in all the most important directories, including the generic ones (Yell etc), but also any good industry-specific directories you can find.
Creating profiles and making regular useful contributions to aesthetic forums and information sites is a great way to build your credibility as an aesthetic professional, and boost the reputation of your aesthetic business.
Hopefully, this guide to marketing your aesthetics business will provide you with some much-needed guidance at the start of your journey.