Today I learned of my acceptance as a Mega Bloks Mom, a program that chooses 5 moms to work with the brand to share the brand messaging, contribute content, and act as social media supporters. This is not the first brand ambassador programs I've been a part of, and it will likely not be the last. So how does brand ambassadorship work? Can you make money doing it? We'll dig in as we tackle this week's "I Want to Be" series featuring me, the 1099 Mom.
How long have you been a brand ambassador?
My first opportunity to work with brands came when I joined the Walmart Moms in 2009. I was one of about 15 at the time, and the group has since grown to just over 20. Since then, I've proudly represented Energizer Rechargeables, Sharpie, Conagra's Child Hunger Ends Here, and Infantino. I've also just learned of my new position as a Mega Bloks Mom, as well!
What led you to become a brand ambassador?
Ambassadorship is something we all do as consumers every day. When you talk about a brand you love, whether it's in your own home, or online with your Facebook page, you are representing a brand. Becoming a professional brand ambassador (one who works with the company directly and is most often compensated in either product or fees), is a dream for those who are passionate about a product line. What's more fun that sharing your love of a brand professionally?
When I started by becoming a product review blogger, the relationships fell into place to be considered for brand ambassador programs. Hard work to maintain those relationships (doing reviews on time, providing quality and honest feedback, and promoting my work among my social media accounts) was necessary to lay the foundation for being a qualified ambassador. From there, I started getting invited to join ambassador groups.
Are you full time or part time? If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?
It's very difficult to be a full-time brand ambassador. You can theoretically spend 40 hours a week supporting your brands, but the pay is not usually there. A few people I know are full-time, but this resembles a spokesperson position, and typically involves traveling with the brand, shooting commercials, etc. Mom of the brand ambassadors I know do it a few hours a week, and the contracts are usually one month to one year gigs.
How do you market your offerings as a brand ambassador?
Being honest and authentic with your writing and promotion is key. By doing what you do, brands will notice. I will often do a product review of a product I've purchased myself, and then provide sincere feedback, as well as real photos, in my posts. Then I promote via my social media networks. Not only does this give my readers a product review they can actually use, the brands who are searching for buzz around their products will eventually take notice. I have gotten many emails from a brand who noticed a review I've done, and then asked if they can work with me on projects in the future. This is an essential marketing tool. I also try to reach out to the brands I'd love to work with in the future at conferences. I'm attending Mom 2.0 in a week, and it's always been a great chance to expand my contacts.
What is your favorite part of being a brand ambassador?
All of it! What's NOT to love about getting to talk about your favorite products, and having the company support you 100%? I also enjoy meeting the customers and other ambassadors.
What one question do you get most from people about being a brand ambassador?
"How can I get a job like that?"
Time and effort are the best ways. Knowing people is also good. The most recent campaign I was accepted for involved providing writing samples and stats on how many Twitter followers you have, etc. Obviously, if you can get your social media following up and work on your communication skills, you'll be better positioned to get that next ambassador position.
What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about being a brand ambassador?
That all the good programs go to the same people.
It's true that some of the moms I know have done multiple programs. I've done a few myself. I don't do very many at a time, however, and I never accept an offer for a brand I don't feel passionately about. I think that there was a time when brands would follow the herd and pick the Moms or Dads that they thought were more "A-list", but then they realized that an authentic voice could come from anywhere. I see more new faces with each program I'm a part of, and I think that's wonderful!
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
Network. Stay on top of news that announces open calls for brand ambassadors. (Sheposts is a great site for this.) Follow your favorite brands or sign up for a Google Search that will tell you when they are looking for ambassadors. They won't always open it up to everyone, but if they do, you'll be ahead of the curve.
What is the first step?
Brush up on your people skills. Start writing. Get involved with the brands you love.
Want to know more? Check out our Linsey's product review blog. Find her on Twitter and Facebook!
(Have an idea for our next "I Want to Be" article? Contact us with the work-at-home career that you want to know more about. Have a great career and want to share? Tell us about it!)
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