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Using social media for your career

March 3, 2014

I have a fellow actor friend named Ali. (She’s also a Thriving Artist Circle member!) She made a status on facebook yesterday that I wanted to share. I cut it down a bit, but the point is the same:

“If you own a business (actors, independent contractors, distributors for various network marketing businesses) please, go back and look at your last 10 posts.  If more than four of them are about your business or what “deal” there is right now, or what “special” there is and then some link to your website/webstore, reconsider how you’re doing your marketing. I promise you, you are not winning too many new friends with this. Your best bet? Try adding value, first, most often, and 80% of the time.”

I first read this and thought, “YES! Totally true.”

And then I played this game for myself…I didn’t do so well. In fact, I had three posts in a row that were links to different blog posts I had written.

Not only did I find Ali’s status to be important, I found it especially valuable for us actors. How many friends do you have that only post when they have a show coming up? Or maybe when they’re auditioning or taking classes? This doesn’t make them bad people. In fact, we’re taught to promote ourselves and let our voices be heard.

So if we’re taught to promote ourselves, why should we be careful when posting on social media?

Posting only about ourselves makes it seem like we’re only interested in ourselves – no one else. I’m sure we all know/have worked with extremely self-centered actors. While posting about things like shows and auditions doesn’t necessarily put us in this category, it certainly doesn’t help. The trick is to promote ourselves – just not all the time. I personally like Ali’s rule of 40% or less.

I also strongly recommend what Ali tells us about “adding value.” This is a great thing to try and do on a regular basis, actor or not. If you’re constantly asking yourself, “How can I help?” you’re going to add an incredible amount of value to other people. Not only will they love it, but you’re going to feel so much better about yourself! I’ve felt incredibly better since blogging about positive topics that will help others. I never felt like this when I posted rants about people telling me that I don’t need to work out. (Though don’t tell me not to work out.)

While we’re on the subject, I also recommend being careful when it comes to posting about things like auditioning. I once heard from an artistic director that he hated it when actors posted things like “I had three auditions this week!” His reasoning was rather humorous: “Yeah, you’re auditioning. That’s your job. You don’t see a barber posting on facebook saying, ‘Gave three haircuts today!’” After I finished I laughing, I realized just how many times I had done this. (With auditions…You definitely don’t want me cutting your hair.

Be mindful of how much you’re posting about yourself. If you are, don’t fret. Just try finding ways you can add value instead.


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