This week on The Fitness Influencer Podcast, I interviewed Oliver Hubbard. Oliver has been both a Brand Ambassador and Sponsor for a variety of fitness apparel and supplement brands including, The Plant Era, MFIT SUPPS, Trident Apparel. He’s a Certified Personal Trainer in New York and a World Natural Bodybuilding Federation Pro. We discussed topics ranging from how to become a brand ambassador/sponsor to growing your personal training business.
As someone new to the ins and outs of brand ambassador and sponsorship, I was interested to learn:
- How do you get hired as an ambassador/sponsor?
- What kind of content do brands ask their reps to provide?
- What are the different kinds of ambassadorship and sponsorship?
- How do you earn money as an ambassador or a sponsor?
Brand ambassador and brand sponsorship may vary brand to brand. Often these two terms can be used in a synonymous way, so it’s important to pay attention to the details of each offer. What will be required of you as part of your deal and how will you be compensated for your work?
Before making any decisions, first it’s very important to do your research on the brand/products. Does the company align with your values? Would you recommend the ingredients of the supplement you’re being asked to promote to a family member or client? Remember as a fitness influencer, you are your brand. People are looking to follow someone they trust and relate too, someone whose values align with theirs. You should expect that anything you post will be online forever, so make sure the products you are endorsing are quality products you believe in and would without a question use yourself!
How to make yourself a good candidate
A brand ambassador or sponsor is a public figure who can leverages his/her social media expertise to create awareness for a brand, or a specific product. Ambassadors may be expected to promote the brand image/products through one, or more, social media platform. According to a survey completed by Influencer Marketing Hub, for 2019 Instagram is the primary form of influencer marketing campaigns (79% of all influncer marketing campaings, at least in part, used Instagram). This was followed by Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), Twitter (24%), LinkendIn (12%) and other platforms (12%). Recently TikTok has begun to emerge as a key player as well. It was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2019, with 33 million downloads. To make yourself a target for brands you’re interested in representing, creating a social media presence is your number one goal. You can start with the following 3 rules to make yourself attractive to potential brands:
Rule #1: Build followers with a high level of engagement
Brands are looking for influencers who have a highly engaged followers! Influencer Marketing Hubs survey revealed that according to 43% of marketers, engagement or clicks was the number one factor they looked at when considering which influencers to hire. In alignment with this, brands are now very aware of the value “nano-influencers” can provide to them. Nano-influencers, or influencers with <1000 followers on Instagram, engagement rate was on average 7.1%. This drops all the way down to 1.1% for influencers with >100,000 followers. The key to making yourself attractive to potential sponsors is to stay engaged via comments and click-through with your followers in order to build relationships and trust.
Rule #2: Grow your following
It’s simple, the more followers you have the more potential eyes there are for products you are sponsoring. While a high return on investment is important for brands investing in ambassadors and sponsors, getting as many eyes as possible on their brand and products, are extremely valuable. 55% of marketers surveyed who are using fitness influencer campaigns use impressions as a key indicator of success, while 50% use reach.
Rule #3: Create high quality content
Create high quality content. There are countless influencers out there looking to attract the same companies as you, so you need to stand out.
- Post often. Many influencers I have talked to are posting three times a day. People’s attention spans are short and if they don’t see you often you will lose attention to those who are fresh in mind.
- Learn to create professional looking photos. Create a personality to your brand. A consistent feel and look to your posts builds personality. Big brands like apple execute this in a variety of different ways and so should you.
- Create content that is true to you on topics you genuinely care about in your area of expertise and be heartfelt. This comes back to being authentic. Authenticity will create trust with your followers. And the more you care about the content you’re posting the more you will want to create that extra post to make sure you’re sharing your knowledge with your supporters.
Types of Ambassador and Sponsorship
The setup of your deal can vary for different companies and brands. Brand sponsors and ambassadors compensated most often through a commission scale. If you’re hired for a photo-shoot, or to be a brand ambassador at a trade show, however you will typically receive hourly pay. The amount of pay is most dramatically impacted by your influence.
Most fitness and supplement companies pay their brand ambassadors using commissions scales. Commission are used as an incentive towards generating leads and distributing promotional materials. Brands will give you either an affiliate link, or a promo code to pass on to your followers. These programs can be set up in a tiered structure. Lower tier deals for influencers with smaller followings could offer discounts on brand products and apparel for the influencer, with a smaller percentages of sales generated paid as commissions. This usually starts out around 10%. This percentage can increase into the 20% range the more followers you have. In addition perks such as free products to use for advertising are often provided to more established influencers.
Commission programs can also be paid on a per post basis. According to WebFX you can typically expect to command about $10 per post for every 1,000 followers on Instagram, or $20 per follower on YouTube. With most brands targeting macro-influencers (those between 10k-100k) followers, this means you can command up to $1,000 per Instagram post at the top of the range.
For ambassadors who are hired for trade shows such as The Arnold Classic can expect to receive hourly pay, or a flat rate fee per event for their time and compensation for travel expenses. Similarly, brands will hire sponsors or ambassadors for one time photo-shoots, or as reps at events/charities they are taking part in to increase brand visibility. On average a brand ambassador can expect to be paid $ 9-16 per hour for these types of jobs. Flat rate fees can widely vary based on the size of the show, or type of event, but will typically be a few hundred dollars.