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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.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
The "About Me" Section & Your Modeling Career (Pt. III: Official Modeling Website)
Haven't had a chance to check out Part I and II 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 these links:
The world of social media has certainly made things a lot easier for models, especially freelancers, to get noticed and attract business. But, as with just about everything in life, technology has a way of making us content and--dare I say it--lazy. When it comes to online matters, many models are okay with maintaining social media profiles and ignoring the option of having a professional website.
I won't spend this post talking about how important it still is to have an actual website that is not a social media profile (believe it or not, a Facebook page isn't a true blue website, folks). I'll save that for another post (perhaps it'll be the next one after this third and final post in this mini series!).
Instead, I'm going to stay on topic and give you the gist of what works for the About Me section for an official modeling website and how you can use this vital piece of content to help you in your freelance modeling career.
You Can Be Personal & Professional
The great thing about an official modeling website is that it's yours--you can be more personable in writing about who you are and introducing yourself to those that view your site. You're not a member who has to share the platform with millions of other users. If you want to talk about what got you into modeling, what inspires you, the goals you have for your career, you're more than welcome to share that in your About Me section.
Let your personality shine. I've seen modeling websites where the model talked about where they went to school, the hometown they grew up in, what their hobbies are in their spare time, etc. along with the more professional info about the type of work they specialize in.
Don't get too personal, however. These are basically "strangers" viewing your website so don't disclose any information like your home address or other personal/financial info (duh) but don't "overshare" about your background. If you've got an inspirational story to tell that relates to you and your modeling career or if you've overcome an incredible obstacle, it's okay to share some of that on your About Me section but stay away from uncomfortable topics like how you feel your parents didn't love you enough, that you were the victim of abuse or went through a cutting phase or something dark until you saw the light.
It isn't that you shouldn't share those stories--because you can--but a modeling website that is supposed to be run as your business is not the appropriate place. Keep it positive, inspirational or candid, witty and fun.
Be Mindful About Length
Because an official modeling website is a "free for all," it's easy to get carried away. It is important to remember that this section of your site is still for business purposes. The About Me section shouldn't look like a novel. If there are things you want to go into detail about, go ahead, but remember that not everyone is going to have the time (or attention span) to make it all the way through.
My favorite writing tip to share (which isn't really a secret or rocket science) is to write a first draft but don't think about what you're writing. Just write. Ramble, go from topic to topic--just type away whatever is coming to your mind. Now walk away for an hour or more and look at your first draft with fresh eyes. The next step is to edit the crap out of it: rearrange paragraphs so that the topics are related and flow together, fix any typos or grammatical errors you catch, etc. Most importantly, trim the fat.
There are going to be sentences that you'll eventually realize aren't really needed. Don't be afraid to get rid of stuff. Lather, rinse and repeat this process as many times as you feel is necessary until the final About Me section you see is what you're happy with.
First Person or Third Person is Fine
Some people say that writing about yourself on a website using third person is pretentious but if you dig it, go for it. Or if you feel more comfortable talking in first person, that's totally okay, too. I don't believe there is a right or wrong when it comes to this subject. It's your website so you should do what you want in that respect.
I personally like using third person for my About Me page for my website because, to me, it feels more professional for someone to read. Does that mean another model's website that is written in first person is less professional than mine? Definitely not. Think of this small detail for your About Me section as one of personal preference. Do what works for you. Simple as that.
Listing Specialties, Conditions, Pay Rates, etc. is All Optional
After reading Part I and II in this mini blog series, you're probably thinking I've flipped my lid by all of a sudden saying that these things are no longer needed for the About Me section when it comes to an official modeling website. Trust me, there is always method to my madness. :-)
Modeling websites are not like social media profiles so they don't technically fall under the same guidelines I listed in the previous posts in this series. Unlike some social media sites, having your own website means you're 100% in charge. You can decide how many pages/tabs you want, where the images will go, how much text/content you want, what order to put them in, manage your photo galleries, etc.
Because this type of website doesn't have the limitations that social media profiles do, you can be more organized with the way you present your information and that includes the types of modeling you're interested in, your resume of experience and special booking conditions. Instead of cramming all of this info into one About Me page, you can make all those things separate.
Your About Me page can literally be all about you on a more personal level, while another page could be devoted to listing your modeling services, specialties and rates, and another page could list your actual resume of experience (in addition to your photo gallery of course).
As you can see, the flexibility an official modeling website affords you is what makes the About Me section different from how it is written and presented on sites like Facebook, Model Mayhem and other related sites. So don't be afraid to make your modeling website all your own.