Building your personal brand might seem like a trivial exercise for doctors. For most, their plates are full keeping up with state of the art medicine and coping with all the environmental change and uncertainty in the practice of medicine. However, there are two basic reasons why you should build your personal brand-personal growth and professional growth
If you plan to join the Cooked But Not Done Club , you will need a product, a pipeline, a pitch and and a plan.
Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.
In their book, “Be Your Own Brand: Achieve More of What You Want By Being More of Who You Are“, experts David McNally and Karl Speak talk about the specific things that you must have to truly build your brand and create the perception of value you need to be successful. For them, there are three core elements to your brand:
You need to be distinctive: where you decide what you stand for (your values) and you commit to act on them. You recognize your unique value (based on your skills, experience, expertise, values, and point of view), and know what sets you apart. You capitalize on that, not by selling yourself, but by connecting with others based on your unique value.
You need to be relevant: where you have figured out who your customers are (referring docs? hospital admin? patients?), and what their needs are. You move out of your world and into theirs… you figure out what’s in it for them, and how your unique value meets their needs. Start asking yourself, what do they want? need? value? expect? … and then connect those thing to your unique strengths and abilities. Being both distinctive and relevant in the eyes of others that count, is truly what ignites a company brand or a personal brand.
In other words, you need to create a personal value proposition and it should be part of your personal business model canvas. Like marketing a product or service, you will need to execute a strategy that will help you get, keep and grow your personal brand.
You need to be consistent: where you meet the needs of your customers, and you do that again and again and again. This is the hallmark of a solid brand – every time you meet someone’s expectation of you, you build your brand and you build trust and confidence in the relationship. Consistency is established by the dependability of your behavior, and this builds your track record and reputation.
Everyone knows that success at work depends on being—and being seen as—both competent and likable. You need people to notice your growth and accomplishments while also enjoying your company. But if you draw attention to the value you’ve created, to ensure that managers and peers recognize it, you risk coming across as a shameless self-promoter. No one likes a braggart. In this article the author explains how to highlight your accomplishments at work without having it backfire.
So how do you develop that reputation such that everyone believes in you, and customers jump to try your solution first? The key points are comparable to those involved in branding a business, as outlined in the new book, “Be Different!: The Key To Business And Career Success,” by noted business leader Stan Silverman.
Stakeholders have a perception of you and the value you provide at multiple levels, so, if want to grow, you need to improve your brand at the personal, professional and organizational levels.
Personal: Here are 9 key questions you should ask yourself that will pace your personal branding development. Here is how to rebrand yourself when you are changing careers.
Professional: Here are reasons why doctors don’t get branding, sales and marketing and what they can do about it.
Organizational: Here’s why doctors are losing the branding wars to other substitutes.
- Demonstrate thought leadership before selling a product. Highlight the problem and your concerns in industry blogs, speaking in public forums, and making yourself visible on social media and networking opportunities. You want people to see you as an evangelist for hydrogen fuel, for example, so your later auto engine will have credibility by default.
- Craft and hone your elevator pitch early. Before the product is set in stone, you can test your message and continue to refine it until it connects well with investors, as well as customers. Later you may have the problem of being told by public relations firms to stay on message, even after you suspect it is not working.Here are some tips on how to pitch yourself.
- Visibly be a bit controversial to test the limits. This early in the game, any coverage and peer review is better than just being another unknown entrepreneur. It’s human nature that challenging the status quo gets more attention than quiet concurrence. People tend to forgive controversial views if you aren’t perceived as pushing a product.
- Proactively seek out thought leaders and journalists. Entrepreneurs who wait to be found are destined to spend a lot of time alone. Social media sites today, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, provide ideal forums for presenting your cause and your concept. Start actively blogging on your own site, as well as on industry forums.
- Make your business cards stand out in the crowd. Everyone exchanges business cards, and most are forgotten immediately or never really seen. These days, images are especially important, as well as a tag line, and your social media links. Unique and professional business cards are still well worth the investment.
- Follow up personally on every new connection. Key introductions in a networking meeting will be quickly lost, unless you take the next step of calling or emailing later to request a personal meeting. Use these meetings to build the relationship, more by asking questions than by pitching your concept. Requests for investment come later.
- Here’s how to build your personal brand while working from home.
- Learn how to sell yourself
- Learn how to write a follow up response on email
- Don’t let being an introvert discourage you
Branding yourself at these various levels takes awareness of your weaknesses and emotional intelligence, the discipline to learn and change noxious behaviors and perseverance, practice and coaching that creates new habits. Here are the elements of your personal and professional development plan. Try not to make these personal branding mistakes.
Here are some tips on how to build your personal brand on social media. Your checklist should include:
1. Complete or update your linkedin profile
2. Join targeted linkedin groups
3. Blog and create webinars and podcasts and share them on social media. Here’s how to screw them up.
5. Post, respond or share something on social media at least 3 times a week
7. Be sure your Linkedin settings don’t require an email address to connect to you
8. Use graphics and video to supplement text
9. Focus on a particular area of expertise and develop your personal brand around it
10. Expand your face to face local networks outside of your present comfort zone and update your contact list
12. Create webinars on Zoom and YouTube and Facebook livestream
13. Here is how to answer when a stranger asks you, “So what do you do for a living?”
Is all of this stuff above your pay grade? Then find a digital marketing student at your local university to do it for you.
Here’s the executive summary if you don’t want to read the entire book or you are cramming for the test.
Or, you can watch this video:
Try it. Like the man says, you’re going to like yourself. More importantly, others will too.