Modelling On Social Media During A Pandemic
With runways cancelled, print magazines closed and campaigns postponed, where can an aspiring model find work or gain enough exposure to build a career?
You’ve probably guessed it; modelling and social media are more intertwined than ever during a pandemic! All types of influencers are becoming the main models for advertisers and brands. You may see advertisements for products on a platform like Instagram or Twitter.
Recent studies show that people between 14-51 years spend approximately 60% more time online, on social media due to the pandemic. More specifically, Facebook and Instagram traffic is up 40% for consumers under 35 meaning that these are the best way to reach potential customers.
Even businesses have adopted a work-from-home model and even though times are hard, people are shopping more than ever!
With online shopping being the main escape from day to day life, brands are seeing an increase in demand. in all areas.
At the same time, the work from home and social distancing models are affecting big productions negatively, as consumers are having a more difficult time shopping out, which means shopping online is becoming crucial for many businesses.
The Market Is Changing
As Instagram offers increased visibility to individuals, more and more labels and companies are approaching popular or more well known faces, whether that be from reality TV or an influencer, within smaller local communities.
Many brands are now realising that they need to reach out more into the community and reach them in a more unique and original way.
Brands can choose an influencer or an aspiring fashion model who they believe would showcase their product in the best light. The model or influencer that they choose could also have the most appropriate followers who would buy the product or would be able to reach many more people than others.
While famous travel bloggers and international models may not seem to receive thousands of dollars to advertise bathing suits in exotic destinations; we see fresh faces and different body types advertising lingerie from their living rooms, showcasing real models in real settings making it more relatable to the ‘average’ person. Modelling happens exclusively on social media during a pandemic as it is the easiest way for consumers and businesses to meet.
While people’s personal accounts have less limitations not what can be posted or advertised than magazines or what an advertising campaign would require, an influencer can showcase a wider range of product categories to their audience.
Opportunities to partner with fashion, health and fitness, beauty and tech brands arise every day so always be aware and prepared if that day comes.
Agents also have increased their online model search, like searching on all types of media platforms, seeking out extraordinary, totally relatable characters to add their listing as consumers to try to connect with a more diverse range of people and connect with them all on a much more personal or genuine level.
Marketers are not only focused on influencer superstars with millions of followers, but also creators online or models with smaller audiences and specialized expertise in different areas. More people are having opportunities arise for them because of this. Influencers are no longer seeing influencing as a ‘side-gig’ but as a real, full time career.
In fact, less than a month ago, Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) published the first set of guidelines for the industry that covers everything from advertising disclosure requirements, intellectual property rights and influencer metrics for success making sure that everybody understands how it works and that everybody is safe doing so.
With more people online and active than ever on Instagram, and Twitter, influential posts appear to be gaining greater commitment and a more organic increase in followers.
Influential are the staple of the millennium generation, combining being ‘tech-savvy’ with wanting to be seen and heard. Everybody seems to be trying to make an impact on line on everybody who sees them.
The industries of fashion and beauty were the first to succumb to the power of influence. You may have noticed an increase in make up tutorials or videos of shopping hauls from specific brands. These are all fantastic ways of promoting businesses and products.
In the late 2000s many brands and vendors began to allocate large chunks of their advertising budget to Instagram bloggers and YouTubers with big personalties with a large and very committed following as they knew that this was an incredible way to be seen.
Also with modelling and acting, you may have noticed many more scouts searching for talent, explorationing through social media, or offering contracts to people who were already popular or had already been noticed whether it be from reality show or a recognised media channel. They try to make sure that these people are unique whether thats in their looks or personality.
Even though what seemed to be a mini war had been waging on, Influencers that saw many supporting, contradictory brands or ethics lose their credibility, the majority of the audience still believes that even sponsored posts coming from a person are more genuine than an ad.
The influencers that maintained an honest approach and who have been true to themselves, their following and the the businesses that they associate with, are still seen as more reliable and trust worthy.
Through platforms like Tik Tok and YouTube, more microInfluencers are being sprung into the limelight as many have different beliefs, have more unique niches or have a more local audience.
WHAT TO DO
Refine your social media presence- You want people to know that you are a serious professional in your field but you also want to keep your fun and bubbly personality in here too.
Let people know that you are a model in your bio or captions or even your posts! You want EVERYBODY to know who you are, what you do and that you can rock it in front of a camera!
Embrace your insecurities and be honest and vulnerable with your audience. Let them in! This is going to allow people to gravitate towards you as a ‘normal’ person (In the best way don’t worry!) and show them that you are real and relatable.
Show off your uniqueness. In the time of diversity and inclusivity what you might think separates you could be the very thing that brings you closer with people: Are you petite? Are you curvy? Do you have tattoos? Or maybe unique auburn hair?Take advantage of all of your quirks! Love your gap tooth, love your freckles, love your identity! This is who you are so be proud of it!
Be transparent about your relationships with businesses through clearly labelling what is sponsorship and what is not.
Reply to DMs and comments as if you would respond to a friend. People are seeking connection more than ever. Be that connection. Become that new friend! Not only does this make others feel good, but it is going to make you feel great as well!
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not buy “fake followers” as those accounts remain inactive and actually lower your engagement making it difficult for brands to verify your audience, because technically, you don’t actually have one. It is better to have a smaller community who talk and interact and who will stay loyal to you and your products rather than nothing from fake accounts.
Avoid sponsorships by too many brands or competing brands as your feed might look contradicting and untrustworthy. Pick your endorsements carefully, making sure you agree with all that they stand for and actually genuinely like the brand themselves and DO NOT SELL OUT!
Check the Federal Trade Commission’s demands for disclosure when you are receiving payment for an endorsement.
Keep supporting brands and causes that you honestly believe in regardless of payment. These are the things that need your help the most, charities and organisations like this benefit from even just a single post from you, and to doing it for nothing, helps the even more. This again shows your kind and generous nature.
Don’t be shy. In this new world you have to be extraordinary! You will need to get out of your comfort zone and make your stand and make an impact. I know it can be scary at first but will quickly fade away!
If you have been dreaming of becoming an model, or influencer, or anything else, don’t waste time. Rather than wonder how and what to create, you can simply start documenting your own day to day life and then once you get the hang of it, it will all come with ease. Doing something you love will always be the best and most rewarding thing you can do.