NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you are looking for ways to make extra money this holiday season, you are not alone.
Nearly 40 percent of people now have a side gig, according to a survey by Bankrate.com.
A Denton County woman said she found a part-time job so lucrative that she built a company around it.
Destiny Adams was searching for a side job when she stumbled upon a role with flexible hours and great pay. It marked her first foray into the brand ambassador industry.
Brand ambassadors are the friendly faces answering questions or handing out free samples at conventions, festivals and other public events.
Brand ambassadors worked the auto show at the State Fair of Texas as customers perused the vehicles on display.
Adams said she learned about the industry when she answered an ad for a job at a wedding convention.
“I was helping him get signups for his DJ booth,” Adams said. “He wanted someone who could articulate, who could reel people in.”
Applicants are expected to be friendly, knowledgeable and outgoing.
“That’s a huge plus for a lot of brands,” Adams said. “They don’t want you to be someone that sits in the corner and lets people walk by.”
Adams said the emphasis is not on sales, but rather, the face-to-face interactions that help customers remember the company’s name.
For Adams, the skills came naturally.
So she began signing up for more and more events. She set her own schedule and chose events based on pay.
“And then I said, ‘Wait a minute, I could really make a killing at this every month,'” Adams said.
Brand ambassadors are typically hired by an agency for a specific event, so the job could last a couple days or weeks.
“Fifteen dollars [per hour] is kind of the minimum, but now you’re seeing $18-plus, up to $60 per hour,” Adams said.
Experienced ambassadors may be hired by the same brand over and over again.
One company flew Adams around the country to work at auto shows, which can pay up to $350 per day.
“I think a lot of people are skeptical of the industry, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is too good to be true, you make how much? What do you do?'” Adams said.
“It’s a super easy job, it really is,” said Dalton, Adams’ fiancé. “You just have to have a good smile and be able to talk to people.”
Adams was working an event in Kansas when she met a marketing representative named Dalton.
“I thought he was really cute and I was like, “Hey, let’s talk!” Adams said.
As the relationship progressed, so did Destiny’s plans for the future. In 2017, she used the connections she’d made to open her own agency, working with marketing companies and hiring her own brand ambassadors.
In 2018, Adams’ company made $36,000. This year, she’s on track to make $500,000.
Earlier this year, Dalton left his job to work with his fiancée full time.
“It just made sense to pull the trigger on it and invest all in for both of us,” Dalton said.
From side gig to CEO in five years, Adams said she’s not taking any of it for granted.
“It’s kind of crazy how fast we’ve grown in such a small amount of time but it’s a true blessing,” Adams said.