Your website is the first experience most prospective patients will have with your practice, so be consistent in the images you use. Ensure that they reflect and reinforce your brand. You may have as little as 10 seconds to communicate that brand to visitors. To assess your website’s visceral brand message, view your site through the eyes of a new visitor. If it does not immediately make the case for your desired brand identity, redesign—or reorganize—the website so your message and identity are unmistakable.
Building your brand using online social media allows you to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones. Your social networking efforts should be designed to lead people to your website, so before you launch a social networking outreach effort, make sure your website reflects your desired brand.
Most aesthetic practices have brands that “just happened” without any conscious planning. The doctor provides services that reflect his style; staff members do the best they can—based on their own personal skills—without a lot of direction or leadership. In many cases the office décor, website, brochures and staff training are developed at different times, without a lot of thought toward continuity. In this case, you can go back and identify the specific traits of your practice that you want to highlight and communicate. Then follow the steps on the previous page to identify areas where your brand is not being effectively communicated.
Taking the time to view every aspect of your medical practice through the lens of your desired brand will lead to more qualified patient prospects—those who want what you have to offer. It is a process that takes time and some financial investment. But done properly, branding is the most reliable and effective practice-building tool in your arsenal.
Cheryl Whitman is the founder and CEO of Beautiful Forever, a medical spa consulting firm, and creator of the Aesthetic Medical Success System: A Complete Educational Guide to Building, Managing, and Marketing Your Cosmetic Practice or Medical Spa. Contact Cheryl at 877.SPA.MEDI, beautifulforever.com.