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The Success Profile—A Guide to Telling, Not Selling

By: Tracy L. Drumm
Posted: September 1, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of
Plastic surgery practice postcard

When put together correctly, the combination of patients' before-and-after images and interview quotes in a profile can be a bold, incisive marketing effort for a medical aesthetic practice that is useful in a variety of formats.

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Once a patient agrees, identify her best before-and-after photos and store them for later. Next, provide the patient with a photo consent form to sign and have her send it back, providing the necessary image release documentation. Then instruct participating patients to e-mail a photograph of themselves looking and feeling their best at a recent event, on vacation or even at home. The photo should reflect how patients feel after treatments.

For the interview portion, your staff can e-mail the patients questions, or phone interviews can be conducted. For the latter option, a phone call recording service can serve as documentation of the call and also be used to create audio testimonials. Interview questions should start at the beginning of the patients’ journeys, inquiring about how and why they decided to use your services. Make sure to ask how they felt the day of their procedures, as well as immediately after. Then move into post-treatment questions such as “How did you feel a month later?” or “What feedback did you receive from your friends and family?”

Although the process is relatively simple, it is helpful for the staff to have a checklist of steps to complete for each patient to ensure all necessary information is gathered. The beauty of these initial efforts is that most of the legwork can be completed in a day or two, and the information gathered can be used in a variety of different mediums. For practices really wanting to maximize the reach of these efforts, consider incorporating a second interview, reaching out to patients’ significant others. Some of the most powerful credentialing for a procedure are testimonials from friends and family talking about the positive transformation they witnessed in the patients.

Now that you have all the right ingredients, it is time to create the profiles. Choose the patients’ best quotes from their interviews or write a paragraph explaining the patients’ experiences, and have a designer partner these phrases with the pictures you have gathered. Make sure to indicate what treatment the patients received and even consider noting “Actual Patient, Untouched Photos” to properly leverage your work. You now have a powerful marketing tool that includes testimonials, photos and facts that will catch your audience’s attention and educate on the opportunities you offer.

The idea of creating a campaign hones in on using these images and words to strengthen your brand by creating consistent messages across different marketing mediums. A launch party or open house that features the profiles is a great way to generate interest and excitement for your efforts.

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