As is the case with most professions, finding success as an actor requires self-promotion, strategic marketing, and personal brand development. Gone are the days of open casting calls and scouting malls in L.A. and New York. Instead, casting agents today are scouring social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for new talent. Even more than talent, what agents are looking for is engagement; they’re looking to see what kind of following you have and what your other interests are. A recent study found that talent only accounts for roughly 7% of casting decisions. Clearly, with this new casting climate, it is crucial that aspiring actors have a consistent presence on social media. An aspiring actor cannot afford to disregard the leg up that social media provides towards getting discovered; actors need to use these platforms to establish their personal brand and showcase their talent.
Your first order of business should be to create an authentic brand that will attract a following and stand out to casting agents. Although the goal of this endeavor is ultimately self-promotional, you should strive to be genuine when creating an online presence. Don’t be afraid to show your real personality. Use YouTube videos, photos on Snapchat or Instagram, and frequent posts on Facebook and Twitter to create an authentic online persona. Demonstrate what makes you unique as an actor and as a human being.
Think of social media is an easy way to self-publish. With some effort and ingenuity, you can showcase your talent, putting your brand in front of an infinite online audience. Find a way to create content around your skills that demonstrate your interests and abilities. For example, try creating a short film that highlights your acting and directing talents and posting it on your YouTube channel, then advertise it on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you create content that is unique and authentic to your personal brand.
Consistency is key. The nature of social media dramatically levels the playing field; while in many ways this can be advantageous to you, it also increases the competition. Take the long view and remember that stardom doesn’t happen overnight. You need to put your efforts towards curating a large following and, to do that, you have to consistently generate high quality, engaging content on select platforms. Don’t overextend; you don’t need to be everywhere. Choose which platforms you intend to focus on and show up.
Don’t forget that social media platforms are not just a one-sided conversation. Engage with your audience and tailor your message to speak to their interests. If you are using multiple platforms, adjust your content accordingly. Each platform is geared towards a slightly different audience and application. Your content should be enticing and relevant. Use your platforms to reach out to other aspiring actors as well. Each aspiring actor on social media has their own network of connections. Find someone whose work you admire and seek them out. Collaborate on a project to stimulate creativity, build professional connections, gain experience, and increase traffic to your social media sites.