Los Angeles Actors – SEO, Theatre & Film – The Marriage Part 2
Working as an actor in film or television in Los Angeles is one of the hardest—and most rewarding—things that any actor can do in their career. Its no secret that the majority of all film and television series are shot in Los Angeles, and it is the traditional hot bed for any performer looking to make their name in the industry.
What many actors don’t fully understand is that the industry is quickly changing, and the industry pros are telling us, without actually telling us, that the old ways of doing marketing for your personal brand are just about dead.
Casting directors and agents are going to YouTube or other video sites to try and find new talent who want to take their game to another level. They are looking for people who are actively honing their craft by getting their work out to a massive audience. YouTube is a perfect venue, as it is the second-largest most visited website on earth, behind only Google. As we talked about in a previous article talking about SEO for actors, YouTube can bring any actor anywhere to the limelight, as long as the marketing is in place.
But what about if you are already in the City of Angels? You have made the move and you are trying to find ways to make a living and do the LA life, which for many performers means knowing how to get to Burbank to Figueroa in some kind of easy way. You’re making sure you visit companies like Actor’s Key or Actors Connection to meet with casting directors and agents who are looking for talent, but could also be trying to make a buck (we will visit that in a bit). You are going to a hosting class or something else, trying to build up your resume or prepare for an industry showcase (a night where the top executives from TV networks come to look for talent). What do you do when you are at that point when you want to make money, gain exposure to your work and yourself, and fully immerse yourself in your work, as any good actor really should?
Online marketing is the way. No matter what. Here’s how to get it done in Los Angeles.
los angeles actors make themselves bigger than they are, but without lying
When you are working on a project, whether it is a custom film reel, a new showcase at an improv theatre or any other bit of work, it needs to look like the biggest event going on in Los Angeles, West Hollywood or anywhere else on the west coast.
There is a notion that many people could send out postcards to casting directors for them to come to their showcase and if they were impressed with their work, they would possibly get an audition for a project they are working on, or the agent would want to have a meeting with them to sign on as a client, as they see that this person is the real deal & someone to keep their eye on in the future.
Now, social media has completely changed how actors should be able to market their brand as their brand is the main calling card for the LA casting directors & agents to know your work. For anyone who has ever visited Los Angeles, traffic is tough & it can be difficult to get anywhere in the area, especially if I-10 & the 405 are jam packed – which most days – they are.
One of the biggest flaws that happens in the acting industry as a whole is the idea of constantly printing headshots. The problem with that – especially if you are a lady – is that if you change your look even a little bit, you have to spend another $200 on another complete batch of headshots to the point where your apt or house living room is completely full of nothing but photo boxes of headshots, nice & matted, that you may not be able to use.
Social media is the cure for that situation. Let’s explain some of the tricks to success.
Optimize twitter account to the max degree
Your Twitter account – outside of your personal website – could be your most important marketing tool & is going to be the backbone of any bit of your work.
The key, however, is to not think like an actor but think like a computer person. So many people, not just actors, believe that having followers is all you need to be popular on Twitter. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Twitter moves up popularity in accounts because of the amount of engagements the tweets & overall profile has over time & their percentage of interaction.
What are Twitter engagements you ask? Without getting too technical, Twitter engagements is the combination of retweets, likes, favorites or any kind of interaction someone can have with your tweet or your profile. The higher percentage of impressions & engagements, the more popular your Twitter profile will be & you will gain the attention of people over time.
Yes, getting Twitter followers is important for cosmetic sake, but don’t worry about trying to go out & buy 500,000 Twitter followers because its not really needed for a performer. 1,000 up to probably 20,000 would be just great. If you are going to spend money in Twitter work, get a particular amount of engagements where you can get a certain amount of real Twitter engagements out of each tweet every day. Having great engagements every time you tweet will make you into a strong celebrity over time – possibly a month or two, depending on the frequency of your tweeting & the content that you are putting out in your streets.
When you have a high engagement rate, another great feature is being in the top tweets section, which will definitely increase your popularity. For example, if you are in an improv show at Groundlings, you could have a tweet that says –
“performing #improv tonight with @Groundlings at 7:30, check it out! #acting #comedy”
When you get the engagements on that tweet, you are going to be in the top tweets for the terms improv, Groundlings, acting & comedy, so when people are looking for content in those terms, you will be seen as an authority in those areas, thus peaking people’s interests.
Many websites say that the best Twitter engagement rates are around 1.0% or so, but when you are starting off, you need engagement rates around 15 -20% to help establish exactly who you are & build up the strength of your profile.
Here are some Zipper SEO & Web Design Twitter products that would be good for a performer that is trying to figure out their Twitter marketing:
500 daily twitter engagements
5,000 Twitter followers
los angeles actors can profit big on youtube
In Los Angeles, maybe more than in New York or Chicago – film, television & hosting are the main entertainment industries that many actors & models go into when they embark on this career path.
Which means that YouTube is the going to be your biggest social media ally next to your Twitter profile. YouTube is the place where people can truly become stars more than ever before. The path to auditioning & showing off your work is all in making sure your YouTube channel & videos are optimized to the tenth degree.
If you have a demo reel or get a custom reel showing off your skills in drama, comedy, action, etc., sending it out via mail to a casting director or agency is now out of style & will wind up having your work thrown away or completely forgotten in a pile of hundreds of thousands of submissions that come in each day to CAA, William Morris Endeavor, Gersh & even the B & C level agencies all around town.
In today’s day & age, actors & hosts have their own network to broadcast their skills & make money on it at the same time. As we talked about in our previous SEO & YouTube actor post, if you have a short film or anything that you are prominently featured in, get it up on your YouTube channel & the money that you were going to spend on getting tons of headshots done & then more money to get them printed out, that money could easily be going towards you building up your YouTube network & gaining a following in that way.
Casting directors & agents can be very vain – its about what is popular & if you have the talent & drive, that is a nice bonus. They want to be a part of what everyone is talking about & what is hot at that moment. Almost similar to a teenage girl – very much into a band or song for a few months, then soon enough – if the energy dies off from that song, they are on to the next big sensation coming down the pipeline.
By having a popular YouTube video or channel, it helps to bring in quality subscribers & make your YouTube content go viral much quicker, thus creating intrigue in your work. If you have the copy to your content & the permission of the filmmakers to put up your complete short film, by all means, do it & market that video. The film will get a big rub & gain tremendous exposure & your actual work will be featured prominently.
YouTube marketing may be a bit more important in Los Angeles than the other film areas only because New York & Chicago tend to be more concentrated on theatre acting – making it very difficult to get quality film of your work on stage, especially with playwrights being extremely picky about having their content even put on stage by a director, and charge tons to theatres to interpret the play in their own way, let alone put up an entire live show on YouTube for all the world to see, thus probably not wanting to go to the theatre.
On YouTube, its definitely about the views & about gaining subscribers who will help you establish your credibility & popularity. This is an area where spending could be a very important tool, simply due to the long-term impact. If you are doing a variety of films, webisodes, web series & hosting, one viral video can build up your credibility over the long run & not only get you popular with the major production studios, but also serve as a full-time job if you decide to monetize your video with Google Adsense after you have completed the proper marketing techniques to get the video & channel to the top of search engines.
Here are some of the items from our staff at Zipper that would be a great help in your YouTube marketing efforts for a performer:
Youtube intermediate viral package
10,000 YouTube Views
There are many ways to get your name out in the L.A. acting scene & social media is one of those major ways to get to your main destination. Tommorow, we will discuss the New York acting scene & how SEO & social media can be implemented into the actor marketing plan of 2016.