When hiring a brand ambassador, finding team members with the right people skills is just as important as what’s on the resume.
As independent contractors, brand ambassadors will have most likely have worked for numerous brands and agencies during the length of their promo career. As such, no two brand ambassadors will ever bring the same qualifications to the table. While skills and experience are critical in identifying if your team members can effectively execute their activation instructions, personality and people skills are just as important – if not more so – in making sure that your brand is positively introduced to consumers.
1. People Skills When searching for members for your brand ambassador team, it’s important that they are able to hold a conversation. After all, if they aren’t talkative to a hiring manager, then they most likely won’t take the initiative to engage with consumers. Asking ice breaker questions of your prospective talent will allow you to quickly separate those who can effectively communicate from those who will do the bare minimum for the job.
2. Relevant Experience Brand ambassadors – as many professions – have specialties, such as those who only do spirits tastings, mascot activations, trade shows and so on. A brand ambassador with over a decade of spirits tastings may do great at a virtual reality demo, but they most likely will need substantial training to get them up to speed on the technology prior to the activation. Find out what skills and experience your brand ambassadors have from their prior work experience to ensure that they can excel at their assigned duties.
3. Properly Formatted Resume Unlike a more traditional resume, where each job and its titles and dates are listed in order, a brand ambassador resume should include an extensive list of brands they have activated for. Unlike a traditional resume, the brand ambassador resume should be grouped into categories, such as brands represented at spirits tastings or trade shows worked, to make it quick and easy for the hiring manager to find the relevant skills. Also, the brand ambassador resume should only be one to two pages in length. Skills and experience should be limited to well-recognized brand names and events; listing the 30 to 50 various vodka brands that a brand ambassador has represented throughout their career is repetitive and irrelevant.
4. Length of Time As with all careers, the more time you spend working at a job, the more experience you’ll gain. It’s important to ask potential brand ambassadors on your team what they’ve learned during that time and what they’ll bring to the table for your activations.
5. Interview Skills When interviewing a potential brand ambassador for your team, whether it’s on a phone call, in person or through video conference, are they presenting themselves professionally? If a brand ambassador is late to the interview, out and about running errands during the call or they are at home with a noisy background, they would probably take their brand ambassador assignments as seriously as they did to make a great first impression to you as their hiring manager.
6. Great Promo Pics As mentioned before, the more time that a brand ambassador has spent in the industry equates to more activations completed. With activations come recap pictures, which means that a brand ambassador’s resume and promotional profile should contain plenty of pictures of them activating for different brands. This is a quick and easy way to see that your prospective team member most likely knows what the promo activation will entail, has worked for multiple agencies and has experience representing a variety of brands in numerous accounts and venues.7. Professional Reputation Whether a new brand ambassador to the industry or a seasoned veteran, a brand ambassador’s reputation amongst their peers says a lot about them. Be sure to ask for references from both agencies that they’ve worked with as well as other brand ambassadors that they have teamed up with. Don’t discount references from clients as well as non-promo jobs such as their full-time employer or other previous employers.
8. Enthusiastic Personality You can always teach skills, but you can never teach someone drive and determination. While people skills may show you that your talent can engage consumers, finding talent who are excited and enthusiastic about representing brands is key to building a team that is focused on execution and will put maximum effort into generating results.
9. Being Easy to Work With Nobody likes someone who complains about what their duties are at a job, especially when their efforts are not only necessary to meet objectives but also when their lack of effort can result in the loss of a client to the agency. If a brand ambassador tries to repeatedly negotiate for a higher compensation over what is offered, complains about the travel time or the need to perform duties that are listed in the job description, it shows that they are more concerned about what they’re getting out of the gig over the effort that they will need to put in.
10. The Final Details During the interview, it’s important to ask key questions of your prospective team members to ensure that they have both the capability and the tools necessary to perform the activation. Do they have reliable transportation, the funds to purchase product for sampling, supplies such as ice buckets and tables, the requested attire and any other criterion that the activation requires? Always be sure to ask these questions not only during the initial interview, but also reconfirm them before they are booked for a gig.