The right patient for a plastic surgeon in Brisbane is not the same as the right patient for a plastic surgeon in Melbourne.
There is the superficial argument that the right patient is anyone who’ll pay. But this shows a certain lack of understanding about the market.
Some surgeons will happily accept needy patients in their 20’s whose sense of self is inextricably linked with their body image. While other surgeons only want patients who understand what plastic surgery is—and also understand its limitations.
Some surgeons won’t go near rhinoplasty with a ten-foot barge poll. It’s a fiddly, complicated surgery and often what is considered a successful result is tied up in the patient’s expectations. Other surgeons revel in the chance to perform rhinoplasty, and offer it for patients of all (suitable) ages.
Is the right patient for you, one who can pay upfront? Or are you less worried about how the money comes in?
Is the right patient for you women interested in breast augmentation and liposuction?
Are you more the sort of plastic surgeon who eschews the cosmetic side of surgery and is only interested in functional procedures?
These are just some of the questions you have to consider when thinking about your right patient. Because until you know who that right patient is, or at least what their ideal attributes are, it is going to be difficult to find them.
There’s no denying that they may stumble across you and so become a patient. But wouldn’t you rather a more targeted, measured and assured way of getting more of these right patients?
With the current state of marketing in Australia, it’s never been easier to find and communicate with your ideal patient. And even with the prohibitive AHPRA and TGA advertising guidelines, you can still connect, communicate and convert people into patients through digital marketing.
All it takes is an understanding of who your right patient is—and how to attract them to your practice. Because, let’s face it, there are so many cosmetic and plastic surgeons in Australia, and your average consumer doesn’t know the difference between the two.
People are spoilt for choice. And they know it.
They are prepared to travel overseas and pray to their respective god(s) that the surgery goes well.
If they don’t know any better, overseas surgery sounds like a good idea.
After all, why not go on a holiday to Thailand and get breast implants for a third of the price?
Hopefully, that sentence annoyed you on some level.
Because it should have.
The quality of work being done in Australia is some of the finest in the world, and yet people are travelling overseas for surgery every day.
Many, on coming home, have to save up for revision surgery, but there are enough success stories that an industry has been built around medical tourism.
The first thing you must do is let people know you and your surgery exist. It’s a simple thing to do, but it’s often forgotten about. After all, how many business courses do they offer in your medical degree?
If there were days of “build and they shall come” they are gone, relegated to history—or stuffy business textbooks.
You have to build it, market it, maintain it, and keep marketing it. Connecting with people is about not only letting them know you exist, it’s also about showing why they should care.
In business it’s about the customer—and customers seldom care about the seller.
All your prospective patients want to know is: What’s in it for them?
Why should they visit you, and not a cosmetic surgeon? Or that other plastic surgeon two suburbs over?
Why should they put their body—and their money—in your hands?
With the medical advertising guidelines what they are in Australia, it’s hard to straight up sell surgery. You can’t talk about psychological benefits to medical treatments. You can’t make promises outside of the physical outcome of surgery.
To find the right patient you need an online presence which effectively communicates to the right audience. To do this you should:
·Qualify the wrong people out.
·Educate people on which surgeries can be right for their desired outcome.
·Advertise the benefits of getting surgery from a qualified surgeon in a safe environment.
Sometimes stating upfront your average, or starting, cost of surgery is a good way of qualifying people out.
The sort of people who are less concerned about price and more concerned about results can often be the best kind of patient. They don’t see the price tag as a problem, but rather an assurance that what they are paying for is quality results.
Often by simply communicating and connecting you can convert people into patients. Because people just want to know there’s a qualified, trusted surgeon near them who can perform the surgery they are after.
You don’t have to do anything over-the-top, or complicated, it’s all about letting people know you exist, and that you have the skills to provide them with what they want.
What are you doing to attract the right patients to your practice?
Article written by our Trusted Affiliates Surf Pacific - Leaders in Healthcare Marketing