We had the opportunity to sit down with one of the leading promo models in Los Angeles to gain insight into what it’s like to have a promotional modeling career. Want more? Try to dig this to know her more deeper.
It’s not hard to find someone who claims to have promotional modeling experience, but there are very few people who make a living as a promotional model. This elite class of full-time promotional models are sought after by the top companies in the country and frequently flown in to work the industry’s top events. Click this link for our explanation regarding promo models.
If you’re looking to take your modeling career to the next level, these are the people you need to learn from. Melissa is one of LA’s top promotional models, and she knows what it takes to get hired by the biggest names in the industry.
When did you first start modeling?
I got my first gig in high school.
What tips would you give to a model that’s interested in breaking into the field of promotional modeling?
Just be yourself, embrace & promote your uniqueness and never let a “NO” stop you from manifesting your dreams!
And do you have any advice for current promo models that are looking to take their career to the next level and start modeling full time?
When you begin to treat modeling as a business and no longer a hobby it can quickly and easily become your main source of income.
What are 3-5 things you always bring with you when working an event?
The contact info, paperwork for the event, and a cell phone with camera to take photos of my work to send to agency. A smile, positive personality, comfortable shoes and water & snacks for breaks = happy model
Describe a typical day in the life of a promo model?
The joy of being a promo model is that YOU are in control of your own schedule. You can lay at the pool while submitting your information for more modeling jobs online or you can wait for the booking emails to come to you. You can hustle and call and send email followups to your agencies in your office. Your success as a promo model is up to you. Services promotional services are what usually counts to give clients satisfaction.
What are your long-term career goals in the industry?
– Worldwide High Residual Paying Commercials
– Travel worldwide for trade shows, conventions & expos
– Be on the cover of a Fitness Magazine
– Become a runway model in Milan, Italy
– Become a highly compensated tropical photo shoot in Tahiti for Billboards in the U.S.
– Teach modeling and marketing workshops, seminars and retreats
Let’s talk make-up, what are 5 products you can’t live without?
Bare Minerals Powder & Mineral Veil, Burt Bees Lip Shimmer, Benefit Bad gal Lash Mascara, Benefit Pore-fessional, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion, Neutrogena Face Wash (best makeup remover ever).
What’s the most glamorous event you’ve ever worked?
The most glamorous event I have ever worked was about two years ago in Las Vegas for a technology convention. I was the lead model/manager and hired 9 other models. I handled the wardrobe, budget, travel, lodging and scheduling. Three models and I got to dress up like Miss Universe Pageant ladies (with long evening gowns & sashes) and be followed around by 5 paparazzi and an Elvis impersonator. We literally got paid to walk around and pretend to be pageant girls. It was the most fun I’ve ever had “working” a modeling gig.
If there were one thing you could change about the promo modeling industry what would it be?
Agencies truly need to pay models a lot quicker. We do the work right then so we should get paid right then. When I was a lead model/manager I was able to pay my models on the spot at the end of the work event … agencies need to shorten the time it takes for a model to get paid. Hard working ladies should not have to wait weeks or 30-60 days to get paid. That just peeves me because I know how hard we all work for that money we should get it at the time of service.
The look/personality debate is big in the promo modeling industry, which do you think clients care more about?
I truly think it depends on the client. In my mind I hope the answer would be personality, but from experience I know clients have literally not chosen me for a recurring job just because I went back to my natural hair color (red) when I typically get more work as a blonde. I still have the same great personality & hard work ethic it’s just some clients want a particular look even if that means hiring someone with less skills, personality & work ethic.
Speaking of looks, what do you do in terms of diet and exercise to maintain your figure?
I love hiking! And believe it or not I still do my Abs of Steel workout videos from time to time at home. Eating healthy is key. Abs & a great figure are not just from a gym…they are from the kitchen too! At home I keep everything in my fridge healthy…then when I go out I splurge a little. That way I’m not eating that whole bag of Jalepeno Kettle Chips by myself (which has happened a few times…lol).
Do you have any travel tips for staying pretty on the road?
I typically bring my brushes with me in a small makeup bag that fits in my purse. Just put a little extra powder, bronzer/blush, or eyeshadow on them and touch up your look when needed.
How do you stay standing all day in high heels? Do you have special inserts or buy comfortable shoes?
Invest in a pair of comfortable high heels, inserts and foot massages. Well worth the money after long days in heels. Again, bring flats to change into while on breaks it literally rejuvenates your smile! Many more clients are beginning to allow models to wear nice comfortable shoes…because no one likes seeing some gorgeous girl walk around like a peacock and a puppy dog face when their feet hurt. Not to mention how cranky some of us get. lol.
Comfy feet = Happy, Smiling Model who gets booked again & again.
What are 5 things that distinguish good promo models from bad ones?
Personality, Being Punctual, Being Reliable, Being Professional, Going above & beyond what’s expected.
What have you learned from your mistakes on the job?
Always plan to get to your job early. It is better to have extra time to go the restroom, grab a coffee, find a better parking spot, etc… than look like a frantic mess with an attitude on your first day meeting the client. I will always choose to leave early & be calm & collected rather than rush just because of bad time management. Allow yourself plenty of time to do your hair & makeup, get to your destination, park, find the meeting spot, etc.