Even doctors need a branding strategy. You can’t expect to pop your certification on the wall or create a social media profile and miracles will happen. It takes effort and strategy to get where you want to be in your career and with your brand. The goal of your strategy should be to reconcile who you are (as a business and physician) with how you want your practice to be perceived.



Follow these 5 steps to create a successful branding strategy:



1. Define who you are and who you want to be.


Probably the most important step in the branding process. It’s the part where you establish exactly how you want to be perceived professionally: one of the top dentists in your area, an artistic plastic surgeon, a philanthropist of good causes, you get the picture. Build your strategy around that essential statement of you and your practice.



2. Use as many web platforms as possible.


One static online profile is a good start, but not enough. Work on developing a website for your practice and your brand, include a blog, and set up social profiles on various social sites. Send press releases out in to the webosphere regularly and think about including video releases as well. The list goes on. Get creative and find what interests you. You should be present online in a number of forms and with as much positive information as possible.



3. Network, network, network


At some point throughout your career you’ve likely participated in the act of networking whether you know it or not. Networking by chance is awesome but consciously making the decision to do so is even better. Networking online is similar to networking in person. You’re working to create a strategic partnership that ‘s mutually beneficial. A good business network can boost your positive reputation online and visitors to your profiles and websites. Networking is vital for the success of any branding strategy.



4. Post Optimized Content


Regardless of content format or forum, everything you post online should be optimized to bring the right kind of traffic and eyes to you and your brand. Optimized content boils down to using smart keywords and pingbacks (links within content) relating to your brand message. The best optimized content ends up at the forefront of search engine results. That is how search engines work and that is how you should create your content.



5. Implement an Online Reputation Management


If you work hard to build a positive reputation on and off-line, what good is all that hard work if you let it go bad? It’s like making an amazing meal only to let it sit out and get cold. Now it’s not so good anymore. Your online reputation should be managed and maintained like any other important aspect of your life (and career). Find and implement the tools that allow you to keep track of your branding strategy in order to establish where and how you can improve it and also how to deal with negative search engine results.



What kind of strategies have helped you to build your medical practice? Share your tips and advice below!