Your Industry Contact List

You know the old saying “it’s who you know” in this business that will really get you ahead? Well that’s half true. My take on it is “it’s who knows you!” How many industry professionals are on your list? How many industry professionals have you on their list? Are you asking yourself “what list”?

How do you create a network of influential people that know you, like you and are in your court? Glad you asked. Well you didn’t really ask, but it’s time you understood that without a huge network of people that have you on their radar, the chances of really having the BREAKTHROUGH, kick-butt, acting career of your dreams are very narrow. You odds increase dramatically with the number of people who are in your network, thus your list.

This includes casting directors, agents, managers, producers, directors, your mom (seriously!), friends of your neighbors, acting classmates and the many other people in the world who are ready and waiting for you to get connected and stay connected. You never know
which one of the many will be KEY in your forward movement. This is why I’ve always advocated having some sort of database to keep it all straight, preferably online. There are several to choose from and regardless of which one you do choose, the point is to START that list now!

If you’re reading this right now, you’re online. If you submit yourself through any of the myriad of casting submission platforms, you’re online. If you read or post on social media, you’re online.

Like it or not, we live in an online world and show business is no exception. “First contact” with agents or CDs usually occurs online these days, with the ultimate goal to move the relationship off line and into the real world.

I hope this doesn’t come as a shock, but as an actor you’re also an online marketer! My workshops and seminars, though done live for years, have now basically moved to online programs. This goes for my coaching services too. Why? Because we can reach a larger audience and connect to people we would not normally have access to as in the “old days”.

I took an online workshop a few years back that taught me if you’ve got 10,000 names on your email list, you’ve got a million dollar business. Now I know this isn’t quite the case in show biz, but I’m using the comparison to illustrate a point.

Networking at live events, coupled with consistent networking online via posts and social media, email blasts, personal email check ins and other various forms of online marketing are all required of you these days. “Out of sight, out of mind” is another cliche but true statement and in this constant barrage of information and marketing coming at people day in and day out and moment to moment, if you’re not doing it too, well, you’re out of (your) mind!

I’ll use these blog posts as an example.  In 2015 and 2016 while traveling to begin a new project in the Dominican Republic and then tour the country the following year in an RV, I was in touch here and there.  I sent a few emails and did not write blog posts at all.  My income for those two years was significantly lower than in years previous or since.  Meaning I was “out of sight and out of mind”.  Now I’m dedicated to consistency, creating useful and relevant content, and staying connected.

I’ve coached actors who have email lists, send hard copy post cards, know the names of the players in the industry in their area and are working and making money. Of course they’re talented too…that’s a given. If you’re not working at the rate you’d like or making any or enough income as an actor, this is the essential place to start. Do it right now…get out a paper and pen and go “old school” and start making your list today. Then create a calendar and an action plan to be in constant contact. Hey, now there’s an idea!

As always I welcome your comments and feedback!

2 replies
  1. Ray
    Ray says:

    Great article. “Casting directors, agents, managers, producers, directors, your mom (seriously!), friends of your neighbors, acting classmates and the many other people in the world who are ready and waiting for you to get connected and stay connected.” Look at it this way: with more and more actors creating their own content these days how many of these folks would YOU want to hire? It’s a two way street now. It’s not just about you making a good impression to them but it’s also would these be the types of folks you’d hire in a project that you’re writing, producing, and starring in? The possibilities are endless!


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