What's it really like?
Lily Jenkins is an 18 year old student and part time flyer distributor from Lincoln. Here is what she says about being a flyer distributor.
I have been flyering for about two months now for Lincoln Parties as a part time job. I also work in a clothes shop part time as a retail assistant but distributing flyers has a whole different set of perks than working in a shop. What I love about it is that I get paid £6 an hour and not only is that a good rate of pay, it’s also really ‘easy money’ compared to any job I’ve had before. I get to meet new people constantly and the hours are really sociable and flexible so I can fit them around my university work. All the staff in the company are really friendly so we have a great laugh together and get to promote some really exciting events. A typical shift for me can be either three hours in the afternoon or a night shift which can start at around 11pm. I mainly stand outside the venue I’m flyering for or in key locations such as next to the Student Union and try to invite people to the event. I give out flyers and I’m a source of information for anyone looking to find out a bit more about the night.
Sometimes it can be challenging though. Often, as I’m promoting nightclub events, the hours can be long and can take me well into the night. Flyering at night can be cold, especially when the weather is bad and that can give a really negative feel to the work. It can also seem a little frightening if I am flyering by myself in a dark area, so I have to make sure I find somewhere public and well lit. You have to keep yourself as safe as you can, especially as I’m promoting nightclub events so I often have to deal with drunk people who can be quite angry. Saying that, it’s not only people at night that can be hostile; I find on nearly every shift that some people are blatantly rude to my face and some people just ignore me all together. Dealing with rude people can be difficult and is probably the hardest challenge I face.
As far as giving advice to people that are looking to become flyer distributors, I would say that you need to be confident and light-hearted but always polite, no matter what type of person you are faced with. When people are rude to you, you have to laugh it off and not take it to heart. People generally don’t like to be bothered, so it’s more the system they’re aggravated at than you personally. As a person, you just need to be relaxed and positive but also be prepared to talk to people. People might want to ask you questions so you need to be prepared to answer them accurately. Also, people generally don’t want to be given flyers, so you have to be prepared to approach them and explain what you’re all about. There’s not a lot of skill as such involved but being able to work in a team is useful, as it is the most efficient way of getting the job done well. Being patient is also an asset, as not everyone wants the information you’re offering, but eventually people will respond positively – you just have to persevere and keep your chin up.
A flyer distributor hands out flyers to promote events, venues or establishments. The job is referred to as "flyering" in the trade.
A flyer distributor is usually employed by an establishment or event promotion company to market an event or establishment through handing out flyers to the public. Flyer distributors can be assigned to post flyers through front doors or to hand out leaflets at a given station, usually outside the institution building or a potential ‘hotspot’ for customers, for example outside a student union to promote nightclub events.
Flyer distributors often work outside in all weathers and are strategically placed to gain the most exposure. They usually work in teams, covering different areas in order to promote in the most efficient manner. The job can include a great deal of walking if flyering is door to door. The hours can be during the day or late into the night – hours are usually related to what the leaflet is marketing and the target audience. Flyer distributors can be paid hourly for their time, or paid per the amount of leaflets delivered.
Flyer distributors are the public face for companies and events and therefore need to be polite and enthusiastic at all times, and are required to be knowledgeable regarding the details of what they are marketing. As the public face of the event/company, distributors are required to answer any questions around the information they are handing out.
Flyer distributors are usually paid hourly and are often paid between minimum wage and £6 an hour. Wages are most often claimed at the end of a shift and are usually distributed via ‘cash in hand’. Occasionally flyer distributors are paid by the number of customers they bring to an event via their flyering, monitored by coding on the leaflets. Overall monthly or yearly income for flyer distributors can vary depending on the number of shifts worked. Shifts are often allocated pro rata or can be distributed flexibly, usually allowing flyer distributors to work extra shifts if desired. Overtime payment is not a usual benefit of flyer distributors with all extra hours being paid at the same rate as rota hours.
Flyer distributors are often considered as the key marketing personnel for promotions, occasions and establishments. They are directly ‘public-facing’ and are responsible for supplying the community with the information regarding the business, event or promotion that they are sponsoring. Typical responsibilities during a shift include:
- Handing out flyers to the general public at strategically chosen locations
- Distributing flyers through residential front doors or to businesses
- Having an in depth knowledge of the information they are handing out and be a point of information for people with queries
- Being enthusiastic about the event or establishment they are promoting
- Covering as many people/houses as they can in order to market as widely as possible
No formal academic qualifications are needed to be a flyer distributor.
Being a flyer distributor can seem like a simple job but requires a great deal of skill in the public relations domain. Interpersonal and people skills are extremely important and are required constantly throughout shifts. Flyer distributors must:
- be enthusiastic and polite
- be able to handle public confrontation effectively and calmly to diffuse potentially difficult situations
- speak English to a high standard
- have the capacity to remember information regarding their promotion and be able to answer questions eloquently
- be able to work in teams to calculate the most efficient way to cover ground
- be prepared to work outside in all types of weather
- persevere despite set backs or rejections
- be physically fit in regards to delivery door to door
- be confident and assertive
Flyer distributors often have to work in outdoor conditions meaning they are exposed to all kinds of weather. They will usually be strategically allocated to a location that will gain the most successful ratio of distribution to custom, therefore must make themselves familiar with the location and understand how to market effectively in that area. Distributors will be the face of a company or event in the general public and therefore will constantly be interacting with different people. This means that flyer distributors must be prepared for all kinds of reactions, including negativity and rudeness.
Door to door flyer distributors will deliver leaflets on foot and therefore walk significantly long distances. This requires them to be physically fit, to be prepared for varying weather and to wear suitable footwear or to ride a bicycle. They must also be prepared to deal with pets that may be in gardens or come to the door.
Sometimes a uniform is supplied for flyer distributors such as a sweatshirt of t-shirt as extra promotion of the event or establishment. In cases where a uniform is not supplied, specifications may be given by the employer on what is suitable to wear, or the distributor may have to make the personal decision. Clothing should be suitable for both the event and the weather.
Flyer distributors usually work either afternoon shifts or night shifts. Afternoon shifts are usually shorter whereas night shifts can start quite late and be slightly longer. Night shifts may start around 11pm so flyer distributors have to be prepared for late nights, and be prepared for the evening to become colder. Distributors are responsible for their own safety and, when working on night shifts, should be conscious of danger and position themselves in the safest places within the confines of their given location.
Experience is not necessary to be a flyer distributor but companies will often look to employ people who have been involved in marketing or flyer distribution before as it gives a reputable image. Previous knowledge of the establishment or the event being promoted are also useful, especially if experienced firsthand, as this shows the employer that the distributor has an understanding and knowledge base for any questions that may be posed by the public.
- Campaigns and charities
- Nightclubs and bars
- Service businesses
- Goods businesses
- Government departments
- Universities and educational establishments
Flyer distribution is the first step in a marketing campaign for businesses and therefore is often the ‘on the ground’ service of the marketing and promotion team. Career progression for flyer distributors can include Flyer Distribution Team Leader, Campaign Leader, Online Marketing Representative, Head of Marketing and Promotion. Flyer distributors often move sideways in companies and become salespeople, social media managers, event organisers and sales and marketing team leaders.