There are many reasons healthcare providers often give as reasons they worry about participating in social media. While some of these concerns might apply to writing blog posts, creating videos or podcasting, these efforts have some unique concerns as well. After all, starting a blog can take weeks. Podcasting can take many more hours to create each episode than the actual length of that episode. And they are harder to create sporadically. Consistency is crucial.
Here are five “excuses” commonly given for not blogging, podcasting or creating content and my thoughts on how and why you can overcome them.
You don’t have time to write blog posts.
This is such a common reason given by doctors that I wrote a separate post offering suggestions for finding time. Believe me, I get it. You’re busy with a full clinic or surgery schedule. Add time with your family, and you might not have much “free” time.
On the other hand, everyone is busy. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. If a project or goal really matters to you, you should – and will – find a way to make time. I don’t mean sleeping only four hours a night, either. Instead maybe you eliminate reading the newspaper or watching a few sitcoms each week. Also find small breaks in your day rather than looking for 2- to 3-hour blocks of time.
It isn’t the right time.
In healthcare there is always some challenge we’re facing. The new EMR system. Demands to increase patient volume. Moving to a new office. You tell yourself that you will start a blog when this next obstacle is completed. But the hurdles just keep coming, and you never get started.
Seriously, there is never a perfect time, so get started right now. Even if you start slowly and work into a consistent posting schedule, at least you started. Get a few posts up and inertia will kick in. Before long, you won’t be a doctor planning to start a blog but one who actively writes for one.
You don’t have anything to say.
I find it hard to believe that a nurse, physical therapist, doctor, pharmacist or any other healthcare provider believes that she has no ideas to put into text or videos. You talk to patients all day, every day. Pay attention to questions they repeatedly ask and messages you frequently deliver. Get those posted on your site and share them with the public.
No one will read it.
This is actually a common fear of starting a blog. Let’s face it, if you don’t start, you’re right. No one will read you.
At first, even when you do start, few people will find your content. Once you get some traction, share content on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites. Interact with other healthcare providers, and they will likely share your content. Answer questions and reply to comments from your readers.
Soon you’ll have an audience.
You don’t have any good ideas.
First, I doubt that you truly can’t find ideas for content. I suggested an exercise in an earlier post – brainstorming 50 topics – that can help you learn if you might struggle to find ideas. Try it.
Second, you have to remember that everything can become social media content. You just have to look for it and file the idea away. Keep journal articles with new research, health articles from your newspaper, rumors patients ask you about and more.
Let me say that these excuses or fears are fair. Most doctors and other healthcare professionals who write or create videos or podcasts struggled with them initially too. At some point, they got started. Once they found their voices, they never looked back.
That could be you too – and fairly soon. Get going!