What Is a Comp Card and Why All Models Should Have One

Many new models are surprised to hear that they’re expected to have marketing materials. Maybe they didn’t know models needed things like composite cards, portfolios, and active social media. Or perhaps they thought it was not necessary to put together these essential items. Whatever the reason, the real story is that models are considered to be independent contractors, and these marketing materials are considered to be crucial start-up items.

One of the most critical marketing materials you’ll ever use is a composite card, which can be called a comp card, z card, zed card, or sed card. This small piece of paper has the power to bring big results!

A comp card (composite card) is the model’s business card. It contains basic information like your name, measurements, photos, and contact information. It is to help casting agents or clients remember who you are and know who to contact should you get the job.

Why Should You Use A Comp Card

Composite cards are essentially business cards. They’re an effective way to make a good first impression, to professionally showcase your abilities, and to share your contact information with agencies, scouts, clients, photographers, and other industry professionals. So, any model who is serious about their career, whether it’s commercial, fashion, plus-size, or any other type of modeling, needs to have composite cards! Keep in mind that if you plan on doing multiple kinds of modeling (like commercial and parts modeling, for example), you’ll need to have a separate comp card for each type. 

Online Comp Card or a Printed Comp Card

These days, many models use a combination of digital and physical composite cards. They’re basically the same, but with one obvious difference: One you email, and the other you snail mail or hand out. 

However, if you are just starting out then an online composite card is the way to go. The beauty of an online composite card is that you can quickly swap out photos yourself rather than having to reprint hundreds of cards at the printing company. Online comp cards are the most inexpensive choice for new models who are often changing their photos in the beginning. Once you become a little more established, then you can invest in printed cards.

All comp cards, whether they’re online or not, act like mini-portfolios and are a quick and easy way for agencies, scouts, and clients to see what you’re all about as a model, and shows them that you’re serious about a future in modeling. It’s good to have both kinds on hand just in case the recipient prefers one type over the other.

What a Comp Card Looks Like

No two comp cards are identical, but the industry standard layout includes one large photo (your best one!) and four smaller photos, with your name, details, and contact information at the bottom. Online comp cards are simply an eye-catching image that contains all of these elements, typically with the large photo on the left and the four smaller ones stacked on the right. Physical comp cards are typically double-sided (one large photo on the front, smaller photos on the back) and printed on an 8.5″ x 5.5″ piece of glossy cardstock. 

Information on a Modeling Comp Card

In addition to the photos, your comp card should contain all of the vital details that agencies, scouts, and clients need to know, such as your name, height, measurements, hair color, eye color, shoe size, and dress size. But most importantly, you need to include contact information, either for your agency (if you’re signed with one) or for yourself. You’ll never get booked if people can’t get a hold of you!

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