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Interviewing Modeling Agencies

When models are looking into agencies, they often forget that they should be interviewing an agency just as much as the agency is interviewing them. Even though the agency is the one getting you in front of clients and booking you jobs, they can’t make money unless you book jobs and pay them, so it’s important you sign with an agent that you respect and work well with. You don’t want to just sign with any agency that will offer you a contract.

Photo by Alex Todd

An agency meeting is very much like a job interview, and it’s important that you are professional and prepared. They will ask you a number of questions, so it’s best to do some research on the agency you’re visiting prior to meeting with them. You also need to have some questions prepared to ask them, and never hesitate to ask the agent to repeat something or explain it further. Joining an agency is a big deal, and you need to be 100% clear on what you’re signing up for!

Below are 5 great questions to ask an agency during your meeting:

Who are some of your top clients?

Hearing about the agency’s clients will help give you insight into the types of jobs they're booking for their models. Are they big-name clients, or are they smaller less known clients? Some agencies focus more on commercial types of bookings, while others may focus more on editorial and high-fashion bookings. What type of market the agency is located in has a big influence on what types of clients they have, so being aware of that is always helpful when going into an agency meeting.

What are your commission rates?

Modeling agencies make their money off commission they take from the checks you receive for bookings. The standard is 20%-25%, but that can vary a bit depending on what type of market you're in. Anything over that standard may be a bit of a red flag, so it's important to know what the average rate for your area is.

What types of jobs do you book for your models, and how busy are they?

It’s helpful to know the different types of modeling jobs the agency books for their models so you can get an idea of what types of jobs you may be doing if you end up signing with them. Is it mostly print work? Ecommerce? Do they book for any runway shows? Also knowing how busy their modes are is also important as it can help you gage the consistency of bookings they are getting and how demanding the market is in that area.

Do you have connections in other markets?

Based on your goals as a model, it’s good to know if an agency has connections in other markets as well for you to potentially sign to. You have a much higher chance of being considered for other agencies when you get a direct referral from your current agent than you do trying to submit to them on your own. When an agency has good connections, it will help you expand your reach and bring in more job opportunities.

How many models are on your roster?

The size of the agency is almost as important as its reputation. Large agencies with a lot of models on its roster may have an endless stream of bookings coming in to keep them busy, or they could have too many models and they aren't being kept busy enough. You also may not get the attention you would like because the agents are too busy managing too many models. While a small boutique sized agency may sound like more your fit, they may not have the big client list the larger agencies have but you may get more attention from your agent and be kept busy. It’s important that you weigh the pros and cons and find the fit that’s best for you.


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