Self-producing your own new content is on the rise thanks to fantastic technology, but how does it compare to self-submission?
Jeff, a still fresh actor in LA, recently asked me a question I hear constantly. If you’re hustling to really make a name for yourself, you’ve likely wondered about it too.
“Is self-submitting or creating custom, new content a better use of my time if i really want to get noticed?”
It’s such a super question, because both are great options if you have the resources to do both.
Here, just like in the agent question, it’s all about sequencing. What comes first makes all the difference in the world.
I want to introduce you to systems thinking.
It’s a shorter way of saying: when you keep the big picture in view, you can then figure out the whole sequence, and make sure you do things in the right order.
Doing things in the right order for an actor usually means shaving years off of your learning curve, as well as increasing your results!
Systems Thinking Is Going to Change Your Career
In this Case Study, Jeff has only one co-star credit on his resume, and no feature films. He got the co-star from doing a casting workshop, not through an agent.
So which is the right option for Jeff, who has limited time while he juggles two support jobs in addition to his acting goals?
In Jeff’s case, he doesn’t have a solid reel yet. He still needs to build a better one. Some would call Jeff lucky for even getting that co-star role, but he had the right strategy and targeted the best workshop. It paid off.
Jeff decided that self-submitting was his top priority. He needed to build more relationships. He needed to flesh out his reel so that people who didn’t know him well could decide if they wanted a relationship with him.
And Jeff knows that self-submitting does not stop him from creating content.
But Jeff is really smart! A super smart actor.
He watched many friends create content and saw that it was costly in terms of 1) time, 2) money, and 3) pay off.
Why did it have limited pay off?
Well, Jeff specifically did not have a huge social media following, and he did not really have many established industry relationships yet. He just had one solid, considerable credit.
Who was going to consume his content?
In terms of content creation – and truly every other activity that will move you forward fast – you need to have the endgame in sight.
Actors thank me time and again when I remind them: don’t even start working on content creation until you know exactly how you’re going to use that content and who will receive and consume it.
Always Plan Your Marketing Before You Start Any Task or Marketing Activity
Think about this: you invest weeks, if not months, to … brainstorm ideas, write a working script (improvised work will almost always take longer to compile and edit), assemble a team (herding cats), fund the project, find the equipment, scout locations, shoot, edit, post-produce, re-edit after feedback, and about (two-hundred and) fifty little steps I did not include here…
It’s a massive investment of time and money.
Let me be perfectly clear that creating your own content can be powerful and worthwhile, but only if you are prepared and committed to the entire process.
And you cannot sacrifice anything game-changing like self-submitting and relationship building to make it happen, especially if you have not identified a crystal clear endgame.
Creating content as a team can make it far easier, if you work together well and know how to compromise. These skills cannot be underestimated.
So many actors nod and dismiss these words, with a “Got it, what’s next?” look in their eyes. Then afterwards I’ll hear that a lack of preparation ended in chaos – and not of a creative nature.
You’re going to be smarter about it. Jeff knew what was going to work for him, at the level he was at.
Are you in a position, both resume and relationship-wise, to put self-submission on autopilot and turn your sights to content creation?
If so, then build a marketing plan first. If you’re going to make a short or a webseries, how will you make enough of it bite-sized to work in a reel? You get to create it with the end in mind!
We’re going to start working more with systems.
You’re going to see how they will catapult your career into high-gear. You deserve to go from doing the right things in the wrong order, to doing the best things in the right order for maximum payoff.
(RELATED: Learn new strategies to get more auditions and master the business of acting. Click here to learn more now.)