Maximizing Your Value as a Patient Valued Thought Leader


As a Patient Leader, you have answered the call to help patients and caregivers in your community. On a daily basis, you are immersed in local conversations. By sharing your story and engaging with others, you have become a trusted source. So others come to you for help, information, and advice.

Because you are rooted in your community, you have a strong interest in current events, including:

  • Everyday problems
  • What people are going through
  • What new patients are asking
  • What former patients are asking

You know your story to a T. But you do too therefore information about the issue of the group.

Sharing stories about your community makes you stand out. It increases your value as a key leader (KOL).

Becoming a KOL within the patient and healthcare community online can be a powerful way to change the lives of others. In this article, we will explore:

  • What it means to be a KOL
  • Why are you already established as a KOL
  • The quality of the work
  • Best practices to follow

What is a key leader (KOL)?

A KOL is someone who:

  • They are recognized as experts in their field
  • He has an opinion that is respected and appreciated by others
  • They are seen as a reliable source of information, support, and encouragement

You may have noticed that we refer to our members as Patient Leaders at the Social Health Network (SHN). Patient Leaders use their story or a loved one’s story to share information and support. They stand up for themselves and others. Basically, we look at KOLs for patients and caregivers as Patient Leaders.

Why are you set to be the patient leader you need?

Becoming an online KOL for patients and caregivers takes time, effort, and dedication. But the good news is that your career is already setting you up for success!

As a Patient Leader, you have a unique ability to organize conversations and change people’s decisions. You are seen as a thought leader and a voice of authority in your community. And your thoughts and insights are greatly sought after.

  • You have already contacted and spoken to countless patients and caregivers
  • You are seen as a trusted source in your community
  • You have a strong sense of community
  • You live and breathe this every day

People in the healthcare industry are looking to Patient Leaders like you to discuss their issues and what they see in their communities. And when I think of a patient group, who better to call than SHN members?

What are the benefits of being a KOL?

Being targeted as a KOL for your culture can bring you many benefits in your career! Here are just a few:

  • Influence: As a KOL, you can influence the decisions and actions of others. You can use your platform to raise awareness, inspire change, and drive positive conversations.
  • Recognition: Being recognized as a KOL in your community can increase visibility, popularity, and credibility.
  • Chance: As a KOL, you may be given the opportunity to network with other professionals, speak at events, and participate in other social activities. (Hint: See our luck on the SHN platform!)
  • Personal fulfillment: For many people, being a KOL in their community is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It helps them to change the lives of others and help change the world for the better. Let your “why” be your driving force.

What are the best ways to generate KOLs?

So how can you use the knowledge and expertise you gain every day to impact the lives of people everywhere? Let’s talk about some of the best ways to use it.

  • Share unbiased news with your community: Companies want to partner with leaders who can share both sides of the issue and remain neutral. Share reliable and authentic stories.
  • Tell your story, but include other ideas as well: When talking about your problem, talk about “we” instead of “I.” Be a voice for those who have no voice. Speak up for the group you represent.
  • Advise on the needs of your community by addressing not only the “what” but also the “why” and “how”.: When sharing what your community needs, help justify what you’ve asked for and why it’s important and how it will impact you. If you can prove that you are good at this, there will be many opportunities at your door.
  • Include companies and organizations you work with: First, follow your goals and principles. But working with multiple organizations can help you build your network and expertise and provide different opportunities to get involved.
  • Don’t stop learning about your problem: Stay up-to-date on new treatments, practices, and best practices. Learning is always ongoing, especially in the world of health.

Finally, always appreciate the value you bring as a Patient Leader. No one else has the thoughts, knowledge, and experience that you have. So invest in this valuable investment and don’t let anyone take advantage of you for it.

Looking to learn more?

Take “Appreciating Your Skills as a Patient Leader” Courses on the SHN platform today to learn how to discover your potential as a Patient Leader.


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