How to Create & Control Your Online Presence & Up Your Chances of Getting a Job Someday
This post was created in collaboration with the team that designed my website! Read on to see how you can get your own for 50% off. XO- Robbie
This topic is super important. Reading can be so old school in today’s world but you need this information. It is so important that I was recently interviewed by one of the top dance magazines about my personal website (RobbieDowney.com) and the importance of having one. I just landed my first job with Colorado Ballet Studio Company in Denver. The article will be published early 2019. Which means every dancer and their dog is gonna jump on getting a website next year! If you are already convinced you need to step it up go here to get a limited time 50% discount from the web team that did my site.
If you or your young dancer tackled company auditions last year you know all too well how competitive it is. If this is in your future you must check out the information below. You should do everything possible to cover all your bases to increase your chances and that includes properly creating and managing an online presence. This is not about bragging it is about putting yourself out there, controlling the content and getting the competitive edge. And, it is never too soon, or too late to get started. You just gotta get on it.
Note: You can easily and affordably outsource this (Go Here)! Even the most current web design resources can leave you pulling your hair out and take way longer than expected. You still need some know-how and patience. If you are not the type to tackle this on your own, or you have already tried, see the super affordable web design offer HERE. Keep reading even if you just want to maximize your social media presence and grab some audition tips too. That’s a start! Did you know brands will actually pay you to share relevant content if you have a good presence!
Optimize your digital presence online.
- First and foremost you cannot forgo having a website. Whether you are an established dancer or a young dancer in training, or even a dance or yoga teacher, you must secure this space on the Internet that you control the content of. You can’t control what other people do on social media but you can control your website content and your social media. You just need a basic site, simple and clean, to put your best foot forward. No resume or CV no problem you just need a nice bio (tips below).
- Update and enhance your profiles. A new web presence calls for new headshots and dance photos, so start there and upload those photos to each profile. When you switch over from a candid selfie to a professional photo, it sends the message that your brand (YOU) is shifting into a new personal era. If you cannot hire a professional photographer do your best to capture with good light and a clean background. Get feedback from your friends. When it comes to audition time don’t be thrifty because professional photos could possibly help you land the job over someone else. Shoots range from $400-$1300+ typically. If you have a young dancer start setting aside now to plan for this. Even if they go into teaching the photos will be a worthwhile investment. All of these tips apply to them in business as well.
- Update your bios consistently across each account. Keep them current as the information changes. For young dancers, a parent should help monitor accounts and it’s a good idea to post after you have left a location when possible. Use common sense when including personal information and whereabouts. Let people know the account is monitored to discourage “weirdness” or “weirdos” in the first place.
- Update other details as appropriate and make sure each profile is complete and looks tended to not abandoned. If you can’t keep it up get rid of that one. Quality, not quantity. Many profiles can be hard to manage. People will come to know where you are active. Stay active to keep algorithms from snubbing you. Most social sites reward for engagement and consistent posts.
- Once the profiles are up to meet even the most selective Artistic Director’s taste, decide which platforms offer the most value to you in the dance industry, and create an active, engaging and relevant presence on them. Decide between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These are the most important networks to grow your newly redesigned personal brand. You probably won’t get a job from anyone browsing social media but if someone pops over there that has seen your resume you want it to look well put together and make sure you represent yourself in a professional way. It’s never too soon to start! And remember only create what you can manage. You do not need them all. Do the one that is the most fun for you.
- Focus on continuously expanding your connections and followers. You can visit popular #hashtags like #ballet or #pointe and “like” those posts and comment on them or follow the account. Never buy followers that is completely pointless and destroys the integrity of your profile. Kids as young as 9 know how to spot fake followers. It’s just a bad idea. The idea is to engage so fake followers are useless.
- Make sure the content you share and conversations you engage in are in harmony with your new personal brand and keep in mind that your behavior (both positive and negative) will be a reflection on your own character and personality. Don’t create red flags or cause for concern that you might be hard to work with or that you may not play nice with others. Don’t feed the drama llamas either (online or in person). Your reputation will follow you and even at your new job when you get it, people will quickly realize who the drama lovers and gossipers are. It is hard enough to land a spot in a company in the first place so don’t jeopardize that by being “that person”. Avoid the temptation to bad mouth other dancers (if you have it). Start practicing this before you head off to a professional company. It comes all too easy in a competitive environment for some people. Resist and focus on being the best dancer you can be.
Establish influence and credibility.
- You now have the opportunity to build third-party credibility for yourself (we call it social proof) by getting featured on other accounts, representing relevant brands and having well established social media. This should be a priority. It is an important part of earning respect and relevance in the dance community. This applies to any demographic (yoga etc). Play your cards right and you could find yourself with sponsorships, trials and awesome free stuff in exchange for sharing things you like, and use anyway, with your followers. Influencer opportunities can be quite valuable!
- Your ongoing efforts — along with professional and pre-professional accomplishments will give you more power to influence and a competitive digital footprint.
- In today’s personality-driven online atmosphere, your individual influence, credibility, and relevancy will be key to achieving the on-going success you desire. Thinking ahead and putting these things in place now can only benefit you in the future. Your first job may not cover all of your bills so position yourself sooner than later to leverage other opportunities.
No Resume or CV, no problem. Tips for a Bio and other site content… this can even help with college applications or interviews.
- Why do you want to dance or why did you start
- Do you have specific dreams? What does dancing mean to you?
- Be articulate and able to express yourself in your bio and in interviews
- Include an inspiring background of you so far but don’t make it too long or include recitals you did when you were 2.
- It is not always about what you have done but your potential, only show videos that illustrate this.
- Believe it or not decision makers do keep in mind the issue of access. Some aspiring dancers don’t have the resources to do EVERYTHING.
- Let your passion shine through or they will think it has been trained out of you!
Be Prepared in General:
- Be versatile. Take the acting class or character dance class even if it is not calling your name!
- Be good at picking up combinations. Be able to stand in the front and know it, and the musicality, without following someone else.
- Take corrections given to others in the class and pick them up fast. Try not to repeat what was corrected again.
- Be proactive and have a great work ethic.
- Know that hiring managers, teachers and directors have eyes in the back of their head. No joke. Assume they can see and hear you at all times during an audition.
- Don’t be obnoxious but don’t be a wallflower either. Be confident. Some teachers like the dancer that is not afraid to take the front spot. But always be you and do what you are comfortable with. If the audition or class includes dancers with seniority let them take their spots at the barre first or ask one of them where a good open spot is.
- Stay out of your head. Easier said than done. This is a high-pressure industry so don’t let it get to you. If it stops being fun just keep that in mind. Practice self-care with mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and essential oils aromatherapy (check out a free course for dancers). Eat clean and healthy. Food is energy. Cutting food can even lead to weight gain or contribute to injuries so be healthy.
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