When you’re a new freelance model, you will not just be able to do a few shoots and start making a full-time living modeling. First, there are many models for people to choose from, some of which will be more experienced than you and if you are in a smaller market, then this is even tougher.
Therefore, as a new model, you will have to work other jobs that will help you pay your bills and which are flexible enough for you to be able to go to shoots. If you are interested in becoming a model, you must understand that it can be very difficult to make money as a model especially when you are just starting out and don’t have a huge network of industry contacts.
First, take a good look at your skills and interests. What do you like to do? What are you good at? If you don’t know what you’re good at, ask your friends and former coworkers for their honest feedback. Then, find a job or gig that fits with your skills and interests.
Here is a list of 10 jobs/gigs that I think are suitable for models who don’t model full-time. Keep in mind that you won’t get rich from these, but they can help you pay the bills when there aren’t that many modeling gigs available.
1. Promotional modeling. There are several marketing companies who are always looking for people to do demonstrations, sampling, interacting with people, and handing out brochures/flyers. This type of modeling does not have standards for height, weight, or measurements as long as you are attractive and personable.
2. Retail. I know of several models who are working part-time at clothing stores. The benefit is that it’s not a 9-5 and that it is possible to arrange your hours so that you can get some shoot time during your work week. You also get discounts on clothing. I’m not saying that it can’t be done if you have a 9-5, but many people require for you to shoot during the day, which means that you could miss out on potential opportunities to make money modeling.
3. Bartending. Same as retail in terms of the benefits of scheduling. Many of the girls that I know who model are bartending in the evenings which allows them to show up to shoots during the day.
4. Babysitting. It allows for flexible hours and depending on who is hiring you to babysit, you can make some money.
5. Personal Training. If you’re into fitness and are willing to get a certification, then personal training can allow you to have a flexible schedule. In addition, if you are passionate about fitness, then all of a sudden it doesn’t feel like a job.
6. Serving. Similar to bartending, serving at a restaurant can help you pay bills while you are looking for modeling jobs. Also, restaurant work is not 9am-5pm, so you will be able to apply for freelance modeling jobs that occur on days when you don’t work. Serving and bartending are certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy customer service and show it in the way you treat your customers, your tips can potentially be rewarding.
7. Tutoring. If you are strong in some school subject area, why not turn that strength into extra money? If you are knowledgeable in a specific subject area and can explain it to others in a way that they understand, then you should try tutoring. Tutors average about $20 per hour.
8. Freelance writing. If you are knowledgeable and passionate about a certain subject and you’re a good writer, then you can make some extra money writing. For example, you can write blog posts for smaller fashion companies (or whatever else you’re interested in) or you can write site content. If you want to start freelance writing, you must be willing to put together a few samples of your work to show potential clients.
9. Dog Walking. If you love dogs, then you can offer your services as a dog walker for people who are sometimes too busy to walk their dogs. You can also pet sit for them and get paid for your time.
10. Organizing. If you enjoy getting desks, closets and drawers in order, you can turn it into a side business. You can schedule directly with your client when you can come in and make it work around your modeling time.
Keep in mind that these are only a few ideas on how to make extra money and that there are many other ways that you can supplement your income as you pursue your modeling goals.
The key is to try a bunch of different things and figure out what works best for you.