Tips On Promoting Yourself As A Performer
We recently sat down with AMDA alumna Karlee Squires to discuss ways of promoting yourself as a performer. Below are her tips for taking your performing arts career to the next level.
1. Make a website and make sure it stands out.
What should be on your website?
KS: Your website is like a digital resume. It should include a bio, resume, photos/footage, and a reel of you performing. Keep in mind casting directors don’t expect it right out the gate.
I have accumulated all of these things over time. However, the more you post the more people will want to work with you as they’ll know your capabilities and know you can do the job. Make sure to update your site regularly so visitors can see what you’ve been up to.
What can you do to make your website easily searchable?
KS: People want to know how to connect with you. The most important thing to have on your website is your contact information. Be sure to include an email address, phone number, and social media channels.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely important. If you don’t have the right keywords and content on your website, you’ll have a hard time ranking as Google won’t be able to find you.
I knew nothing about website building when I first started. I did a lot of research and after figuring out what I wanted out of my website, I picked the right website builder for my needs, I designed it, constantly update it, but then couldn’t figure out how to get more hits/visitors. Optimizing my site fixed that problem.
2. Incorporating social media:
How do you use social media to promote yourself?
KS: You have to understand your target audience and based on that decide what kind of photos and copy to post, what pages/people you should follow, and most importantly provide a link to your website!
Figure out what other performers, industry professionals, and influencers in the performing arts world are posting about. Some people find it helpful to post pictures (“selfies”) of themselves. I tend to focus on career-centered posts when I’m performing.
You should also be engaging with followers and fans regularly (liking photos, retweeting positive posts, replying when appropriate, etc). One of the things I struggle most with is posting on a regular basis. There are social media management platforms that help with this.
3. Always be networking:
What are some resources for meeting new people in the industry?
KS: You can connect with other performers and industry professionals by attending events such as film festivals and theatre events. Be sure to ask for help from former mentors/instructors as well. Some of my teachers are my greatest mentors. I still email them to answer questions I have. You will run into teachers at industry events all the time as well as fellow actors, directors, and casting producers.
At events, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, make new contacts and connections, and feel more part of a community. As big a world as you’d think the performing arts community is, it’s actually a very tight knit small group so always be polite and professional to everyone. Keep in mind a lot of your teachers are working professionals. Many times I’ve walked into a room and realize I know someone on the panel. I’ve also been in shows understudying an AMDA faculty member while an AMDA alumni is directing us. We really are a close community!
4. Preparing for auditions:
How can performers best prepare for auditions?
KS: Dress for success and know the character. If it’s an era role, dress with a hint of that era so the casting people believe you could have been a part of that time period. Do your research before hand so you’ll know the production company and people you are auditioning for.
Lastly, take care of yourself! Go do something fun to get your mind off the audition. As any actor or performer, physical and mental health is so important as your body is your instrument. Whether it be working out, reading, journaling, meditating, or taking a class, anything you can do to improve your well-being will make it easier to believe in yourself, your talents and abilities and clear your head.