Due to globalization , the emergence of the internet, social media and social networks, the world has changed a lot in the last decades. Exploiting the possibilities of promotion and marketing that the new reality offers us, can be useful for any professional.
Whether you want to boost your psychology business or your own personal image as a psychologist, you have the opportunity to take advantage of the possibilities of communication and interaction that social media and social networks provide . So don’t waste them, because they can give you prestige, notoriety and reputation.
Since there is a lot of competition in today’s job market, psychologists need to cultivate their own personal (and professional) brand . The way you present yourself to others can help you get a job or clients, so it’s important that you know exactly who you are, what you do and why you are important. This way you can make the most of your personal branding .
Branding means branding
The term branding was first used in the business world, but we all have a personal brand , even if we have not cultivated it.
Branding’ refers to developing and shaping a brand that allows a user to identify with certain symbols, ideas or experiences that go beyond the simple product or service with which they intend to do business. This is composed of the Brand Personality (Brand Being) and the Brand Behaviour For example, the personality of Red Bull is: daring, restless, optimistic, challenging,… and her behaviours are: dangerous, exploratory, cheerful, challenging.
Branding exposes those characteristic values of the company that grant uniqueness and credibility, and that allow it to differentiate itself from other competitors, since they cause a unique impact on the market .
The employment picture has changed significantly in recent years
The world and the economy are changing and the relations between companies and professionals have been undergoing a transformation that has led to a very different employment scenario from that of 20 years ago.
The forms of professional development that existed at that time are now outdated, and we must be aware that in many sectors job stability has disappeared. Few finish their careers and enter the labour market directly. It is more a question of conquering a mountain, so it is necessary to talk about projects and strategies to achieve this , instead of talking about already marked routes. You are in control, and you must be able to design, develop and manage your own professional strategic plan .
Personal branding for psychologists: the importance of becoming visible
This is especially important for psychologists, since the competition that exists between professionals of our guild is a lot for such a limited labor market.
The concept of branding, therefore, is also applicable to help psychologists to occupy a preferential place in other people’s minds . Personal branding seeks to identify and communicate your worth and competence, your usefulness and your reliability so that you are perceived as the psychologist they should hire or with whom it is worth working. The aim is, therefore, that they consider that the best option is you and that they finally choose you. Having a well placed and valued personal brand increases the chances of success in situations where there is a lot of competition and where you have to be chosen from several options.
The concept of personal branding became popular after an article by Tom Peters called “A Brand Named You” which was published in Fast Company Magazine over 10 years ago. Peters claims that: “regardless of age, position or business, we must all understand the importance of personal branding. We are directors of our own company: Yo Corp.” . And he concludes: ” To be in business today, our best job is to be the head of marketing for the brand called YOU” .
Therefore, personal branding is a powerful and clear idea that appears in someone else’s mind when they think of you, it is the imprint you have left in their mind. It is the way you manage and communicate your authentic values, beliefs, feelings and talent, and it is the perception that others have about you.
Start thinking of yourself as a brand
How would you like other people to see you if they google you? What psychology specialty would you like to be associated with? Which clients would you like to target? Before you start thinking about designing a strategic plan for your personal brand, it is important that you know who you are, what you offer and why you are important and different from others .
Your image and your personality are your basic tools when it comes to standing out and differentiating yourself from other competitors, but what will make a customer loyal is the relationship between the image you are going to show and your values, which is what will create trust . Therefore, a defined image that is coherent with your principles will be valued positively by others. The image you show should be reinforced in all aspects and should be consistent with the values you promote.
The use of Social Media: Facebook, WordPress, Google+,…
There is a lot of confusion when talking about social media . Many people think that social media is synonymous with social networks, when it is not. Understanding the difference between both terms is crucial for a good marketing strategy.
Social media or social media is the platform, application or online media that is used by many users to create an online interaction to share ideas, news and particular interests. That is, through these you can share articles, images, videos, audios, and you can have chat conversations or video conferences. The best known are: Facebook, Google+, YouTube, WordPress, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
In contrast, a social network is the act that is established when several users interact through a social media . This interaction is motivated by common interests or tastes, and causes a communication network to exist between Internet users. Social media is a powerful tool for psychologists, as it allows them to share texts, videos, audios, etc., and then create communities that are interesting at a professional level.
Having said that, it is important that you take into account the possibility of privatizing your profiles in order to have a more professional image and thus make the most of your exposure . The social environment allows you to build the best possible image as a professional psychologist, but it can also have the opposite effect if you don’t take care of it.
Finally, you should keep in mind that creating a website becomes indispensable nowadays, and it is a good way to let search tools know that you exist. To begin with, it doesn’t have to be a marvel, but it will allow you to have visibility in the 2.0 world, which is what you are interested in.
What should you take into account when planning your personal online branding?
Here is a list of the points you need to take into account when making yourself visible on the internet .
- Identity. You must have your own identity and be very clear about what you are offering. Whether it’s a blog, online therapy, or a Youtube channel, it’s important that you have a clear identity in mind so as not to confuse your potential clients or followers . In addition, your image and your way of acting must be coherent. You must have a unique identity and differentiate yourself from others to have a greater impact.
- Purpose. Identity and purpose go hand in hand. Therefore, your purpose or goal must be associated with your personal branding if you want to be successful . Whatever your objective is, it must be consistent with what you offer. For example, if you sell yourself as an expert in ADHD, it doesn’t make much sense to offer yourself as a human resources consultant. In these cases, specificity works best.
- Visibility .Making yourself visible requires good planning and a strategy to promote your personal brand . There are many tactics you can use to achieve this. Research them.
- Differentiation .With as much competition as there is today, you need to differentiate yourself from the others . Know your full potential and sell your best.
- Trust . As already mentioned, the personality of the brand and the behaviour of the brand must be consistent. Especially in the field of psychology, trust and credibility are extremely necessary to attract others . If you lose coherence, your brand is weak, and once this happens trust is difficult to regain. The main value of personal branding is to generate trust, which, in the end, is what an individual chooses. This is where the most emotional part of the brain comes into play. Therefore, the important thing is not to create a personal brand, but to cultivate it. This is the best way to generate trust.