There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #215

Gilberta Wrote:

Hi Dania!

I'm in a little bit of a pickle, and I was hoping you could help.

I have a friend who "attempted" to manage a few models for her start up clothing company/modeling agency venture. Because I'm an aspiring advertising photographer, I took photos of the men and women who modeled for her, and things worked out well. Until she moved to to Los Angeles (I live in San Diego), and stopped managing them or talking to them.
Well the models have been getting a lot of positive feedback on the photos that I took of them. I actually got them professional TFP photo shoots with other amazing local photographers, and casted in fashion shows. I felt like I was doing it as their friend, and to help them out with their careers. These models realize that I'm a networking junkie, and they want me to manage them full time. Here are my questions: A. How do I get people to take me seriously as a manager? I feel like I just got started in this biz! B. Is there anything I can do (besides read your blog profusely) to further my education in this business? Thanks in advance for your time:>) 

Hi, Gilberta! Sounds like you've got your hands full with this newfound business opportunity! I'll do my best to answer your questions but should you need additional help, you can always email me at: daniadenise@gmail.com. On to your first question...

In order for people to take your seriously as a manager you have to present and establish yourself. That means creating "branding" that people can associate with your name. Business cards, a website, Facebook profile page, Twitter, etc. It's all about social networking these days so use these outlets to your advantage to spread the word about your services. People use the Internet heavily for research and the more info they can find about you and what you do, the more comfortable they tend to feel when dealing with you, especially on business-related matters.

You'll also want to talk to a legal advisor/attorney, preferably one with experience in the modeling/acting/entertainment field to consult with you about the legalities involved, contracts, etc. Although you are representing the models as a friend, if you want to take your manager role to the next level, you have to establish a working business relationship with the models you're currently dealing with. And that means having a contract signed by both you and the model that clearly explains/outlines what your duties and responsibilities to them are and vice-versa, as well as what duties/responsibilities you are not responsible for (i.e. the contract does not guarantee work, nor does it mean they are an employee of your business). Once you create an identity for yourself and your business, including a website of some kind that shows the photos/headshots of the models currently on your roster, the easier it will be to boost your credibility. Having testimonials from the people you've worked with also never hurts.

For your second question, one way to immerse yourself in the modeling industry to better learn and understand it is to try and get an internship or volunteer type of position at a local modeling agency. You don't have to state that you're also a model manager (there's an obvious conflict of interest there) but being able to see how things work with bookers and their talent is a great way to get a first hand account of what it takes to establish a solid network of talent and clients. Or you could look into doing an internship at a casting agency (this type of agency interacts with both actors and models but differs from modeling agencies in the sense that they do not offer contracts or representation--they basically act as a middleman for clients looking for talent for their projects. The casting agency compiles a database of talent and works to alert people when there are projects being cast in their area that fits their "look"). If you don't have the time for such an activity or if you'd rather look into other alternatives, there are workshops that teach individuals how to become managers (or better ones if they already have experience). While there aren't any that specifically target modeling managers, with some searching, you should be able to find a workshop that addresses topics that are relevant to the nature of your business. It is important to further educate yourself on the business/managerial aspect just as much (if not more) as learning about the industry itself.

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