Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Do actors really need a website?

According to casting director and social media consultant Amy Jo Berman, the answer is no; actors do not need their own websites to achieve their career goals. However, she firmly believes actors should have one.

“A website in and of itself is not going to get you a job, it’s not going to get you to the red carpet…but neither is any other single marketing tool in your arsenal,” Berman says.

While it’s essential that actors have a quality headshot, in these increasingly digital times, industry professionals are eyeing the web presence of the talent pool they are looking for.

For this reason, she encourages performers to take control of exactly what casting professionals see of them online. “You want them to click on your website link, and go where you want them to go, and see what you want them to see in the order you want them to see it. So that they can take in the branded message you’ve carefully crafted on your website,” she says.

Here are some essential items to include on an actor’s website.

Contact information: Make sure to include a professional email address (eg: so that you’re easily accessible to interested talent seekers. This might seem like a minor detail, but a professional email address indicates that you are more serious than actors with an email ending in “;” and can help your overall presentation.

If you have an agent and/or manager, include those as well.

For privacy reasons, it is not advised to publicly post your phone number.

Easy access to your demo reel: Reels are like a teaser, giving casting directors an idea of your past work and what you’re capable of.
You can upload your reels to video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo and add them to your website using the provided embed codes.

If you’re not interested in making your reel open to the public on YouTube, you can choose to keep the video unlisted. That way only people using your professional website can view your reel.

Headshots/Photos: Most importantly, include your branded headshot which accurately reflects your current look. Consider posting behind-the-scenes photos and any press photos you might have, as well as pictures depicting your special skills.

Resume: Make sure your resume is up-to-date, clear and organized.

Social Media Links: Whether it‘s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, IMDb or Twitter, social media sites can be powerful platforms for networking and building your brand. You can encourage viewers to sign up for your newsletters or blogs if you have them. Speaking of which…

Blogs (Optional):Some actors choose to blog on their websites, while others avoid it like the plague. That being said, creative coach and digital marketing expert Tony Howell insists that blogging helps improve how others locate you online via search pages. He specifically recommends that actors microblog, or, create bite-sized posts which can include short sentences, individual images, videos or links to learn more.

“I don’t think you should be blogging lengthy how-to articles or journaling your feelings,” he says. “I think you should microblog your latest updates.”

Examples include briefly highlighting projects you just finished accompanied by a link to the project’s website; naming what you’re currently working on along with a corresponding link; or classes you’re attending along with a link to the school. By doing this, Howell says it then “becomes a professional timeline in reverse on your website.”

If you’re new to creating a website, you can either find a knowledgeable friend or colleague to help you out. Otherwise, it’s always good to do some homework on website designers/programmers who can both design and code your site and produce quality work.

Whatever avenue you use to create your website, make sure it’s able to quickly give a distinct feel for what makes you special. And make sure it’s easy enough for you to make updates as you see fit.

Remember, your Casting Frontier premium profile includes a link to any website of your choice so be sure to make yours just one click away from casting professionals!

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