As a marketing consultant, I get the opportunity to talk to people from a wide range of different professional backgrounds. A very common question I get asked is what they should be doing in the digital world to take their career/business forward.
All of us are looking to stay relevant to this fast-changing world. It seems, if you are not active on the digital platforms – in the world of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the lot, you are missing out on something.
I noticed the same inquisitiveness among the medical practitioners as well. Undoubtedly, as a doctor/medical practitioner, you are part of the smartest bunch of people in the community. One thing I noticed though – not many are paying much attention or actively utilising the digital platform at the moment.
But why should you? What is the need?
– Most of you are on a highly paid job or in a practice earning a good amount of money
– The job security is not a worry at all – your demand is huge
– People are coming to you; you don’t need to (usually) look for customers
– Most specialty practices have an overflow of patients.
But money, job security, demand are not everything, are they?
Everyone feels the need to connect with more people, do something worthwhile, add some value well beyond what is expected of us.
In today’s digital world, you need to have a digital footprint that is personal; sometimes different from business or the practice.
Because it allows you to do things a little differently, gives you a sense of rewards and satisfaction if done the right way.
Let me share, very briefly, 7 top reasons ….
1. It’s time to make yourself seen and heard
All professionals need to market themselves as per the demand of time. In this digital age, you can’t really expect to gain appreciation and recognition without a well-managed online presence. Sure, it isn’t impossible to be recognised without a personal website, but having it makes the task a whole lot easier.
Let people check your profile. Allow them to get to know your work, your expertise, your medical ideas, and your contributions to help ease the pain in others’ lives.
And if you’re still not convinced, let me tell you that research done in the U.S. revealed that more than 63% of people prefer a doctor with a strong online presence over one without it (source). Hope you have started to see the benefits.
2. Give back to your community the way ONLY you can
Have you ever considered writing a blog? Or share your experience of an interesting day at the hospital?
Of course, not. Doctors don’t do that (apologies if you are the exception – I am generalising here)
With over 4 billion internet users (source), the world has started relying heavily on the internet to learn and experience things online, which can’t be learnt otherwise.
A blog detailing the struggle of a cancer patient might instil hope and determination in a lonely and defeated man somewhere in the world.
A story of successfully delivering twins might uplift someone’s mood for a while.
And have you ever wondered about all those people who regularly Google various symptoms to find out what’s exactly wrong with them? Perhaps, your decision to share some knowledge could help them out!
You can help educate and spread awareness to those who are sitting miles and continents and oceans away from you. And isn’t that the very essence of being a medical practitioner – helping others?
3. Enhance your professional reputation
Let’s face it – not everyone crave for money the most. You would find some people give up a high-paying job for one with a lower salary.
It’s because sometimes job satisfaction, a feeling of adding value is more important. They want respect and recognition.
And this is one of the main reasons you should have a personal website.
A strong online presence would undoubtedly add to your image. Imagine patients searching you by name on Google and your personal website comes up! The impression about you changes drastically – in a positive way.
4. Weed out your competition
Every profession is more ruthless and competitive now than it used to be a few years ago. This is because the internet is letting its users explore the best possible choice instead of settling on the most convenient one.
So what does that mean for you?
Study shows that an online presence will make sure you are still in that pool of dedicated doctors or medical practitioners, which patients are looking for online.
Also, this will help you surpass those colleagues of yours who still haven’t figured out all the benefits a personal website can bring.
5. Automate a large part of your business
Why would you rely on other doctors or patients referring you, or wait till a patient somehow finds his or her way towards your clinic, when you can interact with patients online and get more of them?
When the world is incorporating every new technology to advance itself, why shouldn’t you? A personal website will help you not only with booking patients and saving time, but it can also be a platform for virtual medical visits.
Now, how cool and 21st century-ish is that?
6. Establish a relationship of trust with your patients
You won’t believe the difference communication makes in any relationship. And the same goes for professional relationships too.
My experience with different professionals has taught me that the more you interact with your clients or potential clients, the greater the trust between both of you will be.
But can your client really come and visit you regularly? Err, that’s a little too inconvenient. So what’s the next best thing? A personal website for both of you to interact.
Alright, so, imagine that:
- You’re a doctor with a personal website which details all of your qualifications.
- Your patients can book appointments with you or you can drive them to the portal for your clinic.
- You have provided most of the statistics related to your professional achievements for your potential patients to check.
- Your patients can read and learn from your online writings.
Now, why would any patient not trust a doctor or medical practitioner with a profile like this? Do you see what I mean? The more transparent you are through an online presence, the more trust you’ll gain with your patients.
7. Become an integral part of a wide network
I have gathered over the years that when someone looks for a job in a certain company, they also pay attention to the kind of network that the company has. So it has taught me that networking and connecting with others is very important for people in almost any profession.
With your personal website, you can interact in a more advanced way. Seek advice from other doctors. Refer to some of your colleagues and peers that you admire in your site and they would do the same. Earn the chance to be referred by other great doctors online. The opportunities are, frankly speaking, endless.
I hope this short article has given you something new to think about. A personal website is very easy to build and maintain. Considering the benefits it could potentially bring, I suggest you get one for yourself as soon as you can.