Earning Money as a Brand Ambassador

(As featured on Monster.ca)

When it comes to corporate brands as well as personal ones, reach is a numbers game.

And having a lot of reach in terms of your following – so a high number of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube followers – can give you the kind of leverage it takes to become a Brand Ambassador.

Sounds too good to be true? It’s legit, my friends.

So whether this is your full-time job or a part-time gig, partnering with a brand to become an ambassador is serious business. And it’s win-win: companies are recruiting on-brand influencers to help amplify their content and boost awareness, while people with substantial reach are becoming brand advocates to earn supplementary income.

Brand advocates and influential marketing aren’t new concepts, but social media has completely revolutionized the game, making it more lucrative and a more “democratic” possibility.

The best part? Becoming a brand ambassador opens up a whole new opportunity and revenue stream for people who work as independent contractors. And with many millennials today opting for freelance work over corporate life, becoming a brand ambassador can become a career.

Find out how to become a brand ambassador and what some of the duties include.

The business of blogging

It seems that today everyone and their dog has a blog (no, really: have you heard of Menswear Dog? He has almost 250k followers on Instagram!).

People wonder how bloggers make money – because let me tell you, some of the top-tier bloggers make a whole lot of it.

As a blogger, you’re creating your brand and persona. It’s not even necessarily about being the best writer or photographer; it’s really about resonating with an audience so large, that you amass a large following.

If you strike a chord and tap into the right audience, you can even accumulate a large following thanks to an Instagram or YouTube account alone!

Look at celebrity commentator and now legit celebrity Josh “The Fat Jewish” Ostrovsky, for example. (This is really his handle, so no hate mail please!)
His Instagram account is 7 million people strong, all because his pop culture-based humour strikes a chord with people and always goes viral. He now boasts sponsorships reportedly valued at up to $6,000 a post!

And of course, there are some of the most influential bloggers in the fashion industry, many of them also considered “lifestyle” bloggers. Danielle Bernstein of @weworewhat has amassed over 1 million followers, and according to a 2015 article in Harper’s Bazaar, the cost of a single piece of sponsored content (i.e. one Instagram shot) on her feed ranges from $5,000 to $15,000. (Sponsored content is usually designated with something like #ad or #sponsored on the post).

Now you don’t need that large of an audience, but having an Instagram following in the 5k to 20k range will garner you more leverage.

Build your audience

Establishing an online presence is all about credibility and trust – it’s literally your online “currency.” Work on increasing your audience because that’s your key to being approved as a brand ambassador. Focus on building your Instagram, Twitter or YouTube channels primarily, as they are the most conducive to being a brand ambassador.

Identify the brands you would partner with

Being a brand ambassador might actually happen organically and naturally. For example, if you’re frequently posting pics of you rocking your favourite 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.

Whoever you choose to represent should ideally be a brand you love. It really needs to feel natural and never “sales pitchy.”

If you are representing or featuring a brand that is completely off or disconnected with your personal brand, or if you start featuring products in your social media posts and it seems inauthentic, your audience will be the first to notice and you will likely lose credibility as a result.

This can hurt and damage your clout – and remember, as a social media personality, your clout is everything. This is your audience’s trust and the minute this is questioned, your fans will no longer trust you.

Contact brands’ PR teams

If you’ve pinpointed the brands that interest you, email their PR and/or Marketing teams. Or reach out on their social media channels with your links and profile (it’s easy to send them a note on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), and let them know you’re interested in representing them or partnering up.

Take initiative and post, post, post

If you continue to post (quality!) pics of you wearing or using an item, make sure to tag the brand’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram channel to make it easier for them to find you.

And use the designated hashtag, if applicable.

Many brands are currently using brand advocacy platforms to find their biggest fans, so you want to ensure your content is findable and rich.

Influencer marketing has become an important focus for brands today – for starters, social media and public relations have merged into one and the same department for many brands. As well, user-generated content (photos that a fan or customer takes and posts on his/her channels) is considered “earned media” and has become a priority in brands’ battles for awareness and consideration in the marketplace.

Apply & search on job sites (like Monster)

Job sites post “Brand Ambassador” opportunities, so make sure to check them out regularly. You can see updated listings of Brand Ambassador openings here:

The best part about them is they can be done remotely, so location usually isn’t among the criteria.

Join Facebook Ambassador Groups

Search Facebook for your local “Ambassador Groups”. Many brands post in these groups, especially if they’re looking for offline brand ambassadors or if they need people from specific regions.

This will also allow you to meet and communicate with other ambassadors.

Brand ambassador duties

So what might these include?

  • Posting on your social media and/or blog, linking to product(s)
  • Going to an event or trip on behalf on a brand
  • Speaking at conferences or in-store, about a brand
  • Serving as an event host, in-store or at another specified location
  • Handing out samples in experiential campaigns, at an event or on the street

Go forth and influence

The great part about becoming a brand ambassador is there’s no risk involved: you can try this as a “side hustle” while maintaining a full-time job and see where it goes. The new world of social media and PR have really opened up a opportunities for anyone who wants to build an audience and hone their networking and business savvy skills.

One of the most effective ways to boost a brand’s credibility is by tapping into their own satisfied customers and fans, and turning their love for the brand into powerful word of mouth marketing. So it’s win-win for everyone!

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