Your Personal Brand
When was the last time you gave any thought to your personal brand or the public image of your practice? We’ll share ideas on using social media and internet solutions to create your brand.
As a doctor, what is your brand? Yes, you may work for a practice, but it’s important to incorporate your own personal brand as well. Eventually, you may decide to move onto a new practice. And then what? Do you own your own domain? Are you as a doctor personally easy to find online? These are the things that you need to focus on when it comes to your personal brand.
How Do You Stand Out?
In no way are we suggesting that your personal brand interferes with the practice you work for. Instead, it’s about knowing who you are. Patients at your practice are more likely to listen to an ophthalmologist who seems confident. Your experience and who you are is important! A good place to start is capturing your URL.
Your practice probably has a website; you should too. Your URL can be something like marysue.com or drmay.com as long as it’s unique. After you’ve got a good idea of what your URL should be, see if it’s available. Like any other aspect of being an ophthalmologist, you may need to invest in this. Buying your domain is one thing that can help you stand out from the pack.
Marketing has changed significantly over the years. It’s no longer possible to market yourself by putting an ad in the local newspaper. Even email is about generating leads and increasing visibility. If marketing has changed so drastically, you should too! Digital marketing allows ophthalmologists and eye doctors to get in front of their patients almost instantly.
What are people finding when they Google you? You may not think your patients are Googling you, but they are. Make sure what they are finding when they search for you then matches how you see yourself.
Yes, you should Google yourself. Are there things that are coming up that you don’t want patients seeing? That’s a sign that you need to work on your SEO strategy. If you have a website, it needs to be optimized. This can mean a million things! Start at the beginning: have more text rather than less, use videos and photos when possible, and make your website interesting!
Part of cracking Google is all about how you’re perceived. If you come off as an expert or authority on your website, you’re more likely to rank highly. There’s a lot more to SEO than that, but it’s a good starting point when it comes to your online perception.
Online Reviews Matter!
Just like Google rankings matter, online reviews matter as well! Online reviews can come in from lots of places: Yelp, Google, Facebook, Healthgrades, ZocDoc, the list goes on and on! The hope is that as a good doctor, you’ll never get bad reviews, but that’s impossible. Even the best ophthalmologist may receive a bad review or two.
You can’t control if someone comes to see you and they are already in a bad mood. They could think that waiting 10 minutes for an appointment is too long, but you think it’s reasonable. Whatever the reason, bad reviews can and will happen.
The important thing is how you respond to them. No, you can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend to be an ostrich if a bad review comes in. Instead, you need to respond. This should be the case for good and bad reviews! If your patients feel unheard, they will find somewhere else to go. In our digital age, shopping around has become easier than point and click.
Patients are going online and deciding where they want to take their business. Online reviews could be the thing that garners you a new patient, or you could lose one because of them. By responding to reviews, you are able to show your patients that you care and you hear them. It may not mean they are right, but at least they are being listened to.