real selfMany plastic surgeons swear by Real Self, and for good reason. The reference/directory website allows cosmetic practices to interact directly with patients who have questions about various procedures. Patients can also leave reviews for doctors. Best of all, Real Self tends to show up highly in search results, which results in a lot of traffic to their website.

It’s important to note that Real Self focuses on doctors with specific designations, such as dermatologist, ophthalmologist, and plastic surgeon. Each of these designations has their own board-certification requirements which you can see here. These policies to not explicitly disqualify med spas from establishing profiles, but the doctor must have certain qualifications beyond simply being an MD.

Unlike many facets of digital marketing, Real Self involvement is not one that can be outsourced. In order to effectively utilize this platform you need to get involved and spend time. An agency can help you take advantage of all the bells & whistles, but the core of the platform is answering patient’s questions, which you should never outsource.

Here’s a breakdown of what every cosmetic practice should be doing on Real Self:

1) Claim Your Profile: you can start with a free account that includes:

  • Basic address info
  • Can post before and after photos
  • Patient inquiry form
  • Other Doctor profile ads shown on your page
  • Can answer questions, but no link to website available
  • Patient reviews
2) Upgrade to a PRO Account: a PRO account costs $250  The additional benefits are:
  • Web traffic (uncapped from RealSelf via your answers and your doctor profile)
  • The ability to post special offers locally in your metro region (up to 3 at one time for anything)
  • A nicer profile layout that showcases your expertise and before/after photos
  • You won’t have your competitors locally rotated on your profile any longer, but instead you’ll be rotated on the FREE doctor profiles as well as on their home page
  • You can feed the excellent reviews/patient stories you receive on RealSelf to your website
  • You have more priority locally in their photo galleries
  • You can see what new questions posted on RealSelf are local to you so you can answer those first
  • You will have priority on their waitlists once you are ABPS certified for the Dr. Spotlight Program (see Spotlight details below)
  • 90% of all the patient contacts on RealSelf go to PRO and Spotlight doctors
3) Invest in a Spotlight Account: you can get everything the PRO account gets plus added benefits like click tracking, call reporting, promotion of FB and Twitter pages. Hrere are some additional Spotlight benefits:

  • Local rotation on RealSelf’s homepage
  • Extended directory listings
  • Profile spotlighted on Q&A  and consumer reviews
It’s worth noting that when a doctor spends over $350 in spotlights they no longer have to pay for the PRO account amount. If less than $350 is spent in spotlights per month, then they pay the $250 in addition to the spotlight amount. It obviously makes sense to spend over $350 in spotlights and just get the PRO account free. Here is a link that highlights all the benefits for each type of account, Free, Pro and Spotlight: http://www.realself.com/faqs/benefits
Real Self is constantly coming out with new features beyond what I’ve listed here, so make sure you visit their website to learn more. My advice is to start with a profile and answering patient’s questions. Then you can build up your profile and look into a Pro account and Spotlights.
If you have any additional tips worth noting we’d love to hear your feedback. If you’d like to learn more about signing up with Real Self then leave Turbo a note here. You can also reach us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.