How to Handle a Booking Slump Part 2: Re-inspiring Your Reps
Every actor goes through a period in their career where, no matter what you do, no matter how right the role, the booking seems to go the other way. It happens to all of us! Once that audition’s done, it’s completely out of our hands as actors.
So, rather than stress about it, focus on what you can control because It’s how we handle the things we can control that determine the longevity and success of our careers. It can be hard to keep going in the midst of a booking slump- you relive the glory days of bookings past, you question what needs to change about your career, and wonder what your reps think of you now. Are you at risk of getting dropped from their roster?Another example of something you can’t totally control. But you can re-inspire your reps. Here’s how: Talented actors who are also smart business people are few and far between. Establishing yourself as both and demonstrating your resilience in times of adversity will help you stand out on their roster as a future success story that’s worth putting in the work for now.
Being an agent or manager can be a thankless job (unless their clients are booking like crazy and they’re finally reaping the commission dollars for their hard work). Sending a heartfelt thank you for the time and effort they put in for your career on a daily basis even when you don’t book will make you stand out as a client they want to keep working with.
Even if you haven’t gotten an audition in a while, that doesn’t mean your reps aren’t pushing hard to get you that appointment. Smart business people make sure their team feels seen and recognized for their hard work, especially if it’s been an uphill battle.
Improve Your Product
Yes, it’s been a little while since your last booking. But think of this as time to level-up so you come back bigger and better than ever before. What new, exciting improvements has your product developed during this off-period? What have you done to make sure your craft, art, and business stay sharp and relevant in the marketplace?
Did you get great new headshots that capture your essence in a different-but-still-on-brand way? Did you get into a new acting class? Write or produce a project of your own? Start working with a new coach? Share these updates with your reps so they know you’re constantly improving, regardless of recent audition outcomes.
Give Your Team New Sales Tactics
Your reps are your sales team. When one tactic isn’t working, it’s important to supply them with new selling points. Think of your career from their standpoint- what could you do or give your team to make it easier for them to sell you to casting directors? Reaching out and posing this question to your reps demonstrates initiative, drive, and leadership – all qualities of a strong business partner.
In terms of sales materials, besides updated headshots and acting clips on my casting profiles, I have all my past self-tapes in a hidden tab on my website that only my reps have the link to. There is a brief description under each video about the show, role, and any other distinctive, pitch-worthy notes, like if I’m speaking another language or with an accent, or if this tape got me a callback or booking. This gives my team easy access to past materials that may not be available on my casting profiles, but can be useful when pitching for a similar role. (**It’s important to upload these as unlisted or private links, especially if it’s new material that hasn’t aired.)
My reps were excited about these materials because they’d never even seen some of the older tapes, but now have access to a wider scope of my acting ability and can easily use these tapes when a pitch calls for it.
Networking is another huge way to boost your career. Have you made a new industry connection with someone who could potentially give you job opportunities? Make sure to let your reps know – it’s incredibly useful as a pitch point when an appropriate role for you on their show pops up! Not sure how to engage industry players?
In Career ACTivate’s networking class, we talk about creative, out of the box ideas to make strong industry connections.
It can be hard to stay enthusiastic when you haven’t booked in a while. But as CEO of your business, it’s your job to keep your team motivated and excited about all the bookings yet to come! Take the time to give thanks to the hard workers who keep pushing for opportunities for you, then communicate all the exciting updates you’re making to the product they’re pushing.
Demonstrate resilience and adaptability to business challenges and inspire your team to keep believing in you. They wouldn’t be working with you if they didn’t!