Why Doctors (And Other Professionals) Need to Blog
Your peers do exactly what you do, so if you want to stand out from them you have to let people know why you do it.
Blah. Blah. Blah. A recent study by Media Dynamics, Inc. revealed that the average adult is exposed to more than 5,000 advertising messages a day. Was one of those messages yours?
The study also examined recall. Of those 5,000 ads zooming in and out of our minds, we only have awareness of about 86 of them. Just 12 of these marketing messages will create enough of an impression on us to make us start engagement of some kind.
You must join that cacophony. You have to be out there letting everybody know who you are and what you do. But, your marketing has only just begun when you finally catch someone’s interest. You haven’t won their business. All you’ve done is snag their temporary attention.
Now you have to do something even more important. You have to help them fit who you are and what you do into their worldview. The only way to do that is to give them an answer to this crucial question.
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. If that sounds familiar, it’s because nearly 31 million people have watched Simon Sinek explain this concept in his brilliant TED Talk.
Watch it when you get a chance. The actual title of the talk is “How great leaders inspire action.” Hold on a minute. You’re a physician or other kind of professional. What does this Simon Sinek guy’s talk have to do with that?
You’re a leader, aren’t you?
You’ll learn – although you probably already know this – why it is important to be able to tell your story. Good marketing is nothing more than passionate storytelling. A jingle tells a story. A tagline tells a story. A logo tells a story. There’s only one thing that people want to get from all these stories. They want a simple compelling reason to know why they should pick you out of all those others.
What’s your story? More importantly, does that story explain your why? Your blog can do that better than just about any other marketing vehicle.
It sounds like an opera, but it’s the key to customer acquisition.
- AWARENESS. Congratulations for smashing through the cacophony. Step 1.
- INTEREST. How do you demonstrate that you’re worth an additional investment of time and attention? Step 2.
- DESIRE. What will you share with them to make them seek out your product or service? Step 3.
- ACTION. How do you facilitate the transformation from prospect to customer? Step 4.
Professionals have discovered that a blog is the optimal way to generate interest, desire, and action. Here’s why.
Blogs create value
People want to understand why they should seek out your professional services. Your blog is a distraction-free vehicle for this purpose. It helps you explain what makes you valuable.
Blogs establish authority
Remember that awesome feeling you had when the box of your first business cards arrived? Finally, validation! There’s a title after your name. It probably wasn’t long before you were faced with the prospect of realizing that a professional title doesn’t make it rain clients down on you. After all, how many others out there have that same title? A blog can change this dynamic.
Using a blog to write about topics that are important to your customers does two things:
1. It deepens the justification of their decision to do business with you
2. It establishes you as an authority
This second benefit is key. Now that the Internet is available in the palm of our hand through smartphones, nearly every professional service has been marginalized to the point of being a commodity. We use search engines to find professionals. We’re rewarded with a list of those matching our needs, and we can even select from those who are nearest.
But what those searches can’t tell us is what differentiates each professional. At that point, potential customers have to start making choices. What makes one of the professionals in that search worth further investigation? The question prospects want answered is, “Why should I get what I need from you?”
Your blog can tell them why. The information you share on your blog communicates that you are confident enough to speak as an expert. It provides evidence of your experience. It shares examples of your success in solving their problems. It makes you an authority.
The search engines will take notice, of this too. You’ll rank higher because of a wealth of posts with keywords matching the issues that caused people to seek you out in the first place.
Getting past first base
Marketers call it “engagement.” Hitting the ball might get you to first base, but you don’t score until your foot hits home. Your blog is a way to deepen connections with prospects. As they begin to understand why you deserve their business, they’re going to have questions. Do you have time to take their phone calls to provide answers? Probably not. But there’s no limitation to the amount of time you can spend using your blog to engage prospects. The more they know about you, the easier it becomes for them to choose you over your competitors.
“Yeah, but I’m not a writer!”
Of course you’re not. You’re a professional who is deeply focused on your craft. It means the idea of spending time writing blog posts seems diametrically opposed to doing all the things a blog should communicate about you. Talk about a Catch-22 conundrum. You have to tell your story, but how?
Part of your story is going to be about why it’s important to seek out the most qualified professional (which happens to be you) to solve the problem. Physician, heal thyself. Seek out the most qualified professional storyteller to help you communicate your why.
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