Brands love to recruit ambassadors. But as an ambassador, does it really make sense for you to do this? Does the benefit outweigh the work?
I know it may feel prestigious and really good to be asked to be part of a team. However, before going forward, ask yourself a few questions:
- How will this team benefit me personally? Will I be getting free products in exchange for posting on social media?
- How much is required of me? (I had an instance where the person wanted me to create video content, posts, and reels on a continuous basis and only gave me $50 worth of product. I walked away from the deal.)
- How much does it cost to be part of the team?
- What will I get out of it?
Remember, brands are in business to sell products. If they don’t sell products through you, they won’t be happy.
Personal Experience – Message on Instagram
I got a message from a nutrition company asking if I would be an ambassador for the brand. They make supplements like whey protein, BCCAs, and even a recovery drink. I was intrigued so I scheduled a call with a guy named Craig. They kept texting me to make sure I would be around on the call, so I thought it could be legitimate.
When I finally got on the call with Craig, I told him that I am a blogger and generally get products to sample for my blog. If I love the products, I would write about them. If I don’t, I generally toss or donate them.
He said the company doesn’t give out samples, but as an “ambassador” I would get a lifetime 40% discount off all their products in exchange for posting on social.
When I explained that I don’t work that way. I need to see if I like the product first before endorsing it.
He replied: “Well, you obviously are not the right fit for us.”
“No, I don’t think I am,” I replied.
This leads me to something else, I’ve been thinking about lately…
Every year, I see applications to be part of a team. I joined two “branded” teams in 2021 just to see what they were about. I wanted to see find out why everyone went wild over being on these teams. Once accepted, they both wanted me to buy products from them. They were discounted but as part of the arrangement, I had to fork over between $300 and $400 in order to be on each team.
In addition to that, the teams gave me a 40% discount for the year. They also requested that I post on social on a regular basis, wear their apparel at races and training, and make videos as much as possible.
However, if the brand is giving you “free” products on a regular basis in exchange for promotion, it may be worth the work and in some cases, I’ve done this because I believed in the brand and felt the compensation (free products) was worth it.
What’s the benefit of being on the teams and does the benefit outweigh the cost?
So, essentially, you pay to be on these teams, you get the gear to wear during training and events and you also need to post on social. In exchange for that, you get discounts. I joined the teams as a “research project” to see if there really was a benefit from being on either one of these teams.
What’s in it for the brand? It’s a great way for them to sell their products, get people excited about being on the team, and get free publicity in the process.
I think they looked at the marketing strategy behind Google Glass. When Google Glass was first released to the general population, you couldn’t get a pair. You had to enter a Twitter contest and if you were accepted, you had the opportunity to purchase the glasses for $1500 (this wasn’t for a prescription just to get the AI glasses).
It seems like everyone wanted a pair to be part of the “cool kids,” including me. That’s why I bought them. I thought they were great and would be great for my business.
So is that the motivating factor on these teams — the cool factor?
Lately, I’m feeling that if a brand doesn’t offer products in exchange for promotion or doesn’t pay for promotion, then I don’t think it’s worth doing business with them.
Love to hear your thoughts.