I want to share with you a conversation I had with a client about before and after photos.
Jola Cruise, Practice Director, Cruise Plastic Surgery
Jola: We strongly believe in before and afters. We started my husband’s practice over 17 years ago and went through a few different ways of entering photos and having to start over if we changed providers. We believe that your gallery should be your gallery and you shouldn’t have to recreate it every single time.
So that’s how I found the BRAG book… It’s been a while.
Candace: It was 2015. We would like to see others have the same amount of success that you’ve had. I’m looking forward to hearing you share some tips and insight that will help other practices do what you’ve done.
Jola: For us, our gallery has been our most important marketing tool from the very beginning, that’s because a picture’s worth a thousand words.
Candace: It’s an oversight for a lot of practices. Could you elaborate on why they were so important to you?
Jola: Patients shop for experience and results. Who are you going to choose? Are you going to somebody who has three before and after photos or 150 of the procedure you are looking for? Everybody knows that you post only your best results. So, if you were only able to post three results, then I really don’t want to go there because that doesn’t tell me what you can do.
When you can show them your work, it speaks for itself. You don’t have to brag about it, you don’t have to do anything.
“Who are you going to choose? Are you going to somebody who has three before and after photos or 150 of the procedure you’re looking for?”
Practice Director, Cruise Plastic Surgery
Jola: When we started the practice I’d literally sit for 10 hours a day and work on photos. Not every day, but when I would get on a roll, I would just go with it. And today we have 774 photos in our gallery!
Candace: In order to have that large of gallery did you develop a process?
Jola: We take photos every single appointment. Once a month I’ll go and pull the patient names and check through all the different before and after photos; do they look good? If yes, and we have a consent I’ll post it. If they’re not ready I’d ask one of the staff to have them come back in three months or so.
Candace: How do you get the staff to do photos?
Jola: I used to do the photos, then I trained one girl, then I trained another one. I compensate them for it. We pay them $50 for each posted photo set.
Candace: Wow! Incentivize.
Jola: It truly works because if they need extra money, they will go to the photos and look for ones that are quality enough to run by me for approval to upload. They do it on their normal hourly and get paid extra for the photos. They email me the photos first to show me the patients. I look through the photos and say “Okay this is good, you can go ahead and upload it, or this is not the best let’s skip this one.”
Candace: That’s wonderful. What percentage of your patients would you say give you consent to post the photos?
Jola: Most, maybe even 60% would actually sign it. If somebody says “for office use only,” I assume they’re already somewhat open? So, if they have really good before and after photos we’ll go back to them and ask them again. And many times when they’re so happy after the surgery they will say, “Oh, of course!” They are so ashamed of how they look before surgery that many times No doesn’t mean No, it just means Not Now. So, if you ask them again, many times they agree.
I totally understand that because I wouldn’t want my face or whatever showing when it doesn’t look good, but then when I look so good and can help other patients I would agree.
Candace: Just ask and ask again at each appointment.
Jola: The person with the best relationship with the patient usually asks for permission to post. It’s usually our consultant, our office manager. If you say “Oh, could you do this?” that doesn’t work but “Oh my gosh, I have a patient who is really looking, she looks exactly like you. She would love to see your pictures so bad! We have so many patients who look like you, but they don’t see enough photos. Would you mind?” We try to relate to something specific about that patient’s case.
It’s what’s helped us get to 774 photos in our gallery!
To learn more about our before and after gallery plug-in, go to BRAGbookGallery.com. We have a whole website dedicated to how practices are using it.
Let us know what is your biggest marketing asset and your thoughts on thinking of your before and afters as your greatest marketing asset. We’d LOVE your feedback.
Candace Crowe, President, Innovator & Artist
Candace Crowe Design