(Image courtesy of: @doctorsydney_dvm, @drfitvet)
If you’re considering building a personal brand in veterinary medicine – congrats! A personal brand is a great way to enhance your career in vet med. They’re most powerful when you are super intentional, so here are six quick things to consider:
1) Why do you want to build a brand for yourself?
If you’re just aiming to become the world’s most famous vet, I’m going to tell you to leave this blog right now. There’s nothing wrong with gaining recognition for what makes you unique, but fame alone is an empty goal.
I want to encourage you to dig way deeper on your why. What goal are you hoping to achieve?
Some examples of goals you can achieve with a veterinary personal brand include:
– Share your expertise to help other veterinary professionals improve their skills
– Improve pet owner’s understanding of their pet’s health
– Raise awareness about social justice issues impacting the veterinary profession
– Establish an online community in an area you want to open a vet clinic
2) What are you willing to put into your veterinary brand?
Do you see big veterinary personal brands with 10k or 100k followers and get discouraged? It’s dangerous to compare yourself to others, especially those who have years of a head start on you!
Focus on realistic goals for your new brand. Base those on how much time and resources you have available, not what you see others achieving.
Ask yourself questions like:
– How much time can I consistently commit to my brand each week?
– Do I have a budget for educational materials or coaching for my brand?
– Can I afford to hire someone to help me create and manage content?*
– Will I be hiring someone to help with a website? (I have a special deal on the best veterinary websites from our friends at WhiskerCloud here!)
(*I would only suggest this if you have a product or service to sell so there is a measurable ROI! If that’s you, contact us about how The Snout Group can help support you behind the scenes!)
3) What are your strengths?
You don’t ever have to be everything to everybody, and that applies online! I find that the most successful veterinary brands are the ones that are very authentic.
If you’re not an expert in an area, there’s no need for you to pretend to be! For example, don’t give derm advice if you hate derm! Share content from women like The Derm Vet and elevate her expertise.
Playing to your strengths also applies to the type of content you create.
I encourage my personal branding clients to push themselves out of their comfort zone. But should you be focusing on writing massive Instagram captions when you’re way better at speaking? Probably not.
A few things to consider are:
– What do I want to be known for?
– Who do I know that is an expert in areas that aren’t my strength?
– What kind of content do I enjoy making? (Blogs, big written captions, videos, podcasts, etc.)
4) Who do you want to help?
This goes back to question #1, but I consider it to be important enough to address on its own.
I am super passionate about helping womxn build brands that have an impact. (That’s why “being famous” isn’t a reason to do this, IMO!) I find these brands have more longevity and give the people running them more fulfillment.
So who do you want to help? Don’t be afraid to get specific with this! I love super niche personal brands. You can tell when a person is really passionate about the people they serve, and that makes a difference.
Not only that, but once you have a level of “influence”, it is critical to see yourself as a leader. Leaders serve others, not themselves!
Some examples from my clients include:
– Pre-vet students that are BIPOC
– Women who are mothers and DVMs
– Millennial pet owners in a specific location
5) What does your employer/school think about this?
Personal brands benefit employers and schools. It’s perfect content marketing for a vet student to share their experience at school. A vet clinic could benefit from a veterinarian who with the ability to connect online!
While I can argue that personal brands are beneficial until I’m blue in the face, not everyone sees it that way.
I encourage you to check your school’s social media guidelines or speak with your employer about your brand goals.
If building a brand is important to you, you need to share that information with your employer. It will likely create an issue in the future if they see your brand as a threat to theirs instead of the asset it could be.
6) Do you have the guidance you need?
I can tell you that building a brand can get isolating at times. Your friends and family might support you, but they might not understand why this is so important to you.
Having likeminded ladies to bounce your ideas off of, get guidance from, and share content with is invaluable.
If you’re passionate about building a personal brand in vet med, check out our Veterinary Branding Lab!
Our industry-leading online course can help you clarify what your brand is, plus give you ideas of how to post about it on social media.
You’ll also get access to a private community where you can ask students – and me! – your questions. Take your first class free now.