There is so much to contend with in everyday life that marketing yourself effectively can often be over looked.
Lots of actors take this approach:-
- Applying for roles on a casting website
- Asking for a break down from their agent (if they have one) as to what roles they have been put forward for.
- Applying for every and any role that they think they could play
- Applying willy nilly to agents
- Emailing lots of casting director’s with little or no response.
It’s great that you’re taking action, but it can become disheartening when you’re spending a lot of time doing these things and not getting any further forward.
So I’ve put together a check list for you full of more effective ways to market yourself as an actor. But before I share it I would like to let you in on two marketing secrets. These are biggies so pay attention.
- It takes between 5 and 27 touches for someone to hire you
- You are more likely to be hired if someone KNOWS, LIKES and TRUSTS you.
Let’s break it down.
What is a touch?
A touch is when someone (e.g a casting director/agent/producer) comes across you. For example reading your CV is one touch, watching your showreel is another touch, reading your application for a role is another touch, hearing about you is another. You get the idea.
So when you’ve been applying to that agent you’ve got your heart set on and you haven’t heard anything or been accepted, don’t fret or take it personally. You’re planting the seed, which is what the touches are about. You just need to keep going.
Know, like and trust?? Eh?
Heard the saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? In simple terms, if someone knows who you are and likes the work you do or likes you as a person, they are much more likely to hire you because they trust you. They know you’ll deliver the goods. Humans like familiarity, even if we hate to admit it, in general we are creatures of habit. So what can you do if you literally don’t know that casting director or agent you’re trying to reach? Below is my checklist.
- Social Media – Do you have a Facebook page that is regularly updated? Think about who you are trying to attract to it and engage with you. Is it fans you’re after or is to entice Casting Director’s and agents? When you know who you want to attract and engage with, cater all of your content to that person.
- Video – Do you have your own YouTube channel? Video is very very powerful, especially in the acting industry. A regularly updated YouTube channel which features your showreel, any clips of you backstage/on set, interviews, high quality monologue(s), you talking about yourself and how you got into acting can be way more effective and cheaper than having a website. Think about it, as an actor you need to have skills, so why not upload a video that shows your ideal audience (casting director/agent) what you can do. If you can horse ride FAB, get a video on there of you doing it, if you can do accents (to a good standard) get videos on there of you doing these accents. It doesn’t just have to be videos of you acting. What else do you have to offer? Your YouTube channel is almost like a CV in video format that shows your personality. Remember know, like and trust? Great so you’re personality being in there is VITAL.
- Casting type – Gone are the days when you apply for everything and anything. NARROW IT DOWN. What is your playing age? What roles do you look like you would play? What are you always cast as? At this moment you don’t have a big enough profile to do everything you’d love to. Some actors have an issue with being type cast, but I say it’s a good thing – at least you know you fit somewhere in the industry. Once you know your casting type and playing age, stick to it when applying for roles and don’t wander. It’s tempting to apply for everything because you don’t want to miss any opportunities but realistically you’re wasting your time. It’s smarter to apply for what you know you fit into and have more chance of being cast in.
- Cover letters – Tell that agent your casting type, let them know where you fit in the market. Attach clippings of yourself from the press, insert any interviews or PR from projects you’ve been involved in that involve you. It shows you are sellable. Be forward, ask them for a meeting when you close the letter. There is no point beating around the bush. Use buzz words, award nominated or multi award winning (if you’ve won two awards you’re multi award winning), Don’t waste time telling agents/CDs you’re professional and dedicated, that’s a given. Make your letter juicy!
- Agents – Do your research, apply for the ones that cater to the projects that you want to be involved in (that you fit into because remember you know your casting type), those that have a niche for your type. Forget applying to every single agent in Contacts (yes I did make that mistake).
- Twitter – get involved in conversations with agents and casting directors, be genuine and be yourself. It’s not about getting a job because you’ve spoke once to them – remember the touches? It’s about building up relationships.
- PR – If you’ve been involved in a project contact your local press, is it something they could cover on the radio, in the paper? Remember that you can then feed this through your social media channels, YouTube channel, attach/link into your cover letter for that agent or casting director to see.
Be smart in your marketing. Being smart will help you save time and is much more effective.
So now you’ve read this what should you do? Put it into action. Print or save this blog and set yourself realistic goals for when you are going to complete each point, then go out and do it. It’s no good reading something, if you want to find success you need to take action.
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NEED MORE INSPIRATION & EFFECTIVE ACTOR TIPS?
If you found these tips useful, you can grab yourself more tips completely FREE. Louise O’Leary is a professional actress, method acting coach and CEO of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be. Join the hundreds of actors around the world who have downloaded her eBook “Respect your craft, discover my top 45 method acting secrets to launch your career”. bit.ly/free45tipsbook and be on your way to acting success today!
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Here’s to your success!