Become a Brand Ambassador: How I Earned $7,200 Through Deals and Sponsorships

Working directly with brands and securing sponsorship deals is both fun and financially rewarding. You basically get paid to give away things for free or help readers know more about an up-and-coming product. Here's how to get started as a brand ambassador. Plus, a free email template for how I earned an extra $7,200 from blog and brand sponsorships without selling out.

In 2015 I started working with more brands directly to secure sponsorship and brand ambassador deals with the intention of experimenting with my #blogtobiz mission. I’m in the process of earning more money through my blog instead of it being solely focused on selling products to my community.

I still offer services via the membership workshop library as well as coaching, but those are passion projects, not paychecks (it took me a while to learn the distinction!).

I’m very picky about the brands and companies I choose to work with and wanted more opportunities to earn money from people with a higher reach and bigger marketing budgets.

In the past 12 months, I’ve worked directly with brands like The Neat Company, Grammarly, Office Depot, E*TRADE and H&R Block. In that time I earned just over $7,200 which equals about 9% of my total income earned in 2015.

More recently, I’ve been in talks with several more brands and have secured deals with MileIQ and SoFi. Not all money-making avenues work for everyone so you have to be open to experimenting with different income streams.

Earning extra money as a brand ambassador and marketing influencer gives you the opportunity for another income stream and opens your options up to making money outside of the traditional “hawking products or courses to customers”.

Working directly with brands and securing sponsorship deals is both fun and financially rewarding.

earn income as brand ambassador

What is a Brand Ambassador?

As a brand ambassador, or marketing influencer, you’re responsible for marketing and sharing a brand or product to the public. Sometimes this means representing a company in person, or helping spread the word for them online.

You will often give away samples (think about the samples at a grocery store) or host a giveaway of free products on your blog (like a book giveaway).

You basically get paid to give away things for free or help readers know more about an up-and-coming product. Win-win!

How to become an influencer

Now that you have an idea of what a marketing influencer and brand ambassador is, you can start securing your own deals.

What kind of things can offer brands in exchange for a monetary sponsorship or free swag?

  • Giveaways and samples
  • Blog post series and “how to” tutorials
  • Tweets and other social shares
  • Newsletter ads
  • Featured resources and business tools
  • Industry events or conferences
  • Parties and branding events
  • The list goes on…

Here are the steps for how I landed brand sponsorships totaling $7,200 in just one year.

1. Work with brand networks

The easiest and best place to start with securing brand deals and sponsorships is to sign up with a brand network site. I’ve used several different ones in the past and one of the best is Socialix.

You start by creating an influencer profile, upload information about your stats and social media networks, name your price and then they make connections to brands on your behalf. It saves you a lot of time spent researching contact information, so you can simply start creating relationships and get paid for your brand ambassador work.

Brand networks are especially geared towards online initiatives like blog posts or series, social media campaigns and other online marketing avenues.

2. Target startups and small businesses

Startups and small businesses are more open to working with bloggers and online influencers because they see the value that content marketing offers. They’re looking for influencers to blog about their products and help spread the word in a more “grassroots” kind of way.

Search for startups and small biz owners in your industry that have products and services you personally use and can recommend. Then reach out to their team on social media or ask around your network for specific contact information.

Sometimes a simple Google search will reward you with the direct email address and name of the person in charge of the marketing budget or online campaigns.

Bigger corporations have marketing budgets too, but in my experience it takes a much longer time to secure a deal and then even longer to get paid. There’s a lot more red tape and hoops to jump through so in the beginning I suggest starting out with smaller startups who share a mission you believe in.

Want a more in-depth training about how to be sponsored by brands as a brand ambassador? Learn how to capitalize on working with brands and converting more leads into clients with the my exclusive Perfecting Your Pitch course.

3. Reach out to brands via email

Maybe you already have some ideas of companies you want to represent (this is usually because you already use the product — those are the best kind of brand relationships!). Reach out to your contact directly, or reply to their customer service emails, and let them know you’re interested in working together.

Here’s an example of an email template that I used to reply to a regular newsletter for a small startup that I wanted to form a branding relationship with.

brand ambassador email example

About a month later I received this response from their customer service department. So even if you don’t know the person’s email address directly, you can still reach out and get the information from the company, and they can help connect you to the right person.

brand deal response email

I also want to credit my friend Simon, from, for helping me boost my income even more. With his email script and advice I’ve been able to secure bigger brands and have better deals lined up for 2016.

4. Set up a contact or sponsorship page

If reaching out to brands directly isn’t your thing, you can always get them to come to you by creating a Sponsorship or Advertising page. I have a workshop that teaches freelancers how to create a Services page that gets clients to come to you, but the principal is the same.

Create a new page on your website that explains what type of sponsorships and brands you’re hoping to secure, a list of your stats, past experiences with other brands (if any) and a contact form so they can get in touch.

You may also want to list any media mentions or magazines that you’ve been featured in to give yourself and your blog more klout. Then work on optimizing this page for a specific SEO term so when brands are looking for your type of influencer they will search for this phrase and land on your website.

How to secure brand deals and sponsorships

Before I wrap this up I want to share one piece of advice. Being a brand ambassador and securing sponsorships is one thing, but pushing out mediocre content and spammy links is a whole other story.

Make sure that when you’re working with brands, who are paying you to talk about their product, that you’re doing it in an honest and genuine way. Don’t sell out just to make a few dollars.

There are companies out there that will pay you what you’re worth and you’ll be more than happy to recommend them to your friends and family.

Be picky with who you work with and everyone will enjoy the entire process. If a brand’s not a good fit for you, you’re likely not the best fit for them either, so don’t waste their time or money.

Make sure it’s a win-win for everyone, most especially your readers and the people who value your opinion. Want to learn more about how to get sponsored by brands and earn thousands of dollars with your blog?

Learn how to capitalize on working with brands and converting more leads into clients with the my exclusive Perfecting Your Pitch course.

Are you hoping to become a brand ambassador? Get access to my exclusive workshop & bonuses about how to Get Sponsored.

How I Made $78,000 With My Blog in 2015
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  1. Shirria says:

    For me, reaching out to companies is similar to and as nerve wrecking as pitching. I become so intimidated by their success that I lose the inspiration to contact them. However, I’ve decided this year to pull out my Nike gear and “just do it.” It can’t be any worse than some of the responses and attitudes I get from clients in Child Protective services.

    • Carrie says:

      I agree, Shirria. I used to get really nervous when pitching companies about working with them. But after a few attempts I found out that everyone is usually open to striking a mutually beneficial deal! Plus, it’s fun to collaborate with other brands and bloggers. #communityovercompetition Good luck with your pitch to other brands this year! Just do it. 🙂

  2. Rachel says:

    Very interesting! All of the brand ambassador partnerships I’ve done/am doing result in me getting paid in “product” rather than actual money. Obviously I’d prefer the latter, although I shouldn’t be complaining. How do you suggest bringing this up to the company?

    • Carrie says:

      This is a tough spot that a lot of ambassadors deal with. I’ve turned down a lot of opportunities because companies don’t understand that free products aren’t paying the bills. You may have to be more picky with the products you promote and strive to work out deals that pay you for your time as well as compensate you for the product review or promotion. It’s not as easy to find companies that are willing to do that, but they’re out there!

  3. Sam says:

    Howdy Carrie,

    I’m interested in Grammarly. What type of partnership or business opportunity do you do for them? Is there an affiliate program?

    One of the co-founders actually came by my open house two years ago to potentially rent my house. Small world!


    • Carrie says:

      Hey Sam! I worked out a deal where I received their premium product free for a year, which I used to test out for my review. Plus they paid me a small fee for my time to publish it on the blog and a couple social shares. Our deal was for one month and they were the featured product for that time period. I’m not sure if there is an affiliate program, but I’m not enrolled in it.

  4. Kristin says:

    This is such a GREAT post because it helps bloggers think outside the box. Because of your awesome coaching skills, you’ve helped me land partnerships with brands, which is so awesome! I think so many people think they have to turn to traditional product reviews, and that’s not always the case.

  5. kym says:

    Awesome stuff! I am going to look into this – it works out especially well for my personal blog – food and being a brand ambassador go hand in hand. Thanks for the information.

  6. Brent Jones says:

    What a compelling idea, Carrie!

    You know, I’ve looked at a lot of revenue models… my earnings at the moment are almost 100% generated through the freelance services I offer.

    Plus I will be launching a course in the next few months.

    But the idea of brand ambassadorship or a sponsorship has never really occurred to me… my wife had some success with it through her fashion blog, but it has never occurred to me that it could also work with my niche.

    Thanks for the food for thought, and thanks for the link to Socialix.

    Chat soon,


  7. Zoe says:

    Thanks for the helpful post, and for including your pitch!
    It’s always good to get the insider perspective on how to approach the big companies – especially ones like e*trade.

  8. Robert says:

    Great article and some sound advice Carrie! I’ve recently had great success in receiving sponsored tours/attractions and so on. I’m now wanting to move forward slowly into becoming a brand ambassador in the tourism sector. You’ve offered some great advice and resources for taking this next step! Rob

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