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The MOTHERSHIP: Cargo! (Part 4, Websites for Actors)

November 1, 2010

Hello, welcome back!  If you’re new to The Digital Actor, this the fourth installment in a 6 part  series relating to your Mothership – your website or main online hub!  Each week we’ll cover every element of your online home, from setting it up, to updates, design and SEO. (That’s Search Engine Optimization, not to be confused with Sneaky Enigmatic Ostrich.) Week 1 we looked at what constitutes a ‘Mother Ship’ (here), Week 2 we researched naming and hosting options available to you (here), and last Monday we checked out what your Mothership looks like (here).  Today we’re going to look at the most important part of your Mothership – it’s contents!

The All Important Cargo…

Last week we analyzed the lay-out of your site design and where to put the things you value most on your pages, but what are the things we should include?

Here’s a list of site essentials, these should be included either directly on your home page or available via a clearly labeled link in your main navigation.  You’ll notice that for each Element I’ve noted the intended audience.  Bookers are your potential employers (Casting Directors, Directors, EPs, Producers, etc), Buyers are those that will invest in your career such as Managers and Agents, and finally your Fans, current and potential people who love what you do and want to see more.  It’s important to define which elements of your site are for which parts of your audience as this may effect your placement and design.  Your goals will be your guidance regarding this, the most immediate career goals should mirror you site design.  For example, if you’re looking for representation, the elements Agents and Managers are most interested in should take top priority.

That’s a lot of information huh?  Your site needn’t be a 15-page monster. You can combine some of the above on single pages depending on the amount of content you have. For example, your could use your blog to report your ‘news’ and include the information about upcoming events on this page too.

Homepage: It’s the first impression of you that all visitors will see, make it good! Include the following, most important elements on your home page:

  • Name/Logo (obviously)
  • 1-liner (briefest bio)
  • Primary Image (headshot)
  • Newsletter/email sign-up*
  • Links to Social Networking*
  • News (anything you want to showcase, this could be a theatre review, or poster for a show you’re currently in, or a screen-grab of your recent onscreen triumph.)

*Denotes the elements that should be featured on every page.

That’s all for today – but next Monday I we’ll take a look at all the multi-media elements of your site, the best storage, general best-practices and formatting for web, including displaying video and adding e-commerce (purchasing).

Until then my friends, enjoy your week – and keep sharing!

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

(Philip Seymour Hoffman)

Image by Bernard Garon via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

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