Promoting yourself as a contract model can turn out to be a rather difficult task.
Though, some models would rather promote themselves, or go “freelance”, compared to listing through an agency. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, it just requires a bit more work on your end for a bigger payout in the future. You must however stick to your goals.
With an agency, they handle all of your marketing and they can talk you up to big companies that are in need of models. They also take the heat when you can’t make it to a session or if you don’t “deliver” to the company’s standards for the end-product.
But, working with an agency can have major downfalls. Being an agency model can be much more hindering compared to “going freelance”. Some models need the space and freedom to manage themselves.
If you’re one who wants to manage themselves and wants to avoid all the “hubbub” of signing with a modeling agency, read on …
First things first…
In self promotion, the key to being a successful model is being having a standout portfolio.
After you’ve got a unique modeling portfolio made, the next step is to market yourself. Oftentimes you can use business cards and composite cards to get yourself out there. Along with websites and other social media.
Some important things to include on your modeling business cards, composite cards, and website(s) are…
A) Business Cards
You want to put as much pertinent modeling information as possible on your business cards in order to catch and keep the attention of possible clients. The best information to have is…
- Your name
- Contact information
- Email, phone number, and any other ways to contact you
- A short, concise, bullet point list of your physical attributes and any skills you have
- The type of modeling you focus on
- Your best modeling head shot (portrait) photo
- Your card is less likely to get thrown away if it has a photo of you on it, rather than if it’s just a plain card that looks the same as all of the others your possible client receives in a day.
B) Composite Cards
Composite cards can hold a lot of professional value. They essentially hold your shortened resume as a model on them. “Comp” cards can be the defining point between being considered a professional model and an amateur.
Below is a suggested set up of a composite card…
- Front – A large head shot with your name alongside it in bold lettering.
- Back – Four to six photos of your best modeling work. Include various indoor and outdoor shots along with a sensible body shot (swimwear or tight fitting clothing, no nudity).
The back of the card can also list your important information, including but not limited to…
- Contact info (phone number, email, website, etc.)
- Bust size / cup size
- Waist size
- Hip size
- Dress size
- Shoe size
- Hair color
- Hair length (short, shoulder length, long)
- Eye color
- Type of modeling you’re best at (i.e. commercial, fashion shows, catalog, promotional, etc.)
Side Note: Don’t feel as though you have to make your composite card all by yourself, there are plenty of card making agencies.
C) Modeling Websites
Modeling Websites are popular for established freelance models. They offer a more permanent way of letting a client see your work compared to business and composite cards.
How do you know when to start paying for your website?
Should you pay to have your own website or just join one of the many free “website making” sites online?
This answer all depends on how many clients you’re “reining in” and how much of a budget you have to work with.
It’s always a great idea to have a modeling website but how much time and money you put into it is completely up to you. Do you have plenty of photos and experience to show off? Focus on your website!
Do you need to pay for a wider range of modeling shots or even some modeling classes? Invest in those and come back to your website and improve it tenfold in the future!
You can also sign up for a modeling site. Some of which include…
One Model Place & Model Mayhem
Both of those sites provide a basic free package or a paid premium package. Either way, this can be a less costly way to promote yourself and even just see how “in demand” your brand is.
A Word of Caution
A cautionary word regarding putting your modeling photos online…
Remember to remain safe when putting your photos online and be sure to look into how reputable any possible clientele are before you give them too much personal information.
If you’re under eighteen years of age, place your parents’ contact information on any forms you give possible modeling clients and have them handle any incoming offers.
Never meet a potential consumer alone. Take a parent or friend with you so you can be sure that your potential client is trustworthy and will have you working in a safe environment.
There are countless ways to self-promote in the modeling worlds like: contacting malls for fashion shows or catalog work, jewelry stores, hair salons, etc.
This is your time to begin in turning into a true, working model. Constantly strive to find new, creative ways to get you, and your modeling career, out there!
Remember, you could be the best model in the world, but if you don’t know how to promote yourself as a freelancer, all your talent and work will be in vain!