What Is a Brand Ambassador?
Every company will say they have a brand ambassador, but not all actually have one. To be a brand ambassador, you must be the spokesperson or one of the designated spokespersons for your company. It’s a personal brand that cannot be attributed to corporate channels. Instead, a spokesperson should be someone who works for or runs your company. This is because people are better able to engage with and relate to a person than a company.
So what, besides the obvious, distinguishes a brand ambassador from the company itself?
It all lies in personality. This can be defined in any way. For VanillaSoft’s Darryl Praill, it meant a mix of “smartass” and “truth teller”. A truth teller, Darryl says, is an important personality for your brand ambassador(s) to have, as truth tellers are not afraid to constructively tell people when they’re wrong. Although this may sound messy and scary for many brands, it’s much more relatable than the “glorified automated voice recording” personality that is often used.
This willingness to engage with people can have significant benefits if done correctly. The key is to know when truth telling is necessary and when it would be a better idea to “agree to disagree” on a point of contention.
Here’s how having a brand ambassador who knows how to constructively engage with people can help position your brand as the right choice for those seeking help in your field.
The Benefits of Having a Brand Ambassador
There are multiple benefits to having a brand ambassador, but the three main ones are reputation, visibility, and influence.
When your brand ambassador consistently reacts to online conversations in the same way, people are much more likely to believe them when they say whether something is wrong or correct. This is where being known as a truth teller comes into play. Having reliable, valid opinions that are backed up by fact helps build an ambassador’s reputation — and your company’s by default.
Having a brand ambassador can significantly improve your brand’s visibility. Remember, people are more likely to engage with a person they can relate to than a faceless company. So long as the content, comments, opinions, and expertise your brand ambassador shares consistently add value to the conversation and convey knowledge, your brand will reach a far broader audience than any of your other marketing methods. This, in turn, will snowball into the higher reputation we just mentioned, as well as more influence in your company’s industry.
Every business has competitors, and in some cases, those competitors have been in business a lot longer. It can be difficult to drive conversation away from your competitors and toward your business, but having a brand ambassador makes it possible to stand out against larger, more established rivals. When your brand ambassador has a well-established reputation as a truth-teller and value provider, they are able to drive the conversation around topics related to your industry.
Similarly, the high reputation, visibility, and influence of a good ambassador increases brand recognition. This means when someone from your sales or marketing team reaches out to a prospect, they’re much more likely to have heard of your company through interactions with the ambassador.
As a result, the sales cycle can start immediately instead of after your sales or marketing team have managed to establish a relationship with the prospect. Thanks to the ambassador, that relationship already exists. Your team can take that relationship and cultivate it to superfan status much more easily than if your ambassador didn’t reach such a broad audience.
At this point, you may be thinking “all these benefits sound great, but what do they ACTUALLY mean for my business?”
The answer: A huge impact on your bottom-line. If your ambassador does their job correctly on social media, with other influencers, and at events, the following will happen:
The ambassador and your company will be seen as credible truth-tellers.
You will reach an audience size you never could have hoped for, which means your consequential revenue will increase.
Shorter Sales Cycles
Sales cycles will be shortened because the brand ambassador helps sales and marketing teams start a trusted relationship with prospects immediately, instead of having to build one.
More Inbound Leads
When your reach is larger, more people automatically see your company and keep you in mind for their future needs. As a result, more people will start coming to you who are self-qualified and ready to become a client.
Higher Closing Rates
Having more prospects who are ready to become clients automatically translates to more clients, which means your closing rates are higher.
When you have a large reach, positive reputation, and higher close rate, your revenue is multiplied. What business wouldn’t want that?
Build awareness of new brand ambassador
If having a brand ambassador has so many great benefits, why don’t more companies have one?
Darryl says the answer boils down to a simple fear of becoming messy. He advises anyone who wants to become a brand ambassador for their company to just let their personality shine through. The more consistent, human, and intentional you are in your interactions, the more people will relate to you — and your company by default. Although there’s no simple checklist for promoting a new brand ambassador, you can succeed with common sense and a dedication to the following:
- Decide who will speak for your company and make sure all your company’s stakeholders know the ambassador may go too far from time-to-time.
- Be intentional with every comment, speaking engagement, or piece of content you share as the ambassador.
- Be consistent in providing value with everything you do as the brand ambassador. When on social media, only comment or share when you have something tangible to say. And if you join the conference or trade show circuit, only sign up if the ambassador has a speaking role. Doing this perpetuates the belief that you (the ambassador) are an influencer, as is your company by extension.
- Approach the above steps with an almost religious fervor.
- Brand ambassadors help companies have a trusted relationship with prospects right away instead of having to build one.
- Conversations as a brand ambassador are fundamentally no different from talking with someone one-on-one.
- Every company will say they have a brand ambassador, but not every company actually does.
- If a brand ambassador does their job correctly, they can have huge effects on your company’s bottom-line.
- Be intentional with everything you post or discuss as a brand ambassador — it should all add value.
- Give yourself permission to let your personality come out. That’s how you make yourself more relatable as a brand ambassador.