I hate social media. This may be evident by how rarely and sporadically I post. In fact, I didn't create a Facebook account for my modeling persona until I was already established and traveling, and Instagram came even later.
As for my fanpages? They might as well play a recording of crickets.
I tell you this because social media feels like a necessary evil to most freelance models. We expect ourselves to maintain half a dozen accounts (or more), create a persona, post regularly, understand all the ins and outs of each platform, and quickly amass a follower count.
And since so many established models have impressive follower counts and make it look effortless, it's easy to think we must be doing something wrong if we can't do the same.
There's a strange sort of conversational blind spot there too – we'll talk about #wcw and what hashtags to use, but it's rare that models will actually share how frustrating social media can be when it doesn't come naturally to us.
So it's not surprising that one of the most common questions I'm asked during the free Breakthrough Sessions I offer is how important social media actually is, and how to balance it with everything else.
Many new models seem to be more scared of having to maintain an online presence than of quoting rates, and established models who aren't making enough money tend to think it's because they aren't doing enough on Facebook or Instagram. Yikes!
When you don't enjoy social media, it's really scary to think that your career and livelihood depend on it. Today, I'm going to share with you my top tips for getting the most out of social media without letting it take over your life.
#1 - Make Room To Breathe
Social media can be a valuable tool for freelance nude models, but it isn't necessarily as important as most of us think it is. While it can work great as a main marketing strategy for models who love it, making it a main focus will just frustrate anyone who doesn't feel natural on social media.
It may come to feel more natural over time, but until then allow yourself space to start small. Focus on one platform at first (I recommend Instagram) and grow it until you feel comfortable, adding another only when you're ready.
Engage by following other people, by liking and commenting on their posts. Don't push yourself to post everyday if it doesn't feel right. And (super important) remember that you can unfollow people and disable notifications on Facebook. You don't need to be distracted every time you open your phone.
If social media is causing you stress, give yourself permission to let go of whatever is stressing you for a bit. There are other ways to market yourself and book work that don't require posting to Instagram or Facebook 5 times a day.
#2 - Stop Tracking Your Follower Counts
I always advise my clients to focus on connection and engagement rather than follower count. Social media is just an outlet to meet photographers who may be interested in hiring you. (And growing a fanbase if you use Patreon or something similar.)
You don't need to book the bulk of your shoots there, and more followers don't necessarily mean much unless you have a way to turn that into more bookings.
Don't get me wrong - expanding your reach and visibility can certainly be beneficial. Eventually it can be a good thing to start consciously expanding your follower count. But when I work with models my main goal is always to help them build financial stability and regular bookings first, follower count second.
#3 - Be Yourself!
Too many models feel that they have to decide on a persona in order to market themselves on social media. I remember trying to figure one out myself when I first opened a Facebook account, before I realized there was no way I could keep up a facade.
When I finally gave myself permission to just be myself I started booking a lot more work. Most photographers want to work with people, not mannequins.
However, being yourself doesn't mean you have to share your private life! Just because your Facebook contacts are called friends doesn’t mean you have to dish like you’re with your bestie.
Rather than creating a persona, I invite you to create a social media strategy determining what you want to share online and what will remain private, so you can “be yourself” and still be safe. Bitching about your family? Private. Going out on fun trips? Share away! Your sex life? Private. Posting about causes you care about? Absolutely.
Whatever you choose, make sure you feel comfortable with it. It's important to remain professional when posting to your official modeling accounts, but it's up to you to decide what that means.
Long Story Short...
It's totally normal not to like social media. It's ok not to use it regularly, or to choose just to engage with other people's posts while making few yourself.
You get to decide how you're going to manage social media as a model, and it doesn't have to look like what everyone else is doing. Just remember that it's a tool, not a chore.
As for me? I'm starting to post more, but I'm happy saving my sanity by not logging into my accounts every day. And that's never interfered with my bookings.
If you’re struggling to book work as a freelance nude model and would like support making it happen - without relying on social media - I’d love to help. Click here to see if a free “Book Your Dream Gigs” Breakthrough Session is right for you.