What it Means to be an Ambassador November 09 2017, 1 Comment
These days our social feeds are filled with friends announcing that they’re an ambassador for X brand. Chances are maybe you’re an ambassador yourself. But what exactly does that mean? I’m not an expert, but I’ve been a part of several ambassador programs (including Orange Mud), and have even helped some small businesses build their programs. I’m here to help you find the right program for you, and give you tips on how to be a kick @$$ ambassador once you’re selected!
Many believe you have to have a large following on social media in order to be an ambassador. While some programs may have a required number of followers, most are only looking for an active presence. Meaning you post regularly about training and about your sport (running, cycling, etc). As long as you are active on social media (multiple platforms being a plus), you’re off to a good start.
There are so many brands out there that have an ambassador program. So how do you find the best one for you? Start with one simple rule: choose a brand you use regularly. A favorite shoe, fuel, nutrition, and so on. Brands look for someone who uses their products and has intimate first hand knowledge about them.
Now, what does being an ambassador really mean? By definition an ambassador is:
A person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.
Keep that in mind when selecting a program. You are essentially a spokesperson for that brand. Do you align with the same mission and goals as the brand? Do you truly have a passion for the company and its products? When considering applicants, brands will be looking to answer these same questions about you.
“So we get FREE stuff, right?” Wrong. Sorry to give it to you straight, but being an ambassador doesn’t always guarantee free gear. Somewhere along the lines the definition of a SPONSORED athlete versus an ambassador become a grey area. But in most cases, the facts are still pretty black and white: Sponsored Athletes receive free gear and race entries in exchange for representing a brand in their attempts to podium. While Ambassadors receive perks (discounts, limited gear, etc) in exchange for sharing about a product on social media and within their local communities.
Yes, most ambassadors are required to do a small amount of work. Sharing images on social media, engaging with the brand on their social platforms, and so on. Part of being an ambassador is building upon your existing relationship with the brand. The more work you put into a program, going above and beyond and getting creative with your content, the stronger your relationship with that business becomes. And when they have an opportunity to seed someone with free product, they’re going to seek out those who have proven their performance. So essentially, the more you put into being an ambassador, the more likely you will receive additional perks along the way.
So what do you get for being an ambassador to make it worth the work? Deep discounts. That’s why you want to choose a product you are familiar with and use regularly. You save money on the gear you normally would pay full price for.
Ambassador programs also create an online community of like-minded people, made up of elites and everyday athletes. It becomes an endless resource you can tap into.Training for a tough race, new distance, or need general advice or motivation? Ask your fellow ambassadors. Your love for the company and sport will connect you, and more often than not there is organic encouragement and motivation from one another. I have met some of my close friends through an ambassador program!
If you take nothing else away from this post, at least remember this: you’re not signing up for gear. As an ambassador you’re signing up to to build a long-lasting relationship. And we all know, relationships take work. So if you’re prepared to give your time and effort to support a brand you care about, use regularly, and genuinely want to help succeed--apply and good luck!
Thanks for reading!