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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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Friday, May 4, 2012

Using Formality When Communicating With Modeling Agencies

It's difficult for newbie models, especially young ones, to put the whole modeling industry into the right perspective when first starting out. The idea of strutting down catwalks, appearing in photoshoots and seeing published images of themselves in magazines is overwhelming, which often causes new models to overlook a lot of the "little things" that are much more important during this process.

I receive tons of emails and Facebook messages from so many aspiring models and there's one central theme I keep noticing: the lack of formality in their correspondence. Let me make one thing clear before any of you readers think that you're doing something wrong: when contacting me, it isn't supposed to be super formal--after all, I'm here to help and work with you so there's no real need to be super stuffy and proper with me. If you prefer to be formal, by all means, do what works for you...I just want to make clear that based on this post, I'm not requiring models that contact me to feel like they need to be super formal.

Where my main concern lies is that if newbie models are communicating with me so informally/casually, how will they phrase their communication with actual agencies and clients? While formality is important for both freelance and agency represented models, for this post I'm going to focus on the agency aspect since this is a common goal that most new models seek.

Formality in this sense means conducting yourself properly and using a business approach. Always remember: modeling agencies are BUSINESSES. Their goal is to make money and show their competition why they're better. So when you're submitting yourself to agencies, you have to be businesslike. Yes, that means even if you're 14, 15 or 16-years-old, when you appear in front of agencies at interviews and casting calls or are sending them your submissions via email or snail mail, you have to "talk" to them the right way.

Let's take a minute to further illustrate my point to help get the message across more effectively...

Many of the emails I get from aspiring models typically start off as follows:

- "Hi Dania!"
- "Dear Dania"
- "Hello/Hi"
- "Hello Ms. Denise"
- "Ms. Denise"
- "Ms. Dania"

Now here are some of the salutations I also get:

- "Hey hey hey!"
- "Hi!!!!!!"
- "What's up?"
- "Yo" (yes, I kid you not on that one, lol)
- "OMG..."

Can you see the difference? The first list is what I would call "formal," while the latter...yeah, you get it. So ask yourself this: which of those salutations would you use when composing an email or writing a cover letter to a modeling agency?

My young, dear, sweet, aspiring models...I understand that you're young and there's still a lot about the world you don't know or have direct experience with, including business matters, but if you want to get into modeling and deal with agencies and their high profile clients, you have to realize that you're entering a very grown-up world. While agencies and clients will keep in mind your age, they'll still have to treat you as a young adult.

Your first step is agency representation and that means contacting agencies with your interest. Even though talking to me is pretty causal and laid-back, I'm not an agent. Maximize your results by knowing and understanding the importance of addressing agencies formally. Even if you feel like you're being too formal, it's better than being too casual and having agencies think you're immature or juvenile.

I feel like this social media and Internet obsession has caused us, as a society, to get lazy and too comfortable with being super casual, talking and emailing like we text, etc. And that can be bad for trying to develop a businesslike attitude when dealing with agencies. By all means, hAvE FuN TXTNG & tLkNg Lyk Dis w/Ur FRENZ but not when communicating with agencies and their clients. Learn how to use proper grammar, complete sentences, etc. and believe me, you'll get a lot farther with agencies.

1 comment:

Grace said...

Great post! As we all move into emails, texting etc. it's so easy for young people to forget how to be formal in addressing others. Actually, with the complete absence of writing actual letters, many of us were probably never taught!

I remember in English in school we had a template for writing formal/informal letters to people, they should have that for email :P