Building a personal brand—that is, a brand that promotes you as a dental professional rather than promoting your dental office—can be challenging and confusing. It uses similar techniques as dental practice marketing, but there are nuanced differences. Here’s a game plan for turning your name into a well-known dental brand.
Step 1. Identify your goal.
Step 2. Differentiate dental office branding and personal branding.
Step 3. Create personal content.
Step 4. Create useful content.
Step 5. Continue to create content again and again.
Step 6. Engage with your audience.
Step 7. Get help when you need it.
Step 1. Identify Your Goal
As with building any dental digital marketing plan, you must set goals for your campaign. If your goal is “I want to be like [insert dental influencer name],” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your goal should be specific.
Your goal will be the basis of which strategies you employ and how you execute tactics toward that goal.
For example, if your goal is to set up speaking engagements and become a keynote speaker at various dental conferences, you will build content that shows you speaking and teaching.
If your goal is to be known as the best dentist in your area for aesthetic dentistry, you want to showcase your work and patients, but again, go further in your goal setting. Identify WHY you want to be known as the best dentist in your area.
- It’s an ego thing. I just want likes and followers.
- I want to drive patients to my office.
- I want to teach other dentists how to be better dentists.
Those three goal-statements have very different strategies required for tracking progress and achieving success.
- Likes and followers (regardless of them being patients or dentists)
- Patient leads (likes, follows, and comments are nice, but not the goal)
- Mailing list subscriptions, book sales, event registrations
If you are confused about what the goal is and what success looks like, you won’t know if your campaign is heading in the right direction.
Step 2. Differentiate Dental Office Branding AND Personal Branding
Unless you are no longer practicing dentistry, be careful about focusing solely on your personal brand or confusing the brands by introducing a new personal brand into your dental practice marketing.
Yes, you are a dentist who practices at a dental office, but if you turn your name into your brand, immediately, patients will become confused about what your office’s brand really is. When that happens, the dental office’s branding and goals suffer.
The solution is to have separate profiles and brands with separate posts that support the different goals of their campaigns.
If your goal is to attract more patients, don’t waste time with two brands unless one is already killing it in visibility, you want to start preparing the practice for sale and begin the next phase of your career. To do both simultaneously will require doubling your investment in marketing. Otherwise, you’ll rob one brand’s visibility in a half-hearted attempt to boost the other.
Leading dentists who still practice dentistry understand this and do both.
You probably know Dr. Brian Harris and Dr. Michael Apa. They are probably the dentists who you want to be! Check out their Instagram profiles:
Now, check out their dental office websites:
Click on the Instagram profile icons at the bottom of the website, and you’ll find yourself arriving not at the doctors’ profiles but office profiles:
Your dental office needs you as the company’s face, and of course, your name needs to be part of your office’s marketing. If you don’t, your office will feel generic.
Unless you are practicing dentistry as sort of a side hustle, give your dental office full-time marketing attention. Don’t jeopardize your dental practice’s results by diverting resources from the practice to your personal brand.
Step 3. Create Personal Content
The best influencers in dentistry get in front of the camera regularly. Teeth are great, but it will be difficult to gain traction if all you post are photos of teeth.
Influencers who post teeth all day are getting their names out in other ways. You will lose if you just start posting teeth without speaking, writing, teaching, or doing something else that gets your profile out there.
There are not enough hashtags in the world to make you that dentist.
You need engagement on your posts. Your face will make people click the like button and comment.
Step 4. Create Useful Content
Your secret ingredient for building a successful personal dental brand is to create content that people can use. Regardless of the audience, if you create content that helps them, your audience will engage, and social media engagement success equates to branding success.
Influencers get people to take action. If your content is all fluff and all about you, you will struggle to gain a foothold.
Dr. Apa still does this with his personal brand profiles. He posts videos that teach patients about how they solve dental problems. The eye candy of him boarding jets and standing by fancy cars gives his dentist audience what they want: an aspirational identity that proves that their dreams are possible through excellent dentistry.
Again, your goals should drive the intention of your useful content. If you want to help dentists through teaching, post content that helps dentists. If you want more patients, post content that engages patients by helping them.
Step 5. Continue to Create Content Again, and Again, and…
Promoting a personal brand is a full-time job. Seriously. You cannot do this in starts and stops, or it won’t be successful. You need a plan for:
- What your goals are
- Which platforms you’ll dominate
- Who you will engage with (audience and non-competing content producers who share your audience)
- A schedule for posting
And then you MUST post, post, post. Don’t give up. The most well-known dentists on social media did not get there overnight, and neither will you. It will take years, so make sure your goals align with this timeline.
If your brain is telling you that it takes just one post and you’ll “go viral”, Claire Diaz-Ortiz said it best:
She wrote a book entitled Social Media Success for Every Brand, where she talks about having “gone viral” by live-tweeting her labor under the hashtag #inlabor. She ended up going on Good Morning America and landing several other media engagements, but it just happened. There was no campaign behind it, and it hasn’t made her career. Lots of hard work is vital.
Step 6. Engage With Your Audience.
This is the most critical component, but again, we’ve talked about how to successfully engage on social media, so we won’t cover it at length.
Remember, great content’s only point is to create a social opportunity to engage with your audience. There’s not much point in creating the content if you don’t do that.
Engage early, often, and in a meaningful way.
Step 7. Get Help When You Need It.
If you want help building a personal brand in dentistry, we can do that. We’ll start with a discovery process where our StoryBrand Certified Guide will help you identify your goals and clarify the messaging you need to use to drive your branding and marketing efforts. Call (970) 672-1212 now to speak with us or schedule an appointment.