I love sharing ways to end the “starving artist” conversation. So if you want more money, take a good look at these 10 simple (not easy) actions that you can take today that will, in the end, make AND keep money in your pocket.
1. Reduce the number of opportunities you pursue. Focus, focus, focus. What are your goals? The more opportunities you’ve got, the more likely you are to make mistakes with investing your time (time is money, right?) If you can’t give ONE opportunity the attention it deserves, you’ll lose money in the end. This is usually the case pursuing unpaid “opportunities”.
2. Increase the percentage of time you spend marketing yourself. Let go of the “little” stuff that occupies your mind and efforts. Reduce the time you spend on paperwork, trade some “craft” time for “marketing” time, and give up other busywork you’re seemingly always involved with. Use the extra time to get yourself in front of as many people possible that can hire you via direct mail, email, social media and in-person networking.
3. Stop buying technology and other on-line “hot” programs because they’re cool. Smartphones, tablets, PCs, apps, etc. can make it seem like you’re “investing” in your career and hey, some ARE important tools–but the learning curve and time it takes to set them up properly to serve YOU can drain your productivity. Only purchase devices and programs that actually help you do research, get the word out about what you do, and connect with industry.
4. Think about your acting as a solution to their “problem”. Suppose you were a casting director or producer/director and had the job of choosing an actor for a role. You’ve got a problem…until it’s cast, you can’t move foward. Sure there are tons of actors out there to choose from, but you need only ONE perfect person for the part. As an actor, you create the solution by knowing exactly what you offer and give value by making it easy for the “other side of the table” folks to know, find and choose you. In the end this WILL put dollars in your pocket. Stop trying to be all things to all people…how’s that workin’ for ya?
5. Terminate weak engagements–politely but immediately. The moment you find out that someone really doesn’t need what you’re offering, point them in the right direction, then politely withdraw from the project. This advice is particularly for those of you still building your resume by offering your services as an actor for free in exchange for copy/meals/credit. If it stinks and you know it…get out of it and quickly!
6. Don’t confuse telling and selling. Rather than talking to the agent, casting director, other actor or interested party about you, you, you – ask THEM intelligent questions so that the two of you can discover whether they can really use someone like you. You’ll “close” the deal more efficiently and gain their respect – and if you find it’s not a fit, that will also benefit you both!
7. Hone your efforts in building a database of contacts. Based upon your own experience, observe who’s just interested and who’s actually likely to hire you (maybe not NOW, but honestly – someday). You CAN tell the difference in an auditor who is just being polite and someone who is genuinely excited about you. Market heavily and consistently with your focused effort to THEM and continue to research and find more of the ones who are a fit for what you offer.
8. Don’t forget the gatekeepers. Many of today’s assistants are tomorrow’s CD’s and agents who just starting out in their careers. Be kind, remember names, address them with respect just as you expect the same. When tryng to get through to the current industry you want to create a relationship with, often the way is through the gatekeepers. Make them your friends and they’ll be more likely to help you out, especially in the future.
9. Outflank your competition. Find out what other successful actors are doing. The one’s who have a career that you emulate and desire know something that you don’t. What is it? It wasn’t magic, luck or chance. You’re just as talented, if not more so, so observe them and then take the actions that OUT market, OUT act and OUT do them! Position yourself to be the next, fresh, great SOLUTION to the next casting problem.
10. Increase your average dollar value. Huh? Here’s a thought – It takes just about as much effort to cut a $100 deal as it does to cut a $1000 or $10,000 deal. Meaning, the efforts are the SAME, but the payoff can be so much more…research, market yourself, then audition for and book ONLY the kind of work that’s WORTHY of your energy and, of course, talent.
So that’s it! If you want a leg up on learning a GREAT money management system, guidelines on exactly who and how often to do mailings, and the most effective ways to market, then I’ve got just the seminar for you! THIS is where you DO want to make an investment in time, energy, effort and money. Lisa Gold