Hey there, in this episode of The Career Rx, we're going to talk more about professional branding, building from last week’s episode. We’ll get more specific today, talking about a four-part framework for your brand language that will really help you communicate it well.
Last week we addressed what a professional brand is, and why you need one. This week, I’m thinking about another set of questions that I’m often asked:
What does a good professional brand look like? What are examples of professional brand language? How do I communicate my professional branding on my website?
In This Episode of The Career Rx We’ll Discuss:
- A four-part framework for professional branding
- Three real physician websites and how they illustrate what works well
- My upcoming series on branding, and how you can get involved!
*Also, get access to free webinar training on the basics of professional branding! This is a one hour webinar all about what branding is and how it can help you in your career, no matter your specific goals.
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TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES
(Physician Branding in Action (Framework and Examples) – Episode 31)
Today we're going to follow last week’s episode and go deeper into physician branding, professional branding. We’re going to explore a 4 step framework for talking about yourself or your business as a brand, and then we're going to look at some examples of physician brands in action.
As I go over each of the four steps in the framework, we’ll pause at each one to really illustrate the concept. When I share these four steps of professional branding with you, you may think they sound really simple. True – it is not rocket science, but it is something that takes a little bit of deliberate thought.
Opportunity Alert! Would You Like A Branding Makeover?
Now – I mentioned I’ll be doing a series, so I want you to know about this opportunity! If you aren’t sure what to do with yourself in terms of how to develop your own brand strategy, pop on over to marjoriestieglermd.com/makeover and volunteer to be featured on this podcast in the coming weeks. I’ll be doing some makeovers for a few brave folks who are willing to discuss their aspirations, challenges, and websites (or public LinkedIn profile) on the podcast. Are you up for it? The link is right here.
What are the four steps to professional branding?
The four-step framework for professional branding is very, very simple. There’s more than meets the eye, I promise!
- Who you are.
- Who you help.
- How you help.
- How others will benefit from working with you.
It’s not rocket science, but it is important!
What are examples of professional brand language?
Let's talk about how to put the framework into action with specific examples of brand language.
The list is simple, but what do you do with this? Many people struggle to figure out how to take it and apply it to themselves and write their own professional brand language or their own professional brand value proposition. I mean, you could have website business cards, logos, and all that stuff. But professional branding is really all about language.
For many physicians, it's really not the kind of language that we are used to. It’s new, it’s challenging but ultimately it’s a difference-maker. I think you'll see what I mean when we get into these illustrations. So, let's dive into the four steps.
Branding Framework Step One: Who You Are
It's sort of our culture in medicine to include everything in your bio or resume from college, medical school, residency training and fellowship to where you are now. That is very lengthy and not really meaningful – unless, of course, what you're hoping to accomplish is to really impress somebody academically. (We’ve all been there)
For your brand language, this should be concise – only the most relevant piece of your background and expertise for the intended purpose. And this does not need to be fancy, it can be really, really simple. So let me give you a few examples:
Over on JillWener.com you can see that she is keeping it simple. We are immediately greeted by her name, Dr. Jill Wener on the homepage, and that is relatively all that’s there. If you dig into her “About Jill” pages, you'll see that she's a hospitalist-turned-wellness expert, and you can get all of the knitty gritty details there. But on the front page, she's establishing her extra credibility and that authority that comes from her medical degree.
Okay, another example – go over to EntreMD.com and check out Dr. Una. With the name of her site and the header language “why stop at MD when you can be an entreMD?” you're clearly getting the point here that Dr. Una is a physician entrepreneur (and she's hinting that you can be too!).
And finally, as another example, you're likely well familiar with if you go to KevinMD.com. You can see his tagline “social media’s leading physician voice”. Pretty clear positioning. He gets directly to his point and does not dance around letting people know who he is.
Branding Framework Step Two: Who You Help
It's truly vital that someone can tell from your brand language, who you intend to help. Beginners or experts? Individuals or organizations?
On JillWener.com we can see from the top navigation, she has an entire drop-down navigation that says “for doctors”, so she has a lot of services that are specifically for doctors. And that is a “who”.
We can also see from the language in how she describes her method of meditation as effortless that she's seeking to help people who haven't been able to meditate successfully before. And there are a lot of really common reasons people say they can't meditate – they can’t sit still, they can't clear their minds, etc. That’s another “who” description.
Dr. Una on EntreMD.com has a nice brand value language “I help physicians build profitable businesses so they can live life and practice medicine on their own terms”. So the “who” in this case are other physicians, and more specifically, physicians who feel like they are not on their own terms right now.
That's who she helps.
Back over at KevinMD, it says “KevinMD is the web's leading platform for physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, medical students, and patients to share their insight and tell their stories”. So the “who” here is healthcare professionals. The other implied “who” is anyone who wants to read the insights and the stories of these kinds of healthcare professionals.
Branding Framework Step Three: How You Help
The third step to your professional brand language is how you help. This is where you articulate the problem that you solve or the need you fill.
I cover how this can be a really great opportunity also to raise awareness about problems or needs that people don't know that they have yet.
From our three physician examples today, I've already mentioned that Dr. Wener is solving the problem of people who feel like they can't meditate. Dr. Una is offering solutions to help you practice on your own terms, and speaking about the business mindset that has helped her. On JillWener and EntreMD, you can see they both have a lot of online course offerings – that’s how they help.
On KevinMD.com it's a little bit different. He has got lots of ways to help because Kevin has been around for a very long time. And you can see this reflected at the navigation on the top of his website.
You can get his book -that's one way that he helps. You could hire him as a speaker. You can listen to his podcast. You can hire him as a coach. There's a very clear top navigation of all of these different things going on. For more on why I think this is so incredibly critical, jump over to [14:20] and listen! I’m talking about Kevin’s site for a few minutes in detail.
This is a very critical step in your branding framework, without sharing what needs you fill, your target group will feel lost and not be able to pick up what you are trying to put down.
Branding Framework Step Four: The Benefits of Working With You
Okay, fourth. The final step to your professional brand language, what it feels like to work with you. So this is an emotional punctuation mark. How is working with you going to make their lives different or better?
On JillWener.com it says “through Dr. Jill Wener’s meditation and tapping courses, you’ll create a more meaningful, joyful and adaptive lifestyle – and handle any setback with ease.” That's the direct language from her website. That sounds super to me!
Who doesn't want to handle any setback with ease, who doesn't want a more meaningful and joyful connection in life and more adaptive lifestyle? But if it doesn't resonate with you, then you're probably not her client. If you're already feeling a lot of joy and you can handle all your setbacks with ease, maybe you don't need to be on her site.
On KevinMD, just one part of his work is coaching for keynote speaking, he says that you will be able to “generate more speaking business and bring the audience to their feet”. And that is both tangible and emotional all in one sentence. It speaks to professional visibility and perhaps compensation, and just doing such a great job that brings the audience to their feet…as you're reading that maybe you just see yourself killing it on stage and that feels really, really super.
At [19:00] I sum up what these examples tell us about the magic of powerful brand language. It’s an important ‘take-home’ message you should hear!
The Branding Framework Works In ANY Setting
So now you know the four-step framework and can begin to build your brand language, your brand value proposition. You can see that this works for medical practice, coaching, speaking, traditional academic advancement -this works in any setting.
Before I wrap, if you want to be featured on this podcast as part of a ‘branding makeover’ segment, come on over to MarjorieStieglerMD.com/makeover and tell me about you!
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!
If you enjoyed today's episode, please leave me a review on Apple! Also, be sure to send me your questions so I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.
Bye for now,
Related Career Development Resources:
- What A Professional Brand Really Is – And Why You Need One
- Using Social Media Professionally to Grow Your Business
- The Fastest Way For Doctors to Build A Stellar Online Presence
- Social Media Policies for Doctors in the COVID-19 Era