How can modelling boost your business confidence?

business woman seated confidently
Jordan P. Martin
Tue 24 Sep

Let’s face it, confidence isn’t always served up with a breakfast bagel! 

Yet, modern day business not only requires tenacity and resilience; as a businessperson going to meetings and engaging with stakeholders, colleagues, clients and executives, you also somehow need to carry yourself with the utmost of professional and personal confidence... all the time!

There’s only so much ‘great gift of the gab’ can carry you in the world of business... no longer can you read from a script or simply ‘wing it’ in order to gain favour in your industry – it’s all about communication with conviction and with copious amounts of confidence.

Sometimes though, the confidence you do have, can be knocked at any which corner, having a definite knock-on effect in your day-to-day working life. 

Is modelling the solution?

It may be a strange notion to consider as a businessperson or entrepreneur that modelling could be the solution to the problem of a lack-of business confidence (or overconfidence in some cases) ... but, one thing that models possess, is the ability to push forward with the right level of the intangible stuff.

You just can’t fake confidence... it comes from a deep place; if it floats near the surface, it is often a case of arrogance concealing insecurities or self-doubt... and this is more transparent than we may realise. 

Furthermore, people are attracted to confidence and repel arrogance – preferring to work with a confident character who gets the job done as a team member. And for those team-leaders reading this, well, it’s your role to glue the team together with confidence. The aim is to do it without the mess!

A great place to start, is by understanding that you are one cog in a bigger operational wheel, as a model is at a photoshoot. Whatever you do, whichever industry you are in, however high-up the chain of command you are – understanding that you are just the ‘model’ in a bigger fully post-edited photograph that tells a thousand words, is a confidence builder in itself. 

Humans feel stronger in groups, and confidence is contagious... mutual confidence can create brilliant things to happen in the work place. 

Model business heroes:

When you consider some of the most successful people within the modelling industry – it is not just their hot bodies, striking faces and good genes that have elevated them – but their confidence – and it is that very confidence that has created a foundation for them to diversify into other areas of business. 

Some models continue in their careers relatively unknown, as regular businesspeople working for themselves as the brand, and making a great living from the bookings, not to mention embarking on exciting experiences such as travelling, and meeting new people every day... Talk about the ultimate work-life balance.

The models that are more recognised as business heroes of sorts are the likes of American’s Next Top Model Tyra Banks, who has sold her reality TV format to many countries; Heidi Klum with her own line of lingerie sold internationally; and supermodel-entrepreneur David Gandy (to name a few).

So how then, (you may be wondering), can I utilise modelling in a way that can boost my confidence in business?

Learn from models’ rejection:

Models get knocked back over and over again, and much of that rejection is based on superficial elements. So pretty quickly within the industry, it is apparent who will sink and who will swim... and if you swim, you literally have to keep swimming... (A bit like Dory from Finding Nemo – we’ve all seen the movie!) 

It’s the self-belief and confidence that keeps you afloat! This is why the models that make it, tend to be very successful in business also, because they have had to prove their worth with confidence above and beyond their beauty. 

Understand that rejection happens, don’t take it personally and don’t dwell on it, as these are hindrances. The moment you take a comment or a decision personally, it will instantly chip away at your confidence and have a snowball effect with your next task, meeting, or role.

If there is a single position, a promotion or a client deal you are gunning for, yet you are either putting out to tender, or have a key meeting, and you know you’re not the only option on the table... you need to have the drive of a model to believe that the role is yours – that drive is fueled by your confidence. 

Models that succeed don’t have the time to question the decision of the decision-maker, i.e. a casting director or producer... they have to stand up and stand tall and then move on swiftly and stylishly (oh course!) ... with the knowledge that the job wasn’t right for them, and they were not right for the job. Every day, a working model does this! 

Important note – Moving on doesn’t mean being deluded – assess what you can to better next time, just don’t let the self-doubt take hold or linger!

Rejection spurs us on in life as well as in business. And rejection leads to resilience. Respond in a self-assured way in order to succeed. 

Style-it like a model at work:

As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to our peers – but this does not mean you have to be a clone. Even if there is a strict uniform policy at your work, add a splash of your character to the overall ensemble. 

Every day, wear at least one thing that spells out who you are as an individual, as well as a businessperson – and that can include colour. 

Models have to often be blank canvases at castings and auditions, but they still have to somehow stand out. It is when we are ourselves that we shine with comfortable confidence as opposed to fake confidence, even when we are outside of our comfort zones such as whilst public speaking.

Another quick note on public speaking...

Models have to speak to strangers at castings all the time, they have to represent themselves sometimes with just a few words due to limit audition time. 

Try it now - Practise answering the question: What does your job role entail?  Seems simple... but time yourself, and also, ensure you add a spark of your character in there, plus some clear concise, accurate information about your job. Can you do it all in sixty-seconds, with pace and grace?

The other thing that models do all the time is work and model next to other models, some of whom they may never have met before – often awkward – similar to some corporate or creative meetings... the key is to allow everyone to have their say... 

And don’t think that speaking over others is you being ‘confident’, it isn’t! It is just bolshie and rude, so curb the nerves and understand that every person in the picture can shine without outshining the others.

Be photo-ready like a model:

Models have to be ready to go at any given moment when they get a call from their agent, or are booked for a job; they have to be prepped for a whole host of jobs – and are constantly kept on their toes. 

Always being photo-ready is a great lesson. Be fresh, clean, with nails manicured, groomed, and refined – basically be the best natural version of yourself always at work. 

And carry or store away in the car or at work, your ‘modelling kit’, including a beauty or grooming products, spare smart shoes and other key items.

Be prepared to project yourself in a way that suits any given situation... including those forgotten-about meetings or last minute work-social events. 

Preparation is a total topper for confidence.

Lights, camera, action at work:

For those working in corporate environments you will no doubt have a point in your career when you will be called upon to stand in front of the camera to either take one for the team – very common with agencies and photoshoots for lifestyle, products and so on – or to have headshots for the company website and social media platforms.

And as an entrepreneur working for yourself – photographs will definitely be a part of your self-promotion and marketing. 

Canberra based photographer Tina Nikolovski says, “I photograph professional models, but also other professionals in their field, and showing them the photo during and after the shoot, can really boost their confidence in front of the camera. I love it when people I am photographing in corporate shoots relax and take my direction on how to move and how to project their character, simply because they come across more comfortable in a photo that is going to represent them and their role within an organisation.”

Modelling is a skill that every businessperson needs in our modern world of technology... Eyes engaged, body stance forward, chin slightly down, face to the left, the right, to smile or not to smile? Figuring out your best side, understanding where the lighting and angle best suit your facial features...  and so on... It all seems so superficial, doesn’t it? 

But as humans, faces are important, babies recognise faces so early on in their development, and way back in the times prior to mirrors, we reflected ourselves in the expressions of those we looked at. 

It isn’t all surface; it is mostly done for trust reasons, for reasons of figuring another person out... and so, you need to hone those model skills not for the pout or the smolder, but more importantly to figure out what you are projecting from within – through the pores of your skin, via your eyes, and with your gestures. 

It is reported that other 80% of communication is body language and if this is captured in a photograph and shared with all those followers on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or FaceBook, or to those many visitors of your website – then your aim is to have them trust you and want to work with and gather from your photograph that you are personable.  Are you being perceived in the way you wish to be?

It is a myth that models wear a mask of make-up and they are not themselves... they do indeed play a role on stage or in front of the camera... but in a way that projects and communicates, not one that deceives. There is no confidence in deception, and within business, integrity is paramount, and this is the reason why you can play your job role within your industry, but with that knowledge that you are oozing confidence from your core.

Posing for confidence:

Poise and posture come into play massively for models; strutting their stuff on the runways and creating shapes in-front of the camera requires body-awareness and physical flexibility and strength combined. 

Whilst it will definitely not be the ‘done-thing’ in most corporate environments or even social client meetings to create a modelesque pose – the lesson here is simple... 

Modelling, like yoga, martial arts and any other physical activity that require you to stand tall and open your chest, perhaps hands on hips even reaching arms over your head, create a body-mind connection that produces less cortisol – the stress hormone – and more testosterone. Power stances literally create a chemical confidence within you. 

Walking the halls as though they are a catwalk may be a stretch too far, but standing tall, and placing one leg in-front of the other with a light swing in your gait is a great way to walk through life and through the offices.

And it’s a wrap:

You may be thinking ‘I’m not a model’, ‘I’ve never modelled, so how can I actually know’, ‘Oh actually I wouldn’t mind a little try at that model confidence malarkey...’

Well, the interesting and equally exciting thing about modern modelling, is that you could try it – the industry has moved on massively and represents so many people from diverse backgrounds; of all genders, of all abilities, all ethnicities, and with all body shapes... that is certainly progress for an industry that has been labelled with the tags of ‘tall’, ‘skinny’, ‘white’, ’mostly female,’ for so many years. 

It is also a possible part-time job and a hobby-job option, including being an influencer model on Instagram... But unlike Instagram, you are not able to pop a confidence filter on at work... that dear reader has to most definitely be an authentic inner confidence that shines through a none-filtered lens. to experience a full day of model training.