Doctor, who? 5 Reasons it’s important to build your personal brand as a Clinician.
Doctors who run a private practice understand they have to build and promote their personal brand, even if they are ultimately too busy to get to it. They likely know they don’t exist in the mindshare of prospective patients until a need arises, and then they are usually referred by someone in the patient’s trust-sphere. For instance, I’m sure you’ve heard something like this before: “Hey, Molly… Do you know a good provider who can help me with…? …Dr. Who? Where is that office?”
However, many doctors associated with a group or medical center often miss out on the opportunity to build and promote their personal brand. Relying on the goodwill and plentiful referrals coming from groups and medical centers is okay, but, in the long run, it’s better and more profitable to stand out, establish your personal differentiation, and be individually referable and searchable. Let’s look at some important reasons for building and promoting your personal-professional-healthcare-provider-brand aligned with your group’s branding:
1) Family decision makers, 90% of whom are female, want to connect with a provider who understands their and their family’s needs and behaviors.
They’ll often search for and compare providers online, read bios looking for differentiators and personal interests, and try to make a decision based upon their findings. Too often, however, one provider looks like all the rest, so then they turn to friends and trusted resources for a referral. Did they miss something that would have identified you as their best choice?
2) Your personal lifestyle and life experience may be just what they’re looking for.
Do you practice a healthy lifestyle? Do you have children or grandchildren? Do you do extra research to help guide your recommendations to patients? Do you have certifications or training in specialty treatments that others do not? All of these characteristics and more can help you stand out to a family decision maker, and add value to your individual practice. If applicable, your personal brand should utilize your unique life-experiences, personal behaviors, values, and beliefs so prospective patients can connect to you on multiple levels.
3) Industry consolidation and regulatory changes may compel you to go it alone someday.
We know you’re a team player and loyal to your group, but we also know how much the healthcare industry is changing. Face it… your business is dynamic and always in flux. Whether from government regulation or industry consolidation, change is a certainty. If the impact of such a change means you need to go it alone or switch group affiliation, you’ll wish you had spent the time building your personal brand.
4) Your value proposition is based upon your personal brand.
When a prospective patient asks their trusted resources for a referral, they will also want to know, “why him/her?” If you don’t know what your unique value is to your patients, then how will they know how to express your value to others? Make it easy for them! Know your value proposition, based on your personal brand, and educate your entire staff, so they know too. Leave nothing to chance. Then… gently educate your brand community. You will get referred to the best patient matches for your practice, and you’ll become happier and much more successful because of it.
5) Having a personal brand ensures you don’t get lost in a crowded field.
There are many professionals within your specialty, but not many who practice in your field the way you do. When family decision makers search for providers like you, make sure you can be found. Connect with them through your personal branding on multiple levels, and help them feel confident about you as a professional from the material they find online about you and your practice. Nowadays, you only get one shot to make a great first impression, and it happens well before you meet the patient. It happens online.
Doctor, Who? You! That’s who. You and all of your training, your experience, your unique personality and lifestyle traits… you, that’s who they’re looking for, and your personal branding can help prospective patients and clients find you… The doctor “who” they’re looking for!
About the Author
Adrienne Folse is owner and marketing strategist for Hippomatic, a national healthcare marketing agency providing strategy, branding, and marketing. If you would like to discuss your healthcare practice’s needs or challenges – schedule your 20 minute consultation with Adrienne.