A personal brand can do amazing things for a dentist. It can help attract and retain patients and it can bring amazing new opportunities to your door. It helps establish you as an authority in your field in your community.
Here are five questions and answers regarding personal branding for dentists.
Question 1: What is a personal brand?
Tom Peters was the first person to nail down the term ‘personal branding’. He defined it as a promise of the value you’ll receive. Since then, many people have weighed in on the topic. Jeff Bezos famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
But what both definitions come down to is a personal brand. It is simply when you are known for knowing or doing something.
It’s not about fame. You won’t walk through an airport and be asked for your autograph. It’s not about follower count on social media. It comes down to being well known, respected, and trusted for the expertise you already have, the expertise you share. People will listen to what you have to say. You can more easily create change in your community. And you can do that because your personal brand shows that you’re likeable, trusted, and respected.
Question 2: Why do dentists need a personal brand?
If you have a dental practice, you might be thinking, “I don’t need a personal brand. My practice has a brand. It’s not about me. I’m just doing my thing as a dentist.”
But it is important for each dentist to have a personal brand so that customers not only create a connection with your dental practice, but a personal connection with you.
Social media has changed the business landscape. People won’t just go to Google and search for “Dentist + location” anymore. They will go to Facebook and crowdsource the answer. “Hey, I’m looking for a new dentist. Does anyone know a good one?” You’ve likely done this as well when considering other services or products.
When this happens it creates a shift. No longer are we just consumers choosing which business to patronise. Now we are buying from people – whether that’s people we know and trust or people our friends and family know and trust.
As a business owner with a personal brand, you can start getting the name of your business in front of people through these kinds of situations. It’s not just about marketing (although that’s important), but making connections.
Question 3: What is the difference between your personal brand and a business brand?
We’ve established what a personal brand is – being known for knowing or doing something. A business brand is like the umbrella that shelters all of the personal brands for your dental business.
This might mean finding commonalities between your personal brand and the personal brands of the other dentists in the practice. That might be innovation, cosmetic work, technical excellence, or maybe your practice caters to the unique needs of children.
Even if your dental practice only has one dentist, you can still market the personal brands of those around you. Tapping into the knowledge bank of your support staff is a great way to make your entire practice familiar to your patients before they ever step in the front door.
We are constantly bombarded with messages, new information, and choices at every moment. In a world where the best new service or product might just be one Amazon review away, consumers are less loyal than ever. And dental practices sometimes feel like coffee shops with one on every block.
Question 4: How can one dentist or one dental practice stand out in the cacophony?
Trust is so supremely important in every facet of a dental practice.
As dentists we often forget the leap of trust we ask from our patients within moments of meeting them. We ask them to trust us with their private health information. We ask them to trust us to touch their mouths and to consult on the best treatments to reach or maintain oral health. We ask them to trust us with their personal and financial information.
When you can find those moments to connect with your patients on a human level, you’re far more likely to retain them.
Creating a personal brand built on trust and authenticity is a great way to help ease this transition for new patients. Then once you’ve brought in a new patient, trust is also the glue that will hold them to your practice.
Question 5: How do I build trust?
There are three secrets to building trust and a trustworthy personal brand: authenticity, empathy, and credibility.
The first one is authenticity. You’ve got to be real. This is your chance to be your best self and present a strong sense of identity. You don’t have to be afraid to bring your personality into the mix. After all, a personal brand is about connecting with you.
You can let patients take a peek behind the curtains. Where are you from? What is your background? What’s your story? Are you involved in the community? Tell us about your family. What is your favourite music?
The second key is empathy. Empathy is really offering understanding and compassion to your patients. When you can show that you understand their fear of how much a procedure is going to cost or is going to hurt, you are creating trust. We all like to feel understood. You understand my pain, my frustration, the roadblocks holding me back, why I never floss, my embarrassment. In that empathy, we create a powerful connection.
Finally, the last key is credibility. All of this needs to be backed up by your expertise. You have the knowledge. You’ve done the study. You offer the best care.
When you have authenticity, empathy, and credibility lined up, you’ve set up a strong personal brand that engenders trust.
Personal branding for dentists, even those with their own dental practices, is incredibly important today. Personal brands create opportunities and improve patient retention. Whether your expertise is sought for a class or a seminar or you find that people begin recommending you on social media, people will find you because of your personal brand.