How to Become a Model for Brands

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Landing brand representation is a major accomplishment for aspiring models, and many of today’s most reputable models started by representing brands before branching out in their career. From figuring out what kinds of brands you want to work with to harnessing the power of social media, here’s how to become a model for brands.

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Decide the kinds of brands you want to represent

Nike advertisement with a female model running

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Brands want models that represent their particular aesthetic and lifestyle. Athletic brand Puma uses models who are fit; makeup company Ilia uses models who exemplify the clean beauty lifestyle; and grooming brand the Dollar Shave Club uses everyday-looking people across a wide age range. To research the kinds of brands you might fit and want to work with:

  • Do an internet deep dive: Search for modeling information about brands that interest you. Many modeling agencies provide tips on how to work with certain brands, such as NGM Modeling’s article on how to model for Nike. For a specific example of getting into modeling for a brand, check out our article on modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister
  • Look at their posts on social media: Once you’ve figured out what types of brands you want to work for, take the time to review their social media. What types of models already represent them? What style of advertisements do they use? Use this to refine your own model identity and apply it as a guide for how to style your own photos and content. You might even find something such as ModCloth’s social media sourced model page, @scoutmemc, where people can post using #scoutmemc or DM the account for opportunities. 
  • Check out affiliate programs: Some brands offer affiliate programs where they pay models to promote their products. This is a great option for aspiring models who post regularly and have a following. It allows a model to showcase their modeling skills as well as their personality. 
  • See if they use brand ambassadors: While brand ambassadors fall outside of traditional modeling, the position allows you to promote products and arrange events or promotions, making it a great way to break into brand modeling. Brand ambassadors are usually influencers who already have a strong social media presence and following. Many companies have brand ambassador programs. If your brand of choice doesn’t, it might be a great opportunity to reach out to them about starting one.

Use social media

Influencer model taking a selfie

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Social media can help you break into any type of modeling, but especially brand modeling. You can use social media to start setting up your model identity and get noticed by brands—but it also has an influx of aspiring models and influencers, so you really have to work on being unique. Here are some tips to help you stand out:

  • Post compelling content: Include your best content from photo shoots, runway videos, and behind-the-scenes images. In addition to modeling-specific content, make sure to post content that relates to the type of brand modeling you want to do. If you want to do clothing brand modeling for a company such as Girlfriend Collective, which creates athletic clothing with a focus on body positivity and inclusivity, you’d want to think about content that blends fitness with holistic health.
  • Engage with your followers: Building a strong internet presence isn’t just about posting content—it also means engaging and communicating with followers. Brands are interested in models with active accounts and high user engagement, since that implies your platform can successfully promote their products. If you’re looking into affiliate programs and brand ambassadorships, having an active social media account with lots of comments will make you stand out to brands.
  • Stay consistent: Commit to your social media presence and make sure you’re posting content regularly. This is especially important for anyone looking for brand modeling that includes starting as a brand ambassador. 
  • Let the real you shine through: Make sure that your social media represents the authentic you. Don’t be afraid to post content that showcases your unique personality and look. Original captions that reflect your personality will resonate with your audience more than cookie-cutter text.

Put in the work

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Social media alone isn’t enough to land a brand modeling gig. Make a point to connect with others and build a name for yourself in the industry by networking, applying to a variety of gigs, building your modeling portfolio, and working with an agency. 

  • Network: Keep in touch with other models, photographers, and agents. Attend industry events and brand launches—you never know whom you might end up rubbing shoulders with. Word of mouth is a great way to find out about casting calls, potential agencies, and even get information about how brands find models. 
  • Apply to everything: Search for modeling gigs and apply to everything you might fit. More gigs mean more options for your portfolio, more time spent with other people in the modeling industry, and more experience—all of which can translate into a better chance of landing your dream brand modeling gig. 
  • Build your modeling portfolio: Showcase your abilities as a model by building a portfolio that reflects your versatility, passion, and talent. If you’re really yearning to model for a specific brand or type of brand, tailor your portfolio to fit their look.
  • Use a modeling agency: Your modeling agency can (and should) connect you with brand modeling work if that’s what you’re interested in. If you’re not signed with an agency, you can still model for brands—but a modeling agency is usually your best bet.