There’s been some big changes to the Cosmetic Industry in Australia recently with the introduction of a Cooling-Off Period for Cosmetic Procedures including Botox/Dysport Injections. Now young people (under 18) seeking Cosmetic procedures will be required to have an assessment by a psychiatrist (or similar) and wait 3 months before being able to undertake the procedure. For adults it will be up to 7 days before being able to undertake the procedure. So the idea is that you are now consulted by a doctor (at least by video) before having the procedure and then have to go away and spend some time thinking about the procedure. Further, the Doctor will now have to take full responsibility for post-procedure care. Clinics will also not be able to offer payment plans or financial incentives/assistance to undertake the procedure.
These new laws are designed to take measures toward regulating an industry that is pretty much unregulated and out-of-control. The industry has boomed over the past decade with unprecedented growth spurring a decline in standards as clinics strive to push through higher volumes of patient numbers and generate massive profits. Finally, we are seeing some action being taken to help improve patient safety and hopefully, improve the standards throughout the industry.
It will be interesting to see what impact these changes will have on the industry and how far reaching they will become. Will New Zealand adopt something similar? How will this impact commonplace ‘payment plans’ such as the Amerase program offered by New Zealand’s Caci Clinics. We’d love to get a conversation started on this topic with opinions from both the general public and those who work in or own clinics. Add you comment below or share on Facebook.
AMA stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’. This is a series of candid interviews our CEO Trevor Topfer will be conducting with business owners, sports-people, industry experts and the like which we will call TopChatt. We hope to release one every month or two throughout the next 12 months. If you like the concept and footage, please leave a comment and let us know who you would like us to interview!
Our inaugural AMA is with leading Cosmetic Physician, Dr Ellen Selkon. Dr Ellen Selkon and Trevor discuss a broad range of topics from gun-fights in South Africa, the perils of cheap Botox, and even Donald Trump! Watch the video. Feel free to share and/or subscribe to our YouTube channel – we’d love to feel the love. Enjoy.
Keywords: Dr Ellen Selkon, TopChatt, Trevor Topfer
AMA – Dr Ellen Selkon – TopChatt May 19th, 2016trevor
WordPress recently announced it is now the platform of choice for 25% of ALL the websites online. We have been using WordPress almost exclusively for around 5 years now and remain committed to this decision. The only exception is for our enterprise level clients or those seeking a bespoke, high-end web solution. Even some of our Enterprise level builds are still done in WordPress depending on the application and user-experience required. Given this overwhelming market share, it is no wonder that WordPress now has a massive target on its back in terms of DDOS and annoying security attacks. We suffered a major hack last year which caused some problems for a few clients and cost us 2-3 days of work to resolve. The hack came as the result of an out-dated plugin that we hadn’t been quick enough to update. This opened a crack in our security which was exploited by some Albanians (bloody Albanians). This was the first time a hack had actually penetrated our security and caused issues for our clients. As you could imagine, I didn’t take it well. My response was to immediately clean EVERY website on our server, update the security plugins we were using to more expensive and better versions (we now choose Wordfence), update every clients website and add 2 stage login for admins. You may have noticed you are now required to tick the little box to prove you are a human when you login to your website. Despite the massive cost to Topcatt of this endeavour, the result has been zero successful attacks since. We also passed none of the cost of this operation onto any client (something we know our competitors do).
WordPress also knows it is more vulnerable to hacks and malicious acts by ‘cyber-terrorists’ and now conducts far more regular updates to its core framework. It seems like there’s a new WordPress version every month now. Of course, every single plugin then has to update to meet the new framework changes. In turn, we then have to run updates to all our websites to ensure we plug any leaks. This is probably the reason why managed hosting fees have experienced a significant increase. ALL our clients have managed hosting. We have dedicated servers based in Auckland to host our clients web assets and will never consider un-managed hosting services as it simply isn’t up to our standards. Unfortunately, this means Topcatt is now doing something we have never done before. We are forced to increase our hosting fees.
For standard websites, hosting fees will now be $450 per year (+GST).
For eCommerce websites or custom solutions your hosting is now $650 per annum (+GST)
For Enterprise clients and bespoke solutions, we will discuss any increase directly with you.
In return for the increased charges, we will run monthly (or as required) updates to all security, framework and associated plugins, as well as perform security risk assessments using our very expensive software and notify you of any suspicious activity. This is a whole new level of website security and managed hosting and we are certain that the increase still provides incredible value. Please feel free to contact me directly on 0224 867 228 if you wish to discuss these changes. Thank you for your ongoing business.
WordPress, the good, the bad and the beautiful February 14th, 2016trevor
This article reviews the essentials for a Clinic Management software program and makes recommendations for some alternatives. We also have experience in helping clinics leave Medtech without costing the earth. Details below.
Medtech is a comprehensive Patient Administration System (PAS) designed to run medium to large scale medical enterprise from GP or Speciality Clinics right up to Hospitals. In the Cosmetic Medical space, I see a lot of GP’s who have made the transition out of General Practice and into Cosmetic Medicine persist with Medtech simply because it’s what they know. The number of small to medium Cosmetic Medical Clinics running Medtech (or Kitomba and other expensive software packages) astounds me. These systems cost anywhere from $150 a month to over $1500 per month. Sure, they offer a very broad spectrum of features, but I challenge you to ask yourself, “how much of it am I actually using?”
The reality is, for most Cosmetic Clinics (and hair salons, beauty salons, Day Spa’s, etc) an adequate system would need to offer the following functionality:
Calendar – the hub of the clinic where appointments are made and the day-to-day running of the clinic takes place
Retail – the ability to track inventory of stock and add purchases of these items to invoices
Invoicing – the ability to bill a client for the services they have just undertaken
Client notes – a place to keep a simple digital record of photographs and treatment notes which would include the ability to upload pdf or jpeg files and attach to a patient record
Reports – administrative functions allowing practice managers to track the comings and goings of the business and make improvements to efficiencies and marketing decisions
Beyond these core necessities, the following functions are a nice to have:
Database capture – a way of easily contacting your existing patients by either email or text message
Advanced marketing reports
Automated SMS/Email Appointment reminders
Website booking module
XERO or accounting software integration
remote access via mobile device (IE cloud-based)
Medtech, Kitomba and other expensive software packages offer the need-to-haves and the nice-to-haves and have functionality beyond this that can be truly remarkable. But do you actually need it? There are a bunch of software packages out there that can cover all the need-to-haves and some of the nice-to-haves AT A FRACTION OF THE COST! I would like to say that I do not in any way receive endorsements nor have any vested interests in any of the following companies. I am simply offering my opinion/advice to Cosmetic Clinics who are using expensive software that they may be able to do everything they need in a simpler format for much less overhead.
Here’s my picks:
Timely – http://www.gettimely.com
Timely are primarily targeting the hair salon market with a beautiful interface that covers all the need-to-haves and most of the nice-to-haves with some other nice functionality thrown in. You can access/use the system with a phone, iPad/Tablet or computer which is handy, but best of all, subscriptions start as low as NZD19 per month (solo user) with additional staff costing an additional $9 per month. If the average Cosmetic Medical Clinic has around 5 staff, the monthly cost of Timely would be a crazy $55 per month! That’s some serious bang for buck.
Cliniko – https://www.cliniko.com
In my opinion, Cliniko offers a bit more than Timely as their target market is allied health (think Physiotherapists and the like). Again, all the need-to-haves are there and most of the nice-to-haves are also there. They are a great bunch to deal with and are constantly making improvements to the software based on their users feedback. This system is more than adequate for the typical Cosmetic Practice. Their plans start at USD49 per month for solo practitioner and USD99 per month for a team of 5. Importantly, they only consider PRACTITIONERS (docs, nurses) as users, you don’t pay extra for receptionists, practice managers, etc. So if you only have 1 doctor or nurse in your clinic, you only need the solo plan.
I’m sure there are others out there and I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I am always on the lookout for a system that meets the unique needs of the cosmetic clinic better at a reasonable price, so please let me know. I have already mapped out my ideal system for a Cosmetic Clinic PAS and hope to be able to build this system in the future. Any investors out there who would like to talk, let me know!
If you decide to leave Medtech (in particular), the cost of doing this is very high. We recently built a stand-alone web-based portal to hold the medical records for a client looking to make the switch. They were quoted over $7000 by Medtech, just to be handed their client records in a useable format on a disk. We built them a web-based portal that made accessing and downloading patient records easy for $3500. Let us know if you are thinking of changing from Medtech, we can help you navigate the process at a fraction of the cost of what Medtech will charge you and you’ll end up with a much better system than they will give you!
Is Medtech an unnecessary cost? February 4th, 2016trevor
In brief, this article addresses changes to the Medical Council’s Statement on Advertising and advises on the use of before and after photos, email marketing and social media, and using services like GrabOne to promote your Cosmetic Clinic.
The Medical Council of New Zealand released an update to their Statement on Advertising in February of 2015, but many of my clients are unaware of it. There’s been some changes to the rules around Marketing campaigns and websites for Cosmetic Clinics and Beauty Salons. I strongly recommend you read the full Statement at the following link (https://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statement-on-advertising-2015.pdf). The fines for breaching the advertising standards is currently $60,000 for an individual and $200,000 for a body corporate.
The first thing I want to make very clear is that the responsibility for the Advertising content you use to promote or market your clinic, products or services is YOURS alone. Just because a supplier provided the materials, does not mean it is compliant and your decision to use this material puts the responsibility on you; “regardless of authorship”. So you, the owner, must be aware of all materials being used in relation to your business, your staff are also not liable, just you. Also, the rules apply to ALL things you make available to the public – even if it’s only spoken (such as at a presentation).
The big one in Cosmetic Clinics is the use of before and after photos. According to the statement, you should use ANY images with caution. Before and After photos must ensure that they:
are there solely for the purpose of providing accurate and useful information to patients.
show a realistic portrayal of the outcome that can reasonably and typically be expected.
only depict patients who have undergone the advertised procedure while under your (or your services’) care.
have not been altered in any way.
use the same lighting, contrast, background, framing, camera angle, exposure and other photographic techniques in both the ‘before’ and ‘after; images.
ensure consistency in posture, clothing and make-up.
are only used when the patient has given his or her fully informed consent.
Honestly, before and after photos for a Cosmetic Clinic are far more than just an advertising tool, they are a vital part of your business. I recommend clinicians take photos AT EVERY APPOINTMENT and keep them stored in the patient’s electronic medical record. Clinics understand the value of their IPL or Laser machine and most have a separate area (or room) within the clinic, set up to for the use of this machine. Why not the same for photography? These images are really the true evidence you have to support your work. They should be considered one of the most important elements of your consultations and client interactions. I recommend setting up a specific area within the clinic for the taking of consistent and regular photos and even training staff on how to shoot and what to shoot.
For those participating or considering participating in Grab-One (or similar) deals or offering gift certificates/discount coupons, the Statement reflects the Council changing their position here, effectively relaxing some of the former restrictions around this activity.
Section 17 of the statement simply states “you must not advertise your services by visiting, emailing or telephoning prospective patients, either in person or through an agent”. You are allowed to contact existing or former patients, but not prospective ones. This could impact running Social Media campaigns designed to add email addresses to your marketing database and then running an EDM campaign to these prospective patients. I always recommend double opt-in services (such as Mailchimp) to ensure people are really providing you with permission to add them to an EDM mailing list.
If you are a doctor planning on or currently representing/endorsing a particular product, you should be very aware of the Statement on Advertising, as you are more than likely breaching the standards – especially if you are using brand names in your promotional activity and presentations.
For those participating or considering participating in Grab-One (or similar) deals or offering gift certificates/discount coupons, the Statement reflects the Council changing their position here, effectively relaxing some of the former restrictions around this activity. The Statement endorses the use of Gift Certificates or Discount Coupons provided the coupon or certificate is clear that:
purchase of the certificate or coupon does not equate to granting informed consent
prior to treatment you will discuss treatment options with the patient
the patient has the right to opt out of the treatment at any time
you will not provide the requested treatment if your assessment indicates that the patient is not a suitable candidate
you will only use a title with the understanding that you are professionally accountable for the training, ongoing Professional Development and recertification in that area.
However, it is not appropriate to offer medical treatments as prizes or gifts where this is done to promote a commercial service or for financial gain.
So, it appears as though GrabOne deals (and the like) are actually OK provided they comply with the above. Personally, I would NEVER advise a client to use a GrabOne type website to ‘grow’ their business. I have seen many try and almost ALL fail. These deals only benefit two people, GrabOne and the person who buys the voucher. In fact, I’ve seen these types of deals threaten to or even contribute to the collapse of otherwise healthy businesses. In addition to that, they cheapen the market for everybody and drive down profitability by undermining the established standards for payment in relation to medical treatments; IE by running a GrabOne deal, you make it harder for everyone, including yourself. I feel it is also important to consider the fact that Medical treatments should never be bought on impulse – particularly for services such as Botox. Appropriate consultation should always occur and treatment options MUST be offered – is offering cheap tox via GrabOne really doing that? There’s also Section 13 that talks to unduly glamorising a product or treatment which may come into play in this instance. Most importantly though, upholding a high standard of social responsibility is a fundamental principle defining the medical profession, not to mention a serious consideration in a litigious environment when analysing these types of activities (which may supercede this guideline document in the event of a complaint). The Pharmaceutical Society also prohibits the use of short-time offers for pharmacists and even though Pharmacies are subject to different rules, often this can influence the outcome of a court case for something like running a GrabOne deal in the Medical environment. But hey, it’s your call.
New Rules for Advertising allow GrabOne Deals for Botox, but do you really want to do it? February 3rd, 2016trevor
Yesterday, Google confirmed there was a core ranking algorithm update over the weekend. They also informed the industry that the Panda algorithm is part of the core ranking algorithm now. Both items we reported yesterday, but the Panda news was actually something that likely happened months ago, whereas the core ranking update was this weekend.
With Panda now baked-in, the Google algorithm is now able to update itself – a very big change to the core framework and a small step toward the Singularity. Whilst we could iterate on the threat this poses to all of mankind, it’s probably more likely you’re wondering if you will still rank page one for keywords relating to you business. The answer is yes…for the most part.
The AI element of Google is designed to apply user-data to increase the relevancy of search results depending on the time, location and preceding activity of the user. So now, two people with highly different interests, habits and lifestyles, could find very very different results for the same keyword search. This is going to make the ‘game’ of SEO much more complex and the previously predicted era of SEO by user rather than keyword is rapidly being ushered in.
Confused? Just follow the basic rule of thumb and write relevant content for the web, regularly that engages your readers – and ask them to engage. Here’s an example – please add an intelligent comment below. Go on, I dare you.
Google update – becomes an AI January 14th, 2016trevor
Topcatt will be at the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust’s Annual Golf Fundraiser this Friday. As part of our commitment to our community, we are now a Corporate Sponsor for the ARHT. The Westpac Rescue Chopper is a vital part of keeping our community safe and we think that’s a noble idea. It’s the sort of thing you hope you or your loved ones never need, but would be thankful for it in a desperate time. This valuable service runs completely on sponsorship, so we encourage all business owners and community members to add support where they can.
If you’re heading down to the Golf Day, we look forward to seeing you on the 18th hole. We’ll be running a very easy competition with some sweet prizes, so make sure you pop by and say hello. More information about the day can be found here.
Topcatt supports ARHT Golf Day Fundraiser November 2nd, 2015trevor
Topcatt CEO Trevor Topfer is now the Digital Marketing expert providing editorial for Beauty Tech Magazine – NZ’s Advanced Aesthetic Magazine for Beauty and Aesthetic Professionals. Take a look at the latest issue and review Trevor’s first column here. We’d love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions for future editorial content, so make sure you leave a comment below. Feel free to comment your questions also or use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch.
Trevor will be contributing to all future issues of Beauty Tech Magazine and is also to appear as a guest speaker at the 2016 Beauty Tech Conference!
Topcatt features in Beauty Tech Magazine November 2nd, 2015trevor
Register below to attend our FREE Seminar – “Marketing Essentials in the Digital Age – A website and a Facebook page is no longer enough!”
When: November 17th 2015, 9:30am (sharp) until 10:30am (If you can’t make this date, we will be running these seminars every month so please register and we will contact you regarding the next one!)
Where: Gasket Cafe (Boardroom) 23B Kalmia St Ellerslie (P:09-215 2028)
What to bring: Bring a notebook and a pen!
Overview of Digital Marketing
Recent updates to Google Search
The Importance of Analytics
Adwords – should I be paying Google?
Reputation Management – Digital Word of Mouth
Social Media – beyond Facebook Memes
Yes, it is a lot to get through in 45 minutes, but our aim is to bring small business owners and/or their marketing people (with a special focus on Cosmetic Medical and Beauty businesses) up-to-date with what tools are available, how they work, why and how you should be using them.
The information covered in this seminar will provide everyone from the very uncertain to the professional with ideas about recent developments in the Digital Space for the successful marketing of your business.
Places are strictly limited. R.S.V.P. using the form below.
Following on from our recent review of setting up a shop on Facebook, comes a review and detailed look at Facebook Lead Ads. Facebook Lead Ads seemed like a great idea when they announced them a couple months ago. 2 days ago they rolled them out globally. So what’s all the noise about? Well, it seems Facebook are finally figuring out easy ways to help Marketers and business obtain all that sexy demographic data they’ve got on their suscribers. Let’s take a look at how you can use Facebook Lead Ads to grab leads from Facebook users really easily and generate more leads for your business.
What are Facebook Lead Ads?
Lead Ads are another strategy by Facebook to enable advertisers to obtain essential information (name and email) easily and quickly without the user having to navigate away from their feed. Whilst they enable you to ask for much more information than just name and email (I’ll get to this in a minute), the concept is to allow Facebook users to click your ad, be shown a pre-filled form with their name and email (which they are able to edit prior to submitting) and hit submit; then return to their feed. They are given the option to visit a landing page of your choice after submitting the form, however, the idea is you get a quick lead and the user is only required to tap twice and carry on.
Given its simplicity and speed, I’d expect to see much greater engagement metrics and much lower cost per acquisition for leads.
How to Create Facebook Lead Ads?
Advertisers can create Facebook Lead Ads either through Power Editor or you could simply call us and we can set them up and manage them for you! This post will walk you through the Power Editor process so you can do it yourself.
1. From Power Editor, navigate to Manage Adverts, then Create Advert. Select Lead Generation from the drop down as highlighted below. Within the ad set, you’ll notice the only option at this time is mobile. This will change soon when Facebook rolls out desktop lead ads.
2. You will optimize for leads by default, with Facebook attempting to get you the most leads for the best price. You can also manually set the value of that lead.
You also have the option of using CPC bidding.
3. Much of the ad creation process is identical to what you would do when creating a typical link ad. You’ll need to provide:
Text that goes above the image
Image (1200×628 pixels)
Note that while Facebook will pull the headline, description and image from meta data for link ads, you’ll need to provide those manually for lead ads. You will also then select a CTA (Call to Action) button from the provided list.
Advertisers have the following CTA options:
4. The next step is to create a Facebook Lead form.
How to Create a Facebook Lead Form
Once the creative is complete, you are then given the opportunity to create the form which interested users will complete when they click on your ad.
1. Simply click the button to Create New Form.
2. Give the form a name and click next.
By default, Facebook will generate the first page of the lead form with two fields – name and email. If you want to ask for more information, just click the ‘show more options’ link.
Now a world of options will be opened up to you based on name, address, phone number, demographic information and work questions.
You can also add a custom question. Click “Add a question” at the bottom.
Facebook brings up requests based on automotive, education, e-commerce, B2B, professional services, health insurance, auto insurance, need help and purchase intent. For each of these, Facebook will request information (like “Choose a car brand”) and you can enter potential responses that a user can select from.
Here are all of the options…
Year of make
Interested field of study
Current field of study
Highest level of education
When do you plan to enroll?
Course of interest
What degree are you interested in
How often do you want to hear from us
Select a category
Size of company
Size of sales team
Type of legal service
Health insurance coverage status
What are you looking for
What is the problem
Time to purchase
Time to join
Size of budget
You can also choose to create up to three custom questions from scratch by clicking “Add Custom Question” at the top right.
You can either leave the answer open ended or provide options the user can select from.
Finally, add a link to your website. After the user has submitted your form, they will be given a link they can click.
While it would make sense for this to be a link to a landing page on your site, Facebook doesn’t allow you to customize your text for the CTA. So doing so may be confusing.
After adding the link, you’ll be prompted to preview your form. If you are happy with the form, click “Create Form”.
How to Access Leads from Facebook Lead Ads
It would be really nice if these leads were emailed to you or just showed up in your CRM, but unfortunately Facebook haven’t progressed that far (yet). There are some third party CRM’s that already integrate with Facebook Lead Ads (such as Eloqua, Driftrock, Marketo, Maropost, Sailthru and Salesforce). I’m pretty sure all other major CRM players will be furiously developing an integration to extract this data from your Power Editor so if you’re not using one of ;the above mentioned CRMs, maybe give your provider a call.
In the meantime, you’ll need to visit your Facebook Page, navigate to ‘Publsihing Tools, then select Forms Library from the left hand column. You should see your Lead Ads Form there witha link to Download leads. You’ll then need to manually import them into your CRM, email prgramme, Mailchimp or whatever else you are using to track and follow up on these. I would suggest doing this once a day given leads will be expecting a prompt response from their interest in your ad.
Ah, bugger this, its all too hard!
The easy way to do all of this, is to just give us a call or contact us using the form below and we can help you get set up and running with Faecbook Lead Ads!
We are currently running a Facebook Lead Ads Campaign to test the results, so keep an eye on the blog or our Facebook page for updates!