I've worked as a brand ambassador, and I've had people ask me how that came about. While I can't divulge all my secrets, I'd love to share a few tips on how I feel a brand finds brand ambassadors. A brand ambassador is like a bridge to the brand for the public, a cheerleader, and a positive presence online. These are things you can do to create a foundation to become a brand ambassador. Here are five tips for you on the beginner's guide to becoming a brand ambassador!
1. Be passionate
Talking about things that you genuinely love and are excited about translates loud and clear online. I love to travel and do it frequently, which is one of the reasons why Kimpton Hotels was such an excellent fit for me. Brand ambassadorship needs to be a good, natural fit for the brand and you!
Your demographics should mirror that of your dream brands and your social media aesthetic would ideally fit the brand content. When it's a natural fit, it's easy to make a pitch to work together.
When you create social media posts, tag brands that are relevant to your post [meaning you've posted their product in the photo] and use their branded hashtag to get their attention. Many brands have their branded hashtags in their Instagram bios. For example, Ulta uses #ultabeauty for their photo tag.
2. Be yourself
Originality is the hallmark of a fantastic brand ambassador. Stand out with your unique content and personality. Sure, it could be scary, but it could also be awe-inspiring. Go for awesome!
I stayed at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston as a Kimpton brand ambassador, and I had one of my daughters, I call them my mini-me's, with me. She loves to express herself by making videos for YouTube and Vine. As my junior ambassador this weekend, she made this video during our trip. Most of the time, I didn't know that she was filming.
Brands are looking for authentic influencers to connect and help them grow brand awareness. You don't need to have hundreds of thousands of followers but engagement matters a lot.
3. Be consistent
Brands need a consistent and reliable presence online, and as a brand ambassador, you can be part of that awesomeness. Talk about the things that you genuinely love, and it may turn into something bigger.
One of the things I love about Kimpton is that they have a great sense of humor. This sign for the dog food says Canine Zero, which is a spin on the hotel's name Nine Zero. So cute!
4. Avoid online drama
Ain't nobody got time for that. Your social media posts will be reviewed by PR agencies and representatives of the brands. Having a positive presence that inspires and entertains your community will speak well for you.
5. Build your online presence
I'm excited that one of my mini-mes was contacted by her favorite charity to become a brand ambassador! Shayla loves doing things for the planet and is a charitable person by nature; she also loves the internet, mainly in the form of YouTube and Tumblr. A cause close to her heart is Tab for a Cause. Tab for a Cause “will take your browser's blank canvases and transform them into a way to donate to charity. Each time you click “new tab” in Chrome or Firefox, the app populates the page with blogs about causes such as education and poverty, as well as advertisements.”
Shayla created a video to support Tab for a Cause during Project for Awesome. Her brand ambassador is essentially an internship with a Silicon Valley tech start-up, a lovely gig for a future computer science major, and huge Nerdfighter.
If you'd like to be a brand ambassador in the future, look at it as a Field of Dreams deal. If build it and they might come. You need to develop your social media presence and know that people are always watching.
One of my very close online friends just landed a huge brand ambassadorship and the brand had been watching her for over a year on all the social media platforms. Brands want to work with the very best, and you'll need to be active on the big social media platforms. I'm active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (which brands use to check your connections and professional experience), and Pinterest. Shayla is active on YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Being active means posting, commenting, and sharing. You'll need to be able to create meaningful, interesting media through words, images, and video.
Don't wait for brands to reach out to you – create a list of brands that you love and reach out to them via direct messages. Be proactive and tell them how much you love their brand. Reaching out via DM will lead to an email conversation so be ready to pitch your brand and idea.
I hope this beginner's guide to becoming a brand ambassador helps you find the brand of your dreams!