Three cheers for the age of social media!
Historically, one of the greatest hurdles any performer faces is getting their work out there, into the world, and seen. In 2016, with basic computer skills and an internet connection, you can use social media to build your fanbase, connect with like-minded professionals, and jumpstart your next step on the career ladder.
Social media offers a wealth of opportunity for talented performers and creatives to promote themselves online.
Think of your social media platforms as an agent, PR officer, and personal TV channel all rolled into one. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (to name a few) offer a platform for you to advertise your wares as a performer.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that social media is only useful for emerging or wannabe performers. It’s a fantastic space for professionals at any level to share thoughts, connect and advertise their work.
You’ll find senior figures from all across the creative industries are active online and using social media to further their careers.
See musician and author Tom Fletcher (of McBusted fame), comedian Stephen Fry, and Hollywood filmmaker Jon Favreau (Swingers, Chef, Avengers) for examples of performing professionals who use social media to promote themselves and their creative interests.
Social platforms like Twitter offer an easy way to network. Thousands of agents and casting directors use it to search for new talent, while actors, writers and filmmakers use it to advertise their shows, gigs, performances and more.
Found someone you want to connect with? Send them a friendly tweet and it might just become the beginning of a useful professional relationship. Why not connect with other Media Volt professionals online?
Websites like Vimeo offer a community platform for filmmakers to upload videos and engage with audiences and other creatives, while LinkedIn is a hub of professionals from all sorts of industries which allows you to (politely!) message anyone you want.
If you’re planning to use social media to market yourself as a performer, choose carefully. Different platforms attract different types of content, so choose the platform that suits you best.
If you’re a singer or songwriter, you’ll probably want to showcase your song in full, so a platform like YouTube would be a good choice as most YouTube videos come in at around 3-5 minutes.
Instagram allows users to post photos, so if you’re a cameraman / DOP with extraordinary stills from your latest production, or an actress with beautiful headshots, this is the platform for you.
A word of warning: think carefully about what you put online. It’s difficult to delete a snarky comment about a bad director, or a bitchy one about an actor you don’t rate, and you don’t want an over-hasty tweet to put people off offering you a job.