Authoring your own book is a proven, effective marketing strategy in attracting prospective aesthetic patients.

Though book writing may or may not be a money-making project in itself, the benefits are numerous. It can help to establish your credibility and believability with would-be patients and differentiate yourself from your competitors (who didn’t take the time to write their own book). Maley's Marketing Minute by Catherine Maley, MBA

A book creates name recall and recognition when it works together with your other promotional projects, such as your Web site. A book sets you apart and makes you into an expert. It gives you status with prospective patients who learn from you, trust you, and contact you to learn more.

How to Get Your Book Written

This is the challenging part if you’ve never written before. Just remember, books are written one page at a time. Start with an outline of each procedure, treatment, and product you offer. Write out the common questions your patients ask you and want answered such as what they can expect for a result, pain involved, and downtime.

An easy way to collect your book content is to record live patient consultations (with the patient’s approval, of course) and have it transcribed. That way, your book is conversational and accurate because you are using actual words you would say to a patient.

Keep Your Reader’s Needs in Mind

Most patients do not understand medical terminology, so always use layman’s terms. Include lots of before-and-after photos, patient testimonials, and patient stories your target readers can easily relate to. The readers also want to relate to you so add your personality. Include personal and professional pictures of you doing the procedure (nothing gory), you consulting with a patient, meeting with your staff, and working at your computer.

Include a medical disclaimer to ensure your readers understand the book is merely an educational tool. State that you would need to meet them face-to-face to recommend any appropriate personalized procedure or treatment regimen.
Your book should act as a lead-generation tool. It’s a great opportunity to add a call-to-action that would give your readers ways to get in touch with you. Consider including a “Get to Know Us” gift card in the book or give your readers incentives if they visit your Web site or call your office.

Use Your Book to Become Well Known

Writing your book is half the battle. The other half is using it strategically to become known. This part is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. Sell it through Amazon and Google Books (for a split in profits, they’ll even print-on-demand and ship it for you).

That approach will give you credibility, help your Web site’s search engine rankings, and make it easy for you to distribute your book. You can also sell it on your Web site, offer free links to it on other people’s Websites, and blog about it all through cyberspace with links back to your Web site.

Get Help from a Ghostwriter and Others

You can write the text yourself or choose to hire a ghostwriter. You can go to the trouble of finding a reputable publisher to print and promote the book for you or you can self-publish the book and skip the middleman. If you go through a publisher, you lose much control over the content but they deal with all aspects of book editing, production, and distribution and marketing. Just decide how involved you want to be in the process and how much you want to invest in it.

When your book in finally done, you are now introduced as doctor and author, and that puts you a cut above all others.

Catherine Maley, MBA, is the owner of Cosmetic Image Marketing, a Sausalito, Calif-based firm specializing in creative patient attraction strategies to drive aesthetic profits. She can be reached at (877) 339-8833 or here.