This post may contain affiliate links, so I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Check out the disclosure for more info. And thank you for supporting free content!
Yes, as crazy as it may seem, with all of the social media and online casting sites, actors are still expected to have a website. The advantage to this is having EVERYTHING – all of your marketing materials, social links and online casting links in one easy to access place.
Your website is really a home base for all of your marketing materials: your headshots, resume, demo footage or reel, any additional media, social media accounts, as well as links to your IMDB and online casting profiles. A professional looking actor website tells the world you’re a professional actor. And a messy or half-assed one….? Well, you get the idea!
Here are the 12 things your actor website needs to have to be compelling and give you a competitive edge.
1. Professional name visible at the top of the page
It may seem kind of obvious, but you would be surprised how many people forget this, or opt to have a photo montage or something similar at the top of the website. It’s got to be your name! Don’t make potential employers (directors, writers, producers, casting directors) go looking for it. And the reason I say your professional name, is because you may be working under a name other than what’s on your driver’s license.
2. Current headshots prominently featured
Choose 1 to 3 headshots to feature on your website, and across all social media platforms. Keeping the shots consistent helps people who don’t know you to recognize you… they just see the same photo again and again and start to feel like they know you.
You can include a few other headshots on your site as well, but but you really only need a few. As actors we tend to want to show people everything, but this isn’t always the best approach. There’s an old saying in marketing, “a confused mind says no”.
Production stills are kind of cool too but maybe put those is a “past work” section or something similar. You want people to be really clear on your brand, and what you’re most castable as right now.
3. Union affiliations clearly stated
If you’re a member of an actor’s union, or if you’re union-eligible, make sure you list it on your site. Make sure your union affiliations are listed clearly and prominently somewhere near your name.
4. Media, including audio and video reels
Embed your demo reel or any performance clips you have on your website so people can see you actually working, how you come across on camera, and what you’re capable of.
Choose your clips carefully, if you have some that aren’t really strongly showing your abilities, the quality isn’t very good, or they’re just plain out of date it’s OK to edit those ones out. Pick the strongest clips that show what you’re castable as right now.
If you do voice overs, make sure you include your audio demos as well.
5. A properly formatted and updated résumé.
While it’s great to have a pretty website version of your resume, make sure there’s a PDF version available for easy downloading. This is industry standard and what people are used to reading and will ultimately look for. They may want to consider you for a project and want to download your materials. Make it is easy for them as possible.
For more on what to include on your resume and how to format it read:
6. Links to all of your online casting profiles.
If you are auditioning and booking work you definitely have profiles on online casting sites. The big ones in the United States are ActorsAccess.com and CastingNetworks.com . Make sure you have your links to your professional profiles. Again, this is what casting is use to viewing and can easily bookmark making it smooth and easy.
7. Links to all of your professional social media profiles.
I said links to all of your “professional” social media accounts. As an actor, you should have public professional accounts, but it’s always nice to have private accounts just for friends and family where you can share things that are not relevant to your career or you may want to keep private.
A great tip someone gave me years ago for social media is “personal not private”. People want to know something about you so they can connect with you, but your private life should be just that.
Include links to all of your professional social media accounts, and even better, add subscribe, like, and follow buttons. These will help you build relationships with people who visit your site.
8. Latest career updates.
I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to have the post in the form of a blog. You can readily update them having the most recent post at the top. It’s a great way to share the latest with your fans about any projects you’re working on or what’s coming up. Including behind the scene photos and production stills or even video clips is always kind of fun!
NOTE: Most productions today are NDA-ed (non-disclosure agreement) so make sure you have permission to share the materials before posting anything!
You can also talk about industry events, classes your attending, books you’re reading or your latest binge watch.
9. A stellar “About Me” page.
Your “About Me” page is often one of the most visited pages on your website. People often visit the about me page to try and find common ground, “how are we the same and are we going to be a good match to work together?”. For that reason, what you write here should not only be compelling but really demonstrate your personality. Show yourself, share your values and tell the story of your professional journey. The goal is to make a connection, not for people to be in awe of you. Write it from the heart or from the gut, whatever speaks to you! Keep it personal and remember you’re talking to someone. And if they’ve come this far, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re interested in working with you.
10. Have a third-person bio too.
As well as your shining about me page, it can be really useful to have a third person bio as well. This is something you want to have in PDF form that is suitable for press releases and interviews, or other professional situations.
This is more of a traditional old-school bio and the PDF should be visually appealing, uncluttered and easily downloaded.
11. Contact info.
Last but not least is contact info. If you have an agent or manager, definitely include their contact information but make sure people have a way to contact you too. A simple contact form or Gmail account is a great way to do it and both protect your privacy. Keep it professional and never share personal information openly.
12. Clear navigation and Mobile-friendly design
Back to making this problem-free and easy! Your website should be quick and easy to navigate, clear and simple to use. If a casting director can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll get frustrated and move on.
And statistically speaking, roughly 54% of website traffic today comes from mobile devices rather than desktop or laptop computers. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly so people can view your wonderfulness on the go!
Websites can be a little tricky, because they’re a combination of a showcase for your fans, and a home base for all of your professional materials for casting. Yes, it’s important to have the basics, but ultimately let your personality shine through!
Do you have an actor’s website that you’re proud of? Have you ever booked work from people coming to your site? Share it in the comments below!
Like this post or love it? Tweet it. Post it. Pin it. Share it with actor friends! It’s a tough business and we could all use a little help!
* Please Note: I am not an agent, manager, or casting director. I do not procure work for actors. All information, workshops and coaching are for educational purposes only and are not a guarantee or promise of employment. Thank you for being here!