build authority

How to build authority as a specialist doctor?

If you nurture a firm ambition to build authority and become a key opinion leader as a specialist doctor, take a look at the common traits we found in the profiles of some of our leading customers.

build authority

How to build authority as a specialist doctor?

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

August 23, 2022

How to grow influence (without being an influencer)

reputation tactics for doctors

Are you actively growing your practice? If that is the case, you may be primarily focusing on referrals from general practitioners or family physicians. 

Most reputation tactics for doctors were locked into a model I would qualify as pre-digital. Going to networking events with GPs, giving presentations that would generate CPD points, and following up on some of these GP-relationships after the event.

Growing your influence and getting referrals is now also a digital activity. Thousands of clicks and click-throughs, online searches and hours spent on medical websites…they make a difference.

This is where we come in, helping leading specialists or ambitious starters in private practice, with reputation tactics for doctors and surgeons. Influencing GPs is not an isolated activity. It’s all about your capacity to build authority as a specialist doctor. Once you influence the local community and become a Key Opinion Leader, you will see your GP referrals follow.

Let’s look at a few live examples.

The power of your About Page

profile pages for doctors

Profile pages for doctors are not resumes. I can’t highlight this enough when we do a workshop or a webinar about practice growth. Your ‘About’ section or page is a crucial item in your whole digital strategy. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"If you have not looked at the performance of your ‘About’ Page in the last 3 months, it means you probably don’t have a Content Marketing strategy in place. I invite you to book a meeting so we can discuss the business volume you may be missing out on."

Your ‘About’ Page is one of the backbones of your website simply because one of the end-points of any type of web query will be about you. Even if the patient landed there to find out more about a condition or to read up on a surgery type. 

In the end, most doctor reviews mention the human side of the service, don’t they? When we need healthcare, we zoom in on the human qualities of the person in front of us. So that is also an area where you can build authority.

It doesn’t mean you delete your qualifications. There are specific ways to build a killer ‘About’ Page, one that attracts traffic, hooks the audience, keeps patients on the page and conveys the right type of message that helps you convert visitors into new patients, or visiting GPs into new referrers. Book your free meeting to discuss your current ‘About’ Page and what we could do to help you make more use of this powerful content marketing tool.

Other ways to talk about medical topics

storytelling in healthcare

If you run a private practice, you are in an interesting situation. You are part of the heavily regulated healthcare system, part of a specialty College, part of a medical community that interacts and has its complexities and traditions. 

Yet, to the outside world, you are a business offering a service. And if your specialty has an elective character, the business logic kicks in even more. Bariatrics, dentistry, fertility, certain aspects of orthopaedics and cosmetic surgery are typical examples of niche areas with increased needs for business development and a need to build authority.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Founder Digital Practice

"When patients have a choice between getting treatment or not, between multiple clinics and specialists offering a similar service, competition will define how well your practice is doing. That is where storytelling in healthcare comes in as a game-changer."

So how do you apply storytelling in healthcare communiation? When you work with us, the editorial approach is always built on an in-depth discovery process. 

The story elements that often add value to your profile are:

  • How you started out in medicine: A personal story, your inspiration or motivation to become a doctor and to choose this specialty. People relate to people when they talk about their purpose.
  • Experience: Not the dry kind of resume-information that consists of bullet points. A particular breakthrough in your career. Leading experts you worked with. Roles that changed your views on your specialty forever. Moments that made a difference.
  • Personal life: We don’t need your full private life in full detail. But it really helps to understand the person behind the practice. If you have a passion, a beautiful family, an interesting migration story, a particular charity you support, bring up the story when we discuss your personal profile and we will help you integrate it in a smart way so it adds value to the conversation with your future referrers and prospective patients.

The all-in-one approach to online communication

medical copywriting

A word about medical copywriting. This specialised activity is often reduced to rewriting what doctors have to say about symptoms, conditions, treatment and surgeries, or to the pharmaceutical field where a lot of academic content is involved in various situations.

There is a whole area of medical copywriting that has only started to emerge in the last 5 years. Now that Google has given us an insight in the direction it takes with its algorithms, we can look at medical copywriting in a different light. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Founder Digital Practice

"Google’s algorithms are scanning your medical website for quality content. Relevance, accuracy, the way the information is organised, the multimedia aspect of your content, the readability, the presence of relevant keywords and the technical health of your website are all part of the process when Google defines if you will rank high in organic search or not."

The new way to approach medical copywriting so you build authority, is way more multidisciplinary than a decade ago.

We need:

  • Insight in the topic: Understanding the medical foundation of your content remains pillar number one of the whole medical copywriting process.
  • Understanding Google behaviour: The copywriter needs SEO knowledge and needs to master the skills of researching a medical topic in terms of commonly used keywords by patients in their online searches.
  • Understanding medical web design: The copywriter needs to think about the way the copy will be organised, use the typical syntax that web content requires, so titles and headers, images, citations, paragraphs and white spaces are all working together to display the content well on screens of all sizes. You can check out some of our successful medical website design strategies here.

The drama? This is a fast-moving area. There are no university courses and in Medical School this is not a topic that is being discussed.

The good news? Since 2016, Digital Practice offers a one-stop integrated solution to help you with your medical copywriting and the digital strategy around it.

build authority

The starting point is always market research

market research for doctors

What type of market research for doctors should you look into when you want to grow and develop your private practice? 

The most relevant market data comes from your patients. What are they looking for?

This is not a quick fix. It’s about mapping your patient’s journey from initial consultation or before…all the way through to aftercare and revision surgery (if applicable).

The work is a thorough back-and-forth process between the information we get about your practice, and the market data we extract from various tools, to map what your patients are doing online.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Founder Digital Practice

"We can now map the exact Google searches that patients perform at any stage of their patient journey. This is gold to support your content marketing strategy with live local market data and build content that makes you stand out when your competitors are not appearing in the patient’s Google search."

The starting point is always custom market research. As a customer, you tell us about your business priorities. As your medical marketing agency, we perform research and discuss the data about your potential future patients so you can make well-informed decisions about the content we use in your marketing strategy. 

Let's meet

Let’s talk strategy

strategic advice for doctors

Strategic advice for doctors can not ignore this new reality of Google data. If you are starting in private practice, revamping your clinic, growing your team or expanding into other areas, book your strategy session and let’s go over the growth opportunities for your online presence. I look forward to hearing more about your practice!

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