Remember that this is a business and when you contact a modeling agency you need to present yourself in a professional manner.
Follow the tips below to help improve your chances of getting signed.
1. Don’t contact a modeling agency by email unless their web site specifically requests you to do so
Do not call the agency unless their web site specifically asks you to do so. The best method is via regular mail. Send a short letter of introduction along with your comp card and resume if you have one.
2. Do your due diligence
If you are not at least 5’10″ AND visiting agencies in New York, make sure you have a modeling portfolio and comp card prepared before contacting modeling agencies. Do your research in advance and make sure that your photos represent the market that you are trying to work in.
3. Don’t be on time – Be early – 15 minutes early
If you are attending an open call – do not show up 15 minutes before the end of the open call. Arrive NO LATER than 1 hour before the end of the open call. Open calls can often be grueling for agents. By the end they are ready to go home for the day. You don’t want to make your first impression under those conditions.
4. You should dress simply in solid colored clothing
You want the agents to see you, not your taste. A simple solid colored blouse or sweater is best. Wear dress pants or attractive jeans. No mini skirts, torn or faded jeans, NO FASHION STATEMENTS!
Do not show off a lot of cleavage.
Wear makeup – but do not over do it. Too much mascara and false eyelashes belong on the street corner.
Your hair should look its best – clean and full bodied.
You may wear heels but keep them short to medium height – no stillettos – you will only cause the agency to think that you are lying about your height.
What do you do when you arrive and find a lot of other people with teased hair, too much makeup and mini-skirts that look like they belong on a street corner? Carry yourself with confidence – your efforts will be noticed as will you. The agency will be laughing at the others.
5. Never wear jewelry
As a model – you are not being hired for your fashion sense. You want the agency staff to see you and not what you are wearing.
Most booking agents are female and what is the first thing a woman will look at? Your jewelry or fashion taste. What do most women do when they look at someone’s jewelry or fashion choices? You will be judged on your jewelry or fashion choice instead of your potential as a model. Make sure that they see you and only you–leave the shiny baubles at home.
6. Smile a lot – show lots of personality.
The agent will decide in the first 30 seconds if they like your looks.
If you have lasted past 30 seconds and they haven’t kicked you to the curb it means that they either like you or are just being polite. Either way – from this point on – it is not about how pretty you are. You need to impress them with how you present yourself. Sit up straight in the chair, smile, and make lots of eye contact. Speak clearly and do NOT tell them your life story. Do you really think they care?
7. Take notes
This is not college – do not bury your head in your notebook and ignore the person who is talking to you, but do be sure to jot down important information.
8. Ask lots of questions
Do NOT make your first or last question “How much does each job pay?” In fact – do NOT ask that question at all.
There is a lesson that is taught to all journalists. . . Never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to. Live by this rule. Do your research in advance. Ask questions that will make you seem intelligent and business like.
9. If you don’t understand something – ASK them to repeat it or explain it
Remember what you learned in grade school. The only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask.
If an agent tells you something they expect you to understand it and remember it. There is no shame in asking for someone to repeat something or to explain it. They understand that you are new to the business.
Whatever you do – don’t walk out of the office without understanding something that they have explained to you. Guaranteed that is a mistake that will come back to haunt you later.
10. Ask for feedback
It doesn’t matter if they love you or hate you, most agencies are horrible at giving constructive feedback. So regardless of the outcome of your meeting – ask for input regarding what you can do to improve your portfolio, your appearance, your over all presentation. Anything that they feel may help to make you more marketable.
If you do not ask for feedback you have completely wasted your time.
Ok, I know the title of the article says 10 Tips, but there is one more important step to making a great first impression with an agency.
11. Send a follow-up thank you note
If you have the email address for the booking agent who you met feel free to use email, otherwise send a note via regular mail. Keep it short sweet and simple.
If you are emailing – always attach a copy of your comp card in jpeg format. Make sure that it is no more than 800 pixels at its largest dimension. Agencies do not appreciate receiving ridiculously large files in their email.
Ok. .ok. . . one more tip. This should be a no brainer but in today’s cell phone crazed world it is worth the reminder.
12. TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF!!!
Recommended Reading about Modeling Agencies
- How do I find a modeling agency?
- How to contact modeling agencies
- How to make a great first impression with a modeling agency
- 10 Mistakes NOT To Make When Contacting A Modeling Agency
- Never pay a modeling agency
- I’ve been signed by an agency – Now what?