Wanted: Internet TV host who can close a sale with 30- to 55-year-old soccer moms.
TheShops.TV, the Netflix of home shopping, streams on-demand videos for products similar to QVC and Evine Live. The internet-only site, which launched in April with offices in Eden Prairie and Palo Alto, Calif., is launching a video contest to find a new shopping host.
"We think it will be a lot of fun to see what selling strategies people come up with," said Sue Westerman, senior vice president of marketing at TheShops. TV. "We want their input on how to show off a product."
Westerman advises anyone who is considering an entry to watch the videos already on the site for inspiration. Many are for such products bought on shopping channels as jewelry, handbags, clothing and kitchen accessories. "They'll see we don't want an aggressive sales approach as much as we want functionality."
True to the nature of an internet-only business, host wannabes don't have to stand in line at the Mall of America to enter. Simply create a three- to four-minute video that shows off hosting skills. The video, which need not be polished and can easily be done on a smartphone, needs to include a bit about yourself, a brief explanation of why you like TheShops.TV and a product demonstration.
The deadline is Dec. 31, but entries posted earlier will have more time to accumulate votes.
Three finalists will be selected based on the number of online votes. Those who pass the first round will be asked to submit a second video that will be judged by a panel that includes Gretchen Christine Rossi, formerly of the "Real Housewives of Orange County" and host.
The grand prize is a trip to Los Angeles with airfare and hotel included. Two runners up will receive $250 gift cards to the TheShops. TV.
Contestants will be coached by experienced directors for the product videos. Although most hosts on shopping channels are paid on commission, TheShops.TV hosts are paid a day rate. The winner is not under contract and is not paid for the initial hosting.