5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Commercial Modeling Career

Man taking photo of female model outside
Aziz Ary Neto/Getty Images

Commercial modeling is the largest division in the modeling industry. It’s a huge field that encompasses everything from print ads and television commercials to digital ads on the internet.

The interesting thing about commercial modeling is that it’s set in the realm of the everyday. As a commercial model, you’ll be selling products and services that appeal to today’s society, such as food, electronics, household items, pharmaceuticals, travel destinations, and even commercial clothing lines.

Basically, anything outside the world of high fashion.

Intrigued by this exciting and potentially lucrative industry? Give your commercial modeling career a boost with these simple tips and tricks.

Open Your Mind

Many aspiring models-to-be have their sights set on the world of high fashion. They have visions of becoming the next Gisele or Kate. But the truth is, fashion modeling is just a small slice of what the modeling industry has to offer.

Commercial models don’t have to fall into the specific physical requirements of fashion models. They can be short, tall, curvy, thin, old or young, and of any ethnicity. A quick look at a few advertisements will reveal the diversity of “real people” modeling. Having a unique look may help you land certain jobs, but in general, companies are really only looking for a memorable model that will be easily identifiable with their product or service.

Choose Your Photos Carefully

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on professional photos, but you will need to make sure your photos at least look professional (snapshots are fine, but make sure they are good quality), and that they make you appear approachable, happy, and interesting.

Make sure they aren’t too dramatic and steer clear of distracting jewelry, clothing, and hairstyles.

But above all, make sure the photo looks like you! Nothing is worse than showing up at an agency or photographer’s studio and being fired because you misrepresented your looks.

Hone Your Acting Skills

It’s common for actors to cross over into commercial modeling.

That’s because commercial models are essentially playing a role, and they must be able to act out different scenarios while looking great in front of a camera. After all, the more convincing the model is, the more successful the advertisement will be.

If you don’t have an acting background, it’s a good idea to take a few acting classes. To become as versatile and marketable as possible, you’ll need to know how to play different characters, convey emotion, and take direction from all those involved.

Learn From the Best

The next time you’re flipping through a magazine, watching TV, or browsing the internet, take a closer look at the advertisements. Take note of what kinds of models are in the ads, and pay special attention to their facial expressions and body language. The more you study commercial models, the more you will be able to recreate their versatility and inviting energy.

And for a great read, be sure to check out Aaron Marcus’ best-selling e-book, How to Become a Successful Commercial Model. Aaron has been a full-time actor and commercial model for nearly 30 years and has given over 500 acting/modeling workshops worldwide. His guide is an outstanding resource for learning the ins and outs of commercial modeling.

Make Important Contacts

The key to any successful modeling career, commercial or otherwise, is finding a great agent, and the easiest way to do that is by submitting your photos to ModelScouts.com. There, you’ll be exposed to as many agencies as possible and will be connected to the people who really matter—agents, scouts, casting directors, and established photographers.

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