This post is directed towards new models coming into the world of modeling and it is to give them an idea of what one might want to do and not do as they start off on that long journey. You did know it is a long journey, right? Ok, so as a model you are more than just a pretty face. In the beginning you are just a pretty face, but you need to take it to the next level. Many models are using modeling as a way to propel themselves to something higher, like acting or other aspects of the entertainment business. While I will agree there are some models out there of all ages that are “hobbyist” so to speak and they just like being in front of the camera and there is nothing wrong with that. It certainly is a fun way to start to see if you really like being in front of a camera.
But let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if you’re using modeling as a step up to something higher or you just want to go straight for professional modeling, you need to brand yourself. I am not going to go into branding in detail because it is a topic that should be looked at in detail and I am not an expert. I do know a lot about branding, however like I said I am not an expert. It all sound kind of scary and complicated and rightfully so, however if you break it all down it is not that complicated and if you want to succeed & survive in a cruel world it has to be done. The biggest piece of advice anyone could ever give you is “take business courses” and learn about business. I know you’re thinking how does this all relate to modeling. Ok, so as you grow you are going to make money, hopefully we can say you will make lots of money, so you need to be prepared for this chapter of your career before you come to it. You have to know this may be the most important decision you’ll ever make and like many things in life you’ll never fully understand it until you look at it in hindsight. It doesn’t matter if you are a model or a photographer or someone who wants to open a restaurant, you need to know how to make business decisions and all the other do’s & don’ts. You could have the best food recipes in the world and have the nicest restaurant in town but if you know nothing about how to run a business, you have a perfect plan for failure. As a model you may think that when you become well known and start working for bigger clients you’ll just hire and agent or a manager and this is a fine thing to do. But how do you know they are good at making business decision? If you know nothing about what is and isn’t a good business decision and you hired a manager or an agent, they could be stealing your profit or worse yet, lead you down a bad business path. So I’ll say it one last time take some business courses, you’ll be so glad you did. Besides if you decide to make career changes it is a very valuable set of skills to have.
So moving on… You need to establish a web presence and I don’t just mean a Facebook or Instagram page. You need to learn about social media.
- How it works and doesn’t work.
- What content belongs on what social media?
- Keep up with the times as social media is constantly changing.
- Social media vs a website.
First and foremost if at all possible you need to secure the domain for your name. This means buying the web address that is your name. I’ll explain; my name is Richard Smith Jr and I also go by Richie Smith Jr. I own both of those dot com names. I don’t have them attached to a website, but I do own http://www.richardsmithjr.com & http://www.richiesmithjr.com. I have a very common name but I am proud to own those dot coms as it gives me the power to control the web presence of my actual name. For me it is somewhat important, but let’s look at somebody like Lily Aldridge. Come on you know who Lily Aldridge is right? She is a Victoria’s Secret Angel and a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model. Now how would it look if she did not secure the dot com of her name and it fell into the wrong hands? So I think by this point you are starting to see why you need to secure the dot com of your name if you can.
Now social media is an ever changing thing. Do you remember Myspace? If you don’t remember or are too young to know, MySpace was huge before Facebook came along. Will Facebook always be here? If you answered “yes” just remember that’s what MySpace thought. Who knows maybe Facebook will last, but as of now a lot of the younger crowd has kind of split off of Facebook and went over to Instagram. Instagram is more of what the younger crowd is looking for, but there will always be the “new kid in town” and everybody will try it. I thought Twitter was worthless when I first seen it. Now I use it. I actually use several forms of social media, but I use each one a little differently. I have a personal Facebook for family & friends and then I have two business Facebook pages, one for my photography and another for my catering business. Twitter is great for news, Pinterest is where I create mood boards for photo shoots and Instagram is where I follow people whom I find interesting although I may not know them. IG is also where people find me, both photographers and models. They follow what I’m doing ask questions and interact, of course I do the same. So that is a brief overview of social media and there is a lol more to it, but most of all is to know what to post and where to post it. Don’t be rude on Instagram and post 20 selfies a day and fill up your follower’s feed, which is a great way to lose followers on IG & Facebook. If you want to post a selfie, make it one really cool selfie. Make it special, make it different and make it something people want to see. One interesting selfies is so much better than 20 selfies of you looking like a deer in the headlights.
A website is different than social media because it will always be there and you will always control it. It will be where anybody can go to see what you are about, what your business or career is. Maybe you sell products of services or in some way produce content for learning or entertaining purposes. Either way it is your website, your dot com and it is your little part of the internet.
I have worked with several models and I have met and talked with even more than I can count. I find so many young or maybe just new to modeling that have all this drive and willingness and most of all dreams to achieve, but they’re clueless about where they should be going. I mean clueless as to “they don’t even know that they don’t know anything.” And clueless is not always a bad thing, clueless people have no fear because they don’t even know they should have fear. And with fear being a big obstacle, not having it can be good… that is unless you’re walking through a minefield. And “yes” many days in life are like a minefield. So I guess the purpose of this post is to get new models to just stop and look and think, before heading to the minefield.