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Advice for Any Model Trying to Get to the Next Step in the Modeling Industry

Your dedication and commitment are #1 for securing agency representation and networking is the key to getting what you want in the modeling industry. 

Over the past few days, I’ve received a lot of messages (random) via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and text message about the modeling industry. I’ve decided to combine a few questions in this article. 

What goes into agency digitals/snapshots or Polaroids and makes them unique? Should I print ZED/comp cards? I have comp card and modeling business cards, how do I start getting jobs? Can you help me get signed? I’ve come to a stand still with people interested in me, what do I do next? All of the above questions are great questions. I have recommendations; however the advice doesn’t work if you don’t take the steps and commit to doing the work! 

The first thing you should start with is your attitude. I know you’ve heard the phrase, “Attitude is Everything.” Well, it is! If you go into any situation without a positive outlook and bad energy, you get what you put out into the universe. I recommend you read, ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie‘. It’s not a book on modeling. It will change your life, and you will acquire the things you dream about with faith and a positive mindset. 

Over the course of my career, I’ve talked to hundreds, if not thousands of models, around the world. One thing in common with a lot of models is not truly putting in the work to get from point A to point B. The modeling industry isn’t easy and requires a lot of networking and being in the right place at the right time. Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you went to an event (doesn’t have to be just for models) and networked? A portfolio, comp cards, and modeling business cards don’t mean anything if you’re not using them. 

You have to put yourself out there for people to recognize you. Do you have a Blog, a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Pinterest or any of the FREE social media outlets? Are you updating it weekly (2-3 times a week)? If not, this is a problem. You have to allow the world to hear your voice and see you visually. Post your accomplishments and follow people you admire or people that inspire you. Send them a message and express it. The feedback speaks volumes. Do not over expose yourself. You have to present stuff in small doses. No one wants to be bombarded with pictures of you too often. Allow people to miss you. 

I recommend unsigned models get comp cards (business size) because they are most cost effective, and you will recycle them more without breaking the bank. If you insist on doing full-size comp cards, only use them when you’re going to a paying job or castings. Allow the casting director/agency to have something to use in their decision-making process. If you don’t have a website, GET ONE. My favorite cost effective sites for models are www.format.com or www.virb.com. Get a personal URL/domain name (ex. www.yourname.com). It makes it easy for people to find you and it’s easy to link up to any of my website suggestions. 

Most models I know want to be signed by an agency. If you are seeking representation solely on the fact that you just want to be signed to an agency and secure validation, then you are going to end up signing with the wrong modeling agency and person. Do not show desperation. People prey on this.

What’s the purpose of you getting signed to a modeling agency? You need to have professional representation with an agency that believes in you and will mold you into the model that will better your chances at booking jobs. Remember it’s a partnership. Do not build an ego thinking just because you are signed; you still have to network. Show a sense of gratitude. You’re hot one day and tomorrow you may not be relevant. 

Great digital snapshots or Polaroids are important because this shows who you are without makeup, special lighting, and retouching. Clients don’t like surprises when it comes to booking talent. Photograph your digitals in natural light. You must have great skin. As Creative Director for OBVIOUS Magazine, the first thing I look at is your skin and your eyes. Everything else is secondary. We don’t want to spend a lot of time retouching someone with bad skin. If you don’t have the best skin, see a dermatologist. I cover a lot of this for male models in my book: The Modeling Handbook: The Branding Guide for Male Models. I’m working on a new book entitled, “#WorkingModel. Expected to drop sometime in 2017. 

You cannot seek help from me if you’re not helping yourself. Due to my schedule, it prevents me from helping as many people as I would like. However, I do make a commitment to help others and give back when I can. I live by this motto every day: ‘You have to do the work to earn your blessings’. When a respected person gives you sound advice, value it and make it work in your favor. You cannot complain about things not working for you if you’re not putting energy into the process. 

As a model, you are a brand. A lot of companies/clients will hire you because they believe your brand (likeness) will sell a product. You have to make sure that you’re on your A-Game at all times so you can attract other clients. 

When you come to a stand still, revamp your image and portfolio. You can tone your body, cut your hair or dye your hair, become edgier (if your look calls for it), create your personal website that READS model, etc. I’m also a fan of models who set up their own professional, creative, well-designed products to include calendars, t-shirts, planners, etc.

Always present the best products and imagery. There are relationships to build and money to be made. You have to align your mind and body to attract it to you.

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