Last year I was interviewed by FEED The Agency’s Creative Director, Matthew Ray Scott about how physicians can create a personal brand with Twitter. It’s a question that comes up frequently at medical marketing events I regularly attend and it’s one that I wanted to share with you here as it covers a multitude of client based professions other than those linked to medical services. So, this week I’m going to share a part of the interview I feel is particularly prevalent to anyone who needs to build up client confidence through effectively establishing their brand. Here’s how it went:
FEED The Agency: Imagine we hire you to conduct a personal branding workshop with our physician clients. What would you want the top 3 take home lessons to be for them?
Sarah-Jayne Gratton: Firstly, patients don’t want to talk to a faceless, nameless entity; they want to sense the person behind it — the personal. They want to like and get to know you, not just interact with your business. Remember that emotions are everything — they always have been and they always will be. Without them we cease to be human and we cease to invest in the human race. Your brand voice and your social voice are one and the same. Don’t make the mistake of trying to separate them.
Secondly, I’d want them to take away the knowledge that social media has dissolved the walls that existed between the client and the brand, and has provided the opportunity for one-on-one connection in a way never before possible. The best physicians are embracing this and using social media as a way to expand their knowledge base to their patients, empowering them and strengthening their own personal brands in the process.
And lastly, it’s so important to acknowledge the fact that today’s patients, consumers and clients have the ability to communicate online all day, every day, sharing, tweeting and blogging about how they feel. Sentiment is oozing out of every post they make, and we should not fear it, but instead, embrace it as the new lifeblood of branding. The ability to listen and understand how our patients feel (whether good or bad), what is important to them and what their expectations are, provides huge opportunities for forming the emotional allegiances needed for enduring personal brand loyalty.
The feedback I received following the interview with FEED which you can read in full here drove home the message that marketing today has become a very personal, emotional and ultimately social two-way street, where the client joins in the conversation and helps to road-map a brand’s journey.