A simple selfie could spell big bucks for Aussie models in an age dominated by Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

With social-media use continuing to rise, the country’s leading modelling agencies are now looking to Instagram to find fresh faces, and brands are reaching out directly to web celebrities to leverage their popularity for promotional means.

To address this industry trend, Vivien’s Model Management has announced its new Influencer division representing talent with a strong presence on social media.

Included in the mix is a number of Perth names, including Gabrielle Sullivan, who has more than 64,000 followers on Instagram, brunette bombshell Holly Young and reality trio Olivia Donaldson, Ruth Willmer and Sarah Tilleke, who all rose to fame on The Face Australia.

Donaldson told Access All Areas having a fierce online presence was a game changer for aspiring models. “It’s such a great platform for us as models to not only represent ourselves in a positive way but also for clients to view our pages and see what kind of people we are, ” she said.

“There are so many girls who are the ‘fit models’ and brands can use them for their advertising. Then you have girls who are a bit more cool like Ruth and they can book her based off her image.”

Willmer agreed clients were keen to secure models with personalities that aligned with their image and said she was regularly contacted for opportunities via her social-media channels.

“The amount of times I get inboxes on Instagram saying ‘Hi, we want you to model for our label, email us’, ” she grinned.

As for their tips and tricks on how to establish a strong web presence, the women said it was important to focus on positive posts and stay away from any “haters”.

“And then you need to learn to take a good selfie, ” Donaldson laughed.

Young added: “People want to have interesting things on their news feeds, so you need to tell a story with your photos.”

With social media paving the way for the future of the fashion industry, Vivien’s general manager Catherine McGill said the agency was on the hunt for more faces to add to the Influencers division.

“(Social media) is such a successful tool for clients to collaborate with talent in order to create a multifaceted campaign, by teaming social-media posts and photographic work together, ” she said. “We have a strong board of Influencers already (and) we are looking forward to continuing to expand on this division and find the next big Influencer.”


© The West Australian

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