Whether it be a recent graduate, or someone who has been in the industry for a while, I am often asked about how to effectively market an Electrology business to successfully build a clientele. One of the most obvious answers is to create a website and business social media profiles. A website gives you the opportunity to talk about who you are, the services you provide and why a client should choose you over a competitor. It also serves as a way to introduce and share information, about your business, through social media (think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn).
However, before you can market your business, you need to figure out what, about your business, will make you stand out from the crowd. Start with your expertise. Ask yourself: “How do I make myself/my practice identifiable and memorable?”
Corporations spend a lot of time and money writing mission statements that list their core values. You don’t need to invest a bunch of time in money into creating a mission statement, but you should follow the same principals. Begin with your personal belief system.
Make a list of what you expect from any excellent service provider. Define excellence in your words. Keep your list short, three, four points tops. Then ask if your expectations describe how you’d like to be seen in the marketplace? If they do, challenge yourself further. Ask, “Does this description of excellence also describe a competitive advantage, something that I’d love to be known for?” If not, create just one element that sets you apart from the crowd.
You Have to Stand Out at a Glance
Potential clients should immediately see the advantages of working with you over other Electrologists. Do this well and you can have people driving or flying long distances to benefit from your services. Don’t think it can happen? See how creating a unique sales proposition can give you an unfair advantage over everyone.
As I said before, in order to be successful, you have to stand out. What about your practice is going to separate you from the competition? Consider your strengths. Talk to people. Build your brand from the inside out and fulfill a need in the area you live in.
A graduate of ours offers transgender clients the ability to bill their medical plans for her services. If you’re willing to become listed with Kaiser Permanente and/or your state medical health plan as a provider of Electrology for this community, and you’re prepared to do the billing, your business can grow beyond your imagination.
This graduate had to hire a billing person to keep up with the invoicing generated by a multi-week wait list of business that is ongoing. Several of our Electrologist grads now work with her, yet her biggest problem to date is getting more Electrologists into her clinic to handle the overflow. By modifying her practice around her target market, she has created two competitive advantages: The savings her clients realize through medical billing and the ease of booking long treatments.
With some reorganization, she is able to offer day-long intensives, and for out-of-towners, multi-day to week-long intensives. Her clients can get a lot of work done quickly. She also works with a doctor who will inject pain meds in areas to be treated. Because of her long sessions, some pain reduction is appreciated, but only in sensitive areas.
This approach to service also works for other clients, like those in the entertainment industry. She also negotiates a corporate hotel rate for clients who fly in.
Summary: She cares about an underserved market then organized resources, office hours and specialized information for these clients. Now she dominates the segment and has become the go-to Electrologist in her area and beyond.
We know an Electrologist who focuses on women with PCOS. She learned as much as she could about this condition (as she also was diagnosed with PCOS early in life) and she now provides information on her site that shows she is both knowledgeable and supportive.
Her website features links to articles on PCOS and conveys that she can refer clients to reproductive Endocrinologists. Much like the previous example, this woman focused on one underserved market, then became the Electrologist specialist for PCOS in her area. Her site has an online data base of information about PCOS that gets shared with everyone.
My suggestion – for greater online reach – add a list of Endocrinologists from across the country. Why is this important? Google and other search engines will see multi-state listings and put her even closer to the top of this category. That’s the trick to getting and maintaining a strong web presence. Those listed or linked to her site will also rise in their rankings.
The relationships this Electrologist has developed with doctors and other professionals on her site has become invaluable to those with PCOS. Many of her medical associates have provided links to published information (some written by them) as well as links to other PCOS sites. And, these doctors are now a source of referrals for her. Referrals from the medical community creates legitimacy that others can only dream of.
Summary: Like example one, this Electrologist cares about the suffering associated with PCOS. By educating herself then throwing all the resources she can at this target market, she has become recognized as a specialist and works as an ally with Endocrinologists.
Ingrown hairs. All Electrologists will treat ingrown hairs, but if you focus specifically on this area, you now have a specialty. One of our graduates developed an insertion technique that effectively addresses this problem and she offers a program of treatments to prevent ingrown hairs in the future. All men will get razor bumps on their necks, particularly men of color who may have curly hair. Women frequently get them in the bikini line after repeated waxing.
She created an approach to solving this recurring problem that resulted in a marketing opportunity most Electrologists would ignore. Her satisfied clients know others who suffer with the same problem and this has resulted in referrals.
Summary: This Electrologist’s technique and follow-up treatment plan eliminates, over time, a bothersome problem. Education plus shared information equals another specialist.
Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary
These are three examples that have made these Electrologists specialists in their field. What do they all have in common? They have taken the ordinary and made it extraordinary!
These Electrology specialists address underserved markets through education, referrals and information that allow them to attack these areas with intense focus. And know, that their focus also creates demand! That’s what marketing does! That’s your definition of marketing!
This is how a business owner, who is, in fact, “the business”, can thrive in their profession. Why? Specifically, you’ll be seen by potential clients on their terms and with their concerns in mind. Most importantly, you’ve become a search result on Google!
With your data base of knowledge that includes allied professionals and services and links to reading resources, YouTube lectures and testimonials, you become a valued resource for that segment of the population.
Once done, maintain your leadership position by expanding and updating your website. Add fresh information, and new links. Send email blasts, create a blog page on your website with testimonials and through social media, tell the world that you have the solution to an urgent problem. Social media will bring users onto your website where they can learn more and that will result in appointments.
What If I Don’t Have a Specialty?
Have No Identifiable Specialty? Here Are More Suggestions
Loyal customers are the bedrock of success. They will keep you in business during downturns in the economy and they will be your evangelists to friends and family, spreading great word-of-mouth about your offerings. Once you’ve captured the imagination of all clients, new and old, remember that loyalty takes work and perseverance.
Listen to Complaints
If a customer presents you with a problem, it’s natural to react or feel irritated. Instead, be thankful. They care enough about your business and returning as a customer, to speak with you. They’re taking their time to let you know about an issue that needs fixing. And consider this: it may have taken them a lot of courage to approach you. There’s also the possibility that if they have a problem, other customers may have the same issue but only this client is letting you know.
This is an opportunity to show them that they made the right decision in coming to you. Alternatively, they could have voted with their feet and booked their next appointment with a competitor. Take it in stride and find an effective way to fix their problem. You will become known as approachable and that reputation may capture clients from other Electrologists who don’t bother to listen to negative feedback.
Tailor the Customer Experience
Today, people are coming to except more of a tailored experience for their dollars spent. Recognizing that your product offering is in fact a customized service, how can you further set yourself apart from your competitors?
Send Targeted Promotions
Send targeted promotions by text or email such as a birthday or anniversary discount that they can use or share with a family member or friend.
Address Important Holidays
Send out your best wishes for the season or upcoming holiday. You’ve created an opportunity to tell clients how important they are to you. It’s a thing of the past, but a thank you note goes a long way. Hand write it then send by snail mail. Today, that’s being different! Or, email a thank you from time to time. Both will work.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Find excuses to connect in person and by message, year-round across your entire client list. Living your life in a state of gratitude will enhance not only your business but your personal life as well. Gratitude is contagious.
Whenever you can, incorporate universal truths into your thinking and your practice. It’s a fact that “What you appreciate, appreciates over time”. Who better to appreciate than the clients and friends who support you? Their appreciation allows you to work independently as a licensed Electrologist.
Think a Second Time
The purpose of this article is to offer you a different perspective on your practice. Consider ramping-up your game, specialize, upgrade your epilator and/or buy a more comfortable treatment bed for your clients. Give them another reason to love being associated with you. Every thoughtful change you implement shows them you care and gives them another reason to generate positive comments about you and your practice.
Simply reading about marketing will not help you. As you’ve seen, involvement in the problems of others and addressing those problems by reorganizing your practice to accommodate these people, pays dividends. From today’s perspective this may seem like a lot of effort but know this, do it once and do it right and you will be rewarded soon and over the long term. This kind of success can change your idea about who you are and make you a specialist in the field of Electrology.
Most will not make the effort. I’m not slamming our profession. It’s simply a comment on human nature. But for you, that can be the good news! If you look a little beyond your immediate field of vision and ACT upon what you see, you too can become The Stand Out in our profession and one of the super successful elite.
Ron Davis, Director / Owner
American Institute of Education
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