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Leveraging your business skills as an actor to become a business development manager.

If you're an actor who's had to manage your own career and you've been successful booking work on your own, then you possess valuable skills that can be applied to a business development manager role. The strengths that you've developed in one industry can be leveraged for another industry. In my adult life, I've had a film career and a marketing/business career, and there are times wherein I focus more on one than the other full time. Lately I've been feeling the nudge to play in the business development/marketing arena again, and the following skills that I use to manage my acting career can help me in business and vice versa.

Sales and Networking: As an actor, we have experience networking, building relationships, and selling ourselves as a brand. (Wow. For a moment this felt borderline that even a word?)

These skills can be transferred to business development by cultivating connections, nurturing relationships, and generating new business opportunities.

Think of bringing red carpet charisma to trade shows and board rooms.

Strategic Thinking: Managing an acting career requires strategic thinking to plan out a trajectory and identify the right roles for the types we fit.

We can apply this skill to business development by analyzing market trends, identifying target markets, and developing growth strategies.

Marketing and Branding: Experience in self-marketing can be leveraged in business development.

We can understand market dynamics, develop compelling value propositions, and create effective marketing strategies to attract clients and opportunities.

Negotiation and Deal Making: As an actor, especially a non union actor managing our own career, we likely have experience negotiated contracts and deals.

This skill is valuable in business development for securing partnerships, closing deals, and reaching mutually beneficial agreements.

If you're unfamiliar with reading the contracts that you've been signing, begin to read them thoroughly going forward, and practice asking questions when something is unclear. Do not assume that the organization on the other end of the document has your personal best interests in mind. Do the due diligence of reading through contracts and paperwork before you sign your name to things, even at your next oil change.

Self-Management and Adaptability: Managing multiple aspects of your acting career requires strong self-management skills, organization, and adaptability.

These skills are crucial in business development to handle various projects, prioritize tasks, and adapt to changing market conditions.

Personally, I have had difficulty promoting myself in a way that feels genuine. I'm still working through seeing myself as a product that helps someone (a casting director) solve a problem (hiring the right person in the role that needs to be filled).

This reminds me of the FOUR Ps of MARKETING and how they can be applied to an acting career and to business. This will become my next blog post, so stay tuned!

Communication and Presentation: Our experience in acting has allowed us to hone communication and presentation skills.

These skills are vital in business development for conveying ideas, building relationships, and delivering persuasive pitches.

Entrepreneurial Mindset: As a self-managed actor, we already possess an entrepreneurial mindset.

We can apply this mindset to business development by seeking opportunities, exploring innovative approaches, and taking calculated risks!

Analytical Skills: Managing an acting career involves analyzing industry trends, assessing market demand, and making data-driven decisions.

These analytical skills can be transferred to business development for market research, financial analysis, and evaluating potential opportunities.

If you are seeking to transition into a senior-level business development manager role, highlight these transferable skills on your resume and consider gaining additional knowledge in areas specific to business development. Taking courses, attending workshops, or pursuing relevant certifications can enhance your qualifications and make you a strong candidate for business development positions.


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