Photography and video are proven assets to the patient journey in aesthetic practices in multiple ways—helping to clarify concerns, demonstrate expertise, document baselines, and record progress. Images make a bigger impression on many people than words, so how can you use them most effectively to help improve patient outcomes and boost conversion rates?
Several practices report success with asking patients to bring to the consultation a photo of themselves at a time when they loved how they looked. This photo can serve as an icebreaker and conversation starter, but it also helps your patient convey their own perception of the qualities that they find attractive and the outcomes they are seeking. This photo, which generally dates from a younger period, can also give you an idea of what a natural, more youthful appearance for the patient would look like.
You may also wish to take a picture at the start of the consult. Establish a procedure for these photos so the lighting, angles, and framing are as consistent as possible and offer a quality image for you to use during the consultation, as well as after treatment. Just make sure the patient signs a consent form first.
In the aesthetic consult, having Before photos available on a screen or mobile device will enable you and the patient to refer to them during the assessment. Using the Before image, you can utilize programs and devices that showcase expected aging progression and regression, as well as visualize potential enhancements. Likewise, touchscreen devices can allow you and your patient to draw on images to point out concerns and illustrate conditions. This practice improves communication and better ensures that you can create the best treatment plan for each patient.
Depending on your clinic’s budget, however, you may decide to start by using a smartphone or tablet for picture taking instead. You may be able to use photography apps to better regularize and digitize photos, keeping positioning consistent and enabling the photos to be added to the patient’s record and used later in the treatment process to help document results.
From time to time, you may encounter a patient who has brought in a celebrity photo to use as an example of the outcome they are seeking. Bringing in celebrity photos can be red flag. Note that celebrity photos and unrealistic expectations can often go hand in hand during the consultation process. While these photos may serve to better understand your patient’s goals, it can be a sign that their expectations are too high. If this is the case, utilize a Before photo or an image of themselves that they have brought in to refocus their attention on the best potential and natural-looking outcomes for them.
The consultation appointment requires the perfect balance of education, active listening, and respect for the prospective patient’s reservations. To discover more tips on how to effectively boost conversions during the consultation process, download our invaluable eBook, “Mastering the Art of the Aesthetic Consult.”