Setting Goals for Your Modeling Career

Regardless of your career field, you should always start your career path with a plan. This helps you stay on track, focused, and moving in the right direction. If you're hoping to launch a modeling career, it's important to work with your agent to set realistic goals and reevaluate your plan along the way.

Here are four specific goals that will help you kickstart your modeling career and keep you on the right path.

Determine Your "Look"

The modeling industry is incredibly broad and diverse, so get specific about the type of modeling and work you’d like to do—and that you'll be able to do. Perhaps you have always wanted to be a top fashion model, but your "look" is more commercial in nature. There are significant differences between being a swimsuit model, modeling for stock photos, or being a foot model.

There is a market for every type of model. But not every model can do every kind of modeling.

Do your research on the different industries, figure out which one suits you best, and include it in your goal-setting. This is an especially important goal to discuss with your agent as it significantly affects the type of jobs you'd be taking.

Envision Places You Want to Work

If you want to be a swimwear model, perhaps you have certain exotic locales in mind for beach shoots. Or, if you want to be a fashion model, you might be dreaming of walking in runway shows during Paris Fashion Week. Visualizing yourself in these settings is a powerful way to keep yourself moving forward. As you consider these goals and imagine yourself meeting them them, it will help you stay focused and keep you motivated to work toward them.

Sign With a Great Agency

Getting your photos seen by as many people as possible is essential in the competitive modeling business. To achieve your modeling goals you will need the help of a knowledgeable and experienced agent. Your agent will help you get jobs, manage your bookings, negotiate your pay, give you invaluable advice and modeling insight, and much more.

In order to get yourself maximum exposure, work with an agency that's experienced in getting models connected with high-profile work. ModelScouts is a great example of this type of agency.

Learn Everything You Can

Especially in the early days of your modeling career, your first priority should be to learn as much as possible about the industry and where you fit within it. Research photographers who are willing to help you build a portfolio and try different styles of shoots. Look at organizations that can provide coaching and insight into industry trends, such as ModelManagement.com or Boss Babe Models. The more you soak up from others in the industry, the more you can hone your own goals.

Set SMART Modeling Goals

When you're setting your modeling career goals, it's important to avoid being too general. A SMART goal framework can help you to be as precise as possible. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timed

Here's what these might look like in modeling.

  • Specific: "Get an agent" is OK, but "Research and meet with several commercial agencies and choose one" is better.
  • Measurable: For example, "Put together a swimsuit and lingerie portfolio in the next three months."
  • Attainable: If you're just starting out, Paris Fashion Week is probably out of reach. But getting signed with a small agency and featured in a new product catalog might be something you can attain.
  • Relevant: Don't go for modeling gigs that aren't feasible. For example, if you're too short for runway, it will be an uphill battle to break the mold.
  • Timed: Give yourself a time frame for short- and long-term goals. So, if your goal is to get to Paris Fashion Week, what are the steps to take to get there over the next three years?

Once you have some goals in mind, write them down and keep them handy so you can review and remind yourself regularly. It can also be helpful to include a reason for each goal, as this helps you stay motivated and on track when you're having trouble crossing the finish line.