When you’re trying to get into the modeling industry, finding the right agency to represent you is essential to a successful career. However, not all agencies are created equally. Making sure you find the right fit for you is very important.
The first step to finding the right agency is asking yourself what type of career you’d like to have, as this will affect what type of agency you should sign with. Some things to consider are if you want to do more commercial modeling work or be more editorial? Do you want to only do runway, or both runway and print? And one of the most important questions to ask yourself is- do you want to work with international agencies or stay local?
Keeping those questions in mind, read below for some tips on finding the right agency for you!
Do Your Research
Before you submit photos or attend an Open Call, be sure to research the agency. Every reputable agency will have a website, so make sure you thoroughly check it out. See what type of models they represent and work they’ve done, and also pay attention to the professionalism of the website. Also, be sure to see if you can find any online reviews about the agency and/or talk to other current and previously signed models. The best way to get a feel for the agency is talking to people that have experience working with them and will give honest opinions. I have models reach out to me all the time about the agencies I’m signed with, and I am always happy to share both good & bad experiences I’ve had.
Visit More than One Agency
Don’t limit yourself to just one agency visit, instead, see as many as you possibly can. You are talking about signing a contract for someone to manage your career, so it is so important to see what all your options are. Use the research you’ve done to create a list of agencies you feel like would be a good fit for you, and figure out the best way to meet with them.
You should be aware that the majority of agencies don’t accept walk-ins. Many will host Open Call days (some regularly and some rarely), and almost all agencies have a “Get Scouted” or “Become a Model” page on their website where you can submit photos. If they are interested, they will reach out to you to set up an in-person visit/interview.
When you get a one-on-one meeting with a potential agent, don’t be shy about asking questions. Important things to ask are:
How long has the agency has been in business?
Who are some of their regular clients?
What is the average number of jobs their models book in a month?
What markets do they represent in (commercial/editorial/runway)?
Do they only market locally or do they also do national/international?
Also keep in mind that you will be signing a legal contract, so make sure you fully understand what that entails and pay attention to any ‘fine print’ items.
What’s the Vibe
When you visit an agency, pay attention to the atmosphere. If there is a receptionist, were they welcoming or rude when you entered? Does the agency office look professional? When you met with the agent/booker, were they engaged while they were meeting with you or were they constantly on their phone or computer? These are all important things to take note of because it could be signs of how they will treat you as a model. You want an agency that has a friendly and professional staff and an agent that supports you and is fully engaged in your career.
Be Wary of Upfront Fees/Required ‘Classes’
It is pretty standard for agencies to deduct expenses for things like comp cards, test shoots, and/or website fees from your paychecks once you start getting jobs. What you need to look out for, is any agency that requires you to pay any administrative, registration or consultation fees upfront, or if they push you do pay for ‘mandatory’ modeling & acting lessons. This is a major red flag, as most reputable agencies will do model development in-house at no cost to the models.
Choosing the right modeling agency is just the initial step in your modeling career, and even doing all the research and signing to your ‘perfect’ agency won’t guarantee you success. How successful you will become entirely depends on you and the work you put into it. Many models will leave an agency with complaints that they never got any work, but sometimes this is because they expected the agents to do everything for them. All an agent can do is get you in front of the right clients and give you the tools & guidance to best market yourself, it’s up to YOU to use those tools and book the job!
Finding the right agency, may seem easy, but it isn’t a walk in the park. It took a really bad agency experience and a few open calls for me to find the two great agencies I am with now, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately find what you’re looking for! I hope the tips above help you find a perfect fit to the agency you’ve always wanted!
You can also read the full story of how I got started in modeling here!