The Rule of Seven

“It is said that when learning something for the first time, many people only retain around 15% of the information. Therefore repetition in marketing is key!”
There is a well know theory in advertising widely known as “The Rule of Seven”. This commonly refers to how many times it takes for a consumer to see an advertisement before actually recognizing, remembering and/or buying the product.
Well, as much as we might not like the idea of being thought of as a “product”, we must remember that we are in show “Business”. Not show-fun, show-art, show-craft, etc…
As actors we must know what we are as a product and how to sell ourselves to the industry.
As in all advertising, (and with actors) there are some “products” that have more appealing packaging, some products work much better than others, and products vary in cost from everything from free samples to high-end products that cost millions of dollars to “purchase”. We are no different.
It is said that when learning something for the first time, many people only retain around 15% of the information. Therefore repetition in marketing is key.
Actors sometimes feel like if they met a producer or casting director once or twice and have not been called in to audition, then the meetings were failures, or the casting director does not like them, etc… But there can be countless reasons why they have not called in a particular actor that has nothing to do with the actor at all.
Here are just a few reasons you may have not been called in….that have nothing to do with your talent:
~ They do not have any roles that are right for you right now
~ They are on hiatus
~ You look like their Ex… And they no longer like their Ex.
~ You only put your agent’s info on your resume and you have had 2 agents since then but they still have your old resume.
~ You are not in the searchable databases so you cannot be found
~ You don’t look like your headshot so they cannot match up your headshot with the memory they have of you.
~ They simply do not remember who you are!
… just to name a few.
Some of these we can remedy and some are beyond our control. To remain sane in a nutty industry, I recommend that you do not waste another moment on the things you have no control over and apply all that time, thought, and energy towards the things that you DO have control over… like getting in front of your target people multiple times.
Some people will remember you after the very first time they meet you and for some people it may take a dozen times before they recall you face, name, and think of you for roles. Let’s just go with “The rule of 7”
Here is a SAMPLE of how you might contact one industry person multiple times while still staying positive and professional.
1st Contact = Meet them in a class, audition, screening, party, film festival, etc…
2nd Contact = Mail out a thank you card for their great advice they provided.
3rd Contact = A quick note of hello or thank you on social media
(Even if a director, producer, or casting director does not accept you as a friend on their personal facebook, many of them are now wanting more followers on their fan pages, twitter, blogs, etc…) Don’t forget that they are looking for their next jobs just like actors are.
Please Note: Do not ask them for anything on social media sites unless you have already truly developed a professional relationship and know they are a fan of your work, or unless they have requested actors feedback or have posted a job they want actors to submit to, etc…
4th Contact= Postcard update. Yes there are still many industry people who love to get postcards. Even better if you can write a sincere letter, or create an interesting original card or mailer, etc… (No need to mail 8×10’s anymore unless requested…save your money)
5th Contact = Your own Email Newsletter. This is one of my favorite promotional tools as it is just a tiny bit of data entry and your database gets larger and larger the longer you are in the biz. So once you have built up your database, you can design a lovely email campaign and send it out to thousands of industry with a click of the mouse. This invaluable tool was referred to me by a casting director friend a couple years ago and has changed how my career is marketed. Click here. THIS IS A VERY good use of your time, money and energy.
6th Contact = Another in-person point of contact. So if you have only seen them once in person (like you originally met them in a class)…. you might want to support their charity event for the second in-person contact. Or if you originally met them at an after party at a film festival, then you might want to go see them speak on a panel at a seminar, etc…
7th Contact = Could be anything. A class, an audition, a call, email, invite, twitter, workshop, mailer, newsletter, seminar, blog, party, post, etc… whatever makes sense for that particular person and in each specific situation.
Lather Rinse Repeat.
NOTE: With social media … everything has become a LOT easier to stay in touch with thousands of people with ease. With one tiny post about the gig you just booked or a screening of your film, or an invite to your play, etc… You are letting your personal community know that you are out there being proactive and you are progressing in your career. And sometimes even when you don’t know it…the people that you are trying to get in front of are actually looking at YOU! Just a word to the wise about facebook and twitter. In my humble opinion I would recommend the following: No politics, No religion, no unprofessional pictures, And no negativity on the web! An actor might bad-mouth the latest blockbuster flick not having any clue that 3 of your friends crewed for that film or someone’s uncle wrote the screenplay, etc… As you have probably already gathered from being on facebook many people really like to get offended. So a good rule of thumb when it comes to social media… “Positive and Professional”
And make sure that you do not give up after only one or two points of contact with an agent you want to sign with or Casting Director you want to audition for or Director you want to work with.
After all … with the rule of lucky seven, as with everything in an acting career…

© 2013 Kari Nissena


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