Is it Beneficial For Actors & Models To Have Their Own Website?
We are living in the age of accessibility that is instantaneous. In this business, time is money and everyone is limited on both (especially actors). Websites are a great way for interested producers/companies to instantly view your work, resume, and contact you. Every working actor/model should have their own website. But what if you’re new to acting/modeling or you don’t have a solid body of work built up yet? Should you invest in your own website? If you don’t have the skills to create your own website, it can be pricey. But if you attempt to do it yourself, it can look like you did it yourself … and not in a good way. Here are a few tips to help you save money, have a great looking website, and make yourself accessible to producers/casting directors.
Lock Down a Domain Name
If you’re anything like me, you want to have everything set up 110% walking in the door. I get it. However if you are an on-camera actor or print model and you don’t have content to put on your website (i.e.video samples of your on-camera/voiceover work or samples of your print work) what are people getting from your website? Even though it’s not time for you to build your website just yet, I absolutely recommend locking down your domain name NOW before somebody else nabs it. I purchased mine through www.GoDaddy.com and it was super cheap. Keep your domain name simple – your first and last name are the best if it’s available. I know it’s difficult for a go-getter to wait, but wait until you have really solid content to add to it. And in the meantime save up some money so that when you are ready for your own website, it’s a professional, fantastic-looking website.
**If you are a theatre actor ONLY I absolutely recommend having a website with your headshots, resume and contact information. It’s also a great place to keep folks updated on your upcoming shows!
Creating a Website on a Budget
So now you have a few samples of work that are professionally done and you are ready to create your stunning website. If you have experience building websites and can make yours look neat and professional, go for it you lucky dog you! However if you are like me, you need to enlist the experts.
After a lot of searching I found a website I really liked. I contacted the designer who built it (their link is often found at the very bottom of the home page) to let them know I was an artist on a super tight budget and they came in with a proposed price right around my budget which was $600. If there is a company in particular you would like to use but they come back with a high number, don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price – they want to work just as much as you do and you’d be surprised how flexible people will be!
If your budget is SUPER limited I recommend reaching out to your friends and industry professionals on Facebook to see if they have any recommendations for you. There are a lot of freelance web developers looking to build a portfolio. Just make sure you have a contract in place with a set date on the final build so you don’t get stuck in limbo waiting for them to finish it. (Side note: this happened to me before I found a professional and it was a NIGHTMARE.)
Keep it Simple
I can’t tell you how many actors’ websites I’ve seen where their front page is in a crazy color with a bio that goes on and on, paragraph after paragraph with information that nobody cares about. Producers don’t care why you became an actor, they don’t need to read your life’s story; they want to see your work, check out your resume, and contact you easily. Like I said, keep it simple!
I spent a good chunk of change on my website. It was really difficult for me to part with that $600 without knowing if it was going to result in an increase of work. Happily it was a great investment, and I have been contacted by many clients, making that investment back and then some. When industry professionals are checking out a recommended talent, they often take to google looking for you and if you have a website that is professional, easy to navigate, and nice to look at I guarantee you will be very glad you have it.