Being a model manager is no doubt an exciting experience. You get to travel a lot and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of fashion and chic. In addition to meeting a lot of celebrities, famous designers, and photographers. You might even get lucky to make it into history as someone who discovered a gem of the model world.
However, with all the luxury a modeling business offers, it is still a highly stressful environment. Being a model agent means knowing how to handle stress and solving problems. You have to be ready to frequently live in airports and hotels, deal with whimsical models and difficult clients. Most importantly, think fast when everything goes wrong.
You don’t need a college certificate to get into the business but you do need a number of hard and soft skills to succeed. Here is the list of qualities you need to blossom forth as a model manager.
Be Passionate About Your Job
As cheesy as it sounds, having a passion for what you are doing is crucial for a model manager. The business is accompanied by lots of stress, disappointment, challenges, sleepless nights, and neglected personal opportunities. Your passion is the only thing that can keep you safe from burning out and give you the strength to continue. The fashion business is not all glitz and glamour. It requires a lot of commitment and effort to achieve success.
Know Your Business
When it comes to getting into the modeling industry, there’s going to be a lot of homework – and you should do it as a straight-A student. If you want to feel in your element, you have to be diligent about studying fashion and modeling history, learning past and present trends, as well as knowing the names and faces of the key players in this business.
Not only will you show your employer that you fit here well but also your career as an individual model manager can go up. Knowledge is power, and your awareness of the modeling industry will help you make wise decisions and cover good deals.
If you don’t know where to start your studying journey, a Pro-papers education blogger James Walton recommends reading autobiographies. “There’s no better way to learn about a business than from the someone who created it and led it to greatness,” says he.
Get an Internship or an Assistant Job
Many big model agencies offer unpaid internships or assistant jobs, and often it is the only chance how a complete layman can get into this business. A lot of well-known model agents had to work their socks off on the ground floor before they’ve become millionaires. Why don’t you emulate their success?
Be ready to start your career path from modest beginnings and work your way up to a model agent. By diving into the modeling business, you’ll see how it works from the inside, get valuable insights into the model managing process, and build a solid network of contacts.
Focus on One Group of Models
Until you have gained solid experience as a model manager, it’s better to take it slow and work with one type of model you feel most comfortable and confident with. Whether it’s an underwear modeling or a male athlete type, decide what it is that you are most enthusiastic about and go for it. By becoming a reputable expert in one type of model, you’ll make sure that you are the person everyone goes to when they need the talents you specialize in.
Build Up your Network of Contacts
The job of a model manager is largely about knowing the right people you can introduce your protégés to. Therefore, it is important to expand your network of contacts and stay in touch with key players in the modeling industry.
If you are going to enter an international arena, it’s important to visit various modeling-related conventions and conferences. Scouts and agents of top modeling agencies are frequent guests of such events, and it’s a good chance to get in touch with someone you want to sign your model with.
The largest ones are hosted by the International Model and Talent Association in NY and LA. However, finding your way there may be quite costly, so, perhaps, you’d like to start with smaller events.
Educate Yourself in the Related Fields
Although you don’t need a degree to become a model manager, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of business, law, marketing, and communications. The specifics of your job will involve negotiating a lot of contracts, showing your models in a favorable light, and communicating many nuances. It’s good to have some skills to handle these issues.
If you don’t feel like studying for a degree, there are plenty of online resources and courses that can help you focus on the skills and qualities you need specifically for your job.
Be Ready to Take Risks
As a model manager works on commission rather than a salary, your model’s popularity and earnings will largely define your personal success. Therefore, you should be ready to take risks and make bold decisions. You will have to negotiate terms with agencies and photographers, and you should be persistent and firm if you want to get better conditions for your protégé. However, sometimes it may mean agreeing to worse terms just to find a way into high fashion society. Whatever it is, you must be ready to take responsibility and use a plan B if anything goes wrong.
Follow Your Instincts
Being a good model manager means also trusting your instincts. If David Cunningham hadn’t confronted the general opinion, the world would have never gotten one of the most successful and well-paid models Kate Upton. So if you truly believe that someone has potential, you should go with your guts – even if the whole world is against you.