The Brand Ambassador Physician Side Gig

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Every doctor has a story to tell about how they decided to go to med school. If you’re like me, then your story didn’t exactly include plans to become TikTok famous.

But in all seriousness, there’s a lot of ways that physicians can use social media to benefit those around them, which is often the reason we got into this work in the first place. By partnering with consumer brands you know and trust, you can use social media to help steer health care professionals and the general public toward products and services that make life better.

Physicians as brand ambassadors 

Doctors who work as brand ambassadors are not your typical influencers.

Like you, they’re real medical professionals in the trenches working 12-hour shifts amid a global pandemic. And also like you, they’ve developed familiarity and preferences for a variety of consumer brands, like the most comfortable scrubs for those 12-hour shifts or the softest sheets for the sweet sleep that comes after. So why not get paid to share about products that you already  know are great and could help others out?

Here are some ways that physicians working as brand ambassadors help promote and grow consumer brands.

  • Generating brand awareness. If you have a decent social media following, you can use your platform to make others aware of a product or brand you know and love. As you probably know, there are ethical considerations that limit your ability to promote medical stuff, but the same rules don’t apply to every day consumer brands. (Side note: You can always check with your state’s board of medicine to learn more.)
  • Interacting with followers. Marketing these days is all about word of mouth. If your followers ask you a question about a product, you should 100 percent answer it. And if ten of your followers ask you that same exact question, you should do your best to answer all 10. Not only does it help build your credibility, but also it helps with post visibility.
  • Sharing discount codes. We’ve all used a discount code or two from social media. Including discount codes on a social media post for a product you like is a win-win situation. You’re connecting your followers to a solid product at a better price, and you’re getting paid to do it. Plus, even if your followers don’t end up making a purchase, you can often get a commission just from the clicks.
  • Give feedback on new products. Brand ambassadors do more than just post and interact with others on social media. They often also work iteratively with the brands they promote to help improve their products and services. So if you think X scrubs would be totally perfect if they just had one more pocket, say it!

Benefits of becoming a brand ambassador

It’s no secret that working in the medical profession is tough right now. There’s staff shortages, stagnant wages, and lots of paperwork. Working as a brand ambassador can be a lighthearted way to escape some of these realities. Here are some of the biggest perks as I see them.

  • Make your own schedule. Yes, you might need to post every day to avoid being thrust into oblivion by app algorithms. But you can totally set your own schedule and work on your own time. For example, maybe you use a scheduler to set up your content for the following week every Friday.  
  • Work creatively. In my mind, medicine is equal parts art and science. But a lot of the day-to-day is just paperwork. Working as a brand ambassador lets you show off your creative side in a way that you might not get to do in the hospital.
  • Try new products. We can't forget about the freebies. Brand ambassadors get to try (and keep) the latest products from the companies they promote for free. Especially in residency, this can be a big draw. 

Whether you're new to social media or have a solid following already, I hope this gets you thinking about some different ways to use your voice. To find new opportunities to work as a brand ambassador, check out the flipMD jobs section today. And if social media still isn't your thing, we have just about every nonclinical physician side hustle you can think of.

Gregory Hanson, MD, MPH

Gregory Hanson, MD, MPH

Greg is a PGY-4 interventional radiology resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. He graduated from UCLA with his BS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences before moving across the country to New York City. While in New York, Greg obtained his Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology with an advanced certificate in applied biostatistics. He then went on to do his medical school training at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. In June 2018, he started his post-graduate training with a surgical intern year at Jefferson before continuing there for his integrated interventional radiology residency. During his first year of diagnostic radiology, he began offering his services to various clients by any means possible and was able to make additional side income to help support his family through residency training. This is what sparked the idea for flipMD.

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