My blog the original journal notebook - disability

As a blogger I am lucky to receive opportunities that I could never have dreamed of. I’ve worked with some incredible brands and PR agencies, and I will always be very grateful. However, I have noticed the term Brand Ambassador flying around a lot lately and I wanted to give you a little insight as to why it might not always be worthwhile to take on this ‘prestigious’ title.

Rewind two years ago, Sarah in Wonderland is new on the block and accepting unpaid opportunities that require a hell of a lot of work. She’s a new blogger. She wants to get her name out there. She’ll be a ‘yes’ girl. An email lands in her inbox (can you hear those trumpets announcing royalty?) asking her to be the Brand Ambassador of a small company.

‘Oh my god, why me? How did they find me? Do they love my blog? They must love my blog!’

She reads the email and the brand wants content once every two weeks. They want blog posts, professional looking Instagram shots, shares on every social media platform imaginable. They want ME. They want ME to represent their brand. What an honour.

But what do I get out of all this? What is the compensation for all my hard work, all my promotion, all my scheduling, my photoshoots, my time spent editing and writing, and editing some more?

A £10 product. Excellent. I’m also the Brand Ambassador. What could be better than that!

Let me tell you, as a newbie, I thought I was one of a few ambassadors for this particular brand. I thought my blog was influential. I thought I’d made an impact. I thought I’d been scouted. Turns out, I probably popped up on some feed and they saw how insignificant (and possibly naive) I was and that I could be taken on a ride. And not the kind of ride I’m accustomed to.

*Disclaimer* I am in no way saying, I’m a big fish; I am still pretty insignificant in this ocean of bloggers but I’m much more savvy than I was when I first started. I don’t have the biggest platform or am widely known and that’s fine because I love writing and my blog is my lifeline. If I make some dollar from it, amazing, but it’s not my end goal. However, I won’t be taken for granted. I won’t put in a shit load of work for absolutely nothing in return.

Now, two years on, I’m approached by a very well-known company (I’m not naming them so don’t even bother asking me) regarding their Brand Ambassador programme. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited. I shop there regularly and wanted to work with them depending on what they expected of me. I asked for more details, showed a lot of enthusiasm, sent over my media kit and eagerly awaited their response. They replied swiftly, showing a lot of interest in a long-term partnership and it all looked really reasonable. Well, that was until they said they would give me £20 to spend in-store.

Twenty pounds. Two. Zero.

They wanted me to go to my nearest store, spend the twenty quid, photograph the masses (I write that word tinged in sarcasm) I bought, edit the photos, write a post, edit the post, schedule tweets, post on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest…promote the shit out of it. Spend hours, if not days, (let’s not joke, it’s usually weeks with my shitty health) getting the content sorted, for twenty quid. Twenty-fucking-quid.

If you’re reading this and you don’t accept sponsored posts then that’s cool but when I collaborate with brands (especially if they’ve contacted me) I tend to get paid. Not a lot and certainly not all the time (don’t worry, if a post is sponsored, I’ll always keep it one hundred and disclose that) but I’m approached and I’m so bloody grateful. Alas, I don’t like being used. And I definitely don’t like being used under the assumption that I’m some celebrated Brand Ambassador prin.

I guess what I’m getting at is don’t let the esteemed label take the piss. Weigh up whether it’s worth your time. If it’s a brand you desperately want to work with and you’re happy to do it, then go for it. I’m in no way shitting on any Brand Ambassadors or saying that they are all the same because they’re not and it’s all completely subjective. I’m the Brand Ambassador for Busy B (they call us Queen B’s and I’ve never fitted in so much in my life) and I love it. Everything about their programme sits well with me. They don’t expect the world, they’re a brand I love, and they actually picked me for a reason.

Just make sure you know what is expected of you from the get-go. Make sure you agree with all the conditions, and both you and the brand are happy with the expected content. If you’re dubious or have concerns, let the brand know and/or speak to other bloggers. Your peers have more than likely been in similar situations and will have some top-notch advice.

Oh and FYI, when I replied to the brand that wanted to send me £20, asking if they had a budget for my time I never got a response. I’ve been ghosted for a month. So, I don’t think they want me anymore.

I think I’ll live.

You do you, boo. Brand Ambassador or not.

Also, might as well plug this whilst I’m here: Get 25% off at Busy B using code WONDERXMAS – it’s valid until December 31st with a £15 minimum spend. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, including gift sets of two products or more. Discount cannot be applied after order has been placed. Not an ad or an affiliate link.

What do you think about Brand Ambassadors?


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