Make at least $20 an hour getting people to try new things...

You’ve likely run into a brand ambassador at one time or another. You’re walking down the street minding your own business when a couple of friendly faces wearing a branded t-shirt, hat, or jacket, offer to give you something free to eat.

OK, maybe that sounds a little scary. But, I promise you it’s not. What I’m describing is how brand ambassadors for companies do their work.

What is a brand ambassador?

Similar to a food demo person at a grocery store, they are tasked with the following:

  • Sharing details about a product
  • Helping companies build brand awareness of the product that is being shared with consumers.

You will generally find brand ambassadors working at some of the following places:

  • PopUp Events — One time experiences at special events or fun spaces where brands share products with the correct demographic for their brand.
  • Races — There’s a reason why racers get so much free swag at the end of most races. Companies know that it’s a way to share their product with a concentrated group of people who are aligned with their product in some sort of way.
  • Outside sports venues — These are great places to demonstrate products because there are usually a large number of people coming into the venue.
  • Special events — Car Shows, Music Festivals, parades and other large gatherings of people are the types of events that you will find brand ambassadors working.

Do You Like People?

If the answer is “yes” then you won’t be intimidated by brand ambassador work. It requires a lot of time engaging with the public. I love speaking to new people and sharing cool products, and there is nothing better than giving people something free.

If you don’t like people — this isn’t the gig for you!

The Pay

When working brand ambassador gigs, I’ve normally looked for companies paying a minimum of $20 or more an hour. And, occasionally I’ve worked for companies that would pay me for the full shift that I was scheduled for … even if we finished early.

The majority of the companies that I’ve worked for pay every two weeks automatic deposit. I have worked for one company that paid by check, but that was very unusual. Some companies will pay at the end of 30 days, but I prefer to get paid as quickly as possible.

The key to finding a great brand ambassador gig is picking a product that you actually like, would eat, and is easy to share with people.

If you’re wondering where you can find your first brand ambassador gig, I recommend searching Facebook for local brand ambassador groups. Company representatives are also members and post new leads almost daily if the city you live in is large enough to support a large number of sampling programs.

Since I live in Colorado, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in sampling programs in Winter Park, Copper Mountain, and Steamboat Springs. I’ve actually been paid to stay at a ski resort (in my own personal suite) and hand out food samples.

Best gig ever

Brand ambassadors for other programs will also trade with you some product that they are sampling for the product that you’re sampling.

This is part of the reason why it’s important to pick good programs.

There are some downsides to brand ambassador work, like the following…

  • Contractor Work — Most workers are 1099 contractors. You are responsible for your tax withholdings. I met someone who was a professional brand ambassador who hadn’t filed their taxes in 5 years. WOW!
  • Marketing budgets drop depending on the health of the economy. If there is a recession, marketing budgets take a hit and marketing programs cut hours.
  • Brands may want brand ambassadors to reflect the brand. If you are a baby boomer, the company may pass you for a millennial because they are trying to get millennials to buy their products…not boomers.
  • Event locations will vary from events to grocery stores. If you don’t have a car, you may need to carpool with a friendly member of the team (just give them gas money!)
  • Vehement food purists — I’m a foodie, and there are certain ingredients that I’m concerned about being in my food. But, I don’t yell at nice people trying to give me free food about those concerns. Instead, I just say “no thank you” and keep going. Yep, I’ve been yelled at about: sugar content in a product, dairy (if the person is a vegan), or disliking a certain ingredient. Just say no.
  • Weather — Most brand ambassador work takes place outdoors. If you’re scheduled to work an event, and it snows, you will end up working outside in the snow. And, those days are really hard because no one wants something free when it’s cold outside. Likewise, if it’s ridiculously hot, you better hope that you’re sampling something refreshing to drink.

The downsides aren’t that bad. I love brand ambassador work, and if you’re on a team with a great group of people, it can be a fun way to make extra money.

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Article last modified on December 17, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: What Is a Brand Ambassador? If You Like People, This Side Hustle May Be For You - AMP.