Creating an online modeling agency is a relatively new idea that is gaining some traction. Why? Well, instead of relying simply on local talent or having to bring models to you, you can actually let them work remotely from wherever they live. This allows you not only to save money, but to expand your network from your local area to the world.
However, opening and online modeling agency does have some obstacles, and you need to know and understand what you are up against when you decide to do so. These hurdles are simpler to overcome than you think, and they are similar to those you would face opening a physical location or almost any other online business. Here are some simple steps and tips to opening an online modeling agency.
Read more after the jump:
Get Your Website Set Up
Obviously the first thing you will need for an online modeling agency is an online home. This means you will need a domain name, a design, and hosting. Let’s look at those one at a time.
- Domain Name: This can be your name, that of your business, or a combination of the two. The key is that it must be simple. This is the first impression many people will have of your site, so use a tool that helps you find the perfect name to see what is out there and choose wisely.
- A Design: Unless you are a web designer yourself, you will need to hire someone for this process. Be sure your theme is clean and allows you to show off both your services and the models you have helped with their careers along with a booking portal that allows clients to book your talent easily.
- Hosting: Whether you anticipate a lot of traffic or a little, you will need a host of some sort. You can choose the more common and less expensive shared hosting or dedicated hosting that will allow for more traffic and more memory.
Once you have your site set up and everything is running the way it should you can get started on building your agency.
Spread the Word
Even the best agency would be useless without both clients and models to serve their needs. The only way you are going to get both of those is to spread the word. This means being active in the modeling community both in person and online. You will need to be active on social media in both groups and hashtag discussions.
In addition to that, you will need to pay for advertising. Whether this is on design websites, modeling blogs, boosted social media posts, or even ads on Google, you will have to invest some money of your own to get the word out about your new agency.
The more traffic and attention you can draw to your website the better. This may mean a blog and a content marketing campaign as well, another great way to draw attention to your site and gain both followers and customers.
All of this attention won’t do you any good though if you don’t have a strong call to action. You need models to sign up and clients to want to book them. Be sure you have a clear place for both.
Use Modern Technology
Working remotely with both models and clients means you will need to use some modern technology. Don’t be afraid to incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality into the development of your agency, allowing clients to see what models might look like in other clothing or settings.
Keep in touch with your workforce through chat applications, video chat, and other visual means that let them know they are just as valuable to you as those models who work with you in your hometown and in person.
Also, analytics can tell you a lot about how your site is performing, and the audience you are drawing. You can tell if your keywords are correct, and if your targeting is working or if you need to make a shift of some sort. Incorporate these from the beginning and study them often. Make changes, test, and see what happens.
Hire Local Freelancers
How are you going to get work done from around the world? Hire local freelance photographers and designers who will work with you to make your agency successful. You won’t be able to be at every shoot or everywhere at once, so make sure you have others who are doing much of the work for you.
In many cases, your clients and models will both be happy with this. Not only are you allowing them to work where they live and providing clients with local talent, you are also employing others and contributing to the local economy. This is not only very important, but it also eco-friendly, cutting down on travel and other potentially harmful behaviors.
Being a green company who supports local talent will set you apart and take you a long way toward digital success.
Managing a team remotely is much different than doing so in person, but it can be done well. With an online modeling agency, you will have to take these challenges head on. Still, remote control is key to your success.
The key is that communication must be even more emphasized than ever before. Keep in touch and be open to questions nearly any time. If you are not, let your team know when you will be out of touch and when you will be available again. Those who are not in your office can’t see a closed door or a light turned off. Make sure they know some other way that you are not free.
Also, don’t neglect in person visits and bringing them in for in-person meetings. Employees, even those who are remote need to be reminded that they are valued just as much as clients need the same thing. Video chat and occasional travel will help with this management style.
Creating an online modeling agency is unique and presents you with different challenges than other endeavors, but they can be overcome with persistence and the right start. Models and clients alike will benefit in the long run.
Images by Kosmas Pavlos for MMSCENE