Five Steps to Creating Online Authority for Emerging Healthcare Leaders
Originally published in MedHealth Outlook
Leadership is about movement. Leadership moves people from the known to the unknown. ~Myles Munroe
Whether you’ve held leadership positions healthcare before, or transitioning into a leadership position; or building your way up the ladder, thanks to our connected digital age, everyone has opportunities to emerge as an industry leader or authority in their healthcare niche. However, the only solid way to build and achieve success is to invest time and effort.
The same is true for any health professionals, practices, or public figures looking to build themselves up from scratch in the highly competitive online world. But how do you become an emerging leader in your niche by leveraging online authority?
Start where you are right now. Or, more pointedly, start small. Build deliberately. And be Consistent. What does that mean? Let’s begin by defining the “emerging leader.”
Who Is An “Emerging Leader”?
Up-and-coming leaders are more than just authoritative figures, bosses or administrators. They have the command and influence the colleagues around them and are beginning to master their craft.
You are an emerging leader if you are a high-performer, adept at your profession, seek challenges that solve big problems, comfortable supporting the team, and naturally shows qualities, abilities and the willingness to step up and take more responsibility.
Qualities of A Leader
What qualities help us identify someone as an emerging leader and a potentially rewarding prospect?
Emerging leaders have a unique perspective on leadership that helps them adapt to a practice’s or organizations’ challenges in this ever changing environment. They have integrity, are typically self-starters, and these skills are practically applicable as effective team collaborations. Some innate qualities in such people are:
Reflective of experiences
Broadminded and open to adapt to changes
Perceptive and sharp-witted
Centered on personal growth
These leaders who are young, but not always also risk failure to find success. These traits of emerging leaders are ones who make the most of the resources while keeping the long-term, big-picture approach to their future. They use vision and innovation to inform their leadership approach.
Role of Digitialization in Leadership
Digital technology has aided emerging leaders’ visibility. Those who can translate actions, team building and influence offline, can affect a digital leadership online. Today, no person can be influential without a significant online presence.
Seventy percent of small to mid-sized organizations are investing more into their digital presence. However, it is not enough to just have a “presence”, even if you are new to social platforms or new to leadership. For organizations and leaders to prosper, they require a certain level of online authority.
The digital world has become so deeply engraved into our day-to-day lives, it is next to impossible to succeed without online branding. Let’s focus on the factors involved in creating the online authority for newly emerging thought leaders. According to research statistics, a solid percentage of the general population uses social media and digital outlets to engage with brands. (Source)
Building Online Authority
Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose. — Myles Monroe
Positioning yourself as an online authority allows you to promote yourself better and establishes your credibility publicly. Whereas, before, you may have been known and established amongst your peers and colleagues. Delivering that same influence online can make room for better business opportunities, better positioning and partnerships if you choose to move up the healthcare leadership ladder or venture on your own. Having greater authority also means that you can better traction new projects and ventures as your social capital will be building.
Build Your Presence
According to the Enterprisers Project, pragmatic, proactive, and prepared leaders can use social media to their advantage, and their organizations’ advantage. The first thing to consider in positioning your digital leadership is crafting a high-level strategy of where you want to reside online and who you want to influence or impact.
For emerging leaders who have niche or unique and novel areas in healthcare, one way to build a practice is looking specifically to create an influencer marketing strategy, for a diving deeper into the practice area. Whether you want to focus more on building out a complete social media presence, or target and focus your time online, choose the B2B online platforms first.
Use Content To Build Authority
The majority of your online presence naturally comprises targeted content. The Content Marketing Institute found that organizations leverage content to create brand awareness and authority (79% and 81%, respectively) and build trust/credibility (67% and 68%).
The following are some valuable pointers that can help you increase your authority:
- Optimize Keywords: When we search we filter search results according to specific “keywords”. By understanding the preferences of your patients, clients, or practice areas, by add higher ranking keywords to your personal brand, your organization or your practice, you can increase your content’s ranking on Google. If you own a practice or manage an organization, be sure that all search engine information, business listings and directories are claimed with consistent information. SEMRush is a great resources to get started with keyword research.
- Find and embrace your niche: Knowing your niche practice area online by focusing on your particular skill set can improve efficiency and produce more significant sales, revenue, and consequently your online authority. Using your keywords, check out Answer the Public to understanding what people online are searching for. You can create posts, articles, and content around the most pressing questions patients and people have. This is one way emerging leaders can stand out online.
- Post relevant, targeted content: Maintain steady and fluent content and online profiles. This increases the trust your colleagues, patients, and customers will place in you or the practice. They rely on your posts on social outlets for information on any development, such as updated treatments, general health knowledge, patient and caregiver information, organizational treatment and recent medical trends.
More importantly, your lens of knowledge about medical and health topics, procedures, and best patient practices you share will help your community understand your wisdom, point of view, and what talents you bring to the table.
- Get verified by social media websites: Seeing a verified icon next to your name or organization, or practice can lead more engagement, higher visibility for you and with your brand while considering both with more authority.
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than the content without such verification.”
Eric Schmidt of Google
- Increase your brand coverage: Increased reach means more people will see your content. A greater healthcare focused audience means greater returns and hence increased conversion rates. When you create content to share online, be sure to think in terms of evergreen or reusable content. Build out easily digestible content, short form content like an article, blog post, or vlog. Then create graphics for the title, and visuals that call out important points you’ve made. If the social media post was an article, consider making a video version of it to increase your content being seen online. Creating a short reel or infographic that highlights key points and ideas can be reshared. These are ways leaders can amplify your coverage and authority online.
Emerging leaders will have a jump start on leveraging social media to build their online authority. It’s important to mention that all healthcare leaders should establish social media guidelines for communication. The American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) have published guidelines regarding social media and they can act to inform the professionalism and benchmarks for the emerging healthcare leader.
Social Media Best Practices — American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Professional Guidelines for Social Media Use — AMA Journal of Ethics
Physician Use of Social Media — College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia
Dawn Raquel Jensen, EMBA, merges social media, digital marketing, technology training, and business strategy together as an embedded CMO/CXO to organizations, leadership teams, and first-stage businesses. She provides coaching and deep-dive advisory on how business owners can influence and impact the communities they serve. She founded Virtual Options in 2008 to work with successful business owners and high-performing teams. She speaks internationally on marketing and entrepreneurial leadership. Dawn resides as the Social Media and Entrepreneurial Marketing Adjunct Professor for Seminole State College in Lake Mary, Florida.