Some time ago, only big companies with premium products enjoyed the luxury of having a brand ambassador. And the role of the brand ambassador used to be an exclusive prerogative of celebrities.

Now, in the era of inclusivity and social media growth, many brands leverage both influencer marketing and ambassadors on Instagram, even medium and small businesses. Brands do understand that people are tired of plain advertising and trust micro and nano-influencers, so micro and nano-bloggers can also become brand ambassadors now; they are not celebrities but ordinary people.

And in this piece, we’ll cover how to become an Instagram brand ambassador, what these ambassadors do, if they get paid and answer more questions.

What Is a Brand Ambassador on Instagram?

Influencers, creators, celebrities, and even regular customers can become brand ambassadors on Instagram.

Annabell Wallis, Cartier's ambassador

Brand ambassadors share the values of the brand, promote these values across their audience, and love the brand they promote, truly.

💡 As a brand ambassador, you represent a company. But you’re not an official employee who can be addressed with claims and questions regarding the goods’ quality, shipping, etc.

A brand ambassador doesn’t openly call to buy products or services as in an advertisement, but all the time showcases their love for the brand.

Apart from ambassadors, companies may have:

  • Brand evangelists: happy customers who talk about the brand for free because they really love it.
  • Brand advocates: those who stand up for the brand on social media and the Internet, defend its interests, but have no formal relationship with it.
  • Brand faces: those who are hired to advertise and participate in brand events, but are not required to use the company's products.
Kaya Scodelario, Cartier's face

Instagram brand ambassador differ from the above in that they, as a rule, have a signed agreement with the brand. Brand ambassadors on Instagram earn income for promotion — these can be either full-fledged royalties, free products or services of the company they represent.

What Does a Brand Ambassador on Instagram Do?

The ambassador's primary task is to regularly tell their audience about the brand they love, use, and promote.

As a brand ambassador on Instagram, you must really love the brand you tout. If you don’t use the products of the brand or don’t like them, you’ll get tired and annoyed really quickly by the same questions your followers will ask you. And this will affect the result of your campaigns: you’ll bring down the brand and your audience as well.

There are lots of ways how a brand ambassador on Instagram can promote a brand.

  • Regularly posts on Instagram and other social media tagging the brand.
  • Create Instagram Reels linking back to the brand they promote.
  • Make honest reviews on Instagram.
  • Launch giveaways and contests on Instagram with the brand's products as prizes.
  • Organise online and offline events, such as workshops, masterclasses, meetings and networking events, live streams, interviews, and more.
  • Share branded content together with the brand thay promote.  

Do Brand Ambassadors Get Paid?

They do. However, it depends on a brand. Sometimes, brands just give their ambassadors free stuff, discounted products, or exclusive access to some services. As a rule though, Instagram brand ambassadors get paid by the brands they're working with.

How Much Do Brand Ambassadors Make on Instagram?

The ambassador's income depends on whether the ambassador is a full-fledged job — the company can offer this kind of cooperation as well — or it's just a part-time collaboration.

The ambassador can receive money for their activities, or sometimes (more often) the company's products, exclusive discounts or non-monetary bonuses, such as travel or free participation in events. Some brands can also offer to cover your costs on targeted ads and other paid advertising.

The list of benefits that ambassadors receive is very diverse and differs from brand to brand. It is limited only by the imagination of brand managers. The most common ones are:

  • Big discounts (bigger than those for regular customers)
  • Special coupons
  • Free products
  • Personal gifts
  • Exclusive products that are not available to the mass market

But the whole point of ambassadorship is based on the concept of cashless rewards when ambassadors receive awards and bonuses as products or gifts from their favourite brand.

How Many Followers Do You Need to Become a Brand Ambassador on Instagram?

There's no strict number of Instagram followers you should have to become a brand ambassador but the bigger your followership, the more chances you have to draw attention of a big brand. This is why it's vital to grow your followers to become a brand ambassador.

Brand Ambassadors on Instagram vs. Influencers: What's the Difference

The main difference between an influencer marketing campaign and a brand ambassador recruiting is that ambassadors are ready to become the face of your brand, not just post a couple of stories about your product, get paid, and call it a day. So the whole thing is about commitment to a brand and how deep it is.

How to Become a Brand Ambassador on Instagram: 5 Steps

Almost anyone who has a social media account can become a brand ambassador now. The main thing is to make an effort and showcase yourself in the right way.

Step 1: Understand How the Ambassadorship Works

Here are the key points:

  • You love a brand you promote and use its products.
  • You share the brand’s values.
  • You are readily advertising and recommending the brand without mentioning its competitors.
  • You are ready to be an ambassador for brand gifts and bonuses, not for money.

Step 2. Work on Your Instagram Image

You should be unique on Instagram, posting content that represents your personality. Forget about generic stock images or someone else's quotes. Show your real you on Instagram, be active in stories, post Reels, reply to comments under your posts.

Brands love to collaborate with bright and passionate people who are not afraid to be active on social media and communicate with followers.

Step 3. Grow Your Instagram Followers

As unsurprising and unpleasant as it may sound, brands are interested in your audience; sometimes even more than yourself. An account with thousands of active followers is more likely to draw a brand’s attention than a blogger with ten thousand bots.

Therefore, make sure you create content that is interesting to your audience and involve your followers in your posts: ask for their opinion, make contests, talk to them. Grow your followers organically and gradually to avoid violating Instagram policy, no need to rush and buy bots.

Become a proper influencer, and people will genuinely wonder where you bought your new dress and what snickers you put on today.

Tip: use Combin Growth to organically grow your Instagram account! Use safe methods of Instagram growth, find your target audience, attract competitors’ followers and track your page stats!

Automatically mass follow, unfollow, comment and like users

Step 4. Be Consistent

Get rid of all garbage on Instagram: low-quality photos and videos, stock images, illiterate captions, etc. Work on your overall Instagram aesthetics and look. Your feed may not be perfectly designed but it should look like you’ve been working on it and put some effort into it.

Try to maintain a coherent style and don't jump from topic to topic in your publications. This is especially easy when you think through your content in advance. Combin Scheduler, an Instagram content planning tool, can be quite helpful here.

Reposts with Combin Scheduler

The tool not only allows you to schedule posts and stories (yes, even stories!) but keep your feed look consistent, repost other accounts’ content, manage hashtags and more!

Step 5. Find Brands You Could Partner with & Contact Them

Since you are not yet a famous and popular influencer, you’ll often have to be the first to offer your services.

Make a list of products and services that you often use and enjoy in your daily life. You already know all the perks and flaws of these brands, so you can share them in detail in your pitch to the brand.

Find out if the brands you put on the list have an ambassador program.

Lululemon Ambassador Program

If there is no such program available, contact the brand representatives directly (via social media, email, on-site lead forms, etc.), and offer your services inviting them to launch their own loyalty program on any of the platforms for working with ambassadors.

Checklist to Help You Grow as a Brand Ambassador on Instagram

  • Determine your strengths and brands brands you really, really like.
  • Join the brand ambassador loyalty program or affiliate program and carefully research all its requirements and conditions.
  • Mix your promo posts with non-promotional content. If you overuse your paid posts, you risk losing the credibility of your audience. And mass unfollows won't do you good.
  • Act professionally and politely with your brand partners and your audience on social media.
  • Don't overreact to negative comments, but don't let your audience get too personal as well.

How an Instagram Brand Ambassador Finds Brands & Advertisers

Many companies have specific requirements for their brand ambassadors. For example, the Canon ambassador program can only be joined by photographers and videographers. So before pitching the brand, research their available ambassador program if they have any.

Ways to Join the Ambassador Program

Participation in contests and giveaways organised by brands.

Sometimes companies organise contests to choose ambassadors. They select ambassadors among the contest participants on Instagram. The requirement for applicants might be to have a public Instagram account with more than a certain number of followers.

The contest typically works as follows: applicants repost a contest layout in their story and put an active link to the brand.

Later, the editorial team of the company picks several the most interesting participants. They check their accounts, how the applicants communicate with their followers, check the engagement of their audience and how genuine it is.

After that, the top ones are put up for open voting - brand followers vote in stories. As a result, one winner is selected.

Job application.

This is a somewhat unusual way to become a brand ambassador, but sometimes brands post such vacancies. As a rule, the candidate is required to be sociable, good-looking, Instagram-savvy ​​and even have sales experience. An active social media profile will be an advantage.

Your social media activity is an opportunity to grow into an ambassador from a loyal customer, evangelist or brand advocate. If you, as a candidate for the role of an ambassador, already use the company's products, actively talk about it on social channels or other platforms and act as a brand advocate, then the company may notice this and offer cooperation.

Contact the brand.

Who says you can’t be initiative and pitch the brand?

Some brands have special application forms right on their sites for those wishing to cooperate and become ambassadors.

If a brand you’ve chosen does not have this form, you can still DM it on Instagram and other socials. In your pitch, say you’ve been long and devotedly loving the company's products and constantly talking about it on your channels, show your portfolio and/or reviews, and enquire about the conditions of ambassadorship in the company.

Brand Ambassadors on Instagram: Wrapping It Up

You see that you don't have to be a celebrity to become a brand ambassador but you still do need to have active social media channels and followers. Don't be shy to pitch your favourite brand to see if they have an ambassador program. At least, the worst thing they could do is declining your offer. But don't be discouraged and keep working on your socials to pitch later or find another brand that is good enough to work with you.