Written by Christina Shipp
It’s February! I love February. Mostly, I will admit, because of Valentine’s Day. (Go ahead and roll your eyes, haters. I’m a Love Lover, and Valentimes is one of my personal favorites.) I value Love, Authenticity and Gratitude, so for me VDay is a great occasion to go the Extra Mile in my Marketing as an Actress, Business Owner, and General Awesome Human.
Every year in February, I create and send a mailed greeting card campaign that is unique to me and reflects my personality to my entire contact list: industry and otherwise. Effective marketing is all about being remarkable and creatively sharing your values, your brand, and your successes. And when the intention is simply authentically sharing with your colleagues, fans, and the people you meet, you have the opportunity to connect with them in a more meaningful way.
A few months back when I was still living in New York, I ran into a very talented actress friend of mine on the train. (That’s the Subway: The Dreaded MTA, Angels.) She’d worked on television and on Broadway, and had amazing connections. Yet she was lamenting the fact that she hadn’t reached out to them in forever. She went on to say she just didn’t feel right sending only postcards to follow up, because some of the relationships she’d built seemed so much more meaningful than any blurb on the back of a postcard could say. We talked about reaching out for a Holiday Mailing, or a New Year’s Campaign, and we both agreed that it was hardly more than a sure fire way to get lost in the flames. After a few more stops on the N train we had it: she is a proud New Englander with Family being one of her highest Values, and every year she goes with her family & fiancée to their beach house on the Cape. She decided that during that time, she’d snap a photo, create a mailed greeting card campaign using that photo, and use it as an opportunity to reach out to her contact list in a Branded way she felt proud of and connected to. Now her industry connections and colleagues see her differently, more fully, and the return on that extra mile strategy continues to yield abundance from the relationships in her life and career.
So why don’t you Go the Extra Mile for Yourself? After all, you are your own Best Bestie and you do You better than anyone else. Ask yourself: What are My Deepest Values? Write them down. Write down a few and maybe cross some off. Play around with the identification and naming of your Values, and give them some weight. Values are a huge foundation piece of Your Brand: when you identify them you start to see how they subtly influence theme in your (branded) marketing materials.
Now Go the Extra Mile in your Marketing: Ask yourself how those values connect to an experience you have, the person that you are, and a feeling you’d like to send out into the world. Sometimes, you’ll see your Values fit with an existing holiday. Awesome. When they don’t, give yourself your own date. Create a fun and truthful way to connect with your contacts. It will motivate you to be consistent and think long term about your relationships and your business.
And finally, Organize the contacts you have, and Record the ones you haven’t. Create Compartmentalized Contact Lists (dare I say spreadsheets?) for ease and reference. (It is better to use a System that has a searchable function.) Label tabs or pages for Casting Directors, Agents, Producers, Directors, Actors + Colleagues, etc. Again, this business is about creating, building, and maintaining relationships, so you must have a way to store and search for the people you value enough to want to keep in touch with. Be Good Business, Actors, so that you will stand out.
A Career Coach with The Savvy Actor since 2008, Christina Shipp is a master of Style, Concept, Packaging, & Design. Merging creative acumen with business savvy, Christina brings creative solutions to problems with an optimistic and frankly objective attitude. Practices Conscious Languaging in session to Reprogram & Reframe negative false core beliefs. Empowers clients to act like business owners: puts focus on consistent practice & system implementation, & tailors strategy to define goals & create action plans to achieve them.