You know what it’s like when you go to a bad website. It takes like 0.05 second for you to say, “ew.” Seriously. It’s been proven. Google did a study a few years ago and they found out that it literally takes 1/20 of a second for someone to form a decision about your website. So now that you have your actor website, you have to make sure that everything is shipshape. Here are some important do’s and dont’s to keep in mind as you get everything together for your awesome site.
MAKE SURE THEY SEE YOU
Put an image of yourself on every page of your site. When agents and casting are looking at your resume, they don’t want to have to click away to remember what you look like.
MAKE IT EASY TO CONTACT YOU
Make sure you provide a way for that casting agent to get a hold of you easily and quickly, and make sure that info is easy to spot, no matter where they are on your site.
PUT YOUR MAIN REEL FRONT AND CENTER
The first thing they’ll look for is you in action. Think of it as putting your best performance first.
USE YOUTUBE OR VIMEO
If it isn’t already, put your video clips on YouTube or Vimeo. This will optimize them for web viewing. No one’s gonna wait for your video to load. Putting them on YouTube or Vimeo will also allow you to easily embed the clips into your website. You might even want to create a channel on YouTube so you have a central location where all of your clips are accessible. Here is the handy-dandy how-to for doing just that.
KEEP THE DESIGN CLEAN AND SIMPLE
YOU are the asset they want to see, not your gimmicky layout! It might look cute or cool but if it gets in the way of them seeing your face, reel and resume, you gotta cut it out.
KEEP BRANDING CONSISTENT
If you have well-branded headshots and clips from your work, keep your website branding in alignment too. Let them know that you know what your audience thinks of you.
PUT YOUR MOST IMPRESSIVE CREDITS FIRST
Don’t become a slave to chronological time and let your best work do the talking. This goes for your bio, pull-quotes on the homepage, and your resume.
KEEP YOUR WEBSITE CURRENT
Working actors show that they’re working regularly — even if it’s their own projects or in classes — and a “museum piece” website where nothing ever changes is a turn-off. If your last post was from three years ago, what does that say about your dedication to your career? Make it a habit to add a new credit or publish a new blog post on your site at least once a month.
DON’T PUT UP NON-OPTIMIZED IMAGES
Nothing is worse than waiting for images to load. Okay, maybe waiting for videos to load (see above).
DON’T USE EVERY LOOK FROM YOUR HEADSHOT SESSION
Shots of you in five different colored shirts says you own five different colored shirts. They don’t say anything more about you than you in that one great colored shirt.
DON’T USE FULL VIDEO CLIPS
Trust me, no one is going to sit through a five-minute video to see you coming in at minute four. Exceptions: (1) you are in the first 10 seconds of the video or (2) you have ANOTHER clip that just shows your scene from which you have a link to the full video.
DON’T PUT UP YOUR WHOLE RESUME
Give them the 10 best highlights of your work with a “Download full resume” link
DON’T USE “CUTE” FONTS
Online, “cute” fonts = illegible fonts. If there’s a fancy font that you think expresses your branding, use it very sparingly as an accent, like headers or subheaders. Remember that agents and casting folks are scanning quickly to see if they want to bring you in. Everything — including the font — should work toward making your site snappy, readable, and to-the-point.
DON’T WRITE A BIO THAT IS MORE THAN TWO PARAGRAPHS LONG
Just like that full-length video, no one will read it, except maybe your mom. Save yourself and your reps the trouble.
DON’T PUT SPECIFIC DATES ON YOUR WEBSITE
Use vague dates if you need to, but stay away from having stuff that is “dated”. The exception to the rule is when you’re promoting something big that’s coming up, like the air date of your national commercial.