When deciding which child’s talent agency you should approach for your children’s career, there’s a lot to think about. Firstly, and most importantly, your child’s safety and security are always the number one concerns. Secondly, you want to ensure the agency is reputable, with plenty of good clients and opportunities for work. You also want to know that they will represent your child fairly, and give them as much chance as their other registered kids.
Interestingly, the agency’s fee structure can play a major role in this last point. So, while a child modelling agency with no fees sounds fantastic, let’s take a look at what that really means.
Different types of fee structures
There are generally two types of fee structures for children’s agents. In fact, most talent agencies in any field have the same two fee structures.
Annual registration fee
Agencies will charge an annual registration fee. This usually includes professional photos, access to industry networks and of course, 12 months of representation. This means referring your child for suitable jobs and providing opportunities to attend auditions.
Percentage of earnings
You may have heard of agent/client relationships where the agent takes a ‘cut’ of earnings. This is usually on a percentage basis, and varies between industries. This fee structure also exists for children, and this is where you may be tempted by claims of a child modelling agency with no fees. In fact, there are fees when your child obtains work, just not a set annual amount.
How do child modelling agencies with no fees make any money?
As mentioned above, a child modelling agency with no upfront fees makes money by taking a percentage of their clients’ earnings. The percentage will vary between agencies, but this is precisely how they make most of their money. The main issue with this, is these types of agencies often attract large numbers of kids. They aren’t selective in who they register, because as long as they’re filling jobs for clients, they make money.
This type of fee structure also doesn’t encourage a fair representation of every child on their books. While all agencies need to be selective in who they send for specific jobs, more reputable agencies will only register and take fees from children they genuinely believe they can find work for. So-called no fee child modelling agencies register heaps of children, but they may only actively represent and promote certain registered children.
The benefits of a modelling agency with fees
When you pay an annual fee to a child modelling agency, you expect a return. If you don’t get a return, if your children aren’t sent for auditions or promoted for jobs, you’re unlikely to stay registered and pay for another year. Therefore, child modelling agencies with fees need to actively promote all children on their books. Without doing this, they lose registered children and likewise their main source of income.
As a result, agencies with annual fees are more motivated to share opportunities equally, and actively represent your child fairly. They will also be more selective about who they sign up, for this very reason.
If you’d like to know more about registering your child, please contact us at Casting Kids for our honest advice.