How to become a brand ambassador is one of those mysterious questions nobody can answer straight away. The truth is, everyone’s path to becoming a brand ambassador will be different, just like becoming an influencer or content creator.
However, while there is no one-answer-fits-all, there is a roadmap to becoming a brand ambassador that you can follow to get you where you want to be. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in!
What is a brand ambassador?
Brand ambassadors are people passionate about your brand, products, and services so much that they promote your brand to their social circle via worth of mouth. These people are the superfans of your brand, brand partners, and they work hard to increase your brand awareness and promote your brand to other people and convince them to choose your products and services.
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies. Even 90% of people trust brand recommendations from other people, even if they’re strangers. So, having a team (even a small one!) of brand ambassadors advocating for your brand might be one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers.
Carole Bardasano is an expert marketer and she’s got a list of what you should and should NOT be doing to market your course. Get her tips in one ebook—for free.
How do you become a brand ambassador?
Some people might become brand ambassadors accidentally. They try a product and a service, and they love it so much that anytime someone asks for a recommendation, they recommend that product or service. However, there is also a more official way to become a brand ambassador. Many brands have ambassador programs that allow people passionate about their offers to join their team of ambassadors. In most cases, the brand ambassadors who get accepted are offered a promotional code or a hefty discount on their products and services in exchange for their work promoting the brand.
Brand ambassador requirements
There are no official, one-fits-all requirements to becoming a brand ambassador. Unlike influencers, brand ambassadors don’t need a huge following, which makes the role accessible to more people. However, there are certain qualities you want to display if you want to become a brand ambassador with your favorite brand:
- Engaged: You have to be engaging with the brand and your own audience and online community. Your audience doesn’t have to be big, but the brands must see that you have a connection with it.
- Marketing knowledge: While it’s not a requirement, to be an effective brand ambassador, you want to know at least the basic things about marketing.
- Communication skills: As a brand ambassador, you’ll be talking with people a lot, even if only through online platforms. So, you’ll need to be great at communicating with confidence and sharing your excitement about the brand you represent.
- Professionalism: How you talk and behave online will depend on which industry you’re in. But being professional and polite when communicating with your audience online is the key to landing brand ambassador roles, as that indicates that you’re mature and reliable.
Sometimes, the brand might have specific requirements when you apply to their ambassador program. For example, you might need to be on a specific platform like Twitter or in a location like Los Angeles or Austin.
These details will always be listed before you apply, so make sure you read the application throughout.
Brand ambassador vs. an influencer
Influencers and brand ambassadors tend to be regarded as the same thing. However, while both influencers and brand ambassadors utilize word of mouth marketing, there are slight differences between the two. Influencers tend to be people with large followings who get paid directly from the brand on social media campaigns they do for the said brand. They tend to receive free products and affiliate links for products and services.
Brand ambassadors, on the other hand, have smaller social media followings. Some brands don’t have any social media following requirements and accept people based on their location or which university they attend.
When it comes to getting paid, brand ambassadors don’t get paid directly for their promotion. Instead, they might get a referral link or join the affiliate program, which allows them to get paid depending on how much business they bring in.
How to become a brand ambassador: a step-by-step guide
So, are you ready to become a brand ambassador? Let’s dive into our simple step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Step 1: Pick an industry
First, you’ll want to decide which industry you want to specialize in. While you can be a generalist and advocate for brands in various niches, you’ll have better success as a brand ambassador if you pick one industry and become a trusted source for that industry. Your audience will trust your opinion on a product or service more if you specialize in one niche.
For example: Let’s say you love drawing and share your love for it online. You choose to become a brand ambassador for your favorite acrylic paint brand, as you’ve been using their product for years. Later, you might also join a brand ambassador program for your favorite monthly painting subscription box and join the affiliate program for this charcoal drawing course.
Because your audience is interested in the same things you do—painting—they’ll be much more receptive to your recommendations of the brands you’re an ambassador for. They might not be as inclined to buy what you’re promoting if you chose to become a brand ambassador for a window cleaning product company (however, if you’re in a lifestyle, home decor, or mommy niche, this brand would work great!).
Step 2: Build your personal brand
Your personal brand is important for becoming a great brand ambassador. Your online personality helps you stand out in a crowd and find ways to connect with your audience on a deeper, more personal level.
When companies are looking for brand ambassadors, they want to find people who represent what their brand stands for and what kind of lifestyle it represents. So, it’s smart to tailor your personal brand to fit the image of what your favorite brands are looking for.
For example: Let’s say you’re into fashion and want to work with a local minimalist modern fashion brand as their ambassador. Cultivating a minimalistic, modern style that fits with that brand’s aesthetic will help you show them that you understand what their brand is about.
Also, tailoring your personal brand to fit the brands you want to advocate for will help you discover an audience who is interested in your recommendations. If you share minimalist modern fashion content on your socials, people with similar interests will follow you, increasing your chances of being a more successful brand ambassador.
Some other things to consider when crafting your personal brand online:
- Language: Think about what kind of language you use within your content. While occasional swearing and slang are OK for some industries, if you’re trying to work with brands in a marketing niche, it might not work.
- Content: You want to keep a good balance between personal, relatable, and intimate content and promotional stuff you share so that your audience would still feel like they’re following a genuine human being.
Step 3: Choose compatible brands
Next, go through all the brands in your industry and choose potential brands you love and would love to work with. Because you’ll be advocating for the brands, you get to be picky and decide which ones match your values and beliefs.
Look through their website, blog (if they have one), and social media accounts. What kind of people represent their brand? Are they similar or very different from who you are? You might want to create a spreadsheet and note down all the brands you would love to work with and crucial details about them and their ambassador programs. Having all the information in one place will allow you to decide easier on whether you want to work with the brand.
Brands with ambassador programs
We have a couple of suggestions for brands looking for ambassadors:
Sand Cloud is a lifestyle brand with a mission to help preserve marine life. They sell beach accessories like towels and blankets, a variety of home accessories like bathrobes and towels, and home textiles. If you join their ambassador program, you’ll receive exclusive discounts on their products and will have a chance to be featured on their Instagram.
Happy Earth is a sustainable lifestyle brand focused on saving the planet. They sell a variety of sustainable clothing, accessories, and goods like reusable water bottles and blankets. If you join their ambassador program, you’ll get a 15% discount on their goods that you can share with your family, friends, and followers. Also, they offer free swag, and there is a chance to earn a 10% commission on each sale you make as you move up their ambassador ranks.
For fashion lovers, Brava Fabrics is a sustainable clothing brand based in Spain. They have a unique selection of high-quality clothing. To join their ambassador program, you must have at least 500 followers on Instagram and TikTok. Their perks include free products, a 20% discount code for your personal use, and a 15% discount for your friends, family, and followers. Also, for every purchase made with your discount code, you earn credit for their online store.
Morphe is one of the biggest make-up brands worldwide, and they sell everything from eyeshadows, foundation, and lipsticks to make-up brushes. Their ambassador program doesn’t list all the perks and benefits, but they’re always looking for ambassadors. You might get a chance to get your hands on exclusive discount codes, free products and get exposure on their social media accounts.
Step 4: Engage
Once you know what brands you want to work with, it’s time to build your online presence and get noticed. Spend time genuinely engaging with your audience on your social media platforms. See what people love and what they want to see more of from you.
Don’t forget to network with other people in your industry, showing up in the comments on their social media posts to genuinely build relationships. This will show the brands that you have great communication skills and are confident in getting out there and talking with people about things you love.
You might also want to start engaging with your favorite brands. Follow them on social media, like their content, and comment on their posts and videos. A great way to get noticed is to participate in any trends, giveaways, and challenges the brands do on their socials.
Chances are that the brands will notice you, especially if you’re targeting small businesses. They’ll be flattered by your genuine effort to engage with their brand, and when you reach out to them when the time comes, they’ll be more willing to work with you.
Step 5: Show them why
Show the brands you love and are interested in why working with you would benefit their business. One way to do it is by creating high-quality, eye-catching content for your platforms.
Showcase your content skills by creating high-quality graphics and sharing amazing pictures with your audience. Utilize hashtags on platforms that use them, which will tell the brands that you have a basic understanding of marketing and how social media works.
The more you post, the better you’ll become at creating high-quality content. You’ll also develop many skills, including writing, video editing, and photography, as you improve the content you share with your audience.
You might also want to create content that focuses on promoting your favorite brands. It’s a very efficient way to showcase the brands you want to advocate for to choose you as their ambassador.
When you share your favorite tools, products, or services, always tag the brand on social media and use appropriate hashtags. Be the salesperson for the brand, tell your audience what you love about the products or services, and always make sure to be honest.
Step 6: Become an ambassador
Finally, it’s time for the last step! When you’re confident in what you have to offer, apply to become an ambassador with the brands that interest you the most.
Some brands will have dedicated pages with application links to apply to become a brand ambassador. Others might call it a “Refer a friend” or a “Become an affiliate” on their website, so keep an eye out for those keywords.
If you would love to become an ambassador for the brand, but they don’t have an application form on their website, find their email and reach out to them yourself. Be professional and to the point, and highlight what benefits they’ll get from having you as their ambassador.
The worst thing that can happen is them saying no or not replying. But, at least you’ll put yourself out there. And you can never know when that brand might circle back to you in the future and offer an opportunity to become their brand ambassador.
Successful brand ambassadors are confident and fearless in putting themselves out there and getting what they want.
Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions people have.
What does a brand ambassador do?
Brand ambassadors use word of mouth to promote their favorite brand to their social circle and earn money from the leads they bring to the business. They might promote the brand online via different social media platforms, blog posts, and YouTube videos. Or, they might be working in person, on a university campus, or in a certain location.
Do brand ambassadors get paid?
Not always. The payment system depends on the brand you work with and how they choose to reward their brand ambassadors. Some brands offer discount codes on their products and services. Others give out referral codes and affiliate links, allowing the brand ambassadors to make money through the leads they bring in. Some brands might choose to do giveaways for their ambassadors and give out their products this way. As you can see, making money as a brand ambassador is not as straightforward and can vary greatly depending on what brands you work with.
How many followers do you need to be a brand ambassador?
Usually, to become a brand ambassador, there are no follower restrictions. The key is to have an engaged audience, even if small. And sometimes, if your role as brand ambassador is not online, then the social media presence doesn’t matter.
How does a brand ambassador get chosen?
Each brand has different criteria for how they choose their brand ambassadors. However, there are certain general guidelines that might help you get chosen:
- Professionalism: brands want to work with people who are professional, reliable and, polite, always ready to collaborate.
- Passion: to be a brand ambassador and advocate for a brand, you need to be passionate about their product and services and convey your passion to your audience.
- Communication: brand ambassadors must be communicators at heart as they’ll spend a lot of time discussing products and services with other people.
- Confidence: brands want to work with confident people who can show up online and in person to advocate for them with passion and honesty.