Good news! Instagram has finally introduced a way to apply to get verified on their platform. How does it work and who is it for? Let’s dig in!
So what do you need in order to get verified?
Your account has to comply with the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. I’d recommend everyone to make a big cup of tea or coffee and read it to make sure you aren’t unknowingly breaking any rules.
Once you know you are fine, you are ready to fill out the form. Where can you find it? Open your Instagram app. Tap on and then Settings > Request Verification. Enter your full name and provide the required form of identification (example: government-issued photo ID).
Remember, applying doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the verified badge. They need to confirm the authenticity, uniqueness, completeness, and notability of your account.
What does it mean? Quoted from their website help section:
Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. We don’t verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).
Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo, and at least one post. Your profile can’t contain “add me” links to other social media services.
Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.
They might do a background check on you, so make sure you are Googleable. What might help with that? Having a website, content on social media, profiles on IMDb and acting websites, or perhaps create a Wikipedia page as well. Having been interviewed by notable media outlets might help, too.*
*These tips are only my personal recommendation and it should not be taken as information coming from Instagram or Facebook.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SENDING THE REQUEST
Keep in mind that even if you think you are eligible for verification, Instagram doesn’t guarantee that your account will be verified. If you’ve been denied, you can submit a new request after 30 days. Also remember that even if you’ve gotten a verification badge, Instagram can take it away at any time if you violate some of the rules.
What are some of the other ways to let your fans know that it’s really you? Include your official IG account on your acting website, link your account with your official Facebook page or Twitter account. You can put a link on your official YouTube channel as well.
Another option is to mention it in bio (I’d refrain from this unless you have a problem with an impostor) or film a short video saying hello and welcoming everyone on your official profile (that’s way more subtle and personal).
On your profile (grid): max. 60 seconds, filmed in a square or landscape (16:9)
Instagram Stories: 15 seconds, filmed as vertical video (9:16)*
*Remember to add the Story in your Highlights, otherwise it disappears in 24 hours.
NEED MORE TIPS ON INSTAGRAM? CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES AS WELL:
INSTAGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: A CREATIVE WAY TO SHOWCASE YOUR BEST STORIES
DO YOU NEED TO PLAN YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED? TIPS FOR USEFUL APPS
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT FROM BEING HACKED
GREAT PHOTO EDITING APPS FOR INSTAGRAM
Imagine you are at a networking event, you’ve had a fun convo about something you saw on Twitter the other day and towards the end of the chat, the other person asks you for your Twitter handle so the two of you can connect. Now, you could do it the old-fashion way and spell it out for them. Or, you could let them add you via your QR code and look like a boss! Don’t know how to do that? Lemme teach you!
There are two ways to find your QR code:
- Swipe right and look at the bottom right corner.
- Go to your profile, click on the three dots (Android) or the wheel (iOS) and click on QR code.
Now, this QR code is going to appear and you show it to the other person for scanning.
How can they scan it? They have to also go to their QR code the same way you did, but if they want to add you, they have to click on the camera icon on the bottom of the screen or just swipe left. Now they see a camera and with that, they have to aim it at your QR code.
Once they do that, your profile is going to pop up like this and they can simply click follow.
No more awkward typing of your handle, correcting any misspelling, browsing through all the other people Twitter suggests. This way you are going to impress the other person with your understanding of this cool Twiter feature and who knows, perhaps even teach them something new and you bet they are gonna remember you for that!
Did you like this article? Let me know in the comments, so I know I should write more articles like this. And if you’d like to learn more cool tricks about Twitter, I wrote an e-book Twitter for Actors.
If you like watching videos, I publish a weekly show called Quick Social Media Tips for Actors, so make sure you subscribe and hit the notification bell so YouTube sends you a reminder that I published another video.
Stories are a format that’s hot at the moment. They are easy and fun to make, yet many people feel like they are not worth the invested time and effort, as they disappear in 24 hours. Instagram yet again found inspiration in Snapchat and took it a few steps further and introduced Highlights. Let’s talk about how you can use them creatively!
WHAT ARE HIGHLIGHTS
In case you don’t know what Highlights are, they can be found in your profile and serve to showcase some of your Stories. So if you want a particular story you created to last longer than 24 hours, you can save it to Highlights with a simple click on the circled heart in your story.
Do you want to add an older story to your Highlights? Since December 2017 you have the option to have your Stories privately archived, check if you have it turned on in the Story Settings.
If you have done that, you can add your older stories from there.
If you want to add even older Stories to your Highlights, you are going to have to upload it to your Stories again and click to be added to Highlights and let it run for 24 hours.
(In case you are wondering: I tried if I can delete it from Stories after adding it to Highlights, but unfortunately, that doesn’t work. It immediately disappears from Highlights as well.)
GETTING CREATIVE WITH HIGHLIGHTS
Now that we know how to add Stories to Highlights, let’s have a look at how can you use them in a creative way. When you have a look at my profile, you can see that I created several thematic Highlights and I created a graphic for each of them (not my idea, I saw other Instagrammers doing it, loved it, and created some in my brand colors and my signature design style).
Based on what you share a lot of, create Highlights by topic: behind the scenes, audition looks, best of your cat, etc.
If you want to create similar graphics like I have, you can use my favorite Canva, Adobe Spark or Photoshop. You’ll need to create a graphic that is 1080 x 1920 px (9:16) and you need to place your icons exactly in the middle.
Then download them to your phone and upload them to your Stories. Then click to save them in Highlights and it will offer you to create a Highlight or add to an existing Highlight. You create a new one and use these designs as the cover image.
After you’ve done that, just simply start adding stories to the Highlights based on their topic. Simple and fun, huh? Lemme know what you think.
Did you know I started sharing Quick Social Media Tips for Actors on my YouTube channel? Take a look and subscribe to get notified about new videos.
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.
Before you start creating a list, make sure you’ve selected private or public. Lists are automatically set as public, so be careful.
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. Wanna catch up on some industry news? Curious what your target Casting Directors and Agencies are up to? Need to catch up with SMFA ninjas community? Having a specific goal in your mind will help you not waste hours on social media.
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.
So 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.
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 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.
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 make a buzz about the project and now is a great time to lend a helping hand.
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. Need to learn how to add people to lists? Click here to get to Twitter Help Center.
Social media give the creeps to many actors, yet you feel like you should be using them. Your agent or manager tells you that. You read all these articles telling you that you should. You also read a lot of articles that scare you about posting the wrong thing and ruining your career. THIS. IS. CONFUSING! Right?
Let’s think about social media in a way you perhaps haven’t considered:
Social media is a medium, that gives anyone the freedom to tell the stories they were born to tell.
No middlemen, no waiting for your break, no waiting for a chance to show what you can do. You are in charge of creating content in a way that you want and know is most on brand for you.
With good, consistent work and authentic voice, you can build a good name in time and attract an audience that loves what you do. Buyers (casting directors, producers, directors, etc.) included.
Social media gives you the power to SHOW what you can do. It’s a S**T TON of hard work, let’s be real, but so is everything else. If you are going to take advantage of that and how you go about that is up to you.
Doesn’t this mindset make you feel empowered?
Now, you may have a few questions popping up in your mind, so let’s elaborate on what you just read.
Do I have to use social media?
NOPE! If it’s not on brand for you, then no. You don’t HAVE TO. You can have a social media presence – having your handle on all social media sites registered, headshot as your profile picture, your logline in your bio and your website link included leading anyone who finds you to the place where they can find your materials. But you don’t have to be posting anything if it’s not on brand for you.
WHAT CONTENT SHOULD I SHARE?
That depends on your brand and your talents. I’m happy to help you figure that out. A great place to start is my e-book Social Media for Actors, where I write in great detail about content creation, community building and much more.
As a case study, let’s have a look at an amazingly talented Actress and YouTuber Mary Kate Wiles (who you may know as Lydia from the Emmy-winning show The Lizzy Bennet Diaries and many other online shows).
Her YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to!) is an excellent portfolio showcasing her brand and talents. She teaches buyers about her amazing singing voice by doing song covers. She shows off her screenwriting and songwriting chops by creating original work such as songs and short movies. And she’s being a total ninja by sharing her knowledge about showbusiness that is useful for a part of her online community – all (aspiring) actors. She’s also so smart to start her own show Call Sheet interviewing showbiz professionals – being of use to her community and nurturing those relationships, BRILLIANT! And more…
Mary Kate’s channel is a great inspiration that can teach you a lot.
HOW TO CREATE GOOD & CONSISTENT WORK?
Honestly, when you just start out, your content is not going to be very good. But if you persevere, you’ll get good in time. What helped me personally was to do Bonnie Gillespie’s Self-Tape Challenge. I learned what I wanted and didn’t want to create, I learned editing basics and I learned that a lack of proper technology isn’t a stopper, only excuses in my head as to why I can’t create content were stoppers. Allow yourself to experiment. For support and feedback, you can join the SMFA Ninja Self-Tape Challenge group on Facebook. You don’t have to share your first trials and errors publically, but you can share them with fellow actors and start creating publically once you feel ready.
WILL I HAVE TO DO MARKETING?
YEP! Without it, nobody’s going to know about your brilliant work. Here are a few tricks how to stop feeling icky about marketing:
- Lead with value. Tell people about the benefits THEY WILL GET from what you are sharing. Make it about them, not about you.
- Know your audience. Use Stanislavski’s character breakdown method to learn more about them: Who are they? (age, interests, work, place of residence, etc.)
Based on that knowledge, you can then imagine, what would catch their attention and then deliver it to them in a way that serves them.
Just like you would act differently in a role of a king/queen, doctor, lawyer, father/mother… you would talk differently to middle-aged musical theatre fans, teenage make-up enthusiasts, elderly comedy lovers, etc.
When you know who you are talking to, it doesn’t feel like marketing, it feels like connecting and sharing value with another human being.
- Learn more about marketing. I used to feel icky about it as well and there are certainly marketing and sales methods and tools that give me the creeps. However, marketing is a lot about studying human behavior and habits, which is something that us, actors, need to study as well, so once you sink your teeth in, you might even find it interesting and enlightening.
- Study online creators. The way they do marketing and connect with their audience can teach you a lot about doing promo for your work in a way that is authentic and not forceful.
Here is a list of awesome creators you may want to start with: IISuperwomanII, Casey Neistat, Grace Helbig, Vlogbrothers, Peter McKinnon, Amy Schmittauer, Sunny Lenarduzzi, Anna Akana, Lindsey Stirling, Us the Duo, My Harto, Mamrie Hart, Humble the Poet, Film Riot, Pentatonix, and the list goes on and on. Many awesome creators out there!
I hope you found this article helpful and please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Do you want other actors to stop worrying about social media? Help them by sharing this article. If you want to learn more about using social media for your career in a way that doesn’t feel icky, please check out my e-book Social Media for Actors on SMFA-U.