This is part two of managing your contact list. Last month I talked about creating your guest list. I’ll repeat briefly what I said for those who missed it.
I also encourage you to go to the archives and review it if you didn’t’ read it in full.
As actors, performers, musicians, comedians, or artists of any sort, you all have one thing in common. You are in the business of creating your art, mastering it, getting it seen, promoted, and ultimately sold. You need to continually work on your craft, take chances, risks, and be willing to fall on your face and fail. We all know that stretching yourself is the way to grow as an artist and in your work. You need to push your limits, and take chances to expand your performance and emotional range. That is how you develop confidence as a performer. Experience is the key.
Also, you need to promote yourself and get your “art” seen.
That means you need to get industry people to see your work. I see many actors trying to do both things at once, and they can cancel each other out if not handled properly. This is a particular issue for Los Angeles actors as those two ventures and venues can coincide. Therefore, they need to be handled differently. That’s why I say you need to have two “guest” lists and strategies, meaning – who do you invite to see your work?
Ok, so last month your homework was to create both your guest lists.
Hopefully for those following, you have them and have a total for each. This is important to do so you can see how your lists grow as you move forward and evaluate yourself.
The big question I get from most actors is this. “How often should I contact my Industry list? I can contact my friends all the time as they are my friends and they love me so I know they won’t be bothered”. This is a personal choice and one that you need to get comfortable with as ultimately it represents you and is your energy being put out there.
Here’s one way to think about it.
I tell people to look at their emails that come into their inbox. How often do you get emails that you just delete and more importantly, how often do they come in? I get a lot of emails from people and organizations. It’s usually in a newsletter format so it doesn’t require me to respond. I like that. Sometimes when I keep getting a lot of them, I might get tired of them and delete them or maybe read just one, and if it’s not that interesting, I delete them as they come in. When I get one not too often, I tend to take a quick look through it. Look at other organizations and newsletters that come in and see for yourself. How do you respond and what do you like and do regarding emails that come to you? That’s a good way to see what you might want to do. I find when I get one a month, I tend to take a look at it. When I get one every week, I see it but don’t necessarily read it unless it’s a group I’m very involved in. So your work is to find the “sweet spot”, the frequency that keeps you on their “radar”, and interested but not you ”pestering” them. How does it work on your end? Put yourself on that side of the equation with your own personal email coming in to help you to “feel” what works for you. What emails do you simply delete and which ones do you look at? That’s the magic you want to find. Keep in mind that actors are in the business of keeping their industry contacts updated so industry people get a lot. They also want and expect to be informed, but don’t like being aggressively pursued. You want them to know about you, but not be pestered by you. This takes some thinking and experimenting. There are social media experts out there that have great strategies. It’s worth researching them. I won’t get into Facebook, twitter, snapchat, linked in, and all the other choices as that is not my expertise and I can’t even keep up with it myself. I do think a personal website is very important. Because when you do something of interest, you want a link that people will want to go to, to get more information. So as you get a new reel, photos, or any more information you want that on your website.
In summary, my message here is to create your two lists, notice and keep track of the totals, and work towards increasing them, so you can monitor the marketing aspect of your career. That’s part one. Part two is to then find your format and frequency to communicate; email, postcards, facebook, linked in, twitter, etc. Simply put, you want to stay on their radar. I suggest you find your system and stick with it as opposed to bouncing around with many. You want to be consistently present with you audience. You can reevaluate later.
As far as industry, I’d say contact them once a month to let them know you exist.
Find something interesting and creative to say so you stay in their consciousness. Ask friends for their opinions and what they are doing. The most important thing is to put this into motion and keep at it.
Finally, be consistent, be constant, and be organized. It will serve you. Whether you have 30 or 3000 contacts, a system of communication and follow-up is important. I’ll see you here next month.