8 Promo Modeling Tips We Bet You Haven’t Thought Of
Promotional modeling can be a rewarding job, with lots of opportunities for travel, networking, and flexible schedules. There’s always new products to demo and new companies to learn about, so the chances of getting bored are slim to none. In some areas of the country, the competition for getting modeling gigs is fierce… Check out these tips to gain a professional edge during the busy trade show season:
1. Keep a “Booked Jobs” Calendar.
In the promo modeling industry, your calendar should be at your fingertips. Whether you use a written planner or keep a digital calendar on a smartphone, being organized is the most important key to getting that next gig. The moment you book a promo modeling job, put it on your calendar. I always block the dates, hours of work, how much I have been quoted to earn (hourly and daily) and the event location. Having an organized and up-to-date calendar will prevent problems like double booking yourself or completely forgetting a job. (GASP!)
2. On Time is Late… Be Early for your Gig!
Life happens…you run into an accident, there’s a roadblock, an emergency pops up. However, the more prepared you are, the less chance you have of being late to a promo modeling job. Tardiness is one of the quickest ways to lose a client. Proper planning will help you avoid being late for your modeling job.
When you receive your event start time from your client, put it on your calendar 15 minutes earlier than when you actually start work. Having wiggle room in your travel time should help get you there on time.
Map out the location and directions to your job location, and know how long it will take to get there assuming heavy traffic. I always add 15 minutes to my travel time based on the google maps directions. Leave yourself a few extra minutes to figure out parking, and give yourself time to walk in and pick-up your badge. If you are working a job that spans multiple days, the first day will always be the most time-consuming. Plan to be early, and you will be on time! When you arrive early, not only does it leave a great first impression with the client, but it also gives you a chance to ask questions about their product and company.
3. Show Up Looking Like a Model.
This goes without saying, but make sure your hair is clean (roots should be done, and not too noticeable), makeup should be done but fairly natural. Don’t arrive un-done only to have to excuse yourself to go apply makeup in the restroom. Show up ready to work. Makeup should be taupes, browns, and tans with nude lips unless otherwise specified. Leave the bright colors out unless they are requested by the client and follow wardrobe guidelines.
Oh, and don’t wait until the last minute, only to realize you don’t have a black pencil skirt in your closet or that you need khaki slacks. These are some promo modeling wardrobe staples that would be smart to add to your closet:
- Slacks – black and khaki
- White button-down fitted shirt
- Shorts – denim and black
- Basic black dress (not too short or low cut)
- Shoes – black heels and black flats
- Casual Footwear – White Keds or Converse sneakers.
Make sure you have bra options for different styles of shirts that clients may give you to wear during your shift. For example, a black bra with a white shirt is never ok.
If you are required to wear heels, try to get them as comfortable as you can. Being on the trade show floor for 8 hours a day can wreak havoc on your feet. I always pack flats or flip flops in my purse to switch out on breaks and lunch. Packing shoes for breaks is a lifesaver!
4. When you’re visible, you’re on!
Being a promo girl or tradeshow model requires you to bring your A-Game at all times. Think of the show floor as a stage, and when you’re standing in the booth, you are ON. Plan to greet hundreds of people in a day. If you feel you need a little breather, don’t hesitate to request a 5-minute break to the bathroom and regroup with a few moments of downtime. Phones should never be on the trade show floor. They should be out of sight so they do not become a distraction while you’re working. Checking Facebook while working a modeling gig is not okay. The client is paying you to give 100% of your effort during your shift. If there is an emergency, always notify the client before excusing yourself to handle your business and handle it as quickly as possible. If you can wait until your next break, it’s best to do that.
5. Be Warm & Welcoming with Everyone.
This doesn’t just apply to the attendees coming into your booth, but also the client and anyone else you’re working with, including other promo models. I have worked too many shows with girls who have not been very friendly. It’s not a competition. There is plenty of work for all of us. We need to learn to lift each other up. Modeling jobs are more fun when everyone gets along! I’ve worked with some incredible girls who have become lifelong friends. Some have referred me to other jobs simply because I was nice to them. Remember the golden rule… Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. When the client sees you interacting well with everyone, it can lead to future jobs with them.
6. Clarify Your Break Schedule Up Front.
The best way to handle breaks is to be upfront about them. The moment I arrive on the first day, I will either speak to my lead or directly to the client about what to expect with breaks. If you’re only working 1-3 hours, you probably aren’t going to get a break or at least much of one. Anything over 5 hours should include a break. Some clients are more lenient than others, that’s just the way it goes, and it’s all up to their discretion. But you’ll know what to expect when you speak to them about it in the beginning, and can mentally prepare yourself. Always inform your lead/client when stepping away to use the restroom. If you’re working with another girl, never go on break at the same time, unless specified directly from the client. At least one model should always be on the floor.
7. Communicate Before, During and After the Event.
That means communication with your booking agent leading up to the event, communication with your client while at the event, and communication with your agent after the event. If you have ANY questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your agent. And it’s always good to follow up with them after the event is over. Provide them the following information:
- Tell them if you liked the client,
- let them know how it was working with the other models,
- how the client treated you, and
- send them any photos you may have acquired during the job.
If at any point during your job, you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to reach out to your agent or point of contact. A reputable promo model staffing company like Vantage Advertising will always stress the importance of good communication throughout the process.
8. Understanding Payment
Most agencies tend to pay about 30 days after a job. Be as organized with payments due, as you are with your booked jobs. I keep track of my payments in my booking calendar. I write down what checks are still owed, which checks I’ve received and which checks have been cashed. Keeping track will reduce any confusion on whether you’ve been paid or not. If you are required to invoice for payment, do so promptly and follow the guidelines and process for the agency you are working with. This will help expedite your payment. Remember, this is your business at the end of the day. The more organized you are, the more successful you will be 🙂
Above all, be a professional. You are being hired as a professional promotional model or brand ambassador. You are there to represent the interests of your client. Have fun meeting new people and enjoy the adventure!