How To Start A Modeling Agency In 5 Easy Steps

In this guide, i will be showing you several helpful and piratical steps on how to start a modeling agency business on your own in Nigeria,India, United states, south africa or any country of your choice.

So If you’ve got a thing fashion and business, or you’ve already decided you want to own your own modeling agency…

…just continue reading this to know the needed steps you need to turn your idea or dream into a reality.

So without any further delay, let’s get into those helpful and practical steps…


Start A Modeling Agency

Step 1: Pick a niche

As you may already know:

There are a couple of niches within the business that you can choose from as an entrepreneur.

Some of these niches fetch you more money than others.

Below are some of the niches at your disposal to pick from

  • Fashion modeling
  • Runway/ catwalk modeling
  • Fashion print modeling
  • Showroom modeling
  • Fashion fit modeling
  • Commercial modeling
  • Glamour modeling

Gabriel Bianconi, founder of LABEL Talent Management and Scalar Research – (a talent and modeling agency for digital influencers) Had this to say on picking a niche.

While it’s tempting to try to tackle multiple niches at first, the modeling agency industry is highly competitive, so building a reputation in a specific niche and later gradually expanding is a good idea

“Also consider specializing in upcoming lifestyle and fashion trends, such as body positivity, fitness and health and streetwear,”

According to Bianconi, the niche you choose could be based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Geography (talent based in a particular city or geographic region)
  • Type of talent (such as models for the fitness industry)
  • Type of client or product (such as women’s clothing brands)


In order to come up with a niche that isn’t oversaturated and could, as a result, help you become well-established more quickly…

Bianconi suggests exploring new distribution channels. Some examples include specific social media platforms.

Lastly, you can consider doing some informal surveying before opening your company and defining your niche.

Talk to potential clients and models to find out what they’re looking for and if there’s an unaddressed need in the market, Once you understand the space, it’s considerably easier to find a good niche.

Step 2. Work on a business plan for your modeling agency

You will need a modeling agency business plan that guides you on the path to take in this business. Delving into this business without any plan is suicide and shouldn’t never be done by any entrepreneur.

If you don’t know how to prepare a business plan, hire someone who can. The truth is; you need it.

A wise man once said that a business plan is like a compass that the sailor uses to navigate the seas. I couldn’t agree more.

The importance of a business plan to a startup entrepreneur cannot be overemphasized.

However, i have seen businesses that have done pretty well without a business plan. But their success is never long term.

One reason you should get a business plan is for the sake of continuity.

i’ll explain.

Like i said earlier… i have seen success in business without a plan.

But the problem here is that the business stop when the owner stop functioning.

in essence, the business dies when the owner dies.

Why? you may wonder.

Well, that’s because the owner dies with all the needed information and experience used in running the business all those years.

Had it been those steps and information had been documented, some else can easily pick up the blueprint and follow up on the next line of action as insinuated on the business plan.

So if you intend to start a modeling agency business your children’s children will benefit from – something that will exist on a LONG TERM, embrace the idea of getting a business plan.

If the likes of Steve jobs didn’t have their ideas documented, we wouldn’t be enjoying top gadgets APPLE INC are known for.

Step 3. Deliberate on a business name and brand techniques

Getting a business name might seem like an easy activity, but when you engage in the act, you discover that it can be mentally exhausting.

Well, take your time and get a name that befits the agency.

Remember A good and memorable business name is the first step to creating a brand.

Please, make sure you get tons of ideas before you settle for anyone.

Branding on the other hand is very crucial as long as modeling agency business is concerned. You can’t do without it. It is your selling edge in this business.

Get a good logo designer to design something neat, simple and classic.

below are some of the reasons branding is inevitable to start a modeling agency business

  • Branding improves your agency recognition
  • Branding will build you trust needed to attracts partners and investors
  • Branding supports your marketing efforts

3. Register your business name

Before you begin operation in this business, make sure to register your business name.

Apart from being recognized as an entity, registering your business name prevents someone else from having that same business name in America, Nigeria or anywhere in the world.

A modeling agency business cannot operate without first making sure that the business is registered with the corporate affairs commission.

If you’re outside Nigeria, look for business name registration bodies and have your business registered.

4. Work on budget.

Money makes things possible… Including the actualization of one’s dream of starting a business.

If you’re working on a tight budget, you can start by working from home while you spend on other important things…

…and do more of the online aspect which include promotion and finding clients.

Also for a start, you can arrange for models on agreement for commissions only after completions of specific projects.

Chances are your business will require some funds for other operational requirements…

…these include design fees, including for a website and sales collateral, marketing efforts, including online ads, and for a portfolio of the company’s work.

If you have some expertise in any of these areas, it may be possible initially to handle some or all of these tasks on your own until your agency grows. At that point, you can use capital to pay for such investments.

In order to ensure that the business runs as smoothly as possible from the outset, it’s recommended that you consult early on with an accountant and possibly an attorney.

Such experts will point you in the right direction in terms of the monetary aspects of starting a modeling agency, as well as how to protect yourself and your company’s assets.

5. Get an office and a studio

This should be done if you have the funds.


To create a good impression, you need an amazing office space in a developed area.

This is your contact address where you meet with models, clients and potential business partners.

Make sure that this office is well furnished, with air conditioners, good lightening, chairs and tables and the likes

Having a studio where all the photography works are done is an added advantage.

Believe me, this will save you a lot of money. Setting up a studio isn’t cheap, but it is worth it on the long run and will even become a major source of income if done well.

Mind you, a bad location is one of the major reason businesses fail…

…so don’t settle for a place without know the 10 mandatory factors you must consider while search for the ideal place to start your modeling agency business.


how to start a modeling agency


The right team is just what you need to make it in this Modeling agency business. You need folks who understands the business’s mission and are willing to be flexible to make sure the aim is achieved. You need the right skill in the right position.

It doesn’t matter if you have experience in the business or not, but it matters a lot for your team to have experience. That way, they cover up for you lost.


You and your team needs to communicate flawlessly without any issue.

That way, the objectives and goals are effectively communicated. Through communication, relationship is built and with such, the success of the business becomes evident.


In modeling agency business, travelling a lot is a norm. You and your team must be prepared to travel far and wide. Either to look for clients, for a photo shoot or fashion event. Actually, this is the most interesting part in this business, to be able to fly around the country to see places you have never seen before.


Modeling agency is a goldmine when you have popular models in your agency.

But as a startup, you might not have the resources or fund to afford one away… so, you need to start with unpopular models who you believe have potentials to grow.


I think you’ll agree with me when i say:

No business can succeed with without proper marketing.

For a modeling business agency, i think you’ll need to apply aggressive marketing strategy.

This involves the combination of personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, public relation, and publicity  (promotional tools) to communicate the message of your modeling agency to your target audience.

In case you’re wondering how to leverage the promotion tools:

Here’s how…

To leverage personal selling, you want to visit places where modeling auditions are done…

and meet personally with niche related models that fit into your requirements or specifications and tell them about to your agency.

…the idea is to get them to work with you. It could be on a part time basis for a start since you’re just starting out.

For Advertising…

Contact an advertising agency to prepare – of course a paid promotional campaign to targeted audience letting them know about your new agency.

Those two are enough for a start. This is because they known to be rewarding if done properly.

Still on marketing your modeling agency… This is 21st century.

And to attract people of the 21st century, you need to take your business to where they are…

..and that place is Social media.

In essence, ring the bells of your product in the ears of your target audience using the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to mention a few… Embrace social media marketing, that’s all I’m saying.

Most importantly, network marketing is also a great strategy for creating more awareness about your modeling agency business.


frequently asked questions - entlifeonline

What is A Modeling Agency?

A modeling agency is simply an entity that represents fashion models in the fashion industry. Apart from working with models, they also work directly with advertisement companies for advert projects. The relationship between an advertising agency and a modeling agency is like that of a groom and bride. Their relationship is indisputable.

Marketing Strategies For Starting A Modeling Agency Business

Starting a modeling agency isn’t all about sitting in an office and waiting for potential clients and models to knock.

You must have a marketing plan if you must start seeing results immediately.

Below are some of the marketing strategies you can adopt in other to create awareness and attract clients and talented models.

  • Development of model portfolios
  • Creating of a composite card with a compilation of your best models
  • Holding open calls by placing classified ads in online local talent publications
  • Scouting for models
  • Advertising for models on the company website or through magazine ads
  • Through updates on social media when your models successfully finish an assignment to show your clients that you mean business.
  • By informing local media to put word out about your modeling agency
  • Creating a company brochure to show potential clients
  • List your modeling agency on local directories/ yellow pages
  • Advertise on TV and radio stations.

How do Modeling Agencies Make Money?

Modeling agencies earn money from various means…

…but the primary source is working directly with fashion models and advertising companies whenever a contract hit.

When there’s a contract, it is the job of the agency to train, groom and build the portfolios of their models.

When the agency finds a work for the model, they take up to 20 – 40 percentage commission.

This varies and is influenced by a lot of factors like negotiation, national laws, taxes etc.

Modeling agencies also make money from the following…


Over the radio, television, your favorite blogs, forums and YouTube channels, adverts seem to be everywhere. It should be your goal as a modeling agency to help businesses with their advert needs. This is where working hand in hand with advertisement companies comes to mind. You employ your model and the advertisement agency use them for advert. If you have your own studio, I doubt if you will need an advertisement agency provided you have a team that is experienced in that field.


In modeling, there are numerous beauty, pageantry, runway shows that requires models to come around and compete. If any of your models can emerge first, imagine the deals and exposure it will give to the agency.


Starting a modeling agency business is a very good choice, especially in this era where there are a lot of beautiful and talented models… Plus,  there are also businesses in need of your services.

With a business plan, the right team and finance, you will become not just a respected brand in the industry, but you will also become an authority.

…so that’s it from my end on how to start a modeling agency business from my end.

For questions and contribution on this topic, feel free to drop a comment below.

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