Guest post by The Brightest Color
Owning a swimwear company and gaining hundreds of followers a day while running a successful business is great- don’t get me wrong. I will however attest to the fact that getting 10-20 messages a day from girls ALL wanting to be a brand ambassador gets really old, really quick. Receiving so many of these messages, all the girls seem to blend together, and maybe 1 out of 500 will have a stand-out impression to me. I won’t lie, I get lots of long messages where a girl introduces herself and talks about how much she loves The Brightest Color, how she’s travelling and can promote me, etc.., and I don’t even read the whole thing, oftentimes not past the first line or two. I already know what she’s going to say- the same thing as 10 other girls said to me today.
What is a brand ambassador? A brand ambassador is essentially an intern that promotes a brand, usually in exchange for some sort of compensation. Somehow, being a brand ambassador has translated to receiving free products in exchange for a (often terrible and in genuine) post.
Why am I hesitant about brand ambassadors? I have historically had a huge problem with girls asking me to be a brand ambassador, because I felt that they were not genuinely interested in my brand, they just wanted free stuff without having to work really! Small businesses often operate at very small profits, many businesses starting off in debt. Giving away free or discounted products can be an enormous risk, especially if the brand ambassador does not follow through with her word to promote.
She STOLE from me All my confidence in brand ambassadors was torn away completely when I had my worst nightmare actually happen- someone stole from me. I had a girl named Chelsea reach out to me wanting to be a brand ambassador. She only had 1,000 or so followers, but I was sincerely trying to quit my stubborn ways and give away more product in the hopes of not only promoting my brand, but also being more genuine and open-minded. So I sent her a suit.
First she said she would post by the end of the week… then she said she would in a couple weeks during her vacation… She kept putting off the post, despite my friendly occasional reminders. After several MONTHS of this back and forth, as well as many read/no reply messages, I sent her a final message expressing my disappointment and asked her for the last time to follow through on her word. I never heard anything from her ever again.
I am even getting upset and emotional writing this now, nearly a year later. The hours of work I put into making that handmade, custom fitted suit? GONE. The money spent on fabric, thread, materials, and shipping? GONE. My confidence in brand ambassadors? GONE. Chelsea STOLE from me, there is no better way to put it.
A change of heart.. (after a long, LONG time) Looking back, I was being selfish. There are many girls out there who genuinely want to promote and model for a living, and they understand that being a successful brand ambassador and growing their own careers means helping other companies grow too. For this reason, The Brightest Color runs the ambassador program through Promo Girl Nation.
Promo Girl Nation is more than just a place to find ways to become a brand ambassador, promotional model, or professional model. PGN sends out emails and blog posts like this one- real perspectives from real business owners, who have advice to offer to help YOU improve yourself not only as a professional woman, but also as a person.
My main points from this message
1. Brands get dozens and sometimes hundreds of messages a day. Do something to make yourself stand out that shows you are genuinely dedicated to the brand.
2. Understand that business owners are protective over their businesses, like they are children or something. You are asking to babysit someone’s baby. Don’t expect to be trusted without earning it.
3. Every single business incurs a cost by sending you a free or discounted product. Treat the opportunity as such, and do your best to provide the brand more than they ask for, especially if you want some good karma from the brand.
4. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. I don’t need to elaborate…
5. Work on your brand. Present yourself in a professional way at all times, and gain credibility, find references, and develop your brand before you present yourself to other brands.
“How to Stand Out to Brands” post coming soon…