Thinking about building a team of brand ambassadors? In this post, we break down the most common types of brand ambassador programs and how they work.
How to Pitch and Hire Brand Ambassadors on Instagram (the Right Way)
Not sure how to reach out to brand ambassadors on Instagram? Here's what your message should say and how to find the perfect ambassadors for your brand.
Let’s say you’ve found an Instagram creator that’d be a perfect brand ambassador.
Nice! Have you prepared your pitch, though?
Because pitching is a make-or-break moment. Highlighting your value and sowing the seeds of a partnership is a lot to do in a single message.
That’s why so many brands drop the ball when it comes time to pitch.
We can help, though! Our quick guide to pitching brand ambassadors on Instagram will break down:
- When and where to contact ambassadors to maximize your response rate
- Common outreach mistakes that cause content creators to tune out
- What to include in your brand ambassador pitches to earn a positive response
Where to Contact Instagram Brand Ambassadors ✉️
For starters, brand ambassadors prefer the following contact channels:
- Instagram DMs
- Contact forms (via their website or Linktree)
For direct messages, keep your initial outreach short and sweet. Let your DM serve as a sort of hook and teaser versus a detailed invitation. You can always explain more once you start going back and forth.
Check out this DM pitch that actually got a reply back from an IG brand ambassador:
But what if your offer requires special details or more context? Send an email!
You only risk losing your contact’s attention with a wordier pitch if it’s boring or irrelevant. With an outreach email, your goal should be to grab their attention ASAP.
Maybe you can talk up a recent post they did. Perhaps you have some mutuals.
If nothing else, writing a longer-form pitch makes it easier to showcase your personality. You can be more specific about what you’re offering, too.
For inspiration, check out our Instagram collaboration email templates you can swipe for yourself. Here’s an example of how to hire a brand ambassador the right way:
|Subject line: Hey Maddie, we love your content!|
My name is Kristen and I work for Dusk.
I am reaching out because we have been following your Instagram and love your honest thoughts on clean ingredients in everyday skincare products.
We would love to invite you to become a part of our brand ambassador team!
We think your appreciation for organic products aligns with our company’s mission to provide healthier self-care products for women and believe you would be a great fit as a Dusk brand ambassador!
As a brand ambassador, you would partner with us on social media campaigns on Instagram featuring new self-care products that are organic.
You will receive a lifetime discount of 40% on products and a personalized affiliate code for your followers to get 25% off their first Dusk order!
If you are interested, I would love to talk with you about our ambassador program and what we have to offer!
If an influencer has an active blog, you can also submit a pitch to their site’s contact form. This is also a smart place to follow up if you don’t get any responses or your message accidentally gets overlooked.
Either way, your goal should be to contact ambassadors where they want to be contacted. For example, many Instagram brand ambassadors will have specific outreach details in their bio. Chances are you’ll find an email, Linktree or contact form there.
Contacting brand ambassadors on their own terms increases your chances of a response and shows your attention to detail. Both are good news for making a positive first impression.
When to Contact Instagram Brand Ambassadors 🕒
Trying to optimize your outreach down to the minute isn’t going to change much.
That said, there are a few small details that can help you figure out the best time to contact someone about an ambassador opportunity.
For starters, consider time zones. Try not to catch your contacts at awkward times based on where they’re located. This includes:
- After mealtimes
- Immediately following working hours
- In the middle of the night
Research from Meltwater notes that PR-related pitches are ideally done during the mornings or early afternoons. Always be mindful of what time the content creator will receive your message. Stick to business hours, if possible.
Beyond that, pay attention to when your potential brand ambassador is most active. For example, when are they posting Stories? When are they typically responding to or “liking” comments?
This can clue you in on actual times someone is active so you don’t have to speculate. If you can reach them when they’re already online and engaging with others, you’re more likely to get a response (or at the very least get noticed).
How to Reach Out to Brand Ambassadors on Instagram 💬
Now that you’ve determined the best place and time to conduct outreach, it’s time to draft your actual pitch message.
What to Include in Your Brand Ambassador Message ✔️
Here’s how to ask someone to be a brand ambassador the right way.
- Highlight what makes you “different.” Your pitch should sound anything but one-size-fits-all. Whether it’s your audience or a one-of-a-kind product, think about what makes your brand unique and worth working with. Instagram ambassadors get requests all the time. What value do you bring to the table?
- Stay true to your brand. Odds are you’re reaching out to someone because of how well they connect with their followers, right? Try to make a genuine connection yourself. Talk like a human but also let your brand voice shine through. When in doubt, be authentic!
- Prove that you did your research (and actually respect their time). Make the connection between your brand, their brand and your mutual target audience. Be upfront about why your product is perfect for their followers. Complimenting a recent post is a smart move, but go beyond surface-level comments (“Nice post”). Show them that you did your homework.
- Follow up. Life happens and ambassadors are busy. Don’t be afraid to follow up if you don’t receive a response. Your ambassador may have missed your message or you might be on their to-do list. Following up within 24-48 hours shows you care about the proposed partnership. Either way, just make sure your follow-up isn’t identical to your pitch.
When pitching Instagram influencers, you should always be genuine. Customize your messages to each potential ambassador (even if you’re using templates to speed up your outreach). Doing so gives the influencer confidence that you actually value them and their time.
What Not to Do in your Brand Ambassador Pitch ❌
Below are the biggest mistakes to avoid when crafting your outreach message:
- Don’t try to be “cute.” Absolutely avoid messages like this: “HAYYYY Girrrl, love the feed aesthetic, 😍, wanna try out our totally awesome product that will change your LIFE?” Outreach like this is an immediate turn-off. The fact that so many brand ambassador messages on Instagram are such low-effort is good news for you, though!
- Don’t waste their time. Again, ambassadors are busy. Keep your message focused on the pitch and why you should work together. Listing off product features or details about your founding story will only distract them. When in doubt, get to the point!
- Don’t spam ambassadors to death. Follow-ups are fine but spam is obviously a big no-no. If your first message doesn’t get a response, don’t panic! One follow-up is fair game but don’t keep pushing.
We’ll bite: scaling a brand ambassador program is hard work when you need to personalize every pitch. That said, you’ll never find a meaningful program built on copying and pasting DMs.
4 Things to Know Before Hiring an Instagram Brand Ambassador 👩🏫
You’ve worked out your approach to outreach but don’t get too pitch-happy yet!
Because ambassadors represent extensions of your brand. They’re team members.
And so partnering with an Instagram ambassador is much different than working with a creator on a single post.
Before hiring a brand ambassador on Instagram, make sure you’re familiar with what it really means to work together. To wrap things up, here are four things to know prior to your first hire.
1. Brand Ambassadors Represent a Long-Term Partnership 🤝
Ambassador relationships are more than just a social media fling.
The terms “brand ambassador” and “influencer” are often used interchangeably. They shouldn’t be, though. While providing similar benefits to brands, brand ambassadors represent a long-term commitment.
For example, a one-off campaign with an influencer might involve a single post about a new product. On the flip side, working with an Instagram brand ambassador involves:
- Collaborating on multiple marketing or product campaigns
- Promoting affiliate links and codes
- Getting featured within your own social content, ads and promotions
Ambassador relationships are just that — relationships. Value their feedback, maintain consistent communication and reward them for their efforts.
2. Both You and Your Ambassadors Need to Follow the Law ⚖️
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has clear rules that brands and ambassadors need to follow when it comes to sponsored content.
If brand ambassadors are going to be promoting your brand on their Instagram accounts, they need to know how to disclose the partnership. As long as it’s visible in their captions and hashtags like “#sponsored,” “#gifted” or “#ad” are used, you’re golden.
Either way, you should also have an agreement in place regarding content rights. Ambassadors must consent that you own the content they create to promote your brand. This eliminates any potential conflict if you want to repurpose their content.
Nothing puts a strain on a relationship quite like a lawsuit. Translation? Make sure everyone is on the same page by drafting up a contract. Reduce friction by reminding your brand ambassadors that you value their work and how they’re an asset to your brand.
3. You Shouldn't Try to Change Your Ambassador ✨
Creators work tirelessly to produce content and curate their social media accounts to reflect their unique style.
The last thing any brand should do is try to strip an ambassador of their identity and mold them into who they want them to be.
Don’t expect your brand ambassador to change their style for you. While it’s okay to provide guidance and guidelines for their social media posts, you shouldn’t dictate their content. After all, that would completely defeat the purpose of working with them! That’s why your post requirements should be clear but flexible.
When looking for an Instagram brand ambassador, seek out someone who already aligns with your brand. If you’re an edgy makeup brand, you wouldn’t hire a brand ambassador whose whole aesthetic is being “traditional” or “modest.”
Or if you’re a vegan snack brand, it’d be weird to partner with someone known for their love of barbecue.
Makes sense, right? When you find the right brand ambassador for you, you’ll see that the relationship comes naturally.
4. Managing Ambassadors Takes A Lot of Time ⏲️
Think about how long it takes to find a worthwhile match on a dating app.
It's a long and tedious process, isn’t it?
Well, finding a perfect match for your brand can be just as exhausting. You may have to go through a few "dates" before identifying a brand ambassador to enter a long-term relationship with.
And again, finding the right fit is easier said than done.
Even when you uncover a winner, you still need to worry about details such as:
- Negotiating a contract
- Briefing them on new products, launches and ambassador campaigns
- Laying out expectations for social media (think: how often should they post)
- Monitoring and engaging with their content
- Tracking the performance of their posts
- Maintaining consistent communication and building a genuine relationship
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface! Working with multiple ambassadors often feels like a full-time job by itself but the results are 100% worth it.
Looking to Hire Instagram Brand Ambassadors at Scale?
Brand ambassadors can totally transform your Instagram presence and boost your social sales at the same time.
If you stick to the best practices above, you’ll build win-win relationships that last.
But as a brand, you’ll need a dedicated team managing ambassador relations to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Don’t have the resources or budget for all of the above? Maybe it’s time to hire a full-service influencer marketing platform to do the legwork for you. Working with Statusphere allows you to find relevant ambassadors and scale your campaigns faster.
To see how Statusphere can partner you with proven brand ambassadors to grow your sales and social presence, contact one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists today.
Disclaimer: We're influencer marketing specialists, not lawyers! This content is not legal advice and you should definitely consult a legal professional based on your needs and questions. We do not make any guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information and take no liability or legal obligations for your use of this information.
Originally published on July 15, 2019. Last updated February 28, 2022.