You might be one physician, but your reputation and your business rely on your personal brand.
Travel to any other city comparable to the size of Lafayette, Louisiana and I guarantee the landscape of the healthcare industry will look VASTLY different.
Around here, you can walk out your house and slam into a doctor’s office or an affiliated office of a bigger hospital. Oh, about the bigger hospitals: there are three of them. We have three (3!) massive hospital systems in town. We’re used to it, but we sometimes forget how saturated we are with healthcare facilities — which is a wonderful thing for us, but it’s got to be tough on the physicians.
I mean, think about: It can’t get more competitive for doctors than right here. How is one podiatrist supposed to get the word out about his practice when there are ten other podiatrists within a four-mile radius?! My point is that here [more than anywhere else], physician personal branding is essential. Here are 4 ways doctors can start building a better brand:
Read up on what patients really think about your practice. In our agency, we like to get inside the heads of our client’s customers and try to understand how they think. It’s the first step in learning how to speak to them. Reading your online reviews is good, insightful research.
For obvious reasons, it pays to differentiate in a competitive marketplace There are three different pediatrician groups in town that all use the same clip art photo. Seriously. It just goes to show you how badly differentiation is needed.
3. Online Presence
Even with referrals, patients will go online to find your phone number and address. It’s necessary to have a website—even if it’s a simple brochure site with some About Us information and contact info.
4. Thought Leadership
It’s necessary to share your knowledge online to build your brand. Doctors who integrate a blog into their website can share their knowledge and establish authority on their practice.
Unlike other types of businesses, patients got to the doctor solely for the doctor’s expertise. That expertise becomes an ownable part of the brand. From a business perspective, it makes sense to market that knowledge as part of the physicians’ image.
Over time, this will build credibility in the community and eventually establish some trust in the minds of prospective patients. They’ll be more likely to turn to your practice when they’re in need because you’re top-of-mind now.
Download our Being A Thought Leader for Your Nonprofit Healthcare Organization eBook and teach yourself how to deploy Thought Leadership in way that positions you and your organization as true leaders.