It’s easy to get caught up on ROI as you build your practice. Your time is valuable and whatever you invest in it needs to deliver. All those returns, however, don’t have to be immediately monetary. There is true value in building your brand and establishing yourself as an expert who potential patients can trust.
That is where RealSelf Doctor Q&As come in. Answering questions from people who will likely never be your patient may not seem like it will pay off. But, answering questions isn’t about bringing that one specific person to your practice. Instead, it’s about building the foundation of how future patients will get to know you. Answering those questions now will set you up to be seen as an expert to future potential patients searching for the same answer down the road.
Frequently answering questions is a great way to go from the bottom 80% of RealSelf doctors into the top 20%. Being in the top fifth has its perks, as those doctors receive 80% of the inquiries from potential patients. Establishing trust and helping patients feel confident will boost your practice’s bottom line.
You already have the expertise to answer these questions. Now, it’s time to share it. Here are a few things to consider as you start answering more questions.
Interest matters more than location
If you’re a doctor in Florida, you might not see a direct benefit in answering a question for a person seeking advice in California. The chances of that person becoming your patient might seem slim-to-none. But you’re not answering the question to acquire that potential patient. You’re answering the question for the potential patients in your area who will search for that same answer tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.
That’s why it’s important to worry more about answering sought-after questions and worry less about converting the initial asker into a patient.
Be helpful, not promotional
The most important thing is to come off as authentic and trustworthy. If you try to push your business too hard you erode trust and credibility. Instead, focus on giving, not receiving.
That doesn’t mean you’re not selling yourself and your practice. Instead, it means you do so by demonstrating your level of expertise instead of through self-promotion. You’re promoting yourself by being seen as someone a potential patient can trust.
If you are a RealSelf PRO doctor, you can add a link to your website along with your answers. It shows up in your signature and gives viewers another way to contact you, or explore more about your practice without coming off as you’re pushing it on them. Those links can also improve your SEO.
Share opinions, not advice
You’re answering questions, not treating a patient. That’s an important distinction to remember. Providing answers is a way to show your expertise and establish yourself as trustworthy. Do that by giving your opinion in a friendly, transparent way, and making the person feel heard and understood. Don’t do that by trying to treat or advise a person who you’ve never met in real life.
You can always suggest a person go visit a doctor in their area for actual advice or treatment. Just don’t offer that service yourself.
For more insights into how answering RealSelf Q&A questions can have a major impact on your business, check out the RealSelf University “Gain Influence and Status by Sharing Information” webinar.