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September 28, 2018

Being a Trendsetter in Aesthetics

The aesthetics industry has been undeniably and irreversibly changed over the last few years, with the sheer volume of customer demand skyrocketing. With more clinics than ever opening their doors, staying ahead of the curve is crucial to potential success.As you may have seen my recent Consulting Rooms article on this issue, many of the trends seen in aesthetic practices have been irrevocably altered by celebrity culture and the media, and knowing how and when to make this work for you is an invaluable tool for keeping patients engaged with your practice.

Understanding Aesthetics in the Media

Whilst cosmetic surgery and aesthetics were once inaccessible to the general public, attributed only to celebrities. This was not, necessarily, a positive connotation, with surgery speculation portrayed in the media as a point of ridicule rather than as exclusivity, with those choosing to indulge in procedures often opting to be secretive about revealing their decisions and derided in most tabloids as desperately trying to hang onto their youth and desirability.

However, today we can clearly see a huge shift in this mentality. The way audiences consume media has changed, and the sharing and access of information is easier than ever thanks to the capabilities of the internet and social media. Social media has opened the doors for a new generation of celebrities, so-called “influencers” who have earned their fame through an army of loyal online followers and wield, as a result, the power to make or break the reputation of any given brand.

Similarly, the celebrities of today have an entirely different outlook on aesthetic treatments, and as well as being far more open than we have seen before, look to indulge in a different style of procedure. Whereas cosmetic procedures were once about overhauling and altering your appearance, and looking “done”, sometimes beyond recognition, celebrity culture has ushered in an era of rejuvenation, maintenance, and subtle enhancement of your natural features.The shift in popularity in favour of minimally invasive treatments has surged, and now cosmetic treatments are far more available to “normal” people.

The Pitfalls of Social Media

Whilst social media and the internet have allowed for the rapid development of the aesthetics industry, with near unlimited potential for education and promotion by experts and aesthetic doctors across the board, this comes at a price. It is incredibly easy for misinformation to be spread, and whilst you may think of the Instagram-famous, with millions of followers, when you think of social media influencers, the reality is anybody with access to the internet has the ability to shape the reputation of your aesthetics business. Sometimes, a single poor review is enough to put off plenty of potential patients. What’s more, the media at large can still be critical of the aesthetics industry, criticising the promotion of unrealistic beauty standards often praised on social media feeds, the very real phenomenon of body dysmorphia and the ethics of treating sufferers, and casting ridicule and derision on certain new and developing treatments.

So, what can be done by aesthetics experts to counter these concerns? For one, practitioners must ensure they are providing informative, accurate content to those browsing their websites and social media channels. Giving your followers the knowledge needed to separate new, interesting and safe treatments from bizarre, hyped, and irresponsible when they’ve been sensationalised in the media. It’s important to remember that what seems bizarre initially, such as “the vampire facial”, can quickly become normalised, so staying abreast of public perception is key!

Becoming a Trendsetter in Aesthetics

With all of this in mind, positioning yourself as an aesthetics trendsetter can be lucrative when it comes to establishing and building your online reputation. A way in which this can be done is by being the “first” or “only” to offer the latest trend of treatments. That way, when media attention is focussed on the procedure or product, all roads will lead to you and your business. To achieve this effectively, your PR channels, be it your website, social media, or traditional printed press, need to be up to date, responsive, and consistently be putting out a stream of accurate, well-informed and high-quality content that has been optimised to take advantage of media coverage that will link all google searches and social media hashtags to you.

However, it is imperative to think this through before rushing to endorse treatments that are just starting to break on to the market. Aligning your business with something that has not been properly researched or tested can cause problems further down the line that could irreparably damage your reputation. Whilst it can draw a lot of attention to be the first to offer innovative new treatments, it is far more important to be credible and trustworthy in the eyes of your patients than potentially be responsible for procedures that don’t work, don’t last, or ultimately cause more harm than good.

If you aren’t able to, or willing to take the risk of, being the first to offer a new, breakthrough treatment, there is still potential to utilise media coverage for your own gain. Consider including procedures and products being discussed by the press in your blog, social media or patient newsletters, providing a well-educated and informative commentary as well as your professional opinion. This can still aid in drawing patients to you when searching, but also ensure you are regarded as a credible source who offers only the safest, most effective treatments in your own practice.

Want more information? Simply get in touch via the website for further guidance!

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