Brand ambassador sounds like a political post, but it is, in reality, a job that almost anyone can do. In fact, once most know a bit more about it, it is a job they want to do!
It can include liquor demo jobs in which you simply pour out samples, offer them to would-be buyers and earn tidy sums for your time and effort. Yet, it might also be a full-time travel job, such as one man who earned $2k per week traveling around the U.S. in an RV to promote a pet food brand. As the one expert from Monster.com said, “Sounds too good to be true? It’s legit, my friends.”
The thing about this job is that it can be many different things. Yet, whether you are hired by a global brand (think Coke or Nike) or you are creating a sort of DIY brand ambassador job with a blog or YouTube channel, it is all about “reach”.
Whether you are looking to be someone who introduces, promotes and helps grow a corporate brand or a personal one, you have to have a lot of reach or influence. That means you need a lot of followers on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. And that means doing the initial legwork to create the following, and that means blogging.
Blogs and Brand Ambassadors
It used to be said that any professional or business without a website was doomed to failure. The rise of the Internet and the death of the printed yellow pages created a situation in which any entity without a web presence may as well not exist at all. If someone needs something (no matter what it is), they use a computer or device to find it. Thus, you must have presence online.
Yet, that paradigm has altered a bit. Today, you can have a presence using something like a WordPress blog or a social media presence. A website is not an absolute must. So, don’t think you have to begin your career as a brand ambassador by first building a complex and fully functional website.
Do, however, create a blog.
It is a foundational platform that you can use to say what you have to say and to begin building credibility. A blog is a good path to SEO or search engine optimization because it uses the amounts of text needed to grab the attention of search engine crawlers. You have copy, headers, titles and tags that can all be full of the right keywords for the brand or industry in which you wish to become an influencer and eventual brand ambassador.
Before we get too far ahead and start to hear more terms and technicalities, let’s dial it back a bit and review the whole brand ambassador process.
A Quick Look at You Becoming a Brand Ambassador
First, you must have that audience. You get it by being someone who is recognized as trustworthy in terms of your opinions or comments about a specific industry. For our example, let’s say it is about skincare and makeup.
So, you have a blog in which you do product reviews. Let’s say you also make YouTube videos about the products or using them. You write blogs offering skincare tips, in-depth looks at ingredients to avoid, and a few other relevant topics. You also make companion videos. You create a Facebook or Twitter account and start to develop a following on one or more of these social media platforms. Through them, you talk about new blogs or videos and you interact with the public.
Soon, you might catch the attention of a company that you consistently review favorably. They might “Like” you and then get in touch when they realize that you are helping to amplify their content or make more people aware of their product lines. They may sponsor a few blogs and supply free goods for you to review.
By this time, it is clear that you are on the road to becoming a brand advocate or ambassador, and certain brands will offer cash support to the blog or video channel rather than simply giving you free goods.
Is that the end of it? No, because your blog or vlog might have higher viewership, it is going to also catch the attention of Google and/or YouTube who help you monetize it with advertising space that is paid for by other, relevant bloggers or brands.
Blogs Equal Brand and Persona and Big Brands Want That
The work you do establishing yourself as a blogger with insight into a specific niche or industry is the first part of becoming a highly paid brand ambassador. Brands really want someone who understands their audience. Your goal is to “strike a chord” and build those numbers or get that reach we talked about earlier.
You have to emphasize trust with your readers, though. You have to be all about credibility. If it is obvious that you are aiming at becoming a mouthpiece for one or two specific brands, readers walk away. Instead, you need to show that you know something about your subject area and speak to your intended audience in a way that they value.
Then, the brands come.
That makes it sound like there is a lot of luck involved, and in reality there is, and then there isn’t. This is because you can reverse engineer your time spent developing your “reach” or audience by first identifying the brands you would like to see come calling.
Though, one expert says that “Being a brand ambassador might actually happen organically and naturally. For example, if you’re frequently posting pics of you rocking your favorite shoes, the brand’s social media team will hopefully reach out, and either gift you with free product for you to feature or offer an opportunity to become a brand advocate.”
That’s great, but you can start by identifying the brands you hope to be an ambassador for and build your own brand and persona as a good partner or reflection of them. As an example, let’s say you have two or three premium cosmetic brands as your ideal partners. You hope to become a paid or compensated brand ambassador of theirs someday. So, you look at the images and terms they emphasize in their marketing and product descriptions. You can then reflect those in your own work. You might emphasize certain ingredients in your blogs. Do comparison videos of their products against the lesser quality or non-organic brands, and so on.
You will always have to tag your chosen brands in the posts as this makes it easier for their teams to find your blogs, videos or images.
If you get it right, the PR people and social media teams from those brands will eventually hear or see your work. Your compensation can, as we said, be limited to some products that make it into your blogs, but it can also be sponsorship and work as a brand ambassador.
And what might that mean in terms of earnings? Essentially, you get paid per post by the brands that you will be promoting. The world’s highest earning ambassadors and bloggers can see thousands just for a single post. This is because they have reach ad influence, and their commenting on a product can draw an immense amount of attention.
Keep in mind that the leading influencers and brand ambassadors have millions of people following or reading their work. Still one famous fashion blogger, “Danielle Bernstein of @weworewhat has amassed over 1 million followers” and the brands paying her for sponsored content might fork over $5k for something like a single shot on Instagram along with well designed hashtags to accompany it.
Don’t forget that a heavily read blog with a lot of reach is also the ideal blog for affiliate marketing, too. As you do the work to reverse engineer the brands you wish to promote or advocated, you can also put on your thinking hat about affiliate marketing that might sync well with your work.
For example, if we stick with that organic skincare concept, you can then look at the top affiliate marketing opportunities for beauty bloggers. For example, many brands have popular affiliate options, such as the e.l.f. brand’s affiliate program, Sigma beauty’s popular makeup brushes, or brands like Benefit, and hundreds more. But you will also find options for using your blog to embed links to products on sites like Amazon. Let’s say you like a certain brand’s products, you try to get their interest as a brand ambassador, but even with a direct communication, they turn you down.
Now, you have two ways to think about the situation. You can embed a link to their site in your blogs or comments, or you can embed links to your Amazon affiliate page for their products. In other words, you can earn from them as a compensated brand ambassador or you can earn through an affiliate option.
The choice is yours, and using affiliate links is a great way to boost income from blogging until your chosen brands recognize you as a valuable ambassador.
Offline Brand Ambassadors
Naturally, there are also the offline brand ambassadors who are paid to attend or participate in real world events in order to promote specific brands. For example, one man has done this work for three years and earns around $700 each week. However, he says it is not for the introverted as you must “have a friendly and outgoing personality and want to get paid for it”. In this context, and according to the man just mentioned, a brand ambassador “is someone who is hired to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so they help to raise brand awareness and provide consumers with a memorable face-to-face experience with the brand.”
This looks a lot like the online brand ambassador with the barrier of the Internet removed. The goal is to shine a favorable light on a product or company and make more aware of it. The end result is that a favorable impression is made and a potential new client created.
And just like online brand ambassadors are freelance bloggers (for the most part), the real world brand ambassadors are freelancers, as well. Their work is really uncomplicated and involves:
- Learning about the brand and/or product or service
- Going places where interested parties want to try or hear about the brand
- Giving away samples of food, drink or “swag” relating to the brand
- Setting up and breaking down displays emphasizing the brand
- Positively interacting with the public to raise awareness of the brand (including wearing branded clothing)
Yet, many of the brand ambassador jobs in this format are done in groups. For example, you might attend a conference and see a display of a specific beverage or product. The brand ambassadors in this instance are more like product demonstrators or marketers. There is nothing wrong with taking such fun and appealing work, and it can pay in the area of $15 per hour. It is not, however, as potentially lucrative as developing yourself as an online brand ambassador.
While you might roll the real world work you do into an online format – promoting a specific brand by day and also blogging about it as an influencer by night – not many people have attempted this. This is because it may seem like you lack authenticity if you are a seeming employee or overly dedicated advocate.
Doing real world liquor demo jobs or sales demonstrator jobs can be fun ways to get out and about and earn some money. But if you are eager to work in an industry you are passionate about, talk about the brands you love, and help them to achieve their goals, the online brand ambassador gig is for you. It is a good gig no matter what because it can often mean free products and lots of interaction with people who like the same brands or industries you do. Fun and rewarding…yes, a brand ambassador is a good gig!