Modelling 101: How to Market Yourself as a Model

One of the most important things you have to do if you want to become a successful model is to market yourself. Modelling agencies get thousands of letters and e-mails every day. Brands, too, must choose between thousands of aspiring and beautiful models.

So how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd? Read on to discover how to market yourself as a model.

How Do You Become a Successful Model?

Becoming a successful model depends on a combination of luck, being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people and working hard. Many models choose to work full-time in the modelling industry to boost their opportunities, but this isn’t a possibility for some.

Starting early is a common way of boosting chances of success. Having a foot in the door from an early stage will give you much more chance of becoming successful as you will already have experience, you’ll understand how the industry works and you will have met many people who could give you further work.

Being in the right place is also a key element to success. Most models choose to locate themselves in cities like London or Manchester in the UK, or New York in America. If a model does not wish to relocate, they must be OK to travel a lot.

Most supermodels have their good genetics to thank for their success, but they also put in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure their bodies are in peak condition at all times. Models have to eat well, work out and pay attention to their hair care and skin care regimes in order to look their best at all times.

Having an amazing portfolio is another key way to become successful as your portfolio is what will help get you work.

How Do I Get Noticed as a Model?

Aside from having good genes and being in the right place at the right time, there are some things a model can do to help themselves be noticed by the right people.

Aspiring models should look into joining a modelling agency to boost their exposure to certain brands and to increase their job opportunities. Joining a modelling agency does not guarantee work, but it will definitely help you get interviews and castings with brands that you may be chosen to work with in the future. Being signed to an agency really helps put you on the map.

Models should also spend time self-marketing via social media and by networking with the right people.

What Do Modelling Agencies Look For?

Agencies look for models who stand out from the crowd and aren’t too similar to anyone else on their books. They look for people who their clientele will want to book for their campaigns and shoots.

It is difficult to get accepted to an agency because thousands of people are applying each day. Nearly all aspiring models will get rejected initially when applying to agencies. You can apply to as many agencies as you like as many time as you like, though it’s best to leave a few months between applications as you don’t want to annoy agencies by pestering them.

An agency may turn you down for a number of reasons. They may have enough models on their books, or your image may be similar to another model they already have signed. Perhaps you don’t suit the clientele of the agency, or maybe they aren’t looking to sign any new models at the moment. The most common reason a model gets turned away from an agency is because their portfolio doesn’t stand out. This is why it is vital to include the absolute best images of yourself in your portfolio and on your applications.

How Do I Get Scouted?

Getting scouted by an agency is down to pure luck. You have to be in the right place at the right time and noticed by the right people. There is no way to guarantee you will get scouted; you are best to put your efforts towards applying to agencies you like the look of. Not only do you have to be in the same place as a scout at the same time, but you also have to catch their eye – no easy feat.

Most top models were noticed by scouters when in random places like a shopping centre, an airport, or even a McDonalds restaurant. If you want to increase your chances of being scouted, make sure you always look great; pay attention to your outfits, and how you wear your make-up and hair. Try to dress like an off-duty model. You never know when you might be seen by a scout when out and about.

How Do I Get Signed If I’m Not Scouted?

Most models aren’t scouted, so if you don’t want to leave it up to chance you are best to apply directly to the agency of your choice. There are hundreds of modelling agencies out there, so do your research and find the ones that suit your look. You can apply to as many as you like, as many times as you like.

How Do You Sell Yourself During An Interview?

If you are fortunate enough to have a successful application and be contacted by an agency, don’t let your guard down – the hard part is definitely not over. The agency casting call (i.e. the interview) is where you will be judged in-person; this is when the agency will choose whether or not to sign you. Obviously, it’s vital you make a good first impression!

To boost your chances of success, firstly ensure you arrive on time. Nothing makes a worse first impression that turning up late – it’s unprofessional and appears as though you don’t value their time above your own. Leave plenty of time to travel to the location of the casting and make sure you know exactly where it is to avoid getting lost.

Next, pay attention to what you wear. Your outfit is very important; it must show off your figure without distracting from your overall look. Research what models tend to wear; you’ll see many of them wear a simplistic but flattering outfit. Keep jewellery and accessories minimal. You don’t have to wear designer clothing; just make sure your clothing fits well.

You also need to focus on your make-up and hair. You can tie hair out the way to show your facial features, but you may be asked to take it down so they can see what you look like with loose hair. It might be worth visiting a hairdresser to touch up your roots and get rid of any split ends.

Make-up should be minimal and used to flatter and enhance your facial features. A casting call is not the time to experiment with a bold smokey eye. Practice your look beforehand so you feel confident.

Take some supplies with you to the casting. They may send you a briefing in advance asking you to bring specific items such as heels or nude underwear if they want you to try some clothes on. If you don’t have a briefing, it’s a good idea to take supplies just in case. Heels are always a good idea to bring in case they want to see how you walk in them. You don’t want to be caught out and have to wear ones they supply; they might be too small or uncomfortable to wear, which might affect your walk.

Bring some water and snacks with you too; there can be some waiting around at castings and you don’t want to become too thirsty or hungry to focus.


Networking is a really important part of self-marketing as a model. Networking just means meeting and becoming friendly with other professionals in the industry.

A model doesn’t have to go out her way to meet people to network with; usually a model will meet many new people in their line of work. It’s important to be polite and friendly to everyone you meet. Your photographer, make-up artist, hair stylists… everyone you come across could benefit your career at some point in the future. Work to be likeable and memorable to boost your career opportunities.

You want people to remember you, so it might be worth creating some business cards so you can easily pass your contact details to new people you meet.

Model Portfolio

Your portfolio is probably your number one tool for getting work as a model – so it’s vital it’s as perfect as it can be. A model’s portfolio is like her CV; it is a folder containing all the best photos of her. A model will take this folder with her to castings and interviews (both before and after she has signed with an agency); it shows potential employers her experience and capabilities as a model. A model will have a physical folder and an online portfolio that she can send.

Portfolio images should be carefully selected; it should contain between 10 and 20 images. It should include both headshots and full body shots. Try to include different posesoutfits and facial expressions; this is your time to shine and not look like a one-trick pony. Your portfolio should also include your modelling statistics (i.e. measurements) and contact information.

If you are an aspiring model with no experience and need some photos, book time with a photography studio to not only get high-quality images for your portfolio but also to increase your experience in front of the camera.

Social Media

Social media is the ideal place for self-promotion as it is entirely controlled by you. InstagramTwitter and LinkedIn and the most popular. Facebook is usually best kept for personal use. 

How Do I Get Noticed On Instagram?

Instagram is the number one platform for a model to be noticed on, but it is notoriously tricky to use professionally. This is because Instagram has something called an algorithm which affects who sees what. The algorithm changes constantly and no one is ever told exactly how it works; users are left to guess and predict how to make their profiles and images seen.

An easy way to beat the algorithm is to pay Instagram for an advert; unfortunately, this can become expensive.

To enhance your chances of success on Instagram, it’s important you try to understand the algorithm. As this changes constantly, you need to stay on top of your research to ensure you are using it as best you can.

Instagram generally likes people to post daily; those who do are likely to be prioritised and their images will be seen by more people. Instagram also likes when profiles have a lot of engagement; this means views, likes and comments on images as well as direct messages.

The best way to get noticed on Instagram is to be consistent and post images that people will want to follow you for. Instagram is incredibly time-consuming because taking photos, editing them and scheduling them takes time, but if you are already working (and you have the permission from the photographer/company), you should be able to post your professional images to your account.

Try to include photos of your day-to-day life, too. People love to see what models do in their regular life. People will also love to see selfies of professional hair and make-up, or you on the job. Any stunning look you wear should be shown.

Once you amass some followers, brands will begin to notice you.

Are Instagram Paid Ads Worth It?

Instagram paid ads can be worth it if you have the money to spare, but it is possible with some hard work to become successful without them.

What Hashtags Should I Use?

Try to use some new hashtags for each image you post on Instagram. The algorithm changes the requirements for hashtags, so research which ones will work for your specific image. Ensure the hashtags relate to the content.


A lot of top fashion models have their own website to self-promote on. WordPress and Wix are both excellent starting points if you want to build a website yourself. These are free web host platforms that you can create great websites on and then pay when you’re ready to make your website go live.

website is also great to give to people you meet while networking and potential clients as it gives them the opportunity to see your work and find contact details for you. It also acts as an online portfolio, though it’s a good idea to keep some images that are new for your actual portfolio.

2 thoughts on “Modelling 101: How to Market Yourself as a Model”

  1. An awesome post, I just passed this onto a fellow worker who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me lunch because I found it for him smile.. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is extremely helpful for me. Big thumb up for this post!

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