Did you know the reason I left my telly job at the BBC in 2013 was to become a ‘sleb’ brand ambassador? I had been asked by WeightWatchers to work alongside Patsy Kensit and that bloke off Masterchef, Greg Wallace, to promote it.
We were all packing a few pounds, which is why the firm had approached us in the first place, but by the end of the year we were a bit slimmer and a lot healthier. And personally, I was a whole lot happier and proud of my weight loss achievement.
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And I had totally bought into the brand, the idea of it and how it could help people. Yes, of course they paid me to say all that, in TV adverts, newspaper articles and at live events throughout the year – but I was completely passionate about WeightWatchers (or WW as it’s now known) and still am. I was even proud to evangelise about it.
My father-in-law underlined the sheer value of all of that when he read an article around the time, in which I featured. He said ‘that’s like gold for a brand, you just can’t buy that sort of thing’. And he should know he’s an original Mad Men ad-man, turned PR specialist.
The point is, selling and telling, advertising and marketing at your customers and clients is fine, but the ‘gold’ is in your passion.
I’ve spoken to audiences all over the world and not one person has ever told me that their goal is to become a best kept secret. So, whether your work in a large organisation as an employee or a leader, or run your own business, becoming your own brand ambassador will give you greater influence and opportunity. All it takes is understanding ways to do it comfortably and confidently.
For a laugh, have a nosey at the first TV advert I did for Weight Watchers, made by Saatchi and Saatchi. It cost WWs over a million pounds, but you can have the same impact by making yourself a little bit famous for the cost of just your time and a bit of effort.