- To become a brand ambassador, people have to know you and follow you on social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat or Instagram.
- You must be recognized as an authority in the field you choose.
- Your words must have an influence on people using the brand or industry that you choose.
- You must choose a brand that you respect and like.
- You enter a long-term relationship with the company and brand that you choose to represent.
Becoming a brand ambassador can be a very lucrative stream of income and source of freebies. The sponsorships and advertising revenue can quickly put you in a higher income bracket, not to mention the freebies you will get along the way. It’s not easy, even though it is pretty simple. Let’s list some ways that you can use to become a brand ambassador in return for freebies.
- Key Takeaways
Steps To Becoming A Brand Ambassador For Freebies
- Choose Your Niche/Industry/Brand
- Create Social Media Profiles
- Get A Blog Or Website
- Start A YouTube Channel And Maybe A Podcast
- Build Your Following
- Establish Yourself As An Expert
- Approach Your Brand Of Choice
- Recent Brand Ambassador Programs on Yo! Free Samples
- Related Questions
Steps To Becoming A Brand Ambassador For Freebies
People are often confused by the difference between a social media influencer and a brand ambassador. Though the two are related, a brand ambassador is beyond the normal influencer stage. It is essential to reach the social media influencer stage first, though. Once you’ve become an influencer, it’s easy to take the next step. Here’s the simple process to get started.
Choose Your Niche/Industry/Brand
Before you get started, you must choose the brand or industry niche you want to focus on. This must be decided before you even create your first social media profile because everything you do on that profile must be related to that brand or industry in some way or another.
So, in choosing the brand or industry, you must go for something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Remember that the end goal is for this to be the start of a new career, so if you have to get up every day and talk about things that you don’t like, it will be a daily struggle like any ordinary job.
Your choice of industry is as wide as the market itself. If you are a passionate musician, you may find companies that will give you free musical instruments. Artists can get free art supplies. Popular categories also include make-up, watches, sunglasses, athletics brands, coffee machines, etc. The list is literally endless.
Importantly, though, you should ideally keep your focus a little broader initially. For example, if your passion is electric guitars, don’t just immediately start focusing on the Gibson brand. Cover electric guitars in general. Once you’ve become an influencer, you will see how you can change your approach to become a full-on brand ambassador.
Create Social Media Profiles
Some people become brand ambassadors without active social media profiles. Examples are athletes that are sponsored by sports brands or Formula 1 drivers and their watch sponsors. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for the rest of us. We need a platform where people can see and hear us, where everyone can have their say. Social media provides just such a platform, for better or for worse.
The crucial thing is to choose the right social media platform. You need to select the social platform or platforms that your target audience will use. For example, teenagers and young adults are more concerned about TikTok and Instagram, while people in their 40s and over tend to spend more time on Facebook.
Twitter is more of a general-audience social media platform, but it is more prevalent in the United States and the United Kingdom than in some other countries. LinkedIn is great for professional people, but it’s not the place where people go for shopping or to spend their lunch break.
So, to choose the right social media platforms, you will have to spend some time on all of these platforms. Test them out with a personal profile, not one that will become your brand ambassador profile. See what they’re about. Follow a few influencers and brand ambassadors. See how successful or unsuccessful they are, and take note of their following and how active they are.
Once you’ve determined which ones to go for, you can create your profiles.
It’s usually a good idea for brand ambassadors and influencers to use a personal name, or sometimes a kind of pseudonym that denotes or represents their field or brand. A notable example is @steventerreberry on Instagram. He uses his own name on Instagram and YouTube, but he’s known as an influencer (and recently a brand ambassador) for guitars and guitar equipment.
Additional tip: don’t hold back on your own brand. It’s a good idea to establish a brand for yourself early on, even though your brand will ideally represent another brand in the end. This requires separating your personal life from your professional life, so create a brand that will represent your professional profile.
You may want to professionally design a logo, color scheme, name, and style that will be closely associated with your professional online profiles. But importantly, make sure that people know where else they can find you by linking to all your other profiles and websites in your profile itself.
Get A Blog Or Website
Social media is excellent, but often it’s just scratching the surface. You should ideally get a blog or a website in place where you can effectively promote your products more thoroughly. Social media will bring in the people, and the blog or website will get them to buy into what you’re advertising.
There are many intricate details involved in what makes a good website. One crucial point, though, is to not just go for a free blog like the ones offered by WordPress, Wix or Blogger. Pay for premium with these services, and you will get a .com domain included. This adds a layer of professionality and credibility to your brand.
Fill this website with content related to your topic. These could be how-to guides and tutorials, product reviews, or even customer feedback. Case studies are also very effective. Again, the crucial point is getting quality content on there. Create posts on social media to summarize these articles and link back to the website for those who want to find out more about it.
Once you get people to go to your website, it’s easy to set up some kind of system to keep them there or have them sign up for a newsletter, or at the very least to use Google and Facebook ad trackers so that you can re-market to them. The beauty of marketing is in getting seen repeatedly.
Start A YouTube Channel And Maybe A Podcast
YouTube is a go-to for all brand ambassadors and influencers, regardless of industry. A good YouTube video can easily be shared across multiple social networks and streamed on a website or blog. Many influencers and brand ambassadors use YouTube exclusively without any of the other platforms, but these are the exception, not the rule.
You don’t even necessarily need the best recording or editing software for this. Many influencers are flourishing using a simple smartphone in a selfie stick.
Start recording and uploading videos, even simple ones. Order freebies yourself and publish an unboxing video. Go to the store and look at related products, all while recording. Talk about customer experiences and feedback. People don’t generally go to YouTube for the production quality; they go there for interesting or entertaining content made by normal human beings.
The other wonderful thing about YouTube is that everyone uses it, whether they realize it or not. Even those who don’t go onto YouTube just for fun are often sent a YouTube link by a friend or relative. Before we know it, the “Recommended” list draws us into an inescapable wormhole of homemade video content.
Podcasts are a bit more niche but still worth mentioning. Though podcasting isn’t the go-to trend that it was ten years ago, there are still some users that religiously listen to podcasts during their commute, for example. If your target market likes to listen to podcasts, getting one going is good.
You may use these podcasts for product reviews, interviews, discussions, debates, or anything else that can be done on audio-only. Again, having a successful podcast is a definite way to establish yourself as an expert in the field.
Build Your Following
This is where the laborious and time-consuming work begins. So, you now have all your platforms set up, and you have three followers on each (come on, we can all get three people to follow us if we tell our friends and family). You have to start building your following and getting people to know about you.
This part has no good shortcuts. Sure, you can buy followers or pay an agency to grow your following, but more often than not, these followers will either be bots, fake profiles, or people who are not following you for the right reasons. These are all counter-productive and not the following that you are looking for. You want actual people who are interested in the same things as you.
The only way to achieve this properly is by making content. The content will have to be unique for each platform; creating one post and just sharing the same thing on all media is ineffective.
Twitter is more text-focused, though some photos and short video clips may be helpful. Instagram is all about pictures and short video clips. TikTok is for short videos, and YouTube for longer videos. Facebook can have a good balance between all three. Your blog can be used to share more detailed text and a podcast for audio.
Look at the type of content that’s popular on each platform. Don’t just look at what’s supported by each, but at what works on each. Twitter supports videos and photos, but these tend not to be the most popular posts. On Instagram, photos and videos will work as posts or stories.
The vital part is the quality of the content. Anything you post must be good quality content that people want to see. Don’t sell; tell. Tell a story. Show what happens. Explain the things that you’re passionate about. That’s real life. That’s what people want to see on social media since we are all tired of being bombarded by bot-generated content.
The key to good quality content is to either inform, entertain, or both.
Content that’s made to inform will include how-to posts, tutorials, product reviews, etc. People want to see this type of content, especially before purchasing. This can be an excellent opportunity to show people why they should choose one product option over another, how to fix a problem that often pops up, or answer some concerns from people who haven’t bought it yet.
This is a rather vague concept since it can include so many different aspects. People often think about entertaining content as “funny,” but this does not have to be true. Any content that plays on any kind of emotion can be seen as entertaining. These include humor, sadness, intrigue, mystery, and compassion. A social media post that plays on any of those can be seen as entertaining.
Pro Tip: Tagging
Social media extensively uses two kinds of tags: hashtags and at-tags. A hashtag is used when you want to tag a topic that people might search or follow, for example, #guitars or #amateruart. An at-tag is used to tag a specific person or social media account, for instance, @steventerreberry.
Putting hashtags in your post will ensure that people who search for or follow that topic will see your post even if they don’t follow you. You can put multiple hashtags into any social media post, but keep in mind that some platforms penalize hashtag spamming. Twitter, for example, only has a 240-character limit per post, so your hashtags must fit within this limit along with your post’s text.
An at-tag is made to tag another social media profile, which could be a personal or a professional profile. Tagging another social media account in your posts will notify them, draw their attention to your post, and show your post to those who follow that account or profile.
Make sure that your tags are relevant, though. You will eventually be ignored or even blocked if you consistently tag irrelevant people or themes in your posts. If you do it correctly, you may get hundreds or even thousands of new followers from the proper use of hashtags and at-tags if you use them consistently.
Establish Yourself As An Expert
Professionals and experts don’t generally have to tell people that they are authority figures on a particular topic. People will know it because they know what they’re talking about and are passionate about the subject. The key to establishing yourself as an expert is to get people to see that you know your subject and you are passionate about it.
Celebrities like actors and athletes already have a head start in this regard since people already follow them and see them as authorities in their field. Your goal is essentially to become a type of celebrity within your chosen field or industry so that people can recognize you as the go-to person when they want to know more about a specific kind of product.
Your social media profiles will do this to a certain extent, but let’s be honest, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that social media can easily fool people into believing lies and deceptions. Anyone can say anything they want on social media and fool some people into believing them.
The most effective way to establish your expertise on a topic is to do it on other authoritative platforms. For example, this trend can be seen in the medical and science communities. A doctor or scientist is seen as an expert when they’ve written a paper on their research and findings, and that paper passes peer review and gets published by a well-known industry organization.
Journalists have the same challenge. They may publish excellent news articles, but their credibility skyrockets when their coverage is published in the New York Times or shown on CNN. To be recognized as an expert on any type of product, you will have to generate massive amounts of content about it, and this content should not only be used on your own platforms.
Thankfully there are a number of ways to accomplish this.
Quora is a question-and-answer platform that was developed to help people find answers to their questions. It is similar to Yahoo Answers, except that the platform aims to not just get answers from people in general but from actual knowledgeable experts.
When you create your Quora profile, you are asked about your interests and areas of expertise. These are then used to rank your answers to questions based on how knowledgeable you are about the subject. Other users can also rate your answers, which will eventually indicate if you are genuinely knowledgeable about the subject or not.
Once you’ve created your profile, you can start searching for questions that people have been asking about the particular types of products you want to specialize in or the industry in general. Answer those questions as well as you can. Don’t deviate from the topic too much, but don’t just write a quick one-sentence response either. Write a detailed answer that correctly answers the question.
If you can’t find a question that matches something you want to write about, it’s common practice to ask a new question on Quora that you can then answer as well. The more questions you answer about your chosen subject, the more you will be recognized as knowledgeable in the field.
LinkedIn is a professional social network that’s focused on providing a platform for professionals in different fields to make contact and communicate. If your chosen subject is suitable for this target audience, you may write a few LinkedIn articles that explain the concepts and thoughts behind them.
There are many online forums where users can discuss topics that they are passionate about. You may be able to register and post on some of these forums. You may target user forums and support forums for the products that you would like to promote. Link back to your website or social profiles from these posts so that other forum users can learn more.
Many existing websites or blogs are open to guest bloggers. All websites want more quality content to boost their rankings on search engines and find more users, so many of them would welcome you if you wanted to write articles for them. Find a website or blog that deals with your topic, then contact the owner or webmaster and offer to write some original content for them.
Approach Your Brand Of Choice
After working this system for a while, you should have built up quite a sizeable following and be recognized as an influencer on some social media platforms. This will give you leverage for the next step: becoming a brand ambassador.
Companies often approach influencers to promote their products or services on a once-off or occasional basis. In exchange for this promotion, they are given a free product to test and try out and then usually offered a commission for each sale that results from their advertising.
When you become a brand ambassador, there’s a more permanent, long-term arrangement. You receive free products from the company for a pre-determined period, often accompanied by some financial remuneration, in exchange for actively using and promoting their product on all of your platforms and in public, where your followers and fans may recognize you.
Companies always want more people to use their products. They want to make sales. For this purpose, they will all have a specific budget allocated for marketing and business building. Your goal as a brand ambassador is to get them to give some of that budget to paying you both in money and freebies.
Since you are already an influencer at this stage, you should have built up relationships with some brands and companies. Some of these relationships will be stronger than others. You will also prefer some of these brands over others. Identify which of these relationships are the strongest and which you are most passionate about, and start to focus more on them.
You can still include content on other brands for a while, but the idea is to arrange a meeting with your top brands at some point and discuss the possibility of becoming a brand ambassador for them. They should be pretty open to discussing the deal since you’ve already proven that you’re doing a lot to market them and their products.
You may also be able to play multiple offers off against each other, giving you some leverage during the negotiating phase.
Be sure to get all the details of the arrangement clear. Have a lawyer present in the final negotiations if you wish. But the point is that there should be no uncertainty about what you will do for them and what you will get from them in return. Once the contracts are signed, congratulations! You are now a brand ambassador!
Recent Brand Ambassador Programs on Yo! Free Samples
Yes and no. Some companies will have “brand ambassador” programs that state that the number of followers won’t matter. An example is the Opal Rewards program at https://opalrewards.com/become-brand-ambassador/. However, these programs don’t really offer much in return, focusing more on discount coupons than real freebies. Some may just only offer a commission on any sales you drive and absolutely zero freebies. It varies by program.
If you correctly follow the process of becoming an influencer, this won’t be a problem you will have to worry about. The best options will arise automatically. Companies employ paid marketers to keep their eyes open for new marketing opportunities, and if you prove that you are one of those opportunities, they will contact you.
There’s always a possibility that their marketing department would be open to the opportunity if you can prove to them that it’s in their best interest.
For example, Apple doesn’t have to give people freebies to get brand ambassadors. Everyone who experiences the ecosystem becomes an automatic brand ambassador that pays Apple to be one instead of the other way around. However, recently even Apple started to give away free iPhones and Macs to influential YouTubers to test and promote.
The key lies in effectively selling your proposal to your chosen brand, and if your following is good enough, this should be easy.