Personal Branding and Online Reputation Management For Psychologists

Due to globalization, the appearance of the internet, social media, and social networks, the world has changed a lot in the past few decades. Exploiting the possibility of promotion and marketing that the new reality provides us can be useful to any profession.

If what you are aiming for is to impulse your psychology clinic or your own personal image as a psychologist, you have the opportunity of taking advantage of the possibilities of communication and interaction that social media and social networks give you. So don’t waste them, because they can give you prestige, notoriety and reputation.

Due to the fact that there already is an important amount of competition in the current labor market, psychologists need to cultivate their own personal and professional brand. The way of introducing yourself to other people can help you get a job or attract customers, therefore, it is important for you to know exactly who you are, what you do and why you are important. This way you can exploit your personal branding to the maximum.

Branding, or building your brand

The term “branding” was originally used in the corporate world, but we all possess a personal brand, even if we haven’t made it grow.

Branding refers to developing and shaping a brand that allows a user to identify with certain symbols, ideas or experiences that go beyond the simple products or services with which you want to make a business. This is made out of brand being and brand behavior.

Branding shows the characteristic values of the company which provide singularity and credibility, and which allow it to differentiate itself from its competitors, since they cause a unique impact on the market.

The employment outlook has undergone significant changes in recent years

The world and the economy are changing, and the relations between companies and professionals have been going through a transformation that has provoked a very different professional landscape from the one that existed two decades ago.

The forms of professional development of that time are already obsolete, and you have to keep in mind that in many sectors, employment stability has disappeared. Few of those who graduate from college go straight to the workplace. It is now about getting to the top, which is why it’s necessary to talk about projects and strategies to achieve it, instead of talking about paths that have already been defined. Oneself is in control, and one must be capable of designing, developing and managing his own professional strategic plan.

Personal branding for psychologists: the importance of being visible

This is especially important for psychologists, since the competition that exists among professionals of the guild is too much for such a limited labor market.

The concept of branding, however, can also be applied to help psychologists occupy a preferential place in the minds of others. Personal branding makes sure to identify and communicate your competences, your utility and your reliability for you to be perceived as the psychologist who must be hired or with whom it’s worth working. The goal is for them to consider you as the best option there is, and that you are finally chosen. Having a well-positioned personal brand increases the possibility of success in situations in which there is a lot of competition and in which you must be chosen among several options.

Regardless of your age, your title or your business, you should understand the importance of personal branding. You are the director of your own company.

Therefore, personal branding is a powerful and clear idea that appears in the mind of others when they think about you, it’s the imprint that you’ve left in their mind. It’s the way you manage and communicate your authentic values, beliefs, feelings and talent, and it is the perception that others have of you.

Image courtesy of David at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of David at Flickr.com

Start thinking about yourself as a brand

How would you like other people to see you if they look you up in Google? What specialty of psychology would you like to be associated with? What customers do you want to address? Before thinking about designing a strategic plan about your personal brand, it’s important for you to know who you are, what you offer and why are you important and different from everyone else.

Your image and your personality are your basic tools when it comes to standing out and differentiate yourself from other competitors, but ultimately what’s going to create customer loyalty is the relationship between the image that you’re going to show and your values, which is what’s going to create trust. Hence, a well defined image, one that is coherent with your principles, will be positively valued by others. The image that you show should be reinforced in every aspect and it  should show itself coherently with the values that you promote.

Using social media

There is a great deal of confusion when people talk about social media. Many people think that social media are a synonym for social networks, but this is not so. Understanding the difference between both terms is crucial for a good marketing strategy.

Social media is the platform, application or online means of communication used by many people to create online interaction, with the purpose of  sharing ideas, news and particular interests. This means that through them you can share images, audios, articles, videos and you can sustain chat conversations or videoconferences. Some of the most well-known ones are Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.

On the other hand, a social network is the act that is established when several users interact through a social medium. This interaction is motivated by a common interest or liking, and it causes the existence of a communicative network between internet users. Social media is a powerful tool for psychologists, since it allows them to share texts, videos, audios, and so on, to then create communities that are interesting on a professional level.

Having said this, it’s important for you to keep in mind the possibility of privatizing your profiles to have a more professional image and, that way, you’ll make the most out of your exposure. The social medium allows you to build the best possible image as a professional of psychology, but it can also have the contrary effect if you don’t take care of it.

You should also keep in mind that creating a website is indispensable today, and it’s a good way for search engines to know that you exist. It doesn’t have to be a wonderful one, but it will allow you to be visible in the digital realm, which is ultimately what you are interested in.

Related content: “Bad reputation in social networks? Learn how to deal with it!”

Are you a Plastic Surgeon? Online Reputation Management is more than an option for your business

The success of any medical practice today goes beyond the mere skills of the surgeon. An active and updated website, presence in social media, a large database, updated licenses and legal permissions, the best instrumental, clean and pleasant facilities for guests… everything may become completely useless without a proper online reputation. In fact, bad reviews on social networks can make useless any professional effort in a short time, considering that customers pay careful attention to the recommendations of others, much more than what you offer in your portfolio. On the other hand, without reputation whatsoever you will simple have no patients in your schedule.

Not only the physical appearance of your patients is –literally– in your hands: the very lives of them depend on your good work. It may be seen from different points of view, but the business of plastic surgery depends largely on what others say about particular doctors. From a pessimistic perspective, it may be seen as a failure, because a single bad review can spoil years of experience, studies, updates and upgrades on your expensive medical equipment. However, if you’re optimistic (and it is recommended in this case), you could see the issue of online reputation as an excellent opportunity to reinvent and enhance your business.

Now, how could you prevent and what can you do about the negative reviews that seriously affect your online reputation? What could you do so that potential customers perceive the image you want to project? These questions are perhaps the most important you could ask. Indeed: you know what we mean when it comes to improving the image we project to others. Well, start considering Online Reputation Management as some sort of plastic surgery about what others say about you.

Let’s analyze the following steps for improving your online reputation.

Image courtesy of James Mutter at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of James Mutter at Flickr.com

Recommended: 6 Ways to Reduce Negative Comments About Your Business

Create a reputation management plan

The best you can do is to follow an organized plan. This online reputation issue, more than an issue, is a constant work which brings positive fruits only if you take it seriously. To this extent, a plan to manage and improve your reputation may include the following steps:

A. A well-designed, updated and active website (in case you haven’t already created it) in which the names and biographies of all the doctors of your staff are available to the public. Include pictures of patients before and after, positive feedback and comments (if possible, add links to the social network profiles of those satisfied patients). Never forget to allow visitors to write you and (please) answer all questions and concerns from them. Customer service is essential here. It is also highly recommended to include a phone line. Users like to ask personally and the FAQ section in your website will never be enough (no matter how extensive it is.)

B. Use software tools (like Google Alerts, Social Mention or Hootsuite) to evaluate your online reputation permanently. This will allow you to draw better marketing plans, respond quickly and personally to bad reviews and to think how to fix your online reputation in case of a crisis. These tasks require time and energy, and for this reason, many companies prefer to hire specialized organizations like Reputationdefender.

C. Create blogs related to your website. The aim of these blogs is mainly to improve the SEO (search engine optimization) of your name, the name of some of the doctors of your staff or the name of your business. What should you write in each blog? Plastic surgery news, trends, tips, dos and don’ts… You decide. You can write thematic posts in each blog, and try to feed them weekly. Consequently, you will be taking advantage of the complex algorithms of Google and other search engines, so that the content your upload in those blogs is what users see first when they type your name at the search bar (instead of the bad reviews about you, your staff or your business.)

VIDEO – Description: Why online reputation management is an imperative matter for plastic surgeons

In case of a reputation crisis

The first thing to do is to ensure that you have the access and control of all profiles and accounts about your brand. You and only you. If you don’t claim your profile on social media platforms and websites of third-party reviews in general, others can write what they want instead. Be careful here.

In second place, always be aware of what is said about you, and always identify the bad reviews and comments. Attend them, understand every problem and never ignore complaints from patients. In third place, respond as quickly as possible. Perhaps you can’t solve the problem in question, but a quick and thoughtful response from you is something that the public values tremendously. If it is about an impossible problem to solve, offer an apology and try to compensate the patient with any of your services. Remember who is always right when it comes to business. Finally, if you receive positive feedback, always thank the time and intentions of users about it and publish the commentary on your website. People pay attention to that (and that’s free advertising, by the way.)

Your Online Reputation Deserves as Much Attention as Your Teeth

It’s no secret that consumers increasingly place credibility to the comments and opinions that other consumers share about a professional on the internet.

We analyze the opinions of others and give them credibility because they are written by regular people, just like you and me. For dentists it’s not different. Increasingly, patients look for information about a professional before putting themselves in their hands.

If your company is a dental clinic and you had never worried about online reputation before, it’s time for you to see the importance it will gain over the coming years. If you are already aware of the fact that the opinions expressed by your patients in specialized websites can affect your medical reputation and your business, great! It is time to learn to take advantage of the good opinions that your patients have of you.

Here are some guidelines to help you manage your online reputation and improve your future customers’ view of you when they do an online search.

Pay attention to your online reputation

  1. Encourage your patients to leave their views and comments on specialized pages

Right after they get off your office’s chair, ask them if they’d mind evaluating the service they’ve received. You can make it easy by placing a tablet at the reception with the sites where you want them to leave their opinion about you. Or you can leave some simple instructions on the card to remind them of their next visit. You’ll see how, over time, your average rating will rise. Earning a “star” in the ratings can mean an increase in profits of about 10% for your online business.

  1. Be constant

Monitor what is said about you, and set alerts for important words in your business. Watch your business pages on social networking sites such as Facebook. Make sure the first thing your patients see when they look you up is a smiling patient with perfect teeth. Ignoring the power of social networks can be a big mistake. You still think it’s not worth wasting your time on social networks? Consider this: 92% of Internet users pay attention to the reviews made by other users and 89% say they feel influenced by them when making their decisions involving a professional.

Image courtesy of locomomo at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of locomomo at Flickr.com
  1. Monitor your competition

Regardless of the industry, all businesses have competitors. Dental clinics are no exception and you don’t want to risk losing patients because your competition is offering discounts or payment facilities. It’s important to monitor the competition, since that gives you the opportunity to learn from them, see what is working and what isn’t. If your competitor has better ratings that you, try to figure out if they’re doing something to make it easier to leave a rating or review. Or it may be as simple as responding with a “Thank you!” to every positive review. Or they may be responding quickly to bad reviews, thus preventing them from becoming unfavorable opinions later on. If you see that it’s working for your competition, do it as well.

Carrying out these tasks takes time and effort, which can make you ignore other important tools such as social networks and professional directories. But the time and effort you invest will be worthwhile, because thanks to the comments of your patients it will be increasingly easier to for you to carry out the small, necessary changes to make of your service the best experience for your patients.

The opinions expressed on specialized websites can definitely affect the reputation of your company and your business. Simple actions such as encouraging your patients to leave positive reviews in medical directories or monitoring the actions of your competitors can help you get a better reputation.

Even today, there are substantial differences between the professional reputation of dentists in the traditional sense and their online medical reputation.

It’s easy to find professionals with unanimous recognition by their peers for their achievements in their careers as teachers or researchers, but they have almost no presence on the Internet. And it is also easy to find professionals with a limited recognition among their colleagues but with a high degree of awareness and acceptance online by the general public, that is, potential patients.

To achieve a good online reputation we should pay utmost care to the care received by patients in our dental clinic. It’s by far the best way to earn a good reputation in any way. Surely that personal experience will be the main source of most of the comments made on your social networks, websites, blogs or specialized directories.

The online reputation of your practice as a dentist or your clinic will be determined, also without a doubt, by the quality of published content in any digital medium that talks about you and the way you relate to and interact with your patients.

In this sense, patients take their time to speak well of you or express their discomfort or dissatisfaction in social networks, so it seems reasonable that we will also devote some of our time in thanking them for their opinions. Don’t worry about bad reviews, if they’re well managed they can be turned into positive ones for your online reputation, and they’re a valuable source of information for your continuous improvement.

Reputation management for insurance companies: More than a marketing need

According to 2016 reputation studies, insurance companies are located in high positions in the world ranking. Behind automotive multinational companies, technology and trade, the sector of insurance is in the fourth place in a list of fourteen. Some of the most reputable companies are:

AXA

With over one hundred million customers in nearly sixty countries, and about two hundred thousand employees.

Zurich Insurance Group

A major company in the sector based in Switzerland, whose commercial career dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century.

China Life Insurance

Undoubtedly, one of the largest insurance companies from the Asian country and the continent. It is popular for being a state enterprise and its active participation in government institutional investments.

Berkshire Hathaway

One of the most reliable insurance companies in the world, created in 1889. It has achieved an admirable expansion to the point of becoming a major global investment conglomerate.

Prudential plc

A famous British company, whose commercial operations date back to the first half of the nineteenth century. It has successfully increased the number of customers by more of twenty million on different continents.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com at pexels.com
Image courtesy of pixabay.com at pexels.com

 

Read also: Online reputation and monitoring for NGOs

Online reputation management (ORM) companies like Reputation Defender are always providing services to insurance companies. Why? Because ORM is not just part of a marketing strategy in terms of SEO. It’s an essential issue for attracting new clients and keep the trust of the current ones. That’s one of the reasons why insurance companies are very reputable in the market. Due to the enormous trust that users place in these firms, it is necessary to project a favorable image before them. For a long time, this industry has experienced many reputation problems. Since its very inception, just like banks, pension funds and attorneys in general, the common people think that insurance companies are not completely honest. In fact, surveys say that whenever someone needs money for insurance, users are always negative because they think that companies will do their best for not covering damages.

Auto insurance, life, theft, fire, health… we all need them, but, at the same time we don’t usually have a favorable opinion about such services and the companies that provide them. How then it is that these companies have such a good reputation? The truth is that these organizations invest a lot of money in cleaning up their image. Here are some of their online reputation management strategies:

Maintaining a brand image consistency

This is a desire and a recommendation from any expert in marketing, and although it looks simple, it is not easy to implement permanently. Insurance companies are always looking for users to have a coherent idea about what they want to offer. Therefore, they take particularly care of advertising content, tweets, promotional videos, marketing campaigns, websites and blogs. Every now they make a survey of user perceptions, not only to identify the points where they have to improve their reputation, but to assess whether the brand image is publicly consistent.

Quick reactions to online criticism

For this purpose, insurance companies use special applications, such as Google Alerts, that detect positive and negative comments on social media every day. Because it is important to know the opinions of users (of any kind), reputation analysts who work for these companies read everything that is said about them, answer comments every day, and, in some cases they personally interact with dissatisfied users. Knowing the criticism and acting quickly avoid certain contents to go viral.

Digital Marketing blogs

One strategy used by insurance companies worldwide (although not they are not the only ones) is the creation of several thematic blogs that they constantly feed. This, on the one hand, allows search engines to privilege their position in the search results, and secondly, the bad reviews move from the immediate view of users. In these blogs, of course, these companies include comments from satisfied users, who are never overlooked.

Scholarships, contests and the promotion of art

Besides that local and international artistic creation is encouraged, a great number of insurance companies offer scholarships and contests to improve their corporate, cold and stereotypical image that they have in the public opinion. In fact, many of these companies and conglomerates create nonprofit foundations that seek to promote art and culture worldwide. While it is true that foundations bring substantial tax benefits, the mention of a company in books, art galleries, documentaries, etc. is always welcome and beneficial.

Related: The World’s Most Reputable Companies, 2016

This is not only about keeping a clean corporate image. Reputation management of insurance companies is one of the paramount aspects of this industry. This article by the Huffington Post is about the public complaints of Matt Fisher, the comedian from New York, about the way Progressive Insurance managed a family problem of his. Apparently, there was a serious ethical issue related to the company, and the comedian sought to create bad reputation at all cost. The company reacted quickly and wrote an email defending itself against the allegations. It’s a good example that worth reading.

6 Strategies to Improve Your Online Reputation as an Athlete on Twitter

When it comes to personal goals and challenges, there’s a piece of advice that can be really useful: Keep in mind that your challenge may be extraordinary, but if nobody knows it, it’ll be just for you. Have you thought about it? What would your answer be? Do you know how to sell your personal brand through the social networks? Caring about your online reputation is vital for you to get your challenge to go beyond being one more challenge by yet another athlete, and getting it to be a special challenge by a different athlete. You will make a difference, and your message will inspire others just like you.

Let’s take a look at a number of points that you should consider in order to improve the image of your very own personal brand. The variables we’ll see are aimed at making your “digital self” dazzle, and be more effective in this microblogging social network. That way you’ll successfully achieve your goals.

  1. Define your identity.

On Twitter, your profile will say a lot about you, so you need to make your identity a reflection of your own self. The first is to fill your biography, which summarizes who you are and what you do. Choose a good photo, one that will help people recognize you, and, of course, that emits a positive attitude. Give importance to the design. And we’re talking about colors and quotes to be inserted. You should aim to be remembered, and giving an impression that lasts over time. Be original, be different.

  1. Don’t follow already defined strategies.

You may have read a thousand times that the best formula is to have a strategy. However, you should do the opposite of that. Our advice is for you to be natural and simply be yourself. As strange as this may sound, the best prospect to project your brand image through Twitter is that you see it as a channel to encourage conversation. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. Get in touch with people, interact with them.

  1. Keep your contents under control.

An online presence is vital, but it doesn’t mean that you have to publish content at all hours. Everything should be done in moderation and with a common sense. It is necessary for you to choose well the content that you’ll share, and for the contents to be consistent with the messages you want to project. Respond to queries, answer questions from other users, and if you have something to contribute in the different threads of a conversation, don’t think twice and just do it. Your roadmap to follow is none other than to generate empathy with what you share and the people who follow you.

Image courtesy of hank Mitchell at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of hank Mitchell at Flickr.com
  1. Refine your space.

Your scope should follow a specific community. Focus on sharing the things you know about, and in the specific sport in which you are an accomplished sportsperson. Choose a specific topic.

For instance, if you are a triathlete, focus your content to show your experiences in triathlon. Do not try to cover other disciplines.

You are wrong if you look for the perfect tweet with which to “seduce” hundreds or even thousands of followers. It’s better to have an impact on a small group, but on a greater number of occasions. Your messages will not only become viral, but they’ll manage to inspire your loyal followers.

  1. Don’t follow for the sake of it.

Some time ago, it became fashionable to start following Twitter profiles indiscriminately in order to get a follow back. You can even buy followers if you put your mind -and money- to it, since there are online services to do this. But that’s not the goal.

We’re talking about a desire to empathize with our community, to show our sponsors that we have potential customers for their products. Look for other interesting accounts and look at what they publish. Start by following some tops in your field that will define the sports area where you move, but then quickly move to mid-level users, those with 200 to 1,600 followers belonging to your segment. Be active. Those are statistically more likely to follow you.

  1. Be patient and write well.

Do not try to run before putting on your shoes and tying your shoelaces. Rushing is never a good thing, and you should keep in mind that your personal image on Twitter -or other social networks- will not build itself overnight. You must work on it, generate interesting contents and add value. This will lead you to build credibility and trust in the legion of followers who are waiting to hear you share stories, experiences and sporting challenges.