Hey guys!! Katie Carlson here! I am a full-time wedding photographer and dog mom, and I run Dude the Doood’s Instagram account! The Instagram dog community is seriously the best. We love how many people/dogs we have met and we are so thankful for all the amazing companies we rep! The lovely ladies at R+R asked us to speak about becoming a brand ambassador and our experience with it, so we thought we would share a few tips and tricks about becoming the best freaking brand ambassador you can be!
Always 100% believe in the product the company is wanting you to promote before agreeing to become a brand ambassador for the brand. Something we always ALWAYS to do is try out the product ourselves before we ever agree to become a brand rep. We check shipping times, we check quality, and we check customer service. I actually don’t think we have ever repped someone without trying the product first. It comes off way more authentic instead of you just trying to push a code and “make money”. We love to see and feel the quality and make sure that ever single person, brand rep or not, is getting the same product. Our top priority when a company reaches out to us is making sure their stuff is good quality, I honestly don’t care about price point. I would rather spend more money and get a higher quality product, than spend a little amount and it be destroyed in a couple days! I know that’s not how everyone is and that’s totally fine, just sharing what we do and how we determine if we want to represent that company!
Make sure the companies you are repping are unique. I love that every company that we rep, is different in some way. Dude’s thing is bandanas, so we rep a few bandana companies, and I can honestly say, no two are alike. We love that we can create unique content with each company, but still stick to our same style on our Instagram feed and everything flows nicely. When we post a picture, we love that 95% of the time, people already know the company without looking at the caption!
Be sure your styles/values align with the company you represent. If you love to put your pup in super colorful bandanas with crazy patterns and you have super bright edits, don’t rep a company that only sells black and white bandanas and tends to edit their Instagram with a more moody feel! Don’t be afraid to own who you are, there are brands out there that will be attracted to your style and it will be a much better fit than those who don’t. And don’t be afraid to turn a company down if you aren’t impressed with their product or don’t find anything that is your style. Also, what are their values? What are they doing for their community? Are they giving back, so they volunteer? Are they donating supplies to local shelters? We love repping brands that give back!
Know what the brand is expecting of you, and how you will be compensated for the work you put in. Do they want you to promote twice a week? Twice a month? Only posts or do Instagram stories count? Do you have to send pictures? Leave a review? Do they promote your page? Do they pay you? Or give you free product in return. You have to know what the company is expecting of you and make sure you can commit to what they are asking you to do. Every company is different, so before you agree, make sure they are being transparent and upfront with you about their expectations of becoming a brand ambassador.
Take Great Quality Pictures and always tag the company when you post. This one is pretty self explanatory! The main purpose of becoming a brand rep is to promote their product, and if you take low quality blurry pictures in a darkly lit room, chances are that isn’t going to make the viewer check out said product. Make sure your pictures have a clean background, with nice natural light. Also, make sure the product is visable! Sometimes, Dude will lay down and relax when I ask him to sit, and sometimes it will smash the bandana and make it hard to see. I hardly post these, unless it’s realllllll cute, because you cannot clearly see what we are promoting, and that does no good for the brand we are representing! It also is so important to tag the company in the picture AND the caption! It makes it so much easier for your followers to find the product if it’s linked in two places!
Be sure to engage with the companies you represent! You need to establish a good relationship with the company and it’s owner/owners. We are constantly engaging with the brands Instagram posts, stories, and comments. Shout them out on your story, share when they have new and exciting products, and tell them they are doing an ahhhmaazzinhgg freaking job when they deserve it! Most companies (all that we rep) are small businesses, and we help them feed their dogs/children/family, so we also need to tell them they are kicking ass! We love to rep girl bosses!
Keep it FUN. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun, not stressful! At the end of the day, it’s just Instagram and it’s supposed to be a fun place to watch your dog grow up and become a part of an awesome community of other dog moms and dads! Don’t overwhelm yourself! We have turned down brand deals, not just because their products didn’t align with our style, but because we didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves with having to post and promote something on every single post. We want our Instagram to be a fun place, and I find it’s less fun when you are restricted to promoting 7 days a week. That leaves little room to show your dog chomping on an ice cream down if you left his bandana at home! Have fun, be yourself, and brand repping will be as easy as pie!
I hope these tips were super helpful! Thank you so much for the ladies at Ripley + Rue for asking us to be a part of this blog post! We absolutely love what they do for the community!
Katie Carlson ( and Dude) @dudethedoood
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