There is a great deal of information available for those looking to open a medical spa and enter the booming aesthetic market. Business consultants offer recommendations on licensing, insurance, leases, client management software, and bookkeeping. Laser manufacturers can help you choose the right laser or light-based device to treat the patient population in your area, and will train you and your staff on how to use the new equipment. Your state government can provide regulations on who may perform various treatments, how close a medical director needs to be to the clinic, and other important laws to keep your business compliant.
These are all necessary aspects of your medical spa business to get right. However, no matter how good your location, training, equipment and business plan is, you need a great marketing strategy to succeed and flourish.
This Marketing Guide will walk you through some necessary steps that keep your brand and its marketing top of mind as you open your fabulous, new medical spa.
NAMING YOUR BUSINESS
This is a key, foundational task that can get overlooked or done too quickly, and could have you spending the next years of your life explaining what the name means or spelling it repeatedly at cocktail parties. The name of your spa will dictate so many of the decisions you will make going forward, so find something you love. A good medical spa name suggests beauty, elegance, and class. It has no questionable or profane connotations, if you want to appeal to a broad audience.
Brainstorm with some friends, or friends of friends, who could be potential clients of your business. What are your hobbies and interests? What is indicative of the area you live in? I previously owned a medical spa in Denver, Colorado, where the town of Aspen has always been perceived as one of style and beauty, so we named our med spa Aspen Laser Spa. “Aspen” showed that we were elegant and Colorado-centric, “Laser” was chosen to focus on our laser treatment versus massage concept, and “Spa” was to show that it was a beauty business. Once we decided on the name, an aspen leaf was an obvious logo choice, and the name influenced much of our spa’s décor and design.
Come up with as long of a list as you can, and do not start narrowing the list down until you have had time to sit with it for a while. Once you have narrowed the list down to 3-5 favorite choices, say them out loud to hear how each sounds and if you can imagine yourself as the owner of a business with that name.
When you have made your final selection, check Facebook for a business with the same name and make sure they are not in your market. Google search the name and make sure nothing negative or too close to your area comes up. Check your state’s Secretary of State web site to make sure the name is available.
If you are in love with a name that already has a Facebook page or website, but is not in your town, that does not mean you cannot use the name. Think about ways to tweak the name to separate your business to those searching online and not cause strife with the owner of another business with a similar name. If, however, you want to open Bloom Med Spa, and Bloom Day Spa is already in your area, think how many phone calls you want to take over the years for people who actually meant to call them—and how much time and money you might spend on possible trademark issues.
This is your new business; pick a name that represents it well. For the remainder of this guide, we will call our new, fictional medical spa venture Magpie Med Spa. Magpies are found in my area, the name has alliteration—a pleasing literary device where a first consonant sound is repeated—and they are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world.
Magpie Med Spa
LOGO DESIGN & SPA DECOR
Once you have selected a name, allow that name to start dictating a logo and the design and feel of your spa. Obviously, Magpie Med Spa will have a bird as its logo. An independent graphic designer can create a logo for you for a few hundred dollars and provide it in multiple file types that you can use for both print and online marketing. Another option that many recommend is www.fiverr.com. Fiverr calls themselves “The Marketplace for Creative and Professional Services,” and you can find designers for many of your branding needs there.
As to the décor and color palette of your clinic, during your build-out, you will have one of the most fun jobs of all—choosing the colors, materials, furnishings and finishes for your spa. Magpies are generally black and white, so a possible color theme for Magpie Med Spa could be black and white. The magpies near my home also have some deep blue on their feathers, so that color was added to the logo above to give it more depth. The color could be incorporated into the painting of the spa walls or cushions on a settee in the waiting area. You could have black and white silhouette paintings of birds on a deep blue background on the walls or the doors of the treatment rooms. You see how the name helps direct so many design decisions.
WEBSITE & BLOGGING
You are opening an aesthetic business, and your web site should be aesthetically pleasing. That was a much more difficult, daunting, and expensive task in years past, but you can now build a very professional and current-looking site using sites like these:
If you have the money to hire a web designer, or know that this simply isn’t a piece of the marketing plan you can do well, most designers will build your site in WordPress. They can train you on how to easily add blog posts and other updates to the site after they do the bolus of work on setting up your beautiful new website.
Many business sites have a blog. The word “blog” came from a combination of web + log, and was originally seen as an online diary of sorts. In the last fifteen years, blogs have gone from personal platforms to a professional marketing tool that can drive traffic to your web site, give a search engine more pages to index, and provide a personal touch to a business site. If writing is not either your strength or something you think you will have time for, is it worth it to blog?
If you can create content that answers a question, fills a need or is engaging and interesting, then it is worth every keystroke. As search engines have evolved, they have moved to displaying the content that best answers the query typed in the search box, provides the best experience, and is most relevant while fitting the most checkboxes of their algorithm. Where blogging comes into this is by creating the opportunity to address and inform on niche areas that might not earn a dedicated page on your website.
- Blog content should be at least 300 words.
- Each post should have its own URL. There can be a single blog page where all the posts are listed, but they should all have their own page you can click into if searching for a specific blog post.
- Create a hyperlink to authoritative sites if you’re referencing them. Talking about FDA licensing? Link to the FDA page about that, and it will provide a better reference and experience for the reader.
- Link back to the main pages of your site where it makes sense within a blog post. If you’re referencing hair removal, link back to that service page.
- Don’t overdo links. A good rule is no more than two links per hundred words of copy.
- Use lists where appropriate. They are readable and offer good takeaways.
- Have your content answer a question. For example, in a blog post about laser hair removal, talk about how long it takes, how it works, how much it costs. Don’t just talk about why you’re the best at it—though you can certainly add that, too!
If you do not already use Facebook, now is the time to get familiar with it. This is the most important social media platform for a medical spa. If you want to set up a Company Page on LinkedIn or create Twitter, Instagram or Google + profiles for your business, those can be great tools, and the hyperlinks here will take you to the pages you need to get started.
However, if you want to start with one platform, Facebook is essential for a medical spa business. If you cannot afford a web site at the inception of your business, a Facebook Page is completely free and can be created in a couple of hours. Your Facebook Page—not a Profile, that is for personal use—can have what your eventual web site will.
For example, your:
- Phone number
- Services offered
- Map to your location
- About Us information
Once you create the Page, you will ask friends, family, clients and others to “Like” it, so they can find you on Facebook, and some of your posts will automatically show up in their News Feed. You should also scour Facebook for complementary businesses to yours, like the manufacturer of each piece of equipment in your office. Quanta Aesthetic Lasers often features videos and before and after photos from their clients on their Facebook Page.
You can exponentially grow your audience by targeting potential clients who have no other connection to you through Facebook ads and sponsored posts.
For Magpie Med Spa, let’s say that our big laser purchase was a new Quanta EVO Q-Plus. We know that it will perform laser tattoo removal on all treatable colors of tattoos, along with pigmented lesions. You can create a Facebook ad for less than $25 that will target male and female adults in any age range you choose, right in your town and surrounding areas, and even specify those who have tattoo as an area of interest or older people who are more likely to have pigment issues from years of sun damage.
When posting to your own Facebook Business Page, it is important not to go too long between posts. Social Media experts would like you to post almost daily, but say not to post unless you have something worth sharing. I recommend once or twice per week for a med spa, and try to alternate between posts about your spa and helpful, interesting industry information. Example:
Post on Monday:
We’ve got 4 openings for tattoo removal treatments today with our industry-leading EVO Q-Plus laser. Call us at 303-4Magpie to get your spot!
Post on Thursday:
Did you know that smoking could affect the number of tattoo removal treatments needed to clear your ink? One more reason to quit.
Other tips on Facebook posting:
- Your Business Page is meant to attract clients to your spa. No matter how sure you are about your stance on something, don’t put up posts that polarize people or make a certain group think they’d be unwelcome at your business.
- Spell check and grammar check everything before you post. You will not look as polished and professional with misspellings and grammatical errors.
- Limit emojis, all CAPS, and exclamation marks. This is your Business Page and not a text conversation with your best friend.
- Get permission before you post pictures and videos of your clients and staff, or when you share content that isn’t yours.
- Let your posts show some personality and make people want to do business with you. If you Grandma always made the best brisket, share the recipe before Memorial Day weekend barbecues. If your brother was a soldier in Afghanistan, post his picture on Veterans Day and welcome all veterans in for a discount.
There are differing opinions of the value of daily deal coupon sites, like Groupon, for medical spas. Many successful medical spas enjoy the ringing phones and full appointment books that daily deal sites can generate. Others find that the rules on pricing for these deals and the reimbursement offered to the business owner just aren’t worth it. A suggestion is to hold off on daily deals for the first six months of your business to see if you need the boost in traffic, despite a possible negative return on the overall investment.
Pros: attracts customers, advertises your business, generates some revenue
Printing brochures can seem unnecessary and expensive in the digital age. If you change your service menu prices or add a new treatment to the spa, you would have to reprint a brochure, but it only takes a few keystrokes to change the same thing on your web site. It is still valuable to consider printing a brochure of your offerings, prices, location, web site and/or social media sites and phone number. This is especially true when you are launching a new med spa. The more times people see your logo and name, the more likely you are to come to mind when they are looking for a place to get treatments.
Some medical spas have multiple plastic stands lined up on the front counter, filled with the free brochures equipment manufacturers will offer you to sell their product to your clients. The challenge with these brochures is that they don’t direct people exclusively back to your med spa. If I have a brochure in my car from the maker of XYZ Laser, with pictures of their laser and before and after treatment photos and my friend sees it, she may search Google for any business that does XYZ treatments and never come to Magpie Med Spa. If, however, she gets in my car for our monthly Girls’ Night Out and sitting on the passenger seat is a brochure with the beautiful Magpie Med Spa logo on the front, and a menu of all of the services and treatments, and our phone number and address, she is going to call Magpie first.
Celebration time! You are ready to open the doors and invite everyone you know—and everyone they know—to come see your beautiful new medical spa. Use your social media account(s), an email to all your friends and family, and word of mouth through all your friends to invite people to the party. Create a professional sign and post it in the window of your spa to invite those walking by on foot to see that you are about to open for business.
Your guest list for the grand opening party can be as big as your space can handle, and should be open house style, so people can come and go as needed. A good choice for the timing of your party is a mid-week day like Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, from 3-8 p.m. You could also host a Saturday open house, with the expectation that more of your guests will bring children to a Saturday event.
Offer a variety of light bites that can be eaten standing up, and spread the food and drinks throughout your space to keep guests moving and not create a bottleneck at your front door. Have prize drawings for free treatments, cosmeceuticals, and other items that you sell. Speak with all your vendors, as they will often have samples and free goodies that you can give away for parties. Invite the sale rep to attend your party, and allow them 10-15 minute segments at various times throughout the event to demonstrate their product in the treatment room or give a presentation on their product.
Be prepared to sell packages this night. Have your register and scheduling system ready to sell product, make appointments, and take money. Some spas have a pre-opening offer that allows twenty people the opportunity to purchase unlimited laser treatments for $1000. This brings a quick $20,000 into the business, but you must be prepared for what “unlimited” could mean to all who take advantage of the offer.
Marketing is one of the most fun aspects of business ownership. So much creativity and personality can be woven into this area, and tools like Facebook make it easy and quick to grow your audience of potential clients. Once you have named your business and decided on the logo and color palette, everything else in your marketing strategy can follow.
There are professionals that can help you with every aspect of marketing your spa, but don’t be afraid to try some of the tasks yourself first. You may find that you enjoy the way creative work offsets all the numbers and absolutes that make up the other side of running a business.
This guide is offered as a resource based on current information and knowledge, but could never be an exhaustive list of all the marketing opportunities you may encounter. The best marketing is whatever brings the right clients through your door. Once they are in your spa, you can wow them with your services and expertise and they will start marketing for you—by praising your med spa to all their friends!
Have more questions or didn’t find the answer you’re looking for?
Quanta is committed to guiding new and established aesthetic practices.Regardless of whether you’re ready to purchase a laser today or just have questions about the market, Quanta experts are here to help. Contact us today or call 844-694-1064 for more information on financing, laser tattoo removal devices and business opportunities.