Wednesday, October 20Digital Marketing Journals

How to Become a Brand Ambassador on Instagram in 10 Steps


At this point, it’s fair to say we’ve all wondered how to become a brand ambassador on Instagram. 

It’s hard not to envy the influencer lifestyle…but is it worth it to become a brand ambassador? 

As it turns out? Yes. The money is there. Just look at the stats: 

In 2021, 67% of brands are using Instagram for influencer marketing. And a 2019 study found that 49.3% of respondents actively bought something because an influencer recommended it.

Instagram has over one billion monthly active users…so you can do the math. 

In this post, you’ll learn what exactly a brand ambassador is, how brand ambassadors are different from influencers, and the ten steps to becoming a brand ambassador on Instagram. 

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What is a brand ambassador? 

A brand ambassador is a professional social media guru who represents brands online.

Sound scary? Don’t worry — it’s actually not that complicated.

When you’re a brand ambassador, you work with the same brands consistently over time as a spokesperson for their products. Unlike one-time sponsorships, brand ambassadors enjoy long-term relationships with the businesses they help — which means more stability for brands, and consistent income for you.

For example, the Maybelline Girls are a group of influencers whom Maybelline has paid to promote their brand online. 

The Maybelline Girls

Some of these influencers have worked with Maybelline for over a decade. That just goes to show how awesome partnering with a brand long-term can be.

What’s the difference between a brand ambassador and an influencer?

The terms “brand ambassador” and “influencer” are used pretty interchangeably, but there is a little bit of a difference between the two.

An influencer is someone with a large social media following (think 10,000+ followers) who negotiates lots of one-off sponsorships with brands.

Meanwhile, a brand ambassador is someone who works together with the same brand over a long period of time.

Plenty of influencers are also brand ambassadors. And while brand ambassadors can start smaller by partnering with small businesses and startups (more on that later), it usually isn’t long before they become influencers too.

Short answer: Yes. Brands pay their ambassadors to represent them, just like they do with any other influencer.

The longer answer? Yes and no. It’s also common practice for brands to provide ambassadors with free or discounted products to promote. So, while you’re not paid in cash, you are paid in the form of free stuff.

The great news about this is (a) free stuff is awesome and (b) promoting brands “for free” can help you build up a track record of great performance that’ll help you land higher-paying jobs in the future. (More on that later.)

How to become a brand ambassador on Instagram

Step 1. Define your personal brand 

Your brand is a combination of your personality, your niche, and the way you present yourself to the public — and to potential sponsors.

First, choose a niche (like fashion, travel, or cooking, for example). Pick something that you’re excited to post about for years to come!

Then, use your brand personality to set yourself apart within this space.

Your presentation is very important. Remember, brands are looking for someone who shares their values…which means they’ll want you to be yourself, but also be professional.

And this is important — make sure you’re working from an Instagram business or creator account. 

Business and creator accounts have a lot of benefits that personal accounts don’t. Plus, it’ll take a lot of stress out of your daily life if you keep your brand account and your personal account separate.

If you’ve already put a lot of work into growing your personal account, don’t sweat it — you can change it to a business account very easily in the settings. (We have a walkthrough at the end of this post.)

If you do this, just make sure to clean up any photos that you don’t want brands to see. Now, you’re ready to start optimizing!

Step 2. Optimize your Instagram business bio

Your Instagram bio is super important. In just a few words, this is where you tell future followers (and sponsors!) who you are, what you do, and why they should care.

It’s an art and a science, but thankfully there’s a lot of ways to get it right. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered — we wrote a whole article about it. 

In a nutshell, you want your bio to show who you are, give out your contact info, and use a strong CTA — call to action — that tells people what to do next.

MobileMonkey CEO Larry Kim’s Instagram bio

You can get two-for-one if your CTA tells people to contact you in your DMs (direct messages)! This is a very effective method, especially if you’re running an online store or offer a service (like a skill class, consulting, or brand representation).

You can actually set up an automatic funnel to answer DMs by using a tool like MobileMonkey. So, if your bio says “DM me for more info” and a curious brand does just that, they get an answer right away.

MobileMonkey’s Auto-Reply to DMs tool

To see it in action, check out our profile @mobilemonkey and say hi! (Mobile devices only.)

Finally, make sure to take advantage of the one and only link Instagram gives you in your bio. You can direct visitors to your website, an online portfolio, or anywhere that makes sense for your brand.

Step 3. Post consistent content

This is key — especially if you’re starting from scratch.

The only way to gain real followers and get brands’ attention is to post great content — and a lot of it. You’re probably already doing this, but here’s a few tricks to make your life easier:

  1. Create a content calendar to plan out your feed
  2. Use Instagram automation tools to make posting on time simple
  3. Plan what hashtags to use and what trends to follow
  4. Batch your content by shooting a lot of photos and videos at once, and then posting them over time
  5. Write all your captions beforehand (or hire someone else to do it)

The more you can plan your feed ahead of time, the easier your life will be. Plus, if you can find online groups for influencer and brand ambassadors, you can encourage other people in your field to keep up the good work — and they’ll encourage you!

This is both the easiest and the hardest step of becoming a brand ambassador. Be consistent, be strategic, and keep your eyes up. You’ve got this.

Step 4. Grow your following

This is another step that’s easier said than done. But, with hard work and solid strategy, you can knock your growth out of the park.

There are lots of sites out there that promise instant likes and followers. Be very careful with this, as Instagram really doesn’t like fake activity. After everything you’ve put into this, you don’t want fake followers to get your account shut down.

Instead, use organic growth strategies and consistent content to keep the real followers flowing in. There’s also a lot of legitimate growth tools out there to help you along the way. 

For example, InstaChamp is a tool that lets you automatically follow up with anyone who mentions you in their Story. Check it out:

MobileMonkey’s Auto Reply to Story Mentions tool

This is just one of many ways InstaChamp can make your life easier while growing your following on autopilot — without breaking any of Instagram’s rules.

Step 5. Network within your niche

Once you start posting, it’s super important to network with brands that compliment your own.

For example, if you’re posting fashion content, it makes sense to interact with big fashion brands. Take it a step further by networking with brands that fit your vibe — Hot Topic, for example, has a very different personality than L. L. Bean.

It always helps land deals when brands already know who you are, so following, liking, and commenting on brand accounts goes a long way toward your future success. 

Just make sure not to spam. Treat the people behind the brand accounts like…well, people…and you’ll be well on your way to creating valuable brand-partner relationships.

Step 6. Learn and implement high-demand digital marketing skills

Digital marketing might sound scary, but don’t worry…if you’re growing a following on Instagram, you’re already doing it.

In fact, you’ve been learning digital marketing skills just by reading this post! You’ve learned about calls-to-action (CTA) and user-generated content (UGC), and you just finished a primer on branded hashtags.

The great thing about the internet is that it’s always possible to build new skills. So, brush up on promoting yourself (and brands) online! You can use YouTube, sites like Skillshare and Coursera…and of course, there’s always our blog. 

(Not to brag, but we post a lot about Instagram marketing skills.)

Digital marketing skills make you more in-demand when you approach brands to partner with them…and at the same time, they’ll help you grow your own following. It’s a win-win.

Step 7. Start affiliate marketing with brands that are a good fit for your audience

Affiliate marketing means that you promote a link or special promo code for a brand. You get paid every time someone uses your link or code to buy a product. 

The catch? Make sure the brands you choose fit well with your audience, so they don’t feel like you’re pushing unwanted products on them. 

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you. If you’re building a brand account, a lot of your followers are trying to do the same thing — which means they’re the perfect audience to learn about InstaChamp, a full suite of Instagram-approved growth tools.

InstaChamp’s landing page

As an InstaChamp Ambassador partner, you earn 25% of every referral and 5% of every sub-referral — for life.

That means that even after you’re closing big deals with major brands, you’ll still be earning money from our affiliate program. 

In case you still feel lost, we provide training and support to all InstaChamp Ambassadors. Plus, you’ll get access to the MobileMonkey Island Facebook group. There, you can ask any questions you need…plus you’ll make friends with other Ambassador partners and Instagram experts.

If you’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing but you’re not sure where to start (or even how to do it), InstaChamp is a great next step. It’s time to show brands what you’ve got!

Step 8. Create content that promotes your partner brands

You’ve got the content. You’ve got the followers. You’ve got the marketing chops. Now, it’s time to start landing deals.

To kick off your new life as a brand ambassador, look for small businesses and startups that need a hand promoting their products. 

The great news is that most small businesses prefer to work with smaller influencers, because mega-popular celebrities are way too expensive (like, $1,000,000 per post expensive). 

You might work for free at first, and that’s not a bad thing. Promoting brands in exchange for free products is a super great way to build your portfolio of brand sponsorships, so the bigger fish will know you’re a reliable way to get the word out.

Not about working for free? That’s fine too. Once you have several thousand engaged followers, you’re in a good position to charge for posts and videos. That said, you can start doing this earlier if you’ve got a super engaged audience, and if you’re a perfect brand fit.

A suggested rates sheets for influencers from #paid

Source: #paid

This is where it really gets exciting. If you’re making the most of affiliate marketing and small business partnerships, you can start earning a decent side income. That leads you to the next step…

Step 9. Analyze your campaigns to understand what works and what doesn’t

No matter if you’re promoting yourself or a brand partner, it’s always important to learn what you could do better.

It’s been said that the difference between amateur marketers and pro marketers is that the pros know they’re guessing. After you run any sort of campaign, check the numbers.

With a business or creator account on Instagram, you’ll have access to Instagram Insights, which show you how well your posts have been performing. 

Insights also show you important demographic info, like how old your followers are, where they’re from, and what their gender is. That way, you can design your next campaign even better.

Instagram Insights helps you refine your next campaign

Make sure to check the numbers from the outside, too. Ran a promo code? Check how many people used it to make a purchase. Shared an affiliate link? Figure out how many sales it got. 

Use your data to its full potential, and it’ll make your next promotion that much better. 

Step 10. Expand to larger brands and bigger deals

Finally, what you’ve been working for since day one!

Imagine this: you’ve got a profile chock-full of awesome content, a hefty follower count, and multiple success stories from your affiliate marketing partners and the small business you’ve partnered with.

You’re in a perfect position to negotiate the big deals you’ve always dreamed of closing. You’ve put in the work, you’ve built your skills, and you’ve honed your strategy.

If you’ve read this far, you’re already well on your way. All you have to do is commit to your dream and start building your brand. 

As you move up the ranks, you’ll want to learn about influencer marketplaces: companies that match brands with influencers. 

In the meantime, keep posting content, growing your audience, and refining your strategy. That’s what will get you noticed in the long run — and that’s what leads to the most profitable brand ambassador deals. 

Can I get started right now?

Yes! Becoming a brand ambassador on Instagram might sound daunting, but there’s lots of help out there for you. Whole communities exist, like the Facebook group for MobileMonkey’s Ambassador partners. 

There’s also InstaChamp — the suite of Instagram messaging tools to help you grow your following as quickly and easily as possible.

Right now, InstaChamp is open to accounts with 1K to 100K followers. It’ll open up to the general public in August. It’s the perfect time to get ahead of the curve and join the crew.

So, check us out — and let us know what you think! Now that you’ve learned how to become a brand ambassador on Instagram, are you ready to start your journey? 

We sure hope so…because we know, with all the help out there for you, that you can make it. 100%. 

Looking for more info about becoming a brand ambassador on Instagram? To stay up-to-date with the latest trends in Instagram Marketing, consider subscribing. You can sign up using the form on the right-hand sidebar.

GET NEW INSTAGRAM TOOLS FROM MOBILEMONKEY

Grow Instagram followers and engagement with new tools for influencers, artists, brands and D2C businesses. Sign up to be the first to use tools that generate elite engagement via Instagram DMs.



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