The Most Powerful Marketing Tool No One Ever Tells Actors About

With so many actors vying for the same opportunities, how do you stand out from the crowd?  When there are seven other actresses “just like you” how can you get a leg up?

I feel ya, sister (brother…).

As an actor, it is imperative that you stand out (for the right reasons).  But most actors simply don’t know how.  Instead, they jump on the same marketing train every other actor is riding. If you’re entire marketing strategy consists of sending postcards, taking workshops, and studying your craft, it’s time for a little heart to heart.

Sure, some of these actions are useful in terms of staying on the radar as an actor.

But NONE of them will make you stand out.

And that, my friend, is a problem.

It’s the entertainment industry.  Standing out is imperative, but there is an art to it.  Sure, you could make yourself stand out for outrageous behavior, for being difficult, playing the diva or some other less than stellar behavior.

But I wouldn’t recommend it.

Our world is pretty small, and any bad (or disrespectful) behavior on your part is sure to haunt you later. I’m talking about standing out for the right reasons.

So let’s talk about how to do it.

Speak the Language of the Entertainment Industry

What language is that, you may be wondering.

It’s media coverage.

Yup, that’s right.  The most powerful marketing tool available is landing yourself some good old fashioned press.

You don’t need to hire a pricey publicist or be an A-list celebrity to get it.

The truth is landing your own media coverage is easier than you might imagine.  In some cases it’s as simple as sending a well-crafted email pitch.

In today’s Internet age, there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of media outlets. Every single one of these outlets is actively looking for new content to publish each day.

Why not include a story about YOU?

What makes media coverage so powerful?

Media coverage is how the entertainment industry does business.  Media coverage brings in the money.  And in “show business” – the business side of it is very serious about bringing in the “dollah bills.” When a new film or TV show is coming out what do the producers of that project do?

They get as much media coverage as they possibly can.

Media coverage does all of the following:

  • Builds a buzz
  • Creates curiosity
  • Generates excitement
  • Gets people talking (the BEST marketing on the planet)

The more press, the more buzz, the more tickets sold, the more money is made.  The industry values media coverage.  It’s how they do business.

When you land your own media coverage, suddenly you are speaking the same language as your industry.  This makes you a valuable asset.  It gives you some heat, and when there’s heat on you – it’s time to strike while the iron is hot!

Landing your own media coverage helps you:

  • Gain credibility
  • Generate excitement
  • Up your visibility
  • Get people talking about you
  • Create curiosity

In other words – it makes you stand out from the crowd.

In a sea of talented, focused, proactive actors, how do you stand out?  With credible visibility.

Media coverage can plant you in front of thousands, hundreds of thousand or even millions of people all at once.

Landing Media Coverage is Easy – When You Know What to Do

Let’s talk about the most important principles you must master to get the industry buzzing about you:

Have a good story

Your story must be “good” in the eyes of a journalist, editor or reporter. Start thinking like one to get to the good stuff.  Look for the following elements:

  • Specific newsworthy angle
  • Find something new about the story (notice how “news” starts with “new”)
  • Effectively answer the question “Who cares?”
  • Human element – people emotionally connect to stories, not facts
  • Relevant to the audience of the publication

Non-Newsworthy Example:  Actress creates new webseries

Newsworthy Example:  Actress overcomes the no-budget hurdle to create first-ever 100% crowd-funded webseries

See the difference?

The first example is simply a fact.

The second example is a story of a determined young woman who overcomes obstacles to her aspirations by funding her project in a completely new way.

Here’s the next step in the art of landing media coverage:

Do Your Research

  • Find news outlets that are appropriate for your story
  • KNOW who you are pitching (editor, a reporter, or a journalist)
  • Target specific people
  • Understand the kind of stories they usually cover
  • WHO is the publication’s audience?
  • What does that audience value? What are their interests?

If you want your story to get picked up you must pitch a relevant story to the appropriate person.  You wouldn’t expect to land a national commercial by submitting for a musical, would you?  Media coverage is the same.  Backstage West and Variety are both considered industry trade papers.  But they focus on very different stories and different readers. Your job is to investigate (ahem…like a reporter) which publications are right for your story.

Pitch a GREAT Story

You have a great story, you’ve done your research, you’ve got the right person and your story appeals to the audience of the publication.

Now it’s time to make your pitch stand out.

Here’s how:

  • Keep it short
  • Be direct
  • Show them WHY your story is valuable to their audience

When it comes to media coverage, your job is to provide value, to help the editor or writer tell a great story.  Approach your pitch from the point of view of what YOU can do for them (not what they can do for you).

What you can do for them is provide a great, newsworthy story that appeals to, entertains or educates their readers.

Tell the World

Once your story gets published – don’t be shy.  Tell the world!  Here are few ways to get the media coverage snowball rolling:

  • Post on social media
  • Email your friends
  • Let your industry fans know about it
  • Ask people to SHARE your stuff (don’t be shy)
  • Print hard copies of your press and mail it out
  • Create pdfs of your press and email them out
  • Include links to your press and post them everywhere

When it comes to media coverage, often that first published piece leads to other news outlets (and industry professionals) approaching YOU.

If you are an experienced actor who feels stuck at your current level, media coverage just might be the boost you need to kick it up a notch (or 10).  If your story is newsworthy, you do the research and your pitch is high quality, go for it!  Boldness pays off.

Interested in Emily’s last article Go From Auditions to Offers check it out at http://www.castittalent.com/blog/2012/07/go-from-auditions-to-offers/

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Emily Grace helps actors get in the driver's seat of their career with marketing plans that get results. She is an award-winning actress, a writer and producer. Want to hear more from Emily? Be sure to sign up for free video, "How to Market Yourself When You Have Nothing To Say" at http://emilygrace.tv/

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