One of the most common questions I receive on the topic of fitness modeling is how models can get more opportunities in the industry. The Internet is a great tool which has brought marketing to a whole new level when compared to the limited options that were available 10 years ago. Models can have their own online portfolios without having to know any sort of intricate web designing skills or complicated programming knowledge. There is no need to pay expensive web designers to create a flashy website with all the bells and whistles. All you need to do is choose a reputable modeling and networking website, create an account and upload your pictures along with basic information about yourself. You can even extend this type of exposure and be seen on a much wider scale by the fitness market when you post your profile to multiple modeling sites, many of which are free of charge. One of the most popular free websites is called ModelMayhem.com which is a very easy to use site where you can upload your profile in a matter of minutes. If you’re looking for a premium website for modeling, make sure to checkout OneModelPlace.com which has over 200,000 active members.
You can save a lot of money by being able to refer potential jobs to an online portfolio which saves you the cost of printing out your photos. I suggest creating a professional looking photo business card with your favorite portfolio website address (URL). One of the best websites to use for these business cards is VistaPrint.com which provides extremely affordable prices for great looking marketing material.
I need to stress that you should always be careful and ensure that you get proper identification and legitimate licensed business contacts before heading out to a job. Always make sure to avoid meeting anyone alone or without thorough research on the background and legitimacy of the person, company or job. Many of the modeling websites have reviews from models who have worked with the person or company before along with a list of their past clients they have worked with. If you have any doubt, just send an email to a few of those clients to see how they feel about the company or person you’re interested in working with.
The fitness modeling industry is a very competitive one. This makes it difficult to earn full-time money at these types of jobs but a small number of fitness models do get paid very well and they are able to make a living out of this profession. Making it as a full-time job right off the bat is probably unlikely, so go into it planning on this venture to work for you as a side job for a little extra supplemental income and see how you do.
Try your best at working to make quality contacts online. You can enter some online cover girl contests which is another great way to get yourself out there. You will also want to look in your local papers which include the smaller neighborhood ones because they sometimes have modeling sections you can apply to and be featured in. This is a great way to start your tear sheet collection. Once again, always make sure to do your own due diligence on the background of the prospective company or person you will be working with.
Another helpful tip is to submit your photos to several fitness magazines. Be aware that you may not hear back from them at all, so don’t get frustrated. It’s the name of the game and you will need to deal with a lot of rejection in this business. However, you may get a spot in their amateur section which would be ideal. On occasion, if they really like your look and you live near by, you might get called back for magazine editorial shoots which are paid gigs!
Along with an online portfolio, it’s also important to have a printed portfolio to physically show prospective clients if they require it. If you know a few photographers in your area, make sure to do some TFP, which stands for “time for print” modeling. This will give you practice in front of the camera and teach you how to pose along with which specific poses work best for you. You may even develop a signature pose! With TFP, you will basically do a photoshoot with the photographer and they will give you a copy of all of your photos free of charge. Once you have some fitness shots in your portfolio, you can also submit them to different apparel magazines which have a fitness section. In most cases, you won’t get paid for these jobs but you will be able to keep a bunch of clothing which is worth a few hundred bucks.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started in the fitness modeling business. Once you start networking, you will notice that people you have networked with will remember you for jobs that come up in the future or they might know of someone you would be perfect for. Once you work on a few jobs, you will then have a great chance of being called back if they like you, especially if you made yourself very easy and pleasant to work with. My most important advice is to always be 15 minutes early, be professional and keep a smile on your face at all times. Part of being successful in the fitness modeling business is having people actually want to work with you so once you do get booked for a job, you must sell yourself so make sure you’re always prepared if you want to stand out in this industry!