Dreaming of turning your Instagram or TikTok posts into a full-time gig? Well, you’re not alone: being a professional content creator isn’t just a niche thing anymore. As your audience grows, now’s the perfect time to take the leap and become a brand ambassador!
Brand ambassador programs can kickstart your career as a content creator. Before long, you’ll earn from your posts, develop a compelling portfolio, and build lasting connections with brands (and your audience). These programs offer the ideal stepping stone toward going full-time—or a lucrative side hustle.
This guide breaks down becoming a successful brand ambassador—and how it sets you up for so much more down the line.
- Brand ambassadorship as a creator career
- How brands incentivize and reward ambassadors
- Brand ambassadors vs influencers
- Why creators choose brand ambassador roles
- 7 Steps to becoming a brand ambassador
Key takeaways from this blog
- Brand ambassadors promote brands they officially partner with, genuinely loving and using the products themselves.
- Follower count isn’t a barrier to entry: passion and expertise in your niche make you a perfect potential brand ambassador.
- You can be compensated for your content immediately: brand ambassador programs can include commission payments or other non-financial rewards, such as free products and insider access.
- You’ll work on long-term collaborations, improving your understanding of the brand’s product and refining your content over time.
- Benefits of being a brand ambassador include ongoing collaborations, building relationships with brands, expanding your content portfolio, and earning money from your content.
Brand ambassadorship paves the way for a successful creator career
Brand ambassadors are content creators who actively promote a partnering brand and its products. Companies work with brand ambassadors to boost brand awareness, snag new customers, and create a tight-knit community of fans. The brand’s ultimate goal? More moolah and fiercely loyal brand followers.
Many brands already have established ambassador programs that you can join. And you don’t have to be a celebrity or have a massive audience to get started!
These programs formalize the recruitment, training, and contracting processes—helping you have the biggest impact possible. This makes brand ambassadorship a smart option for part-time creators who want to dip their toes in the collab pond.
The best ambassadors collaborate with brands they already love and support. Audiences can tell the difference. This authenticity shines through—making each post more natural and organic.
After all, you’re not just there to share a link or discount code. Your passion and creativity build a community around the brand—inspiring people to take products for a spin and become a brand devotee.
How brands incentivize and reward ambassadors
So, how do brand ambassadors get paid? Each program works differently—and not all ambassador rewards are monetary.
Some ambassadors get a flat fee or commissions from affiliate links—while others get exclusive discounts or free items. Other times, brands give insider access to exclusive brand events and sneak peeks of upcoming products.
If the brand posts your content to their socials, you’ll reach a bigger, like-minded audience.
Check if your favorite brands have existing programs and see their rewards. While non-financial incentives might not entice everyone, teaming up with beloved brands (and joining their community) could be worthwhile for you.
Brand ambassadors vs influencers: Choosing lasting connections over short-term collabs
The lines between brand ambassadors and influencers can easily blur. Influencers—often wearing many hats simultaneously—might also be ambassadors for specific brands. But, there are key differences between these roles.
Why (and how) creators choose brand ambassador roles
Let’s look at how brand ambassador programs might be the perfect next step for you—but you should know about the potential pitfalls, too:
Upsides of brand ambassador programs
- Getting paid for creating content (for maybe the first time)
- Building lasting relationships with brands
- Expanding your creator portfolio for future opportunities
- Meeting other brands and creators through events
- Accessing exclusive deals or free products
Drawbacks of brand ambassador programs
- Limiting how many brands you can work with
- Tying your reputation as a creator with a brand
- Getting stuck in programs with subpar rewards and incentives
7 steps to landing a brand ambassador gig that aligns with your business goals
Whether you’re a part-time hustler or an aspiring full-time creator, this clear roadmap will help you start your journey to becoming a brand ambassador.
1. Build a strong foundation by creating a personal brand
Pay attention to which topics and products truly resonate with you. Posting engaging, heartfelt content—and building up your expertise about topics you’re passionate about—helps establish your personal brand as a creator.
Personal branding is all about intentionally showing your unique value to others. It signals who you are so you can quickly grow your community and stand out in a crowded marketplace. It also helps brands determine if you’re on the same wavelength.
When trying to nail down your brand, start with these questions:
- What type of content/career am I aiming for?
- What are my strengths as a creator?
- What sets me apart from other people?
- What am I passionate about and what do I believe in?
- What are some common traits among my favorite creators?
Try spelling out these ideas in a personal brand statement. Use adjectives and descriptive phrases to define the exact vibe you’re aiming for. “Compassionate, fun, and informative”. Or “inspirational, welcoming, and quick-witted”. Be as specific as you can.
From there, develop your personal brand story. It’s simpler than you might think:
- Grab a pen and paper, find a cozy spot, and reflect on your life experiences. Think about the moments that shaped you into who you are today. Maybe it was that backpacking trip through Europe or that time you overcame fear and achieved something extraordinary.
- Write down these experiences and think about how they relate to the kind of content you want to make.
- Now, sprinkle in some personality! Take your personal brand statement’s quirks, passions, and values and incorporate this vibe into your story.
By the end of this exercise, you’ll have a narrative that sets the groundwork for expressing yourself online and building a community. Weave all of these elements into your content going forward.
2. Grow your community with more visibility and authenticity
You don’t need a massive following to offer brands a lot of value—it’s more about whether or not your personal brand connects with their target audience.
Brands want to see how potential ambassadors can grow their community and reach. So start engaging with your audience right away:
- Use hashtags and trends strategically so more people see your content
- Consistently posting keeps people engaged and looking forward to new content
- Spark conversations with your followers and get their feedback in the comments
- Don’t be afraid to be open and honest with your followers—audiences want to see authentic content about their favorite topics
- Reach out to other creators in your niche—cross-posting and collabing on projects
This sense of community sets you apart as a creator and boosts your value for brands.
3. Gather research about compatible brands that light your fire
Start looking for brands you’d love to partner with. They don’t need to have an established ambassador program. You can always let them know what you can offer later.
Keep these questions in mind as you search:
- What companies match your personal brand? Authenticity inspires people to buy online—and brands know it. Your recommendations work best when they feel natural and true to you.
- What brands fit with your knowledge and expertise? That way, you can start making great content for them immediately.
- What brands are you already promoting? The best ambassadors are brand superfans. If you’re already singing a brand’s praises, that puts you a step ahead and makes you stand out.
- Do your followers show a lot of love for a brand? If you can show that a brand will gel with your audience, their team will take notice. Remember which brands your audience can’t stop talking about in your comments or DMs.
Organize data and info into your market research spreadsheet as you gather it. Categories could include target audience, brand reputation, level of name recognition, market trends, competition, and more.
You’ll be able to track key details about your dream brands—strategizing how you can help them smash their goals.
- Do they already have an ambassador program?
- What kind of creators/content do they team up with?
- What’s their brand voice and style?
- What do you notice about the audience for their existing content?
If you want to go the extra mile, reach out to other ambassadors about their experiences:
- How’d they feel about repping the brand?
- What were the rewards like?
- Did it help them grow as a creator?
- Was the brand supportive and open to fresh ideas?
This research helps you finely tune your applications and pitch emails for each program—as well as highlight the best fit for your personal brand.
4. Stand out with an attention-grabbing media kit and pitch email
As you lean into your personal brand and grow your audience, start gathering content for your portfolio. Showcase your best posts, audience responses, and any previous successes as an ambassador.
Try upping your game with a media kit template—like impact.com’s easy-to-use one. It’ll give brands a concise overview of your strengths, previous wins, and how you’ll help them reach the right audience.
Even if a pitch email isn’t part of every brand’s application process, it’s a fantastic way to stand out and highlight your creative strengths and community-building skills. Check out these tips for crafting the perfect pitch emails!
The better your brand research beforehand, the more you can tailor your portfolio and pitch to fit each brand.
5. Start applying to programs (don’t wait to be approached!)
Now, you’re all set to reach out to brands proactively. Don’t wait for brands to come to you. Only 5% of brands want to source and recruit the creators they want to work with.
Start by double-checking your research spreadsheet and collecting all the necessary info. Many brands have an official application process for their ambassador programs. Pay close attention to brand instructions and ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Remember, you can still email brands even if they don’t have an official ambassador program. After applying or reaching out, keep track of each interaction on your spreadsheet. It’ll help with follow-ups, too!
Some popular brands (such as Gymshark) don’t accept ambassador applications anymore. Instead, they seek and reach out to potential partners themselves.
If you want to stand out for your favorite brand’s scouts, lean into your personal brand. Show how good you are at community-building and use consistent hashtags and trends to stand out in your niche.
If a brand starts the ambassador convo with you, do a deep dive into their program:
- Check out their reputation on social media, post history, and previous ambassadors. Have they been sending out DMs from fake accounts or promoting influencer scams?
- Do they have verified accounts, consistent branding, active audience engagement, and good customer feedback?
- Consider if this is a company you genuinely love and stand behind. As an ambassador, you’ll work with them for the long haul.
The right ambassador program can set you up for your dream career as a creator. Take your time and be picky. Joining forces with reputable brands will help you find your feet and create rock-solid content for your future portfolio.
Check out these examples of brand ambassador programs done right:
Fabletics ambassador program
Plus-size fashion and beauty creator Donna Feena shows off her Fabletics set as she hikes.
Inclusive athleisure brand Fabletics launched to new heights with the help of fitness and fashion creators. The brand’s popular ambassadorship program hires creators to showcase their products through authentic posts about their personal experiences. In return, creators get early access to products, discounts, and more.
Check out their ambassador program here.
Sea to Summit ambassador program
Rugged adventure brand Sea to Summit offers ambassadors exclusive discounts, features on their social media accounts, and potential partnership opportunities and commission payments.
Outdoor enthusiasts and creators can apply here.
6. Find your inner negotiator and champion your interests
Once you hear back from a brand, see what they can offer for compensation. While many programs have established terms and rewards, there may be room to negotiate.
Don’t be afraid to ask if there’s wiggle room—it never hurts to pose the question! Use examples of past successes working with brands to back up your asks.
Either way, make sure you’re 100 percent clear on objectives, rewards, compensation, and other details upfront. Ensure every detail appears in your contract so everyone is on the same page.
Remember your values and needs—not just what brands ask for. The best collabs make both parties happy.
7. Highlight your successes to set yourself up for a lasting creator career
Congrats, you’ve landed your first ambassadorship deal! So, what can you do now to make the most out of this partnership?
First, stay consistent. While promoting the brand, infuse your personality and perspective into the content. This will keep your audience engaged and ensure that your partnership feels authentic.
Next, dive even deeper into the brand’s voice and style. Your spreadsheet gives you a good place to start—but now that you’ve got the gig, go further. Talk to your brand contacts and study other ambassadors in your community. Align your content to create a seamless experience for your audience and help the brand reach their goals.
Finally, track important results that show the impact of your work. This could include metrics such as engagement rates, traffic, or even sales. By presenting these results to the brand, you’ll show them your value and strengthen the relationship.
It also gives you a chance to learn and establish yourself—proving your work ethic and expanding your portfolio for a thriving career as a creator.
Remember, building a successful content business is all about delivering value to your audience and the brands you work with. By staying consistent, leaning into the brand’s voice, and showcasing tangible results, you’ll set yourself up for continued success in the world of content creation. Keep up the great work!
Becoming a brand ambassador could be your ticket to creator success
As an ambassador, you’re not just promoting a brand. You’re partnering with their team (and other talented creators). You can receive free products, exclusive discounts, featured posts, commission payments, or retainer fees. Plus, you’ll keep improving your content, learning about products, and building brand relationships.
This role will help you cross the biggest hurdle to starting a full-time career as a creator: earning from your posts.
So, what are you waiting for? These programs are perfect for passionate creators like you.
Continue learning how to land your first creator brand deal:
- What brands want: building successful creator partnerships in 2023 (research report)
- 4 research-backed ways content creators can increase buyer intent (blog)
- 5 research-backed ways creators can stand out when pitching brands (blog)
No, influencers and brand ambassadors aren’t always the same thing. Influencers use their platform and established audience to promote brands or products for short-term campaigns or collabs. On the other hand, brand ambassadors usually promote brands/products as part of an exclusive, long-term partnership program.
The number of followers you need to be a brand ambassador varies by program—but many companies use 10,000 followers as a minimum benchmark.
The most important thing is to focus on establishing and defining your personal brand—posting consistent content and engaging with your followers. That way, you’ll stand out in all your applications.
Check out the applications for existing programs. Show examples of your creative work and how your audience has responded. Also, emphasize why you’re passionate about their brand and how your unique skills and expertise align with their brand goals.