How to Use Instagram to Become a Model

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Photo Source: Photo by Tommy Huang from Pexels

Social media is an essential tool for building your brand, making connections, and finding work. In fact, it’s become so important that many top modeling agencies now require their models to be on social media. Here’s how you can use Instagram to further your modeling career. 

Start with defining your unique style. 
Instagram is like the magazine of you. Whether you like Givenchy or Stüssy define your personal style and let your Instagram grid reflect it. Don’t just show us your look, show us your personality and interests too. Do you like travel, photography, make-up? Your Instagram style and your interests outside of modeling will determine the brands you eventually collaborate with. 

What’s your vibe?
People follow you on social media for one of three reasons: They find you inspirational, relatable or funny, or they find you or your lifestyle attractive. Sometimes it’s a combination of the three. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Which one will you lean into?  

Write a bio!
Your bio tells potential followers why we should follow you and what to expect in your posts. Add your representation info, keywords that tell us you’re a model, and some of your outside interests too.

Not sure where to start? Here’s what you need to know about becoming a model!

Create a posting plan.
Posting modeling shots show us you’re a professional, but also share some behind-the-scenes shots from photo shoots and selfies when you’re not all glammed up. Followers love knowing what’s going on in your life and how you’re just like them. Instagram looks like a photo-sharing platform, but use it as a storytelling platform and you’ll truly connect with your followers. These caption ideas will help get you started. 

Use hashtags.
Hashtags can help you get attention and followers for your modeling career, but when you’re starting out be smart. If you only try to rank for popular hashtags like #model or #modellife, #modeling or #instamodels, you’ll get lost behind accounts with larger followings and higher engagement. Using some popular hashtags is OK, but mostly use more specific tags that have less competition. You’ll be more likely to show up in search and grow your tribe. 

Manage your online reputation.
The internet never forgets. Once it’s online it’s out there forever. Don’t post inappropriate photos, use excessive bad language, or debate controversial topics. Think about potential brands and clients before you hit share. Your Instagram will follow you throughout your life and career. You can also control your brand image by adjusting your settings to approve all the images you’re tagged in.

Engage with your audience.
Posting photos isn’t enough. Engage with your audience by making your posts a conversation. Ask your followers for opinions on your clothing. Ask them what they’re doing this weekend or what their favorite brands or products are. On Instagram stories use polls, question stickers, or emoji sliders to get them talking.

Get attention with a mention.
Tag everyone like photographers, brands, or designers in your professional photos. It’s a great way to connect with people and they’ll be more likely to promote your account to their followers. Don’t be afraid to tag the brands and people you want to collaborate with. Get their attention with a mention!

Collaborate with others.
Collaborate with friends who are models or photographers. Take photos together, tag and mention each other. Interview each other using Instagram live or IGTV. Collaborating with like-minded accounts (especially those with larger followings than yours) helps you widen your reach and grow your tribe.

Be social!
The modeling business is all about who you know, so use social media to start making more connections. Be social. Make a list of the models you look up to, the brands you love, the fashion photographers you love, and the agencies you want to work with. Then follow them and start building relationships. 

In closing, the best social media tip I can give you is don’t try to be the perfect version of yourself online—just be you. Don’t obsess about your posts being perfect, just post them! See what works, tweak them, and try again. The more you practice the better your posts will become. Use these 11 steps and you’ll be well on your way to making connections and growing a following for your modeling career.

*This post was originally published on Jan. 6, 2020. It has since been updated.

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Heidi Dean
Heidi Dean is the industry’s top social media expert for actors. She was a working professional actor for over 20 years and a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. Now she combines her years of industry experience with cutting-edge social media strategy to help actors open more doors for their careers.
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