As cliché as it sounds, there are actually some girls (and a few men) who make bank with this side hustle. But how do you do it? How do you win with this hustle? Can you really make money as an Instagram model?
Now, let me just point out that women are not the only humans on the planet who can become successful Instagram models! But… with that being said, it seems to be a lot easier for them.
Also, keep in mind that this side hustle is more specifically dedicated toward modeling (rather than making money on Instagram in general). In other words, modeling different types of clothing for payment… either through sponsorships, or by making money selling those outfits through affiliate links.
But anyway, that is neither here nor there.
Making Money As An Instagram Model
There are a lot of subtle differences in how you can go about this process. But in this article, I am going to go over the bare basics. These are the fundamental building blocks that you need to have in place if you want to potentially make money as an Instagram model.
Please note, however, that Instagram is only ONE platform. If you really want to win, you should also consider building your own website and leveraging Instagram as a way to bring viewers in.
Putting together a WordPress site and using Opt-Ins to gather email addresses from your followers is a POWERFUL way to leverage serious Instagram influence.
If you don’t build your own website, there is a chance that your success could be entirely dependent on Instagram. And if something were to happen with the platform you would be really out of luck and may have to start over from scratch.
Anyway, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about how to build a side hustle as a model on Instagram.
Step 1. Start An Instagram Account
This is pretty easy. Start an account. Try to be yourself. To a certain degree, being beautiful, sexy, and attractive REALLY helps you out on IG, because it is a very visually-centered platform.
But that is not necessarily always a set-in-stone rule, either. There are plenty of ‘alternative’ models who defy pop culture’s normal beauty standards and amass hundreds of thousands of followers.
The key here is to find a way to stand out and be unique. Some girls wear kitten ears. Some wear specific types of clothing. Some double-down on tattoos and piercings.
Some go for the ‘sexy’ look.
Some are always doing goofy things in their videos.
Some are always working out.
But that leads us to our next point.
Step 2. Be Yourself On Instagram, And Find A Way To Channel Your Passion Into Your Persona
There are two main mechanisms by which you can earn money as a model on Instagram.
- Through sponsored posts
- Through affiliate marketing
So, it is really important that you be yourself, and find your own voice and look on IG.
There are two big reasons for this.
Firstly, if you act and look the way you truly want to act/look on IG, you will get more excited about your hustle and stay more engaged. This will help you to love the game and stick with it.
But secondly, this will help your own organic personality to shine through… and will lead to you getting to market the types of products that you would actually want to use in real life.
This is actually really important.
Endorsing products and trying to get viewers to buy them is a tricky thing, and viewers will catch-on to ‘fake money-grabs’ really quick.
This is why you should always seek to endorse only those products that you actually love, and that you would actually use.
Alright. So you have started an IG, and have decided to be your own unique, true self. Now what?
Step 3. Start Posting… A LOT
There are more than a few different ways to get followers on IG. You can pay for follows, work to get shout-outs from other successful Instagram models, and network to try and become more visible.
But at the end of the day, nothing beats organic posts and follows through sheer, hard work.
In other words, post a lot.
Try to make your posts as good as they can possibly be. Try to model your own clothing that you love and as you buy it. Do your thing and develop your own personal style. Make your posts varied and interesting.
Also, try to bring something to the table other than your good looks. Write short blurbs in the descriptions of your posts. Try to bring value and an attractive image to your followers.
If possible, post multiple times a day. The more you post, the more likely you are to gain followers… and the better off you will be!
Step 4. Hashtag
Whenever you post on IG, you should make sure to input some hashtags. Hashtags are the currency of IG, and they are the best way to get discovered.
The method I use for hashtagging is pretty simple.
I write a short blurb in each post. Then, I leave a period… skip a line… period… skip a line… etc.
I do this four times, so that the hashtags will not appear for the viewer unless they click down to read them.
It will look like something this…
This is my Instagram blurb that I posted along with a picture. Look at this! My pictures are fabulous, etc.
#getit #thisishowyouhashtag #sidehustle #modeling
That’s the general idea!
I leave about 15-20 different hashtags that are relevant to what I am posting. You need to try to back-engineer this so that your hashtags will match up with what your potential viewers would want to see.
You need to target your niche demographic, and figure out what hashtags they would be looking for.
So, if you are a bikini model… you might want to hashtag with #cutebikini, #bikinipics, #swimsuitinspiration, etc.
You can experiment with different hashtags. Just always make sure to put plenty of work into this. You can even save individual hashtag lists and re-use them in future posts.
Step 5. Build Your Following
This is the hard and time-intensive part of the process.
You just need to keep posting and building a following.
Try to get shares, shout-outs, and attention. Leave comments to reply to people who comment on your posts, and try your best to interact with everyone who cares to spend time interacting with you.
Be social! Try to establish yourself as a leader in your particular niche.
As you build more followers, keep doing your thing… but also be on the lookout for modeling opportunities. You can even start chatting with small-time clothing companies to try to get sponsorships, discounts on items you like, etc. in exchange for you modeling and showing off their merchandise.
Step 6. Monetize
At some point, if your following gets large enough, you will amass enough influencer attention to command a pretty good payment for every modeling gig. You can also leverage your influence to make money through affiliate links on your own site.
You can embed a link to your site in your IG bio. This can take people to your own blog or gallery, where you can attempt to get them to sign up for your email list and/or buy things that you are marketing.
If you can research ways to offer discount codes for different products you love, you can offer even more value and an even better reason for your followers to buy things through your site.
My Personal Feelings About Becoming An Instagram Model
This is not the gig for me. That is for sure!
But… for the right person, this could be a very lucrative side hustle that could also potentially turn into a full-time gig.
Of course, there are a few requirements for it that need to be met before you can hope to succeed.
- You need to be at least a little bit entertaining
- You need to be comfortable in front of the camera
- You need to have your own style and own it
- You need to be invested in working long-term toward success
- You need to be ready to not give up when things get hard
This is a long-term side hustle, for sure! It takes work, time, effort, and dedication to succeed as an Instagram model in today’s online world.
But with a bit of perseverance and some old-fashioned hard work, you may be surprised at how fast you can build up a following!
Nowadays, as internet users learn to ignore more traditional types of advertising, people are relying more and more on influencers to get the word out about their products.
Having a large following that you can leverage for cash is a pretty big asset!
Sure, it takes time to build. But once you get the ball rolling, it tends to snowball as long as you stick with it and keep improving your game.
And that can lead to some pretty awesome opportunity!
You may not get rich through this side-hustle. But if you keep at it, the opportunity is there to earn some serious cash in the long-run.
Our Final Thoughts About Becoming An Instagram Model
Should you try to become an Instagram model and make some extra cash as a side-hustle?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
Starting your own affiliate website really is the best way to build passive income and "make money while you sleep". Affiliate websites earn income in every timezone, and can be instantly accessed by billions of smartphones across the globe!