What do you need to know to succeed in the Promotions Business?
Working in promotions can be a whole heap of fun. You can end up going to all sorts of places and meeting all sorts of people in many different circumstances, so if you believe that 'variety is the spice of life' then you will enjoy this industry enormously. If on the other hand you feel more comfortable knowing what you are going to be doing next week, forget it, this job is for the adventurous. Although a pretty face and good figure is a general requirement you do not have to be 'model material'. The most important attribute for a promotions person is his or her PERSONALITY. To be successful you need to be extrovert, you need to enjoy being the center of attention and you need to shine. After all you are being hired by the client to 'promote'.
You Need to Be Independent and Mobile
Promotional jobs vary in duration and location all the time so you need to be very flexible and very capable of getting yourself from A to B and ON TIME. If you don't drive and don't have a car this can be very tricky and will limit the jobs you can do. Public transport will not always get you where you need be at the time you need to be there (for example, 5:30am at the NEC for a major event! - and, yes, our Angels have done that!). So if you want to have a good career in promotions make sure you learn to drive and have your own transport and be prepared to travel.
You Need to Tackle a Broad Range of Jobs
The more jobs you are able do, regardless of location, the more people you are going to meet and the more offers will be made available to you (that's provided you do a good job in the first place). It's a
snowball effect. Remember that if you do a good job the agency will have good feedback from the client and they will
again and again. If a client tells the agency you were late, or you kept wandering off, or you turned up looking like you had just got out of bed, don't expect the agency to book you for another job. You normally only get one chance in this game so don't blow it! It really is up to you to make it work, and another thing to remember is 'Your only as good as your last job'. If you become complacent it wont take long for the word to spread and the job offers will stop. Energy, tenacity, commitment and a professional attitude are all key requirement to be successful in the promotions industry.
Sign Up With Several Well Known Agencies
You should sign up with several agencies in the beginning. You will soon find that you are offered more work from some than from others but it doesn't hurt to be registered with several. There are also different types of promotional work and some agencies offer more of one type than another so by joining different agencies you will also experience the different types of promotions and soon lean which suit you the best.
REMEMBER - DO NOT PAY !
You do not have to pay to register with an agency so if you are asked for money to join, go elsewhere. Any reputable agency will not ask for money. If you check out our section on the basics of the modeling business, you will see that our advice about agencies is the same.
How to Kill Your Career Before it
An agency can help you get your career in promotions off the ground. It can
also kill your opportunity stone dead.
Agencies, on many occasions, will conduct interviews for new promotion people
at certain times of the year. These may be your only opportunity to get
signed up with a particular agency. If you interview well, and your CV
or resume looks good, you may get offered work very quickly. However, if
you accept a job and then call up and cancel at the last minute you create a
huge problem for the agency and an even bigger one between the agency and the
agency's client. No-one wants to look bad and if you make the agency who
has employed you for a job look bad, that agency is very unlikely to use you
Obviously, if you are ill at the last minute, everyone will be understanding.
As long as it does not happen frequently. But it is the case that many
promotion staff will have conflicting offers for jobs if they are registered
with more than one agency. A fatal mistake is to accept one job and then
have another opportunity come up and decide to do that instead and drop the
first one at the last minute. If you are taken on for a promotion event,
then you must stand by the commitment you have made. Professional
agencies will accept (and expect) nothing less.
Another career killer (and a way to get swiftly removed from an agency's
books) is to be late for the events for which you have been hired. The
agency's clients will not accept that. You will have to remember that
your approach and attitude and your behaviour reflects directly on the agency
that hired you. The client will blame the agency who hired you, not you
directly, if things go wrong or the client is unhappy with you. If
promotion people hired for the client by the agency turn out to be less than
professional it will reflect badly on the agency and some have been known to
lose major clients as a consequence. Your career will definitely not fly
if you are the cause of your agency losing a major client!
You should also bear in mind that an agency is a business. It is there
to make a living (revenue and profit). In the promotions business,
margins (the amount of profits made) are notoriously low. It does not
take much to turn a profitable event for an agency into a loss maker. If
an agency has to chase you around all of the time (think of the number of
phone calls that get made and emails sent!) or has to replace you at the last
minute because you have decided to drop out or not turn up, the costs to the
agency can be huge. The agency's client does not pay for finding a last
minute replacement. That cost falls on the agency. It can take all
day to track down a suitable and available replacement, with dozens of phone
calls and messages, to find someone who can fill out the team or do the job at
the last minute because you decided not to. Make sure this is not you!
You will not get more than one job opportunity with an agency if you lose the
The best way not to kill your career before it gets going? - make sure you are
professional in your attitude and professional in carrying out your job. Do
not let the agency down and make sure that the agency's client is always
What You Can Expect To Do In Promotions?
As mentioned above there are all sorts of promotional jobs and some you will prefer to others depending on your own personality. Our advice to all beginners is to accept as much as you can and try your hand at it all. You may be asked to stand in a train station between 6am and 10am and then again from 4pm to 7pm (these being the busiest commuter times) to give out samples of drinks or food or newspapers etc. This may seem like a long day to you because the hours of work are split into two. However, in effect, it's a normal 7 hour working day.
You may be asked to sample a product in a store which is open from 8am to 9pm or you may be working on an exhibition stand from 9am to 9pm for 12 days non stop. Forget having a day off at the week-end! The Motor Show, for example, is a 12 day exhibition. The longest exhibition in the UK is The Daily Mail Ideal Home Show which runs for 28 days.
Another job you may be asked to work on is a road show. This could take you all over the country visiting all sorts of places from shopping malls to agricultural shows to show rooms and more....... and it can last for several weeks and involve you being away from home for a long periods at a time. Traveling and set-up days can be very long. On many occasions you may find yourself working outside enduring all the elements mother nature can throw at you. The job doesn't stop just because of inclement weather. It's great in the summer though! Some jobs are evening events and may not finish until midnight or one or two in the morning and then you still have to drive home.
There is an array of promotional jobs to be done and enjoyed and you could easily find yourself amongst all sorts of people including TV celebrities, sports personalities, famous models, film stars, rock stars, politicians - even royalty. Needless to say, if you want to be picked for one of these jobs you will need to have established a reliable and good reputation. You will also have to have a sense of courtesy and discretion!
If all this all sounds too much like hard work then it's not for you. The promotion world can be very exciting but it is also hard work and anyone who thinks it's just glamorous and good fun is wrong - it's not for the faint hearted. Still want to do it...................................??
Get Some Good Photographs
It is beneficial if you have some photographs to give to the agency to keep on file with your registered details. As you can imagine it is sometimes difficult for one person to remember what everyone looks like especially if they are seeing many new faces on a regular basis. So it is in your interest to supply the agency with photographs of yourself. If you don't have any then I'm sure the agency can point you in the right direction. This may incur some costs but should not be too expensive. You can always compare prices with other photographers before you commit to anything. Again, you should take a look at our advice on photographs and photographers in our web site section on modeling.
Many agencies will use photographs to send out to their clients and so by providing them with your photographs you stand more of a chance of being seen by the client and therefore more of a chance of getting the work. Composite cards are a very good way of having your details at your finger tips to hand out to everyone. You can also use these to promote yourself as well as giving them to an agency to hand out. The simplest and least expensive one being a 'flyer' - just one black & white head shot on a card with all your details. This shouldn't cost very much at all and it's a start. However you may find that for not much more you can have three photographs on a card - a head shot on the front and two full length on the back and this may be much more competitive. Eventually when you have done more work and have some money to invest you may decide to have a color card made up. A full color single card is probably as much as you would ever need for promotions. These are not essential to have just a benefit and like most things in life, the more effort you put into something the more you are lightly to achieve. To see the kind of photographs we are suggesting, check out the
Angels Library section.
One Last Important Item
In general, you will be working in a freelance capacity and therefore on occasions you will be responsible for your own tax and national insurance payments. Some agencies do this automatically and some don't. It's your responsibility to keep up your payments and it's a legal requirement, so don't ignore it!. Another thing to remember is that when you are not working you are not earning. No holiday pay! No sickness pay! There's no such thing as money for nothing!
What you need to be successful in promotions!
Have you got what it takes?
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