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Now that being an “Instagram model” can become a legitimate career and open doors to bigger modeling gigs, it’s easy for the industry to get crowded–fast.
And with this influx of beautiful girls with a flood of likes and admiring followers, the disruption can get dirty.
Ease of Entry
We get it—being an Instagram model has a lot of perks.
From leveling the playing field and getting noticed faster than using traditional channels, to multinational brands tapping into the influence of these up-and-rising celebrities, a quick-to-admire audience is a captive market. Now, if you want to be a model, you don’t have to go through an agent, move to a different city, or
Dewanie Kim, a model from the Philippines, gets endorsement and sponsorship offers from big brands such as Air Asia, Colgate-Palmolive, and Freego.
Fresh out of college and armed with a combined following of 250,000 across Twitter, Instagram and two Facebook accounts, she’s maximized the use of social media to turn Instagram modeling into a lucrative career. And no, she didn’t even need to go out of her way to do that.
If you look at her Twitter (@waniedoo), she has over 150,000 highly engaged followers, and an attitude that won’t back down. Today, Dewanie enjoys consistent offers from both homegrown and multinational brands, while she finishes her culinary studies.
As you can see from Dewanie’s example, it’s hard to ignore what lucrative career it offers. Remember—there are thousands of models all around the world now who started and flourished their careers through social media. And to a few very diligent people, it’s not even that difficult to get there.
A quick search on the internet will land you cheap, effective courses on how to grow your Instagram following. Some people have blown their following count from three to five digits in less than three months. You can run campaigns, post graphics that trigger shares and mentions, and game the Instagram stories to drive your traffic better.
With these in mind, it gets easier and easier to dip your toe in the pool if you want to. Well, if you have the looks to match it, that is.
Unfortunately, being more “open to the market” through social media, with the looks and the tech to match, also opens up the modeling industry to a few red flags.
The Necessary Disruption
If you started your modeling career on Instagram, it’s possible that you may not be properly educated of some of the risks of joining this industry.
For example, it’s not a secret that a lot of newbie models who get harassed, are forced to strip naked in front of “agents,” the models getting scammed by fake agents, delayed pay, and those who are coerced into sleeping with photographers, directors, and agents to encourage them to hasten advancement in their careers.
Certainly these horrors are not new, and with new channels opening up for more girls wanting to carve a career in this industry, something needs to be done.
Good thing there are a few visionaries who saw what the market needs and rose to the challenge. One of these visionaries is Victor Teruel, founder of Moda Casting.
Moda Casting is a Vegas-based model-booking app that lets models, agents, and direct clients interact with each other in a rating-dependent, integrity-rewarding platform.
Hailed as the “Uber for Models,” this app carefully balanced the interests of the clients and the models by providing accurate location monitoring, the ability to rate every booking experience for both parties, and a stringent vetting process that includes video verification for both models and clients.
With less than a year in business, Moda has achieved favorable popularity in the industry. They now have over a thousand pending memberships from both customers and models ranging from aspiring ones to veteran ones.
To say that the market is excited about this is an understatement. Well, that doesn’t come as a surprise since the models themselves say that they enjoy many perks, and they feel more safe when accepting bookings through Moda.
Aside from the models enjoying a bigger chunk of what they make from every booking, they are also monitored by the GPS features on their phone, through the app, and they can easily report abuse if it arises.
More Than Just a Booking App
To date, Moda Casting has inked partnerships with a few women’s groups, with their biggest one focusing on their work with Project Consent.
Ten percent of the profits of Moda Casting is donated to Project Consent, a nonprofit organization that aims to eradicate rape culture by promoting a consent-based culture.
Project Consent’s founder, Sarah Li, started this it in 2014.
Today, they have a team of 18 executive members and over 50 volunteers who work hard in spreading their message through print, social media, and events.
With Moda, they’ve created #SpeakUp, a fundraising campaign to encourage sharing and reporting of abuses in the modeling industry through several available technological advancements.
Aside from this link, Moda has also a few similar partnerships in the pipeline, as they gear up for their big launch later this year.