Don’t Let a Bad Online Profile Hold Back Your Business

Photo via Flickr user Vic

A patient gets their first impression of your practice the second they walk in the front door. The location, the decor, the lobby chairs, even the paint color on the walls. It all matters. Your office is a showcase of who you are and what your practice provides.

Your online profile does the same.

You would never host patients in an office that was under construction, so why would you let them visit an incomplete profile? Your doctor profile is the first impression for thousands of potential patients searching online. They meet your profile long before you meet them in person. If your profile is incomplete or unhelpful, you may never get that chance.

Every view your RealSelf profile receives is an opportunity to attract a new patient. They quickly form an opinion by both what they see and what they don’t see. In some cases, a lacking profile can actually be worse than a poorly done profile because of the fear of the unknown.

When patients contact doctors on RealSelf, they tend to reach out to those with profiles they trust. Nearly 90% of all contacts go to the top 20% of doctors. The good news is if you aren’t in the top 20% there are steps to get you there.

Here are three things you can do to improve your RealSelf profile.

Define your expertise

When potential patients visit your profile they are looking for reasons why you should be the doctor they choose. Showing off your skills and experience is a great way to convince them. If you consider yourself to be an expert in rhinoplasty, your profile should reflect that.

Add as much background information as possible. List board certifications, memberships, and honors you’ve earned.

You can also demonstrate expertise by answering questions and making videos. If you are marketing yourself as a rhinoplasty expert, but have only answered Q&A questions about hair transplants, a potential rhinoplasty patient may not come away feeling very confident about choosing you.

Decide what you want to be known for and showcase it.

Be helpful and relatable

While you want to showcase your talent, you don’t want to brag or boast. Your profile should help potential patients along in their decision-making process. When a patient is researching a doctor, they are looking for information. They want to know that you are capable of producing great results.

You help establish their confidence in you by providing helpful details. Answering questions and posting videos let potential patients get to know your personality and see your expertise. Posting photos shows the great work you do and allows potential patients to visualize results. Photos on RealSelf receive more than 45 million views per month. If you’re not posting photos, you’re not providing potential patients the information they are seeking to choose you.

Make managing your reputation a habit

When it comes to managing your brand online, you’re either creating it by being proactive, or you’re letting someone else establish it for you. To get the brand you want, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive. That’s why it is so important to establish a system for getting new reviews and keeping your profile fresh and updated.

If you don’t put any effort into your profile or attracting reviews, one bad review can be quite damaging. When the only information a potential patient has to go on is that one review, that review becomes your brand. Instead, if you build out a healthy profile, upload content and work to gain more reviews, you take control of your brand. Suddenly, that one bad review is just a drop in the bucket and overshadowed by all of the other information you’ve added.

Building a successful profile doesn’t require drastic changes to your day-to-day. It’s about continually making small steps that have a big impact over time. You should establish a routine that is sustainable. Don’t try to answer 15 new questions per day if you really only have time for one or two.

Building your online brand doesn’t have to be an extravagant undertaking. It’s more important to just do what works best for you as long as you’re not leaving your reputation for someone else to establish.

For more information on how to build a successful RealSelf profile, sign up for the RealSelf University webinar “5 Reasons Your Profile Isn’t Attracting New Patients” today.

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