The Instagram model has become a job title in its own right. Successful social media stars are making big money and many have become household names.
But what does it take to be a social media model, and how do you get started? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What is an Instagram Model?
An Instagram model is someone who models on the social media platform Instagram. While many top models have Instagram (Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner to name a few), they found fame elsewhere. The Instagram model has built their fame and fortune purely from using social media – Instagram, to be specific.
Instagram models are also known as influencers because they have the ability to influence the purchases of their fans – an attractive thing for brands. Brands will regularly reach out to Instagram models and pay for collaborations and advertisements to tap into the ready-made audience.
Anyone can be an Instagram model – there are no requirements. Being an Instagram model can be a full-time job. But while a career on social media might seem fairly easy to achieve, nothing could be further from the truth.
Famous Instagram Models
– Sommer Ray
– Alexis Ren
– Jen Selter
– Ana Cheri
– Amanda Lee
– Laci Kay Somers
– Claudia Alende
– Tammy Hembrow
– Abigail Ratchford
How Does Instagram Modelling Work?
An Instagram model must have thousands, if not millions, of followers. Their whole job relies on having a strong following. In the past, brands would approach influencers who had as many followers as possible. But influencers knew this, and so began faking their account followers and page engagement in order to entice brands to pay them for work. Bots and scam accounts became more common, so to counter this brands began to look more closely at the overall legitimacy of the account. That means, to be an Instagram model today, you need the following:
– Lots of real followers (no fake accounts)
– Lots of post engagement (again real, not bought or by fake accounts). Likes and comments will be taken into account.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to build an account of real followers. That’s because the Instagram algorithm is constantly changing, which means it’s impossible to accurately assess the best time of day or time to make a post.
Here’s what we do know about the algorithm:
- It favours those who post regularly (i.e. once a day at least)
- It “pushes” a post (e.g. shows a post to more people) if that post gets lots of engagement within the first few seconds of posting
- It favours those with lots of legitimate followers (the more followers you have, the more your post will be shown to other people… a catch 22)
- It will punish those who buy fake followers/comments by decreasing the amount the posts are seen on the main feed. Your account may also be suspended or even deleted.
- Instagram likes profiles that regularly interact with other accounts.
- It favours people who utilise all the functions Instagram has to offer including videos and story mode.
Why You Should Think About Becoming An Instagram Model
There are lots of pros to becoming an Instagram model:
- You get to control your own look. Unlike models who have agencies or agents who manage their look, you will get the chance to oversee everything, from your day-to-day style to the way you come across on social media.
- You get to set your own hours – you don’t have to meet anyone else’s deadlines (unless you have a contract in place with a brand).
- You get to set the amount you charge brands for ads and collaborations.
- You can make good money if you have a decent following.
- You get to choose which images people see.
- You get to edit images until you are happy with them – unlike professional models who must rely on an editor.
- Instagram models have less pressure to look a certain way or meet certain strict requirements.
How to Get Into Instagram Modelling
First, you’ll need an Instagram account, which means setting up a profile. This is free to do and only takes a few minutes. Instagram is a phone app, so you’ll need a decent phone with a good camera.
Once you’ve chosen a good name and profile picture, you should start following accounts you like the look of and who have the type of audience you yourself want to build. Remember that you’re planning to use this account for commercial purposes, so save those blurry photos for your personal account. Always keep in mind how you want to appear to businesses and companies you wish to work with in the future.
Then it’s time to start work on building your Instagram followers. This is a long and tedious process which will take time and patience. Start by attempting to post each day (many bloggers and influencers like to keep a stash of ready-to-go photos that they took during one photoshoot to save them time). Remember to add an engaging or witty post caption underneath. Hashtags are also worth using initially to help get your photo in front of the right people.
If you want to be an Instagram model, you should mostly post photos of yourself. These shouldn’t all be the same selfies taken in the same place – that would get boring very quickly. For inspiration, take a look at your favourite Instagram models and see what they post about. Their images are like mini-editorial shoots taken in beautiful places. There’s plenty to share – make-up looks, fashion, exotic destinations, delicious foods, workouts… the world is your oyster.
You’ll need to spend some time each week prepping for the week ahead and arranging for some photo shoots. If you’ve managed to get a couple of modelling jobs, you should think about posting those images – though remember to ask the permission of the photographer and brand first.
Remember to try and make your Instagram feed original and interesting. Think about what you yourself like to see on Instagram and try to replicate it. Think about having a theme (this is usually a filter used on all photos so the feed looks put together and neat).
Some social media influencers also have other accounts with Facebook and Twitter to reach audiences elsewhere, but you will have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the extra time spent managing these accounts.
What to Expect When Starting Out
You’re not going to find Instagram fame or build a large following on social media overnight (unless you’re already famous elsewhere), so it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. Instagram models do not earn any money to begin with, so you’ll be working hard on your account alongside your regular day job or school.
You’ll have to work hard to build a decent following. There is so much competition on Instagram and everyone wants to see the next best thing. Each photo has to count. You will also have to think about the visual aspects of your feed as a whole.
Taking Instagram photos that are appealing and relevant isn’t as easy as it looks. They have to be high-quality (which, thanks to today’s phone cameras, shouldn’t be a problem), but there are other things to think about including lighting and editing. You’ll also need to think about the best times to post for the most interaction. The more you practice, the better you will become.
You will also need to set some time aside each day to interact with your followers and with other accounts. Comment back to anyone who leaves a nice comment. Spend some time checking out the competition and liking and commenting on other profiles.
Top Runway Models on Instagram
– Kendall Jenner
– Cara Delevingne
– Gigi Hadid
– Bella Hadid
– Emily Ratajkowski
– Chrissy Teigen
– Gisele Bundchen
– Miranda Kerr