The business side of healthcare can be intimidating. Creating content can be even more daunting. Many healthcare businesses believe that intensity equals great content. But, consistency always trumps intensity. Many healthcare entrepreneurs balk at the idea of creating content – they feel it’s too much. But, if you consistently create content, whether daily, weekly, or monthly it’s not too much. It becomes part of your routine – part of your marketing plan.
So, how do you manage the workload of creating content consistently? One technique I like is a content calendar. A content calendar is a working document (this can be a spreadsheet or an actual blank calendar) used to schedule out content. Content calendars empower you to plan your content strategy while giving you the ability to
- Visualize what your strategy will look like over a period of time
- Stay organized
- Plan content around important dates in your industry
- Find holes in your content strategy
Having specific days set aside to create content is helpful.
Another technique that you can use to keep your productivity levels high is called the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer to 25 minutes (this is one Pomodoro). Within this timeframe, give your undivided attention to the task at hand. When the timer goes off, give yourself a five-minute break. After four 25-minute segments (4 Pomodoros), you reward yourself with a longer break, maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Try this technique today, and see if it works for you!
What Social Media Platform Should I Use to Market My Clinic?
The answer is….it’s about understanding where your audience is. If you have a primary care practice and provide care for patients of ages between 18 and 65, spending most of your time on Facebook and Instagram would be wise. Spending your time on Snapchat or TikTok would be counterproductive. Facebook and Instagram, while different, are owned by the same company. If you can knock out content creation on one platform, eventually when you start running ads, it’s easy to run ads on both platforms at the same time. Consider your practice’s specialty. YouTube is a great platform. For example, if you’re a women’s health provider, creating videos on self-breast exams would be golden for your target patient. It’s your responsibility to find out what platforms your patients use and build content around it.
Does My Follower Count Matter?
We all started with the same amount of followers: Zero! Your follower count shouldn’t be the reason you avoid producing content. You have a unique skill set. You have something so unique; you’re doing yourself a disservice by not marketing it. More nurses are beginning to use social media as mini blogs to produce educational content. The strategy to building your follower count is creating content that your audience loves to engage with. Be mindful of using medical terminology or jargon they wouldn’t understand. Break it down and speak to each follower as if he or she is an individual sitting in your office. How would you educate them? How would you explain different illnesses or conditions?
If your followers aren’t relevant, then it doesn’t help your brand or business at all. It’s just a vanity metric. If you only have five hundred followers, but three hundred are your patients, you’ve created a golden platform. But if you have 10,000 followers and only one is your patient, your following is irrelevant. The golden egg for social media is engagement. Don’t get caught up in the hype of followers.
How Can I Ensure I’m Sharing Content That’s Specific To My Profession?
Although you’re producing content, you’re probably in a hyper-growth and a hyper-learning mode, but this doesn’t always mean your patients or audience are in that same mode. Sometimes you may think that you’ve posted content two or three times and that’s enough and no one wants to see or hear it again. The truth is, there’s a good chance someone hasn’t seen it, or maybe they have but have forgotten. Everyone in your audience doesn’t learn at the same speed. Just ask your audience what they want. Create a survey or poll.
As a nurse, you need to have your pulse on the people’s. You have people’s trust. You’re the most trusted profession. It’s your responsibility – especially as a nurse practitioner who has his or her own practice – to stay on top of what’s trending and to relay that to your patients.
Should I Market Myself As A Nurse Practitioner Student?
As a nurse practitioner student you should use your socials or blog as a vehicle to market yourself. It’s the perfect time to start building a loyal and invested audience. Go ahead and start making those connections. When you graduate and venture out or even start your practice, your audience will follow you. They’ve invested in you and your journey. They’ve been there through the ups and downs. The minute you ask your audience: “Hey, I’m moving to a new city. Does anyone have any connections?” Maybe one of your followers or connections knows someone and has set you up with five different possible clinics for interviews.
Nurse practitioners are undergoing a very different game when they come to the job market. For some NPs, their market is oversaturated, and they need to create competitive differentiation. This differentiation can be creating a brand. By showing you can build a brand – in addition to being in school – you’re letting people know you’re social media savvy, flexible, likable, and marketable.
Best Way for Nurse Writers to Market Their Content?
I love this question. As a nurse, no matter your role, you’re an expert. Whatever it is that you do, you do it every day. If you want others to recognize your powerful voice, as a nurse and as a writer, you have to reach out and make sure you’re visible. If there is a platform that has a health and wellness section, then you qualify to speak on that platform. Seek out ways to be involved in industry-related happenings. If there’s a new strain of HIV or a measles outbreak, and you know the news media will cover it, reach out to those media outlets and pitch yourself as a nurse expert. Pitching articles and guest appearances, as a subject matter expert, is a way to get your name out there.
Use Google. Type in keywords such as write for us + oncology nurse. Find the “write for us” or “contribute to us” sections on sites and submit your pitch, Google jobs for healthcare writers, and apply to those jobs. Once you’ve landed an interview, ask if they would be interested in hiring you as a freelancer or as a contract writer. A lot of healthcare companies are seeking marketers. Most of the time, they have unrealistic expectations. PITCH TO THOSE COMPANIES. Let them know you bring your clinical background and nursing expertise to the table. Even if you don’t have the expertise they’re seeking, as a nurse, you know other nurses. You can contribute a feature article, where you interview someone in a specific specialty. You then gain credibility by association.
Which Platform Matters?
This entirely depends on where YOUR people are. It may require some research, but you have to get out there and find them. Generally speaking, Facebook is an all-encompassing platform. Facebook groups are making huge splashes in the marketing pond. YouTube is good for videos. Instagram is great for visuals.
Portia Wofford is a nurse, content strategist, healthcare writer, entrepreneur, and nano-influencer. Chosen as a brand ambassador or collaborative partner for various organizations, Wofford assists healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs in creating engaging content. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest.