For a professional in private practice, the notion of marketing and branding is unfamiliar territory. This is in a similar situation as within any small entrepreneurial company. Yet, this is truly a fundamental aspect of any business. To develop a following requires a brand, and it doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, dentist, an accountant, or an attorney. Your personal “brand” is what comes to mind when your “clients” are deciding whether to see you for the first or not.
Now is the time to get real. Branding is about image and perception. Do not claim to not understand the social networks. Muck right in, however with a special eye to product awareness. Hear yourself scream out, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Trends, here I come.
In principal, a brand is a promise of something that will be delivered by you and your practice. This promise comes in a form of quality, an experience, as well as with a certain expectation in mind. Brands that stand for something connect with customers.
Just as you use brands personify your position, status, and identity when you make decisions about which detergent or automobile to buy so do your clients. Give them something to rely on, something they can sink their teeth into, something which enhances their identity with a positive vibe.
Your credentials have much to do with your image in the consumer’s mind, so does your office ambiance and the courtesy (or lack of) offered the minute your staff greet the patient/client at the front desk. You may also be the doctor with bad breath or architect who is frequently late for appointments.
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