How to Market Yourself as a Young Actor
Actors of all types and ages find work in a variety of ways. But while your skills form the foundation of your career, there is also another aspect that is vital for success: Marketing and networking. How you represent yourself to the world, along with how other professionals represent you, are key components to crafting a fruitful career in the long run.
There are a lot of moving parts that contribute to marketing, from social media, to representation, your headshot, demo reel, resume, and much more—and knowing how to make all of these things work for you is key. For child actors, parents need to have all the materials sorted, up-to-date, and interesting in order to give their child the best chance at success.
What Do Young Actors Need to Market Themselves Effectively?
Because of the digital age in which we live, many new doors have been opened for actors by way of networking and self-promotion. Social media is a powerful vehicle that can impact an actor’s prospects tremendously. Not having a presence on social media is a huge missed opportunity to network in the industry and conduct research on agents, managers, and other professionals.
The basic marketing kit every actor should have is a headshot, resume, demo reel (if applicable), and cover letter. Business cards, a website, and social media are all pluses. Parents of young actors should be actively pursuing all of these assets if they are not presently in place. These tools are essential for acquiring representation, especially because of how digitized communication is nowadays. Young actors and parents of young actors need to be comfortable with marketing and promoting themselves—not simply to get a job—but because showbusiness is a business, and these skills are an essential part of it.
How to Get Comfortable with Self-Promotion
For many, self-promotion and marketing can seem selfish and inauthentic. That’s understandable. But this discomfort mustn’t overwhelm you. While there are effective and ineffective examples of self-promotion, not all self-promotion is bad. While you don’t want to be that actor who spams their picture all over social media, you also don’t want to have no presence or messaging at all. Representation and connections are key parts of almost any business, and entertainment is no different.
If the idea of promoting yourself and your work (or your child’s work) makes you nervous, here are a few things to remember:
First, you have strengths, and those strengths are worth sharing, especially with people who want to help you grow your skills. Second, take some time to focus on your passion, and remember that you are pursuing that passion every time you reach out professionally. And third: Practice, practice, practice. Work with your support system to get comfortable talking about yourself and your skills. And like every hard-won skill in your repertoire, it came with mistakes along the way, so don’t worry about not getting it right at first.
As an actor, it’s not enough just to be seen, but to be seen in the right way by the right people—that is what marketing is all about. Lean on the strengths you’ve gathered in your life and career, and let those guide you. Find the people who understand you and your passion, and reach out to them. When done right, marketing and self-promotion can work wonders for your future. There’s no better time than now to get started.