Building a Personal Brand Does Not Mean Becoming An “Influencer” – Here’s Why

2 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Photo by Josh Rose / Unsplash
Table of contents

"How can I build a personal brand if I hate being photographed?"

I get this whenever I talk about personal branding and why it is crucial to avoid commoditization. For some reason, our mind immediately goes to curated instagram feeds, color-perfect filters, and a series of reels that Michael Jackson would envy.

But that's not at all what a personal brand is.

"A [personal] brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." –Jeff Bezos

I often say patients don't go to the best doctor – they go to the doctor they perceive as the best.

So a personal brand is how you engineer this perception. By understanding what your ideal patients are looking for and what they need from you. And the best part? The selfies and silly dances are completely optional!

Here are just a few options for you to build your personal brand:

  1. Writing. Several doctors have built an entire career through writing. From short tweets, to atomic essays (like this one!), to longer posts, articles, and even books. You can publish your writing on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Reddit, Medium, your own blog, your newsletter, etc.
  2. Speaking. If you've ever heard the saying "you have a face for radio", you'll understand why so many people like audio. Hosting or guesting on a podcast, speaking at a virtual summit, speaking on Twitter spaces or clubhouse rooms, or speaking at in person events are just a few ways to leverage your voice.
  3. Video. Did you know some of the most successful YouTubers never show their face? Creating explainer videos, or recording slideshows, you can create a YouTube channel where you don't even need to be wearing pants as you record!
  4. Community. This is how I grew my stem cell practice to 7 figures per year. In 2013 I started a Facebook group where I helped our ideal patients with information regarding their condition and how stem cell therapy could (or not) help them. This created trust and positioned me as a reference in the field they were interested in. You can build this on Facebook, Slack, Discord, Circle, etc.
  5. Entertainment. And finally, entertainment. This is what you were thinking about. Here you educate potential patients by entertaining them. TikToks, Reels, Stories, etc. This is the hardest for physicians to excel at since it is so far from our training, but if you're the kind of doctor who likes putting themselves out there, enjoys tinkering with the filters and different apps, this can be a gold mine.

"Yeah but… Which is the best way to build my Personal Brand? Maybe I should do them all?"

There is no "best one" medium or platform to build your thought leadership.

There's only the best for you and your audience. Choose one which you enjoy doing and which your ideal patients would consume. Then focus all your efforts on that one medium.

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