Have you heard the term “personal brand?”
Creating a personal brand includes identifying a specific look, design, purpose, or passion. A personal brand shows the uniqueness and individuality of that person. Developing a personal brand has definitely become popular the past few years in this world of social media. Many people relate personal brands to being a social media influencer or an entrepreneur running a small business.
But have you ever considered creating a personal brand as a nurse practitioner?
When you develop a personal brand for your nurse practitioner practice, you set yourself apart from other nurse practitioners. In a world of market saturation, it may be beneficial to have a specific niche and passion. We will talk about how to develop a personal brand and some of the benefits for nurse practitioners.
How to create a personal brand
Identify your niche using your interests and strengths.
Creating a niche will help you get specific about what you want your personal brand to look like. First off, nurse practitioners should complete a personal reflection. Think about what type of patients you love to see? What area of healthcare do you enjoy the most?
What are you most passionate about regarding healthcare education? What are you good at? What do patients compliment you about? What do colleagues come to ask you questions about? What could you spend hours learning or studying? Take some time to reflect on what you love doing and are good at helping patients.
Identify your past experiences and knowledge base.
Do you have any past experiences that set you apart from other nurse practitioners? Did you do clinical in a certain specialty area that many other nurse practitioners don’t necessary have experience with? Did you do extra training or courses as a RN that you could bring that knowledge base with you as a nurse practitioner? Are you unsure of what you are good at?
Maybe there is a topic you would love to learn more about. Think about if money or time was not an option, where would you work as a nurse practitioner? What is your dream job in healthcare? You may have to think outside the box, but by identifying what sets you apart from other nurse practitioners will help you have a unique personal brand.
Implementing your personal brand.
Now that you have identified your topic or service that will be the center of your personal brand, determine how you will best implement it. Nurse practitioners will need to show patients or potential patients that you are the expert on this topic. You need to get the word out to other providers and ask for referrals. You need to make your personal brand known.
Think about creating a personal brand page on social media. Provide education and information about your services. Post videos or blog posts. When a potential patient sees you talking about the service, they will view you as an expert.
Please Note: Make sure not to offer patient specific advice or medical treatment. Nurse practitioners don’t want to open legal issues by commenting medical advice on a potential patient’s Facebook post. The blog posts or videos should be generic and for informational purposes only. Also, make sure to check with your current employer for any potential conflicts.
Learn how to market your services.
Discuss with your clinic manager and see what kind of marketing is available. Similar to creating content on a personal brand social media page, you can write posts or make videos and post on your current employer’s page. Discuss mailing postcards, creating TV or radio commercials. These should come at the expense of the practice since it will be making the practice a ton of profit.
Even if you don’t market your services to the community, make it known in your clinic the types of patients you enjoy seeing. Maybe you trained to insert IUDs or love doing incision and drainage of abscesses. Tell your colleagues to send you those patients. It might just make your job more enjoyable to see patients you actually want to see!
It does take time to create content and bring awareness to your niche services. Now that we discussed how to create a personal brand as a nurse practitioner, let’s take a look at some benefits.
Benefits of creating a personal brand
The purpose of creating a personal brand as a nurse practitioner is to be the expert on that specific topic or services. Nurse practitioners are becoming a dime a dozen in certain markets. If you are a generic, run-of-the-mill nurse practitioner, you can easily be replaced by another nurse practitioner.
However, if you create a personal brand centered around you being the expert on a certain topic, this will make you stand out from the rest of nurse practitioners. When you make it known you are an authority figure in the field, it benefits the patient, your place of employment, and also you as the nurse practitioner.
Here are a few ways a personal brand is beneficial.
Benefits for the patient.
Being an expert will bring a patient increased access to knowledge. Maybe you have a great understanding of treating heart failure patients. There is currently a patient in your area that is struggling with heart disease. They may have a lack of education on managing the chronic disease. Maybe they think the only heart failure specialist is 3 hours away and don’t have the means to travel. Think of helping that patient with your knowledge.
When you work on creating a personal brand about a topic you are passionate about, it can create better outcomes for the patient. It can also establish a better patient-provider relationship/trust. The patient sees you talking about this health topic and automatically creates a level of trust. Developing a personal brand and identifying yourself as the expert can be very beneficial for the patient.
Benefits to your place of employment.
If your clinic can market the specialized services you offer, they will benefit from the increased volume of patients. When the nurse practitioner is the expert and patients learn this, they are likely going to want to see the expert. Therefore, patients will schedule their visits to see you.
It may also help the clinic create new service lines. For example, if you are the expert in weight loss, think about creating group weight loss coaching services. You could be the professional that develops and runs this new revenue stream.
Benefits to the nurse practitioner.
There are many benefits of the nurse practitioner creating a personal brand. The nurse practitioner can have more control over the types of patients they see. Once the personal brand starts to grow, the nurse practitioner’s schedule will be filled with patients that are actually fun or that bring that nurse practitioner fulfillment. When the nurse practitioner starts seeing more patients and specific patients, they become more valuable.
Think about a cardiothoracic surgeon. There are less than 4,000 cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States. That physician has niched down and identified a specific type of surgery. This increases the value of that surgeon.
When a nurse practitioner increases their own value, they stand out in a saturated market. The nurse practitioner has more proof of productivity and demonstrates the positive impact that APRNs have on the healthcare institution. This also makes it easier to negotiate your nurse practitioner contract because of the increased value.
Creating a personal brand can bring you increased opportunities. Think about being a well known nurse practitioner in the community. This will likely open networking connections that could lead to a future job. The credibility and respect for that nurse practitioner will increase. That nurse practitioner will have set themselves apart from other APRNs.
Let’s take a look at an example of creating a personal brand and niche practice services.
There is a nurse practitioner in my region that is an expert of diabetes management. During clinical, she followed an endocrinologist and learned a ton of information. This nurse practitioner also completed additional training on her own by becoming a diabetic educator. She learned the ins and outs of continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. She educated herself to be a diabetic expert.
Even while working in a primary care clinic, patients traveled hours just to see her. Her clinic schedule was full of diabetes patients because she loved caring for these patients. Other primary care providers referred their complex diabetic patients to her because she was the expert. And how did it work out for this nurse practitioner? She ended up opening her own endocrinology office and now gets to set her own schedule and how she cares for patients she is passionate about.
Creating a personal brand can add a ton of value to the patient, the place of employment, and the nurse practitioner.
Take some time and reflect on your personal brand and then get out there and make your area of expertise known!
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