How To Start a Modeling Agency

Starting a modeling agency may sound like glamour, but the brains behind the operation needs acute business skills and industry savvy. Not all modeling agencies handle the perfection of beauty. There are many types and categories for a special niche market that can bring you big bucks. But, the basics you need to start with when selecting your models are intuitive commercial evaluation skills and an eye for charisma.

First, determine your target market by age group, height, weight or ethnicity. Certain areas may be in greater need of commercial representation with certain looks. In addition to your modeling agency demographics, determine if you want to specialize in children, seniors or plus size models. And adding special skills to your inventory will increase the opportunities. Will you photograph dancers or athletes? There's a world of work for ballerina and surfing models, so don't forget to recruit in this arena. Another smart move is to add a healthy balance of males to your equation, as they are a viable market for ramp and print media. In addition, some agencies concentrate on body parts and find lucrative work for their client's hands or feet.

Your staffing will be an experienced photographer, modeling coaches, classroom trainers, an accountant and front office employees. Though it's possible to start this business working from home, the office space is a necessity to grow your business and establish credibility. Check with your state and county for licenses to work from home and regulations to work with minors.

In this media charged world, there are many sources of work for your clients. The modeling agency provides talent for television commercials, magazines, print media of all sorts and even public appearances. A typical agent fee falls between 10 and 15 percent of the client's paycheck, which will be your own in the start up phase. However, as your name becomes known and your reputation builds, you will need to hire agents to expand your client base and keep the agency growing.

Advertising is quick and easy with online job posting sites, newspapers, publicly posted seminars and college newsletters. The response you get may be overwhelming, so this is where you have to put your emotions aside and calculate who you will take from a professional point of view. Assuming you have chosen your desired niche, now fill the spaces in your agency with qualified talent.

One quick way to expand your business is to post your model inventory online. Be sure you are ethical in your representation and only send your people out to verified jobs.  Taking online courses in business will help you master the fine points of verifying positions and other crucial business elements.  You may also wish to represent yourself in other countries, particularly Europe, where the currency exchange works in favor of the U.S. If payment to your agency is made in Euros or British Pounds Sterling, the conversion to dollars will nearly double your profit. But, to get started in this industry, you need only one salable model. So, make it a good one.


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