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    What is a Brand Ambassador Anyway and Does Your Business Need One?

    What is a Brand Ambassador?

    A brand ambassador is a person who represents and talks about your company in a positive way. They are a visual representation of your brand, embodying its appearance, values and ethics.

    They endorse your brand and ideally should have ‘social influence’ eg a good following on social media, you tube, blogs etc. Brand Ambassadors can be absolute gold for your business if you pick the ‘right’ ones.

    Do you need one?

    You might think your business is too small or too new to use a brand ambassador, but a good one can help jump-start your business by building brand awareness with a much broader reach into new social circles.

    Brand ambassadors can be a very cost effective means of getting your brand ‘out there’.

    What value do they add?

    Brand ambassadors help humanise your product. It’s a fact that people like to buy from people. Having someone emotionally engaged with your products and singing your praises to potential customers is a fantastic marketing tool.

    Brand ambassadors expose your brand to their social circles. These are people who already trust the messenger, so you’ve got a captive audience.

    Often brands will have more than one brand ambassador as more brand ambassadors means more social circles – that means more positive comments about your business and more exposure.

    How does it all work?

    Many brand ambassadors are happy to be compensated with free products or discounts because they already love what your business is about.

    An influential brand ambassador will probably want more than free products. They may be a paid sponsor who will speak on behalf of your brand. A professional brand ambassador will promote you across a number of online platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blog etc) and may even promote you offline eg trade shows, expos.

    It should be clear they are a brand ambassador but they should also genuinely like or love your brand and its products.

    Essentially, they use their social influence to get exposure for your brand. The terms between a brand ambassador and the brand will be customised and a contract should be drawn up so both parties are clear about what is expected.

    Who should you choose?

    When it comes to finding a good brand ambassador you need to choose someone who is passionate about your brand. They need to have an ability to connect with an audience of potential customers at a personal level.

    Do your homework. A little effort at the beginning might save you a world of trouble further down the track. Google them, check out their social media (all of them) to make sure they are projecting an image that fits with your brand. If you are selling high end jewellery you may not want a Brand Ambassador who regularly posts near nude photos on Instagram (or might you?) Either way, check them out as thoroughly as you can.

    Many brands run brand ambassador searches on their social media (eg Facebook, Instagram) asking entrants to post photos and use a specific hashtag so the entries can be tracked. It’s also worth searching for suitable brand ambassadors and approaching them directly.

    Whichever way you choose it’s a good idea to test their skills with your products before signing a contract. Send some products and ask them to send you 2 – 3 images a week for each item. This is a great way to evaluate their staging and photography skills; but it will also give you an indication of whether they can actually commit to taking photos every week for you.

    The contract

    Get your brand ambassador to sign a contract. Some things to consider:

    • Will there be a non compete clause?
    • How often photos are to be taken and will they be approved for use first by you?
    • Who owns the images?
    • Will the images be edited or used in advertising?
    • How long the contract is for? (6 months is common).
    • How does either party break the contract?
    • What happens to any products not yet featured, will they be returned? At whose cost?

    Nurture the relationship

    Once you’ve selected your brand ambassadors, it’s important to build a good relationship with them. Let them know you want to build a mutually beneficial partnership. This should be an enjoyable experience for them, not a chore. Tell them know how much you appreciate the work they are doing for you.

    Summary

    Brand ambassadors can be extremely powerful tools for businesses. In a world where consumers are being bombarded with ads, brand ambassadors can provide social validation and authenticity which might just set your brand apart from the rest.

    Bonus Tip: Check out '20 Tips To Get Your Business Started On Instagram' if you are new to Instagram and still trying to find your way.

    Photos are of Dark Angel Jewellery Brand Ambassadors; Siddy Pain, Rachel and Shayron.

     

    Siddy PainShayronRachel