Branding. You hear it all the time. What is it?

Branding is simply making sure that you and your business are is unique enough to be recognizable and singled out when in a group of similar businesses.

The most basic branding is a logo or a sign. In addition, signature colors or a unique aspect of your business or personality can be branding.

You may think that being an acupuncturist or a healthcare provider is your brand. It is, but it should be more, especially if you are promoting that brand online.

Recently on Facebook a number of practitioners started sharing their pages with each other. Each page grabs some of the same news items from other pages and then still more people share them. As people see these news items about acupuncture or natural health they become part of the acupuncture brand, not the individual practitioner’s brand.

One way to make a personal brand is instead of sharing generic health related information, share information of interest to your patients. This way, when they see something from you they pay attention. This also works in reverse. When they see something about acupuncture, your patients will probably think of you specifically.

What is of interest to your patients? Consider, who your patients are. They have a community. Local events that promote health and wellness are great things to share. If you work with runners, sharing any news or information about running, including timely information about marathons (both local and not so local), running shoes, gait or any other information that deals specifically with running. If you work with fertility, then any news about fertility and health will probably be devoured.

Who are you? One practitioner shares a lot about her dog on her Facebook page because her dog is a big part of her life. People know about her dog. The dog becomes part of her own brand. Connecting and re-sharing information from veterinarians and other acupuncturists who specialize in pet acupuncture could be another part of her brand that she shares which her patients. This means that what she shares is not only useful for their own health but their pet’s health as well.

What particular passions do you bring to the treatment room? That’s part of your brand.

If you’re good with photo editing or have someone in your office who is, when sharing photos give them a border or a watermark in the colors of your clinic to brand them as yours. Alternatively, you could place your clinic logo on the corner of your images so that they become unique to you. This is particularly true if you are sharing on Pinterest. For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a site where people share photos only with little or not text about the images.

Branding is who you are. Make it professional but also it make it you, whether that’s playful and fun loving, serious, bookish or edgy. Find your signature colors and passions. When sharing on social media sites use those themes through your page for the majority of your posts so that even if people don’t see your name or link on a similar image or post, they think of you. They may even share that link on your page for you because it fits.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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