In these troubling times, companies need new ways to get their message across as social media content creation and ad campaigns keep climbing in cost and deliver lower ROI’s every year. This situation coupled with the hard times the less fortunate people are experiencing lends itself to a unique business opportunity. Using the less fortunate -homeless people as a marketing opportunity for other brands.

It is not a new concept it is a part of experiential/guerilla marketing. Using new experiences to influence potential buyers to form a bond and raise familiarity with a brand. In this article, we will explain how to create a business based on this concept.

What are you selling

Here are some ways to utilize the talents of the less fortunate:

  1. Sell their time for mass scenes: The film industry, current situation notwithstanding is in constant need of cheap labor, willing to dedicate large amounts of their time. As per Variety – the industry is worth more than $136 billion. Thus selling the time of the less fortunate using them in film/advertisements and other projects could be a profitable niche.
  2. Mediators for brands: Having a positive spin for a brand is important as it allows us to keep up a profitable relationship with potential buyers. And what is more positive than a brand that helps the homeless? Thus your business could be the mediator between brands and the homeless and allow brands to have a seamless experience in showing positive interactions, campaigns – fighting against homelessness, poverty, etc.
  3. Advertisement space: The unfortunate reality is that the homeless are a large group as UN reports over 150 million are deemed homeless. And so far not many businesses use them as a resource. Thus utilizing their help as active advertisement holders or wearers for brands might be a great way to go.

The mechanics of the business

The set up: The creation of a marketing agency using this specific talent pool will pose specific problems.

  1. Legal relationship: Your agency will be using talent who, for many reasons is not known for its ability to follow through with previous commitments. Thus your ability to form short-term nonbinding contracts in which your company is not liable for the actions of the talent will be key.
  2. Talent sourcing: No easy way – as the homeless are constantly on the move, you will have to be able to quickly negotiate a terms and services contract and sell your idea quickly – developing a quick summary is advised. Use signs and other advertisement material to attract potential talent and have staff ready to explain the relationship.
  3. Team: It is wise to have talent managers – people with great social skills, who can converse and manage talent. Sourcing specialist’s who could be social workers or experts, that could provide insights to the local homeless population. Content creators – as part of your service package you could advise brands that you could provide an A to Z approach and create the content yourself and even help with the marketing campaign. Thus you could charge additional rates for your services.
  4. Sales: Approach – brands, businesses, local influencers, and most importantly – non-profit organizations to sell your marketing package. You can sell on a per-project basis, with custom prices depending on the scope of the project or you can develop service packages with different scopes and price points.

The economics

Working with the homeless has great advantages. As they are usually quite financially sensitive as a group, often in exchange for services can be made using either small amounts of money – 10$ and less or even using other material goods and services as exchange such as:

  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Coupons
  • Shelter
  • Others

Thus so far we have concluded that the supply of talent is massive and there is a demand from businesses to have a positive image.

How much money could be made with this business model?

When selling time: As you are the intermediary and content manager for projects so that the clients don’t have to source and manage the talent, you can charge from $150 to $250 per hour for work done. Of course, rates may vary depending on the service package agreed, but the niche talent management might be a good sales point.

When selling a project: Depends on the project scope, however could be sold for prices ranging from $3000 for a small campaign to $10000+ for a full-service campaign.

Is it a good idea?

If you are willing to work diligently and are not afraid to try a more controversial approach to marketing, you might be rewarded for your efforts. As research show’s brands value their image more and more these days. Selling a service that shines a positive light on the brand and benefits the homeless, you might be able to grow it into a profitable homeless people marketing agency.