The health care industry isn’t what it used to be. Sixty years ago, it was possible to make it as a small-town family physician with nothing more than a medical degree on the office wall. These days, the world of health care is much larger, more complex, and it’s not just what you know–it’s whom you know.
Health care professionals swim in a sea of networks, particularly having to do with insurance companies. But, what often goes overlooked are sites that rate providers and the wild west of social media. It is incredibly easy to get hit with a nasty review, and whether there was any fault on your part, your small online presence might have a tremendous negative impact on your career.
Your network is something that you need to cultivate, but like any good garden, you need a foundation. The problem is that all too often, health care professionals expect to go places without having the right foundation to their network. But say for instance, you were to add an organic compost starter to that “network garden.” With that, you’ll have set the foundation for networking success, providing a substantial ability to know the right people, connect with patients, and it will rain word-of-mouth referrals. Especially now, LinkedIn can offer just that…
First, LinkedIn connects you with people like you
There is very little benefit in connecting with health care professionals who aren’t networking-minded. This becomes an unfortunate waste of time, because the point of networking is for your name to be spread around by people who talk. Free Download: Discover how health care organizations can move forward in an evolving PR world.
In this sense, the advantage of LinkedIn is two-fold:
- LinkedIn is a place where forward-thinking people can be found for the simple fact that they’ve made an effort to utilize the power of social media.
- LinkedIn is a place where other networkers can be located. Their very presence on the network indicates their mindset.
According to Forbes, 61 percent of all LinkedIn activity is from users networking within a certain industry. This would place you directly in a fertile land of abundant opportunity.
Second, you control your online presence more directly
In college, there was RateMyProfessors.com. In your professional career, there is Healthgrades.com. These sites have a way of being a tremendous help, but also can be an unforeseen problem. With the possibility of getting royally burned on a bad review, it makes sense to try and add an element of control when someone Googles your name.
Having a profile on LinkedIn will provide you with a place where potential patients, and future employers especially, can find you when scouring the search engines.
The lesson is simple: your name is going to be online in now and beyond. LinkedIn allows you to sustain a measure of control over your online presence. Third, LinkedIn displays your CV
Paper went the way of the dodo and the 8-track tape sometime during the first decade of the 21st century. At this point, your CV should be readable online.
This is also another place where LinkedIn shines, because it provides a place to park your CV. If you have a LinkedIn profile, then all you really need to do is keep business cards with your profile’s URL. This way, your CV doesn’t end up in the waste bin or collecting dust in the ever-growing inbox.
Fourth, LinkedIn keeps you informed
Keeping up with your own industry can be a chore. Day in and day out, we are simply doing our jobs, and sometimes crucial and highly useful news about our own healthcare field can be curiously elusive. However, harnessing the power of cyberspace to this end can pay dividends.
Through LinkedIn, you can ‘follow’ news feeds within your own industry, track seminars and gain invaluable knowledge on current events in the rapidly changing field of healthcare. If it’s happening within your own industry, then LinkedIn will let you know about it.
This is one of the biggest reasons why professionals absolutely love LinkedIn. Not only are you able to inform people about your own services, but you’re also connected with the latest news and events in your own field. First published in 2014.