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What is a portfolio tool? What is Instagram used for?

Permit me to say “this is the number one app shacking every body”. We all want to have dope photographs that everybody can see, like and leave ‘shaking body’ comments. We all want to follow top celebrities and keep up with them and their enticing and sultry photographs. That’s not bad at all but while you are blushing over your photographs, some people are using Instagram to make some serious money and authentic connections. That’s right!

This used to be an ebook I wrote last year but I decided to make it a post this year. (Alleluia somebody).

Last year, I was with a friend and he needed a model to do a job for him. I told him of a model I knew and he asked me to give him her Instagram account so he could check her out. Unfortunately, he didn’t like her. Not because she wasn’t fit for the job but because she didn’t package herself on Instagram. He immediately doubted her competence. I checked accounts of some top models and truthfully, there was a huge difference.

I then realized that Instagram was becoming the newest marketing/portfolio tool. Whether you are a freelance model or under an agency, you need this. Modeling agencies and business owners can as well learn from all that I will say here. Businesses are really leveraging on the visual power behind Instagram and you should not be left out. 2016 is here and you need to be on top of your game.

Instagram is getting serious by the day and trust me, you don’t want to be left in the dark. What do I mean?

Every business is getting on Instagram. There are some businesses you will see and you just keep wondering what they are looking for on Instagram. E.g Construction companies. As a model, from left, right and centre, you have every right to be on Instagram. The modeling career has a close tie with photography. In fact, modeling is the huge sister of photography. It gives you that forum to show your talent, various skills, jobs, friends, lifestyle and so many other things.

What is a portfolio?

PORTFOLIO: A book containing a selection of photographs and tearsheets that a model shows to clients.

Before now, models print portfolios. ( They still do). It later went on to having blogs and websites. Some models unfortunately could still not afford it or felt they were not techie enough to handle it. Instagram makes the job easy now because it only requires a device, data, username and password.

Your Instagram page can be used as a portfolio tool and even a marketing tool. Consider it a book where you keep photographs. Not just photographs but photographs worthy of showing to clients. But for you to be taken seriously, there are some basic principles you must be guided by.

Things are going so fast and so many people don’t have the time to sit in an office and look through the pages of a portfolio. Rather, they will quickly request for your Instagram username and scroll to see photographs of you and your potentials. That’s the new reality darling and we have to follow through. It’s called the tech age.

The mistakes most of us make is the impression we have about the modeling career. So many people go into it because they feel it’s a business of showing off and giving us photos of fresh faces and dope parties. You will only attract unserious agents who will work their way into taking advantage of you.

I will give you instances of well packaged Instagram profiles. Check these names on Instagram and see…

1) Agbani Darego
2) Oluchi Onuigbo
3) Onyemaechi Queen
4) Angella Phillips

Like what you see?
These are top models who are earning serious money with their God giving talent and we respect them for who they are. They Instagram pages are well packaged and very interesting.

Did I hear you say ‘ah ah, Ollie, but I’m not social media savvy na‘. Another excuse?

Well, you do not need to be a social media guru to have a well packaged Instagram account. It takes you and your efforts. I didn’t wake up techie or social media savvy. I had to wrap my head around it and today I am feeling like a Tech boss. Lol.

This is my one of my special package post for models out there and I sincerely hope you follow through and see amazing results for yourself. After teaching you all this, you will understand what these profiles above have in common. Let us get started.


The first thing I will have to talk about here is your NAME. Yes, I know you are a model and I understand how much you want to go fancy and chic. But do you know that in searching for you, your name matters. If you use a name such as @magicalbarbieberry , good for you and bad for business. Try using a key word in your name or your original name you are known for. It will help you get found easily and fast. A name like @ToyinA or @Andra_Model looks and sounds very serious and professional. It is also classy and chic if I am to say. Best is, it won’t be difficult finding you. I either have to type in Toyin or Model as the case may be and you are in my face like an action movie. Try searching for any top model on Instagram and see what I mean. Make sure you use the name you are known with, searching for you becomes easy when you do that.


This is where many of us don’t make use of intelligently. The biography spot gives you the chance to sell yourself and tell the world who you are. Check this out:

I am on top of the world.
Haters have no chance here.
Girl on fleek!”. xoxo
Fleek flok

Warisdis? The ladies especially are guilty of this and it is sad. I do not connect to biographies like this because you have only told me you are really unserious. You are a model or a business who intends to get jobs and make money. It is expected that you take your profession seriously. How about a biography like this:

Runway and Commercial Model
For Bookings: 080123456789
E-mail: andramodel@gmail.com

This is what mine looks like.

How to use Instagram as a portfolio tool-Imodelafrica
How will you react to such a biography? Nice, professional, short and straight to the point. Did you also notice the web link there? If you don’t have a website,not to worry, you can always embed your Facebook profile link or a link to a site that has featured you. It simply shows how active you are. If any site or magazine wants to interview you, grant it to them so your fans and other people can always read further about you. Instagram doesn’t leave much space for story telling. But your embedded link in your biography does. You can also make it colourful with a smiley if you wish. Don’t over do the smileys please. Make sure you embed a link, number, email or anything that links back to you.


I need not say much about this. Your profile picture should be professionally shot. It is every thing that needs to be said about you. If you cannot afford a well shot photograph, get a phone with a nice camera and get a friend to snap you. You can edit the photos with a photo editor. This is as in the case of a model who is just starting up. For models who are already in the system, you can make use of any photograph from jobs that you have done. It will attract a lot of followers. Models on Instagram are known to have very pretty and professionally shot photographs. Your profile picture should be neat and beautiful. Do not fall my hand!


In Chigurls voice “Now, it is to time to sell market”. This is where we get to know who you are. The eyes are powerful. Be careful not to feed it otherwise. Make sure that you post really interesting photos. I have observed that interesting and creative photographs attracts attention. I am not asking you to go nude. I will advice that you maintain a decent face and not get carried away with the social media thing. It’s your modeling career and that’s what you are selling. So sell it well. Did you do a recent photo shoot? Do you want to tell us about a coming soon project? Did you meet a new nice model on set? Did you find the Costumier interesting? Was the location dope? Did you attend a party last weekend? Did you take a video on set? Fill your followers in about your modeling career. Let them know what you have been up to. Let them see. Inspire aspiring models and let them into your beautiful world. Your photographs should be able to attract and engage people. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.


Follow people who matter in the industry. Follow models who are on their game because that’s the only way you can get to learn and be better. That’s the way you will be kept abreast of happenings, events, castings, auditions and offers. Not just models but other major players in the industry. Like their photos. In giving likes, so shall you receive. Designers, models, directors, photographers, lifestyle bloggers and entrepreneurs are people I personally like to connect with. Their pages can never be less inspiring. You equally get to learn from other gigs on building  strong online portfolio.

If you feel overwhelmed managing Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, simply integrate them. Once you post on Instagram, it appears on other social media platforms. That way, you use one stone to kill many birds.

Be nice. Stay humble. Ignore all negative comments and see them as your stepping stone. Work hard to achieve your goal. I know getting to the top modeling agencies can be very difficult. But once you work hard, it will pay off. Imagine taking a very creative photo shoot and tagging top modeling agencies with the caption “An aspiring model. I am waiting to explore with the big gigs. #Myportfolio”. That’s daring you know. Don’t just tag model agencies,top models, tag designers and photographers and other creatives in the industry. Sweetheart, do this once or twice and you won’t believe the response you will get. Good compliments, relationships and even a call to join an agency or a job.

This is the new age and you should take advantage of it.

It has been a wonderful time having you read till this moment. It shows you are ready to succeed and it can’t be less. You will move from glory to glory. I encourage you to move to your Instagram page right now and build yourself a professional portfolio. Use your creative biography to attract people of importance and your photographs to engage them. That’s the power of visuals. It is important that you have a branded online presence.

Do you have any other tips to share? Share your thoughts and comments below. I always love to read them.

If you got to this point, I will say…

Cheers to your continued success and


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Hey She-boss! I am Joy (Ollie) and I am glad to have you here. I am a God lover who is dedicated to inspiring young creative women and living a fulfilled life. I hope you find my posts useful and don't forget to subscribe for more awesomeness! Thank you for reading!!!❤️

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