As an actor, the product you are trying to sell is yourself and your talent. Figuring out how to market yourself can be a daunting and tricky task. However, it is essential to your success. Casting agents, directors, and talent scouts need to be able to find you, see what you can do, and see who you are. How to market yourself today has become easier to do and is less expensive than it used to be. Learning how to market yourself can open many doors and gives you a platform to present yourself to prospective projects. Putting yourself out there can also help you create a network where you can be suggested for or informed of casting calls and auditions. This article will give you some direction and tips as to how to go about the important task of marketing yourself and your talent.
9 Tips on How to Market Yourself
1. Keep Current
Just like any job in any field, when a casting director is checking you and your resume out, they are much more likely to be impressed by your skill set if it is up to date and current with the newest methods and trends. Be sure to update your resume with any new training you may have had. Include classes and projects you have been involved in. Keeping up to date on trends can be accomplished by reading trade publications or by continuing your training through participating in acting classes.
Keep your headshot current and fresh as well. How awkward would it be for a casting director to think you look like you did ten years ago only to find out you no longer really look like that picture? That would be a poor way on how to market yourself. They want to see what you look like now. When a casting director is filling a role, they are looking for a certain “look” and type. It is a waste of time to them and can leave a bad impression when they meet with you and you may have fit the role ten years ago but not anymore. You should also update your picture if you have dramatically changed your appearance in some way including a dramatic hair cut or color and weight change.
2. Be Prepared
Having your marketing package ready and polished is imperative to answer the question of how to market yourself. Headshots, reels and your resume should all be professional looking and handy for distribution to agents and other important role players. The stress on it being professional looking is important because these materials are likely going to be your first impression and a lasting impression since they represent you and is what the director or agent will refer to in order to remember who you are. Without these items, you cannot even start to market yourself.
3. Business Cards
Often you will find yourself at events where you will rub shoulders with other actors, agents, and industry professionals. In these cases, it may seem desperate or tacky to hand out an entire resume with a headshot and demo reel. A good alternative to help you network is the use of a business card. Business cards are much easier to carry and hand out. You should always keep a few on your person at all times because you never know who you will run into. It can be very effective to give cards out especially if you remember to include not only your contact info but your social media information, a headshot, website info and any other means to getting to examples of your skills or ways to contact you.
4. Online Presence
As an actor learning how to market yourself, you should be managing and developing your brand. Doing so online is an effective way to present that brand to a multitude of people. There are many platforms to utilize and they can all be linked to one another. Making sure you have some type of online presence shows people that you are serious and willing to put yourself and your talent out there and that you are confident in your skills. The use of a web page is the most common form used. On a website, you can list your experience, place a printable headshot and resume, list contact info, post examples of your performances, and boast a little. Be sure to become part of sites that cater to actors as well, such as Casting Workbook.
5. Snail Mail
Another way to try and learn how to market yourself is using the good old mail system. Send out packets that include your headshot, resume, and demo reel to casting agents. Send letters expressing your interest in a particular projector just as a way to become known to them. You may not get a reply, but your info is now in their hands on the chance that something comes up and they remember your face from the headshot you sent.
6. Casting Workshops
Casting director workshops are great for you to network with successful casting directors. These workshops can also help you learn what they expect from an audition and hear tips of the trade straight from the source. Typically casting workshops give you the opportunity to practice the steps of an audition. Then at the end, you will be allowed to participate in a question and answer session with the casting directors. This gives you the ability o have any questions answered that you have always wanted a straight answer for. It also helps to better prepare you for auditions in general since you will now know what is expected of you. Knowing what to expect at an audition will also help since you will be more confident as to the entire process.
Having an agent is a great option if you can afford it. They already know the ins and outs of the industry and have created their own network to draw from. Thus, they know where to look and who to speak to in order to help you get your name out there. A good agent will work hard for you since their name, reputation, and paycheck comes from the success of their clients. One thing to keep in mind when you are thinking of hiring an agent is that you should still do your research on them to ensure the one you choose to work with is a good one. Some actors get desperate and start to feel that any rep is better than none at all. Though that is understandable, it is far from true. A professional will take the time to market you professionally and properly, not just try to get your foot in the door at a much too low level. Having poor representation can cause you career-long issues that hinder your progress in the industry.
8. Create Something New
A fun way to get your name out there is to create your own platform. Think of using YouTube. By writing your own material, you can focus on your strengths and really let them shine. Many have found success by creating their own shorts or mini web episodes on a YouTube channel that they then played a main role in. Keep your theme consistent and put out episodes regularly. This will help you gain a following. A good enough following or catching the right eye can blast your career off. Even if it does not, many find it therapeutic and encouraging that they have the ability to entertain a mass of people every week and that so many people enjoy their work. It may take years to build your channel up to where you want it to be, but if that one person comes across it that has the ability to get you into some roles or parts, then it was all worth the effort.
9. Stay Confident
Acting is a highly competitive field. You do not want to be remembered as a sore loser because you pouted. This happens often when you did not get the part. You should always remain grateful, win or lose, and keep your confidence apparent and high. This will make a lasting and positive impression on those who see you. It could even make you more memorable. Especially so if that is the type of person a director wants to work with. Furthermore, they may keep you in mind for more fitting roles in the future.
Actors often bring up questions of how to market yourself. This is actually a very important aspect of acting. This is because you need your name out there. Moreover, you need to present your ability in a professional manner to let agents and directors know you even exist. You can go the normal route of hiring an agent if you have the ability to. However, there are many other ways to develop your brand. You can thus get it into the hands of important role players in the industry. Using some of the tips outlined in this article can get you well on your way to success.
What ways did you find success with marketing yourself? Do you have any experiences to share from your acting career journey? Comments for others can be left below.
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