Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Day Job Has MOVED!

Check out the new Random Day Job website - http://www.randomdayjob.com/ - I will be posting from this website from now on.  Please follow me over to the new site!!  Thanks :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

What Promotional Companies Left a Good Impression?

The previous Random Day Job post below is about the website, Event Speak, where people in the marketing industry can find multiple resources.  One of the resources is a Marketing Forum where people share thoughts, opinions and questions about the industry.  A post called Beloved-Well Managed caught my attention.

It's really easy to head to a forum when you are upset or have a question.  But how many times do we actually take the time to compliment companies for a job well done?  I thought today, maybe we could exchange a few stories about some great interactions and jobs that left a good impression while working with promotional companies.  Here are a few of mine...

  • Cat 'n Mouse Promotions  - The staff at Cat 'n Mouse Promotions is awesome.  They hired me as Team Lead for a Palms Springs Bureau of Tourism job.  They clearly communicated, hired a stellar staff and paid within a WEEK!  Seriously, I was blown away with how fast they mailed the check.  Plus, they were very complimentary and thankful for a job well done.  It was truly a phenomenal experience and I would gladly work for them again.
  • Formula Street, Inc. - I have been impressed with this company from day one.  Before getting hired for the Heineken Team there was both a phone and in-person interview.  Plus, Formula Street, Inc takes pride that you truly know the product.  So, we have an in-person training to really educate the team on the product.  The promotions are well organized, professional and pay extremely well.  Plus, they mail a paycheck every two weeks. Can't beat that!!  
  • Devolutions Solutions - Honestly, I've never actually worked for Devolution Solutions, but the company made a lasting impression.  I added them to the Random Day Job Fantastic Promotional Company List and they mailed me an awesome swag package with a carton full of Jelly Belly's!  Obviously, I've been a big fan ever since.
  • Productions Plus - I really like Productions Plus because the jobs are high quality.   The work is challenging and you really need to know your stuff!  Plus, since you work hard to learn the product inside and out, they work hard to get you top industry rates.  I had the pleasure to work with Productions Plus on the Honda Civic Study Break and hope many jobs will develop in the future!
What about you?  What promotional companies have left a good impression in your experience?  I would love to hear about the companies that make sure promotions run smoothly or go the extra mile to really make the promotion a good one.  Comment below :)


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Event Speak

In my own search to find a steady flow of Random Day Jobs, it's been crucial to spend time actually looking for jobs.  But let's face it, visiting every promotional website for new jobs can be extremely time consuming and who has time for that?!  Lucky for us there is a website that does the work for us.  It's called Event Speak.  I asked the owner of Event Speak, James Trivlis, to give us the skinny....

_________________________________________________________________________

In 2005, EventSpeak.com was created to offer FREE resources to everyone in the Event Marketing Promo Industry. It started as a small forum and we quickly realized there was an even bigger need for a job board.  That takes us to where the EventSpeak.com site is today.

Here are a few of the Free services Event Speak offers:

-Free job board for any Company, Brand, Staffing agency or simply anyone that has a need they feel the members of the community can fill.

-Free Resume section where talent can create or upload a resume and photos.  Employers can search this database by city and state and hire you in just a few clicks.

-Free Marketing Directory with over 250 active company listings. We check each
link to make sure the company is still in business. This industry moves fast and
companies come and go.

- A Forum that has turned in to a major resource for the Marketing industry. Find out
what other promo people in the industry have to say about what they do! From
information on staffing and marketing companies to the best way to land your
next gig.

For a Free membership sign up at http://www.eventspeak.com/

We have recently learned that job seekers are not the only ones that use the EventSpeak.com site. About 10% of our users are the clients and brands looking for information on who they should hire for their next great marketing campaign. Once they find the right agency, they hire them and jobs are then created for all the seekers to find.

There are over 300 new jobs posted weekly by over 500 of the largest marketing agencies and staffing agencies in the USA and Canada. These jobs only have a life span of a few days so anyone in this industry knows you need to be fast at being the first one to the table.

Thanks for the blog post Greer and we over here at EventSpeak.com look forward to a long relationship with your site.
_________________________________________________________________________

As you can see, Event Speak is a great resource for anyone looking to find a Random Day Job!  You can also follow Event Speak on Facebook and Twitter!!  Thanks for the info James :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Promotion Superstar: Nisha Rensel

Random Day Job is all about connecting with awesome people who choose a life of freelance instead of the corporate grind.  Many people have found great success as a freelancer and I find it inspiring to hear their stories.  Today, promotion superstar Nisha Rensel from Knoxville, TN is here to share her journey as an independent contractor in the world of promotions.


1.  How long have you been working promotions?  3.5 years

2.  How did you get started?  I was a fitness manager at a gym and a tour manager came through and asked if I would work an event in Bristol with a friend that weekend.  I said yes and it all started there.

3.  What do you love about promotional work?  I love having the excitement of a new challenge everyday.  I get to meet the coolest people from all over the country, and build close work relationships with the other promotional models in the area.  You can also make connections in companies you would never have access to in the outside world.  You get to meet many media figures and some celebrities.  You have free access and many times free reign of concerts and sporting events.

4.  Do you dislike anything about it?  I would say disorganization and bad attitudes are the only down side.  Sometimes you get staffed with a "model" who doesn't understand there is setup/breakdown, engaging consumers, etc.  They just have a bad attitude and want to just stand there and be pretty.  I only ever worked with one bad tour manager, and as a result of her arrogance I got injured.  But one injury in 3.5 years is great odds for what we do.

5.  You work a lot of promotions, how did you build such a strong database of clients? NETWORKING!  This industry is truly about making strong connections.  If you work with a brand ambassador that is really good, exchange info.  If you are working with someone from out of town, do the same.  The out of town people can send each other work from neighboring cities.  With the strong BAs you collect info on- let your staff know!  If you can help your staffer staff an event with the best team- they will think of you first and refer you to other companies.  Show up on time, ready to take on the new tasks, and in uniform.  Don't stand around and wait to be told what to do.  Show up introduce yourself to the manager or on site contact and immediately ask what you need to start doing.

Hit the gym- and not just to look good.  Lift weights.  Some of these setups can be intense and heavy - if you can jump in and actually help you will stand out from those on lookers.  If you are good and make the event run smoothly you will get the first call every time.  And its a small world - client XYZ might have worked with ABC Agency and ask if they know anyone in your city.  You want your name to stand out.

Once you have a strong group you work with you will more then likely be working many of the same events.  Carpool!  This means you can split parking 1-4 ways. Take turns on who drives to save gas too.  Is there a great paying job 2 or 3 hours away but with gas and hotel it doesn't make it worth it?  What about if that costs was split in half, or thirds?  The other people in this industry and your connections are what can make this a side job or a profitable career.  The less you pay out the more you keep in your pocket.  Also make sure to set some money aside and keep good records for tax time.  Ask your accountant everything you can write off and keep those receipts like your life depended on it.

6.  What advice would you give for someone wanting to get started as a promotional model? Remember there is a long list of people trying to start.  Have a winning attitude, smile, make connections, and follow through.  Good deeds always come back.  Someone who manages you today could be a staffer at an agency next year, so NEVER burn bridges.  Do not cancel your event for a higher paying event!!  I know that sounds silly, but staffers talk to each other.  If you cancel an event and they see you working for another company that day you just lost that first agency forever.  A black mark on your file will never go away.

Also get a card.  Tradeshows and big events often have people come up and say "Hey could you do this for me next time we are in town?"  Have your card ready, but do it off the clock on a break or after the event.  It is unprofessional to hand your card out on someone else's time.  Also have your rate in your head.  These people often have a budget.  So if you will travel with expenses paid let them know, if you have family in a certain city and can stay free, let them know that too.  Many of these companies staff Nationwide so if you have multiple cities you can work in like your home city you become more valuable.

And when you are starting out its no time to think you are a diva.  You should take anything that comes your way just to build a resume.  $10 an hour, yes.  Sampling paper towels, sure.  Once you have a strong resume then you start being a little more picky on rate and products.  However, on the same token if you are uncomfortable in bars or against tobacco do not do those events.  You can't promote well if you are not comfortable in your surroundings.

7.  Do you have any funny stories from working a promo?  Oh my goodness!  This list would be never ending.  Whenever you work with the public you are going to be laughing constantly.  I have had my shoe come off and get stuck in a pile of mud, been stuck in downpours in white promo shirt, had wheels come off rolling coolers, rental vehicles have mishaps, you name it its happened.  But again this is all part of what makes each day exciting and a constant hilarious day.  You just have to smile and remember those are the moments that make this job so much fun.  I wouldn't ever trade it to sit behind a desk bored all day.

8.  Anything else you want to add?  I have to add one major do not do in this industry.  "Never bite the hand that feeds you".  If someone sends you alot of work, do the same in return.  If another model sends you a job and you get it, if they did not make the cut do not accept it.  If you accept a job they sent you and for whatever reason they did not- you just made yourself their competition and they will NEVER send you another job again.  You have to think long term if you want to make this your full time job.  If you always just think of yourself, you will quickly find yourself low on the promotional totem pole in your city.

Wow, I told you Nisha was a promotion superstar!  Want to connect with Nisha?  You can find her on Facebook, Model  Mayhem, Knoxville Event Management, Linked In and Twitter

***Are you a Promotion Superstar?  I would love to hear your story!  Find me on Facebook or shoot me an email at greercarlson (at) gmail (dot) com***

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

AXE Excite: Even Angels Will Fall

Today's promotion was for Axe Excite, so tempting even angels will fall :)  Seriously, check out the commercial -


Anyway, Axe Excite is a mix of caramel, coconut and hazelnut, which blend into a delightful aroma.  Our job was to pass out almost 5000 samples to University of Arizona students.  A team of 8 AXE Angels conquered the campus and Axe Excite was well known by the end of the day!

Axe Excite is the newest fragrance from Axe and is available in body spray, deodorant stick, antiperspirant invisible solid, shower gel and also coming soon shampoo!  Check out AXE on Facebook to get information on cool events in your area.

Here are a few pictures from the event:




***Axe Excite was powered by Attack! Marketing.  Want to learn more about great promotional companies?  Click here and here***

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Maintenance is a MUST

S-A-M
Working Random Day Jobs usually means you are bouncing from one job to another, meeting new people with almost every gig.  A good first impression is crucial for getting hired again.  Plus, you are representing a product, so the client has certain expectations and standards to uphold.

When working as a brand ambassador, promotional model, actor, spokesperson, etc it is very important to maintain a clean and tidy appearance.  Clean hair and nails, appropriate makeup, crisp shirts and shorts or pants, clean shoes, etc. are all part of the job.

Maintenance is a MUST. 
  • If you color your hair, watch the roots!  Get a touch-up or colored again when your natural hair color begins to grow out. 
  • Clean your nails.  You don't need a manicure every week, but cleaning the dirt and filing nails can go a long way.
  • Clean teeth.  A little whitener can go a long way!  Slap on a Crest white strip from time to time.
  • Clean and Crisp shirt and shorts or pants.  Make sure your clothing is clean and pressed or steamed if needed.  Showing up with wrinkled clothing will not impress anyone!
  • Ladies, wear the appropriate amount of make-up.  Are you working an in-store demo?  A fresh, natural face will be perfect.  Or, are you working a beer promo for a bar?  A little more glam may be appropriate.  Think about your client and what you are selling when making up your face.
I am by NO MEANS saying you need to be obsessed with the way you look or dress, but it does play into representing a product.  All I'm saying is that you need to pay attention and try to look your best.  I'm thinking about maintenance today because I'm finally getting my haircut and colored this afternoon (much needed) and an eyebrow wax is also high on my list right now too!  It's all part of the biz.

And the best part?  Save the receipts for any of the above items you spend money on and use them as a tax write off!  You will be glad you did. 


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Friday, April 29, 2011

ACT II Popcorn & Holding My Tongue

To round out the week, I worked an in-store demo for Act II Popcorn.  In honor of Cinco de Mayo, my job was to sample ACT II flavors Salsa Valentina and Queso Jalapeno.  The promo was fine, nothing special.  Standard sampling of product, handing out coupons and being friendly with customers.

Unfortunately, there was a fellow sampler from another company that decided to carry a large chip on her shoulder!  You see, I was hired by Front Row to run the ACT II popcorn promotion.  This woman, lets call her "heavy shoulders," was an employee of Crossmark.  Heavy shoulders also happened to be the team lead.  I'm not exactly sure what happened, but it was nothing but one condescending remark after another from heavy shoulders.

Honestly, I knew this was a one day Random Day Job, so I refused to let heavy shoulders get me down.  I took one dig after the other, but continued to smile and say "sure thing" and "no problem."  It wasn't worth it to stoop to her level and have an attitude right back, I decided to hold my tongue instead.  I hope heavy shoulders finds some joy in her life, it's way too short to spend it tearing other people down!! 

**Looking for work with promotional comapanies??  Click here**

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Honda Civic Study Break

With every Random Day Job a new lesson can be learned.  Today, with the Honda Civic Study Break, I learned not to be afraid to step-up.  Originally, I was booked as a Brand Ambassador, but a few days before the job I was offered a higher position, Product Specialist.  At first, I was a bit intimidated because I was now responsible to learn several details and facts about the 2012 Honda Civic line up.  My job was to answer questions university students might have about the cars and I needed to know my stuff!

I spent a good two days studying to make sure I did not let down Productions Plus, the promotional company that hired me.  Turns out, it went great!  The Product Specialist position was lots of fun and I memorized more than enough information about the 2012 Honda Civics. 

So next time a company feels confident enough to ask you to work a higher position, go for it!  It might take a little bit more work, but completing the challenge will feel really good.

Here's a picture of me with the 2012 Honda Civic Coupe....


Want more pictures from the Honda Civic Study Break?  Check out Random Day Job on Facebook!  Or you can always follow me on Twitter!

***Looking for a Fantastic List of Promotional Companies?  Click here!***

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Soft Cup Promotion

Beware: LADIES ONLY POST!!!  Hehe :)  Can't say I didn't warn you!

Today's Random Day Job was for Soft Cup.  Let's just say it's an alternative to a tampon.  Click on the Soft Cup link for more information :)  Anyway, the event was guerilla style on the University of Arizona's Campus.  The goal was to hit ladies in high traffic areas and hand out over 1200 samples! 

With six ladies on the Soft Cup team, we did our best to break up in groups and make sure the campus was covered.  And I must say, we did a pretty good job!  Toward the end, everyone knew exactly what we were giving away.  Here's a picture of the team:


I booked this promotion through In Field Promotional Staffing, LLC.  To learn more about working with promotional companies, click here!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blogger Inspiration


photosteve101

People all over the world make a living through unconventional avenues.  And, let's be honest, most of them do it WAY better than me!  I'm fascinated by entrepreneur's and people who think outside the corporate box to make a living.  These people are my inspiration and I hope to become more and more like them as I learn, grow and develop.  Today, I want to share some bloggers/ blog posts that have inspired me on my Random Day Job journey and hopefully, they will inspire you too!

the middle finger project - You Don't Need a job - You Need Guts
The Green Room Blog - On Survival Jobs and Surviving
Budgets Are Sexy - I Got Fired
Cordelia Calls It Quits - Never Feel Guilty for Following Your Dreams
Advanced Riskology - Stand on a Corner and Sing

Do you know any bloggers going against the corporate grain?  PLEASE comment below with links.  I'm always looking for new inspiration!!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Promotional Job Photo Tips

Pictures are ALWAYS a good idea when working a promotion.  Many companies will ask for pictures mainly to ensure you worked the job, but also to show pictures to clients or post on facebook, the company website, etc.  But, not all pictures are good ones.  There are a few tips to remember when taking a photo during a promotion.

Picture Do's:
  • Consumer Interaction - Make sure the picture shows a brand ambassador interacting with the potential customer.  Smiles, sampling and handing out swag are all great photo opportunities.
  • Consumers in Target Demographic - Make sure the consumer in the picture is the target audience.  The company wants to know you are focusing time and effort on the right people.
  • Product Facing Camera - Remember the product!  Always have the product, sample or any item related to the promotion facing camera.  The picture has no value without the product in clear view.
Last Friday, I FINALLY worked a promotion for Dos Equis!  I mentioned Heineken as an upcoming repeat client in a previous post, but I missed 3 weeks of jobs due to catching a nasty desert virus called Valley Fever.  Anyway, now that I'm feeling better, I'm back on the Heineken roster and below is an example of a good promotional picture...


First of all, I'm smiling and interacting with a happy consumer by handing him a Dos Equis.  The customer is within the target audience (people between the ages of 21-35) and the Dos Equis label is clearly facing the camera.  Extra points for the table flag and an arm full of promotional swag such as the beads and drums.  The client should be happy with this picture!

Picture Do Not's:

  • Posing with a Competitive Brand - NEVER let a competing brand make it into a photo.  You are hired to promote one brand and one brand only! So make sure all brand labels are visible!
  • Taking Photos with No Flash - Dark pictures make it hard to see and often are not usable.
  • Taking Pictures with Non Target Audience - There is no point in promoting a product to someone who cannot, will not or should not be using it.  Also, make sure the consumer is enjoying the product!
  • Taking Pictures of People Making Rude or Obscene Gestures - Use discretion.  No middle fingers, bunny ears, etc.
Here is another picture from Friday's job.  Can you identify any problems?

Problem Number One?  I have two draft beers in my hand.  There is NO WAY to know the beer is Dos Equis.  It could be anything.  Also, the table flag is turned backwards and the guys don't really look very excited to be getting a free beer!  This is not a great photo.  If I didn't know better, I would assume I was the waitress, not a Dos Equis Brand Ambassador!!

Do you take pictures on your promotions?  What seems to work and not work for you?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

6 Casting Websites Every Actor Should Know

In today's world, it's every actor's responsibility to take control of their career.  Definitely find yourself a quality talent agent, but don't just sit back and hope work finds you!  There are several resources including websites and social media that can kick start or continue building your career.  I've mentioned a few acting websites in the past here and here.

Checking the websites daily is a great start, but you should also consider following the casting websites through social media as well.  I'm sort of on a social media kick this week and want to make sure actors are not missing any opportunities!

Here are the 6 Casting Websites every actor should know (and follow through social networks)!!

1. Actors Access - Follow on Facebook and Twitter
2. Backstage - Follow on Facebook and Twitter 
3. Now Casting - Follow on Facebook and Twitter
4. 800 Casting - Follow on Facebook
5. Reality Wanted - Follow on Facebook and Twitter
6. Mandy - Follow on Facebook and Twitter

Let me know if I am missing any LEGIT casting websites, but this will give actors a great start!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dress Code Shoot - New Tees

One of my repeat clients  is a funky music inspired clothing store here in Tucson called Dress Code.  Yesterday, was the shoot for some sweet new tees, here are a few...

$67.95



$27.95


$58.00



$58.00





20 Promotional Companies to Follow with Social Media

10ch's photostream
If you are a Promotional Model or Brand Ambassador (or looking to become one), here is a list of the 20 Best Promotional Companies you should be following on BOTH Facebook and Twitter.  It's a great way to stay connected and learn about upcoming jobs in your area!  Click on the links to follow...

1. Attack! Marketing & Promotions - Facebook and Twitter
2. Formula Street, Inc. - Facebook and Twitter
3. Redline Staffing - Facebook and Twitter
4. EventPro Strategies - Facebook and Twitter
5. Cat 'n Mouse Promotions - Facebook and Twitter
6. In Field Promo - Facebook and Twitter
7. 360 Events & Promotions - Facebook and Twitter
8. Triple Point - Facebook and Twitter 
9. Productions Plus - Facebook and Twitter
10. Method Models - Facebook and Twitter
11. CMT Agency - Facebook and Twitter
12. Forte Promotions Group - Facebook and Twitter
13. Fusion Event Staffing - Facebook and Twitter
14. Encore Nationwide - Facebook and Twitter
15. On the Rocks Models - Facebook and Twitter
16. Quickstrike Field Marketing - Facebook and Twitter
17. Adelante Live - Facebook and Twitter
18. Sphynx Marketing & Promotions - Facebook and Twitter
19. 8 Days a Week Staffing & Promotions - Facebook and Twitter
20. GT Events - Facebook and Twitter

***To find our more about working for promotional companies, click here***

***Follow Random Day Job on Twitter or Facebook***

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Expanding Your Job Opportunities

The main idea behind Random Day Job is to create a steady income from random freelance jobs.  All of the jobs together create a portfolio of work that highlights your career capabilities.  Like I've said before, focus on jobs you enjoy and naturally have a skill set already in place.  In the beginning, devote time to the area of work the comes the easiest, this is a great way to gain confidence and work jobs quickly. 

After a while, it may be time to challenge your skill set and look for ways to grow.  There are probably skills you would like to develop and if you did, it could open new income opportunities.  As a freelancer, it's smart to slightly diversify your hiring potential.  First of all, most freelancers like a change from time to time, but also it's easier to make $10,000/year from 5 different skills sets than $50,000/year from one. 

For example, my goal is to make money in each of the following areas -

1. Promotional Model/Brand Ambassador/Tradeshow Spokesmodel
2. On Camera Work - Commercials, Corporate Videos and Hosting Gigs
3. Voiceover Talent
4. Writing
5. and maybe one day - My Blog!!

So far this year, the majority of my work has been from promotional modeling opportunities.  Usually, my on camera work takes the lead, but I currently live in Tucson.  The on camera market here is not strong and that's a reality I must face.  I've also had the opportunity to work a little in the voiceover area, though I need to keep searching and submitting myself for new voiceover opportunities.  For now, the brand ambassador/promotional modeling area is really strong, so it's time to start adding another area to grow my earning potential.

Personally, writing is an area I would like to develop.  Obviously, I write this blog, but I believe with some effort, I could also be writing articles or blog posts for other people/companies and create an additional source of income.  My biggest hurdle is having the confidence that I can succeed in this area.  With little professional writing experience (does my college newspaper count?!), it can be intimidating to step out, submit myself and hope editors take me seriously.

It's very possible I will fail at this attempt to add writing to my income potential, but something inside tells me I must try even if I fail. 

What about you?  Is there an area you would like to grow and develop into an income opportunity, but a lack of real experience is holding you back?  I would love to hear about your adventure of growth and what you learned in the process!


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Monday, April 18, 2011

More Promotional Companies

Promotional work makes for excellent Random Day Jobs and I came across a website that's new to me - Marketing Rock Star.  The site lists promotional jobs by state, so it's a great way to know what's going on in your area.

Also, it's a great place to find new promotional companies and become part of their internal database (which means you are usually the first to know about jobs in your area).  Here are three goods promo companies I stumbled upon....

Sphynxmp
Lucky 415
Two Dots Productions

I've added them to my master list of promotional companies here :)

Double Check Paycheck

For an independent contractor, it's extremely important to keep accurate payment records.  Each job has it's own rate, hours and payment process, so it can be very confusing if you are not organized.  In a previous post, I even mention practicing the virtue of patience in payment .  

Personally, I find it helpful to record the date of the job, client and the exact amount I expect to receive when my check arrives.  When the check comes, I can double check the amount and mark the invoice as paid in my records.  This has been a great exercise and kept me from second guessing any payment amounts.  Last week, I was reminded of why this exercise is so important. 

In February, I worked for Jack Daniels at the Tucson Rodeo.  I was a last minute booking because another girl backed out.  There were four girls on the job and each girl had slightly different hours.  My shift was the longest and I made sure to keep accurate records of my days, hours and rate.  On the last day, one of the girls was a no show (BIG no no!). 

When my check finally arrived, I double checked my records and realized it was short by $144!!  I immediately gave the agency a call to make them aware of the mistake.  After some digging, we discovered that I was shorted the exact amount the other model should have been shorted for not showing up the last day.  So, I was not paid for an entire day of work.

Thankfully, the agency apologized for the mistake and promised to cut me a check for the remaining amount.  But, the only reason the agency realized the mistake was because I brought it to their attention.  Without an organized system to record and double check my payment amounts, I would not have realized my check was incorrect.  This was a great reminder that taking a few minutes to keep accurate records is well worth the time and effort!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sick. Sick. Sick.

I'm still alive....promise!  My blogging came to a screeching halt because I came down with Valley Fever!!  It's a horrible desert virus that can knock you out for weeks.  Thankfully, my sweet mom and mother-in-law have taken the last two weeks to nurse me back to health!!  Finally, I'm feeling like a human again.

Unfortunately, I was forced to cancel several jobs over the past two weeks :(  I was scheduled to work for Dresscode, Adult Swim, Heineken, Caress Body Wash and Direct TV.  It was disappointing to back out of the projects, but there was NO WAY I could work.

I'll be back blogging on Monday!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Follow Casting Directors with Social Media

In order to continue booking Random Day Jobs, I must always be on my toes.  Brainstorming and cultivating new ways to create business is all part of the game.  Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have been a complete game changer for all businesses and you certainly do not want to miss out!

As I've mentioned before, my experience includes a great deal of on camera work including commercials, corporate videos and hosting gigs.  Most jobs, I have found through a trusted agency, but I have also found many on my own through the years as well.

When I first arrived in Tucson, I did my best to find a local agent.  Only to arrive at several dead ends as I mentioned here in another post.  There are definitely legit agencies in Phoenix, but I wasn't excited about the 2 hour drive on a regular basis.  A good relationship with an agency takes time to grow and in the beginning your answer should be YES to almost everything!  My time here in Tucson is coming a close with ONLY 9 weeks remaining, so a Phoenix agent just isn't the right answer for me.

Regardless, I did not want to give up hope.  So, I used social media outlets to explore casting directors in the AZ area.  Turns out, the best local casting director, Good Faith Casting located in Phoenix, actually posts audition notices on Facebook and Twitter!  You can also subscribe to emails on her website for additional information.  Best part?  You don't need an agent.

Obviously, read the sides very carefully to make sure you fit the profile and follow the submission directions.  Good Faith Casting gives you all the information you need to submit yourself - casting profile, audition and shoot date, plus the rate.  Casting directors are really busy and it's annoying to shift through ridiculous submissions.  So, DO NOT submit yourself if you don't fit the profile, are unable to make the audition or shoot date.  It's a quick way for a casting director to label you as unprofessional and not consider you in the future.
 
I think finding casting notices through social media is a fantastic concept for casting directors and actors.  It allows actors to submit themselves for castings and personally, I do not worry about breaking an agency relationship since I will be moving soon. 

This makes me think....what other agencies and casting directors are using social media to announce casting calls?  It would be a great benefit to search both Facebook and Twitter to find out who is using social media for castings in your area.  If you find some, let me know and I'll share the love :)

Want more info on acting?  Click here

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Friday, April 1, 2011

2011 Heineken USA Tour



 Earlier this week, I mentioned another repeat client on the horizon.  Well, starting this week, I'm officially apart of the 2011 Heineken USA Tour!  Events are scheduled almost every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through the end of the year.  Formula Street is the marketing company behind the tour.  If you haven't already, sign up with them online.  I'm really impressed so far!

There is a large team of girls, so I will not be working every event, but I'm sure I'll be working many.  I was honored to have the opportunity to participate as a Team Lead, but with so many weekends in the mix and my personal need to spend time with my hubby, I decided remaining a Brand Ambassador is the right position for me on the tour.

Anyway, the Heineken beer portfolio includes Heineken, Heineken Light, Newcastle, Dos Equis, Amstel Light, Tecate and Tecate Light as well as a few others.  Heineken has been brewed since 1863 and was the FIRST imported beer to reach America's shores in the 1880's.

To start the year, the Heineken USA Tucson team will focus on Tecate and Dos Equis.

Tecate was born in 1944 in the small town of Tecate, Mexico.  In 1954, Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc acquired the beer and launched the brand on a national scale.  Tecate is also the official beer of boxing!  Mainly our Hispanic team members will focus on this account, but some of the non-Spanish speaking ladies might be able to work a shift or two.  The Tecate promotion will last until May 7th, when the Manny Pacquaio vs. Sugar Shane Mosley boxing match occurs! 





Dos Equis Lager and Dos Equis Ambar were created in 1897 by a German brewer who blended his brewing style with Mexican tradition in order to celebrate the upcoming 20th century.  The Lager hit American soil in 1983 and today is the #1  Mexican beer sold on draught.  The Dos Equis Lager taste is crisp, golden and refreshing!  The Ambar hit American soil in 1973 and is considered the Lager's dark, passionate, moody cousin!  Dos Equis Ambar is a full-bodied, slightly spicy beer with a caramel taste that is well structured, which creates a long finish.

The Dos Equis Tour will be in full force until Cinco de Mayo!  But don't worry, we'll be showing patrons "The Lost Art of Cinco", so you can enjoy Cinco De Mayo in an interesting way.  Just ask the Most Interesting Man :)

In May, the team will focus on some of the other Heineken Brands.  The Heineken Tour is ALL OVER the US, so look for a local team in your area.  Check back for pictures and more fun from the Heineken USA 2011 Tour!




***Interested in working with promotional companies?  Click Here***

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Patience in Payment

Steady jobs provide steady income.  Every 2 weeks or the 15th and 30th of every month, a check arrives.  You can plan and budget pretty easily.  Let's be honest, a freelancers payment lifestyle is not that easy.  It can be one of the drawbacks to the freelance lifestyle, but it doesn't have to be. 

In many cases, freelance jobs will take at least 30 and up to 90 days before you receive payment.  With the average time probably being around 60 days. 

Here's a hypothetical example (note: both the product & company are not real).   The Corporate office of Sassy Sauce has hired a promotional company, Can Do Promotions, to execute events all over the country.  Can Do Promotions, has hired you as a Brand Ambassador in your City.  You work a promotion for Sassy Sauce . After the event, you submit a time sheet to Can Do Promotions, who then sends an invoice to Sassy Sauce.  Once everything has gone through the chain of command in pay roll, Sassy Sauce sends a check to Can Do Promotions, who then sends a check to you!

Since there are so may companies to go through, the process will take some time.  That's why I highly encourage a reserve fund and creating a steady flow of jobs.  Once you get going, there is a cycle.  As long as you are working, you are giving yourself a pay check down the road.  You receive a check today for a job you work 60 days ago, but to you are working a job today you will be paid for in 60 days.  The more jobs and multiple streams of incomes you create, the better off you will be in between paychecks!

So, don't worry if it's been 30 days and you haven't seen the payment yet.  Maybe send a gentle email reminder, but usually, the company you worked with is waiting to get paid as well.  The more you understand the process, the better you can prepare and plan your finances.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Repeat Clients




One of the best ways to make Random Day Job work is to find repeat clients.  Last Friday, Dresscode Clothing received another shipment that needed to be posted to their website.  Lucky for me, they called me again (twice in 2 weeks) to model the new T-shirts.  Afterward, the owner said he would give me a call when the next shipment arrived.  What a great gig!

Why do you want Repeat Clients?  Ideally, the core of any business should include repeat clients where jobs are completed on a weekly, monthly or random basis. Think about it, repeat clients require very little marketing and know exactly what to expect from you because they have hired you before.  Plus, repeat clients can provide a steady flow of income, which is a very good thing for a self-employed freelancer like myself!

How to Create or Keep Repeat Clients.  Obviously, if a client is unhappy the first time, there will not be a next time to work for them.  So, here are a few things to remember:

  1. Be On-Time (or even a few minutes early).  If the job takes place on location, don't be late.  Tardiness is a form a disrespect and clients don't appreciate it.  If you are completing a job online, submit the final project by the deadline (if not early).
  2. Have a Fantastic Attitude - You are more likely to get hired again if you have a great attitude.  Naturally, people want to work with people who are friendly, respectful and easy to be around.
  3. Do what is asked of you - Did you complete all necessary paperwork?  Did you follow the company rules, guidelines and procedures?  Are you wearing the appropriate attire?  Are you familiar with the talking points?  Have you turned in your time sheet or invoice?  Whatever the client expects, have you accurately completed the task?
  4. Say Thank-you - Always let your clients know that you appreciate the work.  Also, don't be afraid to let them know it would be a pleasure to work for them again!
I'm flattered to have Dresscode Clothing as a repeat client and I hope to add more repeat clients to my Random Day Job list.  Actually, I have another repeat client starting this week, but more on that later!

***Want more Dress Code?  Click here***

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Results!!

Amazon.com $25 Gift Card (0108)Congratulations, JESSICA!!! 

You are the winner of the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway with Random Day Job!  Hope you are able to buy some books for your classroom or yourself!! I have emailed you the gift card, so let me know if you have any problems.

Thanks so much for everyone who entered!! 

The Promotion Chronicals

Attention all Brand Ambassadors, Promotional Models and anyone looking to learn more about promotional work!!  My friend Kaiti started a one stop shop blog called The Promotion Chronicals

The blog is a fantastic resource for promotional models - how to start, avoiding scams, what to wear and much, much more!!  Make sure to check it out.

Kaiti and I have worked several promotions together including Chegg, ZizZazz and  The Stealth Engage Tour!

Do you know of any good promotional blogs?  I would love to hear about them!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Check Out Cat 'n Mouse Promotions!

Cat 'n Mouse Promotions is an independently owned promotional company in Southern California.  Expect to see fantastic results with an extremely reasonable price!  (Note: Brand Ambassadors, they pay REALLY fast :)

I had the pleasure of working for Cat 'n Mouse on the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism job last month.  If you missed the action, check it out here, here and here.  Today, Cat 'n Mouse was kind enough to feature me and Random Day Job on their website and facebook page!

Let Cat 'n Mouse get the word out!!  Send them some love and "like" their facebook page!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2 More Casting Websites

Looking for auditions?  Try these two:

Backstage - Search by category (union, non-union, etc.) and east coast, west coast or by state.  Inside Tip - The website gives you basic info, but charges a monthly fee to see the entire breakdown.  I've been able to google almost every audition I was interested in and figure out where to email/submit my information.

Reality Wanted - Ever wanted to appear on Reality TV?  Reality Wanted is the place for you!  It's actually hilarious to browse through the postings.  There are some crazy shows out there!  You will need to set up a profile, but it's free.  Have fun :)

***For more casting websites, click here and here***

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***


It's time for another Random Day Job Giveaway!!!  Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Amazon.com $25 Gift Card (0108)PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
TO ENTER:  Leave one Comment (1 entry)
Extra Points - "Like" Random Day Job Facebook Page (2 entries) and/or Subscribe to Random Day Job Blog or Emails (2 entries)
BONUS QUESTION: What do you need from Amazon.com?
GIVEAWAY ENDS: Monday, March 28th (Noon EST)
ADDITIONAL INFO: Winner will be selected through Random.org

GOOD LUCK!!!






Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Four Residual Income Opportunities

For most Americans, losing a job means losing their only stream of income.  Unless a large reserve fund is available, finances will become very stressful, very fast.  Since many Americans don't have a reserve savings account (note: please start one if you haven't already!), the weight of no money coming in will become a quick problem.

This is exactly what happened to several Americans starting in 2008 when our economy tanked.  A large number of lay-offs left many families with no cash.  As a result, they were unable to pay their mortgage and many foreclosures arose in the Real Estate market. 

Lets learn from this lesson.  Do you want to be a slave to your job?  Or would you rather create additional income streams?  Therefore, losing your job would not mean losing your entire income.  Now, that sounds like a good plan!

Residual or passive income is defined by Wikipedia as Income received on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it.  Basically, residual income takes some work to get established and may require maintenance, but can create an income stream with minimal effort.  There are several ways to gain residual income.  Today, I'll start with four:

1. Real Estate - Have you ever read Cashflow Quadrant?  If not, you really should!  Kiyosaki learns from his "Rich Dad" some very valuable lessons.  One that sticks out in my mind is basically this, how many properties can you own where you owe $100/month for the payment?  Hmm....not many.  How many properties can you afford to own that pay you $100/ month?  Hmm....many!  The basic point, is that investment property can be an excellent source of residual income, but you need the right property.  It will take some work - finding renters, repairs, maintenance, etc.  But, it can also create a way to make some money every month.  Now is still a good time to buy an income property!

2. Commercials/Film - Acting is an excellent way to earn residual income.  On many jobs (usually SAG or AFTRA) you are not only paid for your time, but also the amount of times the commercial or film is aired.  The checks will simply arrive in your mailbox, seriously!  They can be as low as a few dollars and as high as several thousand.  I shot a commercial over 5 years ago that I still receive a residual check from 3-4 times a year.  There was also a movie where I booked a role, but the role was dropped right before shooting.  Regardless, I was under contract, so I reap the benefit of residuals.  I highly suggest an agent if you ever plan to receive residuals from on camera jobs.  Agents will also keep track of non-union jobs with a buy-out.  If the commercial renews, you will receive a renewal payment. (If you are interested in finding a agent, click here)

3. Licensing - Another book to read is Multiple Streams of Income by Robert Allen.  I wrote a review about it here.  Anyway, Allen has a great chapter on licensing.  There is an example of an American man traveling overseas who came across a funny blue character.  He realized the character had not been licensed in the US, so he did and made a FORTUNE on the smurfs!!  Basically, if you license a image, logo, program, etc. you are paid every time it's used.  By granting the rights to your idea, a royalty fee is granted to you in return.  I've never licensed anything, but hope to add it to my residual income portfolio one day. 

4. Tax Lien Certificate - According to Tax Forfeited,  a tax lien certificate is a lien on a property because the owner has not paid property taxes.  If the property taxes are paid by the given time, the tax lien is removed.  But, if the tax is not paid during the allotted time, the government will allow investors to pay the property taxes on the owners behalf.  What's in it for the investor?  Well, for the owner of the tax lien certificate there are two possibilities. First, a return of 5%-36% per year on what the investor paid for the tax lien or through foreclosure the investor becomes the owner of the real estate property free and clear of any lesser liens (tax lien has priority over other liens such as mortgage or mechanic lien).

These are four ways to earn residual income, but there are many more.  Feel free to list a few in the comment section!  I'll follow up with more residual ideas soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

When Work is Slow

Let's the honest, the life of a freelancer is very unpredictable.  One week, work is extremely busy and job after job seem to appear.  The next week, nothing.  Tension and stress build.  You start to question why freelancing ever seemed like a good idea!

Calm down and take a deep breath.  This is the natural flow of the freelance lifestyle.  Just because you are not booked on a job that day or week does not mean you have nothing to do!  The "slow" times are an opportunity to brainstorm and plant seeds for your business and future job possibilities.

Get Organized.  Take a moment to organize.  After a busy streak, allow yourself the time to complete the post-job duties.  Do you have receipts lying around?  Unpaid or unsent invoices?  Did you write a thank-you note to clients from last month?  Update your database of co-workers or employers.  Update your resume.  Is your profile complete/updated with networking websites?  Are you missing any jobs due to laziness?

Brainstorm.  Take a few minutes to brainstorm about possible job or money making ideas.  How can you grow your business?  Is there a new stream of income you would like to try?  Any new ways to look for upcoming jobs?  All ideas are good ideas during brainstorming sessions.  Write them all down and decide which to pursue later.  This is also a good practice to complete with your contacts, mentors and industry friends if they are willing.

Development.  Hopefully, you are constantly learning.  Now is a great time to take a class, read a book or attend a seminar.  Do some research online.  Who else is doing what your doing?  Take notes from those who have come before you.  Know your competition and learn from their successes and mistakes.  Try to consume yourself in your industry of choice.  The more connected and informed you become, the more you will have to offer your next client.

As a freelancer, you must have a certain level of discipline to find enough work.  I call it the Random Day Job Routine, and you can learn more about it here.  Regardless, be thankful for the down time.  It allows you a chance to think, grow and develop your craft.  You'll be a better freelancer because of it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

DressCode

DressCode is a local clothing store in Tucson that also has a strong online presence.  The boutique's focus is fashion inspired by music.  Therefore, brands like Affliction, David Bowie, Diesel, Tripp NYC, Opeth, Sublime and Yellowcard can all be found in the store.

You've shopped online, right?  Usually, there is a person wearing the items you are interested in purchasing.  I had the pleasure of being that person for DressCode.  I tried on every new arrival and did my best to rock each style!  Lots of super funky, fun t-shirts (soft and long), hoodies, skinny jeans, mini shirts and more!  I definitely felt like a rock star.

Hopefully, DressCode will ask me back.  Regardless, I was happy to sport their new arrivals and work another Random Day Job!  I wonder if other boutiques in town (or maybe in your area) need someone to model the new arrivals?  I bet they do :)

***Want more Dress Code?  Click here***