How To Get an Instagram to be PROUD of!

Hello all! It’s a fact – you’ve got to have an Instagram to book work these days. No matter how incredible your bone structure, the client will always go for the model with a greater following and interesting media presence as it’s extra free advertising.

We all are desperate to boost our following. Some people are lucky enough to have famous friends, or to have started their account a few years ago – but many of us are finding it tough to get numbers up. And anyway, in light of Essena O’Neill’s recent denigration of the social media site, living for our Instagrams can become a toxic, invasive presence in our lives.

What I’ve figured out is that I might not have a massive number at the top of my page, but having a quality-looking Instagram feed with good interaction with your followers is important for attracting clients, and you can work on that right away. And you don’t need to feel like a massive sell out to do it. Here are some things learnt – and I’d welcome any of your pearls of wisdom, too!

1) Take Good Pictures

Yes, this seems rather obvious but when I started, I thought the aim of the game was to just let people in on my life. Pictures of dinner in my dark flat looked grainy and shots of me on nights out with other models just looked dank and lazer-eyed.

You’re a model, so you should have picked up loads of tips from shoots of what makes a good pose and how to liven up a shot with a leap or a wink (I learnt my trade at the Dick Van Dyke School of Modelling).

I’m not saying you have to be the next Helmut Newton (pubes aren’t allowed anyway), but aim for:

  • Bright colours: any kind of shot against graffiti or a brightly coloured house is a) a massive cliché and b) guaranteed to rake in those likes.
  • Good light. Natural light is always the best. Don’t over-filter.
  • Make it attention-grabbing. If your face looks beautiful, you have a great big smile or your outfit is #onfleek it will capture attention.

2) Decide on Your USP

There are lots of models with Instagrams out there, so what is going to set yours apart? You don’t have to put up desperate bum shots to get followers. I decided I wanted mine to be fun, smiley and bright, with elements of Modeltypeface.

Learn from others on your level with a strong Instagram. I love Danielle Zarb-Cousin’s profile for the fact that she has uber-glamorous shots that are mixed up with selfies with her staffie, Bella…


or Charlotte De Carle who literally art directs her own hilarious shots – she puts a lot of work into them and they are really good quality pictures. You can read more of her tips in our interview, here.


3) Look at Your Profile as a Whole

Imagine looking at your Instagram as a stranger. Is it obvious you’re a model? What vibe do you give off? Would YOU follow you? This is a screenshot of a good part of my feed, when I was on hols so I could get some vivid, colourful shots. You can tell who I am, and what I want to project.


The other thing here is to have 3-5 standard pictures you post. Mine are:

  1. New modelling shots
  2. Agency polaroids
  3. Selfies/shots taken in everyday life
  4. Pictures from the ‘old days’ (#tbt).

If you just have professional modelling shots your page will look a bit cold. If they’re just flashback shots, it looks like you no longer model. An entire feed of selfies would be chronically depressing, and your agency will tell you to piss off if you keep demanding Polaroids.

Make sure there are full-lengths, beauty shots, movement shots and static ones to give variety.

3) Delete the Deadwood

Even if a shot has got loads of likes, if it doesn’t look good/jars with other shots on your profile then delete it a few days later.

4) Get in on Hashtags

Popular hashtags include #ootd (outfit of the day) #wiw (what I wore) #modellife #nature #bts (behind the scenes). You can also search for the most popular hashtags of the day.

No more than 5 hashtags, too. We all want more followers, but we’re not meant to SHOW it.

5) Figure out the Best Time of Day to Post

OK so popular legend says that Wednesday evening and Sunday night are the best times to post for likes and adds. Imagine when you’re sat around, vacantly scrolling at your phone – these downtimes like 1pm (lunch) or 5:30 pm (commute).

If you don’t get likes right away, delete and post later.

6) Post Everyday

If you’re not a reliable account, people will delete you because numbers are important and if you’re not doing much, you’re deadwood.

7) Get Commenting

Potential clients don’t just look at your numbers, they look at your engagement. I can always rely on certain people writing lovely comments below my pictures.

Respond under your own picture, then comment under their shots too, to promote a community feeling.

8) Tag

Be sure to tag the make up artist, photographer, hair stylist and brand if you’re doing a shot from a photoshoot. They may share your picture and tag you back, gaining exposure for everyone.

Also tag your location, which people search.

And if you’re in an outfit you like, tag where it’s from. It’s a great way for brands to see you and become aware of you.

9) Have a Catchy Bio

Don’t put anything too pretentious, don’t make it wordy, but make sure that it grabs people’s attention and sums you up in an original way. I love Caroline Albertelli’s bio – simple, true and says it all (also check out her IG as it’s a great example of a good feed that clients would love).


9) Remember Clients are Looking

I refuse to make my Instagram too polished and perfect, because that’s not who I am. However, shots of you smashed or smoking weed will lose you that beauty campaign. You’re not Miley Cyrus!

10) Have fun! 

My last point is to just have fun with your Insta. It’s obvious when people are half-hearted or obligated to post, and it’s boring to follow. It’s your chance to express yourself and show off how creative you can be, so embrace it and go for it.

We have no choice but to use Instagram – so we might as well be amazing at it!

Rebecca x

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