If You Don't Blow Your Own Horn, There Won't Be Any Music

“With people of limited ability, modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent, it is hypocrisy.”
—Arthur Schopenhauer

You’re great at what you do. You have superior surgical skill and are excellent at making your patients feel welcome and cared for. But if you’re not good at letting the world know about it, you’re doing it a disservice, and you’re also holding your own practice back.

The common misconception is that if you do a great job, people will tell other people about you.

What a crock!

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to talk about you. There is no reason for someone to go online and leave you a review out of the goodness of his or her heart. People are busy. They have lives to live and promoting you, and your practice, is not at the top of their lists. If you don’t create the circumstances which lead to your promotion, nobody is going to do it for you.

Sure, you may get the odd referral. You may have some patients tell someone about you, but the public at large will never know how good you are—and that’s criminal. Building your business on passive referrals is slow and tedious. It could be 10 to 15 years before you see any meaningful difference, if ever. Imagine all those poor patients that couldn’t find you and went somewhere else.

Think about it like this. If you truly believe that you’re good, and if you can honestly say that you’ll do a better job for the average patient, then letting them go to your competitor is doing that patient a HUGE disservice. Letting anyone go online and make a decision to go to the other surgeon in your city is letting them receive a worse outcome than if they had come to you. You OWE it to the public to promote yourself the right way, in the way that lets your prospective patient come to you first—before she makes the mistake of choosing an inferior practice and getting substandard results. You have a moral obligation to promote your practice for the good of your community.

Not only do you have an obligation to your community, but you also have an obligation to yourself. You owe it to yourself and your family to get the absolute most from your practice. You have to do whatever you can to ensure your own success. Modesty won’t get you there. Modesty can’t maximize!

The truth is that modesty is a disease heaped upon you at an early age. You were taught to not blow your own horn too loudly. It’s a common thread throughout parenting, religion, philosophy and popular culture.

Nobody likes a blowhard, right? Wrong!

Blowhards make a killing in business, and in life, and they do it by making sure that they take stands and that people hear them. You have to make yourself heard if you want people to listen. However, this is not the right option either. There’s a way of doing it right, and a way of doing it wrong.

Nobody likes an arrogant prick; that’s not what I’m suggesting you become. Understand this: blowing your own horn is not the same as tooting it. When a musician blows, he makes music. When an amateur toots, he makes noise.

Bragging and showing off is not equal to self-promotion. Being arrogant is not equal to being confident. Telling someone that you’re good is NOT the same as showing them WHY you’re good.

This lack of understanding over the subtleties of self-promotion leads to two basic mistakes I see doctors make:

  1. Being modest, in obscurity.
  2. Being a blowhard, that nobody likes.

If I had to pick between the two for you, I think I’d pick number two over number one.

At least by being a blowhard, people might stand a chance of actually finding you. Many may not choose to do business with you, but at least you won’t be toiling in relative obscurity where nobody even has the option to choose you in the first place, because they don’t know you exist.

At this point I should also mention that when I talk about blowing your horn, I’m talking about your practice and professional life—your business persona. I’m not at all talking about your personal life. Be as modest as you like in private, if that serves you well. When it comes to business, however, you need to put on a different persona, just as you would put on your scrubs to go into an operating room. What you show the public is your professional image—one that you carefully craft, control and promote.

So how do you do it right?

In my marketing book, I talk at great length about how to position yourself, so I won’t repeat everything I said there, here. What I will tell you is this: You need to pay close and careful attention to the factors that make your services unique and advantageous to your prospective patient. You then have to outline those things in a way that she can understand and then form a decision. It’s even better if you can show her why, and prove it to her.

This is not to say that you should post videos about yourself and your services and tell people that you can do this, that and the other. That’s not effective self-promotion. That’s ego-driven boasting. It’s of no use to the patient and she’ll have no way to form an opinion about going with you over your competitor. The only thing she can confirm is that you’re a self-aggrandizing narcissist.

When you create your content, you need to provide value. You have to tell your reader, or viewer of your videos, about the great things you’re doing—in a way that’s of value to HER. Telling her about YOU is only of value to YOU, and to your ego.

Here’s a simple example.

When you create marketing content about your skin peels, don’t tell your prospects that you perform skin peels, and that you’re the best at them, and that you’ve been doing them for years, and years, and so on. She’s not interested in hearing about you. She’s interested in finding some information that will be of use to HER.

Your content can be repositioned in this way to add value. Try theming your content like this: How to Get Superior Results from Your Skin Peel Session. That kind of content is attractive and you can work-in all the special techniques that you do for your peels. You subtly SHOW her why you’re better. You don’t just tell her that you are. The result is that you’ll stand out in the prospect’s mind, and she’ll have a reason to think that you’re great and choose to do business with you. You won’t have been tooting; you’ll have been blowing, and playing the kind of music she likes to hear.

It’s your duty to promote yourself, so pick up the horn and start blowing.

“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that ... I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” 
―John Lennon

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