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GUEST POST 2 BY JEN PONTON: On Paper Products & Marketing

April 20, 2012

Hey-o, Green Room Readers! We have a second guest post from the lovely Jen Ponton, who has already shared her twitter tips and tricks with us on the blog. She had such great information to share, that we’re thrilled to welcome her back with a post all about the various paper goods actors can use to market themselves instead of regular ol’ headshots and cover letters. Check it out, and leave her a comment below if you find her post helpful!

“What do Actors send in the Mail?!”

Okay, actors! You have your list! You have your coffee! You are energized! Now are you ready to send out those mailings?! Of course you are! And what will you send?!

Oh, no. Well, that’s disappointing. My friends, hold onto those precious 8×10 headshots–those are so much better sent on special occasions, or given in-person!

Instead, be a creative artist–make OTHER compelling, entertaining and informing things to send in the mail. I promise that it won’t just be effective, it’ll also be fun!

Small headshot/resumes. My business coach (and probably the same stellar marketing maven for many of you, Dallas Travers) is big on a 5×7 headshot and resume. Why? It offers the same content as an 8×10, but is SO much more likely to be opened! Just order some 5×7 shots from a photo site, and make a small ‘sizzle’ version of your resume to staple on. Voila! Put it in some fun small envelopes and off they go!

Headshot or logo postcards. If you’re sending off a quick message–‘just got representation!’  ‘was put on hold for a commercial!’  ‘Moving to the other coast!’–you can totally use one of these suckers. Get over to Vistaprint and just upload a headshot, order some postcards, and you’re golden! And when you get REALLY creative? Get yourself some fun logo postcards. Need help making a logo? I do that!

Show cards/Project cards. Are you really proud of something? Want to advertise your play/episodic/commercial/film? Well, goshdarnit, send out some swanky postcards! (Need help? Again, I do that!) You can use a logo, a screenshot from the project, a behind-the-scenes picture…whatever! If it’s an established episodic and you’re a co-star or guest star, get creative–involve yourself in the show!

One-Sheets. One-Sheets are like full-page ads that are a fun spin on getting to know you! Your first one can be a doozy, but when you finally get it going, it’s really inspiring and affirming to make them, print them and send them off. 🙂 Also a fantastic creative outlet! The first oh-mazing one I ever saw wasHelenna Santos’, and since then, there are PLENTY to browse for inspiration on Dallas’ FB page. I also wrote a great post for The Redheaded Actress about making your own, but if you want to hire help–I do that, too. 😉 Here’s one that I made for the wonderful Suzanne Smart:

Castability Sheets. These are such simple, effective tools! Just gather a few breakdowns that were just PERFECT for you IF ONLY YOU’D BEEN CALLED IN! Shows people your flavor(s) lickety-split. 🙂 Need help?Guess who does these?

Thank You Cards. Send out one of thee suckers when you have overwhelming gratitude in your heart! But the rule of thumb is–keep it strictly THANKS! You can either create some through Vistaprint, buy some blank ones, or have me create custom ones for you.

Anything that feels right! Don’t feel LIMITED by this list–you don’t always have to sell yourself through the mail! What about congratulatory cards on a promotion, on having a project win a Tony or Oscar, on movin to a new office? Dallas Travers calls this sending Whuffie, and it’s a very important part of actually building relationships with people. So keep some blank notecards around for this purpose!

I do hope this has been helpful for all you ass-kicking actors! Please swing by my Facebook to give me a like, my Twitter for a follow, and frequent the official blog–I’d love for you to join the Ships Ahoy community!

Ahoy, Mateys!

Thanks again for your insights, Jen! Make sure to check her out in Facebook and twitter 🙂

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2012 11:34 am

    This is such a useful post, Jen! Thanks SO much for sharing!

  2. April 20, 2012 1:58 pm

    Jen, this stuff is great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    April 20, 2012 3:21 pm

    I love the castability sheets, what a great idea!

  4. April 23, 2012 10:51 pm

    Never seen a 5×7 headshot before. Great idea!

  5. May 6, 2012 8:24 pm

    AWESOME! Yay! So glad you guys liked it! 😀


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