Why Being A Brand Ambassador is the Perfect Job in Your Twenties and How to be Better than the Rest
“The perfect job doesn’t exist!” you say. But yet, here you are.
I’ve worked as a brand ambassador part-time for almost five years now and it has been such a great experience that I couldn’t help sharing it with you.
What is a brand ambassador and why is it such a great gig? I’ll answer these questions and, once you’re convinced my claim is legitimate, I’ll explain how you can become a brand ambassador in 5 easy steps and how to ensure that you impress clients and continue to book events.
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What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador, sometimes referred to as a brand representative or a promotional model, is someone who is hired to be the face of a specific brand during a marketing campaign.
As a brand ambassador you are responsible for promoting the brand by engaging with consumers and educating them about the brand and product. This can look different depending on the company that you are hired to represent.
This article will focus on in-person brand ambassador work as opposed to online, or ‘influencer’, partnerships.
Why Become a Brand Ambassador?
Let’s paint this picture for a minute: you’re in your third year of university, you’re trying to find a part-time job that has something to do with your major and might be applicable to your future career (lol, good luck), and you’re strapped for cash (because what post-secondary student isn’t?). Then you stumble upon a job posting for a brand ambassador role and it is perfect.
Why, you ask?
1. Great Pay
I mean significantly more money than minimum wage. No more slaving away for ridiculously underwhelming paychecks.
2. Flexible Schedule
You make on your own schedule (hello, you’re practically your own boss). This work is typically part-time and temporary and you usually only need to commit to one particular date/time rather than giving your full availability like a ‘regular’ job. With this flexibility you’re able to work around any other commitments you may have such as a part or full-time job, or school.
3. No Specific Education Needed
Most brand ambassador jobs only require a high-school diploma and don’t require you to have completed any specific post-secondary courses. This makes becoming a brand ambassador the perfect options someone in their twenties who is still unsure of their career path and looking to make some cash (and have some fun) in the meantime.
While a post-secondary degree isn’t required, there are some certifications you can obtain to ensure you will be able to work any event that is available… more about that down below.
How Can You Become a Brand Ambassador?
Becoming a brand ambassador is fairly easy, just follow these five steps…
1. Say “Cheese!”
Get a headshot and bodyshot done. These don’t have to be done in a studio but make sure that they’re professional quality.
2. Update Your Resume
Make sure everything is up-to-date and remember to highlight your interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills.
3. Contact Agencies
Find local staffing agencies through google or job boards and send an email. Introduce yourself and explain the qualities and experience that makes you a good fit for their agency. Be sure to include a copy of your resume and photos. Typically agencies will add you to their mailing list and you’ll receive an email when they have an event/activation that needs to be staffed.
4. Join Your Local Facebook Group
Search “Brand ambassadors of (your city)” in Facebook and join the group if one appears. Check this group often as it is where recruiters from a ton of agencies will post job descriptions that need to be filled.
5. Get Certified
Having your smart serve and food handling certifications are a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to take any sort of shift and will make you more appealing to agencies and brands.
Deciding to become a brand ambassador and following the necessary steps to get there is the easy part. What does it mean to be a good brand ambassador? How do you ensure that you impress brands and continue to book events?
How to Be a Successful Brand Ambassador
Because this type of work is so temporary, you will likely work in a variety of settings with a variety of brands and consumers. You need to know how to adapt to each situation in order to ensure that you’re representing the brand in the best way possible.
This can mean dressing in a particular way for an activation at a beach as opposed to at a corporate fundraiser, or changing your tone of voice and delivery when promoting at a nightclub as opposed to a pet store.
Being a successful brand ambassador means adapting to every new activation.
A brand ambassador’s responsibilities are completely centred around interacting with the public, so you need to be outgoing to do your job well. It’s easy to get discouraged when people pass you by and aren’t interested in the product you’re promoting or receptive of what you’re saying. Don’t let it get you down, it likely has nothing to do with you but rather that person doesn’t feel like talking to anyone or is in a hurry.
Look Your Best
I shouldn’t need to remind you about basic hygienic practices (shower, brush your teeth, ect. before your shift) but brand ambassador work can often be very ‘aesthetically focused’. By this I mean that you had to submit a photo in order to book the job that you’re working, so your appearance is something of importance (more so than, let’s say… a job at your local fast food joint).
Take some extra time to style your hair, polish your nails, and apply some natural makeup before the event that you are working and it won’t go unnoticed.
If the company specifies a style they are going for, do what you can to achieve it (hate wearing a red lip but the brand requested it? Suck it up and wear a red lip).
Make sure you are aware of all information pertaining to the event. Many brand ambassador roles will require you to complete a set-up or tear-down of materials and to complete a questionnaire/debrief form about the event.
There are so many things you should be aware of and I’ve compiled a list of questions you should be able to answer prior to your shift:
What are the scheduled hours of my shift? Do I need to be there prior to this start time?
Do I get a break? Will I be able to leave the event if necessary (Am I working with someone else so I can take a washroom break?)
What is the setting/environment like for this event? (Indoors/outdoors? Parking available?)
Am I required to bring anything with me to the event? (Materials/uniform…?)
What do I need to wear? What style of shoe? Does my hair/makeup need to look a certain way? (Bring a change of clothes if wearing branded content)
What are my check-in procedures? Who is my on-site contact?
What are my responsibilities during the shift? (Hand out swag/samples? Meet sales goals? Deliver key brand messaging? Collect email addresses?)
What do I need to keep track of throughout the event?
What are my responsibilities after my shift? (Tear-down, submitting forms, invoice?)
Keep It Professional
Remember that for the entire time that you are working and getting paid, you are representing a brand. This means that you need to be on your best behaviour (like a seven year old the day before Christmas best-behaviour).
No profane language or obscenities and avoid making polarizing statements or discussing controversial topics with your fellow brand ambassadors or the public. Anything that you do and say will be connected to the company you’re representing.
I once worked an activation where two of my co-workers began debating American politics (or more specifically Donald Trump) in front of consumers who were lined up to participate in a game we were facilitating. It was incredibly uncomfortable for both myself and a few people who were in line and reflecting poorly on the brand we were hired to promote.
Rule of thumb: keep your personal life out of your work to remain professional.
Know Your Stuff
Upon being hired for an event you will likely be sent an email or document describing what exactly you are promoting and how to properly market it to consumers. The ‘key brand messages’ outlined are your talking points for the event and you should absolutely memorize them.
You are going to be the face of a brand and need to know (or appear to know) what you are talking about. Memorize these points and then do some supplementary research about the brand and products so that you are prepared to answer any questions that may come-up.
On the flip-side, don’t ever offer information that you are unsure of. Instead, refer the consumer to the brand’s website or customer service email, or collect their email address and pass along the question/concern to the brands’ event organizer to receive an accurate answer.
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
Apply for brand ambassador jobs that appeal to your interests in order to make the experience as fulfilling and interesting as possible. Represent brands that you know/like/enjoy and work in environments that you are comfortable in (because you have the flexibility to choose!). Allergic to cats? Don’t work an activation in a pet store. Hate the cold? Don’t apply for outdoor events. Simple!
I know what you’re thinking, duh! But each agency you work for may have a different payment method and require different things on your part. Make sure you know how you will be getting paid (online transfer, cheque?) and in what time frame you should expect to see that money. I have worked for a company that paid me via direct deposit in two days and another that I had to wait a month to receive a cheque by mail, there’s a lot of variation.
Also, ensure that if you need to submit an invoice that you complete it properly and send it to the appropriate contact within the agency/company (it isn’t always the same person you have been in contact with about the event).
I hope I introduced you to a great potential job opportunity while in your twenties and provided you with a foundation to be successful if you so choose.