How to Start a Brand Ambassador Program | Shelia Huggins | Skillshare

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How to Start a Brand Ambassador Program

teacher avatar Shelia Huggins, Wellness, Lifestyle & Business

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction to Class

    • 2. Introduction to the Teacher

    • 3. Crafting Your Brand's Story

    • 4. Crafting Your Mission, Vision, and Values

    • 5. Let's Distinguish Brand Ambassador, Brand Influencer, and Brand Program

    • 6. The Operational Side of Things

    • 7. The Program: Setting Your Goals

    • 8. The Contract: Setting Expectations of the Ambassador

    • 9. Compensating Ambassadors

    • 10. Reviewing the Relationship

    • 11. Class Project and The Wrap Up

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About This Class


With the continued rise of e-commerce, social media, and influencer marketing, brands now have expanded opportunities to reach new audiences, cultivate brand awareness, increase market share, build revenues, and expand community engagement. Brands no longer have to rely on television and magazine ads to reach their audience. Instead, they can work directly with influencers who've already built segmented markets with audiences that like, know, and trust them and their recommendations. The trick comes in figuring out how to work with influencers, and one of the best things that you can do is to create a brand ambassador program.


  • What you need to have in place before starting a brand ambassador program
  • Goals for your brand ambassador program
  • Setting expectations for your ambassadors and things to think about for your contract with your ambassador
  • Types of compensation that you can provide to ambassador
  • Assessing your brand ambassador program


  • Business owners and brands
  • Anyone interested in developing a brand ambassador program


  • A brand or brand concept

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shelia Huggins

Wellness, Lifestyle & Business




Shelia Huggins is a fitness and lifestyle strategist, and she's ready to help you reach your health and fitness goals.


Shelia is a three-time half-marathoner who finished as the third overall female runner in her last half-marathon. But she does more than just run. She's an attorney, a mom, and a community advocate. She's run for public office, and she currently serves as a member of the Democratic National Convention.

Shelia's been quoted in USA Today, The Washington Examiner, and on CBS News' website. And in 2021, she worked with a team that was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In other words, Shelia is creating the version of herself that she's been dreaming about. Now she's ready to help you.

To see how Shelia ... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Class: Welcome to how to start a brand ambassador program. My name is Sheila and we're going to start with an introduction to the class. First, who is this class of four? This class is for people who have merchandise or services that they're selling and who would like to work with influencers, affiliates, or business partners to showcase and sell their merchandise and services. According to the Census Bureau, more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the US during 2020. The highest total on record, over 0.5 million were created in January 2021 alone. This class is also great for people who don't yet have merchandise or services, but would like to learn more now and implement a brand ambassador or influencer program in the future. Second, how will you have a successful experience in this class? Well, for you to have a successful experience in the class, it would be helpful if you already have, at the very least, an idea about the kind of company you'll have and the types of merchandise and services that you'll be selling. If you're currently in business, then you will even get more out of this class because you'll be able to complete the class worksheets based on the company as it's currently operating, instead of having to guess an estimate. Consequently, you're more likely to get a result that closely fits your needs. But if you're not quite there yet, don't fret. You can always update your worksheets later as you start to build your business. Third, how long is it going to take to complete this class? Well, it's entirely up to you and your schedule. However, this sooner you finished the class, the sooner you can start to implement your ambassador program. 2. Introduction to the Teacher: Well, who am I? My name is Sheila and as an attorney, logger in fitness strategist, I've worked with brands in several capacities. As an attorney, I've drafted contracts, policies, and procedures to help brands get the fundamentals in place so that they can focus on building brand relationships. I understand the challenges that brands have faced because I worked with them directly to put together a pathway to success as a logger and fitness strategist, motivator, influence or whatever you wanna call it. I've entered into contracts with brands so I understand the types of deliverables they want and what they need to do in order to have both parties reach that outcome that they're looking for. So basically I've been on both sides of the table. And in this class, my experience and knowledge will help you as you build your brand ambassador or influencer program. 3. Crafting Your Brand's Story: One of the first things that you want to do is understand your origins story and what that means for your brand. It's the how you get started in the y you got started. But first let's talk about why your origins story matters. When you first meet someone, you don't know them. You may have heard something about them or not, but you don't really know what makes them tick. It's why we start by asking people where they're from and what they do. We want to know what their hobbies are. We want to know about their family and even their values. Basically, we want to know if there are type of people not going to get a bad way, but are they the kind of people that we want in our lives? Will the relationship be a good fit for us at this moment in our lives? Well, the relationship between brands and influencers or Ambassadors is not too different from this, your brand origins story. He helps your ambassador understand where you're coming from and where you're going. It's why you see so many companies with websites that have an about us or our story page. When a business owner says, I founded this company because there were people like me who weren't being served in this market. If you're one of those people who wasn't being served, then there's an immediate connection. Not only will you buy that product, but you'll tell other people like you about the product to, as a business owner, these are the people who will be the best advocates for your brand, but they need to connect with you and your brand in order to do that. So if there's anything that you need to remember from this lesson, it's this, your story matters. So start by writing a short blurb about why you got started and how you got started. Brevity is key, get straight to the point so that your brand ambassadors will too. 4. Crafting Your Mission, Vision, and Values: I once heard someone say culture eats policy for lunch. In other words, you could have a great human resources team. They may have checked the box on every policy that you need for your business. However, if you or your management team push a culture that's different from that, then the policies that you have on paper are pretty much that. Just policies you have written on paper, your employees, your contractors, your target audience. Eventually everyone will know that you say one thing but you do something else. So what are the mission, vision, and value statements for your brand? Let's review those briefly so that you can review those for your brand. First, what is your mission for your brand? A mission statement is usually a statement that defines your purpose. It's why your company exists. Second, what is your vision for your brand? Now this is pretty much where you want the brand to go in the future. The expectations that you have for it in five or 10 years down the road. It's the problem you're seeking to solve. Third, what are your values and the code of ethics for your brand? What values are you going to use to make decisions about your brand and your organization? If there are ethical issues that exist in your industry, go ahead and determine what your position is going to be and how you're going to be an ethical and values-driven brand. Again, culture matters. So as you craft the mission, vision, and values of your brand, remember that while these are in some sense, aspirational, people will expect you to be true and authentic to what you're saying you represent, according to this Forbes article regarding the importance of having a mission-driven company, high-performance organizations are linked to being mission-driven companies. Mission statements must reflect commitment to higher social good for the community. They serve both local and global, authenticity and transparency. Build trust. 5. Let's Distinguish Brand Ambassador, Brand Influencer, and Brand Program: Let's talk about ambassador versus influencer versus brand program. Generally speaking, when we talk about an influencer, really referring to someone who has built an audience that trust the influencer to such an extent that the audience will follow the influencer, share the influencers content, and even try out the products and services that the influence or recommends. The influencer has built a community and the influence or engages with the community about topics in one or more industry's. Most of the time, we think of brand and an influencer relationships in a formal setting, the brand pays the influencer to create and share content with the influencers audience, for example, there is usually a contract and compensation. In this capacity, the influencer is acting as an ambassador for the brand, even though that word might not be used. But there are plenty of times when a person can be an ambassador for a brand and the brand might not even know it. And while these people might not be the typical influencer that we associate with the term these people are influencers Also, most of us participate in this every day when we recommend a dentist, a hairstylists and auto repair shop, and even a baby sitter. People ask people who they know, trust and like people who are influencers in their daily lives. But there's no brand ambassador program and usually no compensation is just what we do. We act as brand ambassadors all the time as a business owner operating a brand ambassador program. Those are the people you should be looking for. People who are already committed to your product and people who have the same values as you do. Yes, it'll take more time to find like these influencers that will check the box on all of these desirables. But in the end, it will likely result in a better fit for your brand. 6. The Operational Side of Things: Sometimes we can get so excited about starting something new, like a brand ambassador program that we want to jump right into the sexy part of the work, you know, talking to influencers, figuring out what kind of content there'll be creating, were motivated to work on that immediately. But often we need to take a step back and make certain that we have the formalities in place. For any business. You want to make sure that the business is properly set up in your state and country, File and Documents for your limited liability company or your corporation. Once you've received those documents back, you'll want to get your Federal Employer Identification Number. If you're in the United States and open your bank account, then you'll want to make sure that you have your operating agreement. If it's an LLC or your bylaws, if it's a corporation. So yes, there's a lot of red tape to take care of before you ever get to them. Brand ambassador program part. You also wanna make sure that you've developed good practices for your business. This includes general company policies and procedures. If an influence or asks you about your payment process, you want to be able to give them an idea of the process that you use. For instance, is that accompany checked by mail or a PayPal or Stripe. You should already have these systems in place. Then there are the people. Do you have a personal board of advisors or mentors? Have you develop relationships with suppliers? Do you have contractors and employees ready to go? And finally, what are the products and services that the ambassador will be presenting? Are they ready or are they still on the drafting table with the planned launch date and a launch program? Can you deliver to the Ambassador what you are expected to deliver and who is going to oversee that relationship with the Ambassador. A lot of these items should be in place before you hire or work with your first ambassador. 7. The Program: Setting Your Goals: Let's discuss the goals for your brand ambassador program in general, there are three broad goals that you may want to consider for your program. Building brand awareness, increasing community engagement, and increasing sales. The goals that you have for your brand will be directly tied to the goals that you have for your brand ambassador. So let's talk about each one of these goals individually. If your goal is to build brand awareness, then you'll want prominent placement for your brand's logo, contact information, social media handles, and more. You want to be seen and you want to be seen often. You'll also want to make sure that there's a really strong tie in between your brand and the ambassador. For instance. You may find that for brand awareness around a searchable topic that's related to your brand. It works better for you if you're working with a YouTuber instead of a podcaster, if your goal is to increase community engagement, you may want to work with an ambassador that has a very high engagement rate, even if the ambassadors following is smaller than the typical influencer. In this case, you might be seeking out micro influencers on Instagram who fit that profile. This might especially be the case if you're looking for feedback on a new product before you do a full launch. Starting a membership club, or even considering a family and friends or VIP discount for your supporters. As a result, you may want to have the ambassador of focus on posting content that really connects with an audience. It could be a story, something personal, or even something funny. It just needs to be that something that's relevant and that's relatable. And finally, if your goal is to increase sales, you may want an ambassador with a track record of high conversions. That Ambassador may already know what works with his or her followers. And when it comes to creating and sharing content for brands, you just need to nail down the specifics for tracking sales. Of course, these aren't the only goals that you might have for brand ambassador, but they are the ones that brands usually focus on. It'll be up to you to determine what's most important for your brand and to determine which goals are needed in your program at any given time. 8. The Contract: Setting Expectations of the Ambassador: In addition to determining your goals for your brand ambassador program, you'll also need to be clear about the expectations that you have for the ambassador. Here are a few questions to consider as you think about what you want your brand ambassador to do and what the relationship will look like. How many posts of the content will there be? Which social media platforms will be included? How long will the content be shared? How much will the ambassador be paid? How much will the ambassador receive as a commission for sales? How long is the contract between the ambassador and the brand? Is the contract renewable? How is the relationship terminated? How would the ambassador be paid? It's best to have a written contract between the parties so that both parties understand the expectations in their rights. I also like to remind people that a contract won't cover everything. There will be times when the contract might miss something that the parties hadn't considered. The goal is to try to cover as much as you can so that at least those things aren't issues. Once you have a contract for your brand ambassador program, you'll present it to the brand ambassador. You may need to tweak a few things. And after both parties have agreed to the contract and signed off on it, make sure that both you and the ambassador or have a copy for your records. 9. Compensating Ambassadors: As you develop your brand ambassador program, you may find that you'll offer different compensation packages to different ambassadors. Why? Because there'll be bringing different assets to the table. In some instances, you may want to offer freebies in exchange for reviews of your products. This is often seen in YouTube videos and Instagram post. You might also want to offer discounts for product purchases to the Ambassador. Just so you know, this is the type of compensation that most ambassadors shy away from. So you would need an ambassador who is already purchasing the product and who will instead be focused more on sharing their thoughts about the product and Ambassador who's never purchased your product and who doesn't really want it, isn't going to just jump up and down for a discount on something that they wouldn't ordinarily buy or use. So you really need to focus on making sure that you have the right Ambassador for this type of relationship. Now, alternatively, you could give the ambassador of the product for free and a discount code for the ambassadors followers. This scenario would be used if you were looking for sales conversions. You could also provide the ambassador with an affiliate link so that any sales that are attributable to the ambassador result in a commission to the ambassador. And finally, you could offer a flat fee per post or per video, or even a mix of the two. Your options are unlimited in terms of the type of compensation that you may want to provide. But here's an important note. Please remember that the ambassador must provide disclosures that meet Federal Trade Commission requirements for a sponsored reviews and posts. You should have this requirement in your contract. Also, you can Google Federal Trade Commission endorsement guides, affiliate links, any of that to find the guides from the FTC on what the disclosure requirements are. They have tons of information there for you to download, to read at your convenience. So make sure that you are putting this information in your contracts and sharing it with your ambassadors. 10. Reviewing the Relationship: Congratulations, you've almost reached the end of this class. Look as much as we'd focused on getting your program set up. It's also important to understand that this is not the end of putting your program in place. You'll need to set goals for your program, revisit them, and then tweak them when necessary. You'll also need to know when to walk away from an ambassador. Not every person who wants to be an ambassador for your program will be a good fit and you won't always be a good fit for them either. Finally, you'll also need to assess your program. Is it achieving what you want it to achieve? Are there changes that you need to make? There are so many brands and existence, not to mention the many that are being created every day. So you'll need to stay on top of your program. This is not a set it or forget it type of program. 11. Class Project and The Wrap Up: That's it. You've reached the end of the class. I hope you got out of the class what you expected if you have other classes related to a brand relationships or just other classes in general that you would like for me to create. Just let me know. For the class project, you'll create your goals for your brand ambassador program and shared them with the class if you'd like to. I've also included worksheets that you can use to record notes and ideas from this class. All right, that's it. My name is Sheila and you're done. Peace.