Think bigger tip for the day: It’s not about what you are but about what you will become.
Congratulations! You’ve found an agency you feel safe with and they’re excited to cultivate business for you. Here’s a few important items to remember.
- Communicate. If something doesn’t feel right, say something. If you’re unsure about a casting or a change in appearance, say something. If you’re not clear on business procedure or how you get paid, say something. Your agent wants to see you succeed.
- Trust the development. Your agents job is to take what you already have and transform it into an image that’s profitable. Follow their lead, they are the professionals and know what it takes to create a model and what the industry is currently looking for.
- Take charge of your business. It is not your agents job to run your business. Their job is to find opportunities for you to work and then negotiate any deals that come from them. You enter into an agreement based on that arrangement. Do not expect them to help you finding an apartment, open a bank account for you, or handle the expenses and hiring of money managers, business managers, tax accountants and lawyers.
- Brand yourself. Modeling agents handle the business of modeling. They do not have the time or resources to brand you and build out other businesses based on your modeling success. If you want to expand into another area of the fashion business, we have some great resources for you to reach out to.
- You are your boss. As a model, you are in control of your image. You have the power to say no. You pay your agents a percentage of the work they get for you but this does not mean that they are solely responsible for your career. Don’t forget that.
- Your boyfriend and your mother are not your agent. It’s a lot of pressure to run a business and everyone wants a piece of the pie. It’s important that when you get overwhelmed or confused or simply need solid advice, reach out to professionals.
- Be professional. Showing up for the relationship is a mutual responsibility. If you’ve decided that you want a certain agent to represent you, then allow them to do their job. Show up on time for castings. Show up on set on time. Be presentable. Bring your book with you. Communicate any problems that may arise immediately if you cannot do these things. Your agents will help you do your job better if you are willing to work with them.
- Get a lawyer. Start shopping for a lawyer now. You may not need it yet but you hopefully will in the future. It’s better to have an established relationship for when you need the help rather than scrambling to find it.
- Hire a business manager or accountant. This is necessary. Unless you come from a family with a solid financial background and education, you’ll need someone on your team that you can trust to help you manage and invest your money. Don’t rely on your agents to do this for you. They won’t.
- Celebrate! This is the start of a new adventure! Be proud of what you’ve already accomplished. There’s lots of learning lessons coming you way. Pay attention and take what you learn and apply it. Don’t wait for anyone to give you permission to grow.All images courtesy of Next, Elite, One, IMG and Ford Models.