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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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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Anatomy of a Modeling Website Pt I: Welcome Page

Contrary to popular belief, not all models seek agency representation. Freelance modeling, while it has its own set of pros and cons, is a much more flexible approach to a modeling career.

Both female and male models can benefit from effectively marketing themselves online, especially when it comes to social media.

I've already written about the importance of having a modeling website ("The Benefits of Having an Official Modeling Website") but I know how hard it can be for freelance models to get the ball rolling so I've decided to do another mini series of blog posts, with each post focusing individually on the most common meat and potatoes of a modeling website.

Hopefully with this detailed info, all potential freelance models will be able to transform their careers in a way that meets or exceeds their goals.

These are all suggestions based on my personal and professional experience in dealing with websites so the info in this post (and the posts to follow), are not 100% the law and can be modified to suit your freelance modeling preferences or specific situation.

Think of this info as a guideline to help you establish some of the basic elements of your modeling website. Feel free to tweak things as you see fit.

Let's start with the Welcome Page.

WHAT IS THE WELCOME PAGE?

As the name implies, this is the first page you view when you visit a website. Some sites use their Welcome Page as the Home page but whether you choose to have them as the same or separate is personal preference. It really doesn't matter which one you pick.

The purpose of the Welcome Page is to, well, welcome you. This page should be straightforward and not complicated. It should make the person viewing your modeling website want to stick around and click the other tabs to learn more about you and your modeling services.

WHAT TO PUT ON THE WELCOME PAGE

Your Photo 

Duh. However, I have seen a few modeling websites that didn't have the model's image, just the name. I get the idea of why a model would do this but there tons of modeling websites on the Internet and I'm a firm believer in not giving anybody a reason to want to skip out on your site in favor of someone else's. Plus, you're a model--you should want people to see your face as the first thing on your site.

That being said, have a professional modeling photo greet your viewers on your Welcome Page. It can be a headshot, full body shot, half body shot, etc. I have seen collages of a model's gallery on the Welcome Page but my personal opinion is that a collage is just too busy design-wise as the first thing a person sees. Again, my opinion.

Another option would be to have a slideshow gallery of your modeling photos that plays automatically when a person comes to the Welcome Page of your modeling website. Make sure to choose the strongest images for the slideshow (that goes for any modeling gallery or portfolio in general) and set the transition time so that it doesn't take forever to display one photo to the next (but don't set the transition time to be too fast, either).

Your Name

Again, duh. BUT remember: I wouldn't mention these things if there wasn't a reason. If you use a model alias, then you should associate that with your modeling website. Keep things consistent. When people try to find you online, they should be using the name that relates to your modeling career. 

If you don't have a model alias and choose to use your legal name, which is totally fine (model aliases are not mandatory), then use that on your site. Don't feel pressured to come up with a model alias if you haven't felt the need to use one before.

List What You Do/Who You Are

I don't mean list paragraphs of what types of modeling services you offer. What I mean is list the name of the profession you are pursuing. Below are examples:

1. Model

2. Print ~ Fitness ~ Swimwear

3. Print/Lifestyle Model

4. High Fashion/Runway Model

5. Fashion ~ Print ~ Fitness ~ Glamour

Are you a model and an actor? Then you can list these two separately or on one line (i.e. Model/Actor).

***Quick note for you Model/Actors out there: the info I'm going to be discussing in this mini blog post series is only in regards to modeling websites but you can adapt the content and tailor it for your website if you are using it to actively promote your acting career as well as your modeling career.***

By simplifying this info and putting it on the Welcome Page, it makes it clear to potential clients right away what kind of model you are and what to expect if they choose to navigate your site further. But don't go overboard by listing a ton of specialties. I would suggest no more than 3-4. 

Can't decide which ones to highlight or do you have a lot of modeling categories that would be too much clutter for the Welcome Page? This you can keep it simple and just put: Professional Model. You don't need to overthink things.

Remember, it's the Welcome Page so it shouldn't contain too much information that may overwhelm the person viewing it.

Contact Info & Social Media Icons (Optional)

I say this is optional because your modeling website will have its own Contact Page, but it isn't uncommon to list a phone number and email in smaller text either in the header or footer of the Welcome Page. There is also the option of adding social media icons that link directly to those profiles when a person clicks on them (i.e. Twitter bird, IG camera, FB icon, etc).

In fact, depending on the template you're using to design your site, you can make it so that the contact and/or social media icons info appears on the header or footer of all the pages. So regardless of what page a person is visiting, your contact info and social media profiles will be readily available for reference.

Menu/Navigation Bar

There are a bunch of different styles and ways you can display the menu/navigation bar on the Welcome Page but make sure it isn't super huge and distracting to the rest of the elements on the page. At the same time, don't make it difficult to locate, either. Find a happy medium.

Chances are, you've visited your fair share of websites on the Internet in general so I'm sure you know how to gauge what kinds of menu displays you liked and which ones you didn't.

So that's it for this first post in "The Anatomy of a Modeling Website" mini blog series. The topic for Part II: About Me. Stay tuned!

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