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Social Media and your business

 
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10078
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:58 pm    Post subject: Social Media and your business Reply with quote

Usual nonsense from me plus some important information. As in life, so in work (business) we waste time doing things of no value to prevent us doing the things we ought to be doing.

Successful people are not gifted in any way they simply have the discipline to do the things the rest of us don't like doing. Spend 5 mins 16 secs watching me witter.

https://vimeo.com/338395329
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Deirdre
Czarina Emeritus


Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12848
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclaimer:

Things are different here in the US with social media's impact on your c'reer.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10078
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The comment above is VERY important. Know where you are and how you are perceived.
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Bob Bergen
Lucky 700


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Below Iím reposting a comment on social media I made on a previous thread.


I think voice actors need to understand how and why social media is necessary. The confusion comes from the term "social." Why would posting grandma's birthday party matter to buyers?? They don't. That goes on a personal page. Your vo business belongs on it's own page. Yes, it needs some personal touch. But to really understand the value, you need to think like a buyer or agent.

First of all, get out of your head the idea of an immediate job from a social media posting. I keep seeing, "I never got a job from social media." 1) You don't know this. 2) You haven't used it properly for your career.

Social media is vital for fan based vo, like games and animation. Buyers, networks, studios want to see a large following as that ups the odds of content viewers. And for those who poo poo the concept that it should all be based on talent rather than followers, get over it! Social media followers are today's Nielsen Ratings. Followers have been a factor in the hiring of fan based actors since media began. It's just the media that has changed.

But why is social media important for, say, the commercial vo actor? Today's buyers surf potential actor's social media pages before hiring. Not all, but most. They are checking everything from how they promote to their day to day social media behavior. I will address behavior later.

Let's start with promoting. Why is this important to the commercial buyer? Well, it's free and additional advertising.

A voice actor does a commercial. They post a link to that commercial on social media. No comment, no BS thank you. Less is more when it comes to PR. Too much and it becomes bragging. Let the conversation from your post come from your connections. "Nice work/is that you as the announcer?", etc. It's your followers who actually perpetuate the PR dialogue, not you. By promoting the gig by virtue of posting a link to the spot, you draw eyes and consumers to the product, which makes the buyer very happy. Let's say the buyer has narrowed it down to 2 actors for a gig. One has little to no social media activity. One has a history of promoting past gigs, and has substantial followers. The latter brings more value to the buyer.

Let's also explore the different social media platforms. LinkedIn vs Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, and how to use them for business.

LinkedIn:
You do a job. Let's say a commercial. With every job, connect with all buyers whom you worked with on social media. The producer, writer, etc. From that one commercial surf the writer/producer's LinkedIn page. Connect with their other connections. You will see they are probably connected with dozens, maybe hundreds of other ad buyers. Connect with them as well! Drop a note with your connection invitation regarding whom you just worked with so there's a direct business connection. Spend a day doing this. You will reach out to perhaps 250 plus people. If you get 10 accept you, that's 10 more than you started out with. Eventually promote this new spot with these 10 buyers by posting a link to the spot once released.

Do this with every vo job you have ever done, in every genre of vo. Eventually you will electronically create an organic synergy of PR. It's a constant that occurs daily by virtue of your social media presence.

LinkedIn is great for connecting with producer buyers. Once you establish a working relationship with them there, connect with them on the more social platforms of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram:
These are less corporate but no less important. Promote there the exact same way you do so on LinkedIn. However, on these you add a more personal touch. The occasional picture of you in the booth, lil behind the scenes of your day to day, etc.

You are as good as the company you keep. Spend a weekend and connect with actors, agents, producers, etc., who run in the vo circles you wish to. Again, as you promote your vo career, you create the same day to day organic electronic synergy.

Social media probably won't bring immediate work. The odds that you are right for something a buyer has at the same time you promote are slim. But all of your connections will see your activity, your PR. They see your career in progress. Getting started and organizing the synergy is daunting. Just spend a weekend starting with one gig. Trust me, it will take on a life of it's own. Tend to it everyday. Even if you just put in a half hour, as your connections grow and grow, as your PR touches each and everyone daily, you have created a self running PR machine.

Behavior:
What you say and how you present yourself matters. You have every right to be opinionated on social media. You risk pissing off someone. If that risk is worth it, keep it up. No one has a clue my political views on social media. My ego is not big enough that I need to let the world know my politics. And let's face it, much of this kind of social media behavior is ego based. This is why most out there are not accepting of different opinions. Proving someone wrong is the motive, and it alienates. A buyer does not want to work with anyone who alienates.

I have also seen actors lose out on jobs just by posting, say, a movie critique. Or a "don't shop there" warning to your social media followers. Potential buyers will see this behavior and fear you will do the same with one of their properties, perhaps even without knowing a past buyer had anything to do with the property.

Keep all negative comments to yourself!

You may not like, or even understand the value of a strong social media presence. But it is vital. And, for the most part is is 100% free! The amount of buyers we can reach out to on social media every day voice actors used to spend tens of thousands of dollars in snail mail mailings.

Followers, connections, whatever you want to call them, they are all relationships. These e-relationships matter. And as time goes on, we are going to eventually have a generation of buyers who only know e-relatiobships.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 10078
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with all of the above. For those who may not have watched the video or have missed the point the key was not we believe to be the case for our audience but what our audience believe is relevant to them and their business.

Stretching a point A LOT! I could play ANY role played by Tom Cruise but I could not put (to use a UK Theatre term) bums on seats, Luvvie.

The drivers for most performers behind their desire to win over a social media audience is more about fear and ego in equal measure. Sometimes that can help with focus but one fear is common in the majority, the fear of testing and reporting the results then going to the market which claims to value them and charging appropriately.

Like the hotel example, the market made specific demands of those relying on social media for their incomes and most fell sort of the requirements. 20,000 friends on Facebook won't get you a free 1st Class Flight and 30,000 fans will not equate to much of a TV audience for my new TV show "Philip Banks 90210"
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3418
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've probably said this before, but it bears repeating here. As many of you know, my step-son is an actor. In the grand scheme of things, he is a "successful" actor. He's had a lead role in a series (lasted two seasons), lots of spots in the run-of-the-mill police procedurals, movie roles opposite the likes of Chris Cooper, Guy Pierce, and Jake Gyllenhaal (minor character roles). He's been interviewed on morning TV and had the lead in off-Broadway plays. He has been recognized on the street and grabbed for selfies and autographs. So... like all actors in his position, he drives an Uber (the modern equivalent of waiting tables) to make ends meet. He was recently up for the lead in a network TV series... the producers were clear, it was him or another actor... and the other actor got it because he had more followers on social media. I don't like it... it sucks the big one... but it is, unfortunately, the way of the world because it relates directly to "bums on seats". I know TV casting is different from the wonderful world of VO... but there are more parallels than I care to acknowledge.
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 9422
Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't know. i rather like being out of the social media loop. the kind of work i like to do does not require any sort of celebrity. i do need money, and for some unknown reason make a good bit of it rambling on about the diagnosis and treatment of HCV or the joys of cleaner ducts. if i had 50,000 followers i'd only piss them off eventually anyway.
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3418
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

todd ellis wrote:
... if i had 50,000 followers i'd only piss them off eventually anyway.

This sound like a life goal.
The older I get, the fewer filters I have... it causes the occasional problem when I'm meant to be "diplomatic"... but I hate the facade of smiling sweetly when I really want to call someone (at best) an unmitigated numpty or (at worst) a predatory pariah.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
Smoke me a kipper... I'll be back for breakfast.
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Bob Bergen
Lucky 700


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 719

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bish wrote:
it sucks the big one... but it is, unfortunately, the way of the world because it relates directly to "bums on seats". I know TV casting is different from the wonderful world of VO... but there are more parallels than I care to acknowledge.


I won't deny, it does suck. But as I said in my over lengthy post, this is nothing new. Since the days of silent films, the industry has based actor hiring decisions on followers. They based their criteria on box office returns. They still do! Television brought us Nielsen Ratings. That is being overhauled with the growth of streaming content. And now, social media is the umbrella criteria that covers everything, from film, to tv, to games, theater, podcasts, etc.

When you think about it there are many pros to social media:
* We can reach far more fans and buyers on social media than ever before.
* I pay a publicist a monthly retainer to represent my career. But actors without a publicist, or those who just don't need them for their career today, can save a fortune using social media to promote their own career. (most just haven't a clue how to properly use social media TO promote)
* It's the one thing we have 100% control over. We can control what we say, who sees it, where they see it, etc.

I also so appreciate your note, Peter, in regard to your step son. He is living the life of a professional actor! This is what actors do between gigs....even successful ones! A very small percentage out there have earned enough with their body of work to not need the survival jobs between acting gigs. But most do.

It's only today's vo actor who doesn't relate to this. Ironically, this is a byproduct of social media and the internet. The e-genertaion is too removed from the business model and philosophy of the professional actor. Which is why P2P and lowballing took off. It spread like a virus outside the backyard of the professional actor by people who didn't know any better or different. People were handed an industry who had no idea how to professionally participate in this industry. And after close to 20 years this generation took with it a huge percentage of the industry, conditioning both actors and buyers.

This newer generation doesn't relate to the inconsistencies in the working life of an actor. They begin to rely on voice acting prematurely to pay their bills. And the concept of "like all actors in his position, he drives an Uber" is a foreign language that goes against their grain. This is not their fault. It used to be the survival job was discussed and preached in acting/vo classes as loudly as craft. Never was making money at acting discussed. But all classes had bulletin boards with "help wanted" info. Actors who waited tables would seek out friends to recommend to their bosses. This was strategic so each had someone to cover shifts when auditions or jobs came up. Uber and Lyft have brought a more flexible way to make ends meet. In LA there is a shortage of waiters because of ride sharing jobs.

The vetting of vo coaches and demo producers is far easier today with social media. The internet allows one to research what is demanded from agents in regard to demos. One can surf an agent's Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn more about them: where they went to college, their favorite restaurants, movies, books, etc. This assists in making small talk during that meeting or authoring that cover letter when seeking representation. (how any out there even think about using social media to research a cover letter??)

No, most out there don't think of any of this, because the proper usage of social media is not preached nearly as loud as "make money at vo/ROI/does your vo coach and (or) demo producer have a track record of working actors?" That last one is the biggest detriment that has come from the internet. Most actors will not work. This includes vo actors. From Stanislavsky to Stella Adler, Uta Hagen to Sandy Meisner, these acting teaching legends taught craft. The discussion of earning at acting was considered a red flag and vulgar. It was the same with every legitimate vo coach as well.....until the internet and social media.

And it's not the most professional earning strategies that is being preached. It's being paid anything that is the message. If you've been paid for vo, you are now considered a professional working actor. Every job is now a client. Actors don't have clients. They may have repeat business. But today's vo actor thinks of every buyer as a client. This is an odd term to the professional actor. Warner Bros, as often as I have worked for them, is not my client. Martin Scorsese, who has hired Leo DiCaprio repeatedly is not considered to be Leo's client. Every radio or TV commercial buyer I have worked for is not my client. Nor is any promo producer, narration buyer, gaming casting director. And it's this concept of client that I think has also been a detriment. It has perpetuated the sliding scale, and replaced demanding standards with the need to be paid. It puts the actor in the same working class category of the plumber or any tradesman.

But here's the deal. If a plumber or other tradesmen were smart with social media, they would up their business as well. The smart tradesman will embrace Yelp or Angie's List, as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Today's vo actor needs to embrace them as well. Especially today's e-generation!
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