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In our current ratings and reviews culture more patients are turning to review sites when researching procedures and surgeons.  RealSelf, in many ways the “Yelp of Cosmetic Surgery”, achieves around 10 million unique monthly visitors.  Full disclosure, YellowTelescope is one of a small group of RealSelf preferred affiliates (check out our recent webinar). While we have heard arguments both for and against using RealSelf, a recent study showed 81% of RealSelf users believe that researching reviews is critical when  selecting a provider. Whether you like it or not, (and we like it) RealSelf is here to stay. Read on for our thoughts on maximizing your profile.

Create A RealSelf Profile

Creating a profile for your practice is FREE. Why not utilize a complimentary advertising profile on the industry’s most powerful lead generation tool? Your profile may be the first introduction to your practice for the patient, so make it robust. Use your profile as a branding tool. Fill out all of the sections, upload a profile photo, select your specialty, and provide location information and directions. Make sure that you list all the procedures you perform and upload high quality before and after photos. The idea behind a RealSelf profile is to set yourself apart as the expert. Think about what you post and how it will translate to patients who don’t know you. Inject some personality into the profile while still projecting yourself as an expert. For example, using a profile picture of the doctor wearing a lab coat will exude expertise more so than a photo of the entire team or the office space.

Become a RealSelf Top Contributor or RealSelf Spotlight Doctor

There are thousands of board-certified surgeons and specialists listed from around the world, but only about 10% of them have reached Top Contributor status. RealSelf allows you to put in sweat equity through becoming a top contributor, or you can pay for Spotlight status and minimize competitor ads, unlock comprehensive tracking tools, as well as additional templates for the profile itself.  

To become a top contributor without paying, you need to:

  • Answer a minimum of 75 patient questions
  • Answer a minimum of 10 questions every 90 days
  • Have at least three patient reviews
  • Have a high ratio of “helpful votes” to answered questions

Being a top contributor does take some time and effort. Scheduling time to answer questions, such as setting aside 15 minutes every Friday to answer 3 questions, will help make contributing more of a habit. Otherwise, paying for spotlight status may help differentiate your practice from local competitors.

Utilize Patient Engage to Maximize Patient Reviews

Patient Engage is a tool that will email your patients asking them to leave you a review. You can enter up to 50 email addresses at a time, making it a quick, effective way to get more reviews on your profile. Considering that 86% of people in a recent study say that they would not consider a doctor without reviews, this is an excellent way to jump-start your profile when you first create it.

RealSelf’s value for practices is as a powerful lead generation tool. Doctors with 10 or less reviews average 1 contact a month from RealSelf. Doctors with 10+ reviews average 17 contacts a month from RealSelf. Reviews matter, and more than that, the recency of the review also matters.

RealSelf allows you to manage your reviews once posted. Obviously, you want the best reviews to be front and center. What you may not have considered is putting reviews for your most requested procedures at the top. This could help to make your profile more relevant to your potential patients and engage them before they move on to the next profile. Check out this article from SEOversite for some extra tips on taking control of your ratings and reviews.

Your RealSelf profile is an essential tool to showcase yourself and your practice to patients looking for a cosmetic surgeon. If you are not utilizing your profile and actively engaging patients, you could be missing out on valuable leads. Reach out to YellowTelescope at info@yellowtelescope.com for more information on how to market your practice for growth.