Sharing your own experience of being a patient (through storytelling), can help you be found when patients are searching for help online.
When you can show patients that you understand on a personal level what they’re going through, it really helps to build a connection. Sometimes we understand what the patient is going through because we’ve actually been through it ourselves. Patients would much rather see a clinician who can empathise with how their problem is impacting on them, and if you’ve experienced the same clinical condition that they have, this makes it all the more powerful.
Scott is a highly experience running physio – he’s the best there is. But there are many physios out there talking about running online. So how could he differentiate himself from the rest of the online noise, so that patients could find him when searching for a running physio?
Scott is an exceptionally talented runner, and like many runners, he picked up an injury. Now remember that Scott’s a physio – he’s an expert at keeping injury free, and so when he became injured and what he went on a bit of a journey to figure out why he had become injured, and what he could learn from this.
I encouraged him to share his story in a blog post. It’s called ‘https://londonrunningphysio.com/What-I-learned-from-my-stress-fracture'
Now the brilliant thing about Scott’s blog is that it starts with ‘What I learned from’. As patients, when we’re injured, we’re looking for answers to our questions. We ask ourselves ‘why did I get injured / why did I get sick / what I can do to make sure I recover well and ensure it doesn’t happen again?’
The title of Scott’s blog ‘what I learned’, conveys that he has potential wisdom to share with the reader – particularly when it’s part of a URL that displays his domain name -‘londonrunningphysio’. ‘London Running Physio’ adds authority to the blog post, and makes it much more clickable. But it goes a little deeper than that. BECAUSE he’s a physio, and BECAUSE we expect physios NOT to get injured, his sharing his story shows us that he is very human – and that he’s OK with sharing his human experience.
So how did Scott’s online blog story help his Private Practice? When injured runners put ‘Stress Fracture London’ into Google because they’re looking for help with their stress fracture and they live in London, they find Scott’s blog on page one. It’s the only one that hints at sharing a story in the title, and so we’re drawn to it. Injured runners regularly read his blog and book in with him, because they read a blog about being injured with a stress fracture.
My challenge to you is, what stories can you share with potential patients or referrers, either by blog or vlog, that you can use to show empathy with their situation, and share your passion with sorting the problem?
Now, of course, you might be a clinician who’s (thankfully) never personally experienced the problem that you treat, but is there a way you could bring together in a blog or vlog, some of the collective experiences that patients have described to you? In your narrative, the stories could highlight that you understand the emotional impact of what it’s like to be a patient with ‘x’ or ‘y’. For example, this could be ‘7 things patients going through breast cancer chemo have taught me’.