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Fostering Relationships and Promoting Your Brand

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There are so many ways actors can promote their work. Last week, a fellow actor reached out with some questions about the use of postcards that I mentioned in my previous post. Below is the question and my response:

 

Hey man, first off I want to say, I love your blog. It’s informative, and on top of Backstage and everything else I read, this is the icing on the cake.

I saw your recent post about making the move to LA. Thanks for sharing the insight. Although, I’m not ready to move to LA just yet, I want to get your insight on how to send post cards with your Head shots on them? I’ve been trying to get a new agent in Chicago for a couple of years, but now since I’ve obtained more experience with training and credits, I’d like to take a new approach when submitting to them – especially sending one to casting directors as well.

Is there anything you could tell me to give me some better insight on this? I know you’re busy with all that you have to get ready for, as you transition into the next chapter of your journey. I hope it’s a smooth one, and I wish you all the success in your endeavors!

– Dylan Cruz

Dear Dylan,

These are great questions, and I want to commend you for thinking outside of the box and going above on beyond for your craft.

Postcards are a great way to foster better relationships with others in the industry. If for no other reason, they remind agents and casting directors that you’re still here! This is a very transient industry. Actors are always coming and going; staying on their radar, especially when you’re looking for an agent, is absolutely necessary.

The content on your postcards can vary. You can let them know you’re taking a class, in a show, just finishing a short film, etc. Anything that you have done or are currently doing to enhance your career that let’s them know who you are is fair game.

When picking an image for your postcard, you have two choices. You can use a headshot or a still from the project you’re talking to them about. Again, just ask yourself how you can best communicate your brand to your target audience with this image. I always make my postcards on my Mac. There’s a free template you can use under “Photos,” and if you have a PC, I am sure there are affordable programs you can purchase.

I recommend communicating with target agents and casting directors about once every 4 to 6 months. Regarding target agents, I strongly recommend checking out their websites for submission details. Some only accept online submissions, and so for them, you want to shy away from postcards all together. Others only accept snail mail. Every agency has their own way of doing business, and it is our job as actors to research this information. Sending a cover letter telling an agency how much you would love to work with them when you didn’t even take the time to look at their website is a big red flag. Don’t hurt yourself that way!

If you haven’t submitted to agents in a while, I recommend starting with the traditional cover letter, head shot, and resume (if this is acceptable, according to your target agency websites.) As much as I love postcards, they rarely can be used as submissions, but rather as ways to show yourself in a positive light, and again, to foster that positive relationship. Think of it this way:

Traditional Agency Submission = Job Application  

Postcard = Following a Potential Boss on LinkedIn   

Both methods of communication are fantastic, and both have their own place.

I appreciate you taking the time to not only be the best actor you can be, but to also promote your brand in the best ways possible to your target agents and casting directors. Best of luck to you and your endeavors!

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Your turn! What steps do you take to best promote your career? I’d love to hear from you! Tweet me or Facebook me!