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One of my favorite ways to side hustle to make extra money is to find brand ambassador gigs. In this post, I will talk about the ins and outs of the industry, finding work, and staying employed in the competitive promotions industry.

I’ve worked for the following industries as a brand ambassador: gas, food, animal food, and insurance. My favorite program that I’ve worked for is the one that I’m working right now with a local food product that people love here in Colorado. It’s an awesome company and the work is super straightforward. Love it!

What Is A Brand Ambassador?

Put simply, a brand ambassador is an individual hired to be the “face” of a brand and to inform potential or current customers/clients about the product or service the business offers.    Basically, you’re marketing face to face directly with the “public.”

Pros

For adding brand ambassador work to your side hustle rotation.

  • You can make really decent money per hour. The range that I’m seeing is between $14-$35 an hour
  • The job is very straightforward-give people an item and market it to them. Boom.
  • Meeting new people can be a very fun and rewarding experience.
  • These gigs are usually pretty fun.
  • Once you get “in” to the industry it’s pretty easy to continue getting gigs if you live in a decent sized city (as long as you update your resume) and don’t burn bridges.
  • Sometimes you will finish a gig hours early-and still get paid for the entire shift that you were booked for (depends on the company and your manager).
  • Swag!! You oftentimes get to take home: clothes/food/etc. from the events that you’re working.

Cons (there are several)

  • Late Paychecks-depending on the company you might receive them LATE. Like, really late. If you’re able to sign up with a company that pays on a bi-weekly schedule you will love that company.
  • People become easily sucked in and distracted from other opportunities/work. Or, the Future bwahaha! This should not be considered a long-term career. I’ve met several people who have been in the industry for a long-time and they seem…stuck. They get used to making relatively decent money easily and having fairly flexible schedules. If you do this type of work do it in addition to your main gig. Don’t let it become your main gig.
  • Standing for long hours at a time. I’ve stood up to eleven hours for 5 days in a row.
  • Other BA’s don’t do their work which shifts the burden onto you.
  • Guerilla Marketing-You can end up getting ticketed from an event that the brand doesn’t have permission to be at.
  • Program Managers who aren’t very professional.
  • The type of marketing you have to do (explaining a game people don’t understand over and over again for eleven hours) or giving an item out that people don’t “get” and having to explain the item all day long.
  • Asking for people’s information (getting leads) This can be awkward especially if YOU don’t like giving out YOUR information

Initially, it can be a little tricky breaking into the industry but once you do it’s important to create a resume specific to the promotions industry.

When you start signing up for different promotional campaigns you usually will be forwarded to a website where you will register. When you sign up with these sites you are considered to be “talent.” You will be asked to provide your: shoe size, bust, waist, and height. You will also be asked to provide several photos as well. Again-you’re considered talent/models/etc. You’re the face of the brand.

Also, this is kind of harsh but brand ambassadors DO tend to be a bit on the younger side and you will find that a lot of ads will ask for a specific age range that they are looking for. If you’re older than the average age-which in my unofficial opinion seems to be around 25 and you get hired onto an activation* don’t share your age with other people especially if you have a baby face (I know this from experience).  It could affect your ability to get hired on for other activations-just be coy and work hard.

That said, I do know a lot of people who are much older than the average age I just shared and they continue to book jobs based on longevity and connections.

By the way, many of the companies that I work for are headquartered in the following cities: L.A., Chicago, and New York City.

Brand Ambassadors Work 

  • Festivals/Fairs
  • Athletic Events
  • Concerts
  • Trade Shows
  • Conferences
  • Bars
  • Etc.

Brand Ambassadors:

  • Must be able to share the “talking points” during the promotion of the item or service being shared. This is usually not too difficult to do and you will receive this information prior to the “activation” (marketing program that you will be working).
  • You should be comfortable talking to strangers.
  • Have a sense of humor-Be serious about doing a good job, but just have fun during the process.
  • Be patient-the public is the public 🙂
  • Be professional-Show up on time, be prepared, be fun to be around and you’re set.
  • Demonstrate (demo) a product-This typically happens in grocery stores or stores similar to Bed Bath and Beyond. They might demo a coffee machine, ice cream maker, etc.
  • Be comfortable with Guerrilla Marketing-Where you are in a place that you’re not necessarily supposed to be and give out the premiums that you’ve been tasked with giving out. If you are asked to leave the area-LEAVE! No questions asked. No side hustle is worth a ticket.
  • Sample (sampling)-This is a fun one! You just give people samples of a new food product/drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic). If the people you are approaching are familiar with the product then it’s super easy to hand it to them.
  • Hand out premiums (swag)-Such as sunglasses, hats, frisbees, or even food items. Recently I’ve even seen a bacon van sampling out a new style of thick bacon.
  • Be able to stand for long periods of time.
  • Wear branded apparel. Basically, you’ll be wearing clothes that represent the brand…and A LOT of khaki!

How To Become A Brand Ambassador

There are three ways that I use to find gigs.

  • Craigslist-Yes, Craigslist. You have to be smart when using Craigslist. If the ad seems too good to be true, sketchy, asks for way too much information TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Usually, you will be directed to an official website to create a profile.
  • Facebook Group Pages-On a daily basis companies are looking for new BA’s all the time. I even saw a post on Sunday looking for people who smoke (must be a cigarette or vape promotion) There are tons of promotions for all kinds of products.
  • Word of Mouth-Over time you will become friendly with other brand ambassadors who will become program leads in charge of hiring for a promotion. They will contact people who they feel is a good fit for their team.

With all of these options, you need to act quickly. Pay attention to how you’re communicated with. Professional language, weird texts, long pauses in-between communications. If this happens this could be a signal that the staffing company is unprofessional. I would recommend that you proceed with caution and avoid the company or work just a couple of shifts to make sure it’s run professionally.

As I feel my way through self-employment and shifting to virtual services brand ambassador work has been a fun and easy way to make extra money, meet new people and learn transferable skills that are important for wanna be entrepreneurs. You become pretty ballsy about asking for what you need when you approach strangers all day long. You also become immune to rejection!

Have You Done Brand Ambassador Work Before?

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I am an obsessive foodie, but not self-righteous with it, love travel, meeting new people, helping you look good, and am freaked out by people who don't enjoying reading...something! Grab a Perrier, read my blog, feel free to drop me a line! Hope to hear from you soon.