Skills I Used to Sell Myself
By: Grace Gurley
Throughout my teenage years, I worked in the entertainment industry including spokes work, commercial acting, commercial modeling, and short films. This opportunity started as a freelance dream, what kid doesn’t want to be a star? But it turned into the best lessons of my young life and set me up to succeed in a sales career.
How does the Entertainment Industry Correlate with Sales?
As a freelance entertainer, you have to sell your product (yourself) to agencies, companies, projects, and casting panels. To prepare for auditions you need to do your research on the role and company. Figure out what skills they are looking for in an actress, and have a solid portfolio to present to them that proves you can do those skills, or look a certain way.
In a sales role, you are educated on your company’s product, look for potential leads, follow up with leads, and close deals.
The entertainment industry is a rather unorthodox sales market, but the same skills and discipline come into play.
Finding and Meeting Consumer Needs
In sales, you are there to find the people who need the product or company you represent, even if they don’t know it yet. You take the time to listen and advise your clientele.
With castings and auditions, I would look for roles that I fit the criteria for. I’d present myself and my work to a panel to be considered. I’d go to all the castings I could find, even if I didn’t meet all the listed requirements. Oftentimes, a casting panel doesn’t realize that someone could fill their role and even make it better than their original character concept. Just like in sales, some clients have a preconceived idea of what they want and don’t realize better options exist.
Hearing and Overcoming “NO”
9 out of 10 casting calls end in a no. Sometimes you get a reason, sometimes you don’t. You can get a no for anything from your weight, height, accent, to how you delivered one line. Starting at the age of 14, I had to adjust to constant rejection. Learning to take constructive feedback, ignore things I couldn’t change, and show up at the next casting. In a sales role, you will get a lot of no’s. You learn how to be persistent and follow up even after rejection. I believe I could make great strides in sales, given the fact that rejection doesn’t undermine my confidence.
Getting the Role/Sale
Finally, in sales or acting, getting the role/sale isn’t the end of the journey. You have to continue to follow through with your customer base. In an entertainment role, you could work with anyone on set again, your reputation is important to maintain. They might call you in the future to collaborate on other projects. The same goes for sales, you could get a recommendation or future business from every client you work with. Every interaction counts.
Selling yourself and your brand is a lifelong skill. In a sales role you’re selling a product, but who you are and how you conduct yourself will leave an impression on the buyer. Take a critical look at how you are perceived and how you could better sell your brand.
Take a look at a few highlights from my career in entertainment!
3 thoughts on “Skills I Used to Sell Myself”
Grace, you certainly expressed very clearly how what you have experienced is applicable to all sales careers.
Grace, you are beautiful in and out and have mastered lifelong skills in your short life. Congratulations on a job well done and your confidence is amazing because you know who you are in Christ!