Building a nurse influencer brand takes a lot of hard work. On the surface it may seem like many of the blogs and websites ran by nurse influencer follow the same practices as traditional media, but there are many key differences that brand and businesses should consider when looking to partner with a nurse blogger or influencer.

With rise of ad blindness and skyrocketed ad rates, the marketing landscape has clearly shifted. Grassroots advertiser and influence marketing is now the most impactful way to reach a target audience. If you’ve considered working with a nurse influencer you should know these key differences.

Don’t Ask for Earned Editorial

Many nurse influencers started their blogs and brands because they wanted to help people. Sometimes this means helping them find cool products and services to improve their lives. So nurse bloggers will write about things that interest them personally or they feel impacted by. This is how “earned editorials” manifest in the nurse influencer world.

If a brand or business sends a nurse influencer an email, DM, or other message to suggest that nurse mention or write about a product or service, that is the start of a potential business transaction. (This is especially true if this brand or business wants to have any say in the content.)  You should expect to receive a reply that is a pitch to partner together in exchange for financial compensation, an aggressive affiliate partnership, or a combination of the two.

Don’t Expect to Pay with Product

Nurses with blogs and brands should be treated like any other advertising space. You wouldn’t ask Mark Zuckerburg if you could pay for advertising with a pair of shoes or scrubs. Why would you ask a nurse influencer to? Newer influencers with less reach may be happy to work for products. So it does happen, but starting an outreach campaign with “no budget” is going to mean you’ll be spending a lot of time going back to your boss or client asking them for more money.

Furthermore, if a nurse influencer actually does agree to post on social media or their website about your product and you’ve only provided them with a complimentary, keep your expectations incredibly low. Many have reached out to us about companies who have sent scrubs, shoes, stethoscopes, etc. and provided no payment, and when the influencer posted, the company wanted their say on filters, hashtags, captions, tags, poses, etc. That’s the fastest way to sure you’ll never get another post and burn bridges with influencers.

We Know You Have a Budget

Every company that exists has a marketing budget. If you are a PR firm reaching out, we know you are being paid. The “we don’t have a budget” reply really doesn’t fly with us because we know you’re simply choosing not to use some of what you’re being paid to send to the nurse. We get it. We all want to earn and keep as much of our money as possible. But we really don’t like it when you expect us to work for free. We are nurses with expertise, also working on our blog and website, as we’ve spent time and money cultivating our brand. Just as you should be paid for your advertising expertise in the PR world, so should the nurse.

Instead of responding with “we don’t have a budget,” ask the nurse influencer what options you have to work together. Then you can take the figures back to your boss or client and see if you can work something out. It’s going to take an extra step, but it’s going to get your more exposure and build a better relationship with the nurse.

We Can Tell When It’s Really Better for You Than Us

Some companies will frame business proposal and transactions in a way that make it seem like the company is doing the nurse a favor, when really it’s the other way around. We can quickly calculate how much work we will have to do taking photos, creating videos, writing posts, sharing to and engaging with our audience. So, when it’s frame that the exposure provided will outweigh any compensation, we can see right through that as a big red flag.

Time Does Not Equal Value

Many nurse bloggers have spent years building engaged audiences.The value of their work and reach cannot be distilled down to an hourly rate. Never use “time” as a negotiation tactic when working towards a price for agreed upon services. Even if it only takes 8-10 hours to complete the work for your campaign, it took hundreds of hours to build the influence and reach to make it worth while. Because of this, you’re going to pay more to a blogger with a bigger reach, even if they deliver identical content.

Don’t Expect Instant Publication

Most established nurse bloggers and influencers have content calendars that are planned for weeks or months in advance. Many won’t be able to publish with days or even a couple weeks notice. They may be able to work you in, but if you have a tight deadline, expect to pay additional for your desired date if it’s ASAP. Also consider that nurse influencers may also work 12-hour shifts as their day (or night) job. They may have a few 12-hour shifts between now and when you want the piece run and minimal time to plan, write, perfect and publish.

Expect to Pay Extra for Exclusivity

There are only a handful of products and services that nurse influencers can effectively market. If you are a college or scrubs company, asking for 12 months of exclusivity is basically asking that nurse blogger to eliminate a large portion of their earning potential. Nurse bloggers would prefer no exclusivity requirements because our authority space is specific. If you ask for exclusivity, expect to pay for it. Anything beyond 30 days is asking too much, unless your willing to replace all the potential income lost during the period of your exclusive agreement.

Allow the Nurse Influencer to Use Their Voice

Partnering with a nurse blogger or influencer means you get to leverage the trust they’ve built with their audience. If you edit out every ounce of personality from their draft, you’ve reduce the effectiveness of their influence. When going through the editing process you should advocate to retain as much of the nurse influencer’s voice as possible. The ROI will be worth it. Their audience follows them because they enjoy their candor, voice, and personality. If you edit it to a point where it looks like a dry and sterile advertisement and not something organic to the individual, expect less engagement.

Choose Wisely

Selecting the right influencer is crucial. Nursing is vast field with many specialities and sub-specialities. Make sure you thoroughly research your potential nurse influencer and check out their social media accounts as well as their website. Ensure that individual is consistent with your brand identity and ideals. As many are aware, follower count does not necessarily equate to an engaged nursing audience.

While someone may identify as a nurse online, it may not be their target audience. They may simply use their experience as a nurse to increase trust and authority in their space, since nursing continues to be the most trusted profession. Maybe they’re more fitness or wellness focused, or maybe you’re selling an NCLEX-product, when this influencer’s audience is mainly experienced nurses who are way past thinking about the NCLEX.  There are many micro-influencers out there, so the more specific you can be, the better your money and time will be spent.

To summarize

Make sure you’re respecting the nurse’s time, efforts, and expertise. After all, if you expect the nurse to work for your brand or company, expect to compensate them like you would any other individual contracted out to work for you.

Leveraging a nurse influencer for your brand or company can be an extremely cost-effective and impactful way to run a marketing campaign, and maintain professional mutally-beneficial relationships. Nursing continues to be the most trusted profession for a reason; when a nurse says something, people listen.

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