Does your small business or startup have a brand ambassador?
The duties of an ambassador can benefit your business as you attract more leads, convert more customers, and increase your rate of sales.
If you’re not privy to the concept of a brand ambassador, or if you know loosely what they do but haven’t the foggiest how to find one, this guide is for you.
Ahead, we’ll define brand ambassadorship, expound on the benefits of having an ambassador on your side, and provide tips for finding one.
What Is a Brand Ambassador and What Do They Do?
A brand ambassador is an advocate for a business’s services and products. A brand ambassador isn’t an employee of your business but is passionate about your products and services, nonetheless.
This person acts professionally to achieve goals for your small business.
Even though they are not employees, they’re still well-versed in your startup’s ethics and values.
They know that whether they post on social media or appear at a speaking engagement that they’re doing so on behalf of your company, so they always dress appropriately and engage with others in a demeanor that slots into your small business brand.
You can think of a brand ambassador as more of a spokesperson for your small business. They get the word out there about your brand and make more people aware of your products and services.
An ambassador need not be a celebrity or even a major name, such as an influencer.
They must have the clout to persuade people to listen to their point of view, but a multi-million social media following is not a requirement.
Why Does Your Small Business Need a Brand Ambassador?
Brand ambassadors, through their advocacy, can create a number of trickle-down benefits that will behoove your small business both in the short term and the long term.
Here are some such benefits.
Drives more website traffic
As a startup, you’re probably not receiving the lion’s share of website traffic as of current, correct?
Once you have an ambassador speaking on your startup’s behalf, that’s surely going to change.
Of course, without opt-in forms and lead magnets ready to capture contact information, the influx of traffic to your website will ultimately be for naught.
Adds legitimacy to your name
Part of the reason why influencer marketing has risen to prominence is that it puts a small business or even an SMB on the map.
These companies that were virtual nobodies are suddenly somebodies, and people pay attention to somebodies.
Working with an ambassador will legitimize your small business. This can, in turn, increase trust among leads and customers.
Creates user-generated content
Brand ambassadorship is a form of user-generated content or UGC and is perhaps the highest form.
This is yet another way to build trust and authority among your audience.
Boosts and strengthens your brand
You put a lot of time into curating the perfect brand, but it’s just not spreading like wildlife as you had hoped.
With an ambassador working on your startup’s behalf, that should change.
Their positive promotions of your small business will bolster your brand in a way that you were unable to do.
Your brand will become stronger and more recognizable as a consequence.
Converts more leads
When you inspire trust in your leads and present them with a solidified, well-understood brand, that makes it a lot easier for a lead to feel confident in their purchasing decision.
The conversion rate may increase once you find an ambassador and should continue to increase for as long as the relationship is ongoing.
When you have leads coming through the funnel and converting left and right, that naturally causes an influx in sales.
As a fledgling business, the more well-padded your bottom line is, the better. That can be the difference between financial survival and rumination.
How Do You Find a Brand Ambassador?
Alright, you’re sold. You want to work with a brand ambassador. Where are these people, and how do you find them?
Here are some pointers.
Comb social media
We said before that ambassadors don’t have to be influencers. While that’s true, brand ambassadors are still active on social media (just as everyone else is these days), and thus, that’s a good place to look.
Do not focus solely on the follower count when searching for ambassadors. Rather, you want people who are focused on products, services, and businesses like yours. That will ensure a more harmonious working relationship.
Network in Person
In-person networking might not be as popular as it once was, but it’s anything but dead.
Show up at events and ask around. Have some business cards to hand out so that any interested prospects can remember your name and have a way to contact you.
When people come into your brick-and-mortar store (provided you have a brick-and-mortar store), ask your customers as well if they know of anyone who might be willing to step up to the plate and be a brand ambassador.
You never know who knows someone else. That person could be your perfect ambassador!
Tap into your email list
You’ve worked hard to build your small business email list, so you might as well use it.
Craft an email about your search for the perfect brand ambassador. Then, send the email to your most receptive audience segments and see who they recommend.
A few names will undoubtedly pop up among all the suggestions. If you keep seeing the same name, add that person to your shortlist.
Of course, you do want to have your own form of vetting to ensure you select a good ambassador. Do some research into the person before contacting them about your ambassadorship opportunity.
Find willing individuals you already know
In some cases, a prospective brand ambassador could be right under your nose.
You might have had some customers or associates express interest in promoting your products or services. At the time, you had no such ambassadorship program, so you declined.
If this person didn’t offer all that long ago, then the offer might still stand. Contact this person and let them know that you’re officially launching an ambassadorship program, and then gauge their interest.
Do You Have to Pay a Brand Ambassador?
You’re aware that a brand ambassador does not have to be a part of your company, but that has you wondering something.
Since they’re not employees, do you have to pay this person for your services?
After all, your pockets aren’t exactly deep as a small business owner’s. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be looking for an ambassadorship in the first place.
No, you do not have to pay a brand ambassador.
Some are happy to help you for free, especially if you have a product or service they feel quite passionate about.
Others will require payment. These ambassadors are usually quite upfront about that, so it’s not like you’ll receive a surprise bill.
If you can’t afford to pay an ambassador, then you have to make it worth their while to represent your company in other ways.
For example, perhaps they get exclusives that only your most VIP customers do. They may gain early access to products or receive freebies.
You’re not paying them per se, but they’re getting something in exchange for their time and effort.
A brand ambassador advocates for your small business and its products and services. They speak on behalf of your business and always have a positive thing to say
Through ambassadorship, you can increase your leads, boost conversions, strengthen your brand, and grow.
We hope you consider seeking a brand ambassador, as it will certainly help your startup!