What does it take to get a return on your investment in RealSelf? In this series, we’ll walk you through the approaches your peers have taken in order to get peak performance from their profiles.
As an oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Tanya Khan has two goals for her marketing. One is to get more patients coming into her practice. The other: to educate consumers on the oculoplastics specialty, and the procedures that oculoplastics surgeons like her are singularly adept at performing—”procedures that only we uniquely have the skills to offer,” Dr. Khan explains.
Her presence on RealSelf is helping Dr. Khan to accomplish both objectives. In addition to driving new patients through her doors, she’s also moving the needle on consumer understanding. “I’ve had people come to me and say, ‘I’m starting to get a feel for what oculoplastics is,’” she told us.
Here’s how Dr. Khan is using RealSelf to advance her practice—and to help advance her specialty.
RealSelf Profile By the Numbers
Specialty: Oculoplastic Surgeon, Board Certified in Ophthalmology
Years in practice: 7
Joined RealSelf: 2017
Location: Austin, TX
Patient reviews: 60
Star rating: 5.0
B&A photos: 351
She builds her marketing and consultations around what ready-to-book patients need to know.
|RealSelf is seen as the most trusted source for cosmetic procedures 2X more often than doctors’ websites and 10X more often than Google reviews.|
“RealSelf patients are motivated and have done their research,” says Dr. Khan. “They have more focused questions about their procedure(s), and my profile has to help them narrow down the decision as to who to go with.”
Her RealSelf profile is built to give these scrutinizing consumers the information they need to shortlist her practice. “Having a database of reviews and before-and-afters speaks volumes to potential patients,” she says. Dr. Khan said she’s made it “my personal challenge” to try to get as many reviews as she can to continually build her provider credibility.
She also thinks that being part of a community of RealSelf Verified doctors—aesthetic surgeons who have met a high standard for trust, transparency, and results—is highly useful to consumers.
“There’s so much confusion as to what type of provider can safely offer specific services,” Dr. Khan says. “I think it escalates my credibility even more, knowing that patients can see what training I’ve had and what I am legitimately authorized to do.”
And in the office, Dr. Khan knows that patients want to experience a medical consultation—not a sales pitch. She treats her consultations as an extension of the research process they conduct using her RealSelf profile. “They’ve done what they can on their own to learn about you, and your time with them in the office is your opportunity to close the deal and/or redirect them,” she said.
“I give them a personalized consultation, and that may mean they hear something different from, or in addition to, what they came in asking for,” Dr. Khan continued. “I’ve had patients come to me and say, ‘I like your approach.’ I’m not pushing a million products and procedures, but being thoughtful and personalized” in addressing hoped-for surgical outcomes.
She has straightforward systems to manage leads and get reviews.
|To get reviews, Dr. Khan asks patients herself during their last (or only) post-op visit. Watch our video to learn more about getting reviews on RealSelf.|
There are proven best practices for marketing your practice on RealSelf and handling the leads you’ll get from your profile.
But when it comes to a comprehensive system for making the most of RealSelf, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Defining and using a system that works for your practice and your workstyle is key to being consistent and getting the most value from the platform.
“I actually like to manage [lead followups] myself right now,” says Dr. Khan. Her approach entails hand-on management of incoming leads, plus a relay to her front office to assist with further patient communication.
- She fields incoming requests right away. “I have my practice email address linked to my RealSelf account, and I get those emails on my phone,” she says. “I’m on my phone quite a bit and I respond right away.” This establishes a quick, initial touchpoint that tells potential patients they’re being seen and sets expectations for the next step.
- She includes her staff. To create continuity and tee up her staff to handle scheduling, questions, and follow ups, Dr. Khan adds a member of her staff to that initial reply, keeping everyone on the same page.
- Her staff follows up with nonresponding leads. Following up is a crucial discipline for practices looking to maximize bookings. “If the patient doesn’t respond right away with an email on a phone call, then we reach out to them again within a couple of days,” explained Dr. Khan.
In terms of a patient’s lifespan with your practice, the bookend to the initial lead intake is the review request after their procedure. Asking patients for reviews is the key to maximizing how many you have and keeping them fresh, both of which are critical to giving consumers confidence in the content of your reviews. Here’s how Dr. Khan goes about it.
- She nails the timing. Dr. Khan targets the first post-op visit to make the review request. For eyelid surgery patients, that occurs four to six weeks out from their procedure. “By that time, most of their healing has occurred, and they’re in the groove of their new results. It’s a great time to ask them.”
- She makes the ask herself. The review request isn’t something Dr. Khan delegates to her staff. She finds it more effective to request reviews personally. “Patients are usually more than willing to leave me a review when I ask them myself,” says Dr. Khan.
She makes it easy to do. “I let them know I’ll email them about the review, then follow up by sending the email, including a personalized message and the [review request] link,” Dr. Khan explained. Following up with this custom link, available to all RealSelf doctors in their dashboard, lets patients easily land right on Dr. Khan’s profile when they’re ready to write their review.
She gives the campaign time to breathe.
Dr. Khan gets an “appreciable volume” of leads from Realself, something she achieved, in part, by being consistent through the initial ramp-up period.
“The first month to six weeks is when things will get started—that’s the growth period,” she says. “It takes that time, and the more effort you put into your profile [during that time], the better the payoff.”
Dr. Khan also works with her RealSelf Advisor to occasionally retool her campaign, adding RealSelf features that boost her profile on more RealSelf pages to help elevate her brand for relevant local consumers. That monthlong incubation period, she says, applies to this type of repackaging as well.
“I know how it feels to want things to skyrocket,” says Dr. Khan. “You’ll see the fruits of your labor, but it’s a process. My biggest advice is to be patient and keep checking in with your Advisor.”
Dr. Khan also notes that doctors should look at holistic impact when assessing their return on investment. Among the “appreciable volume” of leads she gets from RealSelf are patients who research her on RealSelf, then contact her through other channels. “For example, some patients who land in our clinic room—sometimes they went to RealSelf, then visited our website and contacted us through there,” she said.
Want to learn more about how RealSelf can drive growth to your practice? Visit here to request time with a RealSelf Advisor.