I speak to hundreds of cosmetic surgeons every single year, and recently have called some of my top performing clients to figure out how they are doing so well, in this economy. I have heard numerous different answers, from “I guess I am just lucky” to “I am the best in my area.” However, I don’t believe one of the surgeons I spoke with really knew for sure, so I felt it was necessary to drill down on a couple things. I also researched some of the world’s largest companies, to see what they tend to do when markets slide, and the future is not certain.

A good friend of mine is the VP of marketing for a Fortune 500 company. His comment to me over dinner a couple weeks ago was very valuable and intelligent. Specifically, he said “In times like this, most companies will cut back on marketing, in fear of the future. We are the opposite. Our competitors are cutting back on marketing, we have increased it. This is the best time ever to increase your company’s market share.” It is true in his industry and true in Cosmetic Medical Marketing as well. Now, the “market share” is a bit different for him than it is for you, but similar in many ways.

Here are some rules I would recommend to follow:

1. If you are running a cosmetic practice, the best source of patient’s for you is obviously word of mouth patients. When a previous patient recommends you to there friends, family and colleagues the conversion level sky rockets. It also gives you more word of mouth patients, because they will tell their friends, family and colleagues. The value of one patient is usually not understood by many cosmetic surgeons, but the long term value of one patient is enormous. One pleased patient can result in 22 new word of mouth patients in the matter of 5 years. Now, if you perform surgery on say 5 new patients a week, after one month you have likely put yourself in a position to have 440 new patients, from those 20 patients, in a matter of 5 years. One plastic surgeon I spoke with told me last week that word of mouth patients never go away, and is the main reason he spends so much on Internet Marketing. The new patients it brings in only results in more patients in the future. The cost per new patient is much higher, but the long term benefit is almost immeasurable.

2. Yellow Pages used to be a great way to market. Not any more in my opinion. They cost a lot, and produce very little results in most cases. Think about it, patients can research cosmetic surgeons and procedures online, where they get a wealth of information, including photos, testimonials, videos, photos, a full CV and instant contact. In the yellow pages, if you spend a lot, you get a full page color ad, amongst hundreds of other ads. If you have a business card size ad, you probably are rarely even seen. If you spend half the amount of money you spend on the Yellow pages, on the Internet, you will still get more patients than ever before. It really should be the first thing anyone who wants significant growth cuts. They are outdated.

3. Your personal website is you. It represents you, is controlled by you, and paints the picture to the patient, who you are. I will write more on personal websites in the future, but am happy to answer any questions you have. Bottom line: An awesome personal website can make you a lot of money. A poorly made personal website can really hurt your business. There are certain rules to follow, which I will cover in the near future.