July 5, 2014
The benefit to networking and connecting with other people who enjoy your hobbies or belong in your industry is second to none. Not only can you learn from other individuals, but you’re able to practice and better your own skill set. Social networks that focus on industry specific users is probably more popular than you think. Sure, we have general social networking platforms like Facebook and Myspace, but did you know there are other domains out there that focus on fields like accounting, musicians, and lawyers among others?
These social networking platforms offer those in their respective fields the opportunity to focus on content and material other than the typical Facebook timeline that includes about a hundred photos of someone’s cat or thousands of wedding photos from someone who just got hitched that you know. Industry related platforms help you to familiarize yourself and keep up with with that given industry and provide networking opportunities with others in your field without all of the clutter.
The unique platform that I’m going to discuss is called Model Mayhem.
What is Model Mayhem?
Model Mayhem began in 2005 and is a website for professional models, photographers, makeup artists, stylists, designers and digital artists.
MM, as users call it, allows people the opportunity to check out the legitimacy of different photographers (among the other professionals who offer different services) through the use of profiles that feature portfolios and references to people they have worked with from the website. Which, if you’re in the modeling world, it’s a big comfort. Why? There are so many scams on the internet where people try to take advantage of models. This definitely gives professionals the upper hand and allows them to work safely with other industry pros.
There are two different types of accounts available to sign up for (free) on the Model Mayhem website. The first of which is an individual artist and the membership provides you with a portfolio to showcase your work and to be a full-fledged member of the community. The second type of account is for talent recruiters and allows them to post casting calls to recruit talent for projects.
On the pay scale level, the accounts are broken down to “Legacy” (the free account), “Premium” ($5 a month) and VIP ($30 a month). Each level provides you with different amounts of networking opportunities, and the amount of content that you are able to post on your profile and in your portfolio.
As you can imagine, the target audience for MM is professionals (all ages) that are involved in some capacity with the modeling industry.
Moreover, MM allows users to potentially create a project from start to finish with the ability to find stylists, makeup artists, and people with specific looks to fit your needs if you are a photographer.
User pages are set up to look like an old school Myspace layout. In order to move forward with today’s technology surge and the need to have websites interconnected with our other social media channels, MM will have to update their website design. While it does serve its purpose, the platform’s image seems dated and has many limitations–like uses are unable to link their social media channels anywhere unless they specifically type out the web addresses and insert them into their individual “About Me” section.
Having widgets displayed on the main page of the website would help users engage with MM outside of the website.
Speaking of the website, it also does not feature MM updated content and if someone wanted to see what exactly is going on, they would need to access the Facebook, Google+ or Twitter accounts. So, again, integrating social media channels into the MM website would be a big advantage.
Until such changes are made, I do not think that MM will be able to reach its full potential. One of MM’s competitors, OneModelPlace not only has Facebook integrated into their website, but they also feature sharing options.
Incorporating Flickr and Pinterest into the MM mix would add additional exposure for everyone involved in the different projects. Many people search for outfit ideas on Pinterest, and a stylist could benefit by having professional photos linked to the platform where users can click back and go to MM to view additional looks that are available in said stylist’s portfolio. Flickr would be a great asset as well because that is a community for photography and people can search for images based on anything–location, name, camera type, etc. Other photographers who belong to the website may want to hire someone–who let’s say does makeup–that has a proven track record for success if they see that person is able to capture exactly what they want and need.
Another platform that would be great to integrate into the MM website would be Instagram. People have been able to make contacts in the industry by searching for specific hashtags, including modeling agencies. MM users would be able to tag their photos with a special MM hashtag and connect with their fellow users on the platform and it would also give Model Mayhem the opportunity to attract new faces to the website to become potential users.
Since MM itself is a website that only sells advertisements for their website and membership levels, there is no opportunity for them to participate in proximity marketing since consumers cannot physically be near their location since it is internet based. However, a great way for MM to market, may be creating a plan where photographers or makeup artists–someone that has a physical location for a business–can offer deals for their services. If they are able to get users to sign up for an account on MM, they receive a special discount on a paid membership. By doing this, the industry professionals are trying to convert traffic around them into their clients. By successfully having their new clients sign up for MM, they are doing themselves a favor and earning larger portfolio space and more opportunities to network with others in the field by having a paid account.