Here are some tips no matter if your live in a big city or smaller town on how to get active with some modeling and put your compcard to use!
If you live in a small city, mail print modeling agencies or talent agencies your compcard or headshot by postal mail, already being prepared with marketing material can get you ahead.
Also it is better to find work locally in your town and it is possible. First get some experience in your town, and pitching agencies in your town is a smart thing to do. Do not pitch agencies in cities you DO NOT LIVE. Agencies typically ONLY work with modeling who are based in the city they are based in. So if you live in Flordia, don't pitch an agency in NYC unless you have plans to move their already set, it makes agencies upset when they call you for a casting you can not make it. Modeling is a pursuit based on being available and if you are not available the agency just won't call you anymore. Don't expect to get room, and food or anything from an agency or think you will be discovered, (that is over) it is all about getting some experience and growing from it and pitching more, and getting more, it takes time it is a process.
So here is the scoop on some smaller city modeling pursuit goals:
If you are very new to the word model then get ready to get active and become a good researcher, to find your own oppportunities. I would start with researching local colleges research their photo department or a fashion schools who might need a model, try to reach local ad agencies creative department who might need a model for small jobs locally, mail your photo and resume and modeling interests and assets to marketing companies. And most important if your live in a smaller city don't think there are NOT opportunities there. Modeling is everywhere these days so you've got to get on it and be ready to take advantage of what might be in your town. Also many large brands are base in smaller cities where rent is cheaper so research to find out what brands, companies are based right in your city. Approach aspiring brands with your compcard, their might be a craft fair, tradeshow, a street full of boutiques, stop in, stop by, pitch yourself, and drop off your compcard. Be sure to write your phone number or email on the card but stray from exposing any amatuer modeling website profile links, (i would skip those all together) and only show professionalism no matter the size of your town.
If you live in bigger city such as LA, NYC, Miami, or Chicago, I would mail by postal mail 50 compcards, by doing so you are bound to hear back from at least one agency. (Again if you can not get to the casting in these cities within 30 minutes or so, do not apply, modeling castings are often last minute and getting to them it important, being available is key to model).
The more your market you the better, of course you need quality compcard and photos and a portfolio for castings but the more you try the more you get. These days there are many smaller size agencies that have been around for many, many, many years, and who are professional to work with but just smaller in size. In a competitive city you must work really hard and be prepared for it. The magazines, top brands, and many agencies are found in bigger cities but a lot more girls these days want to be models and are working as models. Let it be inspiration but be prepared to work hard. You could and shoul submit to agencies of all sizes, the top commercial print modeling agencies, but also the ones that are smaller in size. Getting some experience by working with a smaller boutique size agency is not a bad idea, it is a GREAT idea, get some real professional modeling experience modeling for products or in a magazine and use that experience to beef up your compcard and pitch other agencies you might want to work with. IT really is a marketing game for a shorter print model. You should be active as well pitching your self to aspiring brands and designers: Currently in Union Square and also Bryant Park there is a Holiday tradeshow craft fair and MANY designers are there, if you do not have any experience working with a product, go on, pitch yourself and compcard to some of these designers maybe? Get some experience it leads to more opportunities. And actually getting the experience often means getting off your ass and getting out there, and not relying on the internet to make you a model. That route is typically the road to amatuer land and doesn't lead to real modeling jobs.Showing an agency you can model does involve hands on work of yourself. So get out there! Aim to work with professionals!
Here is an episode on my radio show Model Talk on why you need a compcard and how working non-exclusive with an agency is how it usually is for print modeling, despite reality tv and what you might hear about getting an exclusive contract, it is not the end-all, and many,many,many print models work non-exclusively with print modeling agencies. In fact for print it is very normal.
Good luck! Isobella