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The Art of the Follow-Up

So you met someone in this industry? Awesome! In such a relationship-based business, we should constantly be meeting new contacts to build our rolodex of people who know and appreciate our work. It is part of the job as an actor to be marketing yourself and making new connections. So how do you stay in contact with these individuals in a professional way?

Here are some tips below, on how to get an agent or meet a casting director!

Start with a thank you or a nice to meet you note shortly after your first encounter. Add something specific about your conversation to help them remember you and show that you were truly listening.

Make sure your actor website is in your email signature. Imbed your headshot in the signature as a small image at the bottom of your email as well. This enforces a face with the name to help them remember you beyond your initial meeting. This is also helpful if they ever need to access your materials– they can find it through a simple email search!

Reach back out when you have interesting career news to share. That includes sharing new headshots, you created your own content (and you are proud of it because it is GOOD!) you booked a job, your episode is airing or the like. People want to hear about your WINS! It tells the story of an actor on their way up to success! That always piques someone’s interest.

Don’t reach out just to say “I’m alive, remember me” — all correspondence should be with a purpose. Emails just to say “hi” or follow-up for no real reason just cloud a person’s inbox and waste your time and theirs.

Reach out if you have something THEY would be interested in— based off of your knowledge of that person– do you have/know something that would be of interest to them that isn’t about you but about them? An article? An opportunity? A contact for them? That is a great reason to get in touch! Help them solve some sort of problem they have!

Industry movers and shakers get hundreds of emails daily. If they don’t write back, don’t be offended. When you are unsure if you should follow-up or not, feel free to contact Actors Connection for guidance. Sometimes you need to let a relationship breathe. Think of it as tending to a garden. You water the flowers so they can grow, but if you overwater, they die. You need to tend to your garden carefully and thoughtfully.

If a new contact requested that you contact them for a meeting or opportunity, do so immediately. Don’t let time lapse when someone is waiting on your availability, materials or response. Show that you are a professional that can return correspondence in a timely fashion. These relationships are the foundation for the business and you should be holding office hours for yourself to get this follow-up work accomplished in a timely manner to continue to impress your contacts and build trust with them.

Don’t OVER ASK for anything. If you have a request to make be sure it is 1) Important 2) Not too time consuming 3) Only 1 thing. Your contacts don’t work for you. Asking for favors should only happen if it is VITAL. If you are asking for something, make sure that you only ask for one thing and that it is appropriate. If you are wondering how to meet a Casting Director… a casting director you met one time doesn’t want to look at all 500 of your headshots to help you pick one. That is a task better suited for your coach. Think about if your current relationship warrants the request you are about to make.

Remember, time is an important resource for EVERYONE. Always keep in mind how much time your request may take someone and adjust your request accordingly. A whole script is a lot for someone you don’t know really well to read— but just a few pages– that can be a different story!

Hope these tips help you as you continue to build relationships in your business. Handling all correspondence with respect and professionalism is key to building the necessary trust for a strong relationship. Now go ahead and KIT!

Many actors ask us “How to get an agent” or “How to meet a casting director?” We hope this article by Actors Connection President Colleen Kahl helps you on that path. Photo by @drew_beamer