More Instagram Followers = More Modeling Jobs & Income?

The time in which having a cute face was enough to be a succesful model is over. Models now need to have an impressive Instagram follower count. At least, that is if we have  have to believe Storm Model Management and Estee Lauder. 

Long, long time ago, maybe even before you were born, when I just started out as a model, modeling was very different from now. The photographer did his light test by making use of real polaroids. There were no such television programs as America’s Next Topmodel. As such, most preadolescent girls didn’t even know they could become a model. Competition among models was lower and there weren’t as many modeling agencies as there are now. Fees were higher and modeling was a magical, glamorous profession.

Popular on Instagram

Something else that was very different from now is the absence of Instagram, or social media in general. The way models brand themselves and become popular by means of social media was unthinkable back then. Even though, right now, 17 years later, this is a phenomena that we see abundantly in operation. Think for example about Kendall Jennar.


my first @esteelauder ad is out!! #ModernMuse #KJ4EL

Een foto die is geplaatst door Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) op

Kendall Jenner for Estee Lauder. Kendall has an Instagram follower count of a whopping 28.6 M!

Value of a large following

So what can a large social media follower count bring models? According to Estee Lauder, model’s social media accounts are worth dollars. The beauty brand confirms to the British Vogue that models can profit from a large social media follower count, by stating that Kendall is the face of the brand as the brand could “leverage her image, voice, energy and extraordinary social media power to introduce Estée Lauder to millions of young women around the world”.

Sarah Doukas, booker at Storm Model Management, agrees upon the benefits for models of having a large follower count. She recently told the Financial Times that when 2 models are in option for a job and 1 of them has a larger social media follower count, she’d get the job. On top of that, the client is separately quoted for the extend of the model’s social media following.

In conclusion

To summarize: if we have to believe Estee Lauder and Storm Model Management’s Doukas, models with more Instagram (or in general social media)  followers have more be it better modeling jobs. With my skimpy 1400 Instagram follower count, that means I’d have to keep on collecting Instagram followers for quite a while to make a chance at booking a job about the same caliber as being the world-wide face of Estee Lauder. Therefore, sweet readers: help me collect that EL campaign and follow me on IG! 


Cuteness overload @glamourmag

Een foto die is geplaatst door Great Body & Skin (@greatbodyskin) op

Me for Glamour. My Instagram follower count is 1400. But hey, you can help me!

In itself, a model’s personality becoming significantly more important is something I praise. I am not aware of ever being booked because of my social media follower count or social media presence though. Nor am I aware that my agencies quote my clients for my social media following.

Are you a model that is active on social media and do you have an impressive social media following? Have you ever been booked because of your social media presence? Are your clients quoted for your social media count? And what do you (model or no model) think about model’s personalities seemingly becoming more meaningful in their work?

(c) Cover image: Instagram/Kendall Jenner


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About Angela

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour. I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!


  1. vanuit het bedrijf snap ik dit eigenlijk heel goed. gewoon een groter bereik voor je campagne als het model deze ook deelt op haar instagram. daarnaast als een model veel fans heeft zal dat ook meehelpen aan de verkoop van het merk omdat de volgers van het model haar als voorbeeld zien.

    omdat ik het je gun heb ik je weer 1 volger dichter bij die estee lauder campagne gebracht ;P
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  2. Dan zou ik met mijn 36 volgers niet ver komen, lol. Zoals je zegt, vroeger was een model een magisch wezen (ik denk aan Claudia Shiffer e.a.) maar tegenwoordig kennen we al hun vuile was. Ik weet het niet, maar ben toch geneigd om in dit geval te zeggen dat vroeger alles beter was.
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  3. mooi geschreven. Wat me ook opvalt is dat iedereen die wat mooie selfies op instagram zet zich al model weet te noemen.
    En vaak krijgen ze nog modellenwerk ook.
    In mijn tijd liep je nog castings af om ontdekt te worden haha.

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    • Angela

      Klopt, zo werkt het tegenwoordig ook. Meisjes worden ontdekt op IG, merken gebruiken populaire meisjes op social media in hun campagnes etc. Dat snap ik vanuit zo’n bedrijf wel.

      Tja en wanneer mag je jezelf model noemen? Er bestaat niet iets als een diploma voor modellen. Wellicht wanneer je zo bij de KvK staat ingeschreven en er primair je brood mee verdient? Iedereen zal er wel een ander idee over hebben.

      Haha, ja die castings. In Nederland is er sowieso meer sprake van direct bookings natuurlijk, maar in het buitenland moet je nog steeds gewoon je castings doen.

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