[Welcome to Side Hustle #62! Now one of my top 10 faves we’ve featured here… I honestly can’t think of a bad part to this gig unless you just don’t like people. In which case, stop reading now and go learn about voice over acting or cleaning out septic tanks! :) But for everyone else… Feast your eyes on the ultimate guide to making money as a Brand Ambassador!]
Imagine getting paid $15-$50/hr for going to awesome events and making people happy by giving them free stuff. You even get to pick when you work!
Welcome to the best kept side hustle secret ever.
My name is Kenny Azama, and for the past 3 years I’ve been “working” as a Brand Ambassador and making an average of $700 per week of extra income. If you have a friendly and outgoing personality and want to get paid for it, this may the perfect side hustle for you!
WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
When I tell people I’m a Brand Ambassador, most people have no idea what that is. One person even thought I traveled the world and represented countries at UN meetings. While that would be a pretty cool gig, what we do is much easier and way more fun than that.
Brand Ambassadors are the friendly people you see wearing branded t-shirts and handing out or demoing products at events and high foot traffic areas. Easy right? By definition,
A Brand Ambassador is someone who is hired to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so they help to raise brand awareness and provide consumers with a memorable face-to-face experience with the brand.
This method of marketing a brand is called promotional marketing.
A common misconception is that Brand Ambassadors are employees of the brand they are promoting but that’s not the case. In actuality, they are simply contracted freelancers who are hired by staffing and event marketing agencies to represent their clients – the brands.
Brand Ambassadors are usually hired in medium to large groups to work at large events, music festivals, trade shows, sports games, nationwide tours, and pretty much anywhere where there are lots of people and excitement!
I’ve represented famous brands such as Nike, Samsung, General Mills, and Chevrolet at amazing events such as Comic Con, E3, the US Open of Surfing, and Coachella. One of my favorite parts about being a Brand Ambassador is that you get access into these hard-to-get-into venues for FREE and are able to explore and party during your breaks and after your shift!
WHAT DO BRAND AMBASSADORS DO?
I get this question pretty often and it’s always hard to answer because there are so many ways to promote a brand to people. Usually though, a Brand Ambassador’s main objective is to create a fun and memorable experience for consumers by:
- Giving away free samples and swag (e.g. sampling at events, high foot traffic areas, within retailers)
- Having people test new products (e.g. testing the new iPad or the new Chevrolet cars)
- Setting up and breaking down events (e.g. setting up 10×10 tents, tables, feather banners, etc.)
- Interacting with consumers face to face (e.g. greeting people at the door, being Emcee, or overseeing a section of an event, etc.)
- Increasing brand awareness by wearing branded uniforms or costumes (branded shirts, branded hats, costumes, etc.)
There are lots of ways you can promote a brand as an ambassador, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many different job positions within the industry that you can be hired for that all have different responsibilities and even higher pay rates. You can do everything from manage promotional events, go on tours in branded trucks, and even pump people up as a costume character!
HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE AS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
It still surprises me how much extra income we are able to make on the side while we pursue our other passions. If you hustle hard enough, you can even make a full-time living from it!
On average, I personally net anywhere from $300-$700 per week (depending on the season, the gig, and if I feel like working) and the best month I had I made over $3,000. The bare minimum you can expect to make is $15/hr while a reasonable maximum could be $50/hr but on average a $20/hr rate can be expected when first starting out.
COUNT ME IN! HOW DO I GET STARTED?
It’s easy to start making extra income as a Brand Ambassador! All you need is:
- A computer with internet
- A friendly and outgoing personality
- A well written resume that is catered for Brand Ambassador gigs (you can download my FREE digital guide on how to write the perfect resume by joining my newsletter)
- A couple of nice photos of yourself
It should be noted that while the promotional marketing industry is easy to get into, it can be competitive. Staffing agencies usually get dozens of applicants for every gig they post so in order to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of getting hired, I’d recommend you also obtain the following:
- An eye-catching resume design
- Personal Brand Ambassador Website
- Food Handler Certificate
- TIPS Alcohol Certificate
If you have all of the above, you’re golden. You’ll be ahead of most of your competitors and you should be landing many of the gigs you apply for.
WHERE DO I FIND GIGS?
Ambassador gigs are readily available, especially if you live in or near a major city. There are hundreds of staffing agencies out there and many of them are hiring for promotional gigs every single day.
Here are 3 of my favorite places to look for Brand Ambassador work:
#1) FACEBOOK — Facebook is the simplest and most abundant source for finding Brand Ambassador gigs in your area. There are Ambassador Facebook groups for every major city and this is where staffing and event marketing agencies post their open jobs. There are literally dozens of postings every day and what’s great is you’ll get a Facebook notification every time there’s a new posting.
To find these bountiful groups, type the following in the search bar:
“Brand Ambassadors of” + “Nearest Major City”
(e.g. Brand Ambassadors of Seattle).
Once you find your local group, request to join it or if you like traveling, join the Facebook groups of other cities you’d like to work in as well to hit the road!
#2) CRAIGSLIST — Craigslist is another gold mine for finding local Brand Ambassador gigs. Navigate to your local city, look under the “Gigs” section, and then click on “Events” to find promotional marketing gigs near you. One word of caution though: don’t provide any of your personal information without verifying who actually made the job posting. Most gigs only ask for a resume and some headshots but if you ever feel uncomfortable, move on to the next one.
#3) AGENCY PROFILES — Many agencies offer an option on their website to “join their team” of Brand Ambassadors. You can do so by creating profiles with the agencies that offer it, and those agencies will email you directly with any job opportunities they have. It usually consists of inputting your basic personal information, any experience you have, and some pictures of yourself. Easy peasy!
After registering with a handful of the best agencies, you will consistently get about 10-15 job openings emailed to you every single day. It’s so convenient, and you get to hear about exclusive opportunities you won’t find out about in Facebook or Craigslist, which is why I love this option so much.
I put together a comprehensive list of staffing agencies and their ratings on my website which you can use as a starting point for creating staff profiles. It’s not hard at all, and if you take the time to make profiles for good agencies, it will save you lots of time and make you lots of money in the long run.
WHAT’S THE HIRING PROCESS LIKE?
It’s actually really simple! Every gig will be different but for the most part, the hiring process for Brand Ambassador gigs is as follows:
- Search through job boards and check your email (after registering a profile with agencies) to find gigs that interest you and that you’re available for
- Email the relevant hiring managers your resume and pictures with a little blurb about why you’d be great for the gig
- If the agency is interested, they will call you for a quick phone interview
- If the agency thinks you’re a good fit, they will call back to offer the job
- Have fun promoting the brand at an awesome event!
- After the event, payment will either be mailed to you or deposited directly (depending on which agency you work for)
- Follow up with a thank you email and begin to build a relationship with every agency you work for
THIS SOUNDS AMAZING! ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES?
It IS amazing! I’ve looked through every single Side Hustle option on ‘Budgets Are Sexy’ and only a few of them can compare to how fun, flexible, and lucrative being a Brand Ambassador can be. With that being said, here are a few things to consider before becoming one:
- The pay is great but because the brand must pay the agency before you get paid, your payment can take anywhere from 1-6 weeks to get to you. Agencies are getting better about paying more quickly but because of this middle-man effect, it’s important to read your contracts before signing and to keep track of which agencies owe you what and when.
- You are an independent contractor, which means no taxes will be taken out so you should save a percentage of your earnings to pay later. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you like to file your taxes and what you decide to write off.
- You may not hear back from many of the gigs you apply for, especially if you’re just starting out. Don’t give up! It’s a numbers game in this industry but the more gigs you work, the easier it will be to land future gigs you apply for.
- Most gigs are only 1-3 days long which means you always need to keep your eyes open for opportunities. For some people, this is great as it’s extremely flexible and one can apply for work whenever they have the time.
- If being on your feet and talking with people for hours at a time doesn’t sound fun to you, then being a Brand Ambassador may not be your cup of tea…but try it anyway! It sure beats staring at a computer screen in a cubicle.
[Editor’s Note: Did they get paid double to have to wear those shirts? ;) #RedskinsNation]
By now I’m sure you’re 1,738% convinced that being a Brand Ambassador is one of the greatest side hustle options out there. Working in the promotional industry is such a fun and flexible side hustle and the fact that you can get paid $15-$50/hr just to sample and demo products at cool events is just icing on the cake – it’s like the life hack of side hustles.
If you have a friendly and outgoing personality and are looking for a flexible, fun, and lucrative way to make extra income, being a Brand Ambassador may be the perfect side hustle and potential full-time job for you!
Kenny Azama manages BrandAmbassadorWorld.com – a resource website about how to succeed as a Brand Ambassador. It has everything from FREE digital guides, helpful blog posts, agency reviews, downloadable resume designs, and more.
[This gig not for you? Check out all 61 other side hustles we’ve featured here. Everything from taste testing to uber driving, craps dealing, cake decorating, video game flipping, and even worm counting… If you like trying out new things (and like money even more!) you’ll find something to try :)]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!