The resume, the headshot, and the demo reel are an essential part of the marketing of emerging actors. However, as online casting has become a popular concept today, actors have to take specific measures to adapt to this situation. In the fast-moving era of technologies, neither a terrific resume nor a headshot made by the best Los Angeles headshot photographer can guarantee you success. Having a website is no longer a luxury but a necessity for an acting career in Los Angeles. You may say, “OK, what’s the deal? Let’s create one.” Do not rush; it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous nuances you should take into consideration when you create a website for yourself. The following are the 10 common mistakes of the actor’s website that you should try to avoid making.
1. Too many Headshots
The fact that you have a website does not mean that you can post every single photo or headshot you have taken so far. Let’s set a basic rule. The site has to reflect your professionalism primarily. The opportunity of having multiple galleries on your website makes it possible for you to post headshots, set photos, and red carpet photos. However, your job is to choose only the best pictures.
As a headshot photographer in Los Angeles, I understand that you have difficulties with choice. That is natural. However, remember that you are an actor and not a model. Casting directors are looking for one or two headshots at most. They don’t want to see every single look you have done but rather the best headshots that demonstrate you as a professional actor.
Do not make casting directors waste their time when they get to your website. Make it easy for them by providing your best headshot that just shows who you are. This way, you will seem professional and concerned about your career rather than your appearance. Be modest, and that will be appreciated.
2. Outdated Content
One of the common mistakes of an actor’s website is keeping old information. If you have relocated to Los Angeles, your website should not state that you live in New York. We live in a modern world right now, remember? This means that with every new day, yesterday’s information gets old and becomes unnecessary. Therefore, you should follow this principle on your website to help your acting career in Los Angeles proper.
Your website should contain your latest credits, including the most recent resume and a fresh headshot by a skilled headshot photographer in Los Angeles. It would be a failure if the last update on your website if from 2015 today. Casting directors will immediately consider you unprofessional.
Instead, you should take the time to keep your website up to date. Don’t forget that your website is an excellent tool for your development as an actor. Show the casting directors that you are active in your job and that you are always looking for new opportunities. No agency will cast you if they see that you are not engaged in your professional domain.
Even if you have gone through a period with no new roles, never leave your website without updates. You can post content about your personal life, or you can write blogs to keep your website updated. If one sees a gradual stop in your updates, they will think you quit acting.
According to Backstage magazine,
“If you can’t update your website with new photos, videos, bios, and/or news on your own, you’re going to have a heart attack .”
So, take care of your own future.
3. Auto-Playing Video
It is indescribably annoying when you visit a website, and a video starts to play without your command. This is an essential point for you to consider in order not to make one of the most common mistakes of an actor’s website.
This point mostly refers to the videos or the demo reel page. Make sure to embed any videos you upload on your page so that they do not start playing automatically. Just check the default option.
For you to understand why this is extremely important, let’s get into a casting director’s shoes. Imagine a casting director reading your resume when suddenly a video starts playing. The director will be annoyed by the function and may decide to leave your website as he/she has many other candidates for the role.
About the quantity of the videos: keep in mind the same as we discussed the headshots. Even if made by a professional headshot photographer in Los Angeles, many headshots are excessive and even give low quality to your website. For the videos, however, the quality is something more actual. If you have many videos on your page, it may start loading slowly. This is one more source for the casting directors’ annoyment and the potential to leave your webpage. So, try to keep it simple and don’t do risky things.
4. Inconsistent Navigation & Design
Any website loves easy navigation. People love it when everything is clear on a website, and it does not require much effort to find the necessary page.
Make all the pages of your website similar. If each new page is entirely different from the previous one, it will be very confusing for your visitors. They may need to take time to find specific sections, and they may essentially get lost on your website. But what if one does not have that time and what if your visitor is a very busy casting director? The answer is obvious: he/she will leave your page immediately.
Therefore, give an easy organization and a logical sequence to the sections of your website so that your visitors are not frustrated.
Make the front page with a brief description of you. Afterwards, give a logical follow to the section about the first steps of your acting career in Los Angeles. Then, get them to your resume, headshots, and demo reel section. Leave the video sections to the final part of your website.
Not following these standards is one of the most common mistakes of an actor’s website that you may wish to avoid. It is not enough to have a website; it should be attractive for the vie as well!
5. Where is your contact information?
Many actors get fantastic websites for developing their acting career in Los Angeles using great tools and systems such as WordPress. Their websites have beautiful designs and look very professional. However, surprisingly, having all of this, they forget about the most important thing. That is the contact information. Believe it or not, people do not pay attention to how their contact information page looks like.
You should provide all the conditions so that it takes a little time and effort to contact you. Therefore, link to all your social media profiles so that people can access them immediately. Also, try to make your telephone number clickable as well. This way, the ones who visit your website with a smartphone are able to call you just by one click.
The contact information of your agent and manager should be easily accessible to the visitors of your website. Make their social media page link clickable so that people can find them fast. As a reminder, agents are the most critical people for actors. Agents and managers are the ones who look for opportunities for you to build your acting career in Los Angeles. They are the ones who organize photo sessions with Los Angeles headshot photographers and book auditions for you. When casting agencies to consider you for a particular role, they first find out whether you have a manager, and if you do, they look for his/her contact information. Therefore, don’t make one of the most common mistakes of an actor’s website: don’t forget about contact information.
6. Paying too much or too little
Today, there exists a common opinion that a good website is something very expensive. You may think that you should hire a specialist and pay him a lot of money to get a terrific website. However, that is absolutely not necessary. Furthermore, excessive investment in a website may seem an unnecessary luxury. An essential function of a website is just serving as a tool for building an acting career in Los Angeles. Therefore, your website should first and foremost care about providing quality information about yourself.
On the other hand, paying too little is also a common mistake on the actor’s website. Spending just a few dollars will give you low quality and poorly composed website. It will be noticeable that you decided to save money. Your mission is to seem as professional as it is possible, so it is not a solution to pay very little. Your marketing shows casting directors how serious you are in relation to your future acting career in Los Angeles.
Taking all of this into consideration, your primary goal should be having a simple, quality website and nothing more. The finances you allocate for this purpose should be neither too big nor too little. A perfect solution would be paying monthly services such as Squarespace for creating your own quality website.
7. Mixed-up Purpose
This is probably the worst among the common mistakes of actor’s websites. Since the second person enters your website, it should be clear to him or her what is your website for. Is it a website with information about a professional actor, or is it just a personal site that has some information about acting as well? There should be no mixed-up purpose if you plan to have a successful acting career in Los Angeles.
If the purpose of your website is to promote you as an actor, you should include only the information corresponding to that purpose.
As a headshot photographer in Los Angeles, I always ask my clients what the purpose of their headshot is. Where is it going to be used? Depending on the answer, the headshot will have specific characteristics. Moving on, the videos you post should have merely acting content. This way, the casting directors who visit your website will know for sure who you are and what your purpose it and most importantly, they will consider you a serious candidate for their project.
8. Boring design
The final common mistake of actor’s websites is their boring design. As mentioned before, it is not obligatory to pay tons of money for a website. You can use the available templates on the internet. However, make sure to edit the premade templates. Your website should not look like any other. It is your professional territory where you are free to express yourself.
You are an actor! Therefore, the words cliche, default, and template should have no connection to you. When visiting your website, casting directors can evaluate your creativity and individuality by the external look of your website.
You can change the fonts and the colors to make it characterize yourself. You can insert any backgrounds and shapes that will make your website unique, among others. However, do not forget to stay in the scopes of professionalism. The design of your website should communicate to the visitors and make them remember you as a persona with no similarities.
Pay close attention to the design of your website. Try to make it memorable so that after reviewing the website of other actors, the casting directors memorize yours and return to it.
A website is an essential tool for the development of your acting career in Los Angeles. Having a quality website, however, has many nuances, and there are many mistakes many actors make. Focus on the purpose and the content of your website. Include only necessary information and take good care of its appearance. Don’t forget to post the details that casting directors look for: a resume, a headshot made by a professional Los Angeles headshot photographer, videos, and a demo reel. Take the information of this article into consideration and don’t make the common mistakes of the actor’s website.
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