Posts filed under Branding

How Important IS Social Media For Getting Cast?

Around this time last year, the New York Post published an article all about how “[S]tudios are now looking for actors who are Insta-famous,” a post which likely sent any classically-trained actor into an absolute frenzy.

“What does this even mean?! Where do I get followers? Why does that matter if I’m talented?” …and other completely relevant questions have swum around the heads of the social media un-savvy for quite a few years now as the line between “social media celeb” and “Hollywood celeb” continued to blur.

Quoted in the piece was Amy Neben, a Los Angeles-based talent manager at Select Management Group: “Movies and shows are commonly casting with social-media quotas to fill . . . I would imagine that nearly every digital project has some form of quota, [as do] a growing number of traditional projects.”

This means you can be up for a role against someone slightly less right for the part and wind up losing it to them purely based off of social media presence. Is it always that cut and dry? Likely, no. But casting agents are looking at your following and how marketable you are whether you want them to or not —  it’s their job. And anyone who’s ever worked in sales or marketing can tell you when there’s a lofty quota that must be met, the strategy quickly moves away from arbitrary.

Recently, during TheWrap’s annual media technology conference, Jason Newman, a manager and producer at Untitled Entertainment, explained that while not everyone considers social media during the casting process, it can be a major deciding factor. Directors depend on casting directors to bring in the best actors for those roles; the social media part is an extension.

“If I have two actors up for the same role, and it’s between actor A and B, and actor B has 2 million followers across all social media platforms and actor A has 20 million, but they’re neck-in-neck in their acting ability or maybe actor B is even a little bit better, but man we know if we convert one and a half to two percent of their social media following to buyers, I’m hiring that person,” Newman said. “I want to have a bigger ROI on my investment so of course, I’m doing that, so yes, social media is playing a massive component in all of this.”

To sum it up, while having a strong social media presence isn’t necessarily a must-have in order to be cast, it is becoming the number one deciding factor when agents are torn between two or more actors for a role. But if social media isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it just yet! You can hire people to help with cleaning up your feed and growing your following. You can also take an online course, network, or take classes at most local colleges.

And for my thrifty friends who prefer to research everything online for free, you bet your bottom dollar YouTube has a million videos on social media tips and tricks.

At the end of the day, even if you don’t have millions of followers, showing casting agents your marketability and keen eye for the content that makes you glow will ultimately help you in the long run. It’s worth the extra effort, even if you find yourself rolling your eyes while captioning that new headshot post.

Posted on April 15, 2019 and filed under Branding.

Three Quick Ways to Uniquely Brand Yourself As an Actor

Actor and Super-Good-At-Social-Media-Guy, Ryan Reynolds

Actor and Super-Good-At-Social-Media-Guy, Ryan Reynolds

We have talked about branding yourself as an actor quite a bit on this blog, and there’s a reason for it: times have changed. Gone (mostly) are the days when actors simply audition for a role and get cast. While that may still be the case in the theatrical world, in the entertainment industry, casting directors are looking more and more closely at an actor’s social presence - meaning, they’re literally Facebook-stalking you.

So, how do you combat this admittedly aggravating tendency of CDs to view your life online? Well, you can’t, unless you go completely off the grid, which is ill-advised. Instead, you can manage your social media presence professionally without losing your personality - here’s how:

Remember Who You Are

Okay, yes, you are a brand, and you are “selling yourself” as an actor - but that doesn’t make you a sell out. Figure out what your niche is and your brand, and clearly define yourself as such. Do you play a lot of “mom” roles? Are you a hipster? A jock? Whatever it is, make sure your website, headshots, and reel reflect your ability to carry those roles. Now, if you typically play a jock, but you’re a real-life bookworm - all the better! Casting directors are looking for unique takes on characters - and who doesn’t love a classic, all-American-good-looking-jock-who-turns-out-to-be-a-smarty-pants love story? I know I do - I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser and To All the Boys I Loved Before (both on Netflix) in a weekend!

Get Over Your Hatred Of Social Media

Look, I get it - we all secretly or not-so-secretly hate social media, but as an actor, it’s pretty much a necessity nowadays. Again, it doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of who you are! Limit yourself to only 30 minutes of social media daily, if you have to - it’ll likely improve your mental health, too, to place restrictions on your usage. Go through your friends posts, like them, comment on them, do “organic outreach” - you know, the usual. And here’s a little secret: everyone buys Instagram followers these days, even those famous Jenner girls (don’t believe me? I’ve got a timeshare to sell you!). There are affordable options to buying followers, and there’s nothing illegal about it. You can also hire freelance social media managers to manage your actors’ accounts, so you don’t even have to bother with it, other than providing photos and approving posts. Figure out what you have the budget to do, and go for it!

Be Nice

It seems like a ridiculous suggestion but being likable feeds into being memorable, and it goes a long way in this industry. You won’t be rewarded for having an ego when you’re starting at the bottom; plus, it’s just good life practice to not step on people on your way to the top. You never know who’s going to get to the rich and famous part of the gig before you do!

What are some ways you’ve learned to brand yourself? Let us know in the comments!