Getting started in the modeling industry is not an easy feat. Aside from the physically limiting aspects, it also takes a specific type of character to succeed in this challenging yet wonderful industry. Having a strategy is better than winging it, and having some tricks in your arsenal to help you succeed will only improve your chances of making it.
Here are 5 tips to help you navigate the modeling industry:
Know Your Strengths
In a world where everyone is pretty, finding something about yourself that sets you apart from others and using that to your advantage will help set you apart from the rest of the pretty faces. This may be something physical- like a gap in your teeth, or something about your character- like the ability to engage with those around you.
There are also many different types of modeling, so it’s important to know where your particular look fits in. Commercial models have a very different style compared to high fashion models. If your look is more commercial but you’re trying to make it in the high-fashion world, you may be fighting an uphill battle. Be honest with yourself about your abilities to ensure you give yourself the best chance of success.
Hearing the word “no” far more than you ever hear the word “yes” is just part of the modeling game. It is easy to feel defeated when it seems like all you’re getting is rejection, but by being persistent you’re going to eventually get some yesses. If models gave up after being rejected a few times, we would never have any supermodels! It is important to remember all models go through this; no one is the right pick for every opportunity. Have faith in your talent and don’t give up!
Find a Great Agency
Finding a good, supportive agency is critical to your success in the industry. There are so many agency options out there, but doing the research and finding the one(s) that are professional and successful is key to helping you succeed. Agencies aren't a one-size-fits-all, so finding one you can work well with is really important as they have a direct impact on your career.
Put in the Work
The modeling industry is not for everyone. It demands individuals who have a strong work ethic and have an understanding that rejection and criticism (often negative) is just part of the job. You’re not just going to wake up and be a huge success, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to get to that point. Especially in the beginning, you're not going to be making a ton of money from your bookings so many models have jobs outside the modeling industry to help keep up with the bills. Because of this, burnout and exhaustion are common, so if constantly hustling isn't your thing, the modeling industry is not one you really want to get into.
Also, keeping tabs with the industry as a whole to make sure you’re keeping yourself relevant requires constant research and attention to what’s going on in the fashion world. Don’t slack off on these things as it could end up costing you a booking or two!
In all honesty, modeling is not much different than an athletic sport. You must constantly practice everything- your poses, your runway walk, your self-tapes… You are never at a point where you can’t improve something!