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Finding the model agency to suit you

It never was so easy  - simply register with us and get your free model evaluation!Finding an agency may seem a daunting task – and it is. Modelling agencies routinely receive hundreds of applications every year, and of those, only a tiny fraction makes it through to an initial meeting, let alone the elusive contract signing. Success in finding an agency may be a numbers game, but those numbers are small.

So – modelling is a tough business, and finding a good agent is even harder. Why bother? A good agency will be like having your own personal cheerleading squad: they’re always on your side, and singing your praises to the outside world (pom-poms optional). As well as cutting you the best deal with clients, they will have contacts within the fashion industry that you won’t, they will hear about prospective jobs before you will, and are in short, simply indispensable. If you’re still not convinced, let me put it another way. The modelling industry has a great deal in common with the acting profession. An actor would never leave his career to chance, and neither should you.

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The first step in finding a suitable agency is to do your research.

What type of model do you want to be? (Hint: the answer isn’t ‘a good one’). Modelling is a tough business, but a business first and foremost. Models are commodities. When applying to an agency , you must know how to present yourself as a covetable commodity. It is a crowded marketplace already; to stand out you must sell yourself and sell yourself well. This primarily means targeting yourself at the right market to begin with.
The internet is the best tool at your disposal in terms of applying to modelling agencies . It can be used not only to sniff out agency contacts, but also used as an invaluable means of research.

While you are looking at an agency’s website, cast an eye over the models currently on their books. These are signposts to the aspiring model – do you (roughly) match the look of their current models? Be realistic about your own marketable appeal: if you are a girl-next-door type with a great smile, then a top-notch editorial agency may not be for you. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and shortcomings, but also be open-minded too: you may eventually find yourself in a very different sector of the industry than the one you thought you’d end up in. It is also a good idea to scour fashion magazines as part of your research too, and locate yourself within the current industry. If you are an edgy beauty who got teased at school for being gangly and awkward, you may find your place within the high-fashion world. If you are that smiley, girl-next-door type, you might like to note that commercial modelling can provide a highly rewarding (and lucrative) career. This research will also give you an invaluable insight as to what is already out there, and what may be missing.

While we’re at it, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the modelling industry is littered with breathless stories of discovery. Kate Moss was discovered at an airport; Jessica Stam was found at a coffee shop and Jourdan Dunn was scouted whilst shopping at Primark.
These stories have become the stuff of legend; and I would strongly advise you to disregard them. When another one crosses your path, stuff your ears and shut your eyes. Listening to them will do you no good whatsoever. Yes, these things do happen, but they do not happen often. The day-to-day reality of being ‘discovered’ is somewhat different – and much more like hard work.

Trust in your own perseverance, and it will stand you in good stead. Don’t get me wrong – all things are possible in an ever-expanding universe, but hard work will get you a lot further, faster.
This brings me to the essence of modelling: rejection. Agencies receive hundreds of applications (sometimes as many as 250 a day), so unless you are freakishly lucky, you will at some point experience rejection. Modelling is for the tough cookies of this world, and to succeed as a model, you will require stamina, resilience and the (metaphorical) skin of a rhino. Remember that line about having the metaphorical skin of a rhino and make it your mantra. But the key to handling rejection is......well, actually there’s no key. If you truly have a passion for modelling, it is important to realise that no rejection is actually personal: it is just business. It may feel deeply personal because your appearance is being judged, but agents do not base their decisions on their own likes or dislikes, merely what the market will bear and what the market lacks. Rejection sucks, but if you keep this in mind, it should sting a little less.

Being turned down for something that you feel passionate about is never easy, but it is possible to turn a ‘no’ to your advantage. Strategise: can you take something positive from this experience? Was the agency truly a good match in terms of your look? Is there a better one out there? If an agent offers you some constructive feedback, take it on board. If they offer you some practical advice, for example a different hair-cut, it may be worth your while exploring that option. Part of the beguiling nature of fashion is that it’s all about the right face at the right time – be prepared to be flexible in terms of your appearance. This could give you the edge you need.

Sometimes rejection is just delivered cold and blunt – take it on the chin as best you can and move on. Even the world’s most highly-paid and successful models are not right for every campaign or magazine, and every one of them has a story of how they were turned down by umpteen agencies before they met their perfect match. There are numerous agencies out there, each catering to a different area of the market. If you really have ‘it’, that indefinable something, you will eventually find your niche.
In conclusion, when shopping around for an agency, do your homework and be honest with yourself and your own marketable appeal. Be prepared for your fair share of rejection, but if you have what it takes, you will succeed. If may not happen overnight, but it will happen. Good luck!

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