From the Model Mayhem FAQ:

How come I can't send people private messages as a basic member?
Model Mayhem recently updated the way members can message each other as part of their Membership Level update.

General Private Messages have been discontinued in favor of a diverse array of different message types, which will hopefully allow everyone to communicate more freely with each other.
  1. Everyone can now send unlimited messages to friends
  2. Responding to casting calls is now its own message type
  3. Anyone who is not a friend is considered Out of Network and these messages do have restrictions

For more information about these changes, please see our
announcement in the Site Related forum for details.

Model Mayhem does offer professionals on our Basic membership plan lots of tools to network effectively.

You can begin by building your friends network. Requests can be sent to anyone you've worked with, or anyone you want to work with.

Once you are friends with someone, you can send them unlimited messages to alert them to your casting calls, or to follow up on jobs you've done together.

Other tools Basic members can utilize to reach out to people who are not friends yet include:
  1. Homepage announcements
  2. Profile tags
  3. Picture comments
  4. Model Mayhem forums
  5. Shout

Basic members can also participate in Model Mayhem's Picture of the Day contests for additional exposure.

If you would really like to get the most out of Model Mayhem's networking tools, we do recommend you upgrade to Premium or VIP!