How To Start A Modeling Agency And Promote It For Maximum Success
Here’s an interesting question – how to start a modeling agency?
The definition of modeling has changed thanks to technology and since the advent of social media. The popular Instagram model, Lil Miquela, for example, is a robot.
Lil Miquela and many others completely defy the traditional vision of a runway model, in their own way.
Many aspirants who want to learn how to start modeling look to social media as their first outlet. There they have the freedom to express themselves in their own unique manner.
This can lead to opportunities for an entrepreneur looking to start a modeling agency. The industry is shifting and this can open up doors to new, exciting ventures.
This article covers just that- how to start modeling agencies in the age of the internet.
1. Find Your Target Market
Diversifying is great. But in order to build a trusted network of partners in the very beginning, you need to grab on to a niche.
This will both help you build your roster of models and search for companies that can hire you.
Additionally, word of mouth and recommendations carry much more weight if done within the same industry- the relevance of your services is a lot more direct.
2. Build A Talent Network
Finding talented models becomes that much easier once you have a target market in mind. However, when scouting for models use some of these factors:
Experience: Seasoned veterans or aspirants who want to know how to start modeling. Depending on your skills and the services you offer, you can get aspirants onboard and train them.
Tradition Vs. Disruption: Is your agency a traditional agency or are you looking to disrupt the industry that you are hiring models for? That will also depend on whether you hire models who are looking to change a certain industry or adhere to it.
Demographics: Age, sex, location, among others are important when hiring models. If the target market/ industry you’re working for needs models in a certain category, you’ll have to hire accordingly.
Online Vs. Offline: This depends on your company’s approach as well. Are you looking for online, offline, or models who are active on both?
In the age of social media, many models have different outlets to express themselves and social media is definitely one of them.
A Personal Touch: Many models have taken their own path, instead of wondering about how to start modeling the traditional way. Models on Instagram, for example, are not simply models in the traditional sense.
They are also travel vloggers, fitness experts, entrepreneurs. Highlighting these unique qualities will only make the brand integrations more contextual and interesting.
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Your talent network doesn’t simply end at models. There’s a lot more to it. So, look at hiring agents if:
- You have the resources; or
- You don’t have experience in the modeling industry.
People cannot simply be expected to know how to start modeling agencies.
You need experience with working in an industry to create a business in it.
This can be through personal experience or with the help of a group of employees who know the ins and outs of that industry.
3. Look To Instagram
Look to Instagram for both models and the kind of work happening in the industry.
Instagram is a gathering spot for individual influencers and models, now. ‘Instagram model’ has become a phrase now, given that the platform is the right balance between a personal profile and a public outlet.
Additionally, industry-standard brand integrations, numbers, and expectations can all be understood by observing Instagram.
You can see how often models crosspost and tag branded products. This is in addition to Reels, Stories, and longer IGTV videos.
Just observing these stats will give you a good idea of how much to offer to brands and, potentially, how much to charge.
4. Define Your Role As An Agency
Depending on your skillset or that of your employees, you need to define:
- Whether your role is to provide modeling jobs to those in your roster; or
- You are a ‘manager’ as well.
Roles that a Manager can take on:
- A manager can be responsible for training aspirants who want to learn how to start modeling.
- They can be responsible for managing their models’ day to day and their calls.
- Their nutrition and exercise programs.
- Managers can even hire ORM (online reputation management) experts for their most popular/ top models.
- Many managers can even oversee their models’ events in person.
5. Search For Clients
Pinholing your customer search can happen only once you define your niche, roster, and your responsibilities and services as an agency.
Once you have that down, it can come down to using your own contacts, that of your hired agents, cold calling, or responding to modeling requests.
The latter can only happen once you establish yourself or are visible in the market.
Starting An Online Business? Build It On .Online!
Advice: When thinking about how to start modeling agencies, entrepreneurs should think about hiring a commercial team that handles client searches and sales goals.
Many commercial teams with previous experience know people who will contact them for modeling requests and brand integrations.
6. Advertise Your Agency Online
Another way to look for clients and models is by becoming visible online. This can come in the following forms:
- A Website
- Social Media Presence (Especially Instagram)
- A Google Business Page
- Banner Ads and other online ads on platforms such as YouTube
Additionally, you could also use certain growth hacking strategies such as creating a mock modeling photoshoot and promoting it online.
When done right, online advertising is only a boon.
7. Build A Reel
To snowball, the effect of successful modeling assignments, create a reel. A reel will give potential models and clients a view of the kind of work your models have done.
This will create visibility in your clients’ minds and will remove any doubts they have about how their brand is integrated and who your models are.
Additionally, a reel from mock shoots is also a good way to show your models in action.
50+ Business Name Ideas For Your Modeling Agency
5 Steps To Promote Your Modeling Agency For Free
Running a modeling agency can both be lucrative and challenging thanks to social media.
There are models from different countries, age groups, and with different brand niches and preferences who can express themselves better because of the internet.
Therefore, in order to compete, you’ll need to promote your modeling agency online. While paid promotions can do you a world of good, you’ll want to get an organic following first.
In this article, we list 5 free ways you can build an organic following for your modeling agency.
These are all promotional strategies you can take up separately, or together.
1. Take Advantage Of Social Media Trends
Social media is where most of the internet’s visitors spend their time. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among others, are some of the most visited websites in the world.
Therefore, it makes complete sense to promote your models and the brands you’ve worked with on social media.
Here are some ways you can use social media:
Use Reels To Create Teasers & Content: Reels is one of Instagram’s most engaging features. You can use it to share 15-30 second teasers of ramp walks, adverts, behind the scenes, performances, etc.
If your models are also content creators, you can crosspost some of their Reels work onto your page (with permission), or get them to create something completely original.
Create Fun Memes: Memes drive internet culture. Video and static based, these creatives are easily consumable and can create virality. To top it off, they’re very easy to make and can be templatized.
You can capture the fun and serious moments with your models and make fun memes with them. Use Kapwing to learn about trending meme templates.
Make 360 Media Of Venues: Make sure you also highlight the brands in these venues. This is to show your audience (other brands) that you’ve worked on big projects and can replicate that success elsewhere.
Mention Your Brands In Your Captions & Tag Them: No matter the format, use your social medias’ captions and tagging features tactically. Mention your brands, so your other B2B clients can see the scale of your work. Also, tag your models, this is a good way for clients and prospective clients to audition them without auditioning them.
2. Create An Online Showreel And Promote It
Showreels are a great way to summarize your work in one engaging visual format. The video, if concise enough, can tell your stakeholders all they need to know about the kind of work you’ve done and the work you can do.
Here are some pointers that can help you:
Keep them concise: There isn’t a hard and fast rule about how long your showreel can be. But, put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would you watch a 5-minute reel- half of which isn’t even relevant to you? Try and keep your showreel under 2 minutes. That should be more than enough.
Make multiple reels: Why? Let’s say you have a client who wants models for a TV commercial. Why would you show them a reel with offline events or social media posts? It’d make sense to show your ‘TV’ reel. For this, you need to have enough work under your belt to create different reels.
Use good music: You can get a lot of good, free music online. The YouTube Audio Library is great if you’re uploading tracks on YouTube. Mixkit is totally free of cost and has great tracks. Services like Epidemic Sound have free trials that you can use and if you like their tracks, you can purchase a full membership.
Use good editing software: A dedicated editing software doesn’t have to be expensive or even paid. One of the best ones you can use is DaVinci Resolve’s free editing software.
It is the industry standard for color correction and if you like it, you can get the extended suite. If you’re an Apple user, you can also get a free 90 day trial of Final Cut Pro X, if you haven’t already availed of that.
3. Create A B2B Newsletter
A newsletter is a great way for you to share updates with your clients about what your agency has been up to and what your models have worked on.
A good newsletter also gives a detailed and educated report on the industry and how your agency is contributing to it.
It is completely editorial but also promotes your agency beautifully if done correctly.
These are a few things you can look at including:
- Brands you’ve worked with
- Any awards you’ve won recently
- Any additions to your roster of models
- An inside look into your office
- Any Corporate Social Responsibility you’ve undertaken
- Any editorial/self-made content that your models create on their own
- An inside look into your social media with QR codes that lead to it.
We’re no longer in the age of offline newsletters. Include QR codes, links, embedded videos, and interactive media into your newsletters- make them informative and appealing.
4. Implement Search Engine Optimization Keywords On Your Website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can greatly increase the chances of your website appearing atop Google’s search results.
While there’s no substitute for professionals who are experts at SEO, there are free resources you can use to improve your website right away.
These are some free SEO resources you can start with:
Soovle: Completely free of cost, with a very simple interface. All you need to do is type in what you want a keyword for and it’ll tell you how people are searching for it in different search engines- from Google to Bing and everything in between.
WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool: Wordstream provides a plethora of paid and free services for different kinds of clients. Their keyword tool is especially useful because you can gear it directly towards your website.
All you have to do is put in your website’s URL on the app and type down your industry, as well as the country you’re looking to target the results at. The specificity of the app is what makes it so great.
Wordtracker: Wordtracker’s free tool is great because it not only lets you see SEO-based results for your industry but also keywords for Pay Per Click adverts.
This tool can come especially in handy when you decide to pay to promote your agency online. Its free tool is also powerful enough and can give you plenty of options for your SEO needs.
Neil Patel’s SEO Quiz: A completely free SEO quiz that you can take on the website. Based on the results of the quiz you’ll get an action plan to make your website more SEO friendly.
5. Create Live Events With Your Models
Almost every social media has a live feature built-in. While they get fewer views on average, due to the specificity of the time, live videos add a personal touch to your stakeholder interactions.
Live events allow creators to address comments in person and also share the latest updates face to face.
Some ways to use live events are:
Live Chat Session With Followers: A casual live session that your models can have with the followers. They can talk about a cause they believe in on update fans about an upcoming event.
Instagram is really good for this because you can view comments more clearly and, hence, answer fans in a better manner.
Behind The Scenes Of An Event: The bigger the event, the better the response you’ll get. Who wouldn’t want to see a live behind-the-scenes video of London Fashion Week, for example?
This will not only show your stakeholders the scale of your work but also get you new followers who’ll appreciate just how big you are.
Live Podcast: A live podcast related to the industry can garner attention from professionals in the industry. This can build curiosity around your agency, especially if the podcast’s content is good.
Learning how to start modeling agencies can be a task. Most of the work is in finding the right people- both models and clients.
Finding the right fit requires you to do research, use your experience and knowledge, and hire the right people.
However, social media has made modeling one of the industries that have been rejuvenated and unsaturated.
The growing industry is there for the picking and early adopters will only reap the rewards the most if they take the right steps.