One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail, and some of the dialogue that really resonates with me is when Joe (Tom Hanks) tries to explain his division of business and personal matters. You see, he’d just run Kathleen’s (Meg Ryan) independent children’s bookstore out of business…at the same time, the two were falling for each other, of course.
Joe Fox: It wasn’t… personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.
When I think about it, this conversation really applies to my life, being a blogger. The reason I blog, and the reason I comment on blogs, and the reason I engage in social networking is because business is personal. You worked your haunches off to get where you are today, a dentist and the owner of your own independent practice. If a corporation infringes on your business, it’s personal to you.
Your patients feel the same way. They trust you. Your treatment, to them, is personal.
- “Findings from this study support our hypothesis that trust in health care providers is a significant predictor of having a regular dentist and is independent of education level, income, race/ethnicity and perceived health status.” – from JADA
- Doctors and nurses are the third most trusted professionals, just behind teachers (no. 2) and firefighters (no.1). Journalists are second on the least trusted professionals list, so I thought I should provide hard evidence for my case ;-). – from Divine Caroline
Why do you think blogs and social networking (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are so popular? Because they are web platforms that facilitate personal communication, and people love “personal.” Web marketing is a tool you can use to enhance relationships with your current patients, establish personal relationships with potential patients, network on a personal level with people who have similar interests (same community, professionals, hobbies).
You may think there’s a separation between “personal” and “professional,”
and there has been a bold, black line there for years.
But times, they are a-changin’.
Use your blog to become the authoritative source on all things dental. While you’re sharing all of your expert knowledge, keep the tone and presentation personal. Just like I’m doing in this post. I started by telling you about my favorite movie. That’s personal. It tells you something about me. I like sappy romances.
Use Facebook to interact with patients, their friends (potential patients), peers, and your friends. For instance, send “Happy Birthday” messages. If someone posts a picture or video you like, tell them, don’t just go away and say nothing. Interact. Engage. And tell people what you’re up to.
Because it’s business, but it IS personal.
Today, I posted on Facebook about me working on keyword research article and watching Michigan beat Bowling Green. Maybe a Michigan fan will comment. Maybe someone will ask a question about keywords. Maybe nothing will happen. Even so, that post is in front of all my Facebook friends, and that will reinforce me (and my business) in their minds.
If you need help with blogging and social media, I’m here for you! I can train you or someone on your team about blog writing and social networking – or I can blog and network for you. I’m Jill Duty, and I’ve been a dental copywriter in the Internet marketing business for years. Give me a call if you need help. I’m in the business to make dentists smile!