I'm frequently asked questions about working with brands or how to become a brand ambassador so I thought I'd share some ideas to help make your dream a reality. I'll bring in some tips from other social media pros that have been brand ambassadors to give you an idea where you can get started working with a brand. I previously wrote The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Brand Ambassador which was a good start to talking about being a brand ambassador but I thought you'd love to hear more.
I've worked with big companies such as T.J.Maxx, Post Cereal, Nestle, Adobe, Motorola, McDonald's, and Kimpton Hotels. Each arrangement has been unique. First, I'd like to give you the basics for getting prepared to work as a brand ambassador.
Primp your profile
It's important to have a great profile that honestly showcases who you are and what you do. Make sure to define your niche so brands will see that you're a good fit for them.
Load up your LinkedIn
Brand representatives use LinkedIn to check out your work, profile, and connections. If you've worked with brands or agencies, ask for references from them to add to your credibility.
Make sure you keep your LinkedIn presence fresh with updates and adding your most recent projects, videos, and blog updates.
Use a professional email address
All your communication needs to be as professional as possible and that starts from the first connection. Create an email address with your name on gmail or outlook that's professional and make it easy for people to connect with you.
Don't be tacky
If someone is working with a brand, don't ask them to connect you with their contact. Everyone works hard to make their connections, its too much to ask of someone.
A photo posted by Social Media Author ?? (@pegfitzpatrick) on
Create a short elevator pitch
Be ready to explain what you do in a concise and interesting way. No rambling on your one chance to make an impression.
You have a very brief amount of time to make that great first impression. Have a short but interesting mini speech prepared so when someone asks what you do, you can say that I am passionate about social media and I wrote a book about it!
Shoot for 25 – 30 words that will draw your listener in and pique their interest. Practice this and finesse it so that you are comfortable sharing this the moment you have the opportunity.
Have business cards
Create something interesting with all your important details so people can contact you.
Make sure to collect other people's cards and follow up with an email, tweet to say hello, or LinkedIn connection with a personal note.
Create a media kit
Being ready before you send your pitch to a brand is important! Create a media kit that you can have as a download or PDF to send to a brand representative.
Your media kit can include the following:
- Describe your blog
- Show your social media profile stats
- Share blog stats and audience demographics
- Include the services or sponsorship possibilities
- Add photos to show your story and who you are
- Include testimonials from people that you've worked with
So the big question! How can you actually connect with a real person at a real brand? There's several ways to go about it.
- If you're going to an event or conference, check the sponsor list.
- Use social media! Connect online with brands by sharing their content and starting conversations with them.
- Search LinkedIn for brand representatives.
- Use your business card collection and email people to deepen the connection.
- Send a pitch email with an idea that you have to work with the brand. Be creative!
While it may look easy to be a brand ambassador, it's a lot of work to make everything seem effortless. There's no being sick or tired – you have to be ready and prepared to fulfill your contract.
The month that I worked for Motorola was amazing. We traveled all over South America to six different cities – I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. But it was really hard and exhausting. Sometimes we were in two cities in one day and I needed a lot of different phone chargers! Finding WiFi was crucial at all times.
These four ladies have all created fantastic social media presences that have allowed them the opportunity to work from a wide variety of brands such as Best Best, Target, Coca Cola, Discover Cards, Disney, HGTV, Ritz Carlton Hotels, and more! In short, they have a lot of experience so listen up!
Once you've connected with a brand you'll need to think about these things.
From Amy Locurto of Living Locurto:
Get in my belly!!! Make these pronto! ? Last day to enter my $400 value ? @cocacola & @oreo giveaway the blog! #linkinbio #chocolatelove #oreolover #oreocheesecake #homebowlherocontest #homebowlhero #iworkwithcoke #ad
A photo posted by Amy Locurto • DIY Blog (@livinglocurto) on
Find out what the job of Brand Ambassador means exactly. I have found it is different for each company.
Questions to ask so you can determine if you think it’s a good fit and worth the time you will take away from building your own brand.
1. What do they want you to do? Are you to be a spokesperson for the company by using their products and introducing them to your audience? Will you be creating content for their website or for your website?
2. What will your audience think? Is this a natural fit with your brand? Will it be weird if all of the sudden you start talking about technology when you usually write about food?
2. Is this a paid job? Are you getting paid in cash or is it an exchange of work for travel or products? If it’s not paid in goods or money, are you okay doing free work for “exposure”?
3. What are the terms? Are you to work with them exclusively and for how long?
From Michelle Kay of Domestic Executive Online:
Consider your tax implications. Make sure you're not paying them for advertising.
Also a brand ambassador is usually requires exclusivity, what are the terms of that and have you thought of the business you might lose in relation to that.”
A photo posted by Michelle Kay (@thedomesticexec) on
From Jodi Okun of College Financial Aid Advisors
A photo posted by Jodi Okun ?? Entrepreneur (@jodiokun) on
- Find a company that aligns with your brand and complements each other’s values.
- Work together to create messaging that both the brand and you can express on all social, digital and speaking platforms.
- You never know where you might find an opportunity to be a brand ambassador. I met mine on Twitter.
- It all starts with passion. You need to love your brand to be a successful brand ambassador.
From Rebekah Radice
This is how you do a Twitter chat! Chatting it up with @anntranfashion and @jodiokun at @TheRitzCarlton Marina Del Rey a couple of weeks ago. Reminiscing about that lovely night as we prepare for another exciting #InfluencerChat at 5pm PT / 8pm ET tonight. Hop over to Twitter and join us then!
A photo posted by Rebekah Radice ⚡ Social Media (@rebekahradice) on
Working with brands as a community advocate can be an intriguing and daunting proposition. Exciting in the opportunity, but nerve-wracking when getting started.
Sure, there is some information around the topic. But for the most part, the idea of collaborating with brands seems a mystery.
But it doesn't have to be. Knowing how to identify the right brands (ones aligned with your mission and vision), where to begin outreach, and how to position your value proposition isn't as hard as you think.
I've worked with brands from The Ritz Carlton to Better Homes and Gardens and Sprout Social, and while each relationship is different, many things remain the same.
Below are a few things I've learned along the way. Each one is important to consider before you embark on your advocate journey.
- Only work with brands that share your culture and values. It might be tempting to jump at every (and any) opportunity that comes your way. This is a huge mistake. Know what matters to your business and how that brand will help further your mission. If there isn't a cultural fit, you're in for a bumpy ride.
- Take a look at the content you're currently sharing. What do you see? Is it someone you'd want to hire to represent your business? Now put yourself in the shoes of the brand. Ensure that your content – from your blog to social channels – aligns with your industry/niche.
- Know your limitations and don't hesitate to spell them out. What are you willing to give? 2 tweets, 1 Instagram post and 1 Facebook post per campaign? Speak up and get it in writing. There's nothing worse than a brand relationship built on false expectations.
- Begin to immediately build a reputation in your field. Follow brands on Twitter, get interactive with them on Facebook. No one is going to speak up on your behalf. If you want to gain the competitive edge, you'll need to step up your efforts, and fast.
I hope this article gives you some ideas for how you can shape up your social media and connect with a brand. Get everything in order on your blog and social media and start making connections! I wish you lots of luck.