Tips from the Talent Team: Delicate Art of the Casting Call
We made it through another week, folks! Put down your pen, shut off your computer (after reading this update), and crack open a cold one because the younger, spryer half of your Talent Team just turned twenty-one yesterday. (Just kidding, Charlotte’s way more spry than me. But it was my birthday, so…you know. Feel free to drop off your alcoholic gifts at that address down below.)
In last week’s Tips from the Talent Team blog, Charlotte gave a great explanation regarding how you can earn Elite status in your various industries and asset types. If you missed it in the fury of your workflow, I highly recommend taking a peek. You might qualify for an Elite or two, which would give you access to more orders, and by extension more money (for that birthday present)!
This week, we noticed a lot of forum buzz around Casting Calls. Writers have seen a shift in client activity from Open Orders to Casting Calls, which grants clients more control over which writers tackle their content. When clients place Casting Calls, they can cull through a list of applicants for the most qualified writer for their order. Choosing one or two writers from dozens is an overwhelming task on the client’s end, though—so what can you do to make sure you stand out?
As you may know by now, Talent Team and Project Managers occasionally dip into our Plus clients’ Casting Calls to make recommendations based on pitches, profiles, and past experiences with the talent pool. Each client has her own preferences, but there are a few key elements we look for in pitch letters, too. Today we’ve teamed up to bring you this golden list of Casting Call DOs and DON’Ts. Gather round, cherubs:
- Include samples for the client to reference. The best way to showcase your talent is to cite your own work (when possible).
- Treat it as an elevator pitch. Fine-tune your pitch to the topic, and give details. If it’s a marketing blog, explain what types of marketing pieces you’ve done—not just that you’ve done them.
- Appeal to multiple angles by addressing your expertise with the asset type and industry associated with the order.
- Think of the pitch as a prelim assignment. Write in a way that reflects your voice and the style you will bring to the piece.
- Buff up your profile. Clients, Talent Specialists, and Project Managers will check to see if you’re Elite and/or endorsed in all the relevant fields. We also like to see if you have a professional background or personal interest in the topic.
- Specify the orders you’re interested in if the Casting Call is associated with more than one order. Incorporating keywords from the order title into your pitch will also keep your pitch on-topic.
- Simply apply. Use the pitch to sell yourself, and your skills, to the client. It is a way to establish immediate trust.
- Recycle a copy and paste template. Tailor the pitch to show you’ve put (some) time and thought into the order you are applying for. And that being said…
- Don’t over-do it. Don’t spend more than 5-7 minutes applying. Focus on your strongest qualifications for the project and pitch them.
- Take it personally. Remember a handful of other qualified writers are also vying for the same position. Some clients often come back to CC applicants and add them to their Love List.
Lastly, don’t forget that every client, Talent Specialist, and Project Manager has a different strategy when it comes to selecting talent. Plenty of our writers have claimed gigs merely by dropping their names in the Casting Call hat. Others preach the merits of being the first applicant on the scene, and we’ve seen success stories among the template-inclined. If you have a method that’s worked for you, keep at it! If you feel like you’re floundering, try something new, even if that new thing is just flaunting your wares in a different client’s direction.