THE TRUTH ON HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF AND FIND AN AGENT
By Traci Halvorson- -copyright material
**COMING SOON IN BOOK & DVD*
Welcome to the glamorous world of modeling! Did you know that the Modeling profession is one of the least known occupations and one of the hardest to break into? How to begin and find an agent is THE most asked question! There are many misconceptions on how to begin this journey--so let's start by the TRUTH on how to approach the modeling industry on a budget…
STEP 1: Examine yourself carefully to determine what category of modeling you fit in: Be honest with yourself! Be open to critique and change should you enter this field. Skin must be clear; teeth must be white, hair in good condition and body toned!
Fashion Model: Tall (5'7-6'0), slender, young (ages 13-25) *Agents prefer you debut yourself while in high school to compete with the high fashion, global market. This category has strict measurement requirements and models are size 4, 6 or 8.
Commercial Model: Average or Petite height, open age, slender, average weight. No age or size/weight restrictions apply for commercial models.
Two things both of these model categories have in common: They are BOTH VERY PHOTOGENIC and the skin, hair and teeth are all in excellent condition. **Remember if you want to be in PRINT ADS--you must LOOK GREAT and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
This is not just for fashion models--it is for ALL models.
Both of these model categories, once they find an agent--must obtain a portfolio and purchase a ZED or COMP card. These are required tools…. no matter what!
**HMM AGENCY REPS BOTH TYPES OF MODELS**
STEP 2: Once you have determined what your "category" is -- now it is time to get the phone book and start calling. BE AWARE of newspaper ads--AGENTS do not advertise this way. Call all the agencies listed in your city or the next largest city to you. Ask them what is the age and HT requirement for their fashion print or commercial print division. You can also search the Internet for a directory.
**MOST AGENCIES ask that you SNAIL MAIL 4 snapshots with your stats and phone number. If a modeling "company" asks to meet you in person without
pre-screening you, 100% possibility they will "sell you a program" and they are NOT an agency. You can ask on the phone--if they are a licensed talent agency, if they say yes--you will have two options: MAIL PICS or ATTEND OPEN CALL. Open call is a specific DAY & TIME when new faces can come to the agency for a free, 5-minute critique and consultation. Many agencies have Open Call -- so ask them for details. However, you can only attend OPEN CALL if you meet their age and Height requirements. Most children agencies in California do not have OPEN CALL.
STEP 3: Once you have narrowed down the exact agencies you want to approach, you will need to take some photos with you to OPEN CALL. Take some snapshots or Polaroid's (clear and color only) and bring them with you or snail mail 4-6 shots of you: Headshot, smiling, and a few body shots.
Include a cover letter, ALL your stats, FEMALES: (HT, WT, AGE, SIZE, SHOE SIZE, HAIR & EYE COLOR and Bust, Waist, Hip Measurements--if you know them) For MEN: Stats include (HT, WT, AGE, JACKET SIZE, NECK, SLEEVE, WAIST and INSEAM) Please include your telephone number and email address--some agents use this method now! (WE DO) You can ask the agency if they accept PICS via email--some do. (WE DON'T)
Don't forget that Self Addressed Stamped Envelope! This is how agents reply! Expect a return letter or a phone call 2-6 weeks after submitting. This is called "marketing yourself" so don't forget to make your snail mail package as professional as possible. Send your package: ATTENTION NEW FACES.
STEP 4: Once an agency has called to meet with you, look your best and bring any recent photo's you might have. Do NOT wear a lot of make-up, jewelry, perfume or cologne. Choose an outfit that flatters your figure and look sharp!
At this point it is still okay that you do not have a portfolio or marketing card. IF however, you do have a card or portfolio, please bring these to the interview. If you have attended a modeling school---it is possible they have helped you attain these tools. Don't forget--that if you already have these tools--an AGENT can reject it--and advise you to test again. They insist b/c they want you "marketed" the way that will get you HIRED by a client! (Both of you are in this to make money).
Are YOU a moneymaker for a model & talent agency?
STEP 5: IF an agent gives you the green light--and wants to work with your or sign you, it is in your best interest to take their advice, shoot with their photographers, and have them make the card their way. There are no guarantees that you will get work through any talent agency--but the agents are going to make sure you have the BEST card and portfolio. Without these tools, you don't exist in the modeling industry. Please keep in mind that competition is fierce and EVERYONE has a fabulous portfolio. Most models shoot frequently to stay current with the latest trends. Never let your image or your portfolio get old! If you don't stay current at the agent's request, you will be dismissed.
The main financial investment a model makes is toward their portfolio--then travel! These tests and the *Zed/Comp cards are all required and YOU must pay for them. These required tools are a so keep all receipts year round. Most often, acting classes and workshops are also a tax-deduction. Model training is optional, and the least cost for the most help is the best solution--should you choose to attend a school. Once again, a modeling school program is optional--not required by agencies!
Many agents like new faces experienced. Agencies do NOT offer training--so do your homework, and learn the terminology--it will be useful when talking with an agent. *If any of these tools appear to be "free" verify immediately--most often it is not free--but "advanced" and you will still owe money for these items.
In closing, challenging as it may seem, the modeling industry==once you are in--can be very rewarding with financial bookings and travel opportunities. To get to the top you must have a professional approach: A great attitude, a great book, a great smile and overall business savvy. Everyone you meet counts! It's not always beauty that gets booked, but a very well packaged "image."
No mater how much competition is out there, always remember: YOUR BEST FEATURE IS CONFIDENCE!
Good luck everyone!