How to market facial aestheticson 25th March 2019
If a tailored approach to facial aesthetics is the epitome of excellence in clinical care, then the marketing of it should reflect this bespoke outlook. Shaz Memon explains.
As with dentistry, when it comes to facial aesthetic procedures, it remains imperative that clinicians tailor treatments specifically to their patients.
Employing a minimally invasive strategy, there is an expectation upon them to deliver high quality results whilst managing the expectations of patients.
Quite simply, ‘one size does not fit all’ (to coin a much-hackneyed phrase) – and, arguably, nowhere is this more relevant in business than in the dual worlds of dentistry and facial aesthetics.
With the popularity of anti-ageing procedures booming, many dental practices are now adding a facial aesthetics treatment service to complement their suite of cosmetic dental options.
Non-surgical facial rejuvenation and cosmetic dentistry make natural bedfellows, with Botox, dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and so on beginning to appear on the menu of treatment options for many a dental practice.
Of course, dentists understand better than most how facial and dental aesthetics can be enhanced to work in harmony. However, for those seeking to broaden their clinical horizons, key to any business expansion will inevitably lie in how they market themselves to attract new leads as well as future proof their practice.
So, how best to market this new avenue of revenue without it detracting from – or negatively impacting upon – a long-nurtured and thriving dental business?
A world of confusion
Poor practice unfortunately blights the reputation of trained and experienced aesthetic practitioners who have to contend with marketing their services in a world where fillers remain unregulated, the illegal administration of Botox is a serious problem with the public somewhat confused as to the dos and don’ts of safe places to seek injectables.
The aesthetic dentist is not only competing with this somewhat problematic scenario but also with his or her medical colleagues.
Additionally, competition also comes in the form of beauticians, who continue to be able to offer fillers, despite the ban on them signing up to the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners’ (JCCP) register of safe practitioners.
By blocking non-medics, the JCCP has gone some way to providing the public with a guaranteed safer route to non-surgical cosmetic treatments – although many may argue full regulation will be the only way to ensure this.
The British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons recently warned that Botox and dermal fillers should never be seen as ‘casual beauty treatments’ and messages in the media such as this helps to raise public awareness of the importance of receiving anti-ageing treatments within a clinical setting.
And herein lies your strength. Any dental marketing of facial aesthetics should capitalise on the importance of three things – skills, safety and setting.
Skills, safety and setting
Firstly, as a dentist, you are perfectly placed to offer anti-ageing facial aesthetic treatments – an understanding of alignment, symmetry, balance, smile design and the overall aesthetics and anatomy of the face is stock-in-trade.
Just as cosmetic dentistry requires an artistic eye in order to achieve good proportions and aesthetics, this ability to consider anatomic shape transfers seamlessly to assessing and carrying out facial aesthetic treatments.
Of course, dentists are also used to working in a small area of the body, with the skill and manual dexterity to inject in the restrictive confines of the mouth.
Dentists are also adept at treating nervous patients, so they are tuned in to treating them as painlessly as possible. They are also skilled at employing a conservative approach to facial enhancements, taking into consideration age, desire and budget in order to ensure attainable outcomes.
In essence, these are your strengths, so share them. Whilst you know these factors to be the case, patients – existing or potential – may not.
Assume little is understood of your experience and skillset. Strip this back to basics and break down the benefits for patients to easily digest in your dental marketing messages.
Try to convey the importance of seeking facial aesthetic in a safe, clinical environment, too – without alarming potential clients or alienating those who may have already sought care from less safe sources. Promote positively and avoid comparison with your medical colleagues as well as non-medics.
Tell visitors to your website that you are reassuringly governed by the Care Quality Commission. Patients will welcome the fact that your practice is independently overseen from an infection control perspective. Safety, a BDA report reveals, is important to patients when choosing their care and any like-for-like, measurable standard provides a solid basis on which they may make their choices.
Explain to existing patients that your facial aesthetics procedures complement your dentistry. Just be careful to avoid them appearing as a ‘bolt on’ to the established suite of treatments you already offer. Indeed, it may be worth considering creating a dedicated facial aesthetics website that reflects and links to your current practice website, so that potential clients are clearly signposted to your anti-ageing options available in clinic.
Dr Harry Singh has been carrying out facial aesthetics since 2002 and, when he found he was eventually carrying out more facial aesthetics treatments than dentistry, he made the switch and focused on his anti-ageing procedures.
As a keen facial aesthetics trainer and marketer, he feels it is vital not only to attract patients requesting facial aesthetic services but also to retain existing dental patients, too.
He says: ‘Offering facial aesthetics is not only a way to unlock a new revenue stream from your existing patient base, but a great way of winning new customers.
‘I qualified as a dentist in 1996 and, when I started offering facial aesthetics in 2002, it was a taboo subject. Since then, I have witnessed the trends within this industry, alongside the growing exposure to the public. Now is the best time to offer these services in clinic because, if you are not, your competition will be.’
Delegate numbers to his facial aesthetics workshops at the Botulinum Toxin Club (BTC) have increased by 300% since 2017.
Dental practitioner Dr Chetan Bhudia, a student of Dr Harry Singh, believes that the botox and dermal filler training courses he has attended have been instrumental in helping him to grow his own clinical facial aesthetic practice.
He says: ‘There is always something to learn in this continually evolving industry and, from the beginning, I felt well armed to go straight to practice and implement what I had learnt. As I completed the more advanced courses, I was able to broaden my skills and offer my patients the more complex procedures and treatments they demand.’
Evolving a practice takes time and planning and practice owners should ensure their online presence is developed and designed in tandem with their burgeoning skillset to compete effectively within this fruitful facial aesthetics market.