image via Shutterstock / bikeriderlondon
Something has happened to Facebook in the last year or two… Where once it was the primary domain of pokes, games and apps it has now become a valid tool for self promotion and employment. A host of online networking initiatives have sprung up within the entertainment industry. Undoubtedly, the web provides an excellent platform for any artist – but the caveat is that one must be selective and savvy. Knowing where to go online is crucial, and like with any source of information on the net, “sifting” is required to separate the wheat from the chaff, the genuine from the genuinely suspect.
Think of this article as an insider’s guide: here are my top five online networking ventures – debunked.
1. StarCentral Magazine
Well, you are obviously reading this so StarCentral Magazine must have piqued your interest. And for good reason! StarCentral promotes local talents from around the world and supports artists on a grass roots level. You can access handy industry tips plus scintillating editorial – all in the one place. Visit the contact page if you are interested in being featured as an artist.
Are you on Star Now? Chances are you have come across the site – pretty much anyone involved in the entertainment industry appears to be using it. Just in case you aren’t familiar here are the specs – a basic profile is free and there is a small subscription fee to use the full service of the website. Audition and castings are updated every day.
Anyone can list an audition or job (so be mindful of amateurs) but a lot of well known companies/enterprises do use Star Now to advertise e.g. X Factor, Big Brother, Bras N Things, Chiko… the list goes on. You can refine your specification, become part of the talent directory, and can receive email alerts. There is also a Star Now phone app.
The site is great for finding promotional work and paid work can be found – it is just a matter of sourcing it out. Always check the website of the company advertising. You create a profile for yourself and this is a handy link to flick to potential employers.
3. Model Mayhem
Who out there is an “MMer”? If you haven’t a clue what I am talking about then you must not have stumbled upon the self professed “#1 portfolio website for professional models and photographers”. Model Mayhem (MM) is a website that allows you to create a portfolio, search castings and participate in forums.
An online community, MM has its codes of behaviour so make sure you read up on these. You’ll notice it’s big on etiquette. You will also undoubtedly notice it’s also quite big on nudity. You can toggle this on or off for safe viewing. A fair share of scams do come through MM – there is information contained on the site that may assist you to detect and avoid these. Look for professional and quality work before agreeing to meet with any photographer and (as discussed previously) always bring a chaperone.
4 Facebook groups
Facebook groups that network artists are burgeoning. There are a million and one initiatives out there, plus all the usual promotion groups for those who need votes for various competitions. I am aware of some Queensland based groups that may be of use – “SEQ Casting” and “Gold Coast and Brisbane Photographers and Models” for actors and models respectively. “Super Models Australia” and “Model Comps – Gold Coast – Brisbane” are groups that are useful for those who wish to enter competitions and pageants.
5 Artist / band / public figure Facebook page
Creating a public figure page on Facebook is a nice way to showcase your work and provide an easily accessible portfolio. You can then direct interest to this page via a link. You can display your biggest achievements as well as smaller victories.
Remember, keeping at the forefront of your online audience’s minds and keeping constantly on top of opportunities is the ticket to web success.