The popularity of the brand ambassador is on the rise… literally every brand I come across on Instagram is looking for ambassadors or influencers… but not everyone quite understands what it is and how it can help their business.
What Does Ambassador Mean?
I mean, we’ve all heard of it, haven’t we… and most of us have received messages from small brands asking to be their ambassador…
An ambassador is basically a person who is paid or rewarded to promote a company or a brands products or services. It’s as simple as that. Here’s a few you might have heard of over the past couple of years…
- Gigi Hadid – Maybelline & Tommy Hilfiger
- George Clooney – Nespresso & Omega
- Karlie Kloss – L’Oreal & Swarovski
- Beyonce – Pepsi
- Tiger Woods – Rolex
- Kendall Jenner – Adidas
- John Travolta – Qantas
- David Beckham – Tudor, Breitling & Jaguar
Usually an ambassador is someone people know or think highly of… so celebrities. But recently with the growth of social media, bloggers, vloggers and influencers, ambassador candidates are popping up left, right and centre as people become more well known and well… kinda famous.
We’re living in the time when everything goes on Instagram… Facebook… Snapchat… Twitter… so brands now want ambassadors on these platforms who can their customers will wanna see using or liking that product. The perfect candidate to be an ambassador is someone who has a well established presence in the world of social media and a pretty big audience to which they can promote… and of course they have to be relevant to the brand… there’s no point in a mascara brand asking a footballer to promote them (not that they can’t wear mascara) because their audience isn’t likely to be someone who wants to buy the mascara…
What Does An Ambassador Do?
Ok so now we know what an ambassador is… what do they do exactly?
Whatever they do as an ambassador for a certain brand is for the purpose of promoting that brand or product. Some brands might ask the ambassador to just post pictures of the product on their Instagram… or tweet about it… whereas some brands might ask for a bit more… such as a video of the ambassador using the product (this is more authentic than a photo because it shows them actually using it… so the product must be ok, right?!).
Why Do Brands Use Ambassadors?
If a brand has someone like Kendall Jenner associated with it, they’ll get a lot more interest than if not… likewise a small brand will get more attention from their potential audience if they have someone that audience likes, associated with it.
It can take years and years to build a brand to the point where it’s so well recognised, they probably wouldn’t even need to advertise yet people would still buy from it (although big brands still advertise so they stay at the top). So for new brands or small businesses just starting out, this process is just way too long…
Enter the brand ambassador.
Now all they need to do is sign a few ambassadors from social medias, each with a decent sized following and the audience they will reach is huge.
Let’s say a new brand reaches out to 10 people on Instagram… each with 15k followers… that’s potentially an audience of 150k… and just through 10 people. (Obviously every member of their audience won’t be reached but it’s possible!).
And of course big brands who are well established already use ambassadors to stay well known. Take Pretty Little Thing for example… they’re huuuuge (I’m obsessed with their clothes – and would love to work with them someday!!) and they use ambassadors (a.k.a influencers) because if they didn’t… but smaller brands were then there’s a chance (only a small chance but still…)
How Much Does An Ambassador Get Paid?
What’s the average brand ambassador salary?
That… I can’t give you an answer to.
The brand ambassador salary changes from brand to brand… and it depends on how the ambassador program is set up.
Some brands prefer to gift products/services to ambassadors in exchange for posts on social media/blogs etc. there are unpaid but the ambassador/influencer gets to keep whatever they’re sent.
This is the cheapest option for the brand as they’re only losing out on the opportunity cost of selling that item… so if they send a £20 tshirt they’re actually sending something which probably cost them only a few pounds to purchase.
Other brands offer ambassadors free items plus commission on any sales which come directly from their audience – usually by using a discount code which the ambassador promotes. You’ll have seen these all over social media… ‘Use code XXXX for 20% off!’
Top tip: If you’re shopping online and can’t find a discount code on google… look on Instagram and find some of the influencers/ambassadors for the brand – they’ll usually have a discount code in their caption or bio!
If the ambassador has a bigger audience then they’re likely to only accept collaborations or partnerships where they get paid. If the brand has the potential to reach 400k audience then they can’t just send a £20 t-shirt for the ambassador to advertise… I mean come on… If the brand went to an advertising agency and asked to put an advert in front of 400k it would be waayyyyy more than £20.
Some ambassador programs are pretty generous and offer 10-20% of each sale… whereas some will offer straight commission e.g. $1 for every sale generated by the discount code. So if you’re signing up to become an ambassador, check out the payment terms first.
One Thing You MUST Look Out For...
There are hundreds of small brands on Instagram (probably across other social medias too but I’ve only noticed them on Insta) who are ‘looking for ambassadors/influencers’.
I’ve had so many comment on my posts with something along the lines of:
“Hey, we LOVE your style! We would love you to promote our clothes, send us a DM!”
“Hey, wanna collab? Send us a DM!”
And so I DM’d them to see what the crack was and the responses are along the lines of…
“Amazing! We would like to offer you 20% off anything on the site and we will provide you with a 10% discount code for your audience. Sound good?”
Ambassadors/influencers REMEMBER – you have the asset. The brands are contacting you because they want to reach a bigger audience – they want to reach your audience.
Advertising isn’t free so if the brand is asking you to purchase something from their store, you’re basically paying that brand to advertise for them.
Think about it.
You’re paying them.
Would a billboard advertising agency pay a company to put their advert on a billboard? Nope. The company pays to have their advert up there. So why is this any different? It’s not.
If a brand wants to access your audience, they should either provide you with the product they want your audience to see or they should pay for the opportunity. Simple.
So… after all that, I still can’t tell you exactly how much a brand ambassador salary is. It all depends on the brand, the type of ambassador program and how much work/effort the ambassador is willing to put in.
How Can I Become An Ambassador?
The first thing you need is an asset… and that’s basically a reputation. This is usually shown by the size of your audience. If only 100 people follow you but there’s someone similar to you who has 10,000 people following them and has multiple social media platforms, the brand will always go for the other person. The brand is looking for the highest exposure.
But… that doesn’t mean that people with a small audience can’t be an ambassador. The girl with the 10,000 followers might only have 1% of that audience engage with the content (100 people)… whereas someone with only 500 followers might have a 30% engagement rate (150 people) so actually the brand would get more exposure on the smaller account. But that’s hard to judge…
5 Steps To Becoming A Brand Ambassador
1. Create a look and feel about your Insta
We’ve all seen those Insta pages that look incred… all the images have the same filter, the same look and feel to them… and the feed itself just flows perfectly… How do they do it?!… I’m still figuring that one out… But even if you can’t get your head around all of the editing apps and software, try a different way to give your Insta a theme… here are ways you can do that with your posts:
- Take photos with the same background… or same kind of background.
- Post pictures of the same type of content… but different – e.g. fashion – different outfits.
- Keep your content similar… so review only beauty products or only post pics of cats etc.
You get the idea. People like to know what to expect when they view your page… Plus having a certain look about yours… especially if it’s unique to you… is more likely to get you spotted on the Explore page.
2. Know your niche and stick to it
There’s nothing worse than jumping from a feed full of quotes to some outfit pics… to food pics… or selfies with your dog. Like I’ve said… people like to know what to expect when they click on you. And generally, if someone is interested in food… they’re probably not gonna wanna see your dog popping up on their feed… or your new clothes – all they care about is food, so you’re going to be risking an unfollow.
If your audience knows what to expect then brands know what to expect…so keep it consistent.
A page full of clothes is likely to attract an audience of exclusively girls… which are the perfect audience for some brands… so those brands approach you and it all goes great working together… until you start to post pics of your dog… or your trek up Mount Everest in between the fashion posts… then the fashion audience gets smaller and smaller and your audience becomes more random.
And unfortunately… if the brands aren’t getting what they want, they’re unlikely to approach you.
3. Identify the brands you wanna work with
There’s no point in starting out on your journey to ambasador-dom (yep, just made a word up…) if you don’t have goals. (Jeez I sound so millennial… but seriously…) Think of who you actually wanna be working with… and then aim for smaller similar brands to start with… take the fashion example… if you wanna end up working with Topshop or Nike then they probably won’t be interested in collaborating with you and your 1000 followers just yet… (considering they have millions of followers!) but smaller fashion brands (who you probably won’t have heard of) will be… because they will want to reach an extra 1000 people (it’ll be a pretty big number for them!)… and the more smaller brands you work with… the more content you have… the more you can showcase your style… build your follower base and work your way up to the bigger brands!
4. Pitch yourself to them
You might come across brands on Instagram or Twitter or wherever and in their bio it says something like ‘Bloggers/Influencers:*contact email address*… these are brands that are unlikely to reach out to you… so reach out to them!
Yes… it might be a little nervy… but if they’re telling bloggers/influencers to approach them, then go for it! Think through what you’re going to say beforehand and make sure you stay professional
5. Post and # them
If you don’t wanna email the brands… or the ones you want to work with don’t provide an email address in their bio… then the easiest way to be noticed is by tagging them in your posts. Now obvs don’t spam these people (It’s so annoying being tagged in photos that are nothing to do with you!) but maybe post a few pics of you wearing or using their items and use their hashtag for added exposure (most brands follow their hashtag on Instagram now…. Yes that’s a thing!!). If they see you and they like what they see then they might even make the first move and reach out to you!
1. Always be professional: Remember… you want to work with the brand… the brand has a reputation… so if you’re representing them you need to bear this in mind. If the ambassadors the brand have chosen are unprofessional then they won’t continue working with them.
2. Follow the guidelines: Some brands have conditions or guidelines they like ambassadors to follow…for some it might be the type of content you’ll be sharing as an ambassador whereas others might care more about the time/day the content is shared and on what platform.
Judge this one yourself… if you have a posting schedule and the time or date the brand has suggested just doesn’t suit, then talk to them and explain. At the end of the day, you know your audience and that’s why you plan your content. So if the type of content, or time of posting just doesn’t suit then don’t do it.
3. Start off small: Don’t aim for the biggest brands straightaway. Start small and build your experience, reputation and knowledge of how it all works. If that means only getting exposure to the audiences of a few small brands instead of the big audience you want then that’s okay… put all of those small audiences together and it adds up. (Plus you’re gaining experience!)
4. Know when to turn down offers: When you start to grow your audience to a size when brands are approaching you, it’s important to know when to turn down offers. Aside from the brands who “offer you 50% off anything on our site to post a pic on Instagram”, which you should always turn down (You’re essentially paying to advertise for them!) you should also think about how these offers are going to help you. So for example… if you’ve got an audience of 15k on Instagram and you have brands of 30-100k approaching you to collaborate… and then an account with 300 followers want to send you a free t-shirt… is it worth it? Possibly a teeny tiny bit… for the chance of getting 1 or 2 followers… but the time spent promoting the tiny brand is time not spent on promoting the bigger brand… who by reposting you could be sending a boat load of followers you way… and that’s exactly what you want.
5 Things You Need, To Become A Brand Ambassador
1. Somewhere to post
Okay… first thing’s first. You need a platform… a.k.a somewhere to post your super awesome content as a brand ambassador (or future brand ambassador of course!). So whether this is Instagram, Facebook, a blog, Twitter etc… it’s up to you. I personally prefer Instagram but I know so many people who have a massive audience on Facebook… and others who have amazing blogs… do a bit of research and see which best suits you.
Bear in mind the type of content you’ll be posting… if it’s going to be mainly pictures… then Instagram will be better… if mainly text then probably a blog or Facebook… you can still post different media on all platforms but text on Instagram gets hidden in the caption and the Facebook doesn’t display all of your pictures as well as Instagram does.
2. Post passion!
No… I’m not telling you to post anything risque… I’m saying you need to be passionate about what you’re posting or sharing. If you’re sharing pics of dogs and anything else relate to them… and you have a growing audience… but you hate dogs… it’ll show. Yeah you’ll be sharing pics etc… Perfect! But… a person who loves dogs will go way beyond that.. They’ll not only be posting pics… they’ll post loads of pics… be engaging with other dog accounts, talking to the owners of these accounts, sharing videos of random dogs they’ve seen in the street and endless selfies of them with their dog. People know they love what they do and that’s what they like to see. So brands will know that if you became an ambassador for them you’ll produce quality content for your audience and not just repost something to get it over with. You need to show the brand why you’re a good fit for them… and why they should work with you.
To be a brand ambassador you can’t do a half hearted job… you need to jump in both feet first. To grow your audience and build your reputation you need to be engaging with your audience. An engaged audience grows waaaay quicker than a non-engaged (is that a word?!) audience. Plus there are hundreds of people like you out there who want to be ambassadors… if you post a few pics then get bored or busy and leave it for a while… and then come back a few months later and your audience has shrunk so you post a couple more and then leave again… people will lose interest. Instagram and the likes will know you’re not committed and so it’s not a worthy account to share with people.
Whereas someone who posts consistently every day with quality content will see their audience grow. Instagram notices the account’s popularity and so will show it to more people.
Brands are more likely to want to work with people who are committed to it… because these are the ones who will benefit them more in the long run, increasing sales and brand awareness.
4. Quality Content
Now, this might seem obvious but it’s so important. Being a brand ambassador means you’re representing brands… and they have a reputation to keep. So whether you’re posting on Instagram or writing a blog post… if you’re taking a pic of a dress in a dimly lit room… or not proofreading your blog posts (Gonna be awks if I’ve made mistakes in this one now!) then brands won’t wanna work with you. So yeah… post stuff your audience wants to see… and make it AWESOME!
The more your audience grows, the more they get to know you. So if you post on Instagram every day at 6:30… or if you publish your blog post every Tuesday… your audience know.. And some are waiting for it! So give them what they want, don’t let them down. Be consistent and your audience will know where and when to find you… Perfect when you’re sharing branded content!
Where To Find Brands To Work With
Okay, so you’re motivated, committed and you know what you wanna do… but now all you need are brands to work with… they ain’t all gonna stumble across your blog or Instagram (although some might – this would be a dream!) so you need to know where to hunt for them.
1. Facebook groups
I’m pretty sure there’s a Facebook group for everything these days… but yeah jump over to Facebook and have a look around. You might find groups named something like ‘Instagram Influencers’ or ‘Brand Ambassadors’ – join them and look out for posts which advertise opportunities to work with brands. Easy peasy.
My go-to place. Find your favourite brand and then take a stroll through the ‘similar accounts’ section. You’ll find a whole load of brands similar to your fave (obvs…) so try reaching out to them.
3. PR Companies
The main way to become an ambassador is by speaking with the brand directly. Some brands will have application processes whereas some might contact you and ask you to join them. Then there are the websites and PR companies who act as a ‘middle man’ by matching a brand with an influencer who meets certain criteria. These can sometimes be a bit more tricky to find/get involved with but when you do it can be awesome. Try googling PR companies (for whatever niche you’re in) and reach out to them… or you can find some on Instagram and try messaging them on there.
4. Third Party Apps
I was always a bit dubious about using apps for this kinda stuff but actually it’s a pretty good idea. There are quite a few of them out there but you might need to do a bit of a Google to see which one is best for your niche.
But… there’s something I discovered recently which is pretty genius… and ANYONE can join… if you know the right people… and I’m one of those people so if you keep reading I’ll tell you exactly how you can get involved!
Founded in 2015 Brandbassador is a social platform for bloggers, youtubers and influencers. They’ve recently signed a boat load of new brands and are looking for even more to join them to become the biggest social platform for influencers.
Brandbassador is an app where influencers or ambassadors sign up and complete ‘missions’ for brands. You basically become an ambassador for the brands you choose who are working with Brandbassador.
But unlike some ambassador programs, it’s not all about the sales you make.
This is why it’s genius.
With Brandbassador you can earn money, earn gift cards and points by doing something as simple as liking a brand’s post… or by retweeting something.
You have the opportunity to create your own discount codes for each brand which you can advertise to your audience…. And of course, every sale made using your code generates a commission for you!
The points determine how much commission you get from each sale and the amount changes with each brand. For example, on the first level you might earn a 2% commission on sales, the second level a 4% and the third level 6%. So the more points you get, the higher commissions available.
You can also apply to do missions such as featuring a brand’s product on your social media – so basically a normal collaboration.
But there’s one catch…
Anyone can apply to Brandbassador… but there’s a waiting list. But if you have a referral code, you’re in…
So if you want to sign up and start earning, send me a message, an email or DM and include the link to your Instagram/Twitter etc.
If you want to let me know you’ve signed up, or want to chat about anything ambassador/influencer related, send me a DM on Instagram, leave a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just remember though… being a brand ambassador isn’t easy. It takes hard work and dedication. It might just look like someone takes a selfie, posts it on Instagram and that’s it… but it’s much more work than that. You need to capture your audience’s attention… and keep it. Keep brands happy by posting the content they want… and directing customers to them. Being active to beat the Instagram algorithm… and that’s just on one social media… then there’s Facebook, Pinterest…Twitter!
So if you’re dedicated and you love a challenge, jump on the ambassador train!