Actors should be taking full advantage of the digital world we are living in today. It’s no longer 1975. It’s 2017 and actors need to start marketing themselves with the free tools available today. There are many more ways in which actors can build new contacts that matter that will enhance careers.
I’d like to talk to you about virtual networking. Virtual networking is just like in-person networking, except it takes place online. The more efficient you are at making connections via your social media accounts, the better off you will be in positioning yourself for potential collaborations.
As a filmmaker, I come across many actors online and I’m always keen on building genuine relationships that have the possibility of growing offline. There are many talented individuals out there but oftentimes actors have trouble going about their online presence in a more productive manner.
I’m going to discuss Twitter because I think Twitter is a fantastic social media platform for actors. There are many others but for the purposes of this article, let’s get in on Twitter.
The thing I like so much about Twitter is that things take place in real time at a rapid pace. You can always get in on the action of a conversation and strike up a talk very easily and very quickly, which also saves you time.
If you were to go to: www.search.twitter.com you can type in a word or phrase with a hashtag like #acting or #films or #castingdirector and you will instantly see what tweets are taking place in real time. This is gold for you because you can now scan down the tweet stream and see what tweets interest you or grab your attention the most. Then you can check out the persons profile if they are a casting director or filmmaker let’s say and you can join in on their tweet via leaving a comment, liking or retweeting what they posted.
That’s just a quick way you can begin making connections through Twitter with people in your industry. I’ve personally made some good friends. There are times when that engagement of commenting or liking a tweet will lead to a mutual follow and then messages and then meetups in person and then…possible collaboration on a project.
It’s not rocket science, I know. But you will be surprised how many actors don’t go about taking some time to get to know someone in their industry that they find interesting and would like to work with. If you come across a director’s profile and then go and check out their work online and like what they do, why not go out of your way to tell them so? Everybody likes to be complimented and feel that their work counts for something but be sure to be genuine and not simply rely on this idea as only a strategy. Implement the strategy but go about it in a real way, if you really like someone’s work or really have an interest in something they tweeted on Twitter. There’s nothing wrong with that. =)
You can ask a question. Nothing wrong with getting to know someone just by asking them a question. Who knows where that may lead.
I’m truly surprised by how many people in general use the auto response on Twitter when I follow someone back or follow them and there’s this automatic message from them in my inbox. It’s so disappointing. It really is because it would be nice to actually receive a message from someone that sparks up a conversation about film for instance or about something that is real that comes from that person. I would say about 99.9% of the time I get a message in my inbox that is “programmed” to “promote” there other social media profiles or a new web series or some project that’s on a crowdfunding site that is raising money.
If you think about it, how much more successful would such crowdfunding projects be if the person sending the message actually genuinely engaged and got to know the person a little bit more before asking them for money?
We have a tendency to forget that we are still communicating with other human beings. Just because a person isn’t standing right in front of us, doesn’t mean that you should dumb down your human touch because you are operating through a digital screen. You have to be aware that you are still connecting and communicating with a person and it matters. What you do online actually translates a perception to the person that is receiving that contact. You can’t lose sight of that.
Social media is great for so many generalized things but when it comes to marketing yourself in your industry as a professional, you need to handle yourself exactly like you would if you were attending a networking event or party.
Another thing you have to be mindful of is coming off too aggressive. You don’t ever want to stalk a casting director or producer or filmmaker. It can be scary for that other person and you honestly may not even recognize how you are coming off. You have to have a level of self-awareness in order to make sure you don’t freak anybody out. Be friendly, engage, use your best judgment with your communication skills. Don’t hound anyone because you can give off the wrong impression.