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Interview

Sherman Hu on the 1 Marketing Sin Every Actor Should Avoid

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Sherman Hu on the 1 Marketing Sin Every Actor Should Avoid

As a Web marketing specialist since 2002, Sherman Hu has been “helping clients and making them look good online—helping with their Web assets—and also making their Web assets work harder for them,” he says.

Though Hu, located in Vancouver, works with people in various fields, as a screen actor himself (a dream he plans to go back to more seriously in the coming years), he’s taken on several actor clients, as well as acting teachers (including Backstage Expert Amy Lyndon).

We might all have the basic know-how when it comes to social media and building a website, but Hu takes it a step further. “I think that actors—like many of my other business clients—are really good at what they do, and for them to try to learn and master through trial and error how to understand. It’s one thing to understand your brand, but it’s another thing to execute it on the Web, or to make you look good on a website.

“I tend to let my clients know,” Hu adds, “you do what you do best. Tell me your vision and your objectives, and then we’ll do it and I’ll flesh it out, and let me do what I do best.”

Hu says his objective is to give actors the tools to market themselves, and chats with Backstage about the various ways to do so.

Have an online presence.
“Sometimes actors don’t have anything on the Web that shows their stuff or their body of work because they think it doesn’t matter, but I’ve heard enough situations where casting directors, directors, producers come across this actor and they try to find them on the Web and they can’t. And they potentially lose out on a booking because of that.”

Focus your social media accounts.
“[Actors] don’t seem to showcase their brand as effectively as they can. Based on what I see, it seems like they’re using a spray and pray method—it seems like it’s not as focused. So they may speak to some of the acting or entertainment news on their social profile, but then they would involve other things that have actually nothing to do with their brand or their line of work,” Hu says. “Of course actors can tweet or Facebook about anything they want, but it showcases....it lends to the credibility of their brand and what they’re about.”

Take advantage of Web tools.
“I believe that where we are today with website building tools so easily accessible and inexpensive, along with social tools that allow us to communicate, listen, and also share being so inexpensive....those marketing tools are so available and cheap, it’s almost sinful to not take advantage of them.”

Start simple.
Though it can seem intimidating, actors can easily begin to market themselves, as long as there are clear objectives in play. “Peer networking and tribe building,” are extremely important, Hu says. “So one is connecting with your industry peers and the other is building your fan base or your tribe that will want to follow your work. 

“You want to hang out where your peers hang out, and it’s also important to listen more than to speak or to pitch and to participate.”

For more tips from Hu, visit shermanlive.com.

Inspired by this post? Read more about marketing for actors here!


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