Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Why is it that people look down on Instagram models? More than likely, this title was loosely thrown at the 'model' by on-lookers who saw their large following and beautiful photos, then assumed modeling was their profession. But if it was, why would this be a problem? It actually shouldn't be and those who use the term "IG model" as an insult are so oblivious to it's monetary opportunity.
"But What Do You Do?"
When done right, what an IG model does is be themselves and reap the benefits of paid promo requests and other business opportunities as their online presence grows. So yes, this means advertising Flat Tummy Tea, Fashion Nova, waist trainers, Miracle drops, showing up to paid bookings at clubs and more! What an IG model does is use their opportunity of social media "fame" and turn it into money! Money they can eventually use to start their own business and make even more money. In addition to the Instagram hustle, most of these public figures have normal 9 to 5 jobs that supports them. In my situation, I had my well-paid government job and my IG gig on the side. I made 3x more money with my IG gig! So with this extra money, I funded my own businesses, was able to leave my government job and pursue my photography & entrepreneurial dreams. All thanks to social media!
People Think Negatively On Things They're Afraid To Do Themselves
Trust me... if they could, they would! Many of the people who talk down on Instagram hustlers are people who haven't adapted fully to the idea that IG can be a goldmine to those who know how to use it. Many also cast their own doubts and fears onto those who actually arent afraid of trying new things. Pay no mind to these kind of people. Their lurking and negative comments are still giving your profile activity, which then increases your social media algorithms. So... in the long run, they're actually helping bring more people (and potential customers) to your profile. Your haters can be a blessing! HA! Keep thriving.
"How Do I Become An IG Model?"
"Anybody can do it", but it takes guts and consistency. The fear of rejection must be thrown out of the window because what one person doesn't like or approve of, someone else definitely will. Not everyone will approve of you and you shouldn't let that stop you. Here are a few steps on how I personally grew my social media following:
Became confident in myself - this gig is not for the faint of heart. Put a icebox where your heart used to be and do your thing CONFIDENTLY!
SELFIES! SELFIES! SELFIES! - For some reason people respond better to self-taken photos. I think its because it makes you appear more relatable, unlike staged professional images.
Remained active on all my social media platforms - Consistency content is key. Keeping up with social media can be overwhelming if you use more than one social media platform. I like using apps that allow me to schedule my posts in advance. Try Hootsuite and Preview app.
Used hashtags and geo-locations to push my images in front of more eyes - this may seem cheesy but using geo-tags and hashtags actually pushes your images into a mass category that allows people from all over the world to view. I personally followed quite a few random people by clicking through hashtags.
Networked with other social media personalities - Don't be shy! Link up with folks. Many of the IG models who have tons of followers used to cross-promote one another to acquire each others viewers. Some of them even ended up being real-life friends. And I'm sure they traded social media secrets on how to get money!
Responded to my DM's - Though this isn't my favorite part, I feel like it's necessary. Of course there may be "thirsty" people in your DM's but ignoring their messages and not responding is rude and bad for business. I don't hold full blown conversations with people but if they message me a compliment, I will be sure to respond thanking them for their compliment. I've also found that some of the people I took the time to respond to, were the first to support me when I started to sell items through my brand.
Got professional photos taken - though nothing trumps a good selfie, you oughta shit on em' every once in a while with a few wow factor photos. Check out Opulux Designs Photography (Tampa, FL) for your next professional shoot.
Built a personal website - As my popularity blossomed, I wanted to have a place where my dedicated followers could continue to indulge in my brand. I paid to have a website built once, but it became so costly to keep my site updated. Eventually I figured out how to be self sufficient in creating my websites (Sincerely Isyss, Opulence Clothing & Opulux Designs) and saved tons of money doing all the designing myself. Learn how to create a website yourself for little money!
Maintained a pleasant personality with the strangers I met - I had a chance to many many of my admirers over the years and all have commended me on how "nice" I was in person. I was told that I look "mean" in my photos. I definitely didn't like that assumption, so I made it my duty to be a delight with every person I met. First impressions are everything. How you behave and treat them is what they will always remember and talk about to other people. My introductory personality is how I was able to meet a connect for the first time, not see them for several years, run into theme again later in life and them treat me like I'm their best friend. I love it.
Don't Try To Change Their Minds
The most difficult hurdle in this game is getting over what people may say about you. Having thick enough skin to keep doing you regardless of anyone's opinion is easier said than done. But once achieved, you will be a force to be reckoned with. Fuck it up, Buttercup!