Gone are the days when you could qualify as a doctor, rent some premises and have a thriving practice in no time.
With 130,000 doctors in Australia, you need to stand out if you’re going to build the career you’ve always dreamed of.
How do you do that? Personal branding.
What is a personal brand?
In real life, your colleagues know you first-hand. They know why they like working with you, which patients you’re perfect for and why they trust your skills in a certain area. (They know a few of your quirks and foibles too!)
These things (and many more) create your reputation – the way people see you. Your personal brand takes things a step further. It’s a more deliberate, planned process where you’re able to cultivate the way you want people to see you.
“Personal branding is how you share who you are to the world. Your personal brand is made up of your voice, personality, interests, what you’re good at and passionate about, and how you communicate that to the public.”
Your personal brand is mostly communicated online through your website and social media presence. There’ll be some crossover audiences – people who know you in real life and also follow you online – but mainly you’re able to identify and connect with new people. These could be potential patients, collaborators, referrers, sponsors and even future employers or employees. You’d be surprised at the opportunities that may come your way here.
The benefits of a strong personal brand
Cultivating a strong personal brand takes ongoing effort but it pays off over time. The potential benefits include:
- Greater visibility – grow your reputation within your field
- Career growth – attract interesting opportunities
- Connections and support – network with like-minded professionals
- Attracting patients to your practice.
How to create and build your personal brand
Get started by:
- Reflecting on what drives and motivates you by asking yourself:
- What do you love most about your work?
- What are you most proud of?
- Which aspects of your work energise you?
- What are you interested in?
- Where do you see yourself in the future?
- Mapping out your stakeholders, such as:
- Professional networks
- Having a professional photoshoot (this is a must – it makes a huge difference)
- Creating social profiles for your professional role
- Dr Jane Doe needs a separate presence to Jane Doe herself or the lines between professional and personal become blurred
- Creating a well-crafted but succinct bio for your website and social profiles, covering your background, qualifications and approach to your work.
Once you’ve established the foundations, you then need to build your brand up. There are numerous ways to do this, depending on your goals. The good news is that social media platforms give you regular opportunities to connect with your audiences. You don’t need to say everything all at once.
Here are some ideas:
- If you have a strong interest in research you could:
- Do a weekly review of the latest studies published in your field
- Discuss ways to overcome obstacles to translating research findings into daily practice
- Publicise studies you’re involved in – e.g. at the recruitment stage or on publication
- If you want to be seen as someone who is at the forefront of the latest technology, you could:
- Profile new medical devices in your fields and the types of patients who might benefit
- Explain how new technologies are changing your field – robotics and artificial intelligence, for example
- If you want to emphasise your patient-friendly approach you could:
- Discuss how you use patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) and patient-reported importance measures (PRIMS) in your practice
- Explain how you involve patients in decision-making.
You can also support others online. When people in your networks post on LinkedIN, add a supportive, well-informed comment that advances the discussion.
Continue building your brand by applying for awards, attending networking events and fostering connections that come your way.
How NOT to build your personal brand
There are a few things we’d encourage you not to do regarding your personal branding.
- Ignore AHPRA’s advertising regulations, especially regarding:
- Be flippant – remember that everything you do online is public. In real life, you might make the occasional flippant comment or intemperate remark but it’s not wise to do that online
- Try to be all things to all people – it makes you seem bland. No-one stands out by blending in!
- Give out medical advice online – general advice in articles is fine (with a disclaimer) but don’t give personal advice when patients contact you
- Use your personal social media accounts for professional purposes
- Dive into controversial debates without really thinking through the potential consequences.
How can Splice Marketing help?
By doing the hard work for you.
We’ve helped many healthcare professionals to develop and market a personal brand that has opened up new opportunities.
We can help you to:
- Create and cultivate an effective presence on platforms such as LinkedIN, Facebook and Instagram
- Target the right audiences and how to make the algorithms work in your favour
- Grow your referral networks –for example, by helping you host and promote an educational webinar
- Target speaking opportunities that interest you
- Develop regular AHPRA-compliant content for you to share as you build your brand
- Keep an eye on comments and reviews so that you remain on the right side of AHPRA.
If you’d like to discuss how we could help you build your personal brand, please book your FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our senior healthcare marketers.
- Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Medical doctors and specialists, https://www.health.gov.au/topics/doctors-and-specialists, [Accessed 21 September 2023]
- Harvard Business Review, What’s the point of a personal brand, https://hbr.org/2022/02/whats-the-point-of-a-personal-brand, [Accessed 21 September 2023]
- Medium, How to build a personal brand: A guide for medical professionals, Dr Claudia Pastides, https://medium.com/flo-health/how-to-build-a-personal-brand-a-guide-for-medical-professionals-68a26f32a1f0, [Accessed 21 September 2023]
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, Summary of the advertising requirements https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Resources/Advertising-hub/Advertising-guidelines-and-other-guidance/Summary-of-the-advertising-requirements.aspx#, [Accessed 21 September 2023]