Have you ever been approached to be a brand ambassador as a fashion blogger or digital influencer? Unsure whether or not you should commit to doing it?
We're answering all the questions you may have about becoming a brand ambassador as a fashion blogger or digital influencer, here on IFB!
It's flattering to be approached by an established company. Especially if you're new to fashion blogging and digital influencing, and are developing your own online identity and brand. “The Company” may ask you to lend your images, content or social media space to the promoting of their products. They might even go as far as to suggest you appear in their advertising, host events or created content in exchange for reviewing their products. And while The Company may be willing to shower you will free items (like free clothing for your to wear or extra cosmetics to give away to your followers in contests), it's worth evaluating if this “ambassadorship” is a win-win situation for all parties involved. Is working with The Company as their “brand ambassador” fair to you (and your followers), or is it drastically tipped in The Company's favor?
Julia DiNardo of Fashion Pulse Daily's Take on Paid & Unpaid Brand Ambassadorships…
Over the years, I have been approached by big name companies about opportunities like the ones described above. 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 as a fashion blogger and influencer. Therefore, I closely evaluate these “brand ambassador” proposals that come across my desk, before deciding whether or not I should commit. Spoiler Alert: the ones I take on are few and far between.
If I am offered payment, I consider whether the company is a natural match for myself, my blog and my brand. If yes, then it's an easy decision to make.
And if the answer isn't as clear (or it's an unpaid ambassadorship), I have to consider other factors. How will the ambassadorship benefit my brand in the long run? Are there any benefits for my brand, to be closely tied to this particular company? Doing an unpaid ambassadorship for a high fashion brand is much different than one for a fast fashion apparel company. Will I actually benefit from the exposure the company can provide myself and my blog? Before I can agree (or disagree) to committing to The Company as their brand ambassador, all these questions need to be answered. The bottom line: When in doubt about a brand ambassadorship as a fashion blogger, walk away.
In addition to my thoughts on being a brand ambassador (both paid or unpaid), I gathered some advice from a few fellow bloggers. Check it out below and let us know what your thoughts are on brand ambassadorships in the comments below.
Make Sure It Feels Authentic – And Provides Value for You and Your Brand!
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, does being an ambassador for The Company/The Product mean you can’t work with any other company/product in that category? If yes, then for how long?
You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot. You don't want to have to decline working with a brand you are dying to work, with because you didn’t think through your prior commitments.
I'm inclined to be a brand ambassador, if I'm being financially compensated. If you are not being paid, and are being given free product or a “gift card,” I don’t consider that as being a brand ambassador. It’s more of a campaign. If the brand is huge and they will promote you in advertising, magazines, etc. keep in mind that in itself is worth a lot. It can be great media exposure, for your brand as a fashion blogger or digital influencer – especially if you don't have a huge budget for that kind of promotion. Do a cost-benefit analysis and see how much you are really being paid – not just in money, but also in exposure and traffic.
Use The Ambassadorship Experience as an Introduction…
Laura Coronado of Lollie Shopping says:
For me, personally, there are three reasons why I find value in working as a brand ambassador.
Firstly it reinforces the intention, purpose and mission of my own blog and brand. I am passionate about proving that fashion does exist in Las Vegas. And partnering up with a local designer or retail property helps me to fuel that passion.
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 (or network as a fashion blogger or digital influencer) 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.
The Right Company & Blogger/Influencer Pairing is Crucial.
Tamar Anitai (former blogger at Fashion Binge, current digital content strategist and editor) says:
As an online content creator, you need to be mindful of what you say when endorsing and representing. When you put your stamp of approval on something, you're saying “This represents me, my personal style and tastes.” I'm trusting my audience to believe in me, my brand as blogger/influencer and what I promote. The audience trusts that I am providing them with authentic insider knowledge about said company/product.
You have to truly believe in a product and treat your followers like your real-life friends. If you wouldn't recommend a product to your friends, why on earth would you recommend it to your readers?
As well, being authentic is so important. If you're a beauty blogger, then you shouldn't be trying to promote a line of baby yoga mats or men's boxers. It will just come off as insincere to your followers. 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 I 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 to me.
What has your experience been with being a brand ambassador?
This post was originally published on February 14th, 2013 by Julia DiNardo. It was updated and reposted by Laura Kell on October 31st, 2017.