Seven years of my life I spent in the marketing world and my primary job was to chase work on behalf of the company I worked for.
I would have to constantly monitor our current and prospective client’s to track what work they presently had and what work they would have coming out in the near future. Once a client advertised a specific project they would have a very detailed request on how companies needed to apply to be considered for the work.
The pitch or proposals I put together varied in length but had to follow an extremely detailed request to the very letter. If the client’s request was that I used Times New Roman font at 10 size, and I used Arial – our proposal would be thrown away without consideration. If they requested the information be presented in a specific order and we didn’t follow that precisely – our proposal would be thrown away without consideration. I literally once had a proposal tossed out because a single page in it had .9″ margins when they asked for 1″ margins.
You may think that sounds a bit overboard on behalf of the clients – but not really. When you are soliciting work you will have an extraordinary amount of applicants that you have to wade through. What better way to lean out the group and to find out who really paid attention to details and who did not by making these requests?
The experience taught me a lot about paying close attention to what clients are asking to see and providing it to them in the manner to which they want to see it.
Let’s correlate this to casting calls for modeling gigs. We recently had posted one for a magazine project we were working on and requested, very simply, a quick bio paragraph, contact information (e-mail and phone), location and willingness to travel if selected, and lastly a few samples images from their portfolio.
I would estimate that less than 20% of the applicants provided all the requested information. We would an application that had no images or contact information, others that had no location but lots of images, others that had only the partial sentence of “I’m interested.”
Had this been like my prior career, that would mean that 80% of the applicants would be thrown out before ever being considered. Why? Because it now takes us more time to have to respond to request information that should have been provided with the initial application.
So here are the tips for models applying to casting calls.
1. Realize that the reason for the casting call is that the client is in need of assistance in finding a qualified person or persons for a job they need to complete. You are in the position to help them by providing them with everything they need to make their job easy. Don’t add more work to their plate by requiring them to follow up with you to get additional information they needed to begin with. Providing them everything requested for shows that you were paying attention.
2. Take the time to craft a submission. It illustrates to the client that you care enough about the gig to take an extra step to stand out from the competition. When I used to do proposals we would take the last few days before the submission deadline to see if anything could be redesigned or rewritten to make it look, read or feel better. As a model you have the opportunity to vary how you pitch, what you include in your pitch and what differentiates you from others. Although we didn’t request it, a few talents provided a small resume. Another provided a positioning statement of why they were the best person suited for the gig. Contrast that with the person who simply sent the two word message of “I’m interested.”
3. Send the right images. Look into the client’s style to see the type of work they do and showcase to them that you can do the same. Do not send images that do not match up to the content and style of the client. Thus if it is a female-oriented fitness magazine, do not send overly sexual images – we get a lot of complaints about this from the editors of the publications.
4. Following up is not a bad thing! Often times talents think they will upset or offend the client if they follow up to see if a decision has been made. Although I wouldn’t advocate following up every day – a well timed follow up shows that you were still interested enough to remember the gig and that you were very interested in the results of the selection. There have been times where the act of following up propelled someone into being selected.
5. Realize there will most likely always be another casting and another opportunity. On any project, only a finite number of people can be hired for it. Often times it is only a single model out of the numerous who applied. If not selected, take that opportunity to build a stronger connection to the client. Feel free to inquire about what would make a strong application on the next casting call.
Simply stated – if you show that you are invested in them, there is a higher chance they will invest in you.