According to Wikipedia, personal branding is, “the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands.” You probably know many people with personal brands: Seth Godin, Kylie Jenner, and of course, Oprah Winfrey.
Sometimes we get asked by dentists whether they need a personal brand in order to succeed. For most dentists, the answer to that question is going to be no, however there are always a few exceptions to any rule. If you’re running a more traditional dental practice (even if it’s a boutique or spa-like dental practice) you probably don’t need a personal brand, you just need to inject more of your personality into the brand you’re already building!
Making Your Brand More Personal
What do we mean by this? Your practice doesn’t have to become Dr. Jane Doe’s Dental Practice. It can still be ABC Dental Practice, but Dr. Jane Doe can (and should) play a more prominent role in the brand. After all, people connect with people, not businesses. The more you put your face on your website, social media feeds, and advertisements, the more people are going to connect with who and want to spend time with you.
This is quite different from building a personal brand. At the end of the day, you are still running a dental practice, and your messaging should all be centered around how your business helps people. Your marketing should still prominently feature lots of photos of your patients, your team, your office, and your work. But, it should also feature you.
Who Needs a Personal Brand?
Personal branding works for people who want to turn their name into a business “umbrella” with many different projects underneath it. For example, Oprah has a brand that is 100% her image. Underneath that brand umbrella she has a magazine, a television show, books, speaking engagements, etc. Rather than brand each project as its own thing, everything is branded as Oprah. This frees her up to do anything she wants in the future, and it makes all her projects seem super cohesive.
As a dentist, you want your business to become a household name, but you’re focusing on building your own name to that same degree. You may see some dentists do this, for example, celebrity dentists in places like LA or NYC. There are also some dentists who are educators or coaches, and they work with other dentists. For them, building a personal brand makes sense. However, if you’re running a practice and your main goal is to attract more patients, your focus will be on that and not so much on building a personal brand.
Where Should You Focus?
Branding is tough, and it’s just one more thing that you have to do on top of the VERY hard work you do day in and day out to keep your practice humming along. The best way to build your practice’s brand is to find a way to consistently speak to your ideal patients. Social media is perfect for this.
Invest in great photography of your practice, your team, and of course, yourself. Then, make sure to post everyday or at least three times a week and actually engage with your followers. Doing this will show that you care and that you are *the* place to be and the next time someone needs a new dentist, guess who they’ll think of? Yep, they’ll think of you!
If you need new headshots or want to do a full branded photoshoot, shoot us a message and let’s chat! We’d love to get you everything you need to make branding your practice a breeze.