Are you asking the right questions?
One of the questions I hear most often is “how can I get an agent?” One of the most important ways to figuring out how to get signed by an agent, indeed to getting anything you want in life, is to ask the right questions. By asking a different question, one is likely to get a much different response. Most of the answers you’re likely to get from asking, “how do I get an agent?” will instead provide ideas about how to meet an agent. Answers such as “network with industry people” or “find someone who knows an agent and have them introduce you” or “send query letters”. Meeting an agent and getting signed by an agent is not the same thing…and one doesn’t automatically lead to the other.
Successful sales people know that in order to successfully sell, they must know their customer and their customers’ needs and desires. Oh, you’re an actor or writer, not a sales person? Don’t kid yourself, we’re all selling something to someone. The quicker we learn this, the sooner we’ll become successful. For creatives in the entertainment business, your product is YOU!
Step one is know your buyers (more about who your buyers are in another article). Getting to know your buyers requires that you ask the right questions. Instead of “how can I get an agent?”, how about “what does an agent look for in a new client?”. Ask this of anyone who understands the agency business and you’re likely to get a list of characteristics that agents look for when signing someone new. This information will help you better prepare yourself to appeal to an agent. Now when you do meet an agent, or make an inquiry, you’ll be better equipped to present yourself in a way that is more likely to be interesting to the agent, and increase your chances of getting signed.
This approach works with everyone you need on your way to the top…producers, directors, casting directors, studio executives, etc., etc., etc. They all have their own particular jobs with unique requirements. Satisfy their needs and they will satisfy yours.
Marc Pariser is Founder and CEO of ShowBizCentral. He has been a packaging agent representing writers, directors, producers, comedians, production companies and executives at the world’s leading agencies, including the William Morris Agency and Creative Artists Agency.
If you’ve got a question about your career visit marcpariser.com.
Originally published at motionpictureprofessionals.com on September 9, 2015.