Light, Camera, Action! 6 Steps to Become a Popular Instagram Model

Dmitry Y.
Dmitry Y. 04/07/2018

Forget those times when the start of the modelling career was associated with a number of tough challenges. You had to meet strict requirements, be conventionally beautiful or handsome and pass a complicated test in model agencies. Now almost all of these rules are gone: everybody can be a model if they wish.

The miracle thing that made this all possible is Instagram. This platform gives plenty of vast opportunities for you regardless of who you are. You can promote yourself being a designer, musician, plumber, waiter, business coach, or even housekeeper. People who are positioning themselves as a “mom”, “husband”, or “student” also have a lot of things to tell about their lives.

However, the most popular personalities on Instagram are models or celebrities who are somehow related to modelling. Cara Delevigne (@caradelevingne) and Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) both have over 41M followers, while Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) can boast of 92.1M followers. It's unbelievable, but only 15 countries in the world have more population! The audience of Kendall Jenner is one population of Germany + 10 extra million people.

It may seem to be unfair, but the fashion industry is the fastest-growing one on Instagram. In our previous article, we mentioned that an average Instagram brand is threefold more popular than an average brand which belongs to other industry. Insta models often become the public faces of clothing companies. Some social media experts even aligned them with the supermodels we had in the 80-90s.

instagram model

Do you want to start your modelling career but never dared to take the first step? Instagram gives you a chance, don't miss it. And we at Toolzu will help you build your ladder to fame using best tips on “how to become an Instagram model“.

1. Define Your Style

If you decided to become an Instagram model, you probably already have an interest in fashion, clothes, or photography. You have clothes from specific brands in your wardrobe and know your style well. Still, it needs improvement.

Clearly define what type of an Instagram model you would like to be. Some of them promote traditional high fashion clothes, the others tend to be more “underground” but no less popular. Your personal style will define the brands with that you will collaborate in the future.

Define Your Style

2. Create Portfolio

Even though you are not going to sent photos to any model agency, you need to create a so-called portfolio. In fact, your portfolio will consist of all photos you have in your profile. But at the early stages of every Instagram account, users add at least 10 photos just to fill in and give a basic idea of their brand or personality.

So should you. To create a quality but diverse Instagram model portfolio, we recommend you to have a photoshoot of at least 3 different looks + dilute professional photos with some self-made pics. Even popular Instagram users take selfies, so don't neglect them.

Create Portfolio for yourself

3. Look for Collabs

Try to reach out to models and photographers which are more popular than you. Look not only at their number of followers but also at the engagement rate. The more comments from real users they have the better. Also, it is a nice indicator if the model or photographer has a lot of posts where he or she was mentioned by other users.

Look for Collabs

How to collaborate with other models on Instagram? You can interview each other or go for a walk and post the vlog-like video or simply make a selfie. Another way to win even more followers is to create a joint advertisement of a brand you both use.
How to collaborate with photographers on Instagram? If you want to have photos from a high-level photographer, you can agree with him or her to shoot on a TFP basis.

Toolzu explains: TFP (“time for pics” or “trade for prints”) is a type of a free agreement between a photographer and a model when the first one gives a number of photos in exchange for model's time.

TFP basis means you will have a photoshoot and won't pay for it. A photographer also won't pay you for your work but he or she may be interested in your image and use you as the model for some of his/her projects. So all parties benefit.

If you collab with people who more popular than you, they can mention your profile in their posts. So you will automatically widen your outreach and get a chance to win their followers, too.

4. Engage with Your Audience

Posting is not enough anymore. Just like you want to feel your followers need you and enjoy your posts, they want you to interact with them more often. People love famous personalities who treat their followers as friends or at least “guests” of their pages, not as a mass of random people.

To show how you appreciate their support, you may write captions or post stories directed to them. Also, it would be nice to ask their opinion about your outfits and content in general. Finally, we have Instagram polls to use in stories, so you can ask them to choose between just two options — that's very simple but enjoyable.

After gathering a large group of keen fans, you can proceed to your first contest. Arrange a “giveaway” — we all love to receive free rewards. The other great example of the contest is profile advertising. Some of the budding models or photographers might enjoy if you'd tell a word about their pages.

Set simple rules for each contest: don't make your followers leave Instagram and visit some third-party sources, just ask them to like your 10 recent photos or take a screenshot of your “contest” post and publish it in their own feed. Both parties profit again: you receive a bunch of new followers, and your fans get a real chance to get something from you.

5. Post Stories and Videos

Videos and stories are no less popular than photos on Instagram. And probably even more. See what stats say: 33% of all content in your feed are videos. This means every third post of yours may be video. “What can I do, if modeling is not about videos?” — You may ask. Well, Instagram models often make “how-to” videos or record the process of make-up. The popular format are stop motion animation videos which resembles well-known gif files.

Stories are truly booming: 22.3% of Instagram users even prefer watching stories over scrolling feed. Not surprising: people are sharing their daily moments using stories, not a regular posts. The majority of users are interested in private lives of their friends or celebrities, and stories are the best way to know more about it. Because of this, don't neglect stories. Make your followers happy by sharing some personal information about you and/or some backstage materials.

6. Focus on the Value

Stop liking and start thinking about how you can improve the quality of your posts and increase the engagement rate. In other words, focus on the value you bring to your followers.

Content is undoubtedly king, but what about other promotional activities? Popular Instagram model is definitely not that person who should do routine tasks as a part of the account promotion. In the era of marketing automation, you can delegate them to special software.

Focus on the Value
Dmitry Y.
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Dmitry Y.

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