You may have heard of building a brand for a business, but did you know that it’s also possible to build a brand for yourself as an individual? Entrepreneurs build a brand for their business as a way to identify and differentiate their business from their competitors. This involves creating a business name, logo, and sometimes even a slogan along with a mission statement that gives potential customers a visual of what they’re selling and what their business is all about.
As a psychiatrist, you are your brand— especially if you’re the owner of your own private practice. Even if you don’t own your own practice, it’s still important to brand yourself for employers to increase your chances of getting hired.
Again, YOU are your brand, so you need to start by considering your personal and professional background. When it comes to your personal background, think about what brings you joy outside of your passion for helping others and use that as a way to gain more insight into helping your clients. As for your professional background, don’t discount your experience— including your schooling. This method of differentiation is something that entrepreneurs also do for their businesses.
As a psychiatrist, whether you’re applying to practice or starting your own, you have a target audience the same way an entrepreneur does: your clients. Your client demographic may be broad, yet specific at the same time. Entrepreneurs do an exercise where they visualize their ideal customer, and psychiatrists can use this same technique and identify their target client’s basic demographics:
- Age range
- Cultural background
- Gender identity
- Relationship status
- Socioeconomic status
In the same way entrepreneurs market their business, you must market yourself as a psychiatrist. This type of self-marketing can look different, depending on whether you’re starting your own practice or not. When starting your own practice, you’ll have to market yourself as a professional psychiatrist, as well as market your actual business. On the other hand, when you’re applying to practice, you’ll only need to market yourself.
One of the best marketing tools is something that billions of people have access to and can learn to become very effective at it: social media. In its early days, social media was a way to meet new people and connect with family and friends. Social media is now used as a way to market and conduct a business, as well as to promote a brand. It can also be a great way to connect with other people in your industry, allowing you to make more professional connections.
Some of the most popular social media platforms include:
Facebook offers more business resources for professionals, but any social media platform can be used in a successful way to market yourself.
Another “social media” platform that offers even more professional resources is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is well-known for being a job search site, but it also doubles as a social media platform, allowing its users to connect and chat with other people working in their industry.
Other social media platforms allow you to tell the world (or just your friends) a little about yourself, mostly relating to hobbies. On LinkedIn, you have this same opportunity, but you’re also able to list out all of your past work experiences, education, and achievements— basically your entire resume. You’re also able to add photos relevant to your work, and you can connect with others in your industry.
Once you’ve determined your reason for practicing psychiatry, identified your target client, marketed yourself on social media, and started networking, you’re ready to either apply to psychiatry jobs or open your own practice. For those wanting to open their own practice, you’ll have to go through the steps of starting a business, specifically a business in medicine.
When applying for psychiatry jobs, you can start on LinkedIn since you’ll already have a profile built up. It’s also a great way to find a job if you’ve been active on the platform and connected with a variety of people within the industry. However, you may find more luck on an actual niche job site, such as Practice Match. Here, you’ll find numerous listings for psychiatry-specific jobs, meaning you won’t have to sift through other similar jobs to find the best one for you.
Whether you plan on opening your own practice or applying to an existing one, it’s important that you brand yourself and make your name known in the psychiatry world.