Having a strategy in place to train your student ambassadors will allow both ambassador and brand to succeed.
Consider that generally, students have no experience being an ambassador. Many don’t even have the professional experience to know how to work with a brand.
That’s why you need to provide direction.
Instead of just winging it, it’s better to have ambassadors trained and ready as soon as they’re onboarded to prevent any confusion.
Many students will not know what are the best practices for being a successful ambassador. It’s up to the brands to give them guidance to help them get there.
However, brands that are new to ambassador programs also need the proper guidance to know how to manage students.
So that’s why we’ve created this article. To help you know the best practices when training your new student brand ambassadors.
Recommended: Student Ambassadors: The Ultimate Guide for 2021
Student ambassador training handbook
Creating and utilizing a handbook for your student ambassadors is one of the best ways to allow your program to thrive.
A handbook includes everything your student brand ambassadors need to know to perform their tasks successfully.
The benefit of creating one is that brand ambassadors will have the same training experience, so everyone should learn the same things and perform similarly.
Another benefit is that you spend less time explaining and re-explaining your brand and their role, and more time scaling and conquering.
In addition, ambassadors can go back to the handbook anytime they have a question or forgot something.
Here are some pages you should include in your ambassador handbook:
How to make a student ambassador training handbook
Cover: The cover of the handbook should have your brand’s name and the title, “Ambassador Handbook”. The design should be based on personal preference but make sure it represents your brand.
Table of Contents: It’s good to have a table of contents so ambassadors are able to navigate through the handbook with ease. It also gives them an idea of what to expect from the program.
Welcome Page: Welcome ambassadors to the partnership with your brand by telling them how excited you are to work with them.
Ideally, you want student ambassadors to feel like a part of the company, so a welcome page should carry that message. Show your appreciation and they will reciprocate.
Terms & Conditions: Disclose your agreement and rules with the ambassador to prevent any unethical use or actions related to the brand. These rules should have been agreed to by ambassadors before sending them brand assets, and this page should be treated as a reminder.
Introduction to Brand: Now it’s time to give insight to your ambassadors about the brand. To help your ambassadors thrive, they must know what you stand for to represent you well. Share your purpose and values, as well as the type of products or services you offer.
If you choose your ambassadors correctly, they will already be familiar with most of this information. However, make sure you are clear about how you want your brand to be perceived so they don’t have to guess.
Ambassador’s Role: This is where you should go in-depth about the role itself. Explain the importance of the role and how they will be executing it.
Explain in detail the tasks they will be carrying out, in-person and online activities. Talk about how they will be managed, paid, and the process.
If you are using a brand ambassador management software like SocialLadder, now is the moment to explain how it works. With SocialLadder, training is easier because everything they need is in the same app.
Your marketing team has streamlined communication with the ambassadors at all times through chat. They can also assign online/in-person tasks and automate compensation for them. Making the process a lot easier for your brand and for the ambassadors.
This way, your brand doesn’t need a million rules and tools for managing tasks, communication, payment, and tracking.
Note: Ambassadors feel the most encouraged when they’re hitting goals and appreciated by the brands.
Style Guidelines & Content Inspiration: Make sure to include style guidelines and content inspiration for ambassadors to understand how to represent the brand through content.
You want all your content to be aligned with the brand image, so be as thorough as possible.
However, don’t be too strict with the style guidelines because you want your ambassadors to be authentic and creative. Both, the personality of the brand and the ambassador should be present.
Here is a great example of a style guide:
For content inspiration, gather as many examples as you can to help your ambassadors never run out of ideas.
In-person Activities: If your ambassadors have the opportunity to run events or execute activities, make sure to give them a heads up of what that would look like.
Rewarding Above & Beyond: If your brand rewards those that go above and beyond, make sure to say it in your guide.
Putting it out there when they first start is a good way to get ambassadors motivated from the beginning.
Show them how they can increase conversions through challenges, upcoming opportunities, or what sets apart great ambassadors from good ones.
We recommend offering extra rewards for people who go the extra mile.
FAQ: This section in the handbook has the purpose of answering any questions that may come up.
Think, if you were a student brand ambassador, what would be your questions?
References: Provide links, emails, and resources for your ambassadors. This is important to include in the handbook because this way they can be informed about the best practices.
Closing Statement: Include a closing statement reiterating your excitement for your partnership.
After that, you should have a pretty good introductory handbook.
What else do you need to successfully train student ambassadors?
When assigning tasks to your student ambassadors, it’s essential to be clear in the instructions.
Although you may want to give ambassadors creative freedom, you also want to make sure they’re able to complete the task according to your brand’s standards.
It’s great to provide requirements, guidelines, and any examples so ambassadors are clear on what’s expected of them.
Remember that most students aren’t experienced in working with brands. It’s your job to onboard and train them to be exactly how you want them to be.
Virtual meetings can help ambassadors become more comfortable and familiar with their roles and each other.
Brands can utilize virtual meetings for live interactive training, ambassadors can share their tips and tricks, and managers can provide updates.
It’s a great way to empower ambassadors throughout their time with the brand.
In addition, it adds to the feeling of being part of the team. The closer they feel to the brand the more dedicated they will be.
When onboarding and training ambassadors, it’s important to let ambassadors know that they can reach out whenever they have any questions.
Because as we said before, they have to feel like a part of the company to perform better.
For that matter, communication is key.
Make sure to include contact information for the best person they can reach out to.
Sometimes it can be intimidating to ask questions. So letting them know they can reach out whenever they need, is a way to help lower those barriers.
Final considerations for training student ambassadors
Remember that your ambassadors are students who have other responsibilities. It can be difficult for them to commit to ambassador tasks sometimes.
So by making the whole process of onboarding, training, and execution fun, your brand ambassadors will be more motivated to promote your brand.
The training has to be something that excites them and makes them look forward to starting, so have that in mind when planning your strategy.
Transmit the message that you want your brand ambassadors to have fun and be creative. Doing so will also reduce your churn rate.
The churn rate is the number of ambassadors that will naturally leave the program as you add new ones. You can expect some to leave, but by making the process fun, you can have better control.
That is a topic for another article, but hopefully, it makes sense.
Now you know how to train student ambassadors for a successful campaign. Check out our other content to learn more about word of mouth strategies.