BY CHARIS JOY JACKSON
Actors need to get creative and build a community around their career. In other words, they need to promote themselves to become more successful.
This is not success in the manner of earning the bigger bucks, or becoming famous. Those can be byproducts of your success, BUT they should never be the reason to promote your acting career.
The success you’ll find in promoting your career come more in the community you build. The more you relate to your fan base and fellow dreamers, the more likely they’ll want to watch you in a film.
Here’s a couple tips to get you started on the path to success.
CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Create your own Facebook page, start an instagram account, jump on Twitter, and build your own website. This can be a huge help to boost your career.
I’ve heard rumors of some agencies who won’t even look at you as a potential client unless you have a certain amount of followers on Instagram and Facebook. While I can’t confirm or deny this, I can understand the principle behind why an agency would do this.
If they can find someone who’s already showing themselves to be a bit of an “X-factor” then they are more likely to want to work with you. In some ways it means less work for them too, but it can also show them you mean business and acting isn’t just a hobby, but your life.
I would recommend you start with building your own Facebook page, but don’t do this unless you know you’re ready for the hard work of pursuing your dream. Acting is fun, but it is a lot of hard work and takes incredible tenacity to stick to it in the long haul.
If this sounds like you, then you should create a Facebook page. Invite everyone on your friends list if you can. The more personal the invite, the better. Send it to them in a message versus just clicking the invite button.
Then start your own Twitter and Instagram accounts. Follow other budding actors you know and hopefully they’ll return the favor. Follow casting companies like Backstage to get updates on potential auditions and jobs.
Having your own website can be helpful too. With platforms like Weebly, who do most of the hard work for you, it’s really easy to build your own site. If it’s done well, then it will aid your professional appearance, making it more likely for agencies and films to hire you.
BE CONSISTENT WITH THE CONTENT YOU SHARE
An important key with your social media platform is to be consistent with what you produce. Set aside some time to figure out what you can realistically produce in a week, then create a schedule for yourself.
Research when each site’s high traffic times are and schedule posts for those times. Take advantage of the almighty hashtags on Twitter and Instagram especially. Ask questions, take pictures of the projects you’re a part of and be real with people.
The more real you are with your growing fan base, the more fans you’ll acquire.
For example, look at Robert Downey Jr. If anyone had the excuse to not promote themselves, it would be him, but if you’re like me and follow him on facebook, you know he’s always active with his fans and more than that, he’s real with them.
Zachary Levi is another actor I’ve noticed who is incredibly active with his fans. Almost daily, he’s responding to fans on Twitter, being real, sometimes even cheeky, but he’s still taking the time to see them as individuals versus a whole.
This is something I wish more actors would do as they build platforms to promote their careers.
“Don’t tell people your dreams. Show them.”
I know it can be a bit scary to think about promoting yourself. Maybe you’re afraid it’ll look a bit pompous or narcissistic. Think of it more as you inviting them on the adventure, make them feel like they’re part of your inside team. Build a community of dreamers and creatives.