Public interest is one of the main ingredients in a product’s success. Clothing, jewelry, and food items all depend on public awareness. Demonstrators and product promoters create a need in the mind of the consumer. Product promoters introduce new products and develop new selling techniques for old products
Models pose for photos as well as display jewelry, clothing, shoes, handbags, and beauty products in several different venues. Supermodels use their celebrity to sell and promote all sorts of products that range from make-up to fitness videos. Fashion models may begin their careers working in foreign countries in order to gain exposure as well as experience.
Demonstrators and product promoters earn a medium salary of $10 to $12 an hour. The middle fifty percent earn $12 to $15 an hour and the lowest ten percent earn less than $10. The highest ten percent can earn over $20 an hour. Travel and other expenses are usually paid by the company. Demonstrators and product promoters may only work part time so health benefits and retirement packages are not always included.*
Models earn around $12 an hour to start. The middle fifty percent earn around $15 an hour. The lowest ten percent earn a little less than $10 an hour and the highest ten percent earn $18 to $20 an hour. A model’s earnings are based on experience as well as reputation. Supermodels can earn six figure incomes for doing sixty second commercials, but most models need a lot of exposure and some timely breaks to get into that category. Models work sporadically and almost all models work through an agent or agency.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
Demonstrators and product promoters prepare presentations that can include case studies, testimonials, surveys, and test results. They can use pre-recorded videos or live models in their presentation, but all product promoters as well as demonstrators must have a thorough understanding of the product or service and be able to answer questions before, during, and after a presentation. They may be responsible for the design of a trade show exhibit and must be able to customize their presentations to a target audience at conventions where time plays a major role in buyer awareness. Convention demonstrators must be able to capture the attention of a large crowd in a short period of time in order to be effective. Research, competitor product awareness, and cultivating interest are key elements in a successful demonstration. Product promoters must also be able to assemble and disassemble the props and selling aids used in large as well as small demonstrations.
Models pose for photos and may be subjects for TV and radio ads. They may be included in product sketches and paintings. They usually wear or use what they are promoting and act as a spokesperson on videos or in printed publications for a particular brand or clothing line. Editorial models pose for still photos and do feature articles in different industry publications. Commercial models do billboard advertising work as well as other outdoor and indoor projects. They express the client’s message subtly. Models work closely with hair stylists, photographers, makeup artists, and clients so the products and services are promoted without uttering a word. Live models are usually used at trade shows, in department stores, in the fitting rooms of clothing designers, and on fashion runways so the job outlook for experienced models is good.
The demand for product promoters, demonstrators, and models is expected to grow at a better than average rate over the next five years due to the increase in the size of trade shows and the need for more in-store promotions. The need for demonstrators that are willing to work part time and on short notice, and are willing to travel extensively continues to increase every year. Most of the modeling opportunities are in larger cities, but more retail companies are using models to promote products in several different venues as the global market expands.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Educational Requirements
Formal education is not as important as humor, spontaneity, and a personal interest in the service or product that is being promoted. Only one in five demonstrators has a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree. On the job training is used by most companies and the primary qualifications are a pleasant personality and the desire to sell in a professional way. Public speaking skills are needed, but most companies have training programs.
No formal training is needed to become a model, but a complete understanding of personal appearance in terms of makeup, hairstyle, and clothing is a priority. Models must be attractive as well as photogenic and must meet certain height, weight and measurement requirements in order to model certain products like shoes and clothing.
There are no formal certifications needed to demonstrate or promote a product, but large companies offer a training program and certification to employees that want pursue a career promoting a product or service. Experience is more important than certification in modeling.
There are modeling and talent associations that bring models and agents together. One is the International Modeling and Talent Association: www.imta.com. There are no formal associations for product promoters.