So, I’ve discussed headshots and resumes, which are the two most important marketing tools at an entertainers disposal. Today, we’re going to talk about POSTCARDS! If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say postcards are one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal, then make sure you read every word of this article. Once you are done with the article, you should then go online, design your postcards at one of the sites listed below, order them and start using them ASAP!
To design effective postcards, you want to make sure you have at least one headshot on the front of the card. If you are only going to put one headshot on the front, make sure it is your commercial (smiling) shot, because that one is usually the most universal and it is much better to have them see your smiling mug. I prefer to put two headshots, one commercial (smiling) and one theatrical (serious look). You also want to make sure you have your contact information on the front so they have a way to contact you. Now, it is up to you, but I recommend only putting your email address and not your phone number. Since it is a postcard, your phone number is going to be visible to everyone who touches it on the way to its destination. You never know who is going to get a hold of your number, so to be on the safe sid; only put your email address. You should also put your website on the front of the card with your email address. You also have a website right?? Since you aren’t sending your resume, the website gives them a link to go to so they can look at your resume, more headshots and video clips.
When you send out your H/R in a mass mailing, it costs about $1.10 in postage and then about another $3 for the headshots, paper, ink and business card (look for a later article on business cards). However, when you send out a postcard, it costs $0.29 for the postage and about $0.15 for the postcard. It costs a lot less, so you can send them out more often.
Postcards are used to remind the casting directors, producers and agents that you are still around and still working on your craft. Did you get cast in a major role in a Broadway or Off Broadway play? Send out a postcard to let them know. Did you just finish a great class with a well respected acting instructor? Send out a postcard to let everyone know. Haven’t done anything in a while and want to just say HI to everyone? DO NOT send a postcard.
You should be sending out a postcard when something significant happens in your acting career. While your H/R packet may be opened by an intern, or thrown in the trash, postcards are often considered personal mail and are delivered directly to the person to whom they are addressed. So, make sure you address your postcards to someone instead of just putting ‘To Whom It May Concern.’ I would also recommend sending no more than 3 postcards per month. If you have a lot of great things going on (i.e. you just picked up an agent, just joined the union, were cast in leads in 3 indies and completed 2 great classes), combine your good news onto one or two postcards instead of sending out seven separate postcards. You want to remind them that you are continually working on your craft, not annoy them.
So, if you don’t have postcards, get them today. There are plenty of places to get them very cheaply, but don’t go overboard. Yes, you can probably save money by getting 2,000 postcards at once, but you may wind up wasting money. If you use 100 postcards, then decide to get new headshots, you’ll have 1,900 postcards with your old headshots. They won’t be a waste, but wouldn’t you rather people see your shiny new headshot instead of your old one? You should get about 500 at a time. This gives you plenty of postcards, but if you need to get new ones with your new headshot, you won’t be stuck with a ton of old postcards. Once you get down to 50-100, order more so that you’re not stuck not having any postcards when you get the lead in Wicked and want to share the good news.
In the marketing world, it is generally understood that consumers won’t recognize you or your product until they’ve heard (or seen) your product 7 or more times. The same thing holds true for casting directors and agents. If you continually show them that you are working on your craft, and growing as an entertainer, they start getting used to seeing your face. One day they may be casting a project perfectly fit for you and they’ll say to themselves, ‘Who’s that guy who keeps sending me those postcards updates? Oh yeah, Ron Bush. I think I’ll call him in for this audition to see what he’s got,” and the rest will be history…
Sites to get inexpensive postcards:
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