I’ve been talking with a couple of different tech firms about the possibility of serving as a brand ambassador. “What’s that?” I can hear you ask. It’s where you serve as a band spokesperson in return for product and, quite often, financial compensation.
To find out what kind of deals are the norm, I asked a few colleagues about how they work with companies in the role of spokesperson or brand ambassador. Here are the answers I received (scrubbed for anonymity):
I have been on both sides of the equation with Brand Ambassadors and Paid Celebrity Spokespersons for the major consumer products and food brands. As a brand ambassador, many companies don’t pay anything per se, but they send out a special package of goodies for the campaign or they may pay a few hundred bucks (up to $2K) for bloggers or other influential Subject Matter Experts during a specific promotion or campaign.
Most Brands expect a fair amount of activation from the ambassadors that they partner with…sometimes unrealistically. It’s not their fault though, because since social ROI is so elusive, not everyone agrees what success looks like I think that if each party (agency, brand and the ambassador they “hire” has realistic expectations, it can be a win-win situation. Nobody is going to get rich being a brand ambassador for a company, however, but you do get to interact with a brand you enjoy and the company gets some street cred.
I have a LOT of thoughts on ambassadorships. With a wine company I was paid $2k to organize a blogger outreach event and appear on a local TV show to promote their product. I also wrote about the product on my blog and shared that across social media. The usual.
I also work with a kids tech/toy company that doesn’t give me monetary compensation, but pays me in approx. $200-300 worth of product a couple times a year. In addition, the firm flew me to their headquarters for a tour, meeting with the product team and strategy session with 4 other bloggers in different niches. Similarly, an automotive firm flew me to their headquarters, along with a bunch of other bloggers and hosted a three day event with celebs and other perks. No monetary compensation, but great networking and “feeling important”. And it was fun too!
Another car company I worked with covered all my expenses for attending a conference (airfare, hotel, transportation) plus a $750 gift card and a 32GB iPad in return for promoting their brand before and during the conference, as well as appearing on their blog and photos.
I’ve taken part in multiple ones. In one I was on the hook for at least two pieces of content a month and was paid $500, while in another I was given lots of equipment and gear (to keep) in exchange for agreeing to send them 5 photos a week that I took with it.
There you have it. Some ambassadorships are just an exchange of gear for being a spokesperson, while others have a monetary component, whether it’s sponsoring travel, conferences, visits to corporate HQ or issuing a check each month.