As a model, Lydia Grace Bielen has a full schedule. But add in the business of digital marketing she does around her career, she is part entrepreneur as well.
“Digital marketing directly contributes to modeling work. Your Instagram is essentially your portfolio, since lots of brands, clients and agencies look at your social media before anything else” she said.
Bielen is working hard to grow her account and following on Instagram, @lydiabielen, and now gained a following of nearly 300,000.
“My modeling work is usually taken care of by my manager or my bookers, but my social media is my responsibility,” she said. “Whenever I don’t have work modeling, I’m working on my social media, going through emails from brands, negotiating brand deals or making posts and stories for the brands.”
Bielen admits running social media for business purposes is a different side of social media than she had been accustomed to when she was younger.
“It was a big learning curve when I started modeling and gaining a lot of followers. I had Instagram in high school, but I just posted silly pictures with my friends or of whatever I was doing,” she said. “When I started posting modeling work is when I started really gaining a big following.”
She said she was both surprised and grateful when the support of her account began to take off.
“It was pretty crazy watching my account grow at first. I never thought I would have as many people supporting me as I do today,” she said. “I had to start caring more about what I was posting.”
Bielen enlisted the help of social media agencies that advise her what to post to maximize the digital marketing power of her account.
“I started taking my account more seriously, and it started seriously growing, and I booked plenty of big jobs from it,” she said. “Instagram is a really important marketing tool today. Taking it seriously and learning how to use all the features as well as learning the algorithm and posting high quality content that is original and interesting can really help your brand succeed and attract followers who can bring you plenty of business.”
Aside from Instagram, Bielen encourages other models to embrace all of the social media tools available to them. It not only helps those who are hoping to break into the industry, but also those who are working as a model, but are looking for a change in partnership.
“Clients and agencies use it to scout models,” she said. “I’ve been signed to multiple modeling agencies that changed my life from my Instagram.”
She said it’s something that brands care about a lot these days, and social media, or a lack of it, can make or break your career.
“I think there’s huge advantages to taking your social media seriously in the modeling industry. In castings, they even ask how many followers you have sometimes. This can determine who gets the job,” she said. “It may sound unfair, but brands can get more exposure if they book models who have a big following, so it makes sense, business wise.”