By Susan M. Hutson with Vikas Vij
LinkedIn is not just for job hunting. Your patients are looking at it to find out more about you beyond your professional image. So don’t be shy. Brag a little, and share some personal insights that will help build your brand.
Personal branding is an important marketing asset for professionals, including dentists. Your potential patients are interested in knowing about your academic background, training and experience, special skills and specializations, certifications, awards and achievements, and community involvement. You can provide some unique insights in your area of expertise as well. This information can be woven together seamlessly to tell your story and enhance your personal brand.
The more you work on developing your personal brand, the easier it becomes to be convincing in your other marketing efforts. One of the most important online places today where you can tell your personal story and cultivate a brand image is LinkedIn. The network has over 300 million members. These include professionals from various areas and at different levels. LinkedIn serves as a common platform for them to share content and identify new business opportunities.
The need for LinkedIn
A social network such as LinkedIn can help popularize you as a dentist in your area. Many search engines are inclined to show LinkedIn pages in their top search results. To earn high search rankings via this route, you need to build an effective presence on LinkedIn. This effort is very rewarding because not only are new patients searching online for a good dentist, but existing patients and those who have been referred to you are searching for you as well.
The average person today is highly internet savvy and wants to feel empowered with adequate information before making a decision. Even new patients who have already visited you might look for more information about you on the internet. Knowing more about you improves their sense of familiarity and assures them they’re in safe hands.
Create an effective presence on LinkedIn
The best way to approach LinkedIn profile building is to treat it as an additional website about you and your brand. Your goal is to make it as comprehensive as possible while remaining focused on the areas that are of interest to your patients, and to empower them with useful information. Use LinkedIn to showcase your successes in the dental field, your areas of strength, and your endorsements from patients and peers. Make effective use of both text and visuals.
Just like you need a strong website before you can rank high in search results, your LinkedIn presence must also be built on a strong foundation. The more complete, comprehensive, and accurate your profile, the more visible you will be in LinkedIn search results. If readers find your profile to be clear and forthright, they’ll likely develop a positive image about you and your practice.
Improve your search rankings
LinkedIn search does not attach a “single rank” to any member. The rankings are individualized for each search query. However, members with more comprehensive LinkedIn profiles will show up higher in search results. For instance, a query may return identical results, but the ranking of those results will be determined on the basis of parameters such as completeness of the profile, the activity record, and connections and endorsements of the person.
Keyword optimization matters in LinkedIn searches. Localized keywords should be included in your profile and other information on LinkedIn. If your profile needs to be strengthened with more information, a notification about your profile strength is displayed on the right side. This will also list some recommendations on how you can enhance your profile.
You should list at least five skills that define you as a professional. Also provide your academic background and cite your industry and specialization. Finally, build a minimum of 50 connections on LinkedIn in order to have a strong profile. This will help you achieve higher search rankings on LinkedIn to improve your online exposure. Make your public profile visible to everyone for best exposure.
Optimize LinkedIn features
Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and share original content, such as articles and blog posts, whenever possible. LinkedIn has a content curation service called Pulse. Make an effort to use this service to ensure that your content becomes visible via Pulse. LinkedIn provides tips on how to create compelling content in order to maximize your ROI.
If you successfully position yourself as an influencer in your area of specialization on LinkedIn, your exposure may increase dramatically. The average content postings from influencers on LinkedIn receive about 30,000 views. Remember that LinkedIn is a social network and your success on it will depend partially on how actively you engage with others, share and trade content and ideas, and become a vital part of the conversation.