When you own your own small business, you are the public face of the company. But being an effective brand ambassador is easier said than done, and not all business owners are up to the task.

If you want to represent your company more effectively, you need to become the best brand ambassador you can be. Learning to reach out to the local community, showcase your expertise, and hire the right people can all enhance the effectiveness of these efforts, so you can grow your business and continue to build your brand.

| Distill Your Message

If you want to tell the story of your company as a brand ambassador, you need a simple and concise message. Think about what your company does and the customers it serves, then distill your brand message into just a few short sentences.

If you want to be an effective brand ambassador, start with a simple elevator pitch. Make sure it is no longer than 30 seconds, about the time it takes for a quick elevator ride, hence the name. This short and succinct message is not just for the Hollywood crowd; the elevator pitch can be a valuable tool for any brand ambassador. You never know who, or when, you are going to meet someone indispensable to your business, so having a clear, preplanned message can help ease anxiety should you meet someone you’d like to collaborate with or do freelance work for.

| Be Involved in the Community

Community involvement is a great way to build your brand and increase the visibility of your company. Giving back to the community can take many forms, from fielding a team for a charity fun run to showing up for local fundraising events.

As a brand ambassador, you should always be on the lookout for these opportunities. So check the community calendar, think about the ways you and your business can give back and start making your plans.

| Showcase Your Expertise

As a business owner, you are an expert in your field, so why not show off what you know? There are countless ways for business owners to showcase their expertise and their experience, and there are now more outlets than ever before.

Whether you post instructional videos online or teach a class at the local community college, you will increase the effectiveness of your brand ambassadorial efforts and keep your business in the spotlight. Acting on your expertise can also help you grow your personal and professional network, so you can attract new customers and help your small business grow.

| Make the Most of Public Events

Great brand ambassadors understand that there is no substitute for public exposure. Getting out and about and being involved in the community is essential, but it is important to make the most of those outings. Here are some simple ways to optimize and enhance your public face as a brand ambassador.

Nurture your contacts in the media. From local radio stations to television and newspapers, the media can be your best friend. Nurture those media contacts and keep them apprised of events and public appearances involving your company.

Be on time for the event. You cannot be an effective brand ambassador if you are not there, so be on time (or early). Plan for unexpected impediments, like heavy traffic and detours, by building extra time into your appearance-day schedule.

Come prepared. Make sure you have everything you need to tell the story of your company, from handouts for would-be customers to freebies for attendees. Always bring more than you think you will need; you do not want to run out halfway through the event.

Dress the part. If you want to represent your company well, you need to look your best. Think about what you are going to wear, try on several outfits and choose the look that best represents you and your business.

Be friendly and approachable. A smile goes a long way, so be friendly and approachable whenever you are representing your brand. Welcome people enthusiastically, answer their questions and learn about their relationship with your company and your brand.

Communicate effectively. Effective communication is key, so make sure your skills are top notch. From how you talk to people and interact to the quality of your written communication, make sure that everything you do is a positive representation of your brand.

| Remember That Your Employees are Brand Ambassadors Too

As the owner of the company, you are the most important brand ambassador, but you are not the only one. The men and women you hire are brand ambassadors too, and the things they do will reflect, either positively or negatively, on the business you have built.

Hiring decisions are critical for any business owner, so think carefully before you extend an offer. Background checks are a must, as are the skills and qualifications your employees bring to the business.

As the owner of your own small business, you are the best ambassador for your brand. Being a brand ambassador is one of your most important tasks, and the better you do, the better your company will be. The tips listed above can help you be the best brand ambassador ever, allowing your business to thrive no matter how challenging the economic environment.

Check out our podcast Hello Creatives! on this topic: “How to be a Brand Ambassador for Your Company.”

You can find Hello Creatives! on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play, Stitcher, SoundCloud & Spotify