Promotional Modeling Can Be Profitable

I stopped by Tornado Ally aka her bedroom, to say hello to my client and the greatest thing happened. She invited me to a party! I was very excited to even be considered worthy of “turning-up” with her and the crew. The excitement was quickly lost when I asked her the date of the invitation. “Halloween!” was her reply, as if I should have known this date MUST BE CELEBRATED. As a matter of fact, I did anticipate celebrating on October 31. However, my plan was to host a FAMILY going away party for her. (I told you models love to add things to the calendar without warning.) The slugs just kept coming as she went on to tell me that she was promoting a Halloween event and at the same time celebrating her departure. HUGE SIGH. This was all news to me! She had accepted a promotional modeling gig without discussing it with me!


You may be wondering exactly what is promotional modeling and why did this upset me? Well, promotional modeling is big business in most large cities across the U.S. If you have ever gone to a car show, I am sure you have seen promotional models dressed in all black with a sleek ponytail like backup dancers in a Robert Palmer video. Any event that will see a large number of consumers may employ promotional models to help market their products. You may see promotional models at trade shows, sporting events, concerts, night clubs, grand openings or special events. Their job is to help to make products or events more appealing and interesting. Who remembers Spuds MacKenzie and his Spud promo girls? I guess I am dating myself.


Usually promotional models are age 18 – 30, attractive, fit, professional and outgoing. The real key to being successful as a promotional model is personality. If your model does not like talking to or interacting with lots of strangers, then promo modeling is not the gig for them.


The positive side to promo modeling is it can be a consistent moneymaker. In-store events can pay $8- $30 per hour for demonstrating products. Some promo models are paid flat rates per event, for example, trade shows or sporting events pay on average $150-500 per day. Alcohol demonstrators (must be over age 21) and are generally paid $20-50 per hour. Your client may be able to travel the country with a marketing company or promotional agency. Traveling promo models can make $150-$500 per day and are usually given per diem for food and expenses. Travel costs and lodging are normally paid by the booking agency. With salaries averaging upwards of $1000 per week, promotional models can make more than many runway and print models.


The bad side to promo modeling are the long hours. Your client will likely have to be on their feet for several hours per day. Some promo models are expected to be well versed on a product they are promoting, pass out products or gather customer information. The duties and expectations can vary depending on the assignment or campaign being worked.


Nightclubs tend to pay $200-$500 for promo model appearance fees. Perks can include preferred seating, VIP sections, reserved parking, free alcohol and free entrance for members of their entourage. Night clubs may also want to use their images for advertising on flyers or social media. This should also be negotiated in the agreement ahead of time. This is why Momager’s should be consulted BEFORE their daughters agree to accept a promo gig on OCTOBER 31!


You can find promotional modeling jobs by checking with local event promoters, party promoters, marketing agencies, casting websites, job boards and model websites like Model Mayhem.


Don’t get me wrong, promotional modeling can be profitable. However, just like accepting any other modeling job, the terms of the contract, conditions and rate all have to be negotiated. Always make sure to discuss with the promoter or agency about the length of time, expected wardrobe, hair and makeup, pay rate, parking and travel reimbursement for any appearance before signing an agreement. (We will discuss model contracts and agreements in more detail in the near future.) Whatever you do, make sure your client does not sign or make a verbal agreement to work a job without your input.


You will probably find me at home passing out candy on October 31 this year…


Source references: Wikipedia and eHow