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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You only get ONE shot to make a good first impression!” In today’s competitive online marketplace this is more true than ever.
We have all gotten use to having information at our fingertips, 24/7 and available in seconds. This is just as true in the entertainment industry as it is in any other business.
Imagine for a minute that you meet an agent at a workshop or social event and they are interested in signing you. Now you go to check out that agent online… and there’s nothing. No website. No reference to past clients. No social media profiles or any other links to who they are and what they might have done. How do feel? Do you trust this person? Are you ready to hand over your career to them? Probably not! The same holds true for actors.
So many new actors resist the need for social media at all, never mind full and vibrant social media profiles and online connections. But the reality is your materials, and more about you, has to be available online 24/7 and in seconds…. We’ve all come to expect it…. And especially the people who might want to work with you or hire you.
Now imagine you meet the same agent and they say, “Show me your stuff.” You’d better have it ready to go!
Here are the 6 things that all actors need to have ready to at a moment’s notice to make a good first impression and land the agent or book the job.
1. Online Casting Profiles
You need to have at least a couple of online casting profiles posted, fully completed and up to date with your latest materials. This is just part of being a professional and showing people that you’re serious about getting work and being part of this industry. Keep in mind, agents, writers, directors and producers all have to have their materials online where it it specific to their profession as well. You need to too.
2. Facebook and Instagram Profiles
The most important social media platforms for actors are still Facebook and Instagram. These are both excellent for making industry connections as well building a fan base. Keep in mind, you have to have your materials where your “buyers” go, not just where you want to hang out. There is also the “Know, Like and Trust factor”. We’ve all gotten use to knowing something about people before we work with them, do business with them or even date them. This is no different.
3. Resume in PDF Format ONLY
Whenever you’re sending your resume out, always make sure to submit your resume as a PDF. One huge mistake a lot of up-and-coming actors make is to send their resume as DOCX file or Google doc. Never do this.
Sending it as a doc means that it’s probably going to show up misaligned and/or scrambled if the setting on the other person’s device aren’t the same as your own. Also, they may accidentally delete or change a section. This could have horrible consequences.
Have your resume ready to go as a PDF – always.
4. YouTube or Vimeo Account
Yes, you are going to need video if you want to get work as an actor, and it had better be online and available right now. Never think for a second that you can email someone your materials.
A) NEVER make them download anything
B) Whether it’s an hour from now, later tonight or worse yet, tomorrow, the moment has passed.
Again, imaging you wanted to buy something from Amazon and you had to wait until tomorrow to look at it…?
YouTube especially is something you’re going to need as you career progresses to post clips or your work, so it makes sense to get that account set up and start getting followers as soon as possible.
5. Personal Actor’s Website
This is something that you don’t need right out of the gate, but you will need it before you get too far into your career. “But why do I need a website if everything is online at casting sites?”, you might ask. Good point. But it is still considered “industry standard”, and if everyone else has to do, they’re not going to be too thrilled if one actor doesn’t want to invest the same amount of time and money into their career that everyone else does. And if you don’t do it, there are thousands of other actors who will.
The other bonus to having your own website, is that it puts ALL of your material and social media links in ONE PLACE. It is an excellent way to direct people to EVERYTHING listed above.
Even better, you get to control the look and feel! This is where you can really let you unique personality and your brand shine through.
6. LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is not as important as Facebook and Instagram, but it is still a vital component to your career. Yes, LinkedIn is more of a professional platform than a social one. It is used primarily to make industry connections, (in any industry) and to find work. These are 2 things that I’m assuming you want. It is not as crucial as the other elements above, but within the first couple of years you should add this to your arsenal.
If someone asks you for your headshot, resume, acting clips or demo reel…You should have A LINK to those materials that you can send out immediately!
Always make it as easy as possible for people to view your materials and maybe even hire you. Having everything ready to go online, means that when someone wants to see your work, you can simply send the link.
The difference between success and failure is really being FULLY prepared when an opportunity comes along. I love this quote from Denzel Washington so much that I use it in all of my emails, “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.”
Don’t wait until you get an opportunity to be prepared. Be prepared for that opportunity.
Until next time, follow your dreams and keep reaching for the stars!
Was this tip on making a good first impression as an actor helpful to you? What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to being an actor? Tell me about it in the comments below… I answer every one!
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* 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!