A brand rep can take on a multitude of roles to aid you in growing your handmade business. The most common way is sharing and educating others about your business in the trade for a discount or store credit. While you may not be in a position to hire paid employees or contractors, brand reps are a great way to bring in additional sales that may have otherwise been a missed opportunity. Building a brand rep program shouldn't feel intimidating or too far fetch for you. Don't wait until you reach a particular milestone or sales goal. The benefit of a brand rep program goes beyond generating more revenue but also building a team to scale alongside.
There are quite a few ways you can structure your brand rep program. It is vital to get clear on how you will run your program before signing on your first brand rep. No matter your terms, I recommend creating specific requirements instead of things that are subjective like "active in the group." Is that active daily? Active once a month? Outlined below are a few ideas:
BRAND REP DUTIES
It is imperative to clearly define the requirements of your brand reps before you sign on a new individual. Obscure conditions will only leave yourself and your brand rep frustrated with unmet expectations. Instead, treat your program as you would as if it was a 9-5 job interview with duties and responsibilities.
While you are busy outlining what they should be doing, highlighting what they are NOT allowed to do will provide a left and right boundary, which enables them to execute more freely. Choose a few of the requirements below to build your own custom program:
- Share about your business outside of your group
- Share inside of your group with a link to check-out
- Share IRL (In Real Life) photos of your product
- Engage with group members
- Post an engagement post each week
- Answer questions within your Facebook Group
- Assist with Tee Parties as a Hype Team member
- Engage with a post a day
- Buy once a month
BRAND REP REWARDS
When building a brand rep program, it is essential to take time to ensure the rewards are worth their efforts. Many times, business owners have trouble keeping brand reps because the perks don't match their time spent. Your rewards can be participation-based or performance-based. I prefer a hybrid model incorporating a mix of each.
- Free Tee a Month
- New Rep gift
- Standing discount (10-15% off their purchases)
If the brand rep is fulfilling their requirements, they should be rewarded. If they are sharing their booty off, but no one is shopping, their efforts should not go unnoticed. Participation-based rewards will compensate them for their time.
- Gift for being the Top Rep (sales)
- Gift for beating last month's sales performance (This is a great way to make their only competition themselves instead of each other)
- 5% back in-store credit from total sales generated by their code
- Reward a free tee every time $100 worth of sales is used by their code
You will have brand reps that go above and beyond, along with being very creative in sharing about your business. Quite frankly, their efforts aren’t just lip service and are generating more sales for you. If you are making more money because of them, I think it is only fitting to ensure they get a piece of the pie with an incentive program via performance-based rewards. Ideally, if they are repping for you, it is because they love your product. Store credit will allow them to shop more which in turn gives them something to share. Don't be afraid to provide the reps, who are taking the time to model your product, a free product in exchange for photos you can use on your site and social media.
Before posting an announcement for your new program, think about your brand reps as invite-only first. There are customers and/or contributors that are already actively engaged in your group. *Hint: Check your Top Contributors within your Facebook*
Also, there may be others that are sharing about your product freely without being asked. They don't need to be your top spender. We are interested in the ones that are active online, have a positive vibe, and believe in your product.
If you make a post asking for those to apply that haven't already been doing brand rep type work, they are less likely to perform at the level of those mentioned above. They can be guided and trained, but it may not come as naturally.
If you can't find 3-5 to ask by invite only, I would then make a public post announcing the new slots.
Be upfront with the expectations of your program. You want to build a team full of those who are a good fit for your brand. If you only start with 1-2 brand reps, that is okay! Starting small will allow you to restructure your program, given the feedback you have received before expanding.
I recommend outlining all of your terms and the brand rep rewards in a document that can be signed digitally or reviewed and submitted via a Google Form. By having your reps sign your terms, you will create protection for yourself in the event things go south. Of course, we always hope for the best, but contracts/agreements serve as protection if this does happen.
Decide how you will communicate with your brand reps. Will you have a group chat? Will you create a separate Facebook group where they can grab engagement photos to post in your group with your logo? Will you communicate with them individually via email?
Once you have set your expectations and requirements, I highly encourage you not to be overbearing. Remember, they are not a paid employee. Respect their time. Respect their personal lives and always remain positive. Suppose you have an issue with one's performance. I do not recommend punishing the group as a whole with the indirect downer speech. Praise in public, counsel in private.
Keep in mind if you have a rock star rep that suddenly goes silent, do not take it personally. In my experience, it was never anything I did wrong. Instead, it was either sickness in the house, a sick parent, or a busy summer that pulled my reps away. Reaching out to them individually paid dividends when they realized I cared about them far beyond what they did for my business.
Pay your reps at the end of the month. If you are giving them store credit, you can update their discount code in Shopify. You can also take advantage of a point system like Smile Rewards.
Be sure to make it clear whether or not they can share their code within your group. I allowed my reps to share their code inside my group because that is where my entire target market hung out. In addition, I didn't want to make them share only with their friends and family and annoy others that had no interest in my products. 9/10 all of their friends who were interested had already joined my group from their tee party. 🥰
Don't be too overzealous by creating your rep terms for an extensive amount of time. I made this mistake when I had brand reps in my retail business. I created the terms for six months. This made it very awkward when a rep wasn't adhering to the terms, and I dreaded having to hold her accountable. A shorter term would have allowed there to be a clear-out after that period.
Not all brand rep terms end on bad terms. We all go through different seasons in life. Some seasons afford more free time; others are hectic. Some seasons are full of fun; in other seasons, we may be lucky to have the energy to get out of bed. Creating shorter terms, allows your brand reps to identify when it isn't a good season for them in which they can exit on their own, good terms. If you were satisfied with their performance, be sure to remind them they are free to rejoin when it makes sense for them again. Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up with them to see how they are doing.
To ensure the termination is complete, send them an email with the cancellation of their code and final payout or have them sign a termination block on their original form.
Brand reps will not only drive more traffic and generate more sales for you, but they will most likely become close friends for you like mine did. We would find ourselves often talking about more than just business together, even though it was made up of ladies from Oklahoma and Florida that had never met.
My past retail program terms:
- One-month term
- Shop once a month which includes a freebie
- 20% OFF for them
- 10% OFF for friends and family
- Post once a week in my group or on their timeline with a link to my website
- FREE tee for every $100 of revenue generated by their code
➡️ I would love to know about your Brand rep program. Tell me about yours in the comments below.
PS. Want these graphics for your own Brand Rep program? Visit Queen B Graphics and Designs.