What Are You Paying For?
Do aspiring models pay for portfolio exposure online, and assume they can be scouted, because there are thousands of searches for models on the internet?
Overture.com, the pay-per-click search engine, records what words people type into their search engine. These words are called keywords. Keyword history is recorded at their website so they can offer paid advertising on their website.
Companies can research what key or search words people use, and pay for advertising at Overture.com, pulling traffic to their website whenever someone types the keyword into Overture.com, and then clicks on their link. (The search results show the cost to advertiser for clicking on their link.)
Where there is more than one company which wants the same traffic, they can bid on placement. The highest bid is viewed first whenever someone searches for the keyword at Overture.com.
As an example of the search engine records, you could look at the number of search results for "model" on Overture.com.
But what type of models is everyone looking for? And who is looking for models? Scouts? Perverts? Teens?
The first two keywords did not reveal much. But the third highest search for models was for nude models.
Looking down the list, you'll see similar type of interest. Playboy models, naked models, hot models, nude male models, Victoria Secret models, thong models, adult models, free nude models, etc., etc., and so on and so forth, even "nude teen models."
The point is there are a lot of people using the internet to scout for models. But their intention is not business. They are not scouting for new faces to be represented by a reputable modeling agency.
The record showed there were 275,226 searches in one month alone on one search engine alone for either "model" or "models." (Overture doesn't distinguish between singular and plural: "model" and "models" give the same results.)
The search results clearly showed there is a self-serving interest; they did not show model scouts at agencies are using the internet.
One website offers paid portfolio hosting for aspiring models saying agencies use their service and the website boasts about its traffic.
They say they get x million hits per month. Somehow they never say what type of people those x million hits represent. The number means nothing because the site is wide open; it is not restricted to agencies whose legitimacy can be verified. Don't be misled by the advertising.
There are other comp card or portfolio websites which have restricted access. What about them? Are they any better?
Much depends on the openness of the website. Do they volunteer the important information? Do they tell you how much traffic there was? If it was low, they wouldn't tell you, would they? If it was high, they would tell you. Right?
Do they tell you the relevant traffic?
Anyone who advertises in a magazine has a right to know its circulation. Of course this is a basic standard in the advertising industry.
Since you are advertising in an online "magazine" you have a right to know the "circulation" or website statistics. Were you provided this information?
You should receive general and specific data. In other words, how much traffic the website received, and how much traffic your portfolio received.
This website data is not beyond the reach of technology. In fact, it is very simple and either free or inexpensive to monitor traffic.
There was at least one portfolio website which had counters on portfolio pages underneath the comp cards; the problem was the website was open, not restricted, so there was no way to know if the record showed viewing by industry professionals or hormonal teenagers.
Overture.com for Models
The application of the logical focus on specific traffic to an aspiring model's comp cards should be done like Overture.com.
One comp-card hosting internet business was found advertising at Overture.com. It had signed up for the pay-per-click system. It was paying $0.10 per click on its link. Their link showed up #2 in a test search for model.
This is how models should pay. Per click. Advertising their vital statistics, i.e., text advertising, and a notice of cost to the advertiser, in this case, the model, so when a scout sees the comp card stats, they can click the link to view the comp card picture.
That is a fair system. It is a just system. But instead of charging models to pay per click, the company was charging them hundreds of dollars, even if there were no clicks, even if nobody saw their picture, even if there was no "exposure."
Talk about a double standard!
Why should an aspiring model have to pay for nothing? If there is no exposure, but the model already paid, the model paid for nothing.
How would you prefer to pay? Hundreds of dollars up front? Or ten cents each time a model scout wants to examine your picture?
You have to start thinking like a business owner to avoid being scammed. Think as if you were running a business, and you'll ask for circulation numbers if you are going to put an ad in a magazine; or you'll ask for website traffic if you are going to put an ad (comp card) on a website.
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