In order to be a successful modeling agent, it is essential for you to learn about the modeling industry. The best, and most straightforward, way to do this is to work for a modeling agency.
Work for modeling agencies can be slightly more difficult to come by, due to the perceived glamorous nature of the task. However, keep an eye out for administrative positions within the agency to get your foot in the door. Although administration is an often thankless task, it will give you the hands-on experience you’ll need to be a successful agent, and teach you the work from the ground up.
You may find an agency that is willing to promote its staff into executive positions over time. Once you have your foot in the door, be sure to let your bosses know that you are interested in becoming an agent. You never know – you may be lucky and find your career path set out in front of you. In the meantime, however, observe the way the agency works and keep your ‘plan B’ in mind.
When you are ready to branch out, apply for a business license. If you plan to run your own agency, you will need a license and will need to register your business name with your local authorities. Check with your state business bureau to find out the regulations you need to adhere to.
Next, look for suitable office space. The sort of office you choose to operate from will depend on your ambition and your budget, and will probably be a balance of these two. It is possible to run a small agency from your home. If you do take this route, try to make your set-up as professional as possible. Set aside a separate room for your office, keep all household items tidied away when your clients visit, and consider holding meetings in a suitable cafe.
Choose the section of modeling you wish to concentrate on. As you probably know, there are many types of models – who will you represent? Select a niche and concentrate your efforts on finding the right clients for you. Study the marketing material of other agents in your area of expertise and design your website and business card with an eye to building a brand.
Build up your relationship with your contacts. Hopefully, you will have met several useful contacts through your work already. Contact casting agents, designers, and other people in the modeling industry to let them know you are in business. Subscribe to industry lists and websites to see what’s going on in the industry (an example of this is the Breakdown Services, but specific lists are different for different areas).
When choosing models, remember that their behavior will reflect on you in the industry. Try to school your clients to behave professionally and politely during a shoot, so that your name will be associated with a positive experience.
It is essential to have a good standard contract in place before you begin taking models on. Make sure you understand the aspects of the contract, as your clients will ask you questions about it. Never charge for meeting a new client; remember, you are there to get them work.