An Inside Look at the Booksy Ambassador Program and How It Could Work For You
What’s one thing that Christy Clips, Byrd Mena, Kim Kimble, Mr. G, Spifster, Naja Nail Guru, Rolando Aqui, Brandi LaShay, Mr. Official, Drew Da Barber, and Joe Flano all have in common? Besides the obvious fact that each one these professionals is at the very top of their game and considered industry royalty—they’re all Booksy Ambassadors, a title reserved for a small group of people who’ve mastered their trade and are taking their talent to the next level. From a business perspective, an ambassador is simply a person who believes in a brand enough to spend their time and energy advocating for that product. But being a brand ambassador encompasses so much more. For the right person, this role can launch an already successful career by opening some of the right doors. Since it isn’t easy to become a brand ambassador, we put together this article to make sure that professionals who are truly hungry for more respect in this industry know how to earn it.
The Responsibilities and Perks of an AmbassadorSince 2014, when Booksy first began working with beauty, wellness, and grooming experts in the United States, the Ambassador Program has given a handful of professionals the chance to leverage the respect they’ve earned from their peers and advocate for a product they believe in. To date, there are 69 Booksy Ambassadors based in about 20 different cities throughout North America. Although that may seem like a small number of people, becoming an Ambassador is still very achievable, said Whitney Bliss, the Senior Manager of Ambassador Partnerships. Whitney said that part of the reason there’s so few Ambassadors is that every one of them has to be a great partner and the relationship needs to be mutually beneficial.
Although the specific benefits range depending on the level of involvement that each individual person has with Booksy, ambassadors generally are paid their day rate to attend industry events. Travel expenses are also paid for, and Booksy membership fees are waived. To keep earning those benefits and at times some additional perks, each Ambassador needs to be ready to answer on-the-spot questions about Booksy at conferences and trade shows. Some Ambassadors also act as educators, while others serve as the chief point of contact in their city. “They represent our brand, when we can’t always be there. They’re like an extension of—I mean they’re an Ambassador, right? You send an ambassador to different countries to represent your country, and that’s what we have,” said Whitney. “They’re just an extension of our team, and the goal of the program is to make them feel like that.”
How to Become an AmbassadorWhen it comes to the Booksy Ambassador program, industry professionals always ask the same question—what type of qualifications does a person need to earn the job? Surprisingly, there’s only two rules that absolutely have to be met. Ambassadors must be Booksy users to make sure they’re familiar with the product, and they have to have a license to practice within their industry Outside of those two requirements, nothing else is written in stone. “Now, obviously we have goals and categories that we’re focused on,” said Whitney. “But there’s no prescribed formula—like you have to check all of these boxes.”
Questions we ask every Ambassador:To help shed light on some of the things we consider, whenever a person applies to be an Ambassador, here’s a list of questions that we ask:
- Is this beauty and wellness professional or grooming expert an educator?
- Does this business owner have a large social media following that’s actually active?
- How does this expert show people they’re at the top of their game?
- In what ways does their style align with Booksy’s image?
- What type of consumer appeal does this person have and are they a trend-setter?
- How does this professional want to use being an Ambassador to their benefit?
The Power of a BrandMany people aren’t aware that a branch of the Booksy Ambassador program had a different name. For about a year, an extension of the program was called the Friends of Booksy. Despite the difference in name, the goal was still the same. “A stylist telling a stylist about the power of the brand goes a long way,” said Lilliana Antequera, the Booksy Regional Marketing Manager for Florida, who spearheaded the Friends of Booksy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yx3FhwZUTM&feature=youtu.be Lilliana’s role with the Friends of Booksy, began in February 2019. And it involved attending networking events to identify the “movers and shakers” in Tampa and Orlando. The people who would make for great Ambassadors.
Advantages to Being in an AmbassadorEven though Lilliana isn’t directly involved with the Ambassador Program anymore, she still works closely with the team and encourages them to work with her colleagues. Just this past Superbowl Sunday 2020, an Ambassador named Andrea Rodriguez spoke directly with business owners during an informal networking session in Orlando. The end result was that they signed up over a dozen new businesses in a few hours. Andrea was very happy, because “obviously she received a healthy commission,” but she was also able to use the Booksy platform to promote herself like never before, said Lilliana. Lilliana has also worked with other well-known Ambassadors like Christy Clips, Mr. G, Drew Da Barber, and Papito Blessed Hands. And the results have always been the same. Each individual was able to share their experiences using Booksy to make an even bigger name for themself.
“Every time I walk into a barbershop, you know like Drew the Barber in Tampa or Tina Sapia in Clearwater—it’s like a mini business course,” she said. “I just think in general just the influence they have is incredible. These are not people who are brand loyal because they’re being compensated for it—they are being compensated—but they’re here because they believe in what they’re doing,” said Lilliana.
The Global Impact of AmbassadorsThe Sunshine State isn’t the only place where the Ambassador Program has successfully worked across multiple platforms and helped just about everyone involved. Across the Atlantic Ocean, over 4,000 miles away, the program is flourishing in the United Kingdom, said Adrian Ward who runs the Partnership Program in the U.K.
Adrian worked as the VP of the Ambassador Program in the United States between January 2018 to August 2019. And he said that the two countries created a unique relationship, since a number of American barbers were traveling to the U.K. and other countries to host trade shows. “There’s a beautiful story of how the U.K. actually got a lot of kudos from Ambassador barbers who were killing it in the States. It definitely helped us to build our business,” Adrian said, adding that he's watched person after person market themselves internationally as Ambassadors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bwVzG2CjeQ&feature=youtu.be People don’t want to be told how or why to do something by a room full of individuals who’ve developed a cool app. Instead, they like to see and hear success stories from business owners who’ve actually benefited from using the software, he said. “I think certainly having the branding and having Ambassadors who are actually putting their hands up and saying I use Booksy [is valuable],” said Adrian. “Even though you can’t quantify it, we know that it’s a bit like the air we breathe—we can’t see it, but we know it keeps us alive.”