When it comes to the healthcare industry, a lot of people think that they’re already an expert. Whether it’s a topic surrounding a controversial vaccine shot or advice on how to treat an illness, everyone has an opinion that they back up with sources they believe in.
Now, who are all these sources that people get their information and ideas from? Do the sources have note-worthy credentials coupled with years of experience? Usually, the answer is yes, and many people would define these people/sources as thought leaders. Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic.
What is a Thought Leader?
A thought leader is an informed opinion leader and the go-to person in their field of expertise. They are a source of expertise and an authority in their specialized field. Another way to look at it is - a thought leader is an individual or an organization that is recognized as one of the most trusted authorities within an industry (in your case, the healthcare industry) and shares his/her expertise with a broader audience.
Also, being a thought leader (and providing what is called “thought leadership”) is one way of reaching your target audience and adding value to the healthcare industry in general. According to a B2B Benchmark study, around 50 percent of marketers use content marketing for thought leadership and education. So, as you can see, thought leadership is an integral part of content marketing. And providing high-quality, valuable content helps thought leaders educate and engage with their target audience(s). So, if people care about what you have to say and see you as a prominent and credible source of information, you’re likely considered a thought leader in your sector.
Here are a few other ways you can identify if you’re a thought leader: if people trust you enough to seek out your opinion when they need guidance/advice or if people think of a particular topic/industry and they automatically think of you. Those are two good signs that you’re a thought leader in your space.
And, as a thought leader, you have the power to persuade, the authority to set trends, and the reputation to drive progress and innovation in the healthcare industry.
Here’s how you can be an Effective Thought Leader in the Healthcare Field
A thought leader isn’t self-proclaimed. You can’t just stand up on stage or create a blog saying “Hey, world! I am a great thought leader!”
A thought leader should be declared by someone else - a group of people, to be exact. A thought leader is born once he or she gain their reputation by having to prove their worth first (usually based on their educational credentials, experiences, work background, or contribution to the industry). A thought leader is someone who has gained an immense amount of knowledge and shares that knowledge to help others who may not be as knowledgeable or experienced.
Here are four ways to become an effective thought leader in the healthcare industry:
#1 Have the confidence in your ability to add value to the healthcare industry
Wisdom has a price - time and experience. If you have served in the healthcare industry for numerous years, you’re bound to acquire a great deal of knowledge. Therefore, you have to exude confidence when you share information and you have to believe in yourself. I mean, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe you? Thought leaders should be able to radiate confidence that the knowledge they’re sharing is accurate and worthy of the time of others.
Don’t be scared to think outside of the box. Thought leaders are visionaries. And they’re not bandwagoners; they don’t just jump on what’s new in the industry just because everyone else is doing it. They know when to agree, they aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and they’re not scared of differing opinions. As long as you can provide facts/solid information to support your claims and opinions, be confident in sharing your thoughts with others.
#2 Withstand the status quo
Patients want to receive the best care from the best doctors in their specific specialty and/or field. At the same time, doctors are looking for a platform in which they can share their knowledge and skills to help those in need. Whether it’s for treatment or for work when choosing a healthcare facility, people want to know if they’re choosing a facility that has the best quality and latest technology.
Thought leaders are expected to use their expertise to embrace change and push boundaries. The stakes are very high and the competition is like a feeding frenzy in the healthcare industry. It can definitely help you stand out amongst your competitors if you use content marketing to help you positively position yourself and your healthcare facility.
It’s important to gear your medical clinic’s efforts towards new and innovative procedures and their successes. You have to highlight the groundbreaking procedures and services that you offer at your medical clinic to encourage people to take advantage of and notice your cutting-edge technologies. Use this opportunity to show that you are leading the pack and focused on industry-leading innovation.
#3 Think PR
One of the best ways to showcase a new award that you received, highlight your recent role as a conference keynote speaker, or announce new leadership additions at your medical practice is through a press release. Sending out press releases, aside from sharing the news on different social media platforms and directly with media outlets, to promote news can help boost your reputation as a thought leader with the media, potential patients, and your peers.
Get yourself heard! If you think you have something good and informative to share, you can also write an article about it and share it online or with a media outlet. Use PR to your advantage - get an interview, get featured on a prominent blog, be a guest on a healthcare podcast, etc. You have a lot of options; take advantage of those options.
#4 Create quality content
To effectively position yourself as a thought leader, you need to voice your own ideas and expertise. Produce engaging healthcare content that is relevant and also encourages readers to want to have a discussion. Of course, never compromise the quality of your content in exchange for getting out more content. It’s better to have a few good, quality pieces of content rather than a ton of content that is poor quality and just thrown together (remember, always quality over quantity). Use content to inspire your audience with your truthful opinions and medical advice. And cite additional credible sources as much as possible to help back up your claims.
There are several techniques that you can employ to start building your relationship as a thought leader in the healthcare industry. However, the techniques mentioned above will get you started on the right path. If you need help positioning yourself as a thought leader, our team at DrCatalyst can help you.
We’d be happy to give you a free consultation and discuss the different ways that you can cultivate your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader.