One of the first things I had in my mind at the start of last year was: I wanna be a Brand Ambassador. It was a goal that I wanted to be able to check off for my Blog and Brand. To get there I had a few things I knew I needed to do in order to prepare.
Why A Brand Ambassador?
First let’s clear up exactly why being a Brand Ambassador was something I wanted as an Influencer and Brand. Simply put: I as a Blogger agree to create and promote posts for a set time frame on behalf of a Brand that agrees to give me either a set amount of money or product as payment.
A Brand Ambassador is basically when a Blogger or Media Influencer and a Brand enter into a long-term partnership. Long-term could be anywhere from 6 months to a year. There can be an Application Process or even a series of tasks to qualify. The partnership normally includes an agreement for an exchange of content and promotion for either financial compensation or product.
The benefits of becoming a Brand Ambassador go far beyond a steady pay check – even though trust me that’s a big deal! As a Brand Ambassador you gain additional exposure to your personal Blog, an added skill set, experience and support for who you are as an Influencer. It’s like adding typing and dictation to your skills on a resume – something that can set you apart from the rest.
Once I decided I wanted to be a Brand Ambassador I had to be sure I was ready for what that meant. To do that I went through a few steps to prepare myself, my blog and my brand. I wanted to be sure that when it came to standing out as a potential Brand Ambassador I covered all my bases.
Preparation for anything should start closest to home. In the case of becoming a Brand Ambassador that meant taking a look at me – as an Person, Content Creator and Entrepreneur.
Organization is a skill anyone filling out an application have probably seen before. Brands just like any other employer want to know that you have the ability to organize yourself, your work and your schedule to give the best results possible. They want to know that hiring you will give them the best for their investment.
A long-term partnership means adapting to the schedule the Brand sets for each campaign. If they need 2 posts every 2 months you have to be able to insert that content within your personal content and still promote, support and engage throughout it’s run.
Setting deadlines, due dates and planning ahead for any mishaps is something you not only need to do but need to do well. Murphy’s Law can be a big factor in getting things done. Mistakes, changes and delays almost always happen and being prepared to overcome them takes organization.
On top of being organized you will also need to be able to create quality content under pressure.
Your content. As a Blogger, your content will most likely include writing. Your ability to create engaging and relatable content based on given themes and topics will play a major role in your success as an Ambassador. This is where story-telling can play a major role. In the ever evolving business of being an Influencer knowing how to weave the goals of a brand into a natural and organic story is something that will give you an edge.
Companies are turning to Bloggers and Influencers because the old standard of catchy jingles and catch phrases isn’t working anymore. Consumers and customers are looking for the advice and suggestions from people they can relate to. The mom next door or fellow entrepreneur. They are looking to their peers and to be that peer means sharing that advice in a way that is natural to your voice and your platform.
In working with Brands as an Ambassador there are times where you are given no more than an outline of ideas and themes to create an entire post, promotion and follow-up. It isn’t always easy but finding a way to relate that theme to who you are as a person gives you a viewpoint unique to both you and your brand.
Know the Brand
Do your research. I think a portion for nearly every Brand ambassador application I’ve filled out is dedicated to what you know about them as a Brand. They want to know that you are interested in representing their mission, goals and beliefs because you truly understand them – not simply for a check.
To truly be a representation of a Brand you need to know that brand. The simplest way to do this? Research.
• Visit their website.
• Read their mission statement.
• Learn the why behind the brand.
• Understand where they want to be as a business.
• Follow and interact with them on Social Media before you apply.
Prepare Your Blog
Your blog is going to be the home to content for whatever Brand you are representing. Making sure that home is a place that is suitable is something you can prepare for in a few simple ways.
There is nothing worse than searching for content and being sent to a 404 Error Page or some dead link. There are PlugIns that can help you be sure that your site is easy to access for your readers as well as potential partners.
Clean up your site:
• Check for broken links.
• Add redirects where needed.
This is something I honestly did not think of until when my site was hacked a few months ago. It all started when several brands and PR Reps told me they were not receiving my emails. I couldn’t figure out why. Then we realized my emails were being sent to SPAM. Easy fix, right? Wrong.
Nearly a month later I had hundreds of missed emails and was on the verge of being added to a Black List by Google. After a lot of research and what felt like one long phone calls with my host, I found out that my entire site – not just my email – had been hacked. Someone was sending out hundreds of emails per hour from my address and also adding in code on my site itself. This left my content and everything I’d worked for vulnerable.
The fix was adding an additional wall of security to my site. On top of my host’s provided security I invested in SiteLock who was able to run a full malware scan, remove everything that was there and run weekly check to protect my site and my content from that point forward.
Making my site secure means I can offer that security to potential partners. Their content is safe on my site and there is no fear of my being unable to meet my portion of our agreement due to security breaches or issues. Thanks to SiteLock the only thing I have to worry about on my site now is making sure my Readers have the best experience every time they visit.
Have you ever visited a website and been tempted to click away as fast as you clicked on it? I have. There are just certain things that will push a Reader away which increases the bounce rate of your site. An increased bounce rate means something is driving people away. To decrease my bounce rate I needed to address on my site before I could present myself as a good candidate for Brand Ambassador.
A few things I always look for on a site as a Reader:
• Menu location
• Social Icons
• Post/Content Organization
A few things I avoid as a Reader:
• Too many pop-ups
• Auto play music/videos
• Illegible font
Prepare Your Brand
As a Blogger your Brand is how you represent yourself across social media, your site, in person and as an Influencer. There are many factors to creating and establishing who you are as a Brand and those factors can have an impact far beyond your URL.
Brand Identity is the look of your Brand. Colors, fonts, images they all help to create the identifiable look of your Brand. That thing that instantly lets a Reader know this is your content. Having a Brand that can be recognized is something that can be a draw to potential partners.
They will be able to know that when you create on their behalf it will be known, seen and identified not only with them but you who you have established yourself to be as well.
Believe it or not consistency has a great impact on your Brand. If someone comes to visit your site and you have not been there in a month of days they begin to question your commitment to what you do. If your Brand is your passion and something you are willing to work for then you will do that work consistently.
Set a schedule for your content or at least a goal. 2-3 posts a week on your site, social media, etc. This will not only grow your presence as a Brand but your influence as well.
Quality is even more important than quantity. I know hard to pair with what I just said above but if your post 6 times a week but the quality of that content is lacking you may be doing more harm than good.
Select topics and content that fit your audience, your theme and your future vision for your Brand. If you’re a lifestyle blogger write about the things that are a part of the life you live. Not only will it give you quality content based on life experiences but it will allow you the room to create that content in a natural and organic way.
As a result of my preparation I was so blessed to be accepted as a Brand Ambassador for not 1 but 3 Brands! I have gained experience, knowledge and skills that will help me push forward to even more opportunities as an Influencer and Brand.
During this year of working as a Brand Ambassador I’ve learned even more than I did in the prepare moments. I’ve learned the importance of paying attention to the details of your contract, knowing your deadlines and post requirements and even how to select Brand Ambassadorships that a true to who your are as an Influencer.
In everything there is something to learn and in everything you learn there is something to teach. I hope that what I’ve share today has given you the things you need to make your goal of becoming a Brand Ambassador a reality!
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