Let’s keep talking about brand ambassadors! In our first post on growing brand ambassadors, we talked about putting together intentional steps to help move your volunteers from people who work with you occasionally into people who are fired up about what you do and talk about you even when they’re not volunteering. (If you missed the first post, go ahead and catch up! We’ll be here when you’re done.)
Today we’re talking about letting go. You’ve done the hard work of instilling knowledge and experience. Now it’s time to give a little guidance and let them do their thing! On the day of an event, you have the unique opportunity to observe your brand ambassadors in action and cheer them on. Take a look at a few ways you can set them up for success.
Offer Final Instructions
Repeating organizational language and ideology is extremely important as you communicate with your brand ambassadors in between events. As an event approaches, think through how your values and mission statement are played out in this specific instance and share that with your volunteers. This way they can visualize your mission in action.
This is also a great opportunity to give last minute guidance before the event begins. Think through the probable situations your volunteers may encounter and train them with best practices before they head out to work. For instance, my current employer throws a three-day fall festival each year. The first night is reserved only for families who have children with special needs. It’s a special night of celebration, and volunteers are usually eager to get involved. However, it also requires a few tips to help them be prepared to do their jobs well. We offer examples of positive phrases to use, ways to modify activities, people to contact if they need help, and reminders to slow down and enjoy the night together. These final pieces of information make your event better while also empowering your volunteers.
Give Official Gear
When asking volunteers to step into a broader role, help them get into a confident mindset by giving them official apparel to wear throughout the day. There’s just something about wearing a uniform, right? It makes us remember why we’re here and helps us stay engaged throughout the long event hours. This can be as simple as creating lanyards or creating volunteer shirts and hats. If your budget allows for new apparel every year, gift these items to your volunteers! Just another way to remind them of the great work your organization does after the event is completed.
When you see your volunteer embracing the role of brand ambassador, tell them as soon as possible! Call it out in person, text, or email to reinforce those great actions and attitudes. If you’re running a group text thread for your volunteer team, send encouragement and affirmation there. These little comments don’t take much time, but they help create a culture of encouraging each other and grow camaraderie among your team. Plus it offers an easy medium to address problems as soon as possible.
These steps are simple ways to equip your volunteers and release them into their role as brand ambassador. As they grow in their skill, experience, and passion, you’re able to shift into a support role and watch them be awesome—a true win for you both.