As a brand ambassador, manager, or trained product specialist, it is important that you know your worth and understand that you may have to take less compensation in order to gain the knowledge and experience needed to request more money for the next opportunity.
This may happen at the beginning of your career but as you build relationships with agencies and sharpen your leadership skills, the money will follow. On the flip side, agencies must also acknowledge a contractor’s skills and be willing to compensate that individual accordingly.
This is a powerful statement and one that many in the industry fail to understand. I expand on this topic in Chapter 7 of You Do What? However, as a field staff professional, it is important to understand that agencies will only do what we accept. Let me write that again, Experiential Marketing and staffing agencies will only do what we accept! So, if we continue to accept low wages to execute events at the brand ambassador and tour level, then guess what, rates will continue to decrease. If you continue to work for an agency that does not see the need to compensate you more based on your loyalty and commitment to a program, they will never pay you more by choice.
For agencies, it’s about getting the best-qualified individual for the least amount of money.
When agencies adopt this policy, it backfires. They get what they pay for. If agencies are paying less, they receive less in return. If you are a veteran like me who worked for years to build a credible reputation in the Experiential Marketing industry, it can be to trust new companies for the fear of being overworked and underpaid.
The truth is that many vetted professionals are starting to seek alternate sources of income and careers because of the low compensation that agencies are now offering.
While I have been there before and worked as a brand ambassador for low pay to gain experience, it is important that you know and assert yourself and your worth in every position. This is important to not only you but to the industry as a whole. For many agencies and account managers, you are only as good as you can give. Be honest, and if you have truly earned a pay increase, do not be afraid to ask for a higher compensation rate. If they agency sees you as a valuable staff member they will work with work with you.