How to Become a Model for Brands
Learning how to become a model for brands takes a lot of hard work. Discover what steps you should take to find success here.
It's easy to see why someone would want to become a model. The world of modeling conjures images of glamor and grandeur. It can be quite financially rewarding as well, with the average salary for a model sitting in the six-figure range.
That's because models provide an invaluable service for the brands they represent. Companies worldwide use models to not only promote their products but to forge emotional connections with their customers. From high fashion to everyday consumer goods, every brand needs an inviting face to represent them.
But how does someone become a model for brands? It's a more complex process than showing up at Gucci headquarters with a stack of headshots, after all. If you're trying to break into the modeling business, you have to follow these key steps.
Find Your Niche
Before you compile a portfolio or schedule your first audition, you need to define your niche.
As we mentioned, becoming a fashion model isn't the only path to success in the industry. Fitness models, glamor models, commercial models, and even "parts" models who only show off one specific part of their body are all in high demand.
Each of these avenues has its own unique requirements. Identifying early on which one best aligns with your interests, skills, and physical attributes will help you narrow your scope.
That's not to say you should put all of your eggs in one basket. Many models work in a variety of niches. But having a specific goal to focus on is invaluable when you're starting your journey.
Build Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is your most valuable asset, as it's how you showcase your work and physical assets. It's also crucial for making a positive first impression on potential clients. In most cases, a brand will use your portfolio to determine if you're worth scheduling an audition for.
To make the best impression possible, your portfolio should have a range of material that shows off your versatility as a model. As a new model, this can be a challenge. You won't have much—if any— previous work to showcase.
To make up the difference, you should invest in at least one professional photoshoot. A practiced photographer can help cast you in the best light possible and make a positive impression on potential clients.
You should also add any relevant experience or qualifications that you may have, like modeling or amateur competitions to your portfolio.
When building a portfolio, only work with reputable photographers. While they can be a bit pricey, avoid sending thousands on photographs, you don't need them. Also, be on the look out for fake model scouts, reputable photographs will have a book of experience.
Build a Social Media Presence
In 2023, it's all but impossible to break into the industry without a strong social media presence. Some models get so many job offers via social media that they need to start referring the excess to their agents. Use Instagram and TikTok to cultivate the vibe you want to project. The identity you create can become another asset in your career.
Think of your social media as a secondary portfolio. They're not going to replace traditional agencies anytime soon.
But imagine if a prospective client is considering two candidates for a job. One has a few thousand followers and the other has a couple million. That social media presence could be the factor that shifts the needle in one direction.
Sign With an Agency
Models are represented by agencies and managers, just like actors, musicians, and other performers. Their representation acts as an intermediary between them and prospective clients, advocating on behalf of the model to get them the best deals possible.
Signing with an agency can allow access to a wider range of clients, types of modeling, and opportunities. In exchange, modeling agencies may take a percentage of their client's earnings. But if you consider that they can also help you negotiate higher rates and provide guidance throughout your career, it's an expense that more than pays for itself.
For tips on how to get representation, check out this guide on how models get signed to by an agency.
Networking is a major crux of any business, and even more so in an industry like modeling where the whole point is to be seen. So to find success, you're going to have to go out and look for it.
Start by attending local modeling events like fashion shows. These are excellent places to get noticed. Open casting calls and industry conferences are great opportunities as well. Events like these can let you meet industry insiders and potential clients.
All of these events can give you chances to interact with other models. This can be a great opportunity to learn from their experiences and gain insights into the industry.
ABP: Always Be Professional
No matter what level you're at in the industry, you will always be expected to conduct yourself professionally. This means always arriving on time (if not early), being prepared for long hours on set, and maintaining a positive attitude no matter what.
It's normal for tempers to get a little frayed when you're working under hot studio lights for longer than you might have expected. You might even see some of your colleagues start to lose their cool. But you should never let yourself sink to that level.
It's not enough to have looks and talent. You also need to be easy to work with. If you work to establish that kind of reputation, people within the industry will remember that and be more likely to offer you work in the future.
This also means being open to feedback. The modeling industry has a stereotype of attracting people with fragile egos. Set yourself apart from them.
Bear criticism with grace and treat it as an opportunity to learn and further hone your craft.
Start Your Modeling Journey
It takes more than a pretty face to become a model. You need to be able to practice professionalism, even when people around you don't. You need to cultivate the skills and connections you need to succeed.
Above all else, you need to stay motivated in the face of rejection.
If you're ready to take your first steps, Latitude Talent can help. Our platform connects models with casting opportunities in their market, and we have contacts with hundreds of modeling and talent agencies worldwide. To start your journey, Latitude Talent is one of the best places to get started. Become a model today.