CHARLOTTE, QUEEN OF #HASHTAGS! Model & Presenter Charlotte De Carle Teaches us how to Become a Social Media Sensation…
To say that Charlotte De Carle is unique in the modelling world is probably a bit of an understatement. To be honest, she’s unique full stop. To look at her portfolio, one might take in her huge eyes, her delicate bone structure and her butter-wouldn’t-melt expression and compare her to a ballerina. However, that’s about where any comparison with a ladylike ballerina ends.
Charlotte’s an absolutely potty-mouthed, sarcastic character who isn’t afraid to make an utter tit of herself (as her hugely popular Instagram feed illustrates). Combine this humour with a warm personality and an intelligent mind (she learnt the phonetic alphabet, “cos I was bored in Greece,”) and you’ve got a pretty inimitable combination.
So famed for her sarcasm is she, that Regal Rose made her a ‘sarky tit’ necklace!
We’ve been around in the modelling biz for the same amount of time and I think she’d agree with me that we’ve got a little bit of friendly competition going on as we look so alike (whenever I don’t get a job, I’ll invariably see Charlotte pouting at me from the posters, and vice versa).
Since starring in the unfortunately named but hugely entertaining Channel 4 show Dirty Sexy Things, I’ve seen Charlotte go from being solely a model to becoming a social media sensation, with lots of presenting and acting jobs in the pipeline. Having recently told you that it’s not enough for a model to ‘just model’ anymore, I thought it’s be great to catch up with her to ask advice on how models can turn themselves a brand and venture into new fields…
R: So how did you get into modelling? How have you found yourself here?
C: Those are two quite different questions, Rebecca.
R: Yes, sorry, I got nervous. Right! Tell me about how you got into modelling
C: Well, my two sisters both wanted to be models, and one sent in a few pictures. She got rejected, but a booker at Models 1 saw me in one of the pictures and asked me to come into the agency. I was a total tomboy growing up, so it wasn’t really something I’d ever thought about.
R: Was your sister pissed off?
C: She wasn’t delighted, but it was a long time ago!
R: So you moved you London aged 16? How was that?
C: I hated it. I cried every day. I had a pretty sheltered, lonely life in a cul de sac as a child, so the whole experience of modelling in London was a shock. This was also in the days before the Internet being everywhere, so I didn’t talk to my family enough…
R: I had a similar experience in Tokyo! If I’d had Facebook at such a young age, I might have felt less disconnected…
C: Yeah, it’s a different experience for girls now, I think. But I stuck with modelling – I wasn’t enjoying school back home, so it seemed like a good lead to follow. I’ve had some incredible opportunities and met some amazing people – I love modelling – though it’s had its ups and downs. There was a stage when I started where I got pretty thin, by managing to exist on an apple and a banana a day whilst doing 7, sometimes 8 castings a day. Luckily my family knocked that behaviour out of me, though.
R: You’ve had a long, successful career and you’re still getting some brilliant jobs – I saw you shot with Rankin recently.
Then I saw you on my TV screen with Dirty Sexy Things, where you stood out as being very likeable, funny and natural.
Watch Charlotte create the absolute best moment of Dirty Sexy Things at 2 minutes!
C: I made sure I was myself on camera, and the Tweets I got showed that people did respond to me. People on shoots have always been telling me I should be an actress or a presenter, and I started to take that advice seriously.
R: And you really seem to have harnessed the attention the show got. Was it a turning point for you?
C: Yes – I was told to get Twitter when the programme started, and it was madness – when the show was on, I’d see the ‘follows’ on Twitter leap in huge numbers by the minute. I’d respond to every comment personally, which is why I’ve done about 38k Tweets!
Twitter’s a good gage of who you are, and what people respond to. People liked my humour, and my style, so I started developing that side to my image.
R: It’s a bit like you’ve channelled all that energy you put into, say, eating a banana and an apple a day, and now you’re directing that discipline towards creating a really cool niche and future for yourself.
C: Definitely. I work at my Instagram. Social media is like a job, 24/7, and I take pride in it. I really think about and plan what pictures I’m going to take. I’ve always been interested in the art direction side of things, and this lets me explore and express that. In fact I often plan my picture around my hashtags…
R: You are the Queen of Hashtags! They really are something else…
C: Well my favourite is probably ‘DISRESPECT YOUR SELFIE’, which sums it all up!
R: All this thought and originality into your pictures is probably why you’ve got way over 37k followers – and counting!
C: I’m not afraid to make a tit of myself, and my Instagram says something. I’m not just putting up pretty selfies every couple of days…
R: Do you get more modelling work as a result of your social media following?
C: Definitely. Clients now go straight to your Instagram so see if you’re appropriate for their company – will you influence their brand, especially if they’re new? People want models with a point of view – I’ve built a brand now and that gets me work, although endless pictures of my bum might lose me jobs with more conservative clients…
R: What have you got in the pipeline with your acting and presenting?
C: Well I can’t really say, but it’s very exciting! (R: I think I could get away with saying some of it’s on big channels, and one is with a huge brand. Don’t kill me Charlotte!)
R: A lot of models want to get into acting and presenting – it’s very competitive. I did have a go for a bit, but I just didn’t feel that I had the same hunger (and skill) as the girls around me. How have you broken into it?
C: Dirty Sexy Things was a start, and then I was on Professor Green’s show. He’s a mate of mine and persuaded me to come on. Then Borne Media approached my current agency, Profile, and asked if they had any talent they’d like to push, and my booker suggested me. That’s why it’s always a good idea to really get on with your bookers – you’ll be in their mind when things like this come up.
R: What steps should people who want to get into presenting take to make it happen?
C: Go to parties. Meet people, chat to them, make connections and follow leads. It also helps that I now get sent clothes to wear by brands, which means that my style develops, and so too can my Instagram and overall image – it all snowballs.
Charlotte’s ever-inventive Instagram has the clients hopping over one another to work with her!
R: I started Modeltypeface because I want to give lots of advice to other models. There are so many people that dream of becoming a model – what would be your advice to them?
C: I know it probably sounds cheesy, but be true to yourself and be comfortable in yourself, because you’re going to be facing a hell of a lot of rejection. And if you don’t have much confidence, either buck up or don’t go for it – it really is that tough.
R: And what about models who are already in the industry and want to increase their social media presence?
C: You need social media these days. If you’ve just got a portfolio now, you’re living in the dark ages. Build your own social media brand – decide who you are – what’s different about you that stands out? Once you’ve found that work at it, think about it and put some proper effort in. If you want to put up pretty selfies or you with your semi-famous musician boyfriend, then cool, but this is your chance to really say something. Once you’re started, make sure you keep up the momentum; because the day you take it easy and stop is the day you start losing followers. Like I said, it’s a job!
Go with it – be creative, and always remember to #DISRESPECTYOURSELFIE!