For several years, Smart Grooming has been using a Brand Ambassador scheme to work closely in supporting riders and grooms in the UK as well as them supporting us by promoting and introducing our brand to new customers.
Firstly, being chosen to become an Ambassador is an honour and shows that we, as a brand, are willing to support and be involved with you too. We look for commitment, diligence, loyalty, enthusiasm, and for our brand, in particular, good turnout skills ensuring that presentation of both horse and rider are key elements to representing Smart Grooming.
Brand Ambassadorship has so many positives and benefits both for the company and individual, so hear it is directly from Laura, Amy and Isobel who have been with us in 2019.
Laura Fisher: “Working alongside the Smart Grooming team has been great to learn more about the products and how to use them, picking up more tips and tricks even when I thought I was using them to their full extent. It is also a great opportunity to get involved in Clinics, Show preparation demonstrations and shows like Your Horse Live”
Amy Russell : “ It has been lovely to meet new people, ambassadors and the team behind Smart Grooming, expanding my knowledge of show preparation, turnout and clipping. With their support I have managed to set up my own side business which has really taken off. I have also loved being apart of new product launches, testing top secret prototypes and testing or reviewing products”
Isabelle Geran: “ Smart Grooming has helped Haze and I reach new heights in our grooming and turnout. It works both ways as we have gained incredible products and I hope they have benefited from our positive reviews and feedback at shows. I won the Tack and Turnout at my showjumping qualifier out of 85 competitors! Two of my dressage judges actually got out of their cars to compliment us and I cannot even begin to count the number of people asking me who turned your horse out and what did you use.”
We receive daily requests through our social media channels and via email from interested parties wanting to become involved with our team, and so have put together a guide to help you understand what it involves and what a brand such as ours would expect in return, after all, not much in this world is absolutely free!
A Brand Ambassador’s role
A Brand Ambassador will be chosen for a number of reasons to help promote and represent the brand. It may be because they have active and well thought out social media pages or are good at putting together videos, vlogs and blogs.
They may be representing their sport at a high level and have a large number of followers, or they may be at a grass roots level and be particularly good at helping and showing how to use our products or engaging social pages.
All are chosen predominantly for being proactive, friendly and helpful both in person or on their social media pages, diligent and loyal to the brand, and learning quickly about the product range and what is good to recommend and use.
So many people want to be brand ambassadors because they think that they will receive lots of free or discounted products. Yes, in return for promoting, this does happen, but it does have to be worked for. We give our Ambassadors a personal discount code to use when purchasing all our branded products as well as having access to personalised and branded clothing, which is only available to the ambassadors.
As a business, we cannot afford to give away products or discounts without having our products actively promoted in the way that we outline when we take on an ambassador. This involves regular postings on personal social media pages as well as sharing posts, and taking active notice on what we are posting on our own social media pages.
Some of our ambassadors additionally will write blogs on products as well as compiling tried and tested articles, either by photos or videos and putting them on their own accounts as well as sharing them with us so that we can use the content too. They will also hand out flyers for us and talk about our brand whenever possible.
Loyalty is a key issue too. We choose ambassadors that are not already involved with similar businesses as we don’t want to have a conflict of interest. We do expect that a Brand Ambassador uses our products during the time that they are representing us and we would expect them not to use other products that are similar from other brands during this time.
Top Tips on becoming a Brand Ambassador
1. Is our brand really of interest to you?
You need to be really passionate on the subject that you want to represent. For example, if you just want to jump on and go, and are not keen on all the grooming and turnout then don’t apply to us! Obviously we are looking for people who are tidy, well presented and want to turnout out their own horses and ponies to a high standard. This doesn’t mean to say it has to be at top level, we are keen to for applicants to apply that are competing at the lower levels too.
2. Set up social media accounts
It is important to have good social media accounts that are well thought out and not filled with inappropriate images and content. We always recommend setting up accounts that are dedicated just for use for equestrian content. Currently we cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube. Building up followers is also key to representing a brand, as you will need to be able to share branded content to your followers and friends.
3. Engage with us!
Start engaging with us on our social pages - you will be noticed that’s for sure! We spend a fair amount of time on our social media pages each day, so you will soon be noticed if you like and comment on our posts and this will give you a head start.
4. Making the initial application
Think about what you are going to write, and put it forwards in an interesting and clear format and engaging to read. If you write well then we are sure to feel that you will be able to create engaging posts. Answer any questions that have been asked and include clear photos or a short video as asked for.
Ensure it is really you that wants to be involved, and not an application from your parents, or agent.
If you have been out competing or have featured in teams, in magazines or have had blogs or articles published, be sure to make these stand out for us. If you have used our products, and really do know about them prior to making an application, this will really be a huge positive too for us.
5. What else is expected from a Brand Ambassador?
If you are given the opportunity of becoming a Brand Ambassador with us, think carefully before accepting. Read through the acceptance letter which will outline what is expected and be very sure you can dedicate time to this.
Stay in touch. It is helpful to give us a call or drop an email every few weeks to update us on what you have been up to or to ask if there is any product testing needed. We keep in touch by email too, but BA’s will get so much more if communicating is regular.
A perfect example of a ‘How to:’ video made by Isabelle Geran.
6. Show off the brand as much as possible
If you are given products and/or branded clothing, make sure you show case the products and clothing at every opportunity. Write up a tried and tested, along with good before and after photos as well as a video using the products too. We always ask our ambassadors to wear clothing in any of the product shots or videos to ensure there is consistent branding and colour going on.
Use the products as much as you can, especially out and about at shows or anywhere in the public eye as well as giving regular shout outs on social media, making sure the Smart Grooming is tagged in what you are doing.
Remember to ask if you can do competitions or give-aways on your page or to be allowed a discount code to use on a limited basis for your followers. We encourage this way of promotion to our proactive ambassadors. This way the Ambassador will also benefit from this sort of promotion as it will increase their page followers and friends too.
Try not to be involved with too many brands and if you are invited to be a multi Brand Ambassador, check with your existing brand(s) first. Nothing will upset a brand more than seeing social media postings promoting another related or similar brand. However, when utilised correctly, multi ambassadors can work in favour for brands that are happy working together and should be encouraged where possible.
7. Check in
Check in regularly with us! Feedback is always important and well received. It may be that you can give us ideas on a new product or on a re-design on packaging or if a product can be improved in anyway.
Make sure you ask if you are doing enough or if there is any new products coming up that might need some extra exposure, or needs additional trialling. This will always give you brownie points!
To maximise your efforts as a Brand Ambassador, it takes time, energy, enthusiasm and thought. We now have a yearly renewal policy, and if ambassadors haven’t kept in touch or done little for us, they are unlikely to be renewed the following year.
It is very important to realise that an Ambassadorship is very sought after and there are always plenty of other eager people wanting to take over your shoes if you are not doing a really good job.
If you are lucky enough to be given the chance of being an Ambassador, grasp it with both hands, enjoy the challenge and commitment of working of working as part of our team. It will give you an insight into the working commercial world as well as rewarding you in so many other ways.
Good luck and hope opportunities will now come your way! They are definitely there for the committed.