When you hear the word “model” probably one of these two things happen: You either picture the likes of Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and David Gandy walking on a catwalk or hear Rupaul singing inside your head, “Supermodel of the world!”
Using attractive folk to sell a product is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Like it or not, we’re shallow creatures and respond well to beauty. The good news is that it is also one of the most simple marketing techniques out there:
Pretty Face + Product = Sale
Even a monkey can figure it out.
If you think your business would benefit from this tactic then you’ll have to find yourself a good looking person and (unless you hold regular auditions to cast beautiful girls and boys as your friends) then that means hiring a model, spending time and money.
But, don’t go away!
I know what you’re thinking. I’m not Karl Lagerfeld. My brand doesn’t have the resources to pay for the latest It girl — but haven’t you heard? You can still create a successful campaign without her.
In this post we’ll guide you through all the basics you need to know when it comes to hiring the best possible model for your brand.
Are you ready to strut this runway? Then let’s go!
Why should I hire a model?
Having great images that promote your garments is no longer optional. Online content is heavily visual, posts with relevant images get 94% more views than those without. Simply put, you’ll need to have top-notch images if you want your brand to stand out.
When it comes to promotional images you have several options:
- Shoot a campaign without models
- Use stock images of models
- Shoot a campaign with models
These are all valid options and they all have their pros and cons.
Shooting a campaign without models
You can also just hire a photographer and work with them to shoot some decent photos of your tees by themselves. One look that’s popular right now is to have the shirts shown on a simple but stylish hanger placed in front of a white or brick wall.. You’ve seen them, they’re very Pinterest friendly.
The good: They’re trending
The bad: There’s a lot of competition. Unless you figure out a way to make it unique, you won’t stand out.
Using stock images of models
There are lots of these pre-made images available that you can basically just upload your design to, and it’ll appear on the image. The very best ones look like real photos of your shirts. Some of them are just a shirt, while others are shown on models.
The good: They’re cheap and sometimes even free
The bad: They’re generic and don’t have almost any creative control over them
Shooting a campaign with models
Like we were saying earlier, having a model wear your products can ensure you display your products in a way you think will be appealing to customers. A good model will know just how to make your T-shirt look the very best.
The good: Photos of a hand-picked model wearing your tees, translate to unique images that were created just for your brand — and only your brand. Also, professional images can go a long way towards establishing your brand as one to take seriously. We don’t mean that your photos have to have a serious tone; we’re talking about high-quality that lets customers know you’ve got a real brand and aren’t just selling tees out of your garage.
The bad: It can get expensive, since you not only need to hire a model but also the equipment for the photoshoot (camera, lights, etc…). Also, as with any sort of team work, the more people you ad to the mix, the more complicated things tend to get.
How much does hiring a model cost?
This is the world’s most frustrating response: It depends! Now we’re going to explain why.
Typically, models charge somewhere in the $30-$50 range per hour. Like with most creative professions, the price really depends on how experienced the person is and how in-demand they are. While you’ll hardly get Kate Moss for this price range, you’ll probably still get somebody professional who knows how to strike a decent pose.
You can get some models who will agree to work for free, as long as you give them the images for their portfolio afterwards. This can be a great deal if you find some up-and-coming talent, but of course, other times you get what you pay for. Also, without any incentive to go, you may very well get a no-show on the day of the shoot. Have a backup plan ready to go!
Of course, if you’re going to go the free route, you may be better off asking some friends to do you a favour.
How can I hire a model?
Aren’t we lucky? We get to live in a time were we can order anything online from food to urine-powered batteries. This applies to people, too — Well, more like hiring than ordering, but you get my point.
As there are all types of listings, there are also all kinds of modelling agencies. Some feature hundreds of models, while others only offer a handful. Fees also vary greatly, so make sure you know what you can offer from the start so you don’t waste anybody’s time.
Online listing platforms
There are a few big websites that are specifically for hiring models. Here are two to get you started:
These are listings where anyone, and we do mean anyone (the good and the bad), can sell their services as the next Linda Evangelista. You can find all types of models going from athletic to plus-sized and professionals to amateurs. It may take a while to find the right person, but chances are you’ll find someone more affordable than if you go through an agency, for example.
Note: Once you’ve hired a model, you need to know how to take their pictures. Learn here.
What else do I need to know about hiring a model?
There’s not much point in hiring a professional model if you don’t have access to the equipment to make the photos look professional, too. That means cameras, lighting, backdrops, and so on. You may want to hire a professional photographer, or at the very least rent out a high quality camera and find a friend who knows a bit about photography.
Also, it always helps to have a very clear idea of what you’re hoping to achieve. Plan out your photo shoot beforehand and brief the model on what you expect him or her to do. What sort of style are you going for? What sorts of poses do you want — natural? More creative? What hair and makeup style do you want them to have? Can they wear their own jewellery?
Think too about backdrops and lighting. If you have a professional photographer, they should have thought about this, but it’s always good to let your team know what the final results you’re hoping to get are like.
Consider having a test shoot before you do the actual images just to make sure you’ve got the right people and the right style.
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