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    3 fast marketing tactics for lasers

    Marketing is what fuels the success of laser practices, says Michael H. Gold, M.D., medical director of a Nashville, Tenn. laser practice with more than 40 devices.

    But, like anything else, marketing has to be done strategically. The goal is to keep business coming in the door without breaking the bank.

    1.   Start with those you know

    Michael H. Gold, M.D.Marketing your laser practice should first focus internally—on your staff and patients. The often more expensive external marketing comes later, experts say.

    Marketing to patients and staff is a more intimate, grassroots approach, which might include staff training, patient communications and social media.

    Terrence Keaney, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology and urology at George Washington University Medical Center and director of W for Men, the men’s cosmetic center at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, says patients and staff should know all the procedures available at your practice.

    READ: Experts' top device picks

    Terrence Keaney, M.D.“Our staff members know exactly what our treatments entail and the results that can be expected. They can be a great advocate for these procedures to your existing patients. I think the best bang for your buck is maximizing your internal marketing,” Dr. Keaney says.

    Use different channels to communicate the message about your new technology to patients, according to dermatologist Bruce Katz, M.D., who directs the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Clinic at Mount Sinai Medical Center, as well as his own Juva Skin and Laser Center in Midtown Manhattan.

    “I’ll do an email blast, e-newsletters. We have a TV monitor in the waiting room with different types of lasers that we’re using for different conditions,” Dr. Katz says “Certainly, put information about any new devices on your Facebook page, on social media.”

    Laser companies often develop consumer-friendly collateral, including in-office brochures. Dermatologists can use those in their waiting rooms, or create their own.

    Dr. Gold, who directs Gold Skin Care Center and Tennessee Clinical Research Center, Nashville, says his strategy is not only to inform but also to entice patients. His website focuses on his laser expertise and promotes the practice’s successful VIP loyalty rewards program.

    Elizabeth L. Tanzi, M.D.Why focus so much on patients? The dermatologist’s patient base is a rich referral and business resource, according to Elizabeth L. Tanzi, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center and co-director, Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, DC.

    READ: Laser tattoo removal: rethinking ink

    “Rather than spend a lot of money on radio advertisements and all of these different things, go to your patients, first,” Dr. Tanzi says. “They want to know that you are now providing these new services to them, and they don’t have to go to another physician to get them.”

    Being active on social media can be time-consuming. The trick, according to Dr. Keaney, is to have a systematic approach and pick certain platforms to focus on, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter.

    NEXT: Tap potential referral sources

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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