Modeling is a profession that is harder than it appears. Many new models tend to make mistakes that get unable to be recovered sometimes. New models should always be aware of the consequences that they might face when entering the modeling industry. Many problems can hit new models just because they were a little bit too naïve. They also can also potentially face reputation problems, mental health issues and can get hindered in their career. So some of the biggest mistakes new models make are stated below from which some of them I too committed as well when I was starting my modeling career.
1. Being too picky:
As a model, it is normal to start thinking that I must only work with the most favorable artists and no one else. I also thought the same. As I was new in the industry, I was way too picky about people I would work with. Even though I had no experience and no portfolio to bring to the table I thought people should just work with me because I was talented. This laid me back in my career. I probably lost many work opportunities that could be a good kick start for my career just because I wanted to get paid work straight away. But if you want to succeed somewhere in something you have to be willing to eat dirt first, to be willing to work for a low or no wage at all because in this industry it is all about who you know not what you know. I am not talking about working with creepy photographers that ask for a nude shoot straight away and probably aren't real photographers anyway. I am talking about photographers that might be an amateur just like you. Be open to work with beginners and learn and grow with them together. You never know where this person could lead you to one day. Remember: Everyone was a beginner at something once.
2. Feeling entitled:
I felt too entitled. Like I said I wanted people to like and love my work regardless of my little experience or the time I had spent in the industry. I had to get references, had to build a portfolio FIRST...I thought people would reach out to me on their own, but no one ever did. Obviously....why would they? I dreamed about getting noticed on the streets, getting noticed on Instagram, and blowing up on Youtube but you can't expect to receive when you haven't even started giving yet. This mindset of expecting something to happen to me rather than making it happen myself ended up hurting me and slowed down my career a lot. Don't do that. Take responsibility for your own life and go get the one you desire, don't wait for someone else to "make it happen" because that someone might never come...
3. Not managing social media channels:
Well, who doesn't know about social media marketing by now? I didn't back at the start of my career, well at least I didn't want to know about it. I had a very bad opinion of social media as I suffered from cyberbullying as a teenager and knew the influence the internet could have on my self-esteem. Also, I didn't want to be just another fake influencer that pretended she had the best life on earth while she was actually struggling a lot... I thought I was all good without being active on social media. I just wanted to find a good model agency or acting agency to represent me and.. do the work for me. I never thought I would aim to become TikTok famous one day... Well, times have changed... Check out @kathyinframe on TikTok btw.
When I started modeling the Instagram algorithm was very different from where it is right now and if I had done nearly half of the work or probably even 20% of the work I do these days, my account would've blown up crazy. These days organic growth on Instagram is nearly impossible and even though I have been posting high-quality content on IG every day for over a year now, my account didn't get any organic growth. In fact, I lose followers every day. At the moment with Ig reels being fairly new I even post up to 6 pieces of content a day but Instagram really doesn't want to appreciate my hustle. Back then I never posted regularly, I had no hashtag strategy and yeah I didn't even know what a niche even was...but what am I complaining about. If I keep up the hustle I will grow organically one day I won't let a stupid algorithm stop me from that.
Hopefully, one day I will come back to this blog post here and can say that the years of stressful social media content creation have finally paid off and actually got me somewhere. I sure as hell won't be able to maintain this motivation forever if it keeps getting nowhere. Posting on Tiktok, Instagram reels, photos & igtv, as well as on Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, and so many other social platforms takes a lot of time and effort. Every social media platform needs to have its own optimized content and that can be very overwhelming at times. Even writing this blog is part of the hustle oh and the podcast I just launched...
But hey if you wanna be a successful model, personal brand, influencer or whatever you gotta do what you gotta do and...you gotta put in the work. Sorry for being a boomer...but...it is what it is...
4. Waiting for people to hire me:
I waited, and I kept waiting! I couldn't think of reaching out to people and taking the initiative to let people hire me. I wanted to be discovered and thought that I would get people to hire me on their own. Due to this, I was mostly left without work.
Another big reason why I didn't reach out to people was that I was afraid of rejection you rather want to be "the model that nobody knows", than the model that nobody wants. The fear of rejection limited me in many ways and I didn't even realize that rejection was going to be the best thing ever happening to me to guarantee growth and success. Don't fear rejection, fear not having tried.
5. Not researching the client's history:
Research is vital. You need to research the person or company you're going to model for. As you are just starting and you cannot bear any mistakes. With due research, you will be able to provide the kind of work they are expecting from you. This can leave a great first impression on your clients of your professionalism.
But this is not simply about professionalism from your end it is also vital to assure your safety at all times. The art industry also included people that don't always have good intentions. Some photographers may try to convince you to take nude photos even though you didn't agree to that. In every genre in this world, you will find good and bad people, this includes modeling. So don't just take on any job, by a stranger that private messaged you on Instagram. Ask for references, check out their work, speak to models who have worked with them in the past, or ask if you can bring a friend or family member. You need to assure your safety at all times!
6. Learn more about the modeling business:
You can learn about the modeling business through serval fashion magazines, catalogs, or even social media platforms. It's the most inexpensive way to do so. You can flip some pages of magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. Skim through your relevant articles and look at the photos closely. How do the models pose, what facials do they use? There are also very helpful Youtube tutorials on Youtube such as"how to pose as a model". It will keep you from making mistakes in your photoshoots and will help you learn the modeling tricks and tips soon. But don't get frustrated if your first photoshoot isn't that great no model knew how to pose perfectly at the beginning of their career, practice makes perfect! Be willing to listen to constructive criticism and advice and you shall go a long way.
Those who are willing to listen and learn will succeed. I believe in you!
7. Build connections:
Building connections in the modeling industry will take you far in your career. You will be able to reach people who are in the upper hand in the modeling industry. Making friends and peers here and there will help you get more work, and soon your portfolio will start growing. But don't be fake. Make friends and collaborators. Don't talk behind people's backs. Being a good person with good vibes will always get you further than spreading rumors about someone else. Remember it's all about who you know not what you know.
Connections are very important and you need to take good care of them. Don't see your work colleagues as competitors. Just because one succeeds doesn't mean the other one won't. Try to lift each other up instead and support each other on the way. If you know anyone looking for a model and you can't take that job, go ask models you know if they are free. Someone will get hired either way so you might as well be the helping hand that connects the dots to something beautiful. And even if they are not doing the same for you still be the give. It will always help you in the long run to be a giver and supporter.
8. Work hard & smart to get noticed:
People be like "work smart not hard" but imma tell you...you gotta work hard and smart. The competition is high and the chances are low. If you wanna grow big you need to do big.
It will help if you work, your very best. Try to work with the utmost willingness. Keep note of not working with companies and people that have a bad reputation as well to prevent harming your own. If you work hard and smart and don't give up along the way your modeling career will skyrocket eventually.
9. Don't spend too much:
If modeling is your only job at the moment and you are just slowly climbing up the ladder to success you need to be mindful about your spending. Try to save money for times when you might not get any work, or consider a form of passive income on the side to assure your financial situation is secured.
10. Keep quantity and quality balanced:
In the area of social media, quantity is very important Gary Vee suggests creating 60 pieces of content a day if you want to become social media famous. However, the competition is high and very talented which is why quality plays a significant role too. So try to find the right balance between high-quality work and quantity content.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section or slide into my IG dms if you have any questions.
Best of luck to all the aspiring models out there. You got this! Keep going. Kathy believes in you.
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