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Becoming a model manager means overseeing the development and business of a clothing or fashion model. It is different from an agent who arranges auditions. Becoming a model manager requires understanding the industry and the unique attributes of your clients. Managers work closely with agents to ensure that a model doesn't just get any job, but gets a job that helps build her career step by step.
Model managers often have industry experience, understanding the ins and outs of agency requirements, image branding, photo shoots and runway work. However, many parents of minors also become managers, acting in the best interest of their children to ensure that they are not taken advantage of in the high-stakes industry. If you don't have personal experience in the industry, meet as many agents and photographers as possible. Talk to designers, and learn what differentiates successful models from those who just pass through the industry.
Build Your Contact List
Managers generally limit representation to a small group of models to work more closely with all aspects of their careers. As such, they don't have one agent or photographer they work with. Managers understand that the more contacts they have, the better opportunities they can offer clients. The agent who was perfect for the early stages of a career might not be big enough for a more successful model. Attend industry events to learn who the players are, and align yourself with as many as possible.
Managers typically earn 5 to 20 percent of a model's wage. You don't make money unless your clients make money, so you need to be able to negotiate and close deals. You are your client's closest business advisor. Many managers who didn't come from the modeling world actually come from legal or financial backgrounds for this reason. While this isn't necessary, you will need to learn the ins and outs of contracts, marketing and financial services to properly advise clients.
Work with your clients on their images, which includes hair, daily makeup and clothing. Make sure your clients network with the right people, introducing them to key players to build their careers. Help them get professional photos and comp or zed cards, keeping them updated with actual client work and new looks. Send out press releases to your contact list about the success of your clients. Be available to your clients, and always look for the next opportunity for career growth. The manager's job isn't just about getting work, its about helping clients get work that leads to higher paying gigs and national exposure.
- Go to your clients' headshot and zed card shoots with them to make sure you get good photos
Kimberlee Leonard has trained more hundreds of professionals in telemarketing, sales and promotional events over the past 20 years. She brings humor and simplicity to her writing whether writing for small local brands such as Hawaii's Funlocity.com or major marketing sites such as NeilPatel.com. Kimberlee is a proud fourth generation Hawaii local.