In an era where social media screams marketing genius for many brands, companies are now looking to online portfolios outside of an agency website to help determine which models they seek to work with next.
I have been to many castings where the casting director asked for us to include our name, agency contact - and yep, even our Instagram handle.
While there are traditional ways to get signed to an agency and different types of modeling categories depending on ones look, part of becoming a success stems from building a brand - and more important as of recent years, an
online brand around yourself.
Take Tyra Banks for instance. She catapulted up the ropes to become one of the top black supermodels of our time.
She ripped the runways of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows and was the face of major beauty campaigns for clients such as Covergirl.
But she didn't stop there.
Tyra, or TyTy, went on to become a global business mogul by starting the hit TV Show America's Next Top Model, she created her own beauty line Tyra Beauty, became an actress and was the host of the entertainment talent show America's Got Talent. She even discovered one of her Tyra Beauty model's via Instagram and that model later went on to become signed to a major modeling agency.
And you can find Tyra's branding not just in print and video but strategically plastered on social media channels as well.
She is an example of an encompassing model brand carefully crafted to perfection.
As models or aspiring models, that is the manner in which you, we, should be thinking as well.
How to build a brand around your name, or stage name, - as multi-faceted as it may be including how to have a presence on social media...a presence that can touch clients both locally and globally.
As I often teach in my model coaching masterclass, your brand, your identity, is what probes new clients to be intrigued by you besides the obvious given of your look, attitude and skillsets as a model in front of the camera.
Do you have the ability to attract an audience?
What is your personality like?
Can you tell my personality type and what brands I could potentially work with based on the screenshot of my IG below?
While I will expound upon some various sub topics of branding in upcoming posts, for now, let's focus on how models can brand themselves on social media - the big one right now being Instagram feeds.
As I scroll through my DM, or inbox messages on my instagram page and trickle on over to the profile account of the person seeking my modeling advice, I am often intrigued at the photos and overall content that I see presented on pages of those who vow to one day become professional models.
To help you get over the hump of the beginning stages of online branding, consider the following.
5 tips on how to brand your Social Media as a model: 1. Perception - Think like the client - if your goal is to shoot for brands like Target and Macy's, chances are images of you bending over, scantily dressed or being provocative in every other post will not be in line with the client's brand identity. Images and captions should be personal to you but should be in line with what a potential client would reel resonates best with their audience.
Images such as you smoking weed and being drunk should be kept off the internet even if you enjoy that lifestyle. The majority of the brands that may be interested in your look are protective of their image and will not want the model of their campaign to go viral for debauchery - or for rival feuds being played out in tweets and captions.
Yes they are judging your personal life as a brand...your brand includes your social media pages and not just your printed or iPad portfolio.
2. Angles - Show off various angles of your body and expressions. If all of your photos are of your face and the client can't see your body, they cannot get a full representation of you. Include images of you smiling and not smiling. Consider adding some clear, well lit digitals and maybe even some professional photoshoots to make you stand out from the crowd. Most people aspire to be fashion models but in-fact, you may be more commercial. Let us see both sides of you but stick with your category/niche in most of your images for more targeted branding.
Click here for more details on identifying and executing your proper modeling category/niche.
3. Attire/grooming - Think as though you are already a brand. Each time a client visits your social media they should be able to say, yes she would be a perfect commercial or fashion model, she would be perfect for our next hair ad etc. If your goal is to work with Nike, have some images of you in athletic wear exercising. If you want to do hair ads, keep your hair well groomed/ends trimmed and healthy looking etc. Be an extension of the brand with what you have to work with.
4. Authenticity - I can't say this enough. Brands want to see the real you. If you are passionate about fashion, show that - if you are passionate about drawing, show that. But be sure that your wall isn't just artwork if your passion is painting because then how would they know that you also have modeling potential. Be creative with what inspires you but make them see YOU.
5. Clarity/Cohesiveness - When a brand goes to your page, they should instantly know who you are, what you do, how you benefit the world etc. Therefore, your bio text and images should reflect current and or future goals and should be clear. Now, this isn't to say you need to tell your address and how many siblings you have, but your page should be structured in a way that they are not guessing your style, personality, outlook on life, what industry segment you belong to etc.
Collectively, honing in on the steps above for a cohesive feel to your page will start the process in building your brand both for gaining potential modeling clients and as a method of growing your organic following.
Although there are other specifics that will also elevate your online presence, the starter images and personality presented are key.
After all, you wanting to be a model is all about selling a perceived image or lifestyle to a potential consumer.
Now that you have a few tips, go back to your social pages and see what content may need to be archived and what you can do to improve upon the new uploads. Let me know your thoughts on what you realized should be amended and how you will make such changes.
You got this!
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Peace & love,