Winning on a Budget: Entry Fees

Pageants can be an expensive hobby. There’s no getting around that fact. The entry fee alone to some pageants is over $600! But I don’t think anyone should be kept from competing because they don’t have tens of thousands of dollars that they have heard is “required” in order to do well. Now, I would like to say that I’m offering to pay for everyone’s entry fee!! But no. What I can offer are my tips & tricks to winning on a budget. If this is something you want, you can definitely do it!

Preparing for a pageant while on a budget is not easy. There is a lot of research & networking involved, but having those skills are important to being a beauty queen anyway, so really it’s just more practice!

I’ll start at the very beginning – entry fee. There is no way to skimp on this part, ladies. It is what it is. It costs money to put on a pageant (more than you might think!), & I know from directing experience. But lucky for us, there are people out there who can & want to help us!

Who are these people?? Start with people who need to get their name out there: boutiques, make-up artists, hair & nail salons, gown shops, tanning salon. Then think about the people in your community who know you & that you frequent: doctor, dentist, gas station (worked for me!), grocery store, pharmacy, mechanic, insurance agent, attorneys, service clubs, local newspaper, car dealership, pool company, etc. Anywhere that you have been & paid money for someone else’s services are usually good bets. And lastly, ask your family & friends. Not everyone or every business will be able to give, & that’s okay! But remember that even $20 helps!

If you ask these businesses in person, you are more likely to get a “yes” than if you just send them a form letter. Before you go, make sure you know what you will be using this money for (they will ask!), what they will receive in return for their sponsorship, and why you are competing for this pageant. Wear your crown & banner if you have them, dress professionally, and head on out!

This should be done as soon as you decide you want to compete for this pageant. Businesses and family members may need time to get their finances in order so they can come up with a proper amount that they can afford.

Once you get an “I would love to!” make sure you send a thank you note or autograph card for them to put up at their place of business. Good luck!!

Ashley Smith


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