Building an Ambassador Program in Africa

Blessing Orie

Blessing Orie

Mar 05, 2022 0 MIN READ

A sure way for your community to experience tremendous growth is by having ambassadors. Let's compare them with ads you may have run a couple of times online about your business. How well do ads convert to sales for you in contrast to when a live person convinced another to buy? Of course, humans trust the opinions of other humans when recommending products. Why? They can be sure that the person who leaves good reviews about a product has tried it themselves and knows how it is. Plus, one can ask questions to a human until they are satisfied that going with a product will be a good choice. Ads won't answer your questions.

And that's why ambassadors are great! Community ambassadors are responsible for connecting members of your locality to services, programs you run, and other resources. They work to develop positive relationships with your community and the world. They help to increase awareness about your program. They are bridges you use in communicating with your community members. They represent your brand to the larger community. If you carry out an ambassador program the right way, you certainly will not regret it.

Ambassadors know your audience the best. They’re useful for getting feedback on ways to improve your strategy. They know trends that are popular at a particular time and what ways to get the attention of a demographic. They are assets you should invest in for your community.

Building Your Program

Before you begin looking for your ambassadors, you should define a few things about your program first. You'll need to define;

The Purpose of Your Program. Why do you need ambassadors? What are they going to represent? What is your community about?

The Goals and Values. What goals are you aiming to achieve in your community and how can your ambassadors help you achieve those? What values do you preach in your community that you want your ambassadors to abide by?

How Your Programs are Organized. How will you organize your program? Will your programs be organized by location? Will you have ambassadors of particular demography? Will they be grouped by topic or other areas?

The Type of Program. How will your ambassador program run? Will it be through Webinars, in-person, meetups, or a hybrid method?

Leadership Structure

The leadership structure is the next aspect you work on. Decide how many people you want in your ambassador program. Their roles will include the following

Leader: This is the lead ambassador

Two Co-leaders: Two other persons who assist the lead ambassador.

Full team: Everyone on your ambassador program

Volunteers: These are persons whose roles are temporary. They fill in when there is a need for more hands.

You may decide not to have a hierarchical structure in your program and that's fine too. 

Skills of A Good Ambassador

Ambassadors are persons whom you should be selected with utmost care. They can't be just anyone. Below are some necessary skills an ambassador should possess.

Good Communication Skills

Ambassadors will always be in contact with people. Hence, the need to pick one with good communication skills. Having someone who knows how to properly communicate in any circumstance is a blessing as humans are very sensitive beings. 

Great Organizational Skills

An ambassador is constantly going to be needed to host one event or the other. Without proper organizational skills, someone can't perform optimally as an ambassador. 

A Passion to Help Others

A good ambassador is a people person. They are patient and always willing to help others. It is only natural that ambassadors have a good temperament as they will always be meeting and talking to new people. 

Outgoing Personality

No one likes someone who's always uptight for no reason. It will be a bad idea to have someone who's always serious on your ambassador program. An easygoing person is the better choice for your program.

How to Find Your Ambassadors

How do you find your ambassadors? The process starts with you. Be genuine. Your image of the world has to be sincere. Have a good community that would make someone proud enough to be your ambassador. 

Recruit people who care about what you’re doing and can promote what you’re doing. It is better you pick ambassadors from within your community. Look for people who are your super fans. Those who are passionate about your brand. They're usually creating content and promoting your content because they believe in what you're doing. They're useful in answering questions from newcomers. It won't be difficult to spot your ambassadors. No need to look too far. 

Next, what characteristics are you looking for in an ambassador? You won't be sending out forms to just anyone. Have in mind the type of person you want in your ambassador program. Again, consider their level of experience. Do they know what it is to be an ambassador? To make everyone be on the same page, you're going to have to train them (more on this later) 

Before you recruit people to join your program, state what your expectations of them will be. Are they going to host events? If so, how often will this be done? How many people do you want them to bring into the community? What topics should they talk about? What will be the timeline? How long are they going to be your ambassadors?

Further along, what tools are your ambassadors going to need to carry out their duties? You'll be providing them with the tools that they need. What do they gain by being a part of your program? Are they going to be paid or rewarded in other forms? What do you think will motivate them to be a part? 

Taking care of the above will leave you ready to receive your ambassadors.

Application/Onboarding Process

The application process is the method you use in selecting your ambassadors. You can give out forms to those you wish to be a part of your program. You screen the submissions and then make your choice. 

Video interviews are another way for you to select ambassadors. Schedule interview sessions and ask necessary questions to get the information you want. 

Even after conducting interviews, security check-ins should be done by you on those who passed. Your ambassadors are going to be a big part of your community and putting them out there equals putting yourself out there. You can't be too careful in ensuring you project only the kind of image your community stands for. Be aware that what your ambassadors do affects you positively or negatively

The onboarding process is carried out for those who have been accepted into your ambassador program. You'll make resources available for them to fully understand your expectations of them. Have documents about your community ready for them. Your code of conduct and other important information.

Take your time in selecting your ambassadors and don't rush the process. 

Managing Your Ambassadors

After you've got your community ambassadors, knowing how to manage them is something you should learn.  Mismanagement of this program will make it end before you know what's happening. And you don't want that to happen. Here are a few tips to help you manage your ambassadors.

Know Your Goal for Creating an Ambassador Program

Never lose focus on why you created your ambassador program in the first place. This should keep you on track while planning activities in your community. Otherwise, you'll feel that having ambassadors was a waste of time for your community. Meanwhile, you sadly missed the point of creating the program and aren't reaping the benefits.

Know What to Expect from Your Ambassadors

In line with knowing your goals for creating your program, always keep in mind what your expectations of your ambassadors were from the beginning. Regularly communicate your expectations from them so they are aligned with your goals. When they don't deliver, let them know so you can work out ways for them to meet up. And when they do meet your expectations, commend them. Be careful so your ambassadors don't feel used. This can happen when you demand them to fill in roles that they didn't sign up for

Know Why Your Ambassadors Joined Your Program

Your ambassadors will definitely have personal reasons for joining your program. Without a doubt, they care about your goals too but they also had some personal motivation for joining. Some of them could join to gain experience, boost their CV, make money, or for the same passion you have for creating your community. Understanding what their goals and expectations are can help you improve your program and the feeling of closeness between you and them.

Communicate with Them Regularly

Be the guy who doesn't abandon their ambassador team. You don't build an ambassador program and let them deal with it themselves. You all are a team and should work together. Check-in with them regularly. Be available in case they have any questions on areas they aren't clear with. Let them know that they are important to your program because you're always letting them know it. Create a space where your ambassadors can communicate with each other

Make it Fun

Your ambassador program can be fun only if you want it that way. It should be that way. Think up ways to add some fun to the program. You can create competition between ambassadors to boost participation and increase motivation. Set goals for them to accomplish within a specified time and reward members that perform really well. Be online and offline. Engage in in-person activities. You can host physical meetups for you all to relax. 

Keep Track of Your Brand Ambassador Program Performance

The work doesn't end after you successfully create your ambassador program. Is the reason for creating the program in the first place being realized? How do you know if your plan is working or not? You'll have to determine the correct metrics to track to know how successful your programs have been and areas where you need to improve. Your goals will help you with the metrics to track. It could be email subscriptions or traffic to websites or engagement. These metrics are crucial for helping you know what strategies to keep on with or change.

Use Effective Ambassador Tools

There are a lot of activities that come with managing your ambassadors. Finding candidates, reviewing applications, recruiting and onboarding can take up time. Thankfully, there are softwares available that lightens the burden of these activities for you. Do well to incorporate these tools into your day-to-day activities

Ask for Feedback

Retrospective sessions should happen regularly within your ambassador program. There is a lot you can learn from your ambassadors on how to improve your community or brand. Listen to the feedback they have concerning your ambassador program in particular and your community in general. When you listen to them, they feel important and know that their opinions will be taken seriously. This will make them more eager to look for ways to help you improve.

Encourage Creativity

While you're indisputably the one in charge of your ambassador program, give your ambassadors the room to be creative. By letting them be free to work on some projects by themselves, you boost their confidence and create a sense of accountability in them. Allow them to contribute to the ideas you are working on.

Appreciate Them

This is super important. Your ambassadors will work very hard with you to see that your goals are realized. Always appreciate them for their efforts and contribution. You can't thank them enough and making them know how appreciative you are of their work will make them more loyal to you and want to impress you even more. This act eventually boosts the relationship between you and them.

Starting an ambassador program can be the one thing you need to make your community get to the level you've always dreamed of. Ambassadors are very resourceful people who promote your brand or community to the world. They have more contact with people, know more about what's happening, and can help you achieve your goals. By following the steps in this article, you will be able to build a successful ambassador program.


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