Okay…welcome back, friends!
Clearly, my life is chock full of adventure, busyness, creativity…dog mom duties 😂 And honestly, this past weekend, I vowed to do nothing, at least for a day, to let my body rest up after feeling slightly under the weather, and to reset from the “going, going, going” mentality.
If you follow me on social media, you know for the past three days I’ve been posting HELLA content about this photoshoot I did this past Sunday with the Chattanooga-based company Crown Full of Locs/Curls, which is run by my friend Tia Hunt. I represent the curly part of the business as a brand ambassador.
Now, there are TONS of people these days who desire to be influencers, and being a brand ambassador is a good place to start! I actually had someone message me last week, asking where to begin, and I figured I could share my experiences, tips, and thoughts about being a brand ambassador here on the blog!
tip #1: as with anything, be cautious.
I’ve had some businesses reach out to me about being their brand ambassador, and before I DM them, I check out their accounts and their website. If things look legit, but I still want to make sure that they really are, I’ll try to find another brand ambassador for the same business, and message them with questions about the program.
Honestly, there was a company that reached out to me about being a brand ambassador, and I thought I’d done some thorough research, so I bought some merchandise from them. Once I’d made a good amount of sales, I waited for the date my commission would hit my bank account, and it never did. I messaged them, and they never answered. I have yet to try contacting them because it was thankfully just a small amount of money, so really not a big deal in that aspect, but the fact that I put my time, effort, and money into entering their brand ambassador program and posting about it, it was just a lesson I learned in being careful with who I work with.
So, my advice is: do your research! Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the company if you’re unsure of things. Reach out to other people who are also brand ambassadors of the same company to get their insight as well!
tip #2: understand the qualifications and your benefits.
Let’s say there are two companies…
Company A says, “Hey, DM us, we want you to be one of our brand ambassadors!” Then they point you to their website, tell you to buy their stuff and post to apply to be their ambassador, only to have you do all of that, and then never hear from them again; no repost, no comment or like, nothing. And you just spent X amount of dollars on their product!
Company B says, “Hey, DM us, we want you to be our brand ambassador!” and then goes through every step of what you need to do (i.e. how many posts a week, if you get discounted merchandise in the beginning, etc.), if you’ll get a discount code for you followers/family and friends, if/how you’ll get paid, if you’ll get discounts or free merchandise in exchange for you services, etc.
Which company are you more likely to try to be an ambassador for? I hope you chose B! Even if you’re still unsure about if their program is legit, they at least went through all of the qualifications and steps with you to get you started! That would make me feel more comfortable!
Now, every company is different, so I’m not saying if one company doesn’t give you a free gift after five posts, you shouldn’t work with them at all. It’s all up to you, and what you feel comfortable doing. It is your time, money, and effort after all! You want to use it wisely.
tip #3: don’t join just because.
It can be tempting to just jump the gun when a good-looking brand requests you to be an ambassador. Especially if you’re trying to be more of a social media influencer, or if you’re simply wanting to support that specific brand. But, as I said before, you want to be wise about this. If you’re in a season of saving, and you know if you say yes to being an ambassador that you’re going to have to drop a good load of money, don’t say yes, and then not buy anything at all, or just buy one outfit that you post over and over. It’s not fair to you or to the brand that’s depending on you! You may as well be honest; tell them you’re interested, but that right now might not be a good time. Also, let them know that you’d love to be one in the future if they’re still looking for brand ambassadors!
tip #4: try local!
Crown Full of Locs/Curls is a local business where I live, so I feel like it’s easier for me to communicate and work with Tia and her brand because we’re able to meet up for photoshoots, or she can drop something off if she needs to give it to me. If there’s a local brand that you love, or that you’re always investing in, ask them if they need any ambassadors!
Now, because they’re local, I would say that you shouldn’t expect the same amount of benefits from them as you would a corporate brand. Not to say that local brands can’t provide benefits (I definitely get them from Crown Full of Locs!), but if a local business is just getting off the ground, and they’re wanting ambassadors to spread the word and support them, don’t be angry if they’re not just handing out free stuff all the time. Do your part, and I believe that they will follow suit and do theirs! 😊 And that brings me to my next point..
tip #5: “brand ambassador” doesn’t automatically equal “handouts”
Companies and brand ambassadors are in a BUSINESS EXCHANGE. Meaning, just because a company asks you to be an ambassador for them, it doesn’t mean free stuff automatically, or even as you continue on in your partnership with them. Again, each company is different, so you may very well have access to little freebies as you continue your contract with them. I just suggest that you don’t go into it with the immediate mindset to gain free things!
Now, here’s where I brag on Tia a little bit because she’s truly been a great CEO to her ambassadors. She’s not only given us major discounts, but she’s also allowed us to have certain things from the brand so we can take pictures ourselves, and post when we need to. She’s driven around town to meet up with several of us to take pictures for her site, and for ourselves to post so we don’t have the excuse of “I don’t have anything to post.” She’s made photoshoots a fun experience where we get to network, and get to know each other better.
I love being an ambassador for Crown Full of Locs/Curls!
And this isn’t to bash any other brand out there who doesn’t do those things! I’m just expressing what I love about being an ambassador of that brand in particular. Maybe you have your own reasons for loving the brand you’re an ambassador of!
tip #6: ENJOY YOURSELF!
And I guess that’s my last point: make sure you enjoy it! If you’re a brand ambassador, and you find it difficult to really get into the products you’re trying to promote, why stay there? It’s okay to stop, and to find a different brand to promote. Don’t just settle for any company that will take you, or for just a company that you automatically think will make sense for you to be in. Try something new!
I hope these tips were helpful! Glad to be back on the blog train again this week. At this rate, I’ll be blogging through November but hey, I’m not mad about it 🤷🏽♀️