A few years ago I learned of a whole new job community where I could make $15+/hr with no experience! I fell into the world of brand ambassadors over Memorial Day weekend in 2014. My first job paid $20/hr and all I had to do was give a spiel about the company’s products and take down customer information on a tablet. Sounds easy, right? It was! That 3-day weekend I made an extra $750. Yes, they were long days, but I got to spend some time with some other amazing folks at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. My boyfriend also worked the event for the same company too, which was awesome. That year, I made an extra $3,500 by being a brand ambassador, with my best gig paying $45/hr!
Who can become a brand ambassador? Anyone 18 or older! The best part is the events are usually on the weekends or in the evenings so you could do them in addition to a full time job.
What Do Brand Ambassadors Do?
It all depends on the event what the client wants. Usually you just need to answer questions about the brand/product, hand out a promotional item, and be friendly/approachable. Sometimes you have to run a game station, a photo booth, or get people to take a survey.
Here are all the things I’ve done as a brand ambassador:
- Handed out gift bags to event attendees
- Signed people up for a mailing list for a free product sample
- Face painted kids for a charity
- Handed out alcoholic samples at a bar/liquor store
- Demonstrated a new tablet
- Signed people up for a raffle
- Manned a obstacle course at the Manchester United game in Ann Arbor
- Got people to take a survey at the Detroit International Auto Show
- Greeted One Direction concert goers
- Entered people into a raffle at a American Authors concert
- Handed out free food at a U of M tailgate
- Played giant Plinko at a Nascar event
- Signed people up for a mailing list at festivals
- Gave a recruiting test & simulation for the U.S. Air Force
Being a brand ambassador is awesome because you get to attend all of these events for free! I was able to (coincidentally) meet up with some friends after my event shift ended and watch a concert at no charge, which was super nice. Also, if you’re doing liquor promos anything leftover is fair game. 😉
The jobs usually aren’t very difficult because you’re very rarely trying to sell attendees something, so people are more likely to engage with you. More often than not, you’re giving away something for free and you don’t have any pressure to sell if someone isn’t interested.
Since you are representing a brand, your looks do matter. Some gigs are gender specific and some are looking for a certain “type” of ambassador (age, body type, skin color, hair color, etc.). These brands are trying to appeal to a certain demographic so there is some choosiness that goes on, but some don’t really care. You will not be a good fit for every gig in your area. You will need to keep current photos of yourself when submitting to gigs. Some people who do this as their full time job have professional photos taken – my secret is that the photos that have landed me the best jobs were taken in friend’s wedding photo booth! Shhh! (I even use a wedding photo booth “head shot” for this website 🙂 )
You will also need to wear what they detail in the job description. Mostly it’s black or khaki pants or shorts, black or neutral colored shoes, and they’ll almost always give you a shirt to wear (and keep!). Sometimes the dress code is different, but it’s usually something most people have already, like a black dress or jeans. I’ve had to run out and buy specific outfits for gigs before, but you can count that as a business expense for tax purposes!
Where to Find Brand Ambassador Jobs
My first gig was via a referral, but I was able to join a few sites and groups that send me job notifications. The best thing to do would be to search Facebook for “Brand Ambassadors of [your city or state]” and request to join that group. This works better for people in metropolitan areas, but can also be good if you’re wiling to travel a bit.
There are also national agencies that will email you jobs based on your selected location, such as:
There are many, many more, but I’ve had success with these ones.
- You are usually an independent contractor, which means you’ll have to pay self-employment taxes on all of your earnings. But as I mentioned before, you can also write off all of your expenses. So keep track of gas, lunches, hotel expenses, clothing, etc. I was able to write off a manicure once for a hand modeling gig because the client required it. Save those receipts!
- Events are often outdoors. This may not be the end of the world for folks in the south, but for me in Michigan it gets cold! In the winter time, you have to wear many layers to keep yourself energetic for the event. On the flip side, I got my first ever sunburn working an event during the summer – so bring your sunscreen!
- Events are dependent on population, so some cities might not have the opportunities that others have. If you are willing to travel to a metro area though, there’s almost always something going on.
- You have to deal with people. For some this is easy, but for an introvert like me it can be exhausting to have to talk to strangers all day. On the bright side, I think it’s given me more confidence than I had before.
- Long/short hours. Events are either really long and exhausting or really short and you don’t make as much money as you’d like. But with the pay rates, even a 4 hour event is nice chunk of change.
- You have to do a lot of standing. Not a huge deal for most events, but if the client requests heels as part of your attire…I’d rethink signing up for that one.
- Some agencies take a while to pay out. It can take a few days or up to a few weeks to see payment from events. Make sure you find out up front how long payment takes for the company. Follow up with the booking agent if you think payment is taking too long.
All in all, being a brand ambassador is fun! You get to network with people, go to some fun events (for free), and make some money.
Would you try being a brand ambassador?