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How to Become a Model: Understanding the Modeling & Talent Agencies

How to Become a Model: Understanding the Agencies

Since the modeling industry is a rather competitive one, the best of the best modeling agencies are constantly if not always looking for new talents as well as aspiring models that haven’t been discovered by their competition yet so that they can make them and in actuality themselves a star again as well. What we are trying to tell you here that as a model if you find the right modeling agency, you hit jackpot where your career is concerned.

The benefit with being discovered with a well-known modeling agency is that it helps you build up your portfolio with the help of the constant opportunities that you are offered. This then leads to and opens up a lot of career doors. One day you could simply be doing shoots and the next day doing catwalks as well as advertisement campaigns. If you want to be and can strive hard enough for it, you can become a goldmine girl for a modeling agency which basically means that they agency will only be taking 20% of all the money you make out of the gigs that you do.

We know that you are a little scared because this is all so new and one single step that if is taken wrongly could potentially end your career but the thing you need to remember is that all the big supermodels you see on TV these days started small somewhere. The main thing here is that they started somewhere which is what you need to do too because when you are in a business like this you need to take small and steady steps and not big leaps. You can start from point 1 and immediately jump to point 9, you have to climb the ladder to success on step at a time.

You might not know these stories but we are about to tell you how some of your most well-known actresses and models were discovered so stick around and make some popcorn.

  1. Kate Moss who now earns a total of $4.5 million a year was discovered at JFK airport.
  2. Gisele Bundchen who earns a total of $44 million a year was discovered in a mall in Brazil.
  3. Adriana Limo who earns a total of $9 million a year was discovered after she did entered a Ford modeling competition.
  4. Kate Kloss who earns a total of $5 million a year was discovered in a charity fashion show.

The whole point of sharing this information with you was so you understand the importance of modeling agencies. When these models entered this business on their own they were next to nobodies but with the help of the right set of grooming tools and the right modeling agencies, they are now in the list of the top models of the world. You can be a part of that elite group but you have to first understand the factors that go into play when gaining the attention of a modeling agency and convincing them that you are worth signing.

Are You Instagram Famous?
As we mentioned earlier that the modeling industry is as competitive as any other that revolves around marketing which is why you will constantly find one movie actress pitted against another trying as hard as possible to ensure that the latter’s fan following isn’t bigger than the formers which is why when a modeling or a talent agency goes out to find new talent, they pay much more attention to the Instagram popular divas who don’t have to compete against anyone to build a fan following themselves and can simply do so without anyone’s help.

Competition might get you places but it will never get you as high as pure talent will. This is something that speaks to modeling agencies on a personal level which is why in the starting of your career you need to ensure that you are wat they call “social media active” and up to date with all the trends and styles because once you are, your Instagram page will be a success in no time at all. Once you build your fan following, modeling agency scouts will be all over it trying to figure out a way to land you.

This doesn’t mean that you resort to cheap tactics to become famous which is what most fashion crazed women do. Don’t bare yourself for attention, instead of this let your talent speak for itself.

Since we live in an age where technology is everything, we have a list of tips that we have gathered from the top modeling agencies themselves that will help you get an idea as to how to be signed so get your notebooks out and start taking notes, ladies and gentlemen.

This industry is all about keeping up to date with who’s who and what’s what. You don’t do your homework one day and you will miss your exam the day after. This is why most modeling scouts out there suggest that you do some research on the top modeling agencies to know which one it is that you are fishing for. Once you find out a name, you are to then look up their contact details so you can get a lay of the land and see what their hiring process is, anonymously of course.

Don’t Waste Your Money
When most newbie models are entering the industry they make the grave mistake of spending big bucks on private professional shoots so that they can add those pictures into their portfolios. We agree on the importance of portfolios but we aren’t going to go so far as to say that you need to waste all that money on big shoots of your own because that’s what it is: a waste of your time and resources. Most modeling agencies will settle for everyday pictures or simply a 6o second video that shows them what you look like and really it is just that simple so don’t make it heavy on your pockets.

Opt for Simplicity
When you take a picture for your portfolio don’t go for a lot of makeup and over-styled hair. That can put a damper on things. What modeling agencies want to see is what you look like. It is sort of like the base that a building is going to be built upon later, building being makeup and hair. When you over-style your hair and go overboard with makeup then it is difficult to make out your cheekbones and features.

No Need for a Middle Man
You might have heard that the original meaning often gets lost when there are too many messengers involved which is exactly what happens when a model has a middle man that is scouring through modeling agencies for him or for her. They often tend to delay processes for their own personal gains which is why you need to take matters into your own hand and contact the agency yourself. We say this because we understand the importance of time and how crucial it is to jump precisely when an opportunity presents itself and that someone else can benefit from it if you aren’t quick enough to avail it.

Your Persona
Despite what people might tell you, being a model isn’t all about looks. Although looks do play a major role in landing you a role in top modeling agencies, it is your intellect that helps you stay there. This is why we suggest that you share your thoughts and your dreams in captions under your Instagram posts so they can act as a social portfolio of you when a scout comes looking. Don’t hesitate to post goofy pictures of yourself because it doesn’t matter unless you look gorgeous and your caption isn’t dumb. This will also help you bank more followers not only on Instagram but also on your twitter page.

The thing that most people crave for when they are a part of industries like these are a voice which though previously wasn’t possible, it now is with the help of all the social media sites that literally everyone uses. Use your social media platforms to talk so that people know who you are and when they can relate to you, they will want to follow you.

The Legal Side of it All
Contracts are a major part of your career and they come second to portfolios as they define the terms and agreements of your employment in a particular agency. This is why we suggest that before

Before you get swept up in your potential modeling career, read the fine print on your contract. Most agencies out there will add specific parts in a contract to ensure that if you ever want out of the contract before your term is over that you can’t just because you signed a contract.

Though it can be rather exciting to have received your first ever contract but one single clause and you will be stuck forever which is why since you are new to the modeling industry and all the agencies, we feel the need to elaborate some of the aspects of your contract that you need to keep an eye out for.

The Contract Term
This is the first thing that you need to keep an eye out for which is how long you are committing yourself. The standard contracts with modeling agencies require you to do a minimum of three to seven years before leaving. Our reason for paying attention to this detail is because it could potentially define your future in a manner so big that you probably hadn’t imagined. If during the contract term you become unhappy with the agency and want out, you can’t possibly do that because of the legal complications which would mean that you have to simply as these new age people would put it “suck it up”, move on and endure until the contract expires.

This becomes even more complicated if modeling is your part time job because often breaking a contract in the middle of your term means that you have to pay a hefty fine which usually stops most people from ever signing out in the first place. This is why for a newbie, it is exceptionally important to ensure that the years that you sign up for, you can actually commit to the agency for. For starters we would suggest that you negotiate yourself into a two year deal to see if you are cut out for the commitment or not.

Termination and Escape Policies
At the start of the negotiation when you are negotiating the terms of your contract, we suggest that you ask the agency what their policies on termination are and what you are allowed to do if you are not happy with their services or with the earnings that you make while you are associated with them. This might sound like we are asking to ensure that you have an escape plan but in reality we just want you to have a backup plan so you don’t let anyone walk all over you.

To further explain this, we want you to understand that most modeling agencies out there have an escape clause that says that if a model isn’t happy with the services say after 4 months into the contract of a year that she can terminate the contract without any legal complication or fine.

The only reason you will know if or not there is such a clause is if you have awareness of this sort of thing which after reading this we are sure you will have. So make it a priority to discuss this clause before you sign any contract. You can also use this negotiating period to ensure that you get a good deal as you haven’t yet signed on.

The Exclusivity of Your Contract
Most agencies when hiring ensure that the models know that once they sign on with them, they can’t take on any projects without their knowledge which means bye-bye freelance work. When you are under an exclusive contract like that it means that you will not be able to take on any work unless the agency that you are working for says it is okay to, after which a percentage of your earning goes to them. Though this is how it usually works, you can work this clause out of your contract at the time of negotiation.

The reason for this is that it can limit you from many opportunities out there. If you are glued to one company and a better one approaches you for a one-time project, what are you going to say? You aren’t going to say no because if it isn’t you on the cover of that magazine it will be someone else that is probably your competition. In this industry you take opportunities as they come your way but you don’t do it unless you are absolutely sure that your agency allows it in your legal contract.

Percentage Commissions
As we mentioned earlier on, when an agency hires you obviously there has got to be something in it for them too and there is. Once you are signed on by a modeling agency, a percentage of your earning goes to them which is usually 10% or above. These are also terms that are to be negotiated at the time when other terms such as escape clause and exclusivity are being negotiated. This is your time and you need to make the most of it before you are stuck in a legal contract that forces you to pay a percentage of your earnings to the agency that you don’t think is fair at all.

Payment: When and How
The worst situation that you can be a part of is a gig that you aren’t sure is going to pay either when or how. Before signing your contract, discuss the terms of payment and suggest a mode that you feel is comfortable for you. If you are working with an agency that is a franchise of a union then you can benefit from that majorly as a job like that usually pays up within 10 to maybe 30 days after the day of your shoot which means that you don’t have to wait longer than a month. Most agencies out there make models wait for months before actually finalizing payments which could potentially sink your ship if you are a beginner. This is why it pays to have knowledge like this.

There are also clauses in contracts that allow agencies to withhold payments until the client pays up but you can eliminate that if you negotiate at the time of signing the contract. We suggest that if you are a beginner then you should refrain from signing with any agency that doesn’t pay within a month of the shoot.

We know and understand that it is a lot to take in and remember but the thing is that this is an industry in which knowledge is everything. We hope that with the information that we have provided you, you understand the importance of portfolios, shoots, agency scouts and contracts along with all the legal loops you possibly could get stuck in due to the lack of knowledge and that now you will take wiser steps towards success.

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