Myths About Promotional Modeling Careers

Handsome man in winter elegant clothes outdoors
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If you’ve ever attended a trade show, convention, concert, bar, launch party, or other live event, chances are you’ve chatted with at least one promotional model. These beautiful, outgoing, and personable men and women are hired to grab customers’ attention and leave a lasting impression. They’re a popular form of advertising and marketing and are a huge asset to any event.

However, even though promotional models are used by companies around the globe, not a lot of people know exactly what promotional modeling involves. Here are some of the most common misconceptions:

You Need to Have Modeling Experience

Even if you have no promotional modeling experience or modeling experience of any kind, chances are you have related experience that companies are looking for. Have you waited tables or dealt with the public in another way? Worked in retail? Done some acting? Great! Be sure to mention these things. These kinds of skills are exactly what model agencies and brands are looking for in a promotional model.

Promotional Models Always Wear Skimpy Clothes

Sure, some companies want their models to show up in a bathing suit or nothing but body paint and high heels. But that’s not always the case. You could also be asked to wear jeans and a logo t-shirt, a team jersey, or another not-so-revealing outfit. Just like other types of models, promotional models have the right to set boundaries with regards to clothing and products and only choose jobs they’re comfortable with.

Male Models Are Never Hired to Be Promotional Models

While it’s true that most promotional models are women, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for male promotional models. It means that jobs are a little harder to come by and competition is a little stiffer.

Just like their female counterparts, male promotional models must be attractive, friendly, outgoing, smart, and reliable. If you tick all of the boxes, your best bet is to submit your photos to a reputable model scouting company like where they know exactly where male promotional models are needed.

Promotional Models Are Uneducated and Flaky

Promotional models are the beauty and the brains behind the brand. In addition to being attractive, they also have to be articulate, reliable, a born salesperson, and know the product inside and out. They have to memorize an enormous amount of information to inform customers and answer all of their questions, all the while being outgoing and friendly. Many promotional models are working on (or already have!) a college or university degree, and find they learn valuable marketing, business, and entrepreneurial skills while on the job.

You Need Professional Photos

Agencies and brands aren’t looking for expensive photos with fancy lighting and plenty of Photoshop. That’s because promotional modeling is 100% face-to-face interaction and clients need to know that the model they’re hiring looks exactly like their photos. So, snapshots are fine!

It’s Easy

Promotional models only stand around and hand out drinks, gifts, and brochures, right? Wrong. So wrong. As mentioned above, promotional models are essentially an employee of the brand and therefore have to be as knowledgeable as possible. It also takes a special kind of person to keep a smile on their face for 8–12 hours at a time, not to mention possibly standing in stilettos for half a day. Not easy.  

Promotional modeling doesn’t lead to other modeling jobs

While working as a promotional model, you’ll have endless opportunities to network with agencies, brands, and other important industry insiders. If you’re interested in furthering your modeling career, these important connections can be an “in” to commercial modeling, fashion modeling, or even acting. It is all the more reason why you should be as friendly and outgoing as possible! You never know what your promotional modeling job could lead to.