Let’s talk about marketing.

Congratulations! You are now the sole proprietor of your own small business: YOU! You are the President and the Janitor! Yay you.

No one can market you like you can because who knows you better? A strong and thoughtful marketing campaign can become the difference between success and failure. You need to be known to decision makers and recognized by them.

Agents market their agencies, but when you consider that they represent anywhere from 150 – 650 people, how can they be expected to market the individual actors?

You must create a mailing list comprised of people who have hired you for previous roles; casters who have brought you in; casters who haven’t brought you in; producers; directors; anyone you’ve met on a set with the potential to hire you; and, anyone else you can think of! This mailing list must be kept up to date so that you don’t waste time, money and postage. Lots of decision makers are listed at the Texas Film Commission website: film@gov.texas.gov See “Directory”. Be sure and check out the credits people have listed because some are on there who haven’t done anything in years. Skip them!

So, how do you go about marketing you? First I’d suggest networking whether at an industry event or forum, a social event, a business meeting, a premiere, a play or even on a set! (Be mindful not to get in anyone’s way while they are working!) Always ask for a business card! And then give them yours.

You should always be armed with at least 10 – 15 headshots and resumes, just in case you unexpectedly run into someone who is producing, directing, writing or involved in a new project.

Second, business cards are an excellent way to spread your picture and contact information. Business cards are not expensive and can be ordered through many on-line companies, i.e. Vista Prints. My personal feeling is that you should use the same headshot on your business cards that you are currently using. It helps with continuity and recognition. Have your headshot, name and contact information clearly printed. Remember, if you have an agent all personal information goes away and only the agent’s information appears. The exception would be listing various sites where you have a presence, i.e. your own actor website, Actors Access, Casting Networks and/or Now Casting. Do not use “ACTOR” on the card!

Third would be post cards. I urge my students to send a post card at least once a month to all persons who have hired them, may hire them or bring them in for an audition. Again, the same headshot and contact information should be utilized.

You should definitely send a post card immediately to all your mailing list when you book a job, get a part in a play or do anything noteworthy in the industry. Let casters know if you have a new agent or have changed agencies. We want to be able to find you!

Let us know if you have begun studying with a new coach or have completed sessions with an existing coach.

Write thank you cards after auditions!

And if you decide to send a thank you gift, holiday or birthday greeting, think in terms of note pads, “Things to do Today” pads or Post It Notes, with your picture and agency contact on them! You are on the recipient’s desk all day looking at him/her!

Some other thoughts include:

Create your own website so that people can see all of your information in one convenient spot. Headshots, resume, demo reel, bio and any other pertinent data may be viewed.

Go to a reputable school, i.e. State Theatre in Austin, and/or study with reputable coaches. Casting Directors look at your training on your resume to see with whom you have studied. If you have an agent, ask them whom they recommend. If not, talk to other actors about their experiences, both good and bad.

Take a workshop with a casting director you would like to know.

The whole point of marketing is creating relationships with those who can help you on your way to a very successful career.

Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to write about the monthly column. And, as always, thanks to Dan Eggleston for his approval in doing this and posting it to his various sites.

Let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like answered.

And remember, I am expressing my opinion only, not that of any other CD. Also, always keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!

Happy Labor Day! Happy Grandparents Day on the 7th! Happy Last Day of Summer/First Day of Autumn on the 23rd! Shalom for Rosh Hashanah on the 24th!

Hope to see you at the Network Austin Mixer on the 10th! We are presenting our First Annual Talent Showcase! An excellent marketing tool for those who signed up to appear!

Donise L. Hardy, CSA
C September 1, 2014

Posted by: Donise Hardy on September 2, 2014 @ 3:45 pm
Filed under: For What It's Worth

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