Updated: May 9, 2020
The online world has well and truly taken over with this highest ranking childhood ambition of today is being a Youtuber and why not?!
Instead of trading your valuable time for money, you can work smarter, not just harder to create your own income, around something you are truly passionate about and even from the comfort of your own home!
It's no wonder more and more of us are trying to create an online career through platforms like YouTube and Instagram, where you can earn as much or as little money, as long as you are prepared to put in the hard work.
What is a brand ambassador?
As a brand ambassador you work with the brand to show their product to your audience and how great it is.
Brand ambassador's are often sent the newest product lines from the brand to help promote them, sometimes before public sale. Brand ambassadors are also often invited to attend events that the brand is hosting, sponsoring or as a representative of the brand at other business events.
As a brand ambassador the brand may ask you to create content like reviews, photos, videos, blogs and maybe even organising a giveaway on your social media.
Some brands may be in a position to take you away on trips and in return you document the experience in the form of a Vlog or multiple posts.
Ultimately you're helping to gain exposure for the brand through the audience you have worked hard to build up, keep engaged and because your audience buy into you, they in turn will be more likely to buy into the brand.
Some companies may have more solid guidelines for you to follow when creating content that features their brand and if the content is to be used as part of a campaign they may pay you for it. In this instance it is likely the company may lay out a word count for the post and a time frame in which they would like it to be posted.
What does it take to be a Brand Ambassador?
If you hold these traits not only is your audience likely already invested in you, but a brand is more likely to invest in you too and consider you for brand ambassadorship.
Friendly, genuine and enthusiastic - The way you treat other people says a lot about you, if you're working for a brand that also reflects onto them too.
Passion and enthusiasm for the brand's niche E.g: Fitness - If you have no interest in sport, fitness or working out, an activewear brand sending you products would be of no worth to you or them.
Consistent posting schedule and interaction with commenters - the more consistently you post the more likely your followers will be to check in with you and if you further that by replying to comments your engagement will also be improved. A high follower count is not beneficial to a brand if no one is enagaging with you.
Quality content - Eye catching, thought out images, high quality footage, well written captions/posts and if you can give someone free information or solve a problem even better!
Reliability and commitment - If you are unreliable, post sporadically and are seen to be more interested in other brands (of course you will like other brands, but if you're working with a company they should be your #1) the company will probably end any relationship you have together and move on to work with someone more reliable.
How to get started.
If you aren't already on social platforms like Instagram or Youtube, you are already a little behind in the game, because this is where most of the influencer marketing/brand ambassadors already are.
But that doesn't mean you can't start now! If you can build up a genuine following of around 3000 or more (don't be suckered into buying likes and followers, they are so obvious it hurts) based on quality content, posting consistently, within a niche that you are truly passionate about, you are already halfway there!
Planning your content so that your feed has a themed feel, but isn't repetitive and is visually pleasing will keep you interesting to your followers. If you can give them free information, top tips, solve problems - even if it's something you discovered from someone else, curate their post and add you own personal spin on it.
The most important factor is to keep your followers engaged, chat with them in the comments section, answering their questions, responding to them and if they offer feedback show them you are trying to take it on board.
Where to find Brand Ambassador opportunities.
Avoid going straight in to the big dogs, the likelihood of a huge, worldwide dominating brand, seeing your DM, or email will be very slim and they will probably have the pick of the top online influencers/ambassadors and athletes to work with.
Have a proposal ready to pitch yourself to your favourite smaller companies, or local brands, they will be more likely to see your email or DM and if you've been following them for some time, adapt it as appropriate to suit that company. No one likes a cookie cutter email that doesn't really relate to their brand/company.
If you're having no luck contacting brands direct, try contacting some 'Influencer marketing agency'/ 'Influencer listing services' they will have contacts within brands that may be looking for someone just like you! Be sure to have a readily available media kit, ideally this would be on your website, alongside all of you relevant contact information, so that should a company want to get hold of you they can do so with ease.
Things to avoid
1. Sending out Generic, automated messages
'Hey lets collaborate!'
'Hey great products, if you send me some I can promote them!'
'I'm thinking about starting up a fitness account if you send me some clothes I will workout in them'
These are just a few of the most common messages we have receive regularly and it's safe to say they did not become ambassadors or even 'collaborate' with us! If you are asking for free products, you should have a bargaining pitch ready to go, tell the brand why giving you free products will be worth it to them and back it up with evidence of your work.
If you can't give reason to why you should be sent free products maybe instead see if they have a discount code you could use and they may be more fourth coming.
2. Buying likes, comments or followers.
The engagement is all over the place, the likes & views often don't match up, likes & comments are very similar on each photo and the comments left are generic. Basically bought followers stick out like a sore thumb, don't waste your time or money. Grow your audience organically, work for it and it will be so much more rewarding than if you fake it.
3. Approach a brand before you have any content.
A brand can't seriously consider an application from you if you haven't got any content relevant to them, or even any content at all. If you want to become an ambassador you need to show companies examples of what you can do and why working with you will be beneficial to them. Create some quality content first, then approach some brands.
What do companies look for in an online brand ambassador?
If you can stand out from the crowd in a positive way, you will have more chance of leaving a good impression, brands will be more likely to remember you.
Ensure all your interactions with the brand are professional and you respond quickly to any questions you may get and if you promise to do something, follow through with it.
If you really want this to be your career, work as if it already is.
Brands will also be looking for good engagement with your followers and the more followers you have, (attained organically) the more you can offer the brands you'd like to work with. If you've already got a good following keep it up! The people who interact with you and your posts will trust your recommendations opinions and in turn are more likely to become customers of the brand you are working with.