A brand strategy for physicians is a way to tell your customer exactly who you are. This ensures that you get the ideal client, someone less likely to have friction with you or want to sue. Mainstream marketing – how others do – often doesn’t serve physicians.
A brand strategy is simply a road map for introducing yourself to potential customers. From the colors you choose, the logo, and the content you create, it’s supposed to tell the story you want your customers to hear.
Looking at the way individuals market themselves online, you might get the wrong idea. For that reason, I’m going to explain how I’ve seen successful brand strategies pan out for physicians.
Conventional Marketing Strategy
The current mainstream strategy is based on the number of eyeballs. More views mean more ad revenues. You create content to attract people to your site who might look at or click on product ads.
The ads are for products to which you have no allegiance. The mainstream brand strategy forces the person to create content that can push the seller’s products.
If you’re beholden to an advertiser, you can’t express certain opinions, bring up controversial topics, and you can’t curse. I mean, shit, our profession already suffocates. Why add the extra stress?
Physician Branding Strategy
1. Aim for a Lower Volume
A lower volume will make your life much easier. Do you want to manage 1 million followers on IG or have a FB group of 150,000 individuals?
2. Avoid Clickbait
Ignorant clients aren’t the best long-term customers but quickly fall for clickbait (present company included). But a title like “The 1 Diet Strategy Nobody Talks About” might alienate many people who are sick of clickbait.
Your topics don’t have to be sexy. They can be a mix of in-depth and lighthearted. You can add your flare or be funny. But be real. You are marketing a 1:1 interaction, after all.
How health coaches and lifestyle coaches market themselves can offer great learning. They earn top dollar, don’t dismiss them.
3. Be Honest
Your physician branding strategy should be sincere. Unlike our insurance-based medical practices we don’t have to pretend to be infallible experts.
Chances are the right client is someone who appreciates your honesty and vulnerability. The whole macho attitude of know-it-all is so 1990s.
Selling yourself is crucial. If you can’t talk about what you’re great at, nobody will know.
Unlike mainstream branding strategies, I recommend that you advertise your products in your marketing content. Your marketing content could be a video, podcast, post, or article.
My main advertiser client is Dr. Mo. Look at that gorgeous smile. Yes, you are! … as I was saying … I create content I enjoy creating and push Dr. Mo’s products, such as his online courses, physician coaching, consulting, and health coaching.
5. Maintain Price Transparency
I am very comfortable telling clients that I charge $500 per hour or $250 for 30 minutes of my time. Prices go up intentionally to get the right client.
I have turned several people down for my $5,000 career coaching because I know they aren’t in t
6. Offer Free Advice
Talk openly and freely about what you know. Give all of your information for free. You won’t regret it.
I can talk about lifestyle, exercise, and heart health in 1,000 different ways. But the client who wants to pay me to work with them is looking for a health strategy that suits them.
Do you have an incredible algorithm for migraines? Hire an app maker and give it away for free. That’s your marketing, that’s your strategy, that’s your brand.
Ideal Branding Results
The main difference here is that as a physician, you want to get quite intimate about who you are as a doctor or, perhaps, the tone of your clinical practice. The latter makes more sense if you work with a team or are hoping to create a sellable business.
Your branding strategy determines the kind of people who will pay to work with you. Demonstrate empathy, and you’ll find receptive patients. Display authority and dominance, and you’ll get blind followers.
As you evolve as a physician or health coach, you’ll offer more services to your clients. Your clients will also age with you, which means they’ll ask for other services or products from you.
Do you need to brand yourself? Well, for many decades we’ve been able to skirt branding or marketing because the insurance companies were our source of patients.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the patients the insurance company sends me. I’m rarely the right fit for them and vice versa.
Brand Strategy for a Niche
The reason it’s said that the riches are in the niches is because the return on investment is higher.
In 2022 if you are advertising for mainstream telemedicine patients – essentially, the urgent care style telemedicine visit – you’d be competing with 100s of other telemedicine companies. Competing for advertising is what Google and Facebook love.
You’ll achieve better success focusing on medication refills, UTI treatment, or acne management. The brand strategy for something like this is more uncomplicated and focused.
Start Defining Your Brand Now
To start your physician branding strategy, you don’t have to quit your mainstream job. Whatever content you create brands you.
Even if it’s just commenting on other people’s posts, it doesn’t have to be much. Even better if you can write some public articles or create general content.
An excellent place for this is Linkedin.