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Building a Network of Brand Ambassadors within Your Community

It can feel exhausting and overwhelming when you’re the only one promoting your brand and hustling for more business. If you have a team of trusted employees, they can often lighten that load by serving as brand ambassadors — but what if I told you that you are surrounded by people who are able and willing to shout your name from the rooftops?

That’s right. No matter where you live, you have a community filled with supporters who want to see you thrive — just like you want them to succeed! It doesn’t have to be limited to your staff or your closest industry colleagues; in fact, you likely have an abundance of potential brand ambassadors right at your fingertips. Here’s where you can find them.

Businesses you frequent

Think about all of the places you often visit and perhaps even have a relationship already: your favorite coffee shop, boutique store, ice cream parlor, hair salon, whatever! You already have roots within your community if you look around, so consider what you’re doing to leverage those relationships to your advantage. Have you sung their praises by writing reviews and sending referrals their way?

Connect with these small businesses on social media and engage with them in person (socially distanced as needed, of course!) to develop these relationships. You never know when your hairstylist may have a newly engaged bride in her seat, gushing about her wedding plans!

Businesses with the same ideal client

When you share a target audience with another brand, it puts both businesses in a prime position to send referrals to one another. Seeking more corporate clients? Start connecting with luxury hotels and corporate catering companies. Targeting newly engaged couples? Build relationships with photographers, florists, wedding venues, and other industry professionals. These types of mutually beneficial partnerships are invaluable for gaining recognition and earning new business.

Of course, don’t expect to start getting referrals simply from reaching out. You need to nurture your industry relationships before expecting anything in return. Use social media, email communications, and in-person meetups (when safe) to grow your bond and make a point to be a great team player when working alongside others for an event.

Businesses that are complementary to yours

Complementary businesses may not target the same corner of the market as you, but offer services that align with your business. For example, restaurants and caterers may find a profitable partnership with local wineries. The wineries provide wine to pair with the food, while the restaurants and caterers offer access to their clientele.

Similar relationships may be seen among designers and stationers, florists and rental companies, or photographers and makeup artists. Since each business offers a different service, they can develop mutually beneficial brand partnerships without being driven by competition. With that said, consider the types of businesses that may complement your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative and look beyond the industry, as well.

A team of brand ambassadors adds more value to your company and community than merely their output. They are loyal, engaged, and dedicated individuals who believe in your business and wholeheartedly support your endeavors. They will be the first to network, promote, and sell on your behalf — and the key to building this base of brand ambassadors is to invest in your community and give back as much as you receive.

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Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. She is also the owner and founder of Taylor'd Events Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI.

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