Lots of people I meet seem interested in my side work as a promotional model/brand ambassador/sales model/booth babe (whatever you prefer to call it). I’ve been in this business for about six years, and as fun as it is, this line-o-work ain’t for sissies! I’m going to be training some newbie Cayrum Honeys, and since my blogs listing things you should know about being a receptionist are so popular, I thought I’d teach you a handful of things you should know about being a promo gal. Hopefully this post will be enjoyable despite the fact I love this line of work (I know how much my administrative misery entertains you people).
1) Looks Matter
It’s true. In the promo business, looks matter, and some companies roll differently than others. I’ve been denied work because of the way I look. I’ve even been told so. Some companies/brands/venues just don’t want a short, curvy blonde with short hair. They’d rather have a tall girl with no body fat, mile long legs, a flowing mane and big boobs for a bonus. I know some of you are going to say things like “that’s discrimination,” or “sexual harassment!” But, that’s just how it is. If I can deal with it, so can you.
2) Not Being a Dumbass Helps
One advantage I have over lots of the other sales models is I am not a dumbass. I do common sense things, like show up on time and in uniform, know what the frack I’m selling, not get drunk at the venue, be respectful and kind to management and staff, do my paperwork, not call-out all the time, be available for shifts, be willing to go the extra mile, get along with everybody, and be approachable and liked by clients and customers. I’m the Twilight Sparkle of promos, and it’s amazing how using one or two brain cells gives me an edge.
3) You’re Gonna Get Hit-on
I hate it when girls put themselves out there and get offended when men have the audacity to make a move. If you become a promo gal or booth babe, you are presenting yourself as a sex object. You are not an old lady serving samples of microwavable weenies at a grocery store. You are not a business woman staring at graphs and sending memos in a suit from a desk. You are some chick in a skimpy outfit flirting to make an impression. Don’t expect total respect from drunk dudes who like your rack, think you are smokin’ hot and ask dumb questions like “If I buy this, do you come with it?” or “Can I get a hug to go with this?” I know some guys take their admiration too far, but don’t hate the player. Hate the game. Enjoy the flattery or get another job.
4) Don’t Be a Bitch
This is good advice for anybody in any work situation. Don’t be catty to other promo girls and give them the stank eye. It’s not their fault the store double booked. Don’t disrespect the venue managers and misbehave. I’ve heard about girls who leave their posts to heckle patrons down the vodka aisle. For shame. If you’re a bitch temporarily to get a job or make an immediate sale, it won’t last, so be nice!
5) Brand Awareness vs Hustling
Some promo babes are hustlers and others are brand ambassadors. I was trained to raise brand awareness. This means I want to create a positive image and possible relationship with a consumer, even if that person will not commit to an immediate purchase. I want to sell as much product as possible without pissing people off, so they may still be open to the brand. Some girls, however, completely miss that point and either A) Bully people into buying drinks or B) Fail to promote brand facts (Like just promoting a drink price without talking about what is in it. Derp).
6) Some Venues are Better Than Others
I love working at bars, clubs, concert venues and festivals. Retail venues? Not as much. But, you can’t be too picky if you wanna make those stacks. Even though party venues are much more fun and exciting and good for boosting the ego, liquor, grocery and drug stores are where lots of the work is. So when getting offers for work, I have to adopt my mother’s saying she uses for little kids when she is substitute teaching: You get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit! (Even if the store is in the ghetto and nobody speaks English. Whatever. Gotta Werk.)
7) Some Products are Better Than Others
Some brands have a crazy budget, awesome swag and are amazing/popular products, while others may have less notoriety and/or excitement to offer. I never work for a brand I don’t like. I just can’t support a brand that I think sucks, and I would never want to lie for a living. That doesn’t mean some can be hard to sell. It’s much easier to sell a relatively inexpensive product with great marketing materials than a very expensive brand with no freebies or coupons. At least I have lots of swagger to counter a lack of swag.
8) Sampling in GA is Can Be Lame
Promoting non-alcoholic drinks is fun because you often give away samples, but liquor is not so easy. Unlike many other states, I can’t give free spirit samples in a Georgia liquor store. We just got Sunday sales, so why do GA natives think we can distribute free booze all of a sudden? If some betch is giving you margarita samples in Atlanta, she is just giving you the mix and not letting-slip that it’s tequila-free. Have fun pretending to be drunk off of less than an ounce of colored sugar syrup.
9) Don’t Take Rejection Personally
This can be hard for some people, but learning to hear the word no is a must for promo girls. Some people just don’t want to talk to you, no matter how sweet and cute you are and no matter how many key chains, samples and coupons you have. Even more people want to find ways to get freebies without paying for anything or interacting with you too much. I went into hilarious details about this recently, remember? I just do my best, push the sale as hard as I can without being a jerk and don’t take it personally when people say no, even if they give me the stank eye.