One of the most lucrative ways to make money for a model is through e-commerce work. This type of work is one that will never cease to exist, since there will always be items to sell. It's both an easy, but challenging job. This job isn't just about how you look, but how you SELL their products to the general public. So here's my break-down of e-commerce work:
What is E-Commerce?: E-Commerce is a type of modeling that is meant to show off products for the use of sale. USUALLY, not always, it's images from the neck down (cutting off your head) to showcase how clothes fit for a better view. This can also extend to accessories and shoes. Accessories, depending on their type, may review shots of your face, but not always. The images will generally use the images on their website, social media or advertisement to sell various products, so you do not own the right to the images taken.
Pros and cons of e-commerce:
Pros-- paid well, consistent work, meeting new people in a commercial setting for more commercial bookings, cool clothes/items
Cons-- long hours, maintaining consistent poses (can become monotonous), a lot of prep (waxing, nail care, etc.), can be treated poorly (depending on the company!!!)
How to book e-commerce clients: Most of my clients are small businesses, but I have worked with larger companies. Typically companies that are larger use large agencies to book their models, however this is not always the case. I either book my clients through connections or by circumstance. Connections include photographers (both friends and fans of my work) who recommend me for gigs. This is the best way to get business since companies use people they (and their crew) trust and know will be on time and work hard. When I say I book jobs through circumstance that means a variety of things: I've made clients by just walking into a store and shopping. I've also made clients through tagging companies who I wear on Instagram and Facebook. There are a million and one ways to book clients, but utilizing your connections is the best way to start.
How to KEEP e-commerce clients: When you have the client, keeping the client is more important. Sending professional emails is great to set up your shoot for success, but when you're on set and after is the most important. Keeping a positive and happy attitude is number one. No one wants to work with someone who has a bad attitude. Be thankful for every booking and take pride in your work. When you do the images will shine through. Bringing more than what is asked for the shoot can also help your client. If the client only asks you to bring one sweater, bring a couple of options so the client can choose if they like another more. Bring extra makeup products for touch-ups or if they aren't happy with hair/makeup so you can fix it. Using manners on set, and after, also helps maintain your connections. Always saying please and thank you and also sending a thank you (follow-up) email is a great way to solidify you are thankful for the opportunity and you enjoyed working with them.
Going above and beyond: When you have consistent clients, it's important to make sure they know that you actually care about them and their company. Writing thank you notes and sending holiday cards is a good basic way to make sure they don't forget you. Once you establish a relationship, you can also connect with the owner and notify of them of a need they may be overlooking.
My biggest tip!: The biggest thing I can say is make sure to bring snack food. Oftentimes you will not be fed on set, especially since shooting will be very quick and with a lot of product to show off. Don't bring a full meal, but having a full breakfast (or eating before set) and having a snack bar or something small to much on. You don't want to be hungry, or worse pass out!
Below are three different companies, all with different styles to give you some examples of e-commerce work.
First set: Felt Chicago
Second set: Local Eclectic
As a model for almost ten years, I find myself learning new things everyday. This blog is a way to share my stories, images that may not be on my main board, and interesting things abut modeling and my life.