Successful Self-Promotion Isn’t About Promoting Yourself

    One of the least thought about and most difficult things for most actors to do is promote themselves. It doesn’t seem to be apart of the artistic experience, and for most of us it is like attempting to skydive in a scuba suit. We have no idea what we’re doing, and when we are doing it we are positive we are doing it wrong.

    Here’s the deal. The art of self-promotion doesn’t have to do with promoting yourself or showing just how good you are.

    It’s actually a lot better than what people make it out to be when you get to the root of why you do it.

    For me, as an actor, I tend to want to skip the step of promoting myself and go straight into the craft. I just want to act, gosh darn it. But the thing is, the benefits of self-promotion are very high, especially in today’s social media saturated world. So learning to promote yourself is vital as an actor and it can even be a positive experience for those who would rather skip it altogether.

    Here’s how.

    For the love of art

    When self-promoting can seem more of an irritation and a nuisance we have to do, then why do we do it at all? Besides from the obvious of getting our name out there, we gotta remember we do it because we want to further our craft.

    I have found it’s good to think about self-promotion in the same way as I think about acting technique. Both are going to help me become a better actor, even though they seem like two totally different things. When I promote myself and my work I am striving for more opportunities to act and develop this art that I love to do.

    That’s the whole point of it. We don’t promote ourselves to just receive credit or praise or recognition. We do it because we want to continue down this path of creating. I say this, but I often forget that when it comes to posting something on social media, or bugging my friends to watch what I’ve done, or promote what I’m going to do next.

    So to me there’s a lot of comfort in knowing the bottom line of why I promote myself at all.

    Connecting the dots and people

    The second and equally important part about self-promotion is that it is a way for you to make connections with other actors and artists who are doing the same work you are doing. Nothing’s more helpful as an artist as being with others who are also artistic!

    It’s good to see promotion of self in this light too because it will shape your approach. Your focus will be on getting to know others and their work, as well as sharing with them what you have done. It’s also just encouraging. I enjoy getting to see fellow actors on Instagram performing in plays and short films, and it also motivates me to further my own craft.

    So yeah, self-promotion can be many things simultaneously, including encouraging and motivating other artists to create.

    I feel good!

    When you use self-promotion to further your craft and connect with other artists, it’ll make the process more enjoyable for you.

    I know I can feel like I’m just tooting my own horn when I tell everyone about my skills and work, and to be honest, it makes me not want to promote myself at all. But with the different approach, I can find more freedom, understanding exactly why I do it. And I really want to act and create, so it also motivates me to do some self-promotion.

    With this natural step we have as artists, it’s best to approach self-promotion with the right goals and focus. Successful self-promotion isn’t about promoting yourself, but about promoting what you do and why you love doing it, while making connections with other artists.

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    • Keaton is an actor and writer who works with the Initiative Production Company in Brisbane, Australia. Native to Alaska, he enjoys staring at the stars while contemplating the meaning of life.

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