Occasionally, I get a little objection from doctors who challenge my advice saying: “I don’t need an ‘elevator speech.’ Everyone knows who I am, I’m not pitching investors, and I’m not ‘networking.’ Besides, it sounds phony and I’d never use it.”
That’s not from everyone, of course. Many professionals know about the “quick message” technique, and successful doctors use it several times each day. Done well, it’s natural sounding, immediately engaging and it often generates business and build brand awareness. It’s a brief info bite–a branding message that you control–which immediately tells people what you want them to know about you.
Meet the medical director in an elevator!
The fact is that, more than ever before, doctors and other providers need to differentiate themselves—by personal brand and professional reputation—amid the intensely competitive world of healthcare delivery. The 30-second “elevator speech” is a golden opportunity to distinguish yourself, your profession, your practice or organization.
And, know it or not, …yes you are “networking.” Everyone in business is networking. Doctors ARE the business in the mind of the public (consumers, prospective patients, patients). Presenting a quick and compelling verbal message is a key part of your branding effort, and memorable messages are often repeated by both patients and professional colleagues.
To a great extent a doctor’s personal brand is shaped by the message that is crafted and present. And, used frequently, a 30-second reputation-builder statement:
- Connects you with people quickly,
- Shares value, benefit and opportunity,
- Piques interest,
- Inspires referrals, and
- Builds a positive image.
How to sell yourself in 30-seconds without sounding self-promoting…
- First fundamental: Say why someone should care. The essential element of virtually all marketing is communicating value, benefit or resource to the audience. Understand their need. What’s meaningful to people is in knowing how they, the audience, can benefit.
- The other first fundamental: How or why you are different and better. Differentiating yourself provides a clear choice; say something the competition can’t say. What is your unique sale proposition?
- Watch your language. Be understandable; use words that are strong, clear, memorable and engaging.
- Target your audience. You’ll likely need more than one version to match the listener, interests, circumstances and/or goal.
- Provoke interest and a sense of wanting to know more.
- Craft your speech carefully and thoughtfully.
- Keep it simple and brief; 30 seconds is ideal; 60 seconds is max.
- Focus. Stick to one primary (differentiating and beneficial) idea.
- Use an attention getting or provocative opening.
- Embrace specifics, not generics.
- Stories, emotions and metaphors are memorable.
- Inject genuine enthusiasm; it’s contagious.
- Practice. Test. Revise. Practice.
- Use it frequently and wear it comfortably.
Admittedly it’s a challenge to be clear, concise and memorable in a brief message. But it’s worth the time and effort to create, practice, perfect and use a message that is presented spontaneously and makes a lasting impression.
It is an underutilized, but highly effective, marketing tool—one that you control—to continually present your brand message and shape your professional reputation.
Why branding is important for doctors?
Branding is about differentiating yourself, and authenticity is key.
Without this, branding would be merely acting – an empty, exhausting endeavor as you struggle to play a role that doesn’t come naturally to you.
Being yourself sounds easy. But it also requires you to truly know yourself, and to know your unique talents and strengths.
Defining your brand is a thoughtful process that should not be rushed. Even if you are not running a private practice, you should think of yourself as an embedded entrepreneur. A successful brand helps you to make the best of yourself and your hospital or practice.
The first step is identifying your talents and strengths. When defining who you are and your unique abilities, the goal is to determine how they can be used to benefit others in your daily practice.
It can be helpful to consider how other people perceive you, and what they appreciate about you.
If reviews have been written about you or your practice online, read through them to gain valuable insights. The better you understand your value to others, the more relevant and compelling your brand will be.
Take time to reflect on your purpose, including why you chose your line of work and why you continue to do it. Global brand strategist Blaise James suggests a three-part approach:
- First, create a statement of purpose by finishing the sentence, “I’m in the business of…”
- Next, he recommends thinking about your point of view and your beliefs. These are inherently more personal and singular than your purpose. This can be done by completing the sentence, “I believe the world would be a better place if…”
- And finally, he suggests forming principle statements, which demonstrate how you act on your purpose. To create principle statements, you can complete the phrases, “I always…”, “I only…”, and “I never…”
If you need help with your personal brand please get in touch with the Digital Doctor Dubai.