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Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The "About Me" Section & Your Modeling Career (Pt. I: Facebook)
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.
However, just as eagerly as people are jumping onto the Internet and using social media for their modeling endeavors, the "About Me" section is one specific area where I see a lot of female and male models making mistakes, usually by not filling out this area properly.
Am I an expert at writing About Me sections? I feel pretty confident saying, "Yes," not just because I'm a trained writer/journalist but because I've written about myself and my modeling career so many times it isn't even funny. I've experienced firsthand what works and what doesn't when it comes to this subject.
I do understand that not everyone is strong at writing, grammar, spelling, etc. but having a solid About Me section on your social media profiles can only boost your chances at getting modeling assignments and showcasing just how polished and professional you are. Freelance models need to definitely take note of the gems I'm about to share because if you're having trouble being taken seriously or if you haven't managed to get very far in your freelance career, your About Me section could be one of the reasons why.
It's important to note that the About Me section for each social media outlet varies so you'll need to create your content accordingly. To keep things simple, I'll focus on the most popular social media sites out there that models utilize. And to prevent myself from writing a novel (lol), I've decided to break this down into a series of posts so each outlet has its own entry. Let's start with Facebook:
FACEBOOK'S ABOUT ME SECTION
I personally and professionally believe that you should have a Facebook page for your modeling career that is separate from the profile you have your friends and family on. That doesn't mean you can't have your modeling stuff on your regular FB profile but if your goal is to boost visibility so that potential clients can find you online, you'll want them to find your professional FB page and not the profile where you like to post photos of what you've eaten or the hilariously crude meme of the day.
When people come to your Facebook page and read about you, it is essential to make sure you're only putting out information that is relevant and to the point in respect to you as a model. While it might seem cute and playful, don't talk about how you make a mean batch of cookies or love rainbows and kittens and that your favorite color is blue (I kid you not, I've seen content similar to this).
It's also not the suitable forum for expressing your personal opinions, beliefs or make strong statements about this, that or the other (especially trigger topics like religion and politics). Again, there are plenty of other places on social media to sound off on. Your modeling page isn't one of them. Keep it neutral and stick to business. Period.
Models often complain about people wasting their time with opportunities they aren't interested in or that don't fit what they're looking for and one of the most effective ways to decrease those types of occurrences is by stating in black and white what you're all about.
There is no particular order you need to format your content in but below is what I recommend because I feel it is a strong way to properly take advantage of this space on your page/profile.
Btw: If you've got a FB page, you'll want to put this info in the "BIO" section. If you're using your regular FB profile, you'll want to put this in the "Details About You" section:
Short Introduction & Level of Experience
Whether you write it in first person or third person (it doesn't matter but don't go overboard with writing about yourself in third person), start with a few brief sentences about yourself. Include your name and how long you've been modeling. Even if you're new, it's perfectly acceptable to say that.
I don't recommend listing your resume of experience on your About Me section, mainly because it'll make the section as a whole too long after you've added the other parts and because the resume should stand alone and separate. For Facebook, I recommend creating a "Note" for your resume so that people can easily view that information that way.
Freelance models get to enjoy the flexibility of picking and choosing which categories of modeling they want to book work in. Remember my comments above about wanting to avoid people and jobs you aren't interested in? This is your chance to filter through the BS! Briefly state or list what types of modeling you do.
Not only does this decrease the chances of being contacted for offers you don't want, it will make it easier for clients to find out exactly what kind of work you do without having to guess. Don't make them have to work any harder than they have to. While browsing through photo albums on your page is a common solution, seeing in plain writing what categories you specialize in quickly gives them answers.
Just as you should state what categories of modeling you specialize in, it's also a good idea to mention what types of modeling you won't do. This helps to cover all your bases and makes it clear to anyone who isn't sure. And if they reach out anyway, well, then they shouldn't be surprised when you decline.
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.
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.