If you ever hear about other actors creating opportunities thanks to Instagram and think “ The only people who like my posts are my mom and my bestie,” you’ll love the below tips.. Here’s three concrete strategies to boost your IG engagement without feeling like a stalker that have helped me and my Clients:
Figure out the shows/films you’re right for, and then follow those CDs to start organically and authentically engaging with their content. If they post something that genuinely makes you laugh, you could comment saying so, you could even share it to your story. And I think using the Stories section of Instagram is great for sharing your new reels or clips, ESPECIALLY if the tone matches the types of projects that they work on.
For example, a client of mine had created a new comedic demo reel, and she posted it to her story and then tagged a comedic CD in that story. That CD ended up watching the reel and then messaging my client, complimenting her work! What a great way to get your work seen by someone you’re targeting!
There are two routes for this, one is to search for filmmakers that you know you already love and want to collaborate with (maybe they directed an incredible episode of TV or the film they’ve written is out in theaters) and the other is to discover new filmmakers through the search function. Let’s discuss option 1…
1) Filmmakers You Already Are Excited To Connect With:
Follow these filmmakers and begin to authentically and organically engage with them. You could even support their current projects by sharing their posts to your story. Most people are happy when more eyeballs end up watching their work, so offering some free publicity for things you really enjoyed is a great way to help them. And since it’s something you actually liked, it’s really easy to be genuine in your posting.
You can also send these people a DM letting them know how much their work means to you, and start a genuine connection that way. I mean, most everybody feels good when their work is seen and praised! Wouldn’t you love it if someone hopped into your DMs to talk about how much your work made them feel? Of course!! And who knows what could happen with that relationship!
For example, a client of mine connected with a writer through Instagram and after getting to know each other a bit over several months via posts and messages, she ended up asking them via direct message if they would consider donating to her films crowdfunding campaign, and this person did! I mean what a compliment and what a beautiful friendship that formed from authentic engagement.
2) Finding NEW Filmmakers To Connect With:
What if you want to discover some new people to collaborate with? I will use the hashtag search option and search for things like #director, #filmmaker, #indiefilmmaker, etc. to see who’s posting content with these hashtags and then checking out their page, their demo reels, their current or previous work. If they are creating content that really resonates with me, then I’ll give them a follow and start authentically and genuinely engaging with their content. This can lead to wonderful lasting friendships and potential bookings, I’ve booked two films through Instagram, one of which came about because a filmmaker and I started following each other and supporting each other’s content.
A couple of tips for this whole thing…
I don’t like tagging people in grid posts because they then get notifications when people comment, etc. I prefer tagging in stories because it goes into their DM folder in their message requests section, so they can choose to look at the tag. Also please remember that AUTHENTIC and GENUINE is key (do I sound like a broken record?) because that is how long lasting relationships are fostered, IMO, and it is legitimately so easy to comment that something was great when you actually thought it was great!
PLEASE NOTE: Please only follow/engage with people that are open about their work on their social media platforms… Some people have private profiles or only post about their family, so I wouldn’t attempt to engage with them from a “work” perspective. Focus on those who are open about their work on Instagram, and then you’ll be 100% sure you’re not crossing any boundaries.
3) Discover Your Community:
While instagram is a great place to network and find potential collaborators, it is also a great place to connect with your community of artists. There are so many actors and storytellers on there, and you can find them through the search function or hashtags. So many schools and actor podcasts are also on there, posting inspiring content and reinforcing that YOU ARE NOT ALONE on this journey. Being an actor can at times be an isolating process, so I do enjoy getting a chance to see what my peers are doing, how they are marketing themselves, how they seek guidance and support. I celebrate their wins because I know mine are just around the corner.
Social media is a place you can find your artistic community, especially if you are in a smaller market or you aren’t in class right now. I have a few friends that I never met in person, yet I still celebrate their auditions, their bookings, their projects because it makes me feel good to see others succeed!
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Now get out there and start posting and engaging! Authentically and organically, of course! Haha!