Every year about 500 modeling jobs open up and analysts expect that number to grow over the next few years. But that’s a low number and a steep hill to climb when it comes to landing modeling work.
Fortunately, using a modeling agency can drastically improve the chances of aspiring models finding work. If you’re on the fence about going solo or starting agent based modeling, the following guide can help.
Read on to discover the benefits of having a modeling agent and how it works.
Finding Work Without a Modeling Agent
While it’s much harder to find modeling gigs without an agent, it isn’t impossible. You’ll want to start by researching the industry and deciding what kind of modeling you want to do.
You’ll need to network and collaborate with other models. The more connections you develop, the more work opportunities you’ll come across. That means also connecting with makeup artists, stylists, videographers, photographers, and anyone else in the industry.
Remember that you’ll most likely need to work for free in the very beginning. That might not sound very exciting, but you have to start building your portfolio and that’s the best way to do it without an agent.
Don’t forget to stay active on social media and post often, but make sure to maintain the quality of your posts. Once you start getting work, always have your rates and conditions in mind before agreeing to a job.
How To Get a Modeling Agent
First, focus on adding photos to your portfolio that show your different looks and highlight your abilities. A well-rounded portfolio should include a headshot, a full-body photo, a beauty photo, a swimsuit photo, a fashion photo, and a commercial photo.
You might have a friend willing to take the photos for a low price or free but don’t be afraid to hire a professional. It might cost more upfront, but it will guarantee you quality photos, shoot locations, and edits.
You’ll still want to network and research the industry as much as possible even if you decide to work with an agency. After you’ve made a few connections and finished your portfolio, you can start reaching out to agencies.
Make a short list of agencies you have an interest in and visit their websites to look for openings. Most agencies offer an online submission form and contact you for an in-person meeting if they’re interested.
If you meet in person, they’ll likely want to know more about you, your personality, and your physical portfolio, and to see some poses. It’s a very straightforward process and it’s easy to start your journey today even without any prior experience.
Safety and Security
Finding work without an agency might lead to some unsafe working conditions. When you work with an agency, they screen clients before you work with them to ensure your safety.
They also have long-term clients and they fully understand what they want and don’t want from a model. That makes it easier for models to do great work and leave clients satisfied.
Agencies can confirm locations ahead of time and let you know exactly who you’ll work with on a shoot. They’ll also let you know how long the shoot will take so that you can plan accordingly.
If you go it alone without an agency, you might not know the right questions to ask. This typically causes a lot of problems for both freelance models and clients.
Fair Pay and Bookings
Often times clients hire freelance models without an agent because they want to take advantage of their inexperience. They know novice models aren’t familiar with rates, and end up paying much less.
Using an agency fixes this problem because they know exactly how clients use photos and what pay models deserve. You might miss out on thousands of dollars without their expertise.
Top brands usually work directly with modeling agencies to find talent. Agencies help you get your foot in the door with top companies you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Note that the best brands only use agencies and never go looking for models online.
If another model from your agency can’t make it to a shoot, the agency might ask you to take their place. So, you’ll end up with more frequent bookings and better clients by working with an agency.
Keep in mind that you can work with multiple agencies in different parts of the world to help you get exposure. For instance, you might work with an agency in New York, one in Paris, and one in London.
When one of those agencies has its busy season, you might travel abroad for different shoots. Staying in a different country to model for a few weeks or months is a great way to gain experience and see the world.
If you start out using just one agency, international agencies sometimes send out scouts. So, you might end up working with an agency in Tokyo just by being in the right place at the right time.
Modeling With and Without an Agent
It’s entirely possible to work without a modeling agent and still find work. However, you’ll find better quality clients, shoots, and regular bookings through an agency. It’s also much safer and ensures fair pay for your modeling.
Whichever modeling route you choose, we hope our guide helps you get off to a great start! Take a look at our blog’s digital marketing category for more ways to build your modeling brand.