By Hans Obma
Actors should take an interest in marketing for one very important reason: in order for people to hire you, they have to know who you are. Because casting directors and producers hire actors, they are actors' marketing targets.
To being with, I recommend making a list of ten casting directors who cast appealing projects for which you are right. If you want to work in feature films, choose casting directors who cast the ones that excite you. If you want to get your first television credit, choose shows that cast many costars each week. To find casting directors' mailing addresses, try www.pro.imdb.com and www.castingabout.com. These both require memberships but sometimes offer free trial periods.
Once your marketing to casting directors is up and rolling, you should then make a list of producers who work on your targeted films or shows. Though a producer is not likely to hire you from one piece of mail, the idea is to become known over time. If you market effectively to a producer over time, that producer will be familiar with you when you finally meet him or her.
As this is basic marketing, I recommend mailing your target lists once per month. You may choose to contact some individuals more often if their projects are more time-sensitive. For example, I am right for one film that is set to begin production very soon. I market to them around once per week.
Once you have compiled the addresses of your target casting directors and producers, you need to prepare something to send them. Here are two tips:
Your mail should make a positive, specific impression.
My favorite piece of marketing is a 5" x 7" headshot with a mini-resume stapled to the back. One of the advantages of a mini-resume is there is only enough space for the projects you are most proud of. For example, at the top of my mini-resume are the words "SELECTED RESUME," and I only include foreign roles, which are my specialty. If you do not want to print 5" x 7" headshots, you could instead order 4" x 6" postcards with your headshot and contact information.
Whichever marketing piece your choose, you should write a note that communicates why you are writing. For example, I might write "Specializing in Russian, German and French accents. Please keep me in mind for future projects." I use a sticky note to include a message with my 5" x 7" headshots, while I write notes directly onto postcards.
Ensure that your mail gets opened.
Whether you send a 5" x 7" headshot or a 4" x 6" postcard, put it into an attractive greeting card envelope. I find they are almost always opened, which may not be the case with a standard 8" x 10" headshot in a large envelope.
Hans Obma is an actor who is originally from Wisconsin. He enjoys accents and languages, and he speaks English, Spanish, French, Russian and German to varying degrees.
Got any other helpful tips for marketing yourself as an actor? Share them below!
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