ExploreModeling When I started modeling I discovered quickly that being a professional model is very much like running your own business. Marketing yourself with your portfolio and comp cards should be a recurring theme throughout your entire career.
Don't ever put all of the responsibly on your agency to promote you. You will need to take your own initiative when deciding to get new test photos for your portfolio book or print a new comp card. Your agency is representing many models, so be smart and update your marketing materials whenever you grow tired of them. If your sick of looking at the old pictures in your book or on your card, clients are tired of them as well. Many times I have gotten new beauty shot taken for just the front of my card and then suddenly an older client books me again. When your pictures are always the same- a client assumes you are not working. Clients usually gravitate towards the models that are always booking work. You're taking an interest in the business side of modeling will make you stand out from the rest. I have found the most successful models are not only beautiful but business savvy as well.
This is why I strongly encourage anyone pursuing a career in modeling to not neglect his or her education. I personally have my Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. Before modeling I was eager to become a commercial real estate attorney. After graduating, I started modeling to earn money for law school. It turns out that I loved modeling so much that I never quite made it to law school but I always have my masters degree to fall back on if or when I ever grow tired of modeling.
Many models I know have chosen careers they could do in addition to modeling. Some are photographers, real estate agents, make-up artists or web developers. I also know quite a few that have started their own businesses.
By pursuing another field in addition to modeling- you can earn a consistent income while your modeling career gets underway. It will also take the strain off "having" to book jobs to support yourself. I am a firm believer that clients can sense desperation. When you are confidently making money somewhere else- you can approach your castings with a lighter attitude. Just make sure that whatever else you choose to do- it comes with a flexible schedule so you can take off for castings and bookings.
Now the biggest financial mistake any model can make is not budgeting his or her money. When you get paid from any booking you must remember that your next check or booking may not be around the corner. So, you are going to want to save or invest a portion of your money. If you spend all of your money on expensive clothes, cars or vacations- you will definitely regret it down the road.
Finally when dealing with your taxes at the end of the year- remember that you are self-employed as a model. Everything you spend on travel, clothing, photos, comp cards, make-up, transportation and so on are tax deductible. You should save all of your receipts and keep a journal of expenses. Doing this will save you a great deal of money on your taxes.