Have you ever been approached to be a “brand ambassador” or “blog ambassador,” and not sure whether you should commit or not? It can be quite flattering to be approached by a renowned company asking for you to lend your image, content, or social media space to its brand as part of an ambassadorship, or perhaps appear in advertising, host events, or receive a large amount of their product to wear on an on-going basis, but sometimes it's worth evaluating from a unbiased angle to view if it really is a win-win situation, or if the scales are drastically tipped in the brand's favor.
Over the years I've been approached on opportunities like these, and most of them have been offering products and/or exposure through their channels in exchange for my participation; in other words, I would not be receiving monetary compensation for being involved.
I value my time and image, and closely evaluate these proposals and the ones that I do are few and far between.
If I'm offered payment, I consider whether this brand is a natural match for myself and the site, and if so, it's an easier decision to make. In the long run, what might my benefits be, if any, with being so closely tied to this particular brand or promotion in this way?
Besides my two cents on weighing the pros and cons of being a brand ambassador with both paid or unpaid opportunities, I gathered some sound advice from a few seasoned fellow bloggers:
Weigh the true value of your commitment.
Lauren Dimet Waters of Second City Style says:
“You have to be careful who you align yourself with at all times. Does it feel authentic and does it fit with your demographic? Also, is being an ambassador for said product mean you can’t work with any other company/product in that category and for how long? You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot and have to decline working with a brand you are dying to work with because you didn’t think through your prior commitments. Mind you, I am more inclined to be a brand ambassador if I am being paid. If you are not being paid, but being given free product or a “gift card,” I really don’t consider that being a brand ambassador, it’s more of a campaign. If the brand is huge and they will promote you in advertising, magazines, etc…that in itself is worth a lot. So do a cost analysis and see how much you are really being paid…not just in money, but exposure and traffic.”
Use the ambassador experience as an introduction to work with other brands.
Laura Coronado of Lollie Shopping says:
“For me personally, there are three reasons why I find value in working as a brand ambassador. First and foremost, it reinforces the intention, purpose and mission of my own blog. Because I'm passionate about proving that fashion does exist in Las Vegas, partnering up with a local designer or retail property helps me to fuel that passion. However, I also appreciate that when I am working as a brand ambassador, I'm also raising awareness of Lollie Shopping in an offline manner, such as through personal appearances, live events and on-camera interviews. Lastly, and this is really important, working as a brand ambassador leads to other opportunities to work with other brands. If I'm trying to work with a major retail property on the Las Vegas Strip, it helps to drop brand names that I've successfully worked with in the past…”
Overall, the right brand and blogger pairing is crucial.
Tamar Anitai of Fashion Binge says:
“As a fashion/ style blogger, you need to be mindful of what you say to endorsing and representing, because when you put your stamp of approval on something, you're saying “this brand/ product represents me and my personal style and tastes, and I'm trusting my audience to believe me.” You have to truly believe in a product and treat your readers like your real-life friends: if you wouldn't recommend a product or a brand to your friends, why on earth would you recommend it to your readers? If, for example, you're a beauty blogger, why are you hawking a line of baby yoga mats or men's boxers? It just comes off as insincere. If it's a cool designer or a collection of shoes that really reflects your personal tastes, by all means, go for it. Your audience is looking for you to tip them off to products that organically fit your sensibilities…I have a handful of blogs that I like to read because I totally trust their transparency and believe that the products they're promoting are products they actually like and believe in. I hope my readers get that from FashionBinge, too, because it's so important.”
What has your experience been with being a brand ambassador?
By Julia DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily