Danny Winn-An Acting Master Class A-Z, The F’s
- Written by Danny Winn
In following my column, you may be aware that I take a bit of an eclectic approach to instructing actor’s in comparison to other teachings. My approach is always a more hands on, proof to the pudding style. All based on my experience, successes, and belief that there is always a different approach for all who have been bitten by this wonderful bug. This article shall be no different as we approach the F of the A-Z. Actually a few F’s and nothing of what you may have just thought…lol I wish to approach another side of the arsenal in the Actor’s toolbox. Weather your goal is stardom, or simply to be a working actor enjoying your craft as you share your talents with the masses. You must get those masses!
Hear Yee hear Yee, we now bring forth the topic of Fan’s, Followers, and Facebook. Also, to include the various other social media platforms of your choice. In these times of an actor’s growth, developing a fan base and following has become more important than ever before. With the advent and popularity of social media many productions look to an actors following when making casting decisions. Of course, building your skills and talent are of the upmost importance and always will be your front line. But the building of your “Q” is part of the building blocks to your future successes as well. What is an actor’s “Q” you may ask? Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with ones IQ. #smile. It is an actor’s quotient. Basically, it is your notability among the public. How recognizable your name is among people when asked. Not as simple as it sounds nor as complicated, and no you do not need to be so well known to have this “Q”. Some actors that have had a high Q may have been unrecognizable in a photo to the people who said the name rang a bell. The name simply rang a bell…lol Many of your Productions, Directors and so on will look for this recognizability when they are casting. It could very well be what separates you from the other actors. This in turn will lead to having you cast more often apart from others of the same acting caliber. It makes sense, right? I mean if you were casting a film or TV show, you would want to hire an actor with a higher Q to have that recognizability and following. Personally, I know that as my Q rose the more I was able to book. From the beginning, I have spent a great deal of time building a dedicated fan base some of which I have become close too. After all, without our fans we are nothing. Never forget that.
What to do, what to do? First things first, get yourself a social media account started if you have not already. Although you could go to every social media platform out there to begin, I would recommend started with Facebook and Instagram. They are the most common and the quickest in building a base. Establish these first and work towards twitter and others but do keep it limited or you will drive yourself crazy trying to keep all of them up to date and fresh. Select a solid page title that reflects you and do not change it as this will mess with your analytics. Obviously as an actor your best title is your brand. That would be you silly! However, you may find that others have the same name and already have taken that slot. Yes, other people do have the same name as you. I would not suggest using the same name as the other because than you become Facebook/JohnDoe4300. Not an attractive title, nor easy to verbally share or bell ringing. This is why you may see some names such as, realJohnDoe or JohnDoeActor or JohnDoeOfficial. I think you can agree that these are much cooler than the previous. Look through the various planned social media platforms and see which title may work or be available for all various platforms. This will make it much easier for establishing your brand and sharing your pages. In the matter of Facebook, you are able to have several pages under one account. I would suggest while starting out that you have one personal and one set up as your actor page. The actor page will be set up like a business page. This is the type of page that you invite people to like and follow as you develop your brand. This is the format that you will also work to get a blue badge verification on later. You will treat this one differently from your personal page. Many of you most likely already have a personal page so this will be an easy add on.
For me, I like to have a slightly different name on the two for search separation. My personal account is my one name while my actor page is a slightly different stage name. Use your personal page for your personal posts and activities and slip in posts about your acting. Share your dreams and endeavors with others. Use the actor page strictly for all matters acting. You can expand your friend base on your personal and then invite them to like and follow your actor page. In time you can grow your fan base on your actor page by boosting an interesting post.
When you opt to boost a post, you can set up an audience of your choice. One way is to share the boosted post with friends and friends of friends of the people who follow your page. You may also set you own audience by age, gender, subject matter and so on. For instance, you may add categories of interest that people follow. This would be where you could enter interest titles for future fans that have an interest in film, TV, Horror movies and so on. Add the titles of interest that coincide with your post. As you boost your post you will receive new followers and likes to your post. On the actor page when people like your posts you can in turn invite them to like and follow the page. Ta Da! You are building your fan base on FB and the buzz is a startin!
What about other platforms you ask? Well as I said in the beginning stick to just a few at first. The rest will spread as your career falls into place. Since Facebook and Instagram are now owned by one in the same, they have a great sharing quality. Especially with the professional actor page you have set up. You have the ability to cross post the two as well as cross boost the two. It is a great way to post the same content on the two platforms. Again, this is best done through the professional FB page and not your personal.
Posts, posts and more posts! Now that you have your accounts set up you are raring and ready to get those posts out there. By gosh you want to roll out all these great headshots, clips, allowable audition tapes and so on. Three in one day…lets go! Do not do that. The algorithms of FB are very funny. You may do an internet search and find much advice on the subject of posting recommendations. Some are offered by Facebook and some are offered by others. I have found that some suggestions are true and some not. This you must learn a bit on your own, but here are some rules of thumb to go by that I will kindly share without charging you. #craftygrin. Only post one post per day. You will wish to preferably post in the am. Keep your subject matter interesting and your description short to detail. Get to the point as not many followers really read on. They all like a good photo. Also, as much as people like to see your acting media, they also enjoy your personal touches. No politics, religion or memes. Unless the memes are created on a photo of you. #smile Try not to share posts or links. Facebook algorithms do not like these. You will see that not as many people will respond while you sit there thinking, gee that was such an interesting post to share. Why are people not responding? The masses just simply are not seeing it. Keep your posts positive and upbeat. Now I know that hash tagging is the thing, but it is not. Keep your hashtags below five or again the algorithms will do their funky stuff. As you go forward and learn with your posting you will find that it is all about the algorithm and there is not much algorithmic sense. Only nonsense. #lookingannoyed
As you proceed with your self-indulgent propaganda you may feel uncomfortable at times. Yes, promotion for the modest and shy, such as myself and you may not always be the easiest thing to do. Although it may seem that way at times….ba ha ha ha! Do not let that stop you as this is a very needed aspect in you career path as an actor. Go forth and get that name and face out there. Self-promotion will become a mainstay for the rest of your career and the sooner you get started the better. Then as time goes on and your name grows, you can hire that awesome and amazing Publicist/Strategist. #personalwink&nod That topic we shall save for the P of the A-Z. #strategicsmile Until then set forth and build that fan following as they are out there just waiting to discover you!
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