A personal brand is how you present yourself to the world; it’s how your skills, experience, and personality are showcased through online and offline platforms. Personal branding is positioning yourself as a credible industry expert and thought leader. It’s establishing your own name in the market and showing your patient base and audience who you are as a person.
In today’s world personal branding is more important than ever. In a growing industry with so much competition, standing out from the crowd and differentiating yourself is key to being successful. By creating your own personal brand, you will constantly be showcasing your skills and expertise, but in a way that is relatable to your audience. It will build trust between you and your customer, give you extra credibility for what you do, and set you aside from the competition. Personal branding is about establishing yourself as a leader in your sector, in a way that people can relate to, and ultimately, buy into.
PERSONAL BRANDING IN AESTHETICS
It is a fact that consumers buy what they know and trust. Whether you’re promoting a company brand or personal brand, a logo alone doesn’t build trust. Instead, giving customers the opportunity to get to know you and your team as the people offering the service, does. It allows the consumer to connect with you on a personal level. Being at the forefront of your brand means you do everything the brand would do; it allows you to bring the brand’s story to life. Your face becomes the reputation of your clinic and gives it a visual identity. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and think about what they’d look for when seeking out an aesthetic practitioner – yes, you can tick all the boxes on a professional level and have multiple skills and qualifications, but do they know you, the person behind the business? Trusting in you as a person will automatically make them feel as though they’re in safe hands because you care about them enough to give them an insight into you.
The pandemic has forced us to re-examine the way we do business, and many traditional ways of working have been replaced with new concepts, with a particular focus on digital and online business marketing. Social media has never been more powerful as a marketing tool; since the start of the pandemic, social media usage has increased by a huge 72%. Stuck at home, people are keen to overcome their isolation and connect with others, so by presenting yourself to your audience through social media and other digital platforms, you can continue to communicate your brand messages and nurture relationships with your existing clientele, while generating leads. Keeping your name and your brand identity in the public eye during this time will ensure you are not forgotten in a competitive market.
Certain successful aesthetic doctors such as Dr David Jack, Dr Tatiana Lapa and Dr Tijion Esho, for example, all have one thing in common aside from being exceptionally skilled professionals – they are also at the forefront of their branding. They continuously share their skills, expertise and personality with the world through carefully curated PR and both online and offline strategies.
Becoming a well-known expert can also attract other opportunities that can help further your business presence, such as speaking at industry events, TV/ radio or podcast opportunities, getting into the media, and even launching other business ventures such as a skincare line. It really can help take your business to the next level.
Before starting to build your personal brand it’s important you define what you ultimately want to achieve from it. Do you want increase bookings? Do you want to set yourself apart from competitors? Or simply drive traffic to your website? Knowing your end goal will help you plan your content and strategy more effectively. When creating your personal brand identity, also determine your “why” – what it is you want to be known for. How do you want to be seen? Do you have a signature treatment you want to excel in? This will help you define your audience and plan content accordingly.
There are several ways you can start building your online reputation:
One of the most powerful platforms you can use is social media. It doesn’t cost anything and has the potential of getting you in front of a global audience. Social media is one of the most valuable communication tools, but just like corporate branding, your personal branding on social media should be consistent and requires a carefully-curated content plan and strategy. As well as posting quality and relevant content, make sure you are continuously engaging with your network by liking, sharing, and commenting on their work.
Getting yourself into well-known publications will give you instant credibility in your sector. Aesthetic and skin-related treatments are always a hot topic in the press, so being put forward as an expert to comment on such topics will instantly position you as a leader in your field. Showcasing your treatments and clinic offerings in the media is a brilliant way of getting your key message out there and in front of a huge audience, not to mention attract more patients. A PR agency that has a niche in aesthetics will have excellent press contacts and can help bring high-profile journalists and industry influencers through your doors.
Online PR is a brilliant way of driving traffic to your website and social media channels and increasing your searchability. It’s also a great way of supporting your social media growth; sharing quality press coverage that you’ve been featured in will build your credibility and is also key when seeking verification on Instagram. Like with social media, PR requires a strategy and well thought-out plan of action. If you don’t have budget to hire a PR or marketing agency, there are numerous resources out there that can help with this, like podcasts, books and online articles. Do your research, make a plan, and create your success.
Communicating with your clients plays a huge role in keeping them informed with the latest news in your clinic, as well as promoting key treatments, products and other services. Instead of just writing content for newsletters, try recording and uploading a video – an example could be you talking through your latest treatment offerings, educating clients on the importance of a home skincare regime, or simply updating them on what you’ve been up to behind the scenes.
Connecting with others through professional social channels such as LinkedIn can be a great way of networking online and building your reputation in the industry. Spark up conversations and see how you can work with peers alongside growing your professional network.
Keeping it consistent is key when growing your personal brand and building your audience. Tools such as scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and Later can be extremely helpful when planning social media posts. Set aside a content day where you can get as much content together as possible. Make sure your social media and PR strategy aligns so your brand identity and customer experience are consistent across all platforms.
Keeping a balance
It’s important you don’t overdevelop your personal or business brand. To keep this in check, always try to look at the balance of both sides – do they have equal levels of awareness or does one have more than the other? Keeping both aligned will ensure you’re on track and giving the consumer just the right amount of you. Always look at ways you can improve and grow your brand identity, keeping it fresh and consistent.
Lucy Hilson is founder and director of Cosmetic PR, founded in 2015. She has over 15 years’ experience in beauty PR, working with some of the world’s leading beauty and aesthetic businesses. Lucy is also experienced in developing aesthetic and skincare businesses and has helped many clients take their ideas into reality, from initial concept and brand development to the PR launch and business growth.