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Entries in Julie Silver (2)

Thursday
Nov292012

Doctor, You Should Write A Book...Or Should You?

Doctors Book WritingAs a physician, there are many good reasons to write a book that draws upon your expertise. 

For example, physician authors I've had the pleasure of working with have:

- Developed their keynote speaking opportunities

- Secured large increases in research funding for their projects

- Grown their practices (even when that may not have been their goal!)

- Shifted their one-on-one practice to one that is based on offering courses, teleseminars, information products or other models that have given them more freedom in how they use their time

- Landed on national TV and become sought after for their expertise--both by media and conference planners.

And much more.

But should you really write a book? Not necessarily. Only if you can answer "yes" to the following 5 questions:

  • You have a new perspective, fresh voice, something new to offer, proven system, compelling success stories or address an audience that has not been served well by other books.
  • You're committed to put time aside consistently to get the writing done.
  • You're interested in writing--even if you don't think you're a great writer, you don't dread it!
  • You're willing to learn something about the industry and get input from experts (more on this in a moment)
  • You're willing to actually promote the book--whether through a blog, online course, speaking or some other venue--and you'll need to start building your following before the book is even published--often before you even get a book deal.

If you do decide to write a book, where do you start? My top recommendation is the CME publishing course through Harvard Medical School. There, you'll get a sense of the specifics required--from how to write a book proposal to how to write for a trade audience  to how to develop your following. You'll also have the opportunity to meet top agents and publishers looking for books on health-related subjects. As faculty these folks are not just there to hear your pitch but also to help you formulate your book concept. You'll also meet course director, Julie Silver, MD, as well as professionals who can help you get the pieces that may be missing in your background--whether it's help with learning to write better and editing your manuscript, formulating the book concept or developing an online following.

If you're even thinking of writing a book, I highly recommend this immersion into the book writing and publishing world, March 14-16 in Boston, MA. See you there?

Thursday
Jun092011

How To Manage - Or Save - Your Online Reputation

Controling your professional reputation as a physician.

Dr. Julie Silver recently posted about my colleague, Rusty Shelton’s comment, “Your reputation is what Google says it is.”  She asked me to provide some guidelines for managing your online reputation. The first thing you need to do is research: What is that reputation now? Rusty calls that part of your “Online Brand Audit.”

What comes up on the first page when you Google Your Name or Business? You want it to be:

1. Positive

2. An accurate representation of your brand, including the image and attributes you want people to associate with you and your business.

3. Likely to resonate with your target audience(s)

Rusty suggests you put yourself in the shoes—or mind—of a New York Times reporter or TV talk show producer. I might add a conference organizer. When they’re looking for a trusted source or a speaker and find you on Google, what will they see first? How about if they Google your name?

  • Will they see videos?
  • How do these represent you?

If the first video they see if a six year old interview when you were first getting your feet wet, you might want to find a way to get other videos to show up sooner than this one.

So, how do you manage your reputation online and shift what people see?

1. Respond graciously to a poor review, indicating that you strive for patient/customer satisfaction, you’re so sorry they had a bad experience and you’d like to make it up to them by x. Of course, if there are any legal implications, check with your attorney first.

2. Ask happy patients, clients and customers to write positive reviews. They can review your business or practice at sites like RateMDs, Yelp and Yahoo! Local, Healthgrades, Angie’s List and Vitals. Never have anyone write a “fake” review. There are legal implications in addition to the moral one.

3. Blog: The more you blog, the more you create content on your website, so that your own website and blog posts tend to come up on the first page.

4. Add videos on your blog and website and use appropriate keywords to help these videos place in search engines.

5. Blog for high profile sites: If you blog for Psychology Today, WebMD or the Huffington Post, you’re likely to have those posts come up high in search engine results—a nice credibility bump for you and it gives you control of what people see.

6. Be sure to claim your listings on search sites such as Google Local, Yahoo local, etc.

7. Note any Facebook photos of you posted by friends and relatives. You should be able to at least “untag” yourself in photos. You may also want to request them to be taken down.

8. Put your best videos on YouTube and tag them with keywords. YouTube videos tend to rank high.

9. If you find something that doesn’t represent your brand or image, see if the person is willing to take it down, replace it or fix it. It may not be as heinous as a bad review, but it could be something that no longer represents you.

Searching online for the phone number of a very reputable and conscientious literary agent I know, I was shocked to see her name come up next to some un-complimentary remarks in a Google listing of a website that rates agents and editors and “outs” the bad guys.

When I clicked on the actual page, it looked fine—so it just “appeared” she had a bad reputation because of the way the website’s listing came up (some issue with title tags, I assume). I immediately e-mailed her to let her know about the issue. She did know and was working with the website owner to fix that misleading information.

So, if you see something bad, don’t panic. Even if you can’t get it taken down, you can work on these other strategies to drive it to a lower ranked page. Take control of your online reputation today.

Here are some additional resources on the subject:

New York Times Article   Mashable Post

Here's a free webinar for physicians on protecting your reputation

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