Today is our third birthday! Our little old website is turning from toddler to preschooler….we’re still babies in the blogosphere BUT exciting things are underway my friends.
Here’s one of them…
Lately, we’ve been getting a ton of questions about how to become a Hike Like A Woman Ambassador (#teamHLAW).
So it’s time to answer some of our most frequently asked questions.
But first, check out our rad video!
- How did the Ambassador Program start?
You can read about the inspiration behind #teamHLAW right here.
Our Ambassador Program officially kicked off last August.
- What is a Hike Like A Woman Ambassador?
HLAW Ambassadors are women from all walks of life who contribute to the website on a regular basis and help out behind the scenes with things like social media updates and networking with outdoor brands.
Here’s how Annie feels about being an Ambassador.
“The program has given me a great new hiking sisterhood and an awesome support system. I could have never imagined that gift when I signed up. It’s also given me insight into other hiking styles, backpacking and writing styles as well.” -Annie
- How does the Ambassador Program Work?
To become a Hike Like A Woman Ambassador we ask that you fill out this application.
Our current team of Ambassadors will look over the applications to select our 2017-2018 team.
The application deadline for this next round of Ambassadors is July 1st, 2017.
Our 2017-2018 team will be notified on July 15th & announced on the website and via live Facebook video on August 1st.
Once selected you’ll be entered into a private facebook group just for the 2017-2018 Ambassador Team. In that group, we’ll chat about upcoming articles, brainstorm new blog topics, and talk about hiking and the outdoors.
Your term as an Ambassador will last from August 2017-July 2018 and culminate with a weekend retreat just for Hike Like A Woman Ambassadors.
- Are your Ambassador’s compensated?
Right now, serving as an Ambassador is strictly voluntary, there is no monetary compensation.
But, if you’re a blogger I can guarantee that we’ll help grow your blog traffic by sharing your stories and articles on our social media channels.
We also provide some opportunities for gear reviews where you get to keep the gear in exchange for a review. Current Ambassadors have received everything from down jackets to winter boots and we have relationships with several outdoor brands for the purpose of reviewing clothing and gear.
I’ll also throw some HLAW swag your way, you know, t-shirts, stickers, patches etc. The good stuff.
By far the biggest form of compensation is just being part of a tight-knit group of outdoor women who love sharing their experiences.
This is what Mara has to say about her experience on our Ambassador team so far.
“I love being a part of a group of inspiring, outdoorsy women. Not only have I gotten to become a part of an amazing website that encourages women to enjoy the outdoors, but I have also made some amazing friends. I love all the encouragement and support I get from my #teamHLAW.” ~Mara
- What do you require of your Ambassador team?
Since our team is all volunteer I don’t require much.
I do ask for 2-3 blog posts/year and participation in our facebook group when it comes to projects that we are collaborating on.
But several of our current Ambassadors hop in when they have time and then step back and take a breather when things get busy~myself included.
I know that we’re all busy with jobs, hiking, family, hiking, school, hiking, life, hiking, etc. so my goal is to make #teamHLAW a place of support and encouragement, not a place where I’m nagging people about writing posts.
We don’t have a set editorial calendar (we tried that and it was a disaster), instead, Ambassadors just write whatever is on her heart. We don’t do much editing, I like to keep the articles real, authentic and unique…just like every woman in our program.
Here’s how Jennifer feels about the program.
“While I haven’t contributed as much as I feel I should, what I have written has given me an amazing boost in self-esteem. I really feel a part of the group and our community and I will always be thankful for the connections I’ve made through our original team!” -Jennifer
- “If I applied last year can I apply again this year?
Absolutely! One of the hardest things I had to do last year was let 80+ women know that they weren’t selected. If that was you, please try again! I like tenacity 🙂
- What can I do to “get my foot in the door?”
We’ve started something new the past few months by opening up the website to several Contributors.
The goal with our Contributor Program is to feed into our Ambassador Program.
So our current round of Contributors will end up becoming our next round of Ambassadors…if that makes any sense.
If you’d like to become a Contributor fill out our Ambassador application and then request access to our Contributor Facebook group. Here you will receive mentorship from our current round of Ambassadors.
We’re still figuring out what this looks like….but join in the fun anyway and evolve with us!
Mo, a #teamHLAW Contributor
- How many Ambassadors will you select this year?
I have no idea….ask me on July 15th 🙂 More than 20, less than 50?
- What kind of woman are you looking for in an Ambassador?
There’s a lot of talk about diversity in the outdoors…and I agree but I’m taking it one step further, we’re looking for women who are diverse in their careers, their opinions, their adventures and their thoughts about the wilderness.
For example, we currently have women who have had some pretty epic adventures and others who are very happy to stroll along a neighborhood path.
We’re looking for women who could be your next-door neighbor.
Someone you might not always agree with but a friend who you’re happy to chat with over the back fence.
We’re not into elitist, stuck up or self-centered.
Or women looking to use HLAW as a tool to boost their own outdoor credibility. Those kinds of women need not apply.
We want down-to-earth, authentic and kind.
For Lucy, being on #teamHLAW has helped her get through some pretty rough times...
“Where do I even begin? My HLAW sisters have become my family. When I got sick, my HLAW family was the first to show up at the hospital. The first to send me flowers. The ones who check on me every single day. They have cried with me, laughed with me, encouraged me, lifted me up, pushed me on and supported me. Even before I was sick, I could tell this was a special family that I was so blessed to be a part of. HLAW sisters forever!” -Lucy
- Is this program open to International readers?
Yes! Although we run a pretty low-budget operation here and we do have some restrictions when it comes to shipping clothing and gear internationally.
- What’s going to happen to your current round of Ambassadors? I love reading their posts and getting to know them.
I’m going to kick them to the curb and say “good riddance!”
Joking. Seriously, this group of women has helped mold and shape Hike Like A Woman.
I don’t consider this my website anymore, I consider it our website.
Our current team who wants to stay on will continue in a mentorship role and as a contributor. I’ll just move them over to the Class of 2016-2017 and focus on our next round of women, they’re cool with that.
But….being selected as an Ambassador does have some perks.
This August we’re headed to Colorado for a weekend of hiking, camping and getting to know each other in person. I plan to make this an annual tradition inviting Ambassadors from the past and the present to come together for outdoor fun. So it’ll be like a big HLAW Ambassador reunion every year…I think you’re going to want in on it 🙂
- I emailed you several months ago about becoming an Ambassador but I never heard back. Should I email you again?
I get lost in email. I have lots of bad excuses.
Please email me again. Thank you!
So there you have it….the future of the Ambassador Program. If you have any questions let us know!
p.s. Here are a few more thoughts from this year’s #teamHLAW.
“I enjoyed the positive energy that spread on Rebecca’s HLAW website and FB group. When I applied to be an ambassador I had no idea how much was really in store for me. Rebecca has turned a group of outdoors women into teamHLAW and we encourage each other, feed off each other and would do almost anything for Rebecca and each other. It encourages my outdoor adventures, my writing and has filled a void that I didn’t even realize I had in my life. I love HLAW and being be an ambassador!!!” –Lorna
“Oh my goodness. Where to start. I wasn’t even going to apply. I don’t have a blog or a website. I’m just a woman who hikes. I didn’t believe I was who Rebecca would be looking for in an Ambassador. Then Jill, who I met through our interactions on HLAW, said she applied and encouraged me to do so. I was so surprised when I was chosen. And honored. Really honored. This tribe of women and I say tribe cause that’s what we are, has become such a huge part of my life. I’ve met so many new friends. The women here inspire me in countless different ways. This tribe is composed of so many different lifestyles, activities, talents, and gifts. I’ve learned something from every woman in our tribe. I’m inspired in some real way, almost daily by this group of amazing women. You challenge me to be the best version of me. I love you. All of you.” –Michelle
“The ambassador program came about right at the time I was finding my outdoor self. The program helped keep me accountable to this new self and gave me the push I needed to be accountable to my blog. In addition to that, I’ve made new friends, one I even had the chance to meet in person, others I hope to in the future. When I applied I didn’t think there was any chance whatsoever of being picked, but I filled out the application anyway. Never let doubt stop you from pursuing your dreams!” –Jennifer
“I’ve connected with other awesome women who love to hike! It’s one of the funnest online communities I’m a part of.” -Whitney
“The opportunity to become an Ambassador happened at the perfect moment for me. When I applied I was wading through the muck of trying to balance being a mom, and well, just being me. Being part of the HLAW Ambassador team has given me back a little of “me” that I have missed since I changed my name from Stephanie to Mommy.” –Stephanie
“This program has opened my world to a caring family of women who openly accept me just the way I am. It has allowed some of my most basic day dreams to become a reality. I have been empowered to try new things, engage in interesting conversation, and encouraged to others to participate in fun activities.” –Amy
“I can’t even tell you what a privilege it has been to be a part of this community of strong women. While I was excited to share my adventures and contribute to the HLAW mission, I hadn’t really bet on the community effect!” –Amanda
“I live in a very secluded area and have always found it difficult to find other women who have the same passions as myself. This is the very first time that I’ve felt a part of a family of outdoors lovers that truly get me.” –Kathryn
“I love this group of women. We are a very diverse mixture ~ I’ve come to love every one of them and what they bring to the table. I was at a crossroads in my life. I felt something was missing and I really didn’t know what it was or where to being looking. Through the HLAW ambassador program, I have found friendship, inspiration and a bond with these women that will span my lifetime. I have found a home where the occupants are like-minded individuals who are quick to complement and encourage. Because of the HLAW ambassadors, I have become a better person. They are my tribe. And I can’t wait to meet them this summer!!!!!” –Jill
“The program has helped connect me with women of different walks of life that share the love for hiking. I get to see glimpses into everyone’s lives that I wouldn’t have been able to do in other groups. It’s a great, fun community of women who have been so supportive. I love seeing the encouragement and really, the love of strangers coming together as a team! I’ve really loved watching this program come together!” –Jamie
Are you interested in joining us?