Being a blogger, it has been such an honor to work with some amazing companies as a Brand Ambassador. It’s such a thrilling feeling when you check your inbox and opportunities are just knocking at your virtual door. Personally, I have had the privilege to work with companies like Cottonelle, The Honest Company and Silent Drama Makup to name a few. I have formed some long lasting relationships and I am super proud to represent these companies and looking forward for more to come!
What exactly does it mean to be a Brand Ambassador? By Wikipedia’s definition, a Brand Ambassador is a marketing term for a person employed by an organization or company to promote its products or services within the activity known as branding. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics.
Wait, wait.. did I just underline the word employed? Why YES! Yes i did! Let me elaborate. Being employed by a company as a Brand Ambassador can mean a few different things;
1. You receive compensation from the company in a monetary value. This value is discussed before the acceptance of the Brand Ambassadorship.
2. You receive FREE products or FREE coupon codes from the company. If the company wants you to speak on their behalf on the product line, you need to form your own opinions about it and become a consumer of that actual product.
3. You receive a generous discount on the company’s product/service for the duration of the Ambassadorship.
In my experience #1 and #2 are more common Brand Ambassador agreements. Now I am going to be killing some sacred cows about this very topic, exposing the real truth about what is happening in the world of Brand Ambassadorship and how you can avoid being taken advantage of when presented an opportunity. A company that is wanting you to promote their products/services for FREE is unacceptable and unethical. I have heard some horror stories over just the last few days of how bloggers are being taken advantage of by companies and PR reps. So let me ask you something..
If you are a blogger, do you take your website seriously?
If you do I am speaking to you. Your site is your business, Your livelihood, A way to generate income, a way to connect, a way to express. Some companies out there are looking for bloggers who don’t take their websites seriously and work for FREE. I have come to realize that there are some amazing bloggers who really do make a VERY nice living for themselves. So it is simply wrong of a company to ask anyone to promote their products/services and share on social media with nothing in return. Would you ask your boss at a regular job to not pay you for your work? No you wouldn’t.
So why am I writing this? Because I value the relationship that I have created with the companies I have worked with as a Brand Ambassador. I take my website seriously therefore companies take me seriously. I can’t simply stand by and say nothing when I hear bloggers being taken advantage of and treated poorly.
How can you protect yourself from being taken advantage of?
1. When a company approaches you about becoming a Brand Ambassador, give them your rate for doing so. Charge for your time because you take your time and website seriously.
2. Talk about all the fine print such as: no follow links, social media shares, how many posts they want, pictures or video included, deadline to publish posts etc. Communication is the BEST way to get everything out in the open.
3. If a PR/marketing rep is giving you a hard time, ignore them. Don’t add fuel to the fire! Ignore and move on.
4. Don’t be afraid to say No Thank You. If you believe in your gut that a company will not be a good fit for you, say NO! You can decline while still being professional.
5. Don’t let one bad apple spoil the rest. If you have had a bad experience don’t let that spoil it for future companies. There could be some very awesome partnerships in the future.
Alright, there you have it folks! I hope you learned a little bit more of what it means to become a Brand Ambassador and how to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Please share and leave me a comment! XOXO