How to Become a Model: 10 Tips on Starting a Modeling Career
December 27, 2015
December 27, 2015
Modeling is an enchanting career. It captivates and attracts young aspiring minds. An increasing number of hopefuls are choosing freelance modeling as a career. The modeling industry lends itself to a freelance lifestyle, since you may not be required to remain loyal to just one employer and are free to pursue as many freelance modeling assignments as you can manage. Who knows you might just be hired to become the ‘face’ of a brand!
With the freedom to choose the projects you want to work on, freelance modeling offers you the flexibility to design your career around whatever you like doing best, while paying equal attention to personal commitments. Of course, you hold the key to manage your time. As a freelance model, you have the advantage of grabbing opportunities to increase your earnings by seeking out clients directly, without having to pay agency commission.
How to Become a Freelance Model
Modeling is a competitive industry, and aspiring models may have to struggle hard to find work. However, in the freelancing world, a good place to host your portfolio is your own website.
Having a website of your own would give you the best platform to list details of your experience & background and promote yourself to potential clients. Having your profile in social networks will boost your online credentials. By doing so, you can launch yourself on a global level and promote your services through existing contacts while making new ones. It would help to have an online copy of flyers and business cards that could be linked to your website and used for promotional activities.
You can always leave your marketing collateral at places where they might be spotted by industry professionals. There isn’t anything better than getting a call from potential clients that they are impressed with your portfolio.
Do not limit yourself
When starting your freelance modeling career, you may come across different gigs. Have an appropriate portfolio, with your best photos that instantly click with potential clients. There are many clients that do not hesitate to hire a “shorter” fashion model or a “taller” print model.
For models pursuing more than one modeling category, it will help to have the right images for each type so you have the right portfolio to show the right clients. When you submit your portfolio to freelance gigs, do not limit yourself to one category; rather, expand your horizon and submit to freelance castings for different categories, including swimwear, fitness & sports, and fashion/runway models, among others. Stick with genres that suit your taste as well as body type.
Do not submit yourself to castings that don’t interest you. In fact, the real beauty of being a freelance model lies in the ability to control your own schedule, career, and earnings. As a freelance model, you are free to cherry pick the modeling assignments you want and not what an agency forces on you.
When it comes to finding work as a freelance model, your competition is a big consideration. The number of competitors that can you do what you do is an important factor to decide your pricing strategy to stay competitive and in the race. If there are many models in your area that do amazing standard glamour shots, you are up against stiff competition. It may help to keep your price low. Contrarily, if you have a unique skill that a handful of models possess, there is nothing bad in using it to your advantage. After all, rare talent is more valuable!
When you enter the freelance modeling industry, explore the prices that others are willing to work for. Since you are new, it may not hurt to charge a little less than the average price. However, if offers are starting to flood you, you may choose to raise your rates by a fraction. Lower your rates if you aren’t getting any offers and re-assess your portfolio.
When you have a few assignments lined up, give top priority to gigs offering monetary compensation and next in line should be clients offering tearsheets from the actual publication. You may want to try any other modeling gig that does not offer any pay or tearsheets if the client’s work interests you. Rarely do clients share a CD of your images for your personal use. If a client agrees to do so, you may want to go for their modeling assignment.
Since you are not working with any agency, it is important to maintain your list of contact with clients and photographers and keep your portfolio up to date to be eligible for any upcoming modeling opportunities.
On-demand marketplace for freelance models
As a freelancing model, you are responsible for handling your own marketing and finding work independently. Modeling communities, including networking events, offer a platform for freelancing models to source work easily by establishing direct contact with companies and clients. On-demand marketplaces can come to your rescue when you are looking for freelance modeling gigs.
Peer Hustle is one such on-demand mobile app for the shared economy that simplifies the process of becoming a freelance model. By creating an account in this online platform, you can easily spread the word about your skills and harness the power of the sharing economy app to run a full-fledged freelance modeling business.
The mobile platform makes it seamless for professionals and clients to connect and run a successful independent business on their phones. As a freelance model, you are running yourself as a business, which requires great amount of work & dedication. These mobile platforms can prove to be the holy grail for freelance success.
It is important that you treat and carry yourself professionally and do not let a client push you around. Of course, you would not want a potential client to talk you into something that you are least comfortable with. This could happen if you show any doubt in your abilities.
Stand your ground and do it with grace and professionalism, without an iota of doubt about your abilities or skills. Stay cool even in a negative environment, never badmouth anyone, or do not exchange heated words with a client when things are getting out of control and walk away with your head held high. Gently let “problem” clients know that you are a professional model and if they cannot work with you on the same level, they are free to look for someone else.
Networking networking networking
A small thank-you note for the people you have worked with would be enough to remind them that they can rely on you for future projects. It might help to send out brief emails to the photographer and casting director with whom you have worked with, conveying your happiness that you have had a great experience working together.
Impressing one client in the modeling industry could open the flood gates to success for your modeling career. Who knows a happy client might refer you to others!
After every shoot, shake hands with each person involved in the project and hand out your modeling business card. Sending out a follow-up email to each one of them, letting them know about your experience, might do wonders for your career.
Discipline rules the roost in every industry. Always arrive on time, reply all email in a timely manner, and answer every phone call. Your positive and fun attitude would be welcome by clients and photographers that choose to work with you.
Clients automatically start associating you with being disciplined, punctual, and dependable. What more could you ask for when you are just starting out? Remember, everybody wants to be associated with people that are a joy to work with.
Showing up early makes a great impression on clients and can work magic for your freelance career. Imagine clients remembering you as a model “that shows up before the rest of us do!” Discipline is one weapon that can enhance your marketability in addition to your looks and hairdo/makeup and help you create a lasting impression on clients.
Be easy to work with
State what you will and cannot do before you are roped in on a specific assignment. Clearly state your expectations when you are starting modeling career. Put time in perfecting your craft. Doing so would save you and the client time, and they may be willing to pay you more for that reason. Clients love to work with such models that read their mind before they could utter a word.
Remember, beauty alone does not make you a great model. Clients look for beauty with brains that simply flows with their expectations. Unless you are a perfectionist in your industry, avoid attempting to coach the photographer or else you may end up in their black list. Of course, you do not want to be counted as time wasted for clients.
Professionals do not mind paying a higher price for a beauty with brains, because they will get exactly the shots they expect. If you have the skills & qualities they can appreciate and are amazing at what you do, you can launch a prosperous freelance modeling career.