How to become a brand ambassador

More and more, companies are looking beyond celebrity endorsement deals in favour of ‘real’ people to represent their brand. So could you nab yourself an endorsement deal – and if so, how?

Good news: you no longer have to be Tiger Woods to score a brand ambassadorship. But what does that mean for you, and how do you actually get one? Bootcamp co-founders – and ambassadors of the Destination Gold Coast Content Awards – Georgia Rickard, Lauren Bath and Liz Carlson share five useful pointers.

Step 1: Determine your influence

Think ‘celebrity’ when you picture brand ambassadorships? Think again, says our travel media expert Georgia Rickard: “today’s consumer is cynical and savvy to inauthenticity, which means brands are now often seeking to partner with “the everyman” – localised voices in a community or industry, who are in a position of influence.” Importantly, you don’t need a solid social media following to secure a brand ambassadorship, she adds (though it helps): “if you have a prominent position in your community or are well-known in your industry and can demonstrate as much, you’ve got something to offer.”

 

Step 2. Learn from Britney Spears.

Remember when Britney Spears signed a multi-million dollar deal to endorse Pepsi, and then promptly got snapped drinking Coca Cola? (It was later revealed she was a significant investor in Coca Cola, too. Oops.) Fiascos like that – and the inevitable backlash that ensues – are precisely why you need to get really honest about your motivations for wanting to partner with a brand, says our travel blogging expert, Liz Carlson. “If you’re mostly after cash, freebies or an ego boost, you’re in it for the wrong reasons and risk damaging your own legitimacy – just like Britney did.” Before approaching a brand, get really honest about what you like about the idea of a partnership. “Becoming a brand ambassador should really start with an authentic love of that brand and what it stands for,” Liz continues. “If you don’t fundamentally believe in what they’re doing, don’t align with them.” If only Britney had heeded that advice. As it was, Pepsi fired her and hired a replacement: Beyoncé. As you do.

 

image by Georgia Rickard

“If you’re mostly after cash, freebies or an ego boost, you risk damaging your own legitimacy”

Step 3: Apply the V word

A good brand ambassadorship is a strategic business alignment, designed to benefit both parties by delivering value. So approach it that way. “Roll up your sleeves and spend some serious time coming to grips with the values, goals and needs of your target company, then work out what you can offer that will assist them in achieving those aims,” says our Instagram expert, Lauren Bath. “Do you have an audience that they are looking to talk to? Can you help them sell more of their product or service?” Whatever it is, isolate their needs, and ensure your proposal outlines exactly how you can help them get it. “The key word here is value.”

 

Step 4: Date before you marry

Unless you’re A Really Big Deal, it’s unlikely a company is going to sign you for an on-going endorsement role without working with – or at least getting to know – you first, says Georgia. “Think of it like the courtship of a romantic relationship,” she instructs. “You want to start slowly, with courtesy and respect; ideally, start with an ice-breaking project that allows you to suss each other out without the pressure of long-term commitment.” She suggests pitching an ‘easy win’ to begin with. “For example, you could pitch a series of sponsored posts or a corporate workshop, or offer to host an event.” Then use the opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism, reliability and effectiveness. “If you like each other, things can progress,” she says. “Remember, you’re testing them out too – you don’t want to rush into anything you regret later.”

 

Step 5. Pitch with all guns blazing

Once you’ve built a relationship with a company and have a solid understanding of their needs, develop your pitch. “There’s no set way to do this, although the best pitches demonstrate your clear understanding of how you can add value to a brand, follow a clear structure and are nicely designed,” says Liz. (Hot tip: you can find some great templates simply by Googling ‘pitch deck’.) It’s also important to come equipped with all the right facts and figures, to prove your worth, Liz adds. “If you’re an influencer, collate all the necessary information from Google Analytics on your following’s impressions, reach, and engagement, with an explanation on how that all translates to value for your chosen brand.” When you’re happy with your pitch, and you’ve walked your potential new client through your proposition, the decision is out of your hands – and whatever the outcome, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can to nail your proposal.

 

 

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