As the holiday season is upon us, it's time to consider how to use the opportunities naturally presented during this time of year to market yourself as a talent!
First comes the subject of gift-giving. The holidays are a great time to show appreciation for all of the hard work that people have put into your career as a talent. Giving gifts is only one way to do that, but can be tricky for the less experienced talent. Going too far can send the message that you're desperate or put pressure on the recipient to feel obligated to return the item. So what's the sweet spot? Well, let's hand that over to the IRS and let them set the standard for us. As a business, you can only write off $25 of any gift. Hence, giving anything much over that budget would be unwarranted. The second thing to figure out if who those people are -- those who have been working hard for your career, that is. Everyone's situation would be unique, but that might include your manager, agent, certain casting directors, coaches, directors, producers, or photographers. If the person has stuck their neck out for you, it's appropriate to show appreciation. If they are simply a casting director you see off and on or ra photographer you paid to take your headshots, they might not fall into that category. But if the photographer did a free test to help you build your book or the CD went to bat for you to land that major role, a little something is in order.
As an agent, I can't think of a better gift than having a talent reinvest WISELY back in their business. If headshots need to be updated, give me the gift of new marketing materials to pitch! If you are a little rusty in the casting room, give me the gift of working with a coach for an extended period of time to build your skill set. Heck, I'd love a card that said a talent was thinking about our partnership and as a gift to our relationship had chosen to invest in making a top notch reel!
Whatever you choose to use to show appreciation, be sure it's something that will speak to you as a talent in a good light; and also choose something that will be of interest to the recipient and therefore, make your gift memorable!