The digital world has infiltrated every facet of our lives, changing consumer and patient behavior. Today when a patient recognizes that they need medical attention, their first destination is often a search engine:
- 77% of patients start their healthcare search online
- 76% of patients search for doctors online, while less than 30% research facilities
- 84% of patients read online content to evaluate providers
The sheer amount of information on the internet has empowered people to choose their physicians based on their Google results. Thus, having a strong and powerful online presence is no longer an option! So what do you do to help patients find relevant information about you online? How do you control and value what shows up when someone Googles your name? It is time to market your most valuable asset: YOU. Let me show you how to get started in 4 easy steps:
1. Audit your personal online presence
Before you can start building your personal brand, you will need to audit your existing brand. Yes, everyone has a personal brand, by design or by default. So the question is no longer if you have a brand but if you manage and promote it the right way. Start by opening your web browser and type your name in an incognito window. Browsing in private mode avoid biased results and it allows you to see what others see when Googling your name.
Knowing that 94% of people only look at the first Google page, I advise you to focus your attention there. What does your first Google page say about you? How many results come up for you? Is your information available, relevant and up to date?
2. What do you want your personal brand to say about YOU?
Now it is time to improve your existing brand, but for that you will need to know what do you want to stand for? What makes you unique and apart from your competitors? A great way to think about this is to seek input from trusted people like your family, your friends or your peers. How would they describe your strengths? Your expertize? Your distinguishing qualities? But remember that beyond your qualifications, your career path or your experience, people want to see the human behind the professional. When it comes to personal brand, authenticity is key. And despite of the large number of providers, what makes you unique is simply YOU!
3. Make sure patients find you when they need medical attention
If you want to be visible online, you must have a strong personal online presence. There are several ways you can occupy your entire first Google page, but if you want to be effective, don’t try to be everywhere. Instead you would rather focus on quality content and consistency. Here are a few things you can start with:
- Build your personal website (WordPress Website)
- Identify your most relevant social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- Open account on Health platforms such as RateMDs, Healthgrades etc.
- Regularly publish and share valuable content
Having a personal website increases your visibility and elevate your Google ranking. When someone search for you online, your personal website is more likely to be the first result people find when Googling your name. Which is a great opportunity for you to keep control and manage what you want to share with patients.
I also recommend having a blog on your website to share your knowledge, thoughts, news and updates to build credibility and trust. Blogs also have the added benefit of establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. But remember to keep your articles simple, focused and avoid medical jargon.
Building a smart personal brand can offer you valuable returns and gives you a strong competitive advantage. Today, there is still a few providers implementing this method, which is a great opportunity for you! Developing a solid brand does not happen overnight, it takes time, requires patience and efforts. If your time is limited and you are overwhelmed with your business, you’re not alone. USWAY can help you build, boost and manage your personal online presence with seamless solutions. Keep focusing on your activities, we will do the rest for you.