Written by Dallas Travers, CEC
When it comes to the craft of acting, you know that greatness requires consistent training, in an environment where you are challenged and get the valuable feedback required to grow.
But how can you be great in your acting business?
Your Business Greatness is built on three key principles.
- Practice Greatness Everywhere
- Contribute to Your Industry
- Rely on Savvy Marketing
Let’s dive in…
1. Practice Greatness Everywhere
As actors, you know how important it is to be great in the audition room. Greatness makes sense to most when considering performance. You want to put your best foot forward, make a good impression, and show all your skills and potential.
But what about when you’re not in the audition room? What about your everyday life? Are you great all the time? What I mean is, don’t you always want to put your best foot forward and make a good impression by doing your best at whatever you’re doing?
I know an actor named Sophia who did just that. She didn’t have many credits yet but she wanted to find a manager to help up-level her career. Rather than chase auditions and wait for the work to come, I encouraged her to focus on her relationships – both in and out of the business.
Sophia is a waitress and had a regular customer who happened to be a talent agent. Sophia understood the importance of practicing greatness in her everyday life. She knew her acting career did not live in a vacuum. So, Sophia always did her best while at the restaurant. The agent saw Sophia’s greatness and thanks to her great work ethic, charm, and a positive attitude, he knew he could trust her and wanted to help her in any way he could.
The agent referred Sophia to a manager he knew and after a meeting, she and Sophia decided to work together.
Sophia’s career success occurred only because she infused greatness into her everyday life and allowed that to payoff in unexpected ways.
2. Contribute to Your Industry
Now that we’ve examined how you can be great in and outside of the audition room, let’s talk about why you must add value to the industry as a whole.
Adding value has nothing to do with self-promotion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Adding value requires that you constantly look for ways to be of service. Doing so will not only make you feel amazing, but it will also level the playing field because you’ll no longer feel like a schmoozey, use-y actor on the hunt for auditions day after day.
Instead you’ll be a contributor – someone who brings much more to the table than the need to book work.
So, how do you actually add value?
If a casting director on your target list is in the running for an Emmy this year, send her a good luck tweet, card, or email.
If your agent seemed stressed out the last time you spoke, send him a mid-week pick-me-up.
If your classmate has a big audition tomorrow, offer to run lines with her.
If your photographer rocked out the best headshots you’ve ever had, write him a testimonial.
Treat adding value as a treasure hunt or game and challenge yourself everyday to be of service everywhere you go. Bookings, meetings, and auditions are a side effect of the relationships you build. You build real and meaningful relationships only when you contribute in an authentic way. So, become a value-adding master and watch your career grow exponentially.
3. Savvy Marketing
Sure, adding value is the key to building a sustainable and successful acting empire, but like it or not, you also must market yourself.
But don’t worry; marketing is not sales or shameless self-promotion. Instead, your job is to consistently share who you are and invite your target list to decide if they want to work with you or not. That’s all. Think of marketing as an invitation.
Savvy marketers understand the three most important rules to follow:
In order to avoid wasting a ton of time, energy and money, I recommend that you narrow your marketing strategy down to a short list of 10 or fewer target agents, managers, casting directors, filmmakers, or producers. Focusing on just a short list of people will help you build trust and affinity more quickly and easily.
Next, you must focus on just one acting goal at a time. I often tell my students that you absolutely can accomplish everything; you just can’t do it all at once.
So, instead of juggling a handful of goals and wasting time managing your to-do list, narrow in on just one goal at a time so you can accomplish it swiftly and leverage that success to accomplish the next goal and the goal after that.
Lastly, if you want to be a savvy marketer, you must create structure in your life. Don’t worry if structure doesn’t come naturally to you. I’m not suggesting that you schedule every waking moment of your day.
Instead, find just 20-45 minutes each day to chip away at your marketing plan. Great marketing doesn’t happen over night. Instead, it happens over time when you consistently put energy toward sharing your career with your target list. Deliberate and consistent effort is the hard work that pays off. It is the first thing that will lead to your success and let you share your greatness with world.
Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.
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