How do I Become a Modeling Agent?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

There are a couple of paths you can take to become a modeling agent, which is someone who books jobs for models. You can become a modeling agent by going to work for an established modeling agency or by starting your own agency. The right path for you in your quest to become a modeling agent can depend on your background, experience and interests. Whichever path you choose, it is important to learn all you can about the modeling and fashion industries by reading and talking to people in the field. It is a good idea to keep a list of modeling industry contacts for use when you become a modeling agent.

A modeling agent is responsible for booking jobs for models.
A modeling agent is responsible for booking jobs for models.

It can be very difficult to find a job as a modeling agent with existing agencies unless you already have experience booking models for modeling assignments. Even if you do have experience, it can be hard because the modeling industry is very competitive. Assuming you don't have any experience as a modeling agent but just want to get in the door in any clerical or administrative role, having some education, training or experience in the fashion modeling world can be of great benefit. Perhaps you have done some modeling yourself, assisted a fashion photographer or even taken classes in fashion design. If there is anything in your background you can leverage to help get in the door, include it on your résumé.

A modeling agent may juggle several models as clients at a time.
A modeling agent may juggle several models as clients at a time.

To find agencies to target for possible employment, try searching the Internet and local telephone books for modeling agencies and read industry publications. There are thousands of modeling agencies all over the world, but it is important to do your homework and look for reputable agencies, because there are many, many scams in the modeling world. If it seems too easy or too good to be true, it probably is. Check with the Better Business Bureau if you are in the United States or other government and industry organizations to make sure the agency is legitimate.

If you do find a job with a modeling agency, focus on the job you were hired to do, do it well, and learn everything you can. Once you have proven yourself in the job you are doing, talk to people in the modeling agency's management and ask them what it takes to become an agent there. Even if a position as a modeling agent never opens up, you still will have gained experience working in an agency environment that you can take to another agency or use to open your own agency.

Opening your own agency will take business acumen, money and contacts. It is a good idea to take some business and marketing classes to learn how to successfully publicize and run your own business. Consider whether you will specialize in a particular modeling area such as high fashion, plus-size models, catalog modeling or other areas. Focusing in an area perceived as less glamorous, such as catalog modeling versus high fashion, for example, will most likely be easier when starting out.

Starting a modeling agency probably will require a business license. Check with your local government for licensing requirements. Decide where you will operate your business and find a suitable location.

Having some money in the bank while you get your business off the ground is important. Networking to gain clients also is important. Let all your modeling industry contacts know that you are in business, and contact fashion designers, photographers and others in the industry. Advertising in modeling industry print publications and websites also is a good idea if you want to become a modeling agent.

Modeling agents may advertise for new clients in fashion magazines.
Modeling agents may advertise for new clients in fashion magazines.

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