Social media and especially Instagram has completely transformed the fashion and model industry. More and more models are either being scouted on Instagram or have become more successful thanks to their active Instagram following.
These days it is not uncommon for a fashion model to appear at a casting location to only hear the question “What is your Instagram handle?”. An active and engaged Instagram following used to be a nice accessory, a bonus to have, but especially in 2018 Instagram has infiltrated the fashion industry and is now a necessity for a model to have to even be considered for bigger jobs. “We have seen multiple situations where a model was simply hired for a job because of her social media presence.” Johana Matthews, Growth Agent at Socialista Management says. “It makes sense from a client’s perspective. If you have a model with let’s say 50,000-100,000 genuine and active followers that translate into free exposure and in my opinion models have always been the original influencers and influencer marketing is big and every model should try to develop their Instagram page into a commodity they can utilize to increase their income and become more financially independent.”
1. Why every model agency needs to invest in social media
“Instagram has become every model’s second portfolio” Matthews says and realizing how important Instagram has become for every model, model agency should invest in developing their model’s Instagram page which will not only increase booking rates and how often their models will be booked in the future but also their models ability to compete against other agencies.
Scouting New Talent
Every day new models are being discovered through Instagram and as Instagram has become a model’s interactive digital lookbook, scouting departments now have access to a pool of new talents they might not have been able to discover prior Instagram.
By creating agency branded scouting Instagram pages and specific hashtags every agency now can attract new talent easily on the with more than 1 billion active users most popular social media platform and with just a few tabs scouts can find tons of information about a person without even meeting them.
IMG and others have already signed tons of models via their #WLYG scouting hashtag, and top models Gizele Oliveira and Matthew Noszka have landed big campaigns after being scouted via their Instagram accounts.
“Around 75% of Instagram’s active users are located outside the United States which means model agencies now can attract new talent worldwide. If you look at IMG’s @weloveyourgenes scouting account which has over 246,000 followers you can only imagine how much traffic this account drives to their main page and website as well which translate into higher submissions and a higher chance to sign the next Gisele Bündchen.” Matthew says.
Now IMG’s @weloveyourgenes account might be the best scenario and has a lot to do with their branding as well but even if you’re a smaller agency it just makes sense to invest into your Instagram presence.
“I’m sure IMG received thousands of submissions which they seem as not a great fit for them but by signing a top model like Gizele Oliveira via Instagram IMG Models will earn millions with her which makes their Instagram initiative an ROI positive investment” Matthew adds.
New Revenue Stream
More and more brands are realizing the power of influencer marketing and in 2018 brands have spent more than 1 billion dollars on influencers alone. The so called “Instagram Models” and fitness models and other “Instagirls” have monetized their Instagram following and are getting $500-$20,000 for a single post, depending on their niche and following. Some influencers are making high six figures or even millions from sponsored Instagram posts and brand collaborations.
“Brand collaborations and sponsored Instagram posts are the obvious streams of revenue most think about when we talk about influencer marketing but collaborations and sponsored Instagram posts are just a small portion of new revenue streams for any agency.” Johana Matthews clarifies “At the moment we are consulting 3-4 medium sized agencies from Europe and the United States on how they can monetize their social media presence with a minimal investment. Depending on the agency’s branding and standing an agency can easily generate an extra $150,000-$500,000 every year with their Instagram account.”
2. How to become an Instagram model in 2019
“Succeeding on Instagram is hard work” Matthews points out. “Too many people think Instagram can be done as a side project and all it takes to grow is to post a selfie here and there but this couldn’t be further from the truth.”
To organically grow your Instagram you have to invest time and patience into your project because it is time consuming and a lot of work if done correctly.
The main basics every model and agency should follow is to have a concise bio which points out to every new visitor what your page is all about and have a appealing photo as your avatar.
Usage of Instagram Stories
Instagram’s story feature is an amazing tool in order to document your daily activities and should be seen as a window into your life and a tool to create a connection with your followers. Having just followers is not enough and every model’s goal should be to create a strong connection with their followers.
The “Polls” and “Questions” tools are the best story features in order to connect with your followers and every model should focus on two things: growth and community engagement.
By documenting a model’s daily activities and giving their audience a “behind the scenes” moment every model can now connect with their followers traditional models weren’t able 3-4 years ago.
One major advice to every model is to be consistent in posting new quality content to the main Instagram feed. Lacking consistency is one of the reasons why many models won’t grow on Instagram. Every model who wants to grow on Instagram should post one quality post to the main Instagram feed and then at least 4-5 story posts.
When posting to the main feed there is one main rule “Quality is King” which means you should only post quality content to your main feed that either is entertaining or provides your audience with some kind of value.
In order to keep new visitors from leaving your page without following your account every model should plan the content that is being posted to the main Instagram feed in order to create and maintain a cohesive Instagram theme.
Posting with a plan is one of the most important parts of building your Instagram page and Matthews advises models and model agencies to use a visual Instagram planner to help crafting a cohesive Instagram theme.
“By planning your Instagram posts for the next seven days you now can take the guesswork out of posting and spend more time on engaging with your followers and to grow your account.” Matthew says.
Engaging with your audience and other models should be an essential part of the time you spend on Instagram.
“I still see many models and other influencers on Instagram who do not respond to comments under their posts” which Matthews thinks is one of the biggest mistakes a model can do.
“Now even with models that we manage I can see that once they reach the 50,000 followers some think they no longer have to engage with their audience because they somehow made it. Engagement is one of the main factors the Instagram algorithm uses in order to determine if your Instagram post is quality and should be shown to more of your followers.”
Another great way to increase your exposure is to collab with your friends on Instagram in order to cross promote each other. By doing various collaborations with similar accounts on Instagram you can increase your exposure and attract new potential followers.
3. Our prediction for the future
As you have already seen Instagram’s impact in 2018 we predict that in 2019 and 2020 a model’s ability to be discovered and able to compete with other models will be heavily influenced by the model’s social media presence. Every model agency and model should see themselves as a media company first and then as a model or agency because producing quality content and being present on the most important social media outlets will determine how successful you can be in the future.
If you want to create a solid foundation for your agency’s success then you need to invest in your model’s social media growth and also use social media as new stream of revenue as there are many possibilities for a model agency to increase its revenue.