If you're an aspiring model and have been trying to secure a steady stream of work for a while now without much success, you're probably already thinking about getting a modeling agent. A modeling agent keeps his eyes and ears open for news on leads on modeling jobs, and contacts you to set up an audition. The modeling agent also serves as a go-between for you and the potential client, since he or she will be the one the client will be contacting for scheduling and negotiations, in the event that you are being considered for a modeling job.
One of the easiest ways to find a modeling agent is through referrals from people you may know who have already have experience in the modeling industry. But if you don't know anyone who's had modeling experience, you should do the search on your own. Start with modeling agencies in your town, which you can find through the Yellow Pages or by doing a search online. Naturally, it's the legitimate agents that you want to work with, so check with advertising agencies and photographers as well, and ask if they can direct you to modeling agents they have been working with. Contact the Better Business Bureau as well to find out if any complaints have been filed against a particular agency or agent.
Once you have a list of modeling agents, you can then begin contacting them to set up meetings and appointments. Take this opportunity to get to know your prospective agent and how he works. Don't forget to ask about his other clients and what types of modeling jobs they have already done. You can also ask about the agent's contacts in the modeling industry and how he goes about finding work for models.
Try getting in touch with models who have worked with the agents you are considering. Do a short interview to ask about client-agent relationships. Did they have a good working relationship with the agent? Are they satisfied with the number of modeling jobs they received? Do they feel that the agent's commission rates are fair? If you happen to talk to models who no longer work with any of the agents you are in touch with, you can also try finding out the reasons why they severed their working relationship, giving you a chance to know what to expect.
Keep in mind that you aren't supposed to pay a modeling agent a regular monthly salary. They only get paid when you get paid for a modeling job. Even then, they are entitled to a commission of about 10% to 25% of your pay, depending on state laws. This prospect can make them more persistent in securing more modeling jobs for you. Steer clear of any modeling agent who requests money upfront or tells you that you need to pay a monthly retainer fee.
Most importantly, however, you should consider how you'll get along with your prospective modeling agent. If he or she is honest and upfront with you, and puts great emphasis on the welfare of his model clients, then you just might have found the right person to represent you as you break into the modeling industry.