As an independent dental practitioner, your personal branding is vital to getting more patients, improving your network of contacts, gaining recognition, and achieving more satisfaction from your work. Promoting your personal brand is more relevant in a competitive digital world because everyone has an equal opportunity online to build a reputation and showcase their expertise.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is all about promoting yourself as a brand or as the face of your dental practice. A personal brand influences the way people perceive you. You can make yourself more sought after in a competitive market by polishing your personal brand and making it more attractive and enriched.
But this is possible only when you are at a stage where others visualize you as a genuine expert in the dental field. Reaching this level is not an easy task. You will have to make efforts to ensure that your patients and your peers trust you and approach you when they have questions.
The need to cultivate an online reputation becomes more important because patients today want to check you out online. Within a matter of minutes and a few clicks, they can decide if they want to reach out to you or to someone else.
Ways of Building an Online Reputation
To establish your online reputation as well as your personal brand, you will have to present your skills and expertise in dentistry. One term can succinctly describe all the ways in which you can do this—online content.
You can use online content to demonstrate to the world your knowledge and experience. The more well-known you become online, the more your brand strengthens. Your target audiences will gradually become familiar with your name and will be more likely to approach you when they are looking for a dentist.
A blog is a good first step to building up an online reputation. Starting a blog is easy, but maintaining it regularly and using it appropriately are crucial to getting you noticed.
You can make blogging your secret weapon irrespective of whether you are writing for your own website, for your practice, or as a guest expert for a reputable third party website or online publication. It will help build up your personal brand if valuable content is published naming you as author.
So, how do you go about starting such a blog? Plenty of options are available for personal brand building even if you don’t have your own website or aren’t interested in blogging on your practice’s website.
Medium and Blogger are two major platforms that can help here. You can also create your own website with WordPress, which simplifies the work and does away with the need for knowledge about coding. Yola, Wix, and Ucraft also are available website builders. With so many options, all you require is some determination and a little bit of creativity to give your dental website an appealing and professional touch.
Choosing Content for Publishing
Once you have a blog set up, writing is the next step. It can be difficult to find topics, particularly during the initial stages of your blogging journey.
The first thing to do is identify your target audience. Will a large portion of your audience be those who are looking for family dentistry or cosmetic dentistry? Is your focus on running your practice locally or statewide? Will you be targeting GenX or millennials? The answers to these questions will help you determine your audience. The content must satisfy their queries even before they ask.
You can then check the blogs and articles posted by your competitors and determine the kind of content they are generating and see what works for them. It is not necessary to choose the same topics that they do, but it can inspire you to come up with relevant themes.
After you have chosen what topics you will write about, think about how to format the content. Instead of simply writing and publishing text all the time, you can make your blog interesting by adding images, infographics, and videos. This will keep people engaged. Also, visual content is shared more online.
Getting Your Content to a Wider Audience
To build up your personal brand, it is important to ensure that the high quality content that you post on your blog actually reaches your target audience. You will have to make efforts to promote it to take it to a wide audience instead of simply waiting for people to see it.
You can do this by sharing the content on your personal profile, social networks, targeted groups, and professional page. This will give your blog a head start, and if people find it interesting and engaging, they will start sharing it soon enough. The aim is to draw traffic to your blog or website.
Besides this, reach out to industry influencers directly. You can mention them in your posts or even quote them and then let them know that you used what they said in an article. You can seek their advice and opinion also. Many of them are likely to respond to you and even share the article through their social media channels. If not, you can pose specific queries to them about a future article or engage them otherwise so they notice you and might even share your content at a later time.
Yet another method is to post or write an article naming certain dental treatments or technologies and then reach out to the manufacturers that created them. They could help promote your work as an expert author.
Dedication and Persistence
The process of setting up a blog, generating content, and promoting it might sound easy. However, the reality is that establishing a personal brand online requires dedicated effort. The blog probably won’t be very popular initially. But remember that you are trying to build an online reputation as well as a personal brand slowly but steadily. There are no shortcuts to success.
Mr. Arulrajah is president and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of more than 180 full-time marketers, ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call (855) 598-3320 or email email@example.com.