When clients come to me for coaching, I'm ready to give them everything! A full, comprehensive plan-of-attack for their career. I want them to leave with a full set of plans on how to make every aspect of their career HAPPEN!
Then, when they come in, I remember that everyone only has a finite amount of resources. Not just money and time, but patience, energy and mental head-space. So, often I leave them with a few small things they can do. And once they put these good practices into place, we add more. The results they see add confidence (and sometimes money), and we just keep building.
So, here are a few small things that you can start doing right now, which are simple, but can lead to huge dividends.
1 - The number one most important thing to do is send postcards. (Even if you're in a smaller market. ) Go to a cheaper website, like isgophoto.com or vistaprint.com, and order 100. Make a list (maybe a spreadsheet) of the CDs, Agents, and Managers who you may have met or auditioned for. Send them a postcard every 4-6 weeks with what's going on with your career.
Postcards create and maintain relationships. Until the industry changes this is how most people prefer to be contacted. Again, the NUMBER ONE best marketing tip.
2 - Pick 3 friends/colleagues who have careers you admire and buy them coffee. I did this a while back, and it way a huge eye-opener. Firstly, actors are collaborative by nature, and they love to share ideas. Actors are generous that way. Secondly, besides concrete marketing ideas, they give you an understanding of how to be. By that I mean, what kind of attitude do they have that draws success and happiness toward them? Thirdly, these people can be friends and collaborators for the rest of your career. You have to make a community, or this business is really lonely. (Also, coffee is tax-deductible in this case.)
3 - Volunteer! If you contact and agent or a manager and say, "I'd like to work in your office a few times for FREE to better understand what you do," they will say yes. Volunteer to do the same for a casting director, or even better!, offer to be a reader. The worst that happens is they say no. The best that happens is that you learn a lot, at the same time as making a connection.
4 - Facebook and twitter. "Like" and "follow" anyone you can find. Agents, casting directors, managers, actors, marketing coaches, acting teachers, producers. You'll not only get casting notices, but you'll also get to know what they are about.
Some casting directors do mostly modeling. Some agencies work with kids only. Some managers only have clients who are Asian. It's your job to know the landscape. And the worst thing that happens is you get a little spam.
5 - Sign up for one class that is out of your comfort zone. If you've never had a class with a TV casting director, sign up for one. Maybe Actors Green Room or Actors Connection. Sign up for a VoiceOver coaching, maybe Shut Up And Talk. A monologue class. A musical theatre class. An improv class.
Just do one of these things. Just ONE. And if it feels good, do another. Take your time, build your confidence, and I promise you: you'll get closer to the career of your dreams.