The past year has brought new challenges to you as a hearing healthcare professional—and I’m not just talking about those brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids, it has become increasingly difficult for hearing healthcare professionals to compete with big box retailers. You also have to compete with other professionals who promise better hearing with hearing tools and amplifiers. So, how can your business survive—and even thrive—in this competitive market?
The key is to stand out as a true specialist (which you are). Big box retailers may offer the convenience of over-the-counter hearing aids, but they can never truly compete with you when it comes to expertise and providing the patient with a tailored fit. As for the professionals who offer hearing amplifiers and other similar tools, you know those tools cannot offer the same benefits as hearing aids. You know that patients will benefit greatly from your experience, knowledge, and skill—so you need the patients to understand that.
Here are four ways to set yourself apart as a specialist and expert in hearing healthcare:
- Write a book.
Writing a book may sound daunting at first, but it can actually be quite simple. You already have the expertise in the subject matter, and with the abundance of powerful self-publishing options nowadays, having a publisher is not necessary.
First, identify your topic. You can even use existing content you have created for your website, blog, or other resources to get started. Second, expand your content. A book will, of course, be more in-depth than a blog article. Your book content should be thorough and comprehensive. Third, create a book cover—either by doing it yourself or hiring a designer. Finally, upload your book to a self-publishing platform.
Don’t worry about making your book perfect, especially your first book. Simply publishing the book will give you experience in writing, will bring added authority to your name and practice online, and will work to establish you as an expert in the field of audiology.
2. Become an online teacher or coach.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many professionals to find new ways to do business and provide value online—and it also pushed consumers to the internet to find what they need and want. You can easily offer up your expertise online as a teacher or coach.
For example, if you are a hearing aid specialist, you could offer your personalized recommendations to hearing aid users on how to maintain their hearing aids, how to adjust them on their own, how to fix minor issues, or how to get the most out of their features. Or, if you want to position yourself as a mentor, you could offer up your experience in the audiology field to current students in audiology or new graduates as they start their careers.
3. Offer a video course.
One way to package your expertise is by creating a video course. Take a topic you would like to become a teacher, coach, or mentor on. Then you simply need to decide how to split up the subject matter into separate video modules. Record yourself addressing those topics, and you have your video course!
4. Take advantage of digital marketing.
You and your patients live in the real world, but that world increasingly relies upon the digital world. Each of the strategies listed above will help to improve your online presence and position you as a specialist in your field. (They can each be monetized on their own as well.) When people search for topics you have written a book about, taught about, or created a video course about, they will find you! Demonstrating your expertise and providing value are among the first steps in standing out in the hearing profession.
For more information about how you can thrive in today’s business world, we invite you to contact us AudiologyPlus. We are eager to assist you.