How Freelancers Serve as Brand Ambassadors For Startups

The success of startups heavily relies on building a solid brand reputation.

Before an offering gains traction with the broader community, it is essential for founders to road-test its efficacy on industry experts. With this in mind, picture having talented freelancers on your team who can uncover faults, make beneficial alterations and suggestions and share their experiences with their wider network.

As many successful companies can attest, there are few better ways of gaining exposure than having a knowledgeable brand ambassador on your side to play a crucial role in establishing trust and credibility among target audiences.

In this blog, we will explore the advantages of utilizing freelancers as brand ambassadors for startups and how they can effectively represent the brand.

Cost-effective marketing strategy

man shouting to represent ewom messages

Most startups begin their life cycle with a lot of energy but limited finances. Even if you can secure investment, spending this money wisely is necessary to keep the business afloat until you are ready to market your product or service. This reality is even more stark for startups that are bootstrapping.

Spending thousands of dollars on marketing and promotion can be crippling, so looking at novel ways to build brand awareness is an intelligent plan. The following are a few ways you can use freelancers to perform core tasks and promote your product or service to their wider network of talented professionals.

Utilizing existing networks

Freelancers often have established networks of contacts, clients, and peers. In many cases, freelancers have worked for other startups within your wheelhouse. This gives them a unique insight into how to push your offering into certain markets faster and more efficiently.

Ask your freelancers to speak about your product or service to their other clients to get the message out there.

Word-of-mouth promotion

people create ewom with their phones

Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is the modern-day derivative of passing on information to others you know, albeit on a much grander scale, given the omnipresence of the internet and social media.

Many freelancers have built vast networks through various social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram by utilizing the eWOM phenomenon. Hiring freelancers with a decent online media following widens the scope of how your offering is disseminated. If you already have a social media strategy, consider asking your freelancer to engage with posts, videos, and other content on their core tasks.

Enhanced engagement through eWOM is a proven method to influence consumers’ purchase decisions. You can encourage consumers to choose you over your competitors through genuine online reviews, comments, and other online feedback mechanisms.

Content creation and promotion

The old adage of ‘content is king’ is as accurate today as ever. What better way to amplify consumer brand relationships than hiring a copywriter or a designer to create targeted content and then use their online social network to boost lead generation and conversions?

This content can come in many forms, including blog posts, social media updates, and videos. As long as the content solves a particular problem for your potential customers, you are on to a winner. Businesses that see social media as consumer opinion platforms invite eWOM, and the more eWOM you can muster, the more likely you will find your ideal clients.

Influencing other freelancers and clients

Freelancers interact with other freelancers and clients within their industry. If you can forge a positive relationship with your outsourced hires, they will effectively become brand ambassadors. From here, they can share their positive experiences and recommend your startup’s products or services to their peers, further expanding their reach and potential customer base.

Access to specialized skills and expertise

Woman trying to increase purchase likelihood by making videos with her phone

Talented freelancers are valuable to their clients because they are experts in their field, having honed their skills by working across a multitude of industries, many of which are often in high-pressure situations.

Because of these experiences, freelancers are well-placed to give an honest appraisal of an offering that buyers trust.

Tech-savviness and digital marketing knowledge

Freelancers, particularly those working in digital marketing or related fields, possess a deep understanding of various online platforms, tools, and digital marketing strategies.

They effectively leverage technology to promote ideas, products, and services. Because of their skills, online communities see them as an authority and influence consumers’ purchase decisions more effectively than your average purchaser.

Targeted audience engagement

Many outsourced hires are skilled at identifying and understanding target audiences, especially those who analyze marketing metrics to look for engagement opportunities. Much of their daily task load revolves around using the latest artificial intelligence, analytics platforms, and social media insights to gather valuable data about consumer behavior.

By hiring an individual with this skill set, you can ask them to tailor your promotional efforts for maximum impact.

To remain valuable to clients in the startup ecosystem, freelancers are usually early adopters of emerging technologies and digital trends. This obviously gives startups that hire them a leg-up, as they can manipulate eWOM in their favor.

Expanded reach and diverse networks

Hand holding a phone that show digital conversion tools such as social media

If you are targeting a specific audience for your product or service, it stands to reason that you hire people who have spent time in your industry and successfully created value. Not only will they be able to give you great feedback and augment your offering so that it stands out, but they can also leverage eWOM content created for maximum effect.

One of the most frustrating facets of having a great idea is cutting above the noise and getting your message to the masses. That is why those first freelance hires are essential. They are the ones with the networks that can get you from A to B much faster.

By endorsing and sharing a startup’s offerings within their networks, freelancers can initiate a network effect, wherein their contacts further share the information with their own networks. This can lead to a chain reaction of exposure and potential viral growth as the startup’s ideas and offerings gain visibility across various circles.

Enhanced credibility and authenticity

Two hands holding cut-out heart shape

A freelancer’s reputation is everything. Vouching for a product or service that doesn’t meet the requirements is career suicide and will result in a loss of contracts and income. Therefore, you enhance your credibility by convincing a well-respected contractor that your business is worth supporting.

Conversely, freelancers will gain added credibility from being attached to a well-regarded client. Future clients closely scrutinize portfolios when looking for the perfect hire, so teaming up is a symbiotic relationship worth pursuing.

Independent and unbiased perspective

Freelancers operate independently and are not directly employed by the startup. This independence allows them to provide objective and unbiased opinions about the startup’s offerings. Potential customers perceive this objectivity as more authentic and trustworthy compared to endorsements from individuals who may have personal affiliations or incentives.

People are generally more willing to impart eWOM when they feel they have not been coerced. So while you might like to think the quantity of engagement is best, quality and authenticity reign supreme.

Differentiating Freelancers from Influencers

Woman on her phone outside a grand building

As confusing as it may seem, influencers are not traditional freelancers.

It is worth noting that some freelancers may incorporate elements of influencer marketing into their promotional activities if it aligns with their professional objectives and client goals.

However, the key distinction lies in their work’s primary focus and nature. Freelancers are primarily hired for their professional skills and expertise.

Influencers, on the other hand, are individuals who have built a significant following and influence on social media platforms. They often collaborate with brands to promote products or services to their followers in exchange for compensation, which can be in the form of monetary payment, free products, or other incentives. Their primary focus is building their personal brand, engaging their audience, and driving engagement and reach on social media platforms.

Therefore, to engage with a freelancer happy to promote your products within their own professional and personal networks, finding the right combination of the two is essential.

How to turn freelancers into brand ambassadors

Black freelancer on a desktop computer

Suppose you need a freelancer capable of more than just enhancing your day-to-day productivity. In that case, it is paramount that you communicate that in your job description or when speaking to an online marketplace account manager. Some freelancers are not geared toward increasing their following and shy away from spruiking their talents on LinkedIn.

Casting a keen eye over their portfolio and existing social media accounts should give you some idea of their usefulness when promoting your company to other freelancers, industry professionals, and other consumers.

Utilizing professional and personal networks

Before they begin working, startup founders must communicate with their chosen freelancers about utilizing their professional networks to amplify the reach of the startup’s products.

Of course, this may involve sharing information about your company with their industry contacts, colleagues, and clients. So make sure you’re ready to have that information on the world-wide-web.

Personal connections often trust and value the opinions and recommendations of freelancers they know. By sharing their positive experiences with the startup’s offerings, freelancers can influence their personal networks to consider and explore the products further.

Engaging in direct outreach

Startups can discuss with freelancers the possibility of directly reaching out to individuals or organizations that may benefit from the startup’s products. This may involve initiating conversations, sending personalized messages, or making introductions within their networks.

Choosing a freelancer that is comfortable with content creation is a necessity here. Selecting someone with a proven outreach record will drive your business forward much quicker.

Offering incentives and rewards

Picture of a trophy signifying a reward

If your company’s promotional activities and enhanced eWOM are largely down to the work of your dedicated freelancer, then they need to be rewarded in kind. While you are likely paying them a fee for their service, it is essential to offer them extra incentives.

Performance-based bonuses

Startups can implement performance-based bonus structures that reward freelancers for achieving specific milestones or targets.

For example, freelancers could receive bonuses based on the number of new customers they bring in or the revenue generated through their promotional efforts. This provides an additional incentive for freelancers to go above and beyond in promoting the brand.

Exclusive perks and privileges

Startups can offer freelancers exclusive perks and privileges as a way to recognize their contributions and show appreciation for their efforts.

This can include providing access to exclusive industry events, early product previews or trials, discounts on the brand’s offerings, or personalized brand merchandise. These additional benefits create a sense of exclusivity and make freelancers feel valued for their role in growing the brand’s popularity.

Recognition and public acknowledgment

Startups should publicly acknowledge and recognize freelancers’ achievements and contributions. This can be done through social media shout-outs, testimonials on the company’s website, or featuring freelancers in case studies or success stories.

This commendation is the most beneficial, as when your partnership ends, your freelancer will have no issues finding a new employer. Testimonials, referrals, and recommendations are gold to a freelancer, so don’t shrink from letting the world know what they have done for you.

Empowering freelancers to represent the brand

Woman flexing her arms showing empowerment

To maximize the impact of freelancers as brand ambassadors, startups need to empower them with the knowledge and resources necessary to represent the brand effectively.

Freelancers need intricate knowledge of the startup’s offerings to promote a brand effectively. Providing comprehensive training ensures they are well-informed and motivated to pass this information on to potential customers. Additionally, freelancers can give valuable feedback on the effectiveness and usefulness of the product.

In-depth product training

Startups should provide freelancers comprehensive training sessions covering all product or service aspects. This includes understanding its features, benefits, use cases, and unique selling points.

By equipping freelancers with a deep understanding of the offering, they can confidently communicate its value to potential customers.

Using the right tools

As freelancers engage with your product, they may provide valuable feedback based on their experiences and interactions with potential customers.

Investing in social listening tools goes a long way to understanding what people say about products in your niche and then trying to influence consumer motivations by tapping into that sentiment. Customer satisfaction can be monitored with the right tools, and by using a freelancer capable of interpreting the data effectively, you increase your chances of success.

The ability of freelancers to provide feedback directly from the field adds an additional layer of evaluation and improvement to the startup’s offerings.

Quickly Hire: A network of knowledgeable freelancers

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If you require a freelancer with specific skills and one who can promote your brand across social and traditional media and online, we have many great candidates willing to put their hands up to help you achieve your goals.

Almost every freelancer on our books has worked in the startup ecosystem, so you don’t need to explain the intricacies of time pressure and rigid deadlines. Quick to start and intuitive, Quickly Hire freelancers require little to no onboarding and can begin at a moment’s notice, meaning that if you have a project you need to get off the ground immediately, they can make it happen.

Be sure to drop us a line if you need a freelancer to be your go-to person for creating viral content that will wow your ideal clients. Don’t wait and hope with untested marketing strategies. Get a pro to guide you in the right direction and see your business performance skyrocket!


Author

  • Alex McInnes

    Alex is Quickly Hire's content strategist and digital marketer. He's a New Zealand-born, Thailand-residing copywriter extraordinaire. Dad to two beautiful girls, Alex loves playing rugby, reading, and running with his soi dog, Effie.

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