How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Medical Spa

Before you start promoting your cosmetic clinic or medical spa on social media, it's important to determine which social media platforms you’re going to use, how they’re likely to perform, and how much time it’s going to take to get results. Just “doing it” is going to lead to wasted time and effort that produces mediocre results.

How to Choose the Best Social Media for Your Business

To make an informed decision on where you should focus your social media marketing effort, start by thinking through what you’re trying accomplish and match that with what your resources and time commitment will allow. A focused effort is going to drive much better results than a spray-and-prey approach.

Let’s think through a few things..

1: What social media platform are your patients using?

Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, Is Mostly Unchanged Since 2018. Source: Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2019)

Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, Is Mostly Unchanged Since 2018. Source: Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2019)

For most clinics you you likely won't want to bother with social media apps like Snapchat or Reddit because very few patients in the age group that you’re going to be targeting that use those platforms. Instead, you'll want to focus on the apps they do use—primarily Facebook and YouTube.

Note: For most clinic’s, the majority of the patients you’re looking for are going to be on Facebook and Youtube, but those also can be the most expensive since the competition is fierce.

2. Where are competing clinics and medspas focusing their attention?

If your competitors are having success with a specific social media app, you may also do well there. Conversely, if your competitors are neglecting a specific app, there may be an opportunity for you to capitalize on that neglected market.

It doesn’t take much effort to track down what your competitors are doing. Most companies display links to their social media profiles on their websites, so it should be easy to collect data on where your competitors are focusing their social media efforts. It's also good to actually visit their social media profiles and make sure they're maintained; a rarely used social media profile shouldn't be considered an active effort.

3: What is the reach into your desired patient population?

For the most part, succeeding on social media requires that you have followers or subscribers, with a few exceptions: YouTube videos, Twitter Tweets, LinkedIn Articles, and Pinterest Pins are indexed by Google, meaning people can discover that content through a general Google search.

Profile pages/channels are indexed by Google for all of the social media apps we're looking at in this article, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and even Reddit. It’s an easy way to pick up a backlink so you should default to having well designed and professional looking profile pages on every social network, even if you don’t use them much.

Resource: can help you out here if you need design help that knows the industry and they won’t cost you agency prices.

Note: individual posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are not indexed by Google, so the only way to get those posts in front of an audience is to either publish it for your network or get others to share it to their networks.

Additionally, the algorithms these platforms use can have a major impact on whether or not your posts are seen, even by people who follow you. For example, Facebook made a change to its algorithm in early 2018 to prioritize posts from friends and family, and as a result, organic reach on the platform severely declined for many brands.

The result: Facebook doesn’t work as well for organic distribution to a wider network.

4: Does the social distribution fit the content you’re creating for your clinic?

Instagram and Pinterest are focused on image content. YouTube is focused on video content. If you mostly produce text-based content and use stock images, you’re dead in the water there.

Unless you plan to add designers or videographers to your payroll to create these assets for your social media efforts—or plan to learn how to do these things yourself—you'll be better served to concentrate on text-focused sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Resource: LinkedIn is a surprisingly good venue for medical spas, if you do it right. We have a course on the training academy that teaches you exactly how to build your influence on LinkedIn.

5: Should you use paid advertising?

Low organic reach isn't necessarily a barrier if you're willing to spend money on ads. Each social media app offers advertising opportunities, though some are more detailed than others.

For example, apps like Facebook and LinkedIn have deep data-sets that let you target potential patients in a very specific audience. Popular YouTube channels often offer sponsorship opportunities but often don’t work well for a specific geography.

In most cases you’ll be paying extra to get in front of people who will never become a patient.

Question: Is anyone else tired of the endless stream of “we get you patients on Facebook” pitches by “medical spa consultants”

6: How much time should you devote to social media?

One mistake that many businesses make when they're getting started with social media marketing is trying to continually update every social media app. The problem: Keeping multiple social media accounts updated is a lot of work, and unmaintained profiles can reflect poorly on your clinic.

The more realistic approach is to focus on one or two platforms—no more than you realistically have time to keep updated, and to point your other profiles at these maintained accounts. This will give you more time and attention to really grow your audiences on those channels and actually engage with the people who follow and interact with your business.

For example: You may create a profile on Pinterest, but just include a message that says that you spend most of your time connecting with people on Facebook and warmly asks them to follow you there.

Recommended Resources:

How To Make More Money With Fewer Patients

If you want to make more money with less patients, then this is for you...

Most clinics are missing out on massive profits because they operate on an "Á La Carte" basis. 

They're primarily selling one-off treatments, when they could be selling full treatment packages and continuity programs that deliver the best results while making them the most money....

... Of course everyone wants to sell more complete packages and get pre-payment for them, but getting patients to understand the value of combination treatment can seem like an uphill battle. 

I get it!

I struggled selling treatments Á La Carte for years. Patients are usually interested in only ONE treatment (because that's all they've had heard of) and think that’s what they need to get great results.... 

I actually thought I was doing them a favor by not "bugging them" with other options and simply gave them what they want. 

Boy, was I wrong...

The thing is, what patients want, and what they need are often completely different things! 

The challenge is getting patients to want what they need

One of the most effective ways to overcome this hurdle is through the art of Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu

Allow me to explain... 

Let’s first establish what the word “Ju-Jutsu” means: 

""Jū" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding". "Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against themselves rather than confronting it with one's own force.” (taken from Wikipedia)

Ju-Jutsu is widely considered one of the most effective martial arts because it doesn’t rely on brute strength, and instead leverages the opponents existingforces in your favour. 

Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu works just the same... the only difference is that you're using your opponent's (the patient’s) own force to help them, not harm them. 

You see, behind every patient who comes into your clinic is a certain force, or intent, that has motivated them to take action...

It’s your job as a treatment provider to redirect this force in the most efficient manner possible in order to lead them to the best possible outcome....

For me, I always want to schedule in new patients for a paid, one hour skin analysis and consultation where I can educate them and present a complete treatment package.

Here’s an example of how I do this: 

Recently I had a 60 year old lady come in because her friend who was in my office looked great. This lady wanted filler because that’s what her friend had, not knowing the full details of her friend's complete treatment program.

In the past I would simply say this:

“Oh, you need about 3 syringes of filler in your cheeks and marionette lines, let's go ahead and book that. We can even do it today if you want.” 

This would have resulted in a quick $1800 sale for 3 syringes. Instant gratification for her and a quick sale for me, but a lost opportunity to make a bigger sale and get a better outcome.

Here’s what I say now: 

You’re right - you absolutely need filler, and I could even get you booked in right now, but I’d be doing you a disservice because you’d be missing out on much better results....

The best thing to do here is to schedule a full hour where we can sit down and really go over your skin in detail. I have a special camera that show's you the 8 different skin aging factors, and we can also talk about all the exciting treatment technologies available to make you look your absolute best. 

By the end, you’ll be an expert on taking care of your skin and if you’re open to it, we can even put together a special treatment program customized just for you. 

The cost of this appointment is $95 right now, but we’ll turn that investment into a $100 certificate that you can put towards treatment. The only reason I charge $95 is it means you’ll actually show up. Does that seem fair?”

Patients usually laugh at the last part because they appreciate the honesty of why I’m charging for the appointment, and then about 80% agree to move forward. 

Not surprisingly, instead of purchasing 3 syringes of filler, this lady ended up purchasing a complete package that included 4 syringes of filler, Botox for her forehead lines, a series of 3 BBL treatments and a home care package.

This same scenario plays itself out on a daily basis and it’s transformed my practice. 

Whenever I see a new patient, I’m always thinking, "how can I get this patient to see the value of a paid, one hour consult? How can I get them to prepay for this appointment and make it seem like it was their idea?

It’s important to never correct or disagree with the patient because that would be confronting them with your own force instead of redirecting theirs.

If you ever make a patient feel stupid, misinformed, or pressured, their guard will go up and you will lose.

This is the art of Cosmetic Ju-Jutsu. It takes practice because it requires the ability to read the patient and adjust your approach accordingly, but it’s absolutely worth the effort of learning.

So next time you’re tempted to blame your marketplace for not “getting it”, consider this strategy and see if you can get more patients to see the light. 

- Peter Ursel MD


Peter Ursel MD

Dr Peter Ursel has been treating leg vein patients in Lindsay Ontario for over 20 years. He was initially a family and emergency physician and early in his career discovered that there was a need in his area for outpatient vein treatments. At the time, there was no formal training available. After extensive research and over many years, Doctor Ursel assembled the finest treatments available and brought them to Lindsay.

Jobs To Be Done + Your Medical Spa


It’s not about the client. Jobs To Be Done is a new methodology that forces you to look at your products and services the way that your patients and clients do.

What is “Jobs To Be Done” and how can it help your medical practice?

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen is the author of The Innovators Dilemma and a well regarded business thought leader. He described “Jobs To Be Done” in this paper he wrote with one of the best tech entrepreneurs and product marketers of all-time, Scott Cook of Intuit.

The theory simply asks, “What job is your product or service hired to do?”.

The answers might not be exactly what you might usually think. For example; if you ask most people directly why they bought a lawnmower they would probably say to “cut the grass,” but if a lawnmower company examines the higher purpose of cutting the grass, say, “keep the grass low, neat and beautiful at all times,” as a business looking at what job needs to be done, it might switch from investing in better, more capable lawnmowers to develop genetically engineered grass seed that grows to an exact height.

The example that Clayton Christensen uses most is that of McDonalds milkshakes and what the “job” is that causes people to buy a milkshake. Here’s a video. The results are pretty surprising but led to a 300% increase in the number of milkshakes that McDonalds sells and a conclusion that the size of the market is 7X what they thought it was. You should watch this.

This is the power of the JTBD concept and technique: It helps a business understand that customers don’t buy products and services; they hire various solutions at various times to get a wide array of jobs done.

So what is the best way to define the customer’s job-to-be-done? Keep in mind that the reason the jobs-to-be-done theory is so powerful is because it allows companies to analyze the job like it would analyze a business process, providing a new and effective method for uncovering and prioritizing customer needs. Consequently, the job must be defined as a process; an activity that consists of a series of steps that customers take to complete a task or achieve a goal or objective. This means that the job-to-be-done is always a functional job; not an emotional job.

Over the years we have developed a set of rules that we follow to define the job correctly. Here are three of the dozen or so rules we use to get it right along with some jobs-to-be-done examples:

1. We think about the job from the customer’s perspective, not the company’s. For example, a company that supplies herbicides to farmers may conclude that growers (the job executors) are trying to “kill weeds”, while the growers might say the job-to-be-done is to “prevent weeds from impacting crop yields”. To avoid this mistake, don’t ask “what job are people hiring my product for”, rather ask, “what job is the customer trying to get done”. Because customers often cobble together many solutions to try and get the entire job done, the answers to these two questions are often very different. We see many jobs-to-be-done examples in the blogosphere that get this wrong.

2. We think big; to encompass the entire job, not just a piece of it. A narrow focus will hurt a company because customers are looking for products and services that help them get the entire job done better. For example, a company could focus on helping a grower “prevent weeds from impacting crop yields”, but they may want to consider helping them get the entire job done, which is to “grow a crop”. Customers do not want to have to cobble lots of incompatible solutions together to try and get the entire job done. They prefer to get the entire job done on a single platform.

3. We define a market around a functional job, not the emotional goals that accompany it. A company that offers a product that “prevents people from getting lost when driving” would do themselves a disservice to conclude that their customers are hiring their product to “achieve peace of mind”. A focus on “peace of mind” will not deliver the insight that’s needed to better prevent people from getting lost. Knowing the customers’ accompanying emotional jobs is helpful, of course, but only when it comes to positioning and messaging, not innovation. Once again, we see many jobs-to-be-done examples offered in the blogosphere that miss this point.

People buy products and services to get jobs done; and while products come and go, the underlying job-to-be-done does not go away. This notion is at the heart of jobs-to-be-done theory.

If you remember anything about jobs to be done, remember this: they are completely neutral of the solutions you create (your products and services). While a customer JTBD remains fairly stable over time, your products and services should change at strategic intervals as you strive to provide ever increasing value.

As Christenson says, “at a fundamental level, the things that people want to accomplish in their lives don’t change quickly.”

Additional reading:

The money is made in the consultation room.

The single most important determining your success and profitability is how well you do one thing; consultations. The 10X Consultation Playbook is a proven, step-by-step system that teaches you and your entire team exactly how to conduct consultations that convert in precise detail. It shows you exactly what to do every step of the way to guide each patient along a journey that they already want to take.

Dr. Shehla Ebrahim - After Glow Skincare and Ambleside Dermedics, Vancouver


Name: Dr Shehla Ebrahim
Locations: Vancouver, BC

Bio: I am a family physician with a special interest in dermatology. I am the owner and founder of 2 award inning medi-spas on the North shore in Vancouver, BC. As a graduate of the University of BC, I began a career in family medicine in 1992.I am a certificant and a fellow of the college of family Physicians of Canada. Responding to the urgent need for dermatological care in my community, I pursued a diploma in Dermatology through Cardiff University. I have a flourishing focused dermatology practice which has enabled me to reduce wait times for the patients in my community.

What made you pursue cosmetic medicine?

Having practised Family medicine from 1992-2005, I started feeling unfulfilled in my current profession. Pharmaceutical based medicine was disenchanting, patients were never satisfied, and the energy was wearing me down. I also realized that I possessed creative and artistic qualities and it would be a winning combination to merge art and creativity, with science and technology of the emerging aesthetic medicine industry. I recognised that I wanted to be in control of my own destiny and the only way to do that would be to be in business for myself. In 2005, I took a leap of faith and opened my first location in North Vancouver.

Kindly give us a background of your clinic.

I am the medical director of 2 award winning medi-spas on the North Shore, in beautiful British Columbia. I have a full service medi-spa and my patient population comprises mainly of women between 45-70 who have a disposable income of 60,000 or more. Most of my clients are women who are interested in positive aging. Wanting to be the best version of themselves and wanting to look the best for their age. Both the clinics offer a complete menu of medical aesthetic services covering the face to the body.

How do you manage your staff members?

I always used to tell my staff that customers come first. Now I tell my customers that my staff comes first. We all know that finding and keeping good staff can make or break your business. I have a successful business model that has enabled me to keep the same staff for 14 years and that business model is to have:
1)    humility in leadership.
2)    To respect and appreciate my staffs need to have work life balance.Most of these women are young,have children and unlike the baby boomers like myself who make work our number one priority,,these individuals have priorities other than work which needs to be balanced.
3)    To run the business like a family owned business.
4)    To respect and value who they are and making a daily effort to thank them for their service.
5)    Build a team that buys into my vision of providing exceptional and high quality service with integrity and authenticily.

My staff is paid hourly plus commission. Generally, between 20 to 27$ per hour depending upon their seniority. Commission is fixed for some treatments at 125$ and others as a percentage of the treatments sold. Varying from 5%-20%.

I hire staff based on my intuition and their personality. Technology can be taught but personality cannot.

It has been my experience that people leave your business because of who they are and not because they were not valued as we are taught in business and HR management seminars.

Which light based or laser devices are currently in use in your practice?

I use a number of laser and light and energy-based devices in my practice. IPL, fractional, fully ablative, microneedling, ultherapy and coolsculpting. My favourite is IPL and Micro needling with RF and total resurfacing. Over the years, it has been my opinion that many devices are overpriced and underperform and do not meet the expectations that sales people promise.
I now look at buying second hand devices esp. for hair removal. There are a number of companies in Canada and USA that sell second hand devices which will then allow you to pay them off quickly.

What marketing strategies do you employ?

Marketing is the most difficult yet the most exciting part of my business.

Because the industry is very competitive, it is important to find creative strategies that will set you apart from the other clinics. Other the usual website that use SEO and SEM strategies, the best way to now market your business is through social media. This would include Facebook, Facebook live, Instagram, paid google adwords, blogs, newsletters, videos and you tube. Having your own video channel and regularly posting videos is a very effective and inexpensive way to market one’s business.

Which treatments and procedures are usually done in your practice?

The most profitable treatments are injectables and constitute 60% of my business. These would include, botox, and fillers.

Over the years I have dropped treatments that no longer serve me or my patients. These include laser treatment of veins ,nonablative fractional and some chemical peels. I have added other treatments such as PRP for hair loss and vampire facial. I have recently invested in female rejuvenation treatments and threads.

Please tell us any anecdotes you can share.

Aesthetic medicine is a fascinating and everchanging industry.

The most exciting thing about this industry is how rapidly things change and all the different treatment options available to our clients. Clients are generally opting for little or no downtime treatments that get them back to work faster and are willing to pay a premium for these treatments. From treatments that slow down the aging process to treatments that may reverse aging, such as recent advances in regenerative medicine. Harnessing the power of blood to improve the quality of one’s skin to using stem cells for tissue regeneration and minimally invasive treatments such as threads to lift the skin.

What pearls can you share to fellow physicians in the field?

Having passion is the number one criterion if you want to be successful in this industry.
Everything else will happen effortlessly and money will come wherever it is supposed to come from as long as you are first happy without it. Treat your employees with respect. Honour and always thank them for their efforts in helping your business grow.

How To Blow Up Your Clinic Online... In A Good Way.

Podium gets you more positive reviews that drive massive traffic... that's why they're #13 of the fastest growing companies in the US.

Check out Podiums offer for medical spas and cosmetic clinics.

Inc. magazine today revealed that Podium, the leading customer communication platform for local businesses, is No. 13 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. With a three-year revenue growth of 13,645 percent, Podium is the highest-ranking Utah-based company to make this year's list. To accommodate the company's continued rapid growth, the company also celebrated the official opening of its new 125,000-square-foot office with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today in Lehi, Utah.

"This ranking is a testament to the Podium team and what we as a company have been able to do in just four short years," said Eric Rea, CEO and co-founder of Podium. "Addressing a segment of businesses that was being left behind by other service providers, our continued growth and future expansion shows how the demand for heightened convenience is finally being met with our platform for thousands of businesses across the country."

Founded in 2014 and now working with 20,000+ businesses to create over 4 million customer interactions a month, Podium has quickly become one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the U.S. The company's new office will house its current 350 employees with plans to hire 400 more through 2020.

Reflecting the active and eclectic culture of the millennial worker, the new space was designed by Cory Sistrunk, who has designed offices for the likes of Apple, Adobe, Nike, GE, Dropbox, Google and North Face. Features of the office include:

A 2,000-square-foot gym, complete with CrossFit equipment, free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes and space for yoga and pilates classes along with a locker room. This also includes onstaff CrossFit, pilates and yoga instructors.
A high-end soft serve and Dole Whip station at the reception desk.
An outdoor regulation-sized pickleball court, multiple spikeball courts, a bike storage area and maintenance shop.
A floor designed as a bike shop, which pays homage to Podium's roots starting out in an attic space above a bike shop in Provo, Utah.
"If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it's unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice," says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. "The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn't change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives."

Not only have the companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 15) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2018 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 538.2 percent, and a median rate of 171.8 percent. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue was $206.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 664,095 jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

About Podium

Podium modernizes the way business happens locally with products designed to help businesses be found, chosen, and gain insight into their customers' experience. By conveniently facilitating millions of customer interactions, such as driving customer-generated online reviews and providing improved customer communication tools, Podium serves 150,000+ users across nearly 20,000 local businesses. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, and founded in 2014, Podium is currently backed by IVP, Accel, Summit Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Y Combinator.

5 Critical Areas Of Staff Training We've Learned From 17 Years Building Clinics

If you're not continuously training your staff and yourself, you're losing patients, profits, and devaluaing your business.

A while back we sent a survey to 472 physicians asking about efficiency and productivity in their clinic or practice. You may be able to fit your own clinic into these responses:

  • Over 9/10 of physicians said that their clinic operated at less than 80% efficiency, and 4 out of 10 said that their clinic efficiency was below 60%!
  • Physicians reported this "productivity gap" costs their clinic between $5k and $40k in lost revenue every month.
  • When I asked them what doesn't work, the most common responses: "lack of systems" (44%), "wasted time and effort" (50%), and "micro-management" (40%).


The most common reason that physicians give for not doing anything? They don't know what to do...

And, if you are doing anything it's usually something like "Hey everyone... <insert-patient-name-here> told me that she didn't know that we're now offering _____ and that she had to wait 40 minutes today. From now on everyone should tell every patient about ______ and don't keep patients waiting without asking me."

I may have not got it exactly but every clinic member recognizes this type of direction.

You've also seen the results; piss-poor execution, patients slipping through the gaps, poor morale and feckless leadership... and worst of all; shooting your own business in the foot.

There's a better way, but it's not as simple as spouting a 'directive'. It involves some effort.

Where should you begin? 

I'd suggest that you begin with the Ultimate Clinic Operations Blueprint, our course on implementing systems in your clinic, but here are some general rules to get you started. (Also, watch the video all the way through at the top of the post for a better understanding of this.)

The 5 critical areas of staff training:

  1. Patient interactions
  2. Sales
  3. Safety and compliance
  4. Accountability
  5. Decision-making

A blog post is too thin a medium to detail everything needed in these areas (which is why we built the operations course), but here's a little preliminary guidance.

Employer Rule No. 1: Give employees ownership of real deliverables. In a clinic this often needs some preliminary work to implement measurements. I'm guessing that you don't know your average wait times or how many word-of-mouth patient referrals you're receiving each month.

 Depending on the kind of manager you are, you’ll either shy away from this because: a) you can do it better, or b) you don’t want to overload your direct reports. Either is a mistake. In my experience, most complaints I’ve had with any of my past employers have related to having too little to do, rather than insufficient salary/title/etc. Give your employees meaningful work, and they will rise to the challenge.

Insist on personal accountability. Yes, it’s scary to have people counting on you. It’s much easier to coast along behind the scenes. But admit it: it’s not very satisfying. Sloth never is. It’s much better to be king of an infinitesimal pond than a nobody in a massive ocean. Go for the responsibility, not the title. (I’ve made this mistake on several occasions, and each time I’ve regretted it.)

Employer Rule No. 2: Less is more. You really don’t need 10 people for two jobs. You need one. I’ve become a big believer in slow, organic growth in organizations. It’s much better to hire one person and stretch them thin than it is to hire 10 people and have them struggling to find sufficient work to keep them occupied.

 More is less. You don’t need more. You just need to work with what you have. The less you have, the more resourceful you’ll become — this makes us think like a real customer, who has to stretch a budget. Speaking of which….

Employer Rule No. 3: Every employee should be revenue-additive. This is the most important of them all. Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, once told me that he thinks business development is something every employee should do, all of the time. I didn’t believe him then, but I do now. Every employee should understand how she contributes to the company’s top and bottom lines, and should be held accountable for how she measures up. Everyone should be selling, developing product, marketing it, etc. No exceptions.

Employee Corollary No. 3: If you’re not making money for your employer, you’re a waste of money. If you don’t understand how you fit into the Circle of Life for your employer, find out. Or figure it out. But don’t just collect a paycheck. You owe it to your employer and to yourself to help defray the cost of your paycheck, as well as that of others’. The more revenue-driven we become, the more effective and the better our chances of improved future employment.

There is a better way that can pull you out of the micro-managing, hair-on-fire, unproductive daily grind and put you in a position where you're working ON your business, not IN your business. Take a look at the Ultimate Clinic Operations Blueprint.

As with any business, staff and personnel may have to undergo training to further enhance their skills and to give them an opportunity to learn new ones in the process. Medical practices should also partake in training, as it also helps grow your medical spa.

Customer Service

One of the best training you can provide to your staff is customer service. In many reviews given by patients, it seems that patients notice the service provided by the staff particularly rude behavior. Customer service training is also vital as this is one of the first things patients write about in reviews. 

Learn how to use patient reviews to grow your profitability.

Sometimes the case is untrue, but still, it would be best to train your staff with telephoning, emailing, dealing with patients as well. Your non-medical staff, especially front desk and reception personnel are your first line of defense, and the way they transact with your patients is a reflection or representation of your medical spa. You could be losing patients if your staff is untrained, so give them better training in that area.


Every procedure in your clinic needs to be standardized. Patients compare every interaction and if there's an identifiable difference between treatment sessions or interactions then patients will tag one as "worse" than the other and make the patient feel that you're less reliable. The result is greater patient churn, less income, more resistance to buying and less revenue.

Marketing and Reputation Management

Marketing is not just going on social media and promoting your medical spa. There are several aspects of marketing you must remember for healthcare. There have been instances where medical staff and providers forget to abide by HIPAA regulations, and that could put your medical spa at risk. In that light, you will need to learn how to strategize marketing around HIPAA or Health Information Regulations.

Social media is your best bet in marketing your medical spa especially it gives you exposure. You could invest in SEO for your medical spa, as part of your marketing strategy as well. Reputation management could be considered a branch of marketing as it deals with your reputation online and social media as well. Make sure that you have the right software to manage your reputation.

Operations and Management

This is mostly applicable for medical owners and physician owners of the medical spa. Managing your team should be a priority, by delegating tasks, setting meetings, overseeing without micromanaging, aside from seeing patients. It could become taxing, but it is doable with training. You will need to enhance your skills in operating your medical spa or aesthetic practice smoothly.

Not only would training make them more engaged but your staff can be more productive in work. You can motivate your employees with training, and it will most certainly help them become more engaged in your medical spa.

You can find some of our training courses on our website.

When Your Marketing Goes Too Far: How One Dermatologist Got Suspended for Dancing and Rapping during Procedures


Don't get yourself in trouble by failing to think through what you're doing and how it can damage your clinic and your reputation if something goes wrong.

You may have seen something about the recent case of  dermatologist Windell Davis-Boutté The “Dancing Doctor” who has been suspended for "negligence" after posting videos of herself dancing and rapping while performing surgeries. The physician used the videos to market her practice, where she was seen rapping and dancing, that it ended up having her patients file lawsuits against her with some of them claiming to be severely injured. (CBS article)

To get real for a second, this was a stupid thing to do for lots of reasons. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that it's not if you get sued, it's when you get sued since your patients have been pretty well conditioned to expect perfect results based on their own criteria.

The result: Dr. Davis-Boutté was sued by 7 of her patients and was forced to agree to a 2.5 year suspension of her medical license.

According to Gutierrez and Johnson (2018), there have been other instances like Davis-Boutté’s where physicians are singing and dancing while doing procedures. It causes immediate alarms to go off for patients, as physicians are expected to be focused exclusively on their care and the procedure. 

So what did Dr. Davis-Boutté get so wrong?

  1. She wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care: Patients expect perfection from their treatment and if they're unhappy with the outcome in any way they're going to be looking to the doctor for answers. Any indication that the physician wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care is immediately going to be the peg on which they're able to hang blame.
  2. She turned her patients into props: No patient really likes to be filmed when they're unconscious on the operating table.
  3. She made it public: Of course that was the whole idea. These were 'marketing' videos and they were produced and posted online in order to increase visibility for her practice.

While this went completely off the rails from the beginning for Dr. Davis-Boutté, there are some lessons to be learned. Here are a few things Dr. Davis-Boutté could have done to meet her goals without dropping a bomb on her dermatology practice.

  1. Use patients only for live testimonials: The social proof of happy patients is probably the best general marketing you can use, but they need to be aware of what they're doing and how it's going to be used. I'd suggest that if you're shooting live videos for promotion that you let patients "sign-off" on the final product before you actually release it. Make sure that patients 
  2. It's not about you: Patients want to be treated by a physician who's nonthreatening, caring and personable, and who puts them at ease, but they don't far beyond that because they're focused on themselves. Your efforts need to be focused on them as well. 
  3. Focus on what's actually important: There's only one thing that you're looking to have patients think about you if you're performing cosmetic treatments; that is that you're "the best" at what you do. Marketing campaigns that promote you as being the funniest, hippest, or best looking have no place beyond getting some initial interest. Successful clinics focus on outcomes for their patients and strive to earn new patients primarily by word-of-mouth.
  4. Think it through: All of this could have been avoided with a few simple "what if" questions were asked 

Below are a number of resources around the ethics of marketing physicians and procedures. In some cases it's a little head-in-the-clouds but remember that cosmetic medicine has really caused headaches for the medical ethics community.

Read more

Continuous Care. (2018, March 15). Ethics of healthcare marketing for physicians and medical practices. Retrieved from

Cătoiu, I., Geangu, I. P., & Gârdan, D. A. (2013). Applying Marketing Principles in the Field of Medical Services – An Ethical Challenge? Procedia Economics and Finance, 6, 449-456. doi:10.1016/s2212-5671(13)00162-7

Gandolf, S. (2014, July 22). 7 Dangerous Legal Issues to Avoid in Doctor Advertising. Retrieved from

Gutierrez, P. L., & Johnson, D. J. (2018). Can Plastic Surgeons Maintain Professionalism within Social Media? AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(4), 379-383. doi:10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.4.msoc3-1804

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011, November). Women's Health Care Physicians. Retrieved from

Medical Spa Pricing Strategies To Increase Profitability


Pricing your medical services is a key factor in your clinic's success.

Your pricing strategy helps to determine how patients respond to you, and their feelings about your clinic. It's as likely that you're charging too little as it is that you're charging too much.

There are plenty of different pricing strategies; bundling, discounting, subscriptions...   let's take a look at a few and the research that can help give you a guide for what might work in your situation.

Before we start, let's settle on a point of view and the outcome we're looking for. In general, we're discussing how to maximize gross revenues. There are some strategies that you may employ with other goals in mind; for example you may want to work only 20 hours a week and so your focus may be on maximizing hourly revenue rather than focus on a total. That's an entirely justifiable goal and we'll discuss it and other areas around this in future posts.

For now  let's just begin with maximizing gross revenue.

Pricing High or Pricing Low?

In some cases physicians combine "lowest cost / cheap" with "value".

This is completely wrong.

"Value" is the primary buying criteria for every person and every purchase. The difference is that while cheap or the lowest cost is an external measurement that's easily quantifiable, "value" is completely internal and emotional. Value is personal.

Buyers who purchase high-priced services or pay more do so because they perceive the value from these purchases to be higher than cheaper alternatives. I many cases this is completely without merit but there it is.

So... economy pricing could be a hit and miss for your medical spa. With many reports of botched patients and reviews about horrible side effects and complications, medical spa may want to avoid the "cheapest" label for a number of reasons. The problem with being the lowest price is that there can be only one, and you can get stuck in a race to the bottom with competitors who are also pursuing a "lowest-cost" pricing strategy. And a patient who comes to you for price will leave you for a lower price just as quickly.

So, it may be that premium pricing is a much better option if you're able to execute. 

Break it Down or Bundle it Up?

For this specific strategy, you would need to consider different ways to implement this. Breaking it down refers to x number of treatments for this price per treatment. Example, you can price a  treatment for ___$ a session as opposed to using a “starting from” price implementation.

A bundle pricing strategy could also work for patients who need multiple treatments (e.g. laser hair removal, non-surgical fat contouring) or multiple procedures that could reduce wrinkles but if you break it down, patients could also see how much the treatment is per session as opposed to bundling it up. 

Bundling is a common strategy for treatments that require multiple treatments to see an effect and satisfy a patient.

The answer may be to do both.

Some medical spas utilize a “membership plan” method, wherein a patient is given an option to avail of similar procedures, for this certain price. This is essentially that 'concierge medical model' but it is an uncommon practice in cosmetic medicine, yet it’s something that has serious advantages.

Should it be a 5, 9, or 0?

Pricing with the ‘9s at the end is called Charm or Psychological Pricing. It’s when you dock a cent off from its perceived value. Grocery stores employ this strategy thus many customers, and many are enticed when they see an original price and see the lower priced amount.

However, it doesn’t work all the time. You simply can’t have all treatments priced $_99. 

The answer: price treatments differently.

However, consider the “psychological” aspect of the patient when they browse your price list. Round numbers like 0s work well for people who rely on emotions because seeing the number would make them “feel good”.

One of the most effective pricing implementation strategies online is a discount or "credit" on a first treatment inside a specific time window. Sumo (see below)has done their research on the matter, and found that most customers signed up after learning they could receive store credit, and that the company’s email list grew by 87%. 

Slashing off or Discounting?

The strategy works well definitely for costly treatments. Instead of offering a $4 discount for a $12/unit of Botox, better to have it as such: $150 off a $450 for a treatment of Botox. Thing is, for both examples, the price is just docked 3 times off its original cost. Patients tend to go for the $150 off as a larger perceived value.

For values lower than $100, go for an actual percentage.

You can have a side by side comparison of the old price to the current price by putting a slash on the old price, provided the old price is higher than the current one.

You can implement any of these at a time, but remember not to go overboard with it. Learn which strategy could definitely work for your medical spa, and which would be more cost-effective as well. For your medical spa to get more patients and leads, you may need to switch up your pricing or implement different ones at the same time and which ones receive the most profits.

Further Reading On Pricing

Ciotti, G. (2015, September 09). 10 Pricing Strategies That Can Drastically Improve Sales. Retrieved from

Maguire, A. (2017, March 16). 6 Different Pricing Strategies: Which Is Right for Your Business? Retrieved from

Moreno, N. (2018, May 10). 9 Pricing Strategies to Explode Your Revenue (Backed by Psychology). Retrieved from

Reeves, C. (2016, August 03). 8 Pricing Strategies To Use On Your Product, Service Or Workshop (FS124). Retrieved from

Von Wilpert, C. (2018, July 04). Ecommerce Store Credit Strategy (Hint: 87% Email List Growth). Retrieved from

Learn from The Past - Prevent Embezzlement in Your Medical Spa

Embezzlement and theft news for medical practices often happen, so why is it rampant?

Whether or not your practice has been affected by a previous embezzlement or theft case, you need to be wary about the security of your finances and data.

These are some simple measures you can prevent embezzlement in your medical spa. To learn more about other cases of embezzlement and not become a victim of it, you can sign up for this free course in our Training Academy.

How to Get More Positive Reviews


Receiving one negative review can affect your medical spa marketing and sales?

Some clinicians believe that a couple of negative reviews are common and to counter that, you just need to receive more positive reviews. That’s easier said than done...

Some stats:

According to Vendasta, you get an 18% bump in sales when there are reviews that customers see. 

Based on Robert Cialdini’s research 77.3%, people are inclined to follow through with a favor when you ask them for help. Influencing your patients to leave a review will make a difference, so you should be making it a point to ask for reviews from your patients.

In an infographic by Website Builder, 84% patients submit online reviews to rate physicians. Review Trackers, on the other hand, find that most patients would leave a review after a negative review, and only 24.8% of patients will leave a positive review.

Here are the do’s and don’ts in getting more positive reviews.

Do Not: Disregard Any Review You Receive

You will need to find where most of your patients post about you, and start from there. 

Regardless if it’s positive or negative, you need to know where you receive them. As for responding, a simple thank you would suffice. Don’t get too carried away, choose your replies. Reply only to around 25-60% of reviews that are 3 stars and up.

However, if a negative review surfaces, it’s better to contact them directly offline than engage with the patient any further.

Do: Claim Your Listings

As such, wherever you have a listing, claim it. 

Facebook, Yelp, and Google are the best platforms to have reviews for business in general, and in Website Builders, ZocDoc, RateMD, and Healthgrades are the top 3 review sites for physicians. So you can have at least SIX different websites to have a listing on. Up to you then, which would be strategic on your part.

Do Not: Depend on One Review Page

If you want patients to come to your medical spa, then you will need visibility. Google is definitely your best bet to be noticed, although it would take a while, with some traction from other sites, you are on your way to acquiring new patients. 

You may need to consider Google Reviews as your primary channel for reviews. Through Google My Business, you can control the reviews that you receive from your patients. You would easily be found via Google provided you have complete information (i.e. website, schedule, contact details, and reviews).

Do: Add a Testimonials Page on your Website

Another channel where you can post reviews is on your website. These could be in a form of testimonials or reviews from other sites. Many physicians apply this strategy, and it is effective because it could also help arouse more interest in you and your medical spa. Adding a testimonials page would also add value to your website.

Do Not: Resort to Posting Fake Reviews

Posting fake reviews are definitely a no-no. You can detect fake reviews if there is no pro and con, if it uses uncommon terms, and if multiple reviews come in a short amount of time. Don’t be afraid to ask from reviews from your patients, even if they are family or friends.

Do: Automate Your Reputation Management

There are many reputation management software in the market, and if your medical spa does not have one yet, you may be missing out. Many businesses have seen an influx of reviews ever since installing a software. Not only that, you could control the reviews you receive and prompt the patient to write a review 

Medical Spa MD’s partner in Reputation Management -- Podium -- is in and has helped businesses receive more reviews. Your medical spa can benefit greatly by saving $1257 when you are a member of Medical Spa MD.

Supporting research and reading:

Bassig, M. (2017, August 04). Patients More Likely to Review Their Doctors After a Negative Experience. Retrieved from

Bassig, M. (2018, April 04). Did You Know? 67 Percent of All Yelp Reviews are 4 or 5-Star Reviews. Retrieved from

Bloem, C. (2017, July 31). 84 Percent of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Friends. Here's How to Manage What They See. Retrieved from

Bonelli, S. (2017, February 08). 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Retrieved from

BrightLocal. (n.d.). Local Consumer Review Survey | The Impact Of Online Reviews. Retrieved from

Christopher, E. (2017, June 14). 5 Proven Ways to Get More Customer Reviews On Google and Facebook. Retrieved from

DashBurst (2017, November 02). Why Positive Reviews are So Valuable to Small Businesses. Retrieved from

Shrestha, K. (2018, February 06). 50 Important Online Reviews Stats You Need to Know [infographic]. Retrieved from

Walker-Ford, M. (2018, May 06). How to Make a Website that Influences People: 9 Web Design Psychology Tips [Infographic]. Retrieved from

Websitebuilder (n.d.). [User Reviews is The King: Why Online Reviews Can Either Make Or Break Your Business] [Infographic]. Retrieved from:

Is your aesthetician your MVP?

Is your aesthetician your MVP? If not, find out how you can grow your business by simply changing your batting lineup.  As most medical spa owners have learned, employing an aesthetician can be a difficult and challenging task.  I, myself, have on several occasions heard and witnessed less than professional personality traits exhibited by my aesthetician colleagues.  Gossiping about coworkers, complaining about pay, and unhappy with scheduled hours these complaints can reverberate loudly from the staff lounge.

You are probably asking yourself, how could that person ever be my MVP and why would I want them to be.  Operating a successful medical spa can be nearly impossible without an aesthetician amongst your team.  If you take a moment and reflect on who an aesthetician really is, you will gain much insight and be able to truly unleash their abilities.  And once engaged, they will become one of your most valuable players.  

Who is the average aesthetician? The average aesthetician is about 24 years old, and other than their aesthetician certification hold no other degrees or licenses. According to ZipRecruiter as of March 2018, aestheticians earn $16.38 an hour and an average of $39,000 per year once commissions and tips are factored in.  So basically, they are young, earn just over minimum wage and have on average 18 months of vocational training.

A large percentage of aestheticians tend to leave the field in their first two years due to dissatisfaction with pay and benefits, difficulty finding consistent employment, and an unrealistic expectation of their roles in the marketplace.  So, they leave the profession they chose within two years.  

Conduct a little research on aesthetician satisfaction in the workplace and you will see most aestheticians are given varying schedules from week to week and oftentimes get same-day notice of shortened or eliminated working hours.  Their job security as well as take home pay is always in question.  Engage in conversation with one or two aestheticians and you will find very common theme of insecurity.

Imagine as physicians the reality that aestheticians live in and you will be able to focus your efforts on actively engaging them within your practice.  Aestheticians have a key role in our arena and should be the backbone of your office.  Who better to be your ambassador for skin care than the person who chose this career and possess the skills, passion and dedication to improving your customer’s skin.

Understanding their background and possible baggage brought over from previous employers is the first step.  The next step is providing security, security in their position, affirmation of their impact on patient retention, and assuring their shifts are as consistent as possible.   

And finally, educate and continue to educate them.  Most aestheticians cannot afford ongoing education and tend to use social media to increase their knowledge base.  As providers, you possess the medical and aesthetic knowledge to grow your team’s ability internally. But, there are many ways to continue educating your team: bring them in during medical services to assist you, have them join you for conferences and conventions, ask them to research new skin care lines and report back to the team.

The concept is simple and applies to all personal and business relationships.  Beyond Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when someone feels valuable their loyalty will bloom as will their desire to help you and your business bloom.  Not only will you find overall sales improving, but you will see many of your customers transition from microdermabrasion to lasers and injectables.  They will become an extension of you, your sales approach, and your practice.


Nancy Miller, RN MBA

Experienced Executive Director Of Operations with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Skilled in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Health Insurance, Nursing, and Clinical Research. Strong operations professional with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) focused in Health/Health Care Administration/Management.

Dr. Joel Kopelman - Kopelman Aesthetic Surgery, NY & NJ


Name: Joel E. Kopelman, M.D. FACS
Locations: Park Avenue, NYC & Ridgewood, NJ

Brief Bio:  
I trained in oculoplastic and facial plastic surgery at UCLA in 1983. I subsequently did another fellowship in orbital surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, England. I have been the director of multiple professional courses on blepharoplasty, endoscopic brow lifting, facelifting, laser resurfacing, and rhinoplasty across the United States. My current laboratory research is on how aging affects the eyelids.   

Can you give us a background of your career in cosmetic medicine?

The training that influenced my entire career really began at U.C.L.A. thirty-plus years ago. Under my fellowship director we performed primary and secondary cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid and eyebrow surgery. Our particular focus was fixing complications from overdone cosmetic eyelid surgery and forehead/brow lifts. Subsequently, my practice evolved into primarily a cosmetic practice. I began to incorporate facelifting techniques, chemical peels ,laser resurfacing techniques, and body contouring into my practice. I never stop learning.I bring new surgical and non-surgical techniques that offer safety and lasting benefits to my patients. I don’t jump on every new product or technique because I have learned from experience that there are fads that are not safe and have precipitated problems. Like everything else in life, experience counts.

What can you tell us about your NY and NJ practices?

I currently practice on Park Avenue in Manhattan in an office I share with three cosmetic dermatologists. I also have a second clinic in Northern N.J. where I have a certified surgical facility. I have four employees who include R.N.s, surgical techs who assist me in surgery as well as a board certified anesthesiologist. My New Jersey and New York practices are similar and consist of primarily women between the ages of thirty to sixty-five and men in their thirties to fifties.  

How do you manage your staff?

I highly value my employees and generally compensate them commensurate with their training and experience. Each employee is intensely vetted prior to hiring them so I don’t usually fire anyone unless they have been dishonest or rude to the patients.

What devices do you regularly use?

I currently use IPL for diffuse skin pigmentation, acne and telangiectasia. I have erbium/YAG, pulsed CO2, and erbium-glass lasers that I use for skin resurfacing. I usually prefer my erbium lasers because there is a very rapid recovery time. I also use a non-invasive ultrasonic body contouring device called UltraShape Power. I like this device because it causes little discomfort compared to CoolSculpt.

What marketing strategies do you employ?

Word of mouth, internal marketing ”awareness”, website and Instagram. The marketing that traditionally has worked is “word of mouth” recommendations. In the past few years internet ratings and ranking has increased traffic but I have found that these patients do not always have realistic expectations.

Which treatments do you consider the most popular in your practices?

Facelifts, blepharoplasties, endoscopic brow lifts. I plan on performing more PRP for hair rejuvenation. I no longer perform rhinoplasty.

In your many years of experience, what have you learned so far?

I tell my staff “If a patient is happy when they come to see me they will be happy when they leave but if they are unhappy when they come to see me they will be unhappy when they leave”- there is nothing that I can do to change their view of the world. 

Lastly, what can you impart to fellow physicians in the field?

Do great work, be passionate, show that you care. Patients will recognize, value and trust your service, see you as their medical guardian, and appreciate you as an outstanding physician and surgeon. You don’t have to wave a flag - your actions will speak louder than words.

Only Work On What Brings Value To Your Customer & Your Medical Practice


If you're working on solutions without a very clear definition of the problem you're trying to solve, you're doing it wrong.

Is the solution you're working on solving a real problem? Is the problem based on your existing patients needs? If you're successful with the project you're working on, would it change anything for your patients? And in turn, would it change anything for your clinic? These are the fundamental questions you need to answer to make sure that you're investing your time and effort working on worthwhile opportunities.

If you put yourself in a position where your clinic is running on autopilot and give yourself a chance to get off of the constant production treadmill you'll have a chance to work ON your business, not just IN your business.

Process is critical here.

My guess is that you don't have any real way to prioritize what you're working on at any one time. If you're like the vast majority of clinics who are physician-owned, you're not running a business as much as you are running a communal job, where nothing's addressed until there is enough pain that you have to actually do something.

  • We don't have enough patients; so I need to try and figure out how to get some. I guess I'll call that local ___ rep who was in here last week promising that she could help grow my practice. Maybe my nephew can help me out with some Facebook ads.
  • We're getting a lot of returns and some negative reviews online; Oh well, what can you do. Some people will always be unhappy. Nothing really you can do about that. (If this is you, get your ass a Podium account now.)
  • I know that we're over-promising on what the results are with this old IPL that I've had forever but it's still working and it's not worth much so I can't afford to upgrade. (Get a certified quote on your used laser or IPL)

I could go on forever.

Features and solutions are easy to imagine and talk about with other people, and coming up with a 'solution' is rewarding, it makes us feel like we're making progress and are figuring things out.

This is not the way that successful clinics operate.

Successful clinics have systems, and one of those systems is some kind of process to prioritize what to work on, and it's not the low hanging fruit.

It's the hard things that will kill you.

No one cares if you add a Facebook widget to you website so that patients can join up and be ignored in your I-don't-have-time-to-do-it Facebook group.

But if your staff is fighting over commissions your patients will see that and you'll have less word-of-mouth.

Who gives a shit if your using a credit card processor that charges you 5% more than someone else.

But if your consultations aren't perfect you're cutting your own throat.

You need to be working on the hard things; building systems into your business, an obsessive focus on patient satisfaction, a team that is all working in unison, and a real business.

It's the hard things that you have to get right- the foundations of your business- not the bullshit on the surface.

Here's a simple process to identify and prioritize what you should be working on. (Note: I use this but I stole it from Amazon.

Prioritizing What To Work On

Here's a simple method to ensure that you're working on problems that can actually affect your business.

Note: This is a physical process, not a thought exercise. I suggest that you use post-it notes and do this first with yourself, but then with your team. (If you're doing it with your team DO NOT hog the meeting and deliver the answer. Let your team help you with all of it.)

  1. Write down the BIG problems that are facing your clinic. These are the problems that, if they're not fixed immediately, can put you out of business. 
  2. Prioritize those problems according to risk, with the biggest problem at the top and the least risky one at the bottom.
  3. Pick the problem right at the top. The one that poses the biggest risk to your clinic.
  4. Break it apart into smaller constituent parts. For example; "We don't make enough revenue to cover our costs" can be broken down into, "We don't make enough revenue" and "our cost's are too high".
  5. Keep breaking it down into smaller segments.
  6. Pick a segment or a challenge. 
  7. Use this technique of the 5 Why's to uncover the root cause.
  8. Use these root causes to build a plan of action that you can be sure are contributing to drive value and work on your most pressing problems.


How To Use Jeff Bezos' 5 Whys Technique To Find Root Causes In Your Clinic


Identifying and addressing the root cause is where you can make changes in outcomes as a business leader.

Pate Abilla is a a process guru, and I've added his post here on how Jeff Bezos uses a simple technique called "5 Why's" to find the root cause of a problem.

What is it that really sets Amazon apart from everyone else. I obviously don't know the definitive answer to that, but I can draw on some experience being an early employee at Amazon. 

I want to especially point to one experience that might, perhaps, demonstrate the way we were taught to think at Amazon.

The Conveyor Belt Accident

Back in 2004, I was part of rotational program at Amazon and at this particular time, I was in one of Amazon's massive fulfillment centers. During Q4, Jeff Bezos takes the time to visit several fulfillment centers to see how things are going and to lend a hand.

In a meeting with the senior team of which I was a part, we discussed metrics for that Q4. One of the metrics is related to safety. It was at this time the safety manager explained one of the accidents during that year at the fulfillment center. 

An associate had damaged his finger on a conveyor belt.

I immediately noticed Jeff Bezos' demeanor change from one of excitement because of the busy-ness of Q4 to one of serious concern.

Then he got up and went to the whiteboard. He then began to facilitate the following discussion:

Demonstration of 5 Whys by Jeff Bezos

Bezos wrote on the whiteboard the following and took us through an exercise right then and there (this is from memory).

  1. Question: Why did the associate damage his thumb?
    Answer: Because his thumb got caught in the conveyor.

  2. Question: Why did his thumb get caught in the conveyor?
    Answer: Because he was chasing his bag, which was on a running conveyor belt.

  3. Question: Why did he chase his bag?
    Answer: Because he placed his bag on the conveyor, but it then turned-on by surprise

  4. Question: Why was his bag on the conveyor?
    Answer: Because he used the conveyor as a table

Conclusion: So, the likely root cause of the associate’s damaged thumb is that he simply needed a table, there wasn’t one around, so he used a conveyor as a table. 

Countermeasure: To eliminate further safety incidences, we need to provide tables at the appropriate stations or provide portable, light tables for the associates to use, or place maintenance bags on the floor.

There are several things amazing about this experience:

  1. Jeff Bezos cared enough about an hourly associate and his family to spend time discussing his situation.

  2. Jeff properly facilitated the 5-why exercise to arrive at a root cause: he did not blame people or groups — no finger pointing.

  3. He involved a large group of stakeholders, demonstrated by example, and arrived at a root cause and he didn’t focus on symptoms of the problem.

  4. He is the founder and CEO of, yet he got involved in the dirt and sweat of his employees’ situation.

  5. In that simple moment, he taught all of us to focus on root causes — quickly. He did not heavily rely on data or over-analysis of the situation, and yet he was spot-on in identifying the root causes of the safety incident.


Remember, this was back in 2004. If the CEO can think this way, then clearly the entire company can. While Amazon isn't perfect in any way and Bezos isn't necessarily the poster boy for effective leadership, this particular situation is a really great example of how leaders can behave and how they can demonstrate clear thinking and quick problem solving.

If I were to point at one thing that sets Amazon apart, it's how their people think. And how they think is heavily influenced by Bezos and his example.

Dr. Ahmad Rabb, Cosmetic Medicine At Medical & Cosmetology Centre In Toronto

Connecting with a Canadian physician practicing cosmetic medicine in Toronto, Dr. Ahmad Rabb.

Name: Ahmad Rabb, MD
Clinic: Medical and Cosmetology Centre
Location: Toronto, Canada

That's interesting: Dr. Rabb leads Bio Ethics Seminars for medical Undergraduates at the University of Toronto School of Medicine. He speaks English, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi.

You started out in family medicine but then switched to cosmetic medicine. Why did you switch?

It took me couple of years to transition from family medicine into cosmetic medicine. Over the years I realized that non-invasive and non-ablative skin care techniques were becoming increasingly popular and effective in reasonably reversing the adverse affects of different aging types ex. Photo-aging, Intrinsic aging (age related aging) and environmental aging.

Read More

How To Add Texting To Your Clinic And 6X Your New Patient Inquiries?


Allowing patients to use text messaging makes them 6 times as likely to reach out and communicate with you.

6X in anything is a MASSIVE increase, but especially in inbound contacts there's simply nothing else that comes even close to that.

Nobody likes to call.

Asking new patient-prospects to call your front desk is a lot to ask. It's an investment of time, it's slow, you have to call during office hours, and you know that there's social pressure that's going to be applied by the person on the other end. It's a big hurdle and has always cost you those patients who you might have had if only it had been a little less difficult.

You're missing those inquiries, patients and those sales.

But texting is easy.

Sending a text is a much lower 'ask', and that's just what you want as a business; a very easy first step. It's asynchronous so you don't have to worry about office hours or connecting, and there's much less social pressure than talking to someone on the phone.

Best of all, your front desk staff can probably handle 5 times the traffic in texting communications than in phone calls.

Here are the numbers*: (reference)

  • New patients are 6 times more likely to text you than call. 
  • Texting is 10X quicker than phone calls
  • 81% of Americans text regularly
  • 85% of people want to be able to not only receive a message from a business but also answer a message from a business.
  • 98% of consumers want to use texting when communicating with a business
  • 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent
  • People prefer text for most scheduling, changing appointments, or confirming reservations
  • Response rates from text are 209% higher than phone calls and 200% higher than email

If you can read those stats as a clinic owner and think that you don't need a two-way texting capability to communicate with your patients and field new inquires...  well, I don't really know what I could say that could help you or your business. Please stop reading.

The simple truth is that you need to find a solution using text messages because it's the preferred method of communication for your existing patients, and it's more productive than what you're doing now.

How much time is actually wasted every week on the phone? Here are my guesstimates:

Common Tasks

Calling to confirm appointment

Call patients to fill a cancelation

Staff time wasted: calling, on hold,
calling back, waiting....


2-5 minutes

5-30 minutes



40 seconds

2 minutes


Texting is clearly a more productive and efficient system and your patients respond better to it. The only question for you is what to do about it.

How do I add texting to my clinic?

Before getting started there are a few things we suggest doing to ensure that you are successful. The first is setting up your Google My Business listing to accept text messages from mobile searchers. Check out this post for instructions on how to set up Google Click-to-Message for your business.

Next, you’ll want to find a solution that can enable your landline to accept text messages. This will help you maintain continuity and consistency with your contact information, which is an important factor in where your business ranks in local search.

Once your landline is set up to accept text messages, you’ll want to publish that number wherever your contact information is displayed with instructions to “call or text us.” Some places to include it are on your website, on all of your business directory listings, and even in your email signature.

Finally, you’ll want to implement a customer interaction platform to help you manage all of your text message conversations.

More help on that a little later.

Best practices: What would I use text messaging for?

I understand your reluctance to start texting your patients and prospects. Its new and you don’t really know where to start or how to do it. but let's identify a few moments during your patient journey where it makes perfect sense to be using text messaging.

1. SET APPOINTMENTS AND SEND APPOINTMENT REMINDERS One of the biggest frustrations is when patients no-show, but you can eliminate a large number of no-shows by texting out appointment reminders and setting appointments with your customers. It's much less intrusive and time-consuming than having your staff call out and remind customers about upcoming appointments.

There are automated systems that you pay for that do this automatically, but that's all they do. You want a a system that does this and the other things on the list too.

2. BE A RESOURCE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS Not all of the questions your customers have will warrant a phone call. Some are simple and can often be answered with a very short text. Because texting is more visual than a phone call, it allows your patients to use testing in ways that phone calls just don't handle well, like sending a photo. This can eliminate a lot of confusion that might arise if they were to try and describe the problem verbally.

3. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO UPSELL Having a texting relationship with your customers will also give you the opportunity to upsell them from time-to-time. This will provide your business with incremental increases in revenue that will not only improve customer satisfaction but also boost your bottom line.

4. ASK FOR FEEDBACK A number of our customers have started to replace traditional customer satisfaction surveys with a text message-based survey. These customers see a higher open and response rate because text messaging is more conversational and less intrusive than a survey. A simple "let us know if we can help in any way" as a text is another touch point of care that patients appreciate and cost's you nothing.

5. CLOSE BUSINESS This might sound crazy to you, but it’s not uncommon for people to make a sale in a text message conversation – even for big-ticket purchases. Just send a special offer to your best clients, or followup on a consultation in a non-intrusive way.

7. COLLECT REVIEWS Finally, you should invite all of your customers to review your business via text message. Building up your online reputation is important because it makes it easy for consumers to find your business via online searches, while also helping to influence purchase decisions.

8. LET PATIENTS TEXT YOU AS A FIRST CONTACT This is a big one... make it easier for patients to take the first step towards your clinic by allowing them to text you as a first contact.

What does all of this?

We started looking at providing a solution for our Members that solves these problems. The company that we chose to partner with is a best-in-class software solution called Podium. 

We contacted them and they agreed to partner with us and put together a special offer for Members. You can see that offer here:

Here's a little info about how it works to make it easier for prospects to connect with you, to communicate and interact with them, and to get them to help you grow you reputation and business.


Here's a video showing how new patients can use Podium to text you directly from your own website or from other pages like your Google business page. Now, instead of just being able to call, they can now text, connecting them to your front desk and allowing your staff to respond right from their computer.

  1. User finds you on the web, often on a mobile device or smart phone.
  2. They text you.
  3. You text them back.

It's asynchronous so it doesn't impact calls and no one has to wait, you can send images if you want (like a price list or before and after photos), it's efficient so your teams productivity increases, and it's what your patients want.

And here's a video that shows how Podum's new webchat feature works for brick and mortar businesses like your clinic.

"Podium Messenger makes texting with customers a breeze. 90% of consumers want to use messaging to talk to businesses. With Podium Messenger, stay connected with your customers and answer questions in real-time via text message – all from one centralized dashboard"

So that's really it. This is something that you actually need, that your patients want, and that you're never going to get a better deal on since it's only our Members that get it.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of this Members only deal, just find it - along with other deals and offers - in the Marketplace.

Oh.... and in addition to Members getting better pricing forever for this, you'll also get free training for your entire team online.