This is the third in a series about professional branding, and today we’re focused on how your brand is conveyed on a website. I chose this topic because I’m often asked questions like:
What should I put on my physician website? What doesn’t belong on my website? How do I make my brand clear on my website?
I’m going to be building off of Episodes 30 and 31. We have already addressed what professional branding is (and what it isn’t), and we addressed some examples of what a good professional brand looks like using a four-part framework for communicating your professional brand. If you missed those, go back now!
In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:
- How to figure out what belongs on your website (and where it goes!)
- How to make it clear who you are and who you help
- A critique of a real physician’s website!
I’m so excited to let you know that my course The Branding Prescription is now accredited for 18 hours of CME – that’s a lot! And it’s worth it, because this is a comprehensive 12-week course. It’s a digital strategy and business marketing mixed with career advancement and personal development. It’s been a super popular course for several years, and now CME is the icing on that cake – check it out!
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TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES (Physician Brand Makeover)
Hey there, welcome back for more physician branding, professional branding. Today in this branding series I’m going to be building off of last week’s episode which was the four-part framework for how to communicate your professional brand.
And that, of course, was on the heels of why it’s so important to have a professional brand not only for you and your own success but also for your patients, your colleagues, your employers, it’s really helpful to others as well when you have a strong professional brand. So if you missed either of those things, click back to Episode 30 and 31.
I’m going to get even more specific with a branding makeover. I’m going to actually take one of the submissions that you guys have sent my way and I’m going to use it as an illustration of some things that I think are done really, really well. And some things that could be improved.
For this episode, I was so thrilled to get a submission from Dr. Linda Bluestein, from hypermobilitymd.com. This is a really fabulous, well-done website. I think there’s also some room for improvement, which is a really great illustration of what we’re talking about here.
So I love that just because I think it will help not only you, Linda, but other listeners as well just get really, really concrete about what we’re talking about. So last week in Episode 31, we were talking about the sort of the four-part framework of your brand identity in which you describe:
- Who you are
- Who you help
- How you help
- How someone’s life will be improved by working with you.
The Branding Prescription
Before we dig into this particular episode’s content. I’m so excited to let you know that my Professional Branding Course, called The Branding Prescription is now accredited for 18 hours of CME so I really, really hope that you guys will come to check out that course!
I’m really thrilled to be able to offer that because I know so many of you are looking for good ways that are also meaningful in today’s day and age to really get that professional development skills that can also be attributed to your CME funds. People have been begging for CME so here it is, come check out the Branding Prescription for 18 hours of CME especially if you like what you hear on this episode.
Ok, back to the makeover. Remember, we’re looking at Hypermobility.com, and I’m sharing my advice with site owner Linda.
What belongs on your website homepage?
The first thing that your landing page, your homepage should accomplish is just right away people need to know who you are and who you help. So when we land on the page right now, we kind of scroll down too far to see what I think ought to be right at the top, which is your name, Dr. Linda Bluestein, and that you are a hypermobility disorder specialist. I had to scroll a lot to get here:
And, then, this is something that happens to everybody in medicine, right? We have so many credentials, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. So when I see you go on to describe yourself, the first thing is board certified anesthesiologist. As a board-certified anesthesiologist, myself, I really sympathize here that, you know, that’s sort of the heart of your training, right? And it’s probably how you feel your core identity.
But I don’t know if patients or other health care professionals frankly, would link these things (anesthesiology and hypermobility disorders) so I’m not sure it actually helps to really nail in the core of your practice today and your credentials for your practice today.
So after leading with board-certified anesthesiologist, then it gets I think a little perhaps more relevant to the intended audience, which is the “integrative medicine physician, former ballet dancer, who specializes in treating dancers and other athletes at increased risk of hypermobility disorders”. So there it is.
Now there’s who you are, and that is who you intend to treat, right? You intend to help dancers and other athletes at risk of hypermobility disorders. And you have a couple of things in there that really do add to who you are in terms of your credentials and your personal experience, which I love.
So your professional experience, as well as your personal, lived experience as a former ballet dancer, so I think that’s great. I do also like how you go on to talk about the podcast, The Bendy Bodies Podcast.
And then I’m not sure though, if all of the details related to your book are necessary there, because I think the private practice part is more important and that’s all the way at the bottom.
So if I’m understanding correctly from your website, you currently do telemedicine, and you do educational services, right? And you mean speaking in that capacity, right? You do workshops, you work with other organizations, and you do education for both patients and healthcare professionals.
Perhaps pre COVID times in person, now, perhaps mostly virtual. But either way, those are sort of the two core things.
So as far as I can tell, you’re not academically oriented right now. So this website doesn’t need to, you know, impress anyone with any academic credentials. And this website doesn’t need to tell people, the whole history of your training and your various contributions, publications and things like that, unless you really think that the patients who are seeing this are going to be especially as you know, connected to that if you feel like that’s going to really resonate for them, by all means, you know you are the expert on you.
The Physician’s Dilemma
As with many physicians, you’ve got a lot of credentials and you have a lot of things you could share about yourself. Probably, a lot of things that really feel important to you because they took loads of time and dedication to earn, but not all of that belongs to the top.
The first thing we see on this page is that you’ve been practicing medicine for over 20 years, and you’ve helped countless people restore function to improve their quality of life, former ballet dancer and instructor with a special interest in treating flexibility athletes and others. I love this because this is short and sweet.
You’ve been doing this for a very long time. You’ve helped a lot of people to do what to restore their function, their quality of life. As a former ballet dancer, you’re an instructor so you are bringing in that uniqueness of you. So you’re not just any hypermobility disorder expert, you are also someone who has lived sort of in that in the shoes of your intended patients.
Then you go on to talk about your speaking. You’ve been at the forefront of research. You’ve written and lectured extensively, repeatedly top reviews for medical students. I love all of this and that you’re the course director and clinical faculty, but I’m not sure it’s as relevant to you right now on this website.
Then we get into your education. You got your MD at UCLA. That’s a great place, I was on faculty there before. You were also a resident at Mayo Clinic. So those are two things that you might want to highlight. So if you were to say that you have been practicing for over 20 years that you’re, you know, trained at the Mayo Clinic. That might be relevant, just keep it really short.
You have Licensure and Certification, you have Performing Arts medicine listed there. I think that belongs front and center on the front page, more so than being a Board Certified anesthesiologist. I think this is really unique and would really speak to your potential patients and also to the healthcare professionals and organizational folks that you want to be that you want to work with.
I could be wrong here, but I don’t think anybody on your website is going to care about your NBME status, your Wisconsin Medical License, or any of those other honors. It’s not really harmful here, but I would just move it.
I would move it all to the bottom because I think when people are wanting to get to know you, they want to know whether they want to hire you to come to give a workshop or they want to know whether they want to book a telemedicine appointment with you. Right? So as far as I can tell here, again, hypermobility disorder specialist for 20 years, your personal background as a ballet dancer and an instructor.
The kinds of patients that you have been treating. You know, I think in one or two sentences, you could say something about being an internationally renowned speaker and researcher who’s trained at the Mayo Clinic and call it a day there. I would put front and center there Performing Arts, medicine, that’s really something.
The other thing I noticed here is that all down the left-hand side of this page are these professional organizations, Pivot Dancer, Expert Doctor for Dancers, Dance Specialist, Healthy Dancer, Dance Health Alliance of Canada. I mean, I’m not gonna read these on and on, but you are a professional member of a lot of societies that add even more sort of street credibility to your specific work in this niche. So I would put that on the front page as well.
I would also probably move your testimonials to that front page because these are great talking about what it’s like to work with you. So again, back to that four-part framework:
1 – “who you are” – we’ve just kind of gone over how to make it clear the uniqueness of who you are.
2 – I think you have “who you help” articulated well here.
3 – Then “how you help” – telemedicine services and either they can hire you, perhaps virtually or in-person to do some educational work. Those are sort of the two ways in which you help.
4 – ‘What it feels like to work with you’ – these testimonials belong on the homepage. Some people may not click through to other pages, but if they see these words of other patients or their family members, and it resonates with them, you probably have a new patient.
More on “How You Help” (hint: make your services or offer really clear)
There’s a drop-down medical services list, which is exactly what it sounds like. It displays your telemedicine and then educational services. Now, I don’t know if there’s a better term to use here, but I’m not sure if “educational services” are clear to everybody.
If you are trying to work with dance schools and other programs, to have them hire you, as a speaker or as faculty or to, you know, sign on for you to come to do one of your training programs, I’m not sure if “educational services” would have them sold on what they can hire you for.
I would think about that term a little bit and whether there’s something different. The other thing that I see when I scroll on through to educational service.s as I love it, then then it’s pretty clear. You have informative workshops, and I love how you have listed out actual topics and which topics are for medical professionals, topics for patients and caregivers, topics for dancers.
So this is beautifully done. A lot of speakers forget to do this, right. They think that people just sort of understanding what the content would be like if they had You based on your blog or whatever else, but you really have put it down here, I think in nice detail. It’s organized, it’s beautiful, it’s really clear, and I love that. Then if I keep scrolling lo and behold more social proof, and this, I think, again belongs on that homepage.
It’s fine to keep it here also. I know that might feel repetitive, but I don’t think it is. When you know people are in sort of perpetual scroll mode, You don’t want for them to miss some of this most important stuff.
And here you have a “partial list of dance schools, programs, educators and faculty that have participated in educational programming by the Hypermobility MD”, so there might be a different way to word that sentence as well.
Essentially, these are people who have hired you. I think you could just say so, you know, these are people who have booked you as an expert, they have counted on you for your unique expertise. So there may be a different way to say that, because “participated in educational programming” kind of just sounds like you guys were in the same place at the same time.
I think it’s well worth pointing out some of these major organizations that have hired you. That lends to your expertise. I would put that similar to how I suggested with those dance specific professional societies, I would put it with those with the testimonials. So as someone is scrolling through your homepage, they’re learning more and more about you.
Here’s How I Would Package “Who You Are” Linda:
This is what’s really important about you, is all of that credibility and expertise in this area. So in a nutshell, Linda, only you know what the right words for you are.
If I were going to describe you on your front page, I would keep it short and sweet. Hit the high points:
- You are a Physician with 20 years of experience.
- You are board-certified in performing arts medicine, among other things.
- You are a former dancer and dance instructor.
- You are an internationally renowned speaker and researcher.
- You have experienced treating flexibility athletes and others at risk for hypermobility disorders.
To me, that’s the most important part. At least, you know, as I’m sitting here thinking about what would an ideal patient or client or organization want to know about you?
Those are the things I think they would want to know. The rest of it is all its many feathers in your cap, you obviously have had a long career of a lot, a lot of success. But I don’t know if it’s relevant in this context.
If somebody wanted you to come to give grand rounds, for example, which isn’t really part of your business model, but it’s not bad exposure. Then, in that case, they may want to know all of those other details, but for the front page, that’s what I would serve really hone in on right there.
That really covers who you are, and it also covers who you help. Then in terms of how you help, we’ve already kind of touched on that a little bit. I think the telemedicine part is clear. I think the idea of occasional services is understood as well. The actual services themselves are beautifully done.
But I think helping people to understand that what you mean there is that they can hire you as either a speaker or consultant, someone who gives workshops and, and provides a sort of on-site education or now it’s Virtual Education. So again, I put that front and center. And I think that you have articulated it really nicely throughout.
One thing you may want to emphasize more because you’ve emphasized it in your note to me is that hypermobility disorders are often misdiagnosed, or people are undertreated.
That might be something that you want to add to your language about, you know, what it will feel like as perhaps people will be diagnosed sooner, they will have less pain, they will have less limited function, or whatever it will be. So that might be something to pull through in your description of how people will benefit from working with.
Summary: Three Things This Professional Website Does Well
I want to summarize the top three things demonstrated to us by HypermobilityMD. We’ve just talked about the four-part framework and how you fit into those four parts. These are some of the highlights, at least on the main pages that I saw.
Okay, the three things that I absolutely love.
- I absolutely love the social proof. You have so much on there about your unique position in terms of your work with prior organizations, prior societies, and your testimonials and your personal lived experience as a dancer and a dance instructor. I love love, love that. I think it should be front and center.
- Your angle is so unique. This is probably a pretty small patient group that would be my guess. I think it’s wonderful that you are really speaking so specifically because, as you might imagine a person who has a hypermobility disorder or as a flexibility athlete, they’re at risk. They want someone who really, really gets it. You do. They don’t want just any doctor, they want this. Your uniqueness there, I think in the way that you kind of frame-up both your training or formal training and your lived experience is how you really kind of niched into a very specific patient population.
- I really love your website when you do get over to educational services, I think you’ve done a very nice job of breaking out your speaking, or your workshops. And again, a lot of people don’t do that nearly as well as they should. Everybody’s got a website that says “booked me to speak” which frankly, is a good move. Even if you do not do anything else.
If you do want to get speaking opportunities, go ahead and just add that sentence or two to your website. It will help, I have had clients in the past who have gotten speaking engagements within 24 hours of simply adding that language and I’m not even kidding. It will always be more important for the person who’s on your website to figure out what they’re going to get when they hire you, though.
Linda, you have done that really nicely. I love how it’s broken out to the different audiences, so once you kind of massage some of your other language, if you decide to take any of these recommendations in terms of what it will feel like to work with you and try to pull that through a little bit more in those three topic areas.
I do truly think it’s really wonderfully done. So big kudos for those three things.
Those are the top things that I love that I would love to see you just emphasize and keep on keeping like don’t get rid of any of that.
Summary: Three Areas Where HypermobilityMD Can Grow
All right, the three things that I would focus on are updating along the lines of what we’ve talked about today would be:
- I would focus on reorganizing your website so that the things at the front are the things most relevant to your audience. If you do feel compelled to have your whole list of education, honors, authorships, and so forth, I think that’s fine to keep there. I just would put it sort of in the back or the bottom.
- I would think carefully about how you want to frame your “educational services”. As I’m putting this together for you, I have not had a genius idea of how exactly I would say it. I think it’s got to be something that feels right to you, but that strikes me as an area for the opportunity for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned.
- The final thing I will say that I have not mentioned actually yet, I noticed that when I get your website, there’s a pop up that pops up and it offers to join the Hypermobility MD community, and it’s a place for me to put my email address. I assume that that is a newsletter subscription or something.
I don’t know what exactly it is. But I think that’s the point. nobody really wants another newsletter. Nobody, no matter how great you want another newsletter, nobody wants more stuff in their inbox. And it’s a little bit vague about what exactly it is that a person will be getting.
So I would recommend changing that to a specific, actual thing. I do think people like to get an actual thing. So they’re willing to sign up for your newsletter if they’re going to get, you know, an ebook, and it doesn’t need to belong, or if they’re going to get even a checklist, or an article, or maybe even let them know that there’ll be subscribing to receive your podcast episodes.
I mean, both of those basically would take you very little effort to change, but I think you might get more people opting in if they knew exactly what they were going to be getting. I’ll also mention that it’s best for your business if what they’re getting is linked somehow to your business model.
Okay, that is a wrap for this episode. I hope Linda, this was helpful to you and I hope all of you listeners found some nuggets that you can take from your own website or even your own LinkedIn profile and apply it to how you’re representing your own professional brand, both in your words and just sort of the order in which you present your information.
What you include and what you leave out depending on the audience at hand is so important. So, I again hope this was really helpful.
Please stay tuned for even more on branding, as I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, super psyched to share that my course The Branding Prescription (now credited for 18 hours of CME) all for you over at my website, just click this link and you’ll see it right there, The Branding Prescription.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!
Bye for now,
Related Career Development Resources:
- Smart Professional Branding or Letting Bias Win?
- How to Make a Career Change for Doctors
- The Importance of Public Speaking for Career Advancement
- Professional Branding For Doctors: The Branding Rx eBook