If you are a model, being signed to an agency is very important. They often help you to develop in your career, connect you with clients and can set the stage for your future. However, our industry is changing. Social media and the transformation of the digital world is allowing model talent to make a name for themselves outside of the contract.
I think like any brand, you need to know what your goals are. What it is that you really want to do as a model? Is being a model enough, or do you plan to act, dance or become an influencer also? Do your homework. Examine what companies are looking for when hiring talent. Some only use agencies, while others also consider independents as well.
Once you have identified who you are as a model, you should acquire some visuals. You will a portfolio of your work as a model, whether digital or print, the images in your portfolio should comply with standard set for the type of work you desire. Having a website marketing yourself as a brand, listing social media, measurements and contact info is helpful too. Participating in photography shoots, fashion shows and attending classes can help you to gain experience, knowledge and can connect you with key people in your industry.