Using CastingAbout to Target Casting Directors

Hi Bonnie,

First, thank you for giving us access to you through “The Actors Voice.” It is so nice to have the means to ask questions of someone like you. I also follow you on Twitter and I enjoy your tweets.

Well, it will come as no surprise that I am an actor. I consider myself a serious one and I work hard at my craft. I have read and listened to so many pieces of advice over the years — some good, some not so good. I would value your opinion on how worthwhile you think it is to use CastingAbout to target those CDs that are casting projects that interest me and for which I would be a good fit. I am not talking about a random carpet-bombing of CDs with my HS/R.

As you know, CastingAbout allows you to identify them, their projects, and it provides the addresses to snail mail them, but conventional wisdom says it is a waste of time and postage and that except in very rare cases, your mail goes into the trash. On the other hand, once you have selected the CDs you want to contact in CastingAbout and you go to print the labels, those CDs who will not accept mail will not have their addresses appear. So, the others apparently do accept mailings. (Or do they really?)

I do not want to miss the opportunity to use a resource at my disposal if it is a good use of time and effort and your opinion will be very helpful in making that decision.

Thank you so much and I wish you all the best,
Kirk Lambert

Hello Kirk and thanks for writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve written before about what a *HUGE* fan I am of CastingAbout and you’ve hit on the most important factor — targeting. It’s not enough to just print off a ton of labels and do a mailing (mass mailings *feel* like mass mailings), you’ve gotta get very clear on which buyers need to know you exist — specifically because they’re actively casting a project that uses your type consistently, and you’re someone they need to know!

So, good. You’ve got all that right. Now let’s talk about the real question: Do casting directors see all their mail anyway?

I’ll tell a story that relates to my new office space at 310 Casting. There are mailbins for a half-dozen casting directors up front, two of whom don’t actually have office space there. Mail overflows almost *all* of the bins and — from what I can tell — isn’t regularly picked up, plucked through, and dealt with for *most* of the boxes.

As the newest resident of 310 Casting, I don’t yet have a bin (I have a space on the counter near the bins), so often I’ll come into the office and have headshots stuffed under my door, dropped off by actors. No notes. No specificity. Just, “Hey! You’re someone who sometimes casts things. Here’s my headshot and resumé.”

So, it’s easy to see why folks whose mailboxes overflow may not always be so quick to dive in and check out what has come their way. Even though you’re taking all the care in the world to do great targeting, your mailing could, indeed, be lost in the “noise” of all the clutter.

Or, a postcard you sent with a great, specific note (something you have time to do, because you’re TARGETING and therefore not doing a few hundred, but instead a dozen) does catch the eye of its intended recipient and — just like a billboard keeps a product’s brand in front of us — the postcard does the job of keeping the casting director aware of who you are and what you bullseye.

One of the reasons I constantly recommend the Show Bible method of maintaining files on all your target buyers is because you can learn — from them, usually — who actually sees her mail and who does not. When you’re at a CD workshop, *ask* about that in the Q&A. When you see an interview with a target CD, check for any clues in the article about her relationship with the mail. By logging what you learn, you won’t waste time doing mailings to people who’ll never see the goods (you’ll find other ways to connect with them). You can do mailings to those for whom that’s a GOOD option. And you can make your mailing incredibly specific and high-quality, because, again, you’re not doing a MASS mailing! ๐Ÿ™‚

As I said in one of my very first columns, here, “It’s not the one thing you do; it’s all the things you do.” So don’t approach a mailing as THE solution for boosting your brand awareness with the buyers. Look at it as one potential option for a boost… and keep working all the angles, using the specific info you’ve uncovered about your buyers as much as possible.

Keep rockin’! And lemmeknow how it’s going for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bonnie


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001668.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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