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Does the saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ ring any bells? Well, it definitely applies to model networking!
Marketing yourself, connecting with the right people and making good first impressions are all vital to a model’s success.
To help you network in the modeling industry we have put together our top ten tips and advice to help you get started.
Starting out in any industry can be daunting but having close contacts to share advice or put you forward for jobs is one of the best ways to have a successful career as a model.
We know networking can sometimes seem nerve-racking, but the benefits will quickly outweigh the fear of putting yourself out there and speaking to someone new.
There are so many reasons why you should network but the main ones include developing long-lasting relationships, growing in self-confidence, gaining support from high profile professionals, and bringing in new opportunities.
As a model, you should always be ready to network as you never know when you might meet someone important.
Typically, most networking will be done on the job, as it’s the easiest and most effective way. On a shoot you’ll be surrounded by make-up artists, photographers, designers, stylists and all of these people are very beneficial to network with so make sure to be friendly and chat to each member of the team.
If you’re just starting out you could try attending model networking events, fashion shows or new restaurant/bar openings where you might meet other models.
Another great way to meet people is through model networking sites. Here are model networking sites UK which might help you connect with others:
These are the best people to network with as a model:
The modeling industry is renowned for its competitive nature however there will be some models who are willing to help each other.
You could team up with another model and share opportunities, events and castings.
Building a strong relationship with model agents will be hugely helpful as they can share their network with you, so when suitable opportunities arrive they’ll offer you the job, before others.
Make friends with your agent. They can be more than just your boss, if you put time and effort into building a friendship, they’ll be even more likely to help you succeed.
Photographers are brilliant professionals to network with. Doing a great job on set and getting on well with your photographer might lead to more opportunities in the future or them requesting you as the model on their next shoot. Build your model photographer network wherever you can!
Similarly, if designers are impressed with you and your work, you’ll remain on their radar.
The list is endless, and you never know whose connections might be just what you need, so it’s important to be polite, professional and personable to everyone you meet.
Now you know where you can network and who with, here are our top tips on how to network effectively:
Make sure to show a genuine interest in the person you’re talking to, ask them plenty of questions and avoid just talking about yourself.
If you’re stuck for conversation starters, ask them about current projects they’ve been working on, any upcoming trips they have or how they find out about the event/shoot. Keep the conversation light and fun to avoid it feeling like an interview.
It’s not a good idea to ask for the job straight away as this can seem unprofessional and look like you’re desperate for work.
Instead, demonstrate why you are the best model for the job and chat about your experience so far.
If you want to make a good impression at an event, take time to research whoever’s work is on display.
Showing that you are familiar with the work and can chat about it will be a good conversation starter and make you even more memorable.
Pick an outfit that you feel both comfortable and confident in. You don’t want something too impractical that will distract you from networking.
Although, it’s often a good idea to post on social media and take pictures during the event, don’t spend the duration of the event glued to your phone and miss vital connections. Also, try not to turn to your screen for comfort if you feel nervous. Remember, everyone is in the same boat, most likely dreading initiating conversation just as much as you.
Be present, smile and introduce yourself, it’s never as scary as you think once you get past the initial hello.
Focus on the conversation and stay engaged, it’s important to listen and show an interest in whoever you’re talking to.
It can be tempting to have a drink or two at an event for some ‘Dutch courage’ but know your limits and keep the amount of alcohol you drink to a minimum.
Remember you’re there for work, not just to socialise.
Keep it professional by contacting potential clients and connections via appropriate platforms. Email and phone are usually the best ways to approach industry professionals and social media is often the worst.
However, use your judgment with each person, if you are collaborating with peers then it may be OK to DM them on Instagram.
Waiting for a response can be frustrating, but patience is key. Follow up 3 days to a week later to politely remind them of your original email.
Though, don’t always expect a reply, often you will get some rejections to start with.
Going alone to an event or shoot, although intimidating, will force you to socialise with others. When you go in a group it’s very tempting to stay in that group and not put yourself out of your comfort zone, although this won’t benefit your career.
If you do go with friends, agree to split up during the event to gain contacts and make the most of your time there.
Thanks for stopping by and finding out all you need to know about networking as a model.
You’re now ready to network, any time, any place whilst gaining helpful contacts and connections in the modelling industry.
Happy networking! Hopefully, this article gave you food for thought! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles on our blog? We recommend our guide on How To Get Scouted For Modelling, How To Prepare For A Model Casting, and How To Become A Hand Model to get you started!
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