This article was first written for Network Locum on August 30th 2016
Doctors often neglect personal branding. Since they are always employable by the NHS, most simply don’t’ know about it. But personal branding is important for anyone who really cares about having a successful career. You are the most influential person in your life so it’s ultimately up to you to sort out your personal branding.
Here are my top 5 reasons why personal branding is so important.
1) Boost Confidence
Doctors tend to be very confident people. You have to be in order to get through a surgical on call night shift in a new hospital as an F1 (I’ve been there). Even the introverted docs can make sure the Med Reg on call comes to review their patient asap. But doctors are rarely confident outside of their role in the NHS. In order to raise that confidence, doctors need to be clear on who they are, what they do, how they do it and why. This can often be distilled in an elevator pitch, a short paragraph that describes you, particularly to stranger, but also to remind you of what makes you so awesome.
2) Focus Your Efforts
When you have nailed down your pitch, it makes it much easier to succeed as you will focus your efforts on the vision you have for the future. This vision will be in harmony with why you do what you do. For example, I have a vision that doctors will feel more in control of their careers in the future. I work as a career coach but focus on doctors, because I am a doctor and I know what it’s like to not have the support one needs to make tough decisions about their career. My clients tell me I do a great job, and then more clients come. This isn’t a coincidence, my personal branding has helped me focus my efforts and provide a great service to my clients
3) Build Reputation & Credibility
Doctors are the most respected of all professionals. The NHS is far from perfect, but it has, and continues to,deliver great care for millions of patients daily. It has a great reputation and credibility, warts and all. But when a doctor is doing something outside of the NHS and/or not in the role of a doctor, most of that reputation and credibility goes out the window. All of a sudden, people care more about who you are and what makes you special. Your personal branding will explain why you should be noticed. Your credibility in particular grows whenever your reputation precedes you. This happens whenever someone comes across your brand before interacting with you, be it by viewing your Linkedin page, reading a blog post you wrote, or hearing someone talk about you.
4) Improve Job Prospects
People contact me daily offering me roles after scanning my Linkedin profile. I know people who have sent tweets about being unemployed and then get landed a new job a few days later. One of my good friends got a job with a client of mine because I put in a good word for her (she’s also damn good at her job I might add). When you work on your personal brand, your personal and professional networks will develop over time. These networks are powerful can benefit you in all kinds of ways; find mentors, learn something new, or get job offers. Potential employers will read up on you, which means they will be reading up on your personal brand.
5) Stand Out From The Crowd
There are around 150,000 doctors working for the NHS, with an unknown number of doctors not practicing. Even if we just considered those who are employed by the NHS, with a population of approximately 65 million people in the UK, you are only one in shy of 435. Let’s just imagine you stood in a crowd of 435 people, what’s the chances of them all noticing you? This is important, because a sad truth of life is that most people don’t know or care about you. But people will take notice if you can generate an emotional response. Personally, I prefer to make people feel good, but hatred against the likes of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump has actually enhanced their brands. Think about your target audience and make them react to you by being a part of what they care about.
If you want help with developing your personal brand, please do get in touch. Also share and comment with your network.