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So you wanna be a brand ambassador, what now?

You’ve seen these girls plastered across social media promoting anywhere from skincare products, makeup and clothing. Sometimes you wonder what it is like being an influencer in the wild; racking up followers across social media platforms, being sent products in exchange for social media posts. Perhaps you have a friend who is a campus brand ambassador and talks endlessly on how much she LOVES her job and how it helped her secure an internship…and somehow you’re starting to buy into her small spiel. 

  Being a campus brand ambassador isn’t defined by the fun perks of the job. Sure it is great to receive products from your favourite brands and get paid for sharing your opinion, but being a brand ambassador requires great social media marketing skills and the ability to reach out to new audiences on campus. On top of regularly posting on social media, sometimes you are required to host on-campus and in-store events and need to handle being in a fast-paced environment. There are days when your engagement on your latest Instagram post isn’t as high or not too many people attend your event, and you need to learn how to overcome those challenges. However, being a brand ambassador is a very rewarding job for full-time college students  and is perfect for anyone wanting to go into communications or marketing. 

   After being enrolled at UofT for almost three years, I managed to secure four campus brand ambassador positions for companies like Sephora, Bumble, Michael Kors and Hallmark by using the following five tips and tricks. 

Curating A-M-A-Z-I-N-G social media content and an audience

  The first thing companies will look at when selecting brand ambassadors for their college programs is the Instagram profile. They want to see if you have a large following of students from your campus and if you know how to curate great content: think anywhere between 1000 followers and up. 

  Of course, gaining an audience is a difficult task, no one can instantly gain 2K followers within a week. That’s where content comes in. Ask yourself: can I take great photos? Is my feed cohesive with my personal brand? These are major tasks of the job. A brand ambassador is someone who knows the ins and outs of social media and knows how to present themselves on their platforms. Audiences will start to pick up when they notice you are putting work into your content. 

Following influencer marketing companies on LinkedIn and Instagram

  Most of the time, big companies partner with field marketing companies to further drive their brand’s marketing strategy and select college students who are best suited to their brand. A simple Google search of the specific program you want to work with can lead you to an application from these field marketing companies. It’s worth doing a little digging and keeping a list of these companies and their specific programs for college students. Please keep in mind that some programs require a certain GPA and may not be available at your school or your country, but it does not hurt to ask! 

Attending on-campus brand activation events 

  If you’ve been stalking your local campus brand ambassadors, you would notice that a majority of their posts on social media are dedicated to promoting the latest product launch or an upcoming event. ATTEND THESE ON-CAMPUS EVENTS! Brands plan these events for a reason: to get you, the student, interested and engaged with their products and interact with the ambassadors. Attending these on-campus events is also an amazing way to ask ambassadors any questions you have.They would love to talk to you about the perks and tasks of the job.

Having a vast network of friends, colleagues, students 

You may have well over 1000 followers on Instagram and Tiktok and have an aesthetically pleasing feed, but are you well connected? It is not a requirement to be insanely involved in one or more brand ambassador programs in the past, however, brands want to see how engaged you are with your campus. Are you a leader in a student organization? Do you contribute to your campus newspaper or blog? Are you involved in student government? Are you in a sorority? Being highly involved on campus opens up so many networks of individuals, meaning higher event attendance and brand awareness in your social circles. You can easily promote an upcoming event in your sorority group chat or bring product samples at your next meeting. Being involved also provides you with so many transferable skills that you can use with your next brand ambassador job. 

Making connections with current brand ambassadors 

 Have a friend who was a brand ambassador for two companies? Keep that connection! Making connections with current brand ambassadors expands your network and you can ask them personal questions about what working for a specific company is like. Sometimes these brand ambassadors have referral forms, and it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Ann Marie Elpa

U Toronto '21

  Ann Marie Elpa is a third-year student at Victoria College at the University of Toronto St. George. She majors in both English and Book and Media Studies, hoping to pursue a career in journalism. Apart from being involved with the HerCampus team, Ann Marie currently serves as the President of Alpha Omicron Pi's Beta Tau Chapter and has bylines in NBGA Mag, The Varsity, The Strand and HuffPost. She is also a brand ambassador for companies such as Sephora, Bumble, Michael Kors and Hallmark. Ann loves a good Starbucks coffee and a rom-com. 
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