Damn, it has been a long time since I have gotten a post up on this site. I am sorry, I suck. Actually, no I don't I've just been busy taking on a new challenge as the social media manager for a company called Web PR . As I mentioned in my previous blog- I do still need to supplement my income with jobs other than acting. This particular opportunity came to me in the form of my good friend Ash asking if I could help the company he was running with their social media presence. Me, being the social media addict that I am obviously said yes. What I didn't know when I took on this project is that the guys over at Web PR would give me more knowledge and tools that I could ever give them. Yes, I am constantly tweeting, blogging, posting, instagramming, etc- and yes, I am usually one of the first people to discover a new platform and get on it- but I didn't know the technical side of it, I didn't know how to utilize SEO.
For those of you who don't know what that means- it's rather simple- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. It's a strategy that bloggers, content writers, website creators, and marketing gurus are all using to boost their sites ranking on Google.
So I will start by breaking it down and explaining how this applies to my (or your) acting career. It's pretty simple actually- When a casting director googles your name, whether it be to see past projects that you've worked on or just to see photos of you that aren't professional headshots, what pops up? Is it your IMDB Page? Your personal website? OR is it an unflattering post of you doing a beer bong on a college gossip site from 2008? Don't know the answer? I suggest you go Google yourself immediately and find out, because it could be the difference between getting hired or passed over.
Now the next question is, how do you get the more flattering sites to the top of the search engine results?
1. Use the same name on all sites. Twitter, Instagram, your resume, your IMDB, etc. For example, for all acting purposes I go by Laura Elise Barrett. This is because "Laura Barrett" is a Canadian singer who dominates the search results, the moment I started using "Elise" it separated the two of us. So from now on, anything I want to appear on google I have to use my full name.
2. Tag all of your images with your name. On imdb in the comments section I make sure it says "Laura Elise Barrett on the set of ...." on EVERY photo that you want to appear in google images. Same goes for on your website or on social media. This can feel a bit narcissistic but it IS the difference between having control over the first page of google images or not.
3. Tag all of your blog posts with you name AND sign your name at the end of each entry. I realize this feels like overkill, but search engines pick up on KEYWORDS.
After you do these 3 simple things you SHOULD be able to drown out any negative posts online (or at least get them to drop down to the 2nd page of results)
If for any reason an unflattering post is still popping up and hurting your chances of getting a job or being cast for a role think about hiring a company such as Viriant to help you identify an anonymous poster and get it removed so that your internet reputation can be blemish free!
I am so thankful to have learned these tips and I hope they can help my fellow actors as well!
Laura Elise Barrett