I have had many agents over the years; some have been wonderful and some less than wonderful, let’s just say 🙂
This week, I signed with an additional agent; lovely Kaye is going to look after me for my speaking and presenting work. Elevating this area of my brand was on my 2018 goal list, so it feels great to have achieved this by 10th January 2018. Bizarrely, I now know Kaye was aware of me too and was going to get in contact, but I beat her to it.
You may be reading this and thinking ‘It’s alright for you Nicky…’ and that is totally cool. I get it. It’s annoying, especially if this is something you want to do too. But don’t worry, you can do it too. There is space for everyone.
Writing to agents and getting a positive response is something I am always asked about. I’m sure you know already, but I was an agent for five years. Over that time, I read many applications, many of which were poorly written, vague, unclear and a little bit slapdash. The applications that stood out weren’t necessarily from the actors who had the most experience; often it was to do with attitude, understanding of their brand and a general sense that he/she would be great to work with.
Here are my top ten strategies which will help you land your agent of choice:
1) Consider what you want for your career
Get clear on your vision and big picture dreams. What do you want to build? What direction do you want your career to go in? Don’t say ‘You don’t mind’; you may think you are being flexible and easy to work with, but actually you are making it harder for the agent to get you work or envisage working with you.
2) Who do you want to work with?
Agents have very different styles and not all are suitable for you. I certainly don’t get on with someone who is dismissive, soulless and doesn’t get me. Read ‘about’ pages and their social media feeds carefully; there will be plenty of clues that will help you to make a decision.
3) Start with a winner’s mindset
Assume that your dream agent is waiting for you, even if this requires your best acting pants. Agents don’t get paid unless they represent actors who get paid. FACT. Starting the writing/email process with a positive mindset will shine through in your communication. Whatever you do, don’t start with ‘No one is probably going to read it anyway’…
4) Do your research
Check out social media feeds, be thorough with their website, understand their clients, google their name in YouTube. Get to know their likes, dislikes and overall vibe.
5) What are you selling?
I know we are taught not to show off or sell ourselves and sound sleazy and desperate, but agents need to know who you are and what you do. Get clear on your talents, your niche, your skills, your appeal, what you can do now and where you want to go; feel free to write oodles and then strip it back to the essentials. Don’t give yourself the pressure of having to ‘nail it’ the first time. Successful emails do take time to write, so write 20 rather than 200. If you are falling into the trap of ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, reassess. If you need help with this, get in contact with me via my contact page.
6) Build your brand
I know brand building a bit of weird concept BUT do it anyway. These days how you do something is how you do everything and you have to be ready for the opportunities. The first thing I would always do when I received an application was to google the person. Yes, you need a website. Yes, it needs to look good and, yes, we want to know all about you.
7) Be creative now and don’t wait for the opportunity
I have written my blog for five years, I have a YouTube channel and I am launching a podcast on Monday. I am not waiting for someone to offer me the job or give me an opportunity. By creating stuff myself, I attract the right people. I show that I believe in myself, so others should too.
8) Build the evidence
The testimonials from directors, the press clips, what you are doing right now. We need to know. You have to champion yourself before anyone else can. Plus, you will always be the common denominator in your career.
9) Make it easy for someone to say yes
Tell them how you could work together. Keep it simple and consistent.
10) Take action
Of course you can spend another day/week/month/year and moan that things aren’t happening for you and if that is your bag, go for it. But I know you are better than that. Take small steps, even if they feel scary or a bit vulnerable. Granted you may not get a ‘yes’ straight away, but often that is no reflection of you.
Nicky runs an amazing course – find out all about it here! https://www.nickyraby.com/survivingactors