Tag: SMFA-U

news-apps-hollywood

How to Keep Up with Showbusiness News with Apps

Catching up on what’s new in show business can seem overwhelming. There are many sites with new content popping up faster than anyone can read. Luckily there are some apps that can help sort through that and cut down the search time. There are plenty, but let’s start with a few of my favorite ones:

FEEDLY

Feedly is an RSS reader that collects newest articles from websites you select to follow and it even recommends you similar websites to follow. You can also save YouTube videos there and watch them on the go.

You can register in a couple of ways, either with an e-mail address or with accounts on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft or Evernote.

A great thing about Feedly also is that it’s integrated with various apps and social media sites, which makes sharing discovered content very easy.

POCKET

This useful app is going to make reading articles your favorite thing again. You see, when you read articles, you get distracted by banners and overwhelmed by the number of other articles.

Pocket strips all saved articles to bare text, which makes reading distraction-free and easy to focus on.

Pocket is available for desktop, tablets, and mobile. Saved articles you can read anywhere, even when you are offline.

TWITTER

Create a special list for all the show business accounts you want to follow. If you want to learn more about using Twitter list, check out my previous article. My recommended lists you can find on @SMforActors.

Now one thing is to know about these apps and other is creating a system of using them that works for you best. This is going to be individual for every person.

TIP: What I like to do is that I use Feedly to discover articles. I scan them in the app, but if I want to read them, I save them to Pocket and read them on my phone. Why? I get easily distracted on my laptop, but I’m able to read undistracted on my phone for some reason.

One of the best things about using these apps is that they are connected and you can set up processes to make them work for you, so you can cut down on your research time.

Wanna learn how to do that? I’ve written an entire chapter about this in my e-book Social Media for Actors on SMFA-U.

Let the community know if you are using any cool apps they should know about in the comments below.

social-media-jobs

Social Media Survival Jobs for Actors

Online marketing is a perfect area in which actors can find survival jobs. Why? It’s flexible, can be done from anywhere at any time. Also, there are many companies and digital agencies looking for flexible and creative people.

What jobs can you do in online marketing?

Account Management
Can you manage Facebook pages or groups, YouTube channels, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest profiles? You can get hired by a company or a digital agency to manage their client’s profiles. Search for Account Management or Community Management jobs.
Data Entry
Do you enjoy working with spreadsheets or documents and are super organized? Many companies or freelancers look for virtual assistants to help them out with administration.
Copywriting
Product description, video scripts, captions, website copy, slogans and claims, bios and profile descriptions, all of this needs a creative mind behind it. If writing is your skill, you might be able to put it to use in this job.  Check out SMFA ninja and SMFA-U Prof Quincy Cho and her awesome copywriting business as a great example.
Data Analysis
They say this is the job of the future in the area of online marketing. Do you have the ability to think analytically, can sort out numbers and data into reports, that would help companies make better business decisions? This might be the right gig for you.
SEO Optimization
Do you understand how search engines work, can analyze keywords, do link building, correct HTML & CSS codes and such? SEO Specialists very sought after.
Web Design
Can you code or optimize WordPress templates? Great! You can work with digital agencies and companies as their in-house coder, or you can freelance and offer your services, which will give you even more freedom.
Graphic Design
Companies need logos, wireframes, ads graphics, social media graphics and much more. Graphic design is one of the most sought after skills in online marketing, not to mention amongst the best-paid jobs.
Content Creation
Are you good at photography, filming and editing videos, writing blog posts or creating simple graphics? Companies or agencies need creatives full of ideas both for one-off or regular gigs.
Brand Deals
Influencer marketing is a current trend because brands realize that people’s shopping habits have changed thanks to the Internet. People want to read or watch a review and hear recommendations from other people. So brands hire people with an online presence to review their products.
Sales
Do you have a talent for business? Companies are constantly hunting for great sales people and are often willing to negotiate flexible hours allowing you to work from home, run off to auditions and organize work so it suits your needs as long as you are delivering results.
Emailing
Do you understand emailing services and CRM systems? These skills are very sought after because e-mail is still among the best marketing channels. The best thing is that many tasks can be automatized, allowing you for a lot of freedom to do work when it suits you.
FB or PPC Ads
Can you create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest ads and you know how to work with Google AdWords? These skills are highly sought after by companies with products or services. Search for Ads Manager jobs.

How to start with online marketing

Now, from my personal experience, it’s really useful to have a general knowledge of online marketing and a mix of skills even though you may specialize in a particular area.
Digital Agencies
If you have a user-level knowledge of social media and would like to do it professionally, consider getting a day job in a junior position at a digital agency. This is going to be the best learning experience as agencies often need universal soldiers, so you’ll get to do a bit of everything (at least according to my experience, can’t speak for all agencies).
Even though you can often work from home, it’s really good to go to the office as well, because working in a team is incredibly valuable. You can teach each other a lot and it will make you grow faster than being on your own all the time.
Check out Digital Agencies Network to find one the where you live: https://digitalagencynetwork.com/agencies/
Companies
Another option is to look for junior positions in marketing departments of companies. Perhaps your work won’t be as colorful as in a digital agency, but you can still learn a lot by working for a single brand.
Where to get remote jobs:
The upside of these sites is that if you are just starting out and need to get your first clients and references, you might get ones here. Set up daily e-mail digests to cut down on the time spent on that. The downside of these sites is a high competition rate and clients often look at the price and take the lowest.
Here is where all your SMFA ninja training pays off. Just like you create a Show Bible, you can create a list of companies you’d like to work for and approach them directly. Either responding to their job offers or just reach out with an offer of your own. Often companies hire even when they don’t advertise that.
You can also search for remote or digital nomad job-search focused groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.
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Did you like these tips? Make sure to let me know in the comments below and if you’d like to learn how to use social media like a ninja, check out my e-book Social Media for Actors on SMFA-U.
twitter-lists

Smart Ways to Use Twitter Lists as an Actor

Twitter timeline can seem like such an overwhelming chaos that can put off many beginners. This is where lists come to rescue. Did you know that you can create private or public lists, where you can put users based on who they are or what they post? There are some smart ways you can use Twitter lists to sort your tweets or to network like a pro. Let’s talk about that.

Twitter lists

Before you start creating a list, make sure you’ve selected private or public. Lists are automatically set as public.

PRIVATE LISTS
Are great for sorting your tweets. You can create lists with specific people and browse their tweets in a more mindful way with a specific goal. How to set a goal? Ask yourself some questions.

Wanna catch up on some industry news? Set aside a specific time frame (let’s say 20 minutes) and search for articles. Then give yourself some time frame for reading.

Curious what your target Casting Directors and Agencies are up to? Give yourself a few minutes to go through the latest tweets from your CD list, reply, like or retweet if you see anything your followers might appreciate knowing about.

Need to catch up with SMFA ninjas community? You know what to do by now. 🙂

Having a specific goal in your mind will help you use social media mindfully. Checking Twiter for 5 minutes can easily turn into 30 minutes of wasted time during which you haven’t actually done anything productive.

Recommended list ideas:
– SMFA ninjas
– Casting Directors
– Actors, Directors, Producers etc. (either together or separately, up to your preferences)
– Showbiz News
– Online Creators (that you learn from)

A cool trick with lists is also that you can put people in them even when you don’t follow them.

If you are worried about following a lot of Casting Directors and looking desperate or like a stalker, you can just add them in your list and engage with them without following at first.

You can always follow them later when it feels right to take that next step. Make sure you sync it with your Show Bible.

PUBLIC LISTS
There is an unwritten rule on Twitter that public lists serve as a place where you recommend people you think other’s should follow. People can then go follow either the recommended users or a whole list.

For example, I really want to recommend all the badass SMFA-U Profs as they all bring so much value to the SMFA community with their courses, so I created a public list. You can find more of my lists with recommended accounts here.

Another great use of public lists is to recommend the cast and crew of your project or film. Not only you’ll show who’s working on your project, but you’ll show appreciation to your cast and crew, as they might gain followers, fans or even get more work thanks to you.

You can also use a public list as your portfolio, a list of projects you’ve worked on and want people to check out. Producers might appreciate this as you are helping with the project’s marketing by drawing attention to it on social media. Of course, make sure you align your actions with their marketing efforts. Are they actively tweeting information about the project? Then they are trying to create a buzz about the project and now is a great time to lend a helping hand.

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Did you like these tips? Make sure to let me know in the comments below and if you’d like to learn how to use social media like a ninja, check out my e-book Social Media for Actors on SMFA-U.

instagram hacked

How to Prevent Your Instagram Account from Being Hacked

More and more Instagram accounts are being hacked these days, which is quite scary. You are building your account to represent your actor brand, investing a lot of time and effort into it and you wouldn’t want it to go to waste. So let’s have a look at what you can do to prevent a hack from happening.

HAVE A STRONG PASSWORD
A strong password should be AT LEAST 6 characters long, the longer, the better. It should consist of a combination of  Capital Letters, Lower-Case Letters, Numbers, and Symbols. Also, don’t forget to change your password every once in a while and don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. Think twice before saving your passwords in a browser for convenience.

KEEP YOUR E-MAIL SECURE
Whoever has access to your e-mail might be able to get to your Instagram account, too. Do you let someone else use your computer or smart phone? They might unintentionally visit a website that harms your computer or smartphone. Make sure you log-off your e-mail, use a strong password and use a security lock on your phone. Also be careful about using public wi-fi.

USE THIRD PARTY APPS WITH CAUTION
There are some great apps for planning your posts that I recommend using in my e-book Social Media for Actors. These apps are approved by Instagram or even Instagram Partners. Before using any third-party app, it’s important to read their Terms of Service and do some research into what people say about the app.
I do not recommend using apps for buying or otherwise acquiring followers, mass following and unfollowing. These apps generally aren’t approved by Instagram and Instagram is shutting these apps down for API violations.

TURN ON TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Instagram created the two-factor authentication to further secure user’s accounts, but still many people don’t know they can protect their accounts this way.
How to turn it on? 
1. Go to your profile and click on   ios-settings-sign(iOS) or   android-settings-sign(Android).
2. Scroll down to ACCOUNT settings and click on Two-Factor Authentication.
3. Turn on  turn on signRequire Security Code by swiping on the icon. If it’s white then it’s OFF, if it’s blue then it’s ON.
4. Now you need to add your phone number, so you can receive a code. Your phone number will now be linked to your account for further security.
5. You’ll receive a code via text message, insert the number and click Next.
You’ll also notice that you now have Backup Codes for your Instagram account. You should save them safely as you’ll need to use them in case something happens with your account.

I hope you found these tips helpful and continue to enjoy Instagram. There is no need to panic over losing your account or to become paranoid and stay away from anything online. However, it’s good to adopt habits that will keep you safe online.

Would you like more tips like this? Leave me a comment or tweet me @SMforActors.

instagram photo editing apps

Great Photo Editing Apps for Instagram

Instagram is an excellent social media site for actors! It’s simple, visual and it’s easy to connect with a lot of creatives there. Not to mention this site has a great potential for actors as a side gig. But more on that in my eBook Social Media for Actors. In this article, I’d like to talk more about photo editing apps.

Some people use Instagram as their visual diary and not give much thought into editing – that’s perfectly fine. However, if you’d like to up your game with great photos, you’ll have to learn some editing skills. No need to get worried though, there are some amazing apps that you can use on your phone that will do the job.

SNAPSEED

snapseed

This app from Google can improve your photos just in a few clicks. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices. What makes it so great? It’s user-friendly, has an in-app manual that will teach you how to edit your photos and most editing tools have an automatic mode that will improve your photo. It doesn’t always work 100% (especially white balance or brightness), so use it in moderation. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like me to create a video tutorial for this app.

VSCO

vscoThis app has some amazing presets that work magic with your photos (pst, my favorite is F2!), but it’s not exactly very user-friendly. At first, I got discouraged from using this app exactly for this reason, but I’m glad I pushed through the learning curve and these days I don’t edit my photos without it. In addition to the presets, you can edit the photo in any way you like. VSCO is available for Android and iOS. What more, VSCO isn’t just a photo-editing app, it’s also a community of photography lovers.

MORE photo-editing APPS

There are a few more apps that I’ve experimented with, but don’t use regularly. They usually allow some basic editing and have some filters more similar to the in-app ones Instagram offers. Some have additional features (light leaks, lens flares, advanced face tuning, etc.) you can have some fun with.

  • Photoshop Express
  • Photoshop Lightroom
  • Prisma
  • Aviary
  • Pixlr
  • Enlight
  • A Color Story
  • EyeEm
  • Airbrush (free version of Facetune)

More ADVANCED INSTAGRAM tips:

  • Choose a theme – let your photos tell the story of who you are and what are you interested in
  • Edit photos in the same way – consistently looking grid looks better as a whole
  • Your grid is like your showreel – post only your best work
  • Post consistently – no need to post the photo the same day you took it, plan your grid ahead in 3, 6 or 9 photo series
  • Stories are the place to experiment as they are more raw and forgiving

Now, you don’t NEED to do all this if it will take the joy out of using Instagram for you. But consider applying these tips if it excites you to get creative and you’d enjoy building a beautiful grid.

Wondering what to share, how to plan your posts and grow your audience? Learn all about it here.