When Yves Saint Laurent hired Arielle Charnas as a brand ambassador for its latest mascara, instead of turning to a well-known celebrity, the risk was rewarded. In just one day, Charnas generated $13,500 for the beauty brand after she posted about the product on Snapchat.
The success stories of influencers like Charnas are catching the attention of brands and other people with online followings who want to duplicate it. Reaching customers in authentic, effective ways is difficult to accomplish with the thousands of competing messages, but brand ambassadors are able to cut through the noise in ways that brands cannot.
Interested in becoming the next Arielle Charnas? Or just want to make a little bit of money off your blog, website, social, or app following? Here are some steps to implement to become a successful brand advocate, no matter how popular you are right now:
Build up your social followings
Get more people to follow you, on Facebook and Twitter – but also on platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram. Consider spending a modest amount on ad targeting so that the social site you are building up can put your profile in front of the right people. Finding those followers is just the first step though.
In order to keep them engaged with you and be able to tout your influencing abilities, you have to post quality content – and a lot of it. Every brand will see different successes but as a general rule, social accounts should be updated 2 to 3 times per day.
Boost your clout with proof that people care what you have to say by appearing on sites that you don’t own. Read some of the latest posts on websites and blogs that you love and get a feel for the types of things the publication wants. Then look for submission guidelines and follow them exactly and send in your own post.
Most sites will happily link to your blog or social accounts in your bio and some will even pay you for original submissions. When you apply to or approach brands about ambassador or influencer options, you can provide a portfolio of third-party locations that have published your byline. If you are ever retweeted or mentioned socially by a larger or impressive brand, take a screen shot and present those too.
You can certainly go out and knock on proverbial sponsors’ doors on your own – but the easiest way to get started in brand influencing is through networks that specialize in it. Do a basic search online for “social influencer networks” and see which ones appear for your industry or following size. Fill out the portfolio and then allow that company to get you hooked up with the right brand influencer campaigns.
Brand influencers are increasingly becoming more attractive to companies than celebrity endorsements. It’s why Charnas is one of the most sought-after fashion and beauty influencers, and why people like professional sportsman Annie Duke are effectively utilized as endorsers for industry brands.
Everyday consumers can relate to the right influencers, and that adds in an additional level of trust. If you can cultivate an internet persona that hones in on what you know, and sell, best then brands will want to tap that influence for their own gain.