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How To Start A Brand Ambassador Program

Brand Ambassadors cost money and if you don’t have the right setup, you will be wasting money without realizing it. Keep Reading!

A Brand Ambassador is someone who is paid (through a stipend, commission, or product/service) to represent your company/brand. Small Businesses like yours can benefit from having ambassadors because it allows you to reach a wider audience — especially online — and increase sales! However, where a lot of business owners miss the mark is when they don’t have a system in place.

Whether you pay your ambassador via stipend, commission, or product/service, you need to have a plan in place to make that money back at least twice.

Example: You sell clothes. You have a friend that’s a fashion blogger with a thriving following on Instagram. They agree to partner with you. You give them FREE products to wear (worth $150) and post about on their Instagram. No one visits your site. You lost money.

Now there are so many variables to that example I just gave but many small businesses have experienced something similar because (1) there was no real marketing strategy & budget set up and (2) there was no ambassador program system in place.

So here are some things I believe you need to start a brand ambassador program. Take Notes!

The first thing is to create a list of what your ideal customer looks like. This is the person that would be your ambassador. What do they like and dislike? How do they carry themselves? What type of person do you want to represent your brand? You don’t want to ask random people on social media that don’t align with your brand because they just want to milk you dry. Also, one thing to note — large following doesn’t always mean guaranteed sales. 

The next thing is to create your program incentives. As a small business, you may not be able to pay the person a hearty stipend but you can allow them to make money through commission. HOW?

Give them a discount code to promote when they share your product. At the end of each week or each month, they receive a percentage of every sale that came in using that specific code. This pushes the ambassador to put in a little more effort in promoting the product because they benefit from the sale. It’s a win-win for everyone.

After that, you create a set of program policies and put it in a nice little contract. You need to tell the ambassadors EXACTLY what they need to do as well as when, where, and how they need to do it. Explain payment. Explain the program timeframe. Explain early termination. ALLADATSHXT!!! That contract is going to separate the moochers from those that are truly interested in the partnership and willing to do the work it requires to maintain that partnership.

EXAMPLE

  • Program Timeframe – 3 months 
  • Salary – 5% Commission per sale w/ code BA2021 
  • Instagram Promo – 2 posts per week (one on feed, one on story), tag @lolathemanager in each post and caption, use hashtag #LolaAmbassador2021 in each post, posts on feed must stay there permanently for the duration of program
  • Promotional Material – 1 FREE item of your choice will be shipped free of charge at start of the program, if no sales equal to or greater than the cost of the free item is generated, no other product will be sent out.

Another incentive is giving the brand ambassador a discount code to use for when they want to make their own purchases from you.

If you gave them a 5% off code to use for promotional purposes, give them a 10% off code for personal use. And no, they would not promo the personal code because that decreases their commission. Also, you can put that they can’t do that in a contract.

Then you want to create an application or way for people to show interest in your program. For example, you can create a Google Form where prospects provide their name, contact information, social media details, and answer the “why do you want to be a brand ambassador for our company”. Have a deadline for people to apply, look through all the applications, and then select the ones you believe will be the best fit for your company.

And lastly, advertise that you are looking for brand ambassadors via social media or newsletters (if you do email marketing). You may be tempted to just share the big news with your friends and family in hopes that one of them applies but remember what I said earlier about your ideal customer. That person may be a stranger and that is okay.

The ultimate goal for your brand ambassador program is to build relationships and increase sales. Your ambassador can potentially get your product in front of someone who wants to collaborate with you in the future, that is why building relationships is important. These ambassadors will put your name in rooms that you are not even in. 

One thing I would say to add the cherry on top would be to offer a “Thank You” gift at the end of the program. Creators often don’t feel celebrated and appreciated so to send an unsolicited Thank You will end things on a good note and like I stated earlier, you never know who they’ll talk to.

I hope this has helped you figure out how to start your own brand ambassador program. Remember, it does not have to be perfect. You’ll learn as you go. This is just a starting guide. Let me know how it goes. I am rooting for you. 

Until Next Time,

LOLA THE MANAGER

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