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Friday, May 11, 2012

How I use Model Mayhem to Find Modeling Work

I get a lot of inquiries from models about how I've been able to use sites like Model Mayhem to find work. So I figured, why not lay out my exact routine? The steps below are exactly what my "routine" is when it comes to searching for modeling gigs on Model Mayhem through their "Casting/Travel" section:

Do an Advanced Search

I always do the Advanced Search option. This allows me to select what specific types of projects I'm looking for. The site then filters out the gigs that don't apply and only displays the ones that are relevant.

Here is how I personally customize my search:

I go to the section titled "Search Existing" and make sure the following options are selected for each sub-category:

1. Casting Calls (under Choose a Category)
2. Female Models (under Choose Artist Type(s))
3. United States --> California (under Choose a Location)...because I like to expand my results, I don't fill in the city or radius section, that way I can get casting details for not just the immediate area where I am but for other locations I travel to for work, like Los Angeles.
4. Click the "Show Advanced" link in the bottom right-hand corner

When the Advanced portion of the category expands, it provides additional options to select. From there, I select the following:

1. Casting Calls (under Include...this is automatically selected)
2. I make sure to check "No" for "Nudity?"

For the Compensation part, I always select "Paid" first. Then I go right to the red "Search" button and see what turns up.

Start Submitting

The first round of project submissions I do is always for MM gigs that are under the "Paid" category of the Advanced Search. I'll scroll through and start submitting myself for the opportunities I feel I'd have a good shot at. I make sure I read the posting thoroughly and follow each client's instructions for sending in my photos and info. Sometimes, they'll just want me to message them through the MM website directly or they'll provide a traditional email address to send my pictures and info to.

Search, Submit, Repeat

After I've exhausted all the possibilities for the Paid gigs, then I'll go back and redo the entire search process all over again. I do everything exactly the same, except for the second go-round, I'll select the "Negotiable" option under the Compensation category in the Advanced Search. Negotiable castings are exactly that: there is pay of some kind but it's usually worked out with the client once a model has been hired. Or they may ask me to provide my rate upfront and will try to work something out from there.

Once I've submitted myself to as many Negotiable projects as I can, then I repeat the entire search process a third time. For this last and final round, I do everything the same except I select the "TF" option from the Compensation category in the Advanced Search (are you sensing a recurring theme here? lol).

Why Search TF on MM?

Although I'll always put paying work first, I'll still search for castings under MM's TF category because oftentimes I'll come across a trade opportunity that would be a great benefit for my portfolio. I'm always thinking of concepts/themes/looks that I can update my portfolio with and although I can easily post my own casting call or reach out to my contacts to try and put together a shoot myself, it's way easier to find someone looking for models that's already got the planning part of the process taken care of.

The way I see it is, it's much more effective to submit myself for a TF gig, get booked and only have to show up instead of doing the casting process on my own and have to spend time contacting everybody individually. In this instance, TF castings on MM are golden because I'll get quality results (remember, MM allows you to view member portfolios) and I don't have to pay anyone since everybody on the project is trading their time and expertise for copies of the images for use in our portfolios.

Additionally, for each of these three rounds of casting searches, I only submit to projects on the first page of results. Since I submit regularly, I don't worry too much about missing the latest castings. Once in a blue moon I'll venture to the second page of results but usually those posts are already expired or stuff I've already submitted for.

So there you have it. That's my regular routine when looking for modeling work on Model Mayhem. :-)

PS: In case you're wondering how often I have to do this in order to get results, my answer is: constantly. I submit to MM gigs (paid, negotiable and TF) every other day. If I'm working from home, I'll often do a casting search twice a day (once in the morning and once before bed), that way I'm on top of all the most recent postings. I don't do this for one week and then not touch the site for a long time. I do this every other day on a weekly basis. Only by constantly submitting and contacting people can you really get the ball rolling. 

There's even been times when I didn't get a gig I submitted to on MM but was contacted at a later date/time for a different opportunity because the client liked my profile/portfolio. The results don't always reveal themselves right away. If you don't have the patience to devote to such methods or get frustrated easily after submitting for a few days and not hearing anything back, you won't get results. It's as simple as that.

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