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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The "About Me" Section & Your Modeling Career (Pt. II: Model Mayhem, etc.)

***This post is ideal for freelance models, especially those utilizing social media to attract potential clients and enhance their visibility online.***

Haven't had a chance to check out Part I in this blog series? Catch up on this topic (and why I decided to make a mini series of posts about it) by clicking on this link:

http://amodelsdiary.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-about-me-section-your-modeling.html

Love it or hate it, social media in particular has helped models of all experience levels and backgrounds build their brand and gain followers in a way that is unprecedented.

But what makes the difference between successfully using social media to your advantage and just being another profile taking up space is by paying attention to details, such as helping people understand who you are, what you're about and--as it applies to your modeling career--why they should hire you for their projects.

The most effective way to get these points across is by properly filling out your "About Me" section so that anyone who comes across it will know exactly what they're getting. For the sake of length and time, I decided to use just Model Mayhem in the title and add the "etc." so that readers would know there are many other modeling community websites out there they can set up profiles on (One Model Place, ModelWire, etc).

Facebook is a widely used online social media resource for models but what makes sites like Model Mayhem so beneficial is the fact that it is a social media networking site aimed specifically at models and other professional players in the industry. Facebook is super broad because anyone can join but online modeling communities have a screening process and everyone is there for the same work-related goals.

What Model Mayhem and other sites like it have in common is that the layout is pretty much the same: you input your statistics/measurements, upload photos to your portfolio and there is the almighty "About Me" section, where you can share with the online community who you are. And that's why I've chosen this arena as the topic of my second blog post in this mini series.

So let's talk tips for how to use your "About Me" section effectively when it comes to your profile on a modeling community networking site:

Don't List Your Resume of Experience

While your experience is ideal to include on a social media profile, the "About Me" section should be all about you as a model. Talk about how long you've been modeling or if you're new, say that and talk briefly about why you want to get into modeling on a professional level and what goals or expectations you have (i.e. walking in runway shows, shooting ads for magazines, editorial spreads, create amazing images or modeling as an art form, etc.).

You don't have to get biographical about it, though. Don't share personal info like your family background or long-winded stories about what supermodel inspired you. While the "About Me" section is supposed to focus on helping people get to know you, it shouldn't be a novel that they have to take forever to get through.

Keep it to the point. As for your resume and experience, there is likely a separate section on your profile that is dedicated for just that kind of content so keep the two separate.

List Your Modeling Interests/Specialties

Don't forget to include in your "About Me" section what kind of modeling you're interested in: fashion, runway, editorial, swimwear, fitness, parts modeling, print, beauty, jewelry, lingerie, etc. The more specific you are, the higher the chances are that you'll network with other professionals with the same goals. The best way to ensure that the people you connect with on the same level is to create an "About Me" section that says specifically what you want.

Don't Be Afraid to Say What You Don't Want, Too

We all know that the Internet is full of creepers and scammers. There are going to be members of an online modeling community who will read a model's "About Me" page and contact them with less than appealing opportunities. One way I've gone about weeding out the people whose intentions aren't in line with mine is by stating in one sentence the type of work I do not do. 

My Model Mayhem profile currently has this:

***I do not do nude or adult work of any kind.  I am very strict about this. If at any time you ask me to take my clothes off during the shoot--the shoot is over.***

Many photographers shoot nude models, some Playboy/glamour style and others in a more fine arts type of way. I've seen some amazing images of nude models and the photographers who do it well have beautiful portfolios. However, I'm not interested in posing nude so to drive the point home, I made sure to put this as the last sentence in my "About Me" section.

Stating what you're not interested in on your "About Me" section doesn't just apply to situations dealing with nudity, however. If you're a fashion modeling with no interest in doing print work or are a print model who doesn't want to do swimwear or lingerie, it is perfectly fine to say this in your "About Me" section. 

Does that mean you'll never get contacted by someone who wants to hire you for a shoot you're not interested in? Nah. There's always going to be somebody who wants to try to see if they'll get lucky and have you make their project an exception to the rule but by at least mentioning what kind of modeling you don't or won't do, it will keep the odds of that happening pretty minimal at best.

Talk About Priorities

Online modeling communities are about networking with others, gaining exposure and booking work. Be sure to mention what you hope the site will do for you. Common examples include:

- Updating your portfolio, headshots, certain looks/themes that you may be missing or need new images of

- Looking for paid work only/opportunities for publication and tearsheets

- Collaborating with other industry professionals to come up with creative shoot ideas for fun or to submit to magazine publications

- Learning the modeling ropes and wanting to network with photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, etc. who will help you build a quality portfolio and improve your skills as a model

Listing this info on your "About Me" section will attract other members of the site who need the same thing. That's how you network and connect with others who will help you reach those goals. This type of info is different from stating what kinds of modeling you're interested in because this part of the content deals with what you're trying to do with your modeling career and what kinds of moves you're making to achieve those results.

List Any Special Conditions

Do you only shoot on set with an escort? Are you under age and bring a parent/guardian with you at all times? Do you require your travel to be paid? These are examples of special conditions that should be mentioned in your "About Me" section. 

But don't write it in a way that makes it come across as what I like to call "Diva Demands." There is a way to say things in a professional manner so that people don't think you're trying to be difficult. If there are members of the online community that don't like your special conditions, then guess what? They won't contact you. The ones who are cool with what you've written will reach out and that's what you want. This ensures everyone is on the same page.

Location/Preferences

You shouldn't put your address obviously but it helps to state what markets/locations you accept work in. Are you willing to travel? If so, how far? Or are you mainly focusing on local gigs? Many models are students, hold down jobs or even have families to care for so listing what areas you'll accept work in is a good heads up to anyone viewing your page/profile as to whether or not you'd be ideal for their project.

It's okay to list what cities/states/areas you'll accept work in as well. Lists are very helpful for About Me sections because they organize information in an easy-to-read way and prevent your content from being so long that no one will want to read it all the way through.

Pay Rate(s)...Optional

It is completely up to you to list your rates so include this info at your discretion. On the upside, it automatically weeds out projects with budgets that can't accommodate your rate. On the downside, if you end up charging differently (and don't update your page/profile or list all your various pay rates according to project type), it could cause conflict/miscommunication with the client.

Me? I don't include pay rate(s). This gives me greater flexibility to charge accordingly. Plus, each project has its own factors that I take into consideration so I never feel comfortable setting pay rates that go across the board. But I have seen models successfully include this info in their About Me section so it really is personal preference.

Don't Forget to Showcase Your Personality

It's okay to drop in a bit of a fun note about yourself that will show other members that you've got personality. I'm not saying be outright silly but it's okay to inject a bit of your quirkiness or uniqueness where appropriate--usually as the last paragraph of your "About Me" section (the business stuff should always stay up top and be the first thing people read right away). 

On my Model Mayhem profile, I have a brief paragraph near the bottom where I talk candidly and in a fun way about my strengths as a model and what people can expect when they work with me. It shows that while the top part of my "About Me" section is business, I'm not some robot who doesn't know how to be personable and have a good time.

Want to see how I've laid out my "About Me" section on Model Mayhem? Click the following link:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/359130

2 comments:

Sam said...

I was wondering if you believed Explore Talent.com was a legitamite site or if it is a scam?
Thank you!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Sam! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #796," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!