How to Choose the Right Agency For a Teen Model
If you’re a teen model or the parent of one, you’ll know that choosing an agency is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your career. Choose the right one and it’s sunshine and rainbows along the yellow brick road. Choose the wrong one… and well, let’s just say your chances of success drop dramatically.
Unfortunately, choosing the best modelling agencies for teens isn’t as straightforward as it seems. There are more than a few agencies out there that will take advantage of a promising young teen and make all kinds of empty promises just so they can their membership fee.
But since you already have so much on your plate as you learn how to become a teen model, we decided to create this quick guide to help you separate the good agencies from the bad.
So let’s start with the good stuff that a teen modelling agency should have as a bare minimum.
Success working with teens
There are a lot of agencies out there that have plenty of experience working with children and teenagers, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been successful.
Ideally, you’ll want to find an agency that can show you their success stories. The time they booked a teen for a major fashion brand or the time one of their teen models landed a national or even international ad campaign. And trust us, if they have done either, they’ll be able to tell you all about it. So if you’re speaking with an agency, ask them for their success stories and only those that include teen models.
Yep, teen modelling is a non-stop learning process and it’s not just about poses. For this reason, you’ll want to sign with an agency that has a track record of investing time and effort into ensuring that their teen models are well prepared for their assignments. This could be through hosting modelling workshops with former models to learn about the industry or it could be free online resources such as this guide that you’re reading now. It could even be online classes on modelling.
But it’s also important that at least some of these resources are tailored to your specific needs as a teen. This is something that will really help you step up your game and land those big assignments that will kick start your career.
So you’re a teen model now, but that doesn’t necessarily have to stop once you hit 18 and become an adult, right? Many teen models have plans to either stay in the industry while they’re studying at uni or to make a long-term career out of modelling. In fact, very few teen models just decide to pack it all in and give modelling the old heave-ho once they’re able to vote. This is why it’s a really good idea to sign with an agency that will not only take care of you right now but that has potential to guide your career in the long-term.
Many of the most successful agencies will have adult divisions or, like Bubblegum Casting, they may have a sister agency that handles its adult talent (ours is called Hunter Talent!) Signing with an agency that has the ability to keep you on as an adult will help make the transition from teen model to adult model a smooth one. Not only that but the clients that you worked with as a teen and who usually use your teen agency will likely also use its adult division for adult models and talent. So it’s a win-win for everyone.
Teen modelling agency red flags
So now you know about the bare essentials that a good teen modelling agency must have, what about the things to avoid? We’re glad you asked.
Signing you up over the phone
This is a major red flag for any talent agency in any niche. A reputable teen modelling agency will always want to meet with you before they agree to sign you or even make you an offer. This is because it is absolutely essential that the agency knows that you are a real person and that you can handle yourself in an interview/audition scenario. Yes, we know that models don’t do too many auditions, but it’s still important that we know you can handle one. This can be either in person or via a video call or Zoom meeting.
If the agency does try to sign you over the phone or through an email, they’re probably just after your membership fees and they likely won’t work too hard to promote you at all.
No social media presence
This is another red flag as any teen modelling agency worth its salt knows that social media is a wonderful tool for promoting its models and talents. It’s also where they can share their teen model wins — just like we do over on Instagram! So if your potential agency has no socials at all or nothing to write home about, we’d say that they’re not making the most of the tools available to them which means they may not be the best at promoting you for work.
A bad vibe
As simple and weird as it may sound, getting a bad vibe from an agency can be a major red flag. If you feel like you’re being talked down to or being treated disrespectfully, then perhaps you are. That’s no way to start a business relationship and believe us that’s what this is. As much as we like to have fun here at Bubblegum, we always remind our new teen models that this is work and that we’re in it together. Sure, we can enjoy ourselves but we also need to respect each other so we can work well together. So if you get any kind of a bad vibe from the staff at an agency, it’s probably a sign that you guys are not a good match.
If you’re struggling to find a reliable teen modelling agency and you’re eager to start working, then we’d love to hear from you. But before you get in touch with us or apply to join us, do a little research and see if we check all the boxes above. And we promise you, there are only good vibes at Bubblegum HQ!