Start Building Your Brand While in Residency
In my previous blog ‘Finding Time for Digital Marketing’, I talked about how tricky it can be for a medical resident to find time to do anything other than work. (Note: I’ve looked at a number of hospital daily schedules, and I have no idea how you residents do it. You rock!)
Between patients, daily team meetings, reviews, ER, OR, research and just plain living the life of a plastic surgery resident, it leaves little time for establishing your brand.
However using Chris Brogan’s time quilting method we talked about in our previous blog, you can be on your way to building your digital marketing house, while in residency, and for only a few hours a month.
Getting Started with a Domain Name
You’re going to need a website, which means you’re going to need a domain name.
There’s a lot to think about for sure, but first thing’s first. How are you going to brand yourself and your practice, and what is your online presence going to look like?
Can the name of your website become the cornerstone of your digital marketing while connecting with your patients online? Can you create a short but memorable web address (http://yournameMD.com) and use a keyword that describes your practice within your domain address?
For example, https://Dr.JonesPlasticSurgeryandEsthetics.com…a little cheesy, but you get the idea.
There’s a lot to think about before settling on a domain that may or may not truly represent your brand in 1, 5, or even 10 years from now.
In a past episode titled, How to Choose a Domain Name, Rand went through some of the steps an organization should take when considering their brand and their online identity as it relates to choosing a domain name.
IMAGE: Moz – Whiteboard Friday <—- Larger image, click here.
When considering a domain name, if it’s easy to remember, easy to pronounce and appealing to hear someone say it, you’re in a pretty good spot. Easier said than done however. We have some examples for you down the page.
Just know, its’ early and you have time to think about a domain name. Depending upon where you’re at in residency (R1 – R6) the upside is you have small amounts of time, and using time quilting, try to learn as much as you can while in residency.
How Much Does it Cost to Claim a Domain?
Domain names are relatively inexpensive to claim with costs ranging from $1.99 to $25 per year. Depending upon several factors, it could be more, and we’ll talk about it down the page, especially when we discuss dot ‘doctor’ (.doctor).
Claim a Domain Name that can stand the test of time
First, do your absolute best to brand yourself around a “dot com’ (.com) – Claiming and reserving a .com or a related plastic surgery/medical top level domain (TLD) name is a must. A .dot com is known as a TLD extension. From here on out, we’ll call them extensions.
.com is the standard extension; people, by default, have been trained to remember dot com….don’t you?
By the way, if it makes sense for you and your brand to reserve a .com, claim it for at least 5 years.
Why .doctor will be the next .com for physicians
Another alternative seriously worth considering is the extension dot doctor. (.doctor)
The .doctor extension was made available in October, 2016, and now’s the time to claim not only a .com, but also your .doctor domain.
It’s a little more expensive to reserve, approximately $70-$150 annually, but less expensive with a multi-year purchase depending upon where you buy.
I really like the .doctor extension and it makes sense to claim yours because it’s something you’ve worked so hard to attain; you’ve earned it. It’s professional, and it tells the world how you serve. That’s why I believe it’s the next “dot com” for physicians and PhD’s.
Many other health and medical specialties are represented as well such as:
If you’ve thought about different ideas for possible names for your brand or practice, such as (Your Name) Plastic Surgery, or (Your Name) MD FACS, claim the domain. If it makes sense, claim it. It’s not that expensive and you can let the domain registration lapse after a year.
Most domain registrars, including GoDaddy, email annual reminders that your domain registration will expire, usually 90 days from expiration. You can also choose to auto-renewal your domain and your registrar will charge your credit card at renewal.
It’s worth saying again, if you claim a .com and/or .doctor domain, claim them for at least 5 years.
.COM Not Available? Consider the country of your plastic surgery practice
If your domain name is not available via a .com, you may want to also consider your country TLD (extension)
For example, .br for Brazil, .kr for South Korea
An example of some country TLDs (extensions)
.ae – United Arab Emirates.ar – Argentina
.br – Brazil
.bs – Bahamas
.de – Germany
.dk – Denmark
.eg – Egypt
How to Claim a Domain Name
There are many domain registrars with many options to buy, however that’s beyond the scope of this article.
Just know that you can search different domain registrars web site’s, such as GoDaddy and others, and the deals they offer will vary. We’ve Googled it here for you —> Click
GoDaddy.com is a brand most everyone recognizes, so for the purpose of this article we’ll use them for this ‘how-to’.
(Full-Disclosure: I am not affiliated with GoDaddy, nor am I affiliated with anybody or any company I mention in this article.)
GoDaddy’s Domain Search bar is at the top of their home page, GoDaddy.com.
Type in the domain name to check for availability and select Search Domain, or Enter on your keypad or screen:
Below is another search example but this time with the .doctor extension. Notice the price difference over the .com extension in our previous search:
Try to Use Keywords in your domain name but avoid Keyword Stuffing Your Domain Name
While we encourage you to use plastic surgery type keywords in your domain, avoid stuffing your domain with unnecessary keywords. In fact it can get you penalized by the search engines for trying to manipulate their algorithms.
Domains such as, thebestdarnplasticsurgeoninLasVegas.com or plasticsurgerybreastaugmentationsandnosejobs.com are two examples that will get you the ‘bad eye’ from Google, Bing, and the rest of the search engines.
Your first priority is to claim YourNameMD.com or YourNamePlasticSurgeon.doctor, or any number of variations that sound good, if they’re easy to say and easy to remember. Then share your experience in the comments below.
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