Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador 1

Let’s be honest with each other here — most of us have been in an income crunch somewhere along the road and it sucks. It sucks when you’re living your dream of road life but can’t pay to keep the wheels turning. It sucks feeling like all your friends with ‘real jobs’ might be right. And it sucks being constantly stressed about money.

I know these emotions all too well because I’ve been there. But you and I didn’t set out on the road for that. We wanted to escape the hustle and bustle, not carry it with us. We wanted to work on our terms, not theirs. And we wanted to escape the shackles of an office, not create a new one for ourselves.

So, if you’ve been feeling like your work/life balance is off kilter, I’ve put together this post to show you how to get good paying work at some really exciting events happening all over the U.S.

The ‘career field’ we’re going to chat about here is called ‘Experiential Marketing.’ It’s flexible, location independent, pays well, and doesn’t require any special skills.

Why should you listen to me?

My wife and I have been working together in the field of Experiential Marketing for all 3 years that we’ve been on the road. Together, we average 60-80 hours of work per month and that’s enough to pay our bills+give us some fun money. Over the years, I’ve gotten paid $20+/hour to be: a mascot at sporting events, a grocery store sampler, a product specialist at NASCAR races, and a whole lot more.

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador
Read on to see how I got paid to be a tater tot! 🙂

But what exactly is Experiential Marketing?

Even if you’ve never heard the term Experiential Marketing before, you’ve most certainly run into it. Remember the last time you were in a grocery store and someone handed you a tasty sample? Experiential Marketing. That conference you were at where a friendly face invited you to get some Swag? Experiential Marketing. And how about that last concert you were at where someone came up and gave you a free 5 Hour Energy? You guessed it… Experiential Marketing.

In short, anywhere that a bunch of people are gathered, there are brands that’ll hire you to help them get in front of those people. The average pay range in this industry is $17-22/hour — with opportunities to make $25-30/hour and even get your food+travel expenses paid.

And what would you be doing?

You’d be helping brands create a fun and welcoming environment for people at events. Generally, this is within the boundaries of a tent or booth that the company has set up. Some of your tasks might include: giving away free samples of the company’s products, signing people up for a contest, or playing games with visitors.

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador 2
Yup, that’s me.

What kind of skills/resume do I need for this?

You don’t need any special skills for this line of work BUT you do have to be very friendly and outgoing as a Brand Ambassador. Smiling should be second nature to you. It also doesn’t hurt to have a passion for the brand you’re repping (e.g. I tow my camper with a Chevy truck and I love it, so isn’t hard for me to represent them at events).

How do you find work as an Experiential Marketer?

Before I jump into the steps for getting started, there are some key terms you need to know… While this career field is called Experiential Marketing, that will rarely be your job title. Instead, you’ll be searching for gigs listed under things like: Brand Ambassador (or just ‘BA’ for short), Promotional Specialist, or Product Specialist.

And remember, these jobs are highly flexible — you can keep the work very part-time if you want or ramp it up and be working near full-time within 6-8 months.

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador
My wife getting paid to spray color runners with a fire hose!

Here are the exact steps I recommend you take to get the ball rolling:

  1. Hop on Facebook and join the Brand Ambassadors group in a city near you: Search Facebook for a group titled “Brand Ambassadors of [insert name of your nearest city]”. All of these groups will have required questions for you to answer before they’ll let you in. Don’t live in a city? No worries, just join the group for the nearest city to you because they’ll list opportunities for that whole region.
  2. Search Craigslist for Brand Ambassador roles: Generally these can be found under: [name of your city] > event gigs
  3. Know the big events coming your way: Be they conferences, concerts, or sporting events, any large event will have companies hiring Brand Ambassadors. Get these on your radar early to get the best gigs.
  4. Create your profile with talent agencies: Many of the gigs in your search will be run through agencies that specialize in hiring and managing Brand Ambassadors. The more agencies you have profiles with, the better. That’s because having a profile with an agency usually means they’ll keep you up to date on anything they’re hiring for. Be sure you’ve got a good headshot!
  5. Network, network, network: I started in this industry as a grocery store sampler and worked my way up to a steady contract gig in about 6 months by constantly asking for new opportunities. You truly can make yourself stand out if you prove yourself a reliable and friendly Brand Ambassador and if you keep yourself top of mind with managers.

How do you keep the gigs — and the cash — flowing as a Brand Ambassador?

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador

The thing I love most about this industry is the flexibility. You can work just about as much or as little as you want once you’ve got your foot in the door. Here’s how you can keep the gigs+cash flowing at the level you want:

  • Keep showing up and rocking it: The sad reality is that there are too many BAs in this industry who are lackluster. So, if you work like a rockstar every time, you’ll have a long future in this industry.
  • Keep checking in with and signing up for more agencies: Agencies are gatekeepers, so, the more agency profiles you have, the more gigs you’ll have access to. There are too many agencies out there to count, but here are a few examples to show you what I mean:
  • Keep your ears perked up for a regular gig: My wife and I work NASCAR races as part of a tour. This means we follow the race circuit working for the same agency. It has been a great opportunity because they help us out with travel expenses. These positions are tougher to get but definitely out there. So, once you’ve been in the industry for 6-8 months, ask often about getting some regular work with a brand that travels around the country.

Final thoughts…

Before I go, there are a few other things you should know. Some cons of this work:

  • You’ll often be working outside in the elements.
  • The hours are sometimes long (10+ hours per day)

But, in my eyes, the pros of flexibility and fun people to work with far outweigh the occasional cons. Overall, being a Brand Ambassador has been an absolute joy for my wife and I on the road. And, we’ve ranged $60-70k in annual combined income over the past few years — all by working fun events on our terms.

By the way, some agencies don’t do direct deposit (but that’s what you’ve got Escapees Mail Forwarding Service for, right?)​

So, jump in some of those Facebook groups and take a gander at what’s happening in your area – you’ll be working as a Brand Ambassador before you know it!

Josh Schukman

Author

Josh Schukman

Josh is half of the husband+wife duo behind OutofNorm.al – where their mantra is life, unwasted. Josh and his wife have been galivanting all over the country in an ’88 Airstream for the past 3 years…and counting. They seek out small towns, BLM lands and the next vintage camper they can renovate for their AirBNB glamping business.

Did you like this post? Pin it on Pinterest!

Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador 3

12 Responses to “Make Income on the Road as a Brand Ambassador

  • Josh Schukman
    Confused
    3 months ago

    If you’re working about 70 hours a month @$20/hr, you’re making less than $20,000 a year.

    How are you making $60,000+, as you claim?

    • Hi Confused,

      Thanks for the question – $20/hr is what I mentioned as entry/base pay. My wife and I have been doing this for a few years, so we now average $28+/hr. We often work gigs paying as high as $35/hr. now too because we take on ‘manager’ roles. Also bear in mind that’s 70 hours/month EACH. Since my wife and I almost always work together, the hours double in a sense.

      It took us about 1.5 years to start averaging the $28/hr rate, but our first year in the industry was part-time.

      Also, in the article I mention that you can often get ‘per diem’ – meaning they pay you an extra $40-65/day for food and incidentals. My wife and I now mainly work gigs like that. Since we don’t spend near that much on food, we bank the extra which adds up to quite a bit.

      We also always try to work one super long event per year where we basically work one whole month – this gives an extra bump to our income that gets us up there income-wise.

      If you’re flying solo – my wife worked in this industry on her own for 4-5 years before meeting me and consistently averaged $35-40k/year by leveraging the above (bonuses, Per Diem, etc.)

      Let me know if that clears it up and feel free to email me at Josh@outofnorm.al if you’d like more detail!

      There are also opportunities for bonuses and commissions with some roles that add up.

  • Josh Schukman
    Kathy Roussel
    3 months ago

    Awesome information Josh! My hubby and I have both done this kind of work in the past… don’t know why we didn’t think of doing it on the road! Big hugs for writing this article!

  • Josh Schukman
    Russ Davis
    3 months ago

    Thanks for the info, Josh!
    Are there opportunities for more mature aged ( Ol farts) to do this type of work, besides just big box store type of food presentation? On the websites it looks like they want to promote the pretty faces. Our life experiences should be of value to advertisers and customers, alike?!

    • Hi Russ,

      Great question! Yes there are, but you’re right that it will be a challenge. I don’t agree with this, but the vast majority of brands want younger faces.

      That said, many do not have this restriction – especially in areas that are more “commercial”. For example, my wife and I worked an RV show where many of the BA’s were over 50.

      The key would be to focus on an area where you have a special skill or life experience and trying to work in that arena. Brands may overlook age if you can demonstrate a specialized component you bring to the table.

      I won’t lie, being “mature aged” does make it tougher, but not impossible!

  • Hi that is me as Joe Gibbs Bobble Head very cool! 😎

  • Josh Schukman
    Nikia Jones
    2 months ago

    Hello Josh,
    Hi my name is Nikia and I’ve been doing what you said do but it seems like I’m not getting notice. I apply and apply but have of the time I’m not getting an response. I am outgoing hard-working reliable dependable love having fun and just enjoying life and I want companies to know that but for some reason I’m not getting looked at do you have any suggestions. I understand companies have the people they go to all the time but I want to be one of those people also. Can u give me some suggestions

    Thank you

    • Hi Nikia,

      “Not getting a response” comes with the territory. Agencies and brands are generally overworked, so they don’t tend to respond all the time. Don’t let it sway you – just keep applying. You will get something and then from there you can build off networking on top of applying.

      It took me a couple of months to really get the ball rolling, so this is not something you should depend on full steam right away. Instead, just keep on plugging at those applications, follow up with each one (politely) 2-3 times and it’ll move.

      Lastly, make sure any written communication you have with them is free of errors. I know we’re just doing blog comments here, but you used “u” instead of “you” and missed some punctuation in your comment. Make sure not to do that when you reach out to brands or agencies – when they have lots of people reaching out any grammatical errors can get you pushed aside.

  • Josh,

    Superb insight into this specialized area. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *