The Top 3 Survival Jobs for Actors Aren’t What You Think

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To many actors, bars, restaurants, and call centers hold attractive part-time employment possibilities due to their flexibility when it comes to swapping shifts for last-minute auditions. There’s also personal training, doctor-patient role play, karaoke and trivia nights, promo events, and a raft of other alternatives that appeal for similar reasons. But the thing is, they all suffer the same downside.

In his best-selling book, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, Robert T. Kiyosaki explains that people often struggle to get ahead because they swap their time for money, meaning that if the only way to make more money is to work longer hours, you inevitably run out of workable hours, leaving you with an impenetrable income ceiling (not to mention a heart attack or nervous breakdown).

An actor requires as much available time as possible in order to study, audition, and work as an actor. Being stuck behind a bar or the steering wheel of a vehicle is not even really a survival job, it’s a suffocation job, slowly sapping you of your energy and, sadly, your passion.

From my years of research into revenue-generation for artists, an online business that can be operated from anywhere in one’s own time is the absolute best part-time gig for those 95 percent of actors who make the majority of their living from non-acting jobs. With the kind of income and flexibility an online business can offer, your life could be a whole lot richer, figuratively and literally.

There has never been a better time to be alive when it comes to creating your own lucrative online business. You can make money with flexibility, scalability, and if you want it, total anonymity. These are all important factors for performers as they build their artistic reputation alongside their wealth. I’m a firm believer in the “if the job you want doesn’t exist, create it” maxim, and that has never been more feasible than right now.

Off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen ways you can make a thousand dollars by the end of the month with only your performer’s creativity, confidence, and a decent Wi-Fi connection. And none of them require you leaving your home. Incidentally, none of them require you to stay at home either.

It would take an article much longer than this to describe them all in full but for now, here are three lucrative business models that would offer you a side income with all the flexibility in you need to pursue your acting professionally worth freedom.

READ: Why There Is No Shame in Actors Having Day Jobs

1. Drop-shipping
In the past, you needed to order and store stock in a warehouse to run a brick-and-mortar shop. Now, you create one online in minutes, only order stock from suppliers as its ordered from you by your customers, and never need to personally touch a single product. You cut out a great deal of cost and inconvenience, and work in your own time. It’s still work obviously, but in the end, at least the profits are yours. Add to this the capacity for almost total automation of your online store’s checkout-to-fulfillment process and you’d be mad to not at least investigate it as a nice part-time alternative to tapping kegs.

2. CPA
Meaning “Cost Per Action” or “Cost Per Acquisition” (of a new customer), this is a marketing practice whereby you are paid for enticing and encouraging people to download, subscribe, or take some other form of action online. Some CPA networks pay commissions as much as hundreds of dollars for certain actions but most commonly, they’ll pay between 40 cents to a few dollars per action taken. If you think that’s insignificant, wait until you receive $4.20 commissions for each of the thousand people downloading a free game into their mobiles from an ad they clicked on your site that you posted three weeks ago and haven’t checked since.

3. Local Advertising
So much attention is focused on dominating major metropolitan areas with ads these days that people forget the hundreds of millions of people competing for services in local markets. Local markets are loosely defined as being geographical areas containing between about 50,000 and 300,000 people. Businesses fiercely compete for search engine rankings and customer patronage and loyalty to anyone who can secure more traffic and conversions for those businesses can write their own checks. It’s much easier to convince one of the 30 lawyers competing for the first 10 spots on page one of Google to hire you than it is in a market of 3,000 lawyers and giant law firms.

Forget the fact that some of the terminology in this article to you may seem foreign, you don’t need to be able to do any of it. Simply search out virtual assistants and e-lancers (people who freelance online in their specific skill sets), hire them to do the job, then charge your new client more than the freelancer billed you. The greater the difference between the invoices (in your favor, obviously), the greater your profit. Simple.

If you’ve ever worked a part-time job handing out flyers, arguing with annoying customers in a call center, or numbed your brain working in retail for other people to earn big profits, you can now earn those profits yourself with an online business. Even if it feels like work, it’ll also only feel like that for one hour a day instead of twelve. And you can do it with minimal setup costs, little prior experience, and whilst sipping a latte.

For detailed free training on this topic, watch my Dreaming for a Living webinar and it will guide you through the various options until you find what suits you best.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Paul Barry
Paul Barry is an L.A.-based Australian acting teacher, author of “Choices,” and a Backstage Expert. Barry runs on-camera classes in Santa Monica as well as online worldwide and conducts a six-week program called Dreaming for a Living, coaching actors, writers, and filmmakers in how to generate online incomes to support their art.
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