I have had a number of people ask me how they can start their own talent agency. Let me start off by saying that running an agency, and making it a successful one is a really hard job.
STEP 1: Talent Agency Rules and Regulations
The very first step you need to take before starting an agency is to learn about all the rules, regulations and laws that you will be required to follow in order to open up your agency. Every state has specific laws in place that you must follow. You might want to contact the Department of Labor Office in your area in order to get all of the needed details.
STEP 2: Talent Agency Apprenticeship
Running an acting and or modeling agency is like any other business. You Will need to learn a tremendous amount about the industry. There are many ways to learn about the industry, but one of the best ways is to volunteer or offer to do an apprenticeship at an established agency. This will allow you to learn about various ways to find talent, how to promote them, what fees should be charged for various jobs, negotiate with clients, invoicing and billing and so much more.
STEP 3: Find Great Talent
Once you have learned enough to open up your agency, before you begin to market your new company, you need to find great talent to represent. Not having talented actors and models on your roster will give your agency a bad reputation. Not having the right people will make it almost impossible to get clients to hire anyone from your agency.
STEP 4: Network With Talent Industry Professionals
Now that you have your agency up and running, and great talent working with you, now is when you have to convince others that they need to book your talent. It is crucial for you to begin to forge strong relationships with the local industry professionals who hire actors and models. You will want to make contact with casting directors, photographers, art and creative directors at advertising agencies. They need to know how great your talent is, and how they will make any project they are working on a very successful one.
STEP 5: Running a Talent Agency
Congratulations, your agency is up and running, and your talent are booking jobs. Here comes another difficult step. Agents really need to know their talent well. If the agent finds that certain talent are not being professional, not showing up on time, not having lines prepared and memorized for a shoot, not keeping their photos up to date, not returning phone calls or emails promptly, acts unprofessional on sets, etc… then it might be time to start letting people go.
Agents should talk with their talent as soon as any issues arise. If the problems continue, then it is really important to part ways. The agent’s reputation is on the line. Industry professionals will stop working with an agency if the actors and models are not acting appropriately.
So to sum things up:
1. Learn about the laws for running an agency in your area
2. Learn about the business
3. Find great actors and models
4. Promote your agency to the people who hire talent
5. Keep your house in order. Only work with people you can trust and rely on.
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