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Tracy WeisertSynopsis by Tracy Weisert

Our very own savvy columnist and successful actor Colleen Wainwright AKA “The Communicatrix” was back by popular demand as our guest speaker February 28. This seminar was Part II or the 202 level of her popular August seminar about actors’ outreach with social media and was titled Let Us Entertain Them… Social Media: The Advanced Class.  A good definition of social media comes from the Duct Tape Marketing blog:

Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create or co-create value.

I particularly liked Colleen’s adage, “Use tools.  Don’t be one.  Making social media work for you, not against you.”

As hostess of these wonderful seminars for the past four years, I must admit that I have been a “late bloomer” to social media and was slightly intimidated at the thought of smartly writing this recap article of the event, so I brought my best friend who is a Director of Technology and senior systems engineer as my “shill” to help me understand some of the technical terms that I was sure Colleen would use.  Not so!!!  I was pleasantly surprised that this layman clearly understood everything Colleen had to offer.  Colleen had a snazzy PowerPoint presentation which really helped me and the fellow attendees take the mystery out of social networking. Even the advanced, cyberly brilliant people learned new things in this very interactive and valuable seminar.

Colleen was an advertising copywriter for ten years and began the seminar with an interactive discussion about our marketing tools as actors.  What we have done in the past with our headshots, resumes, websites, postcards, reels, bios, networking, thank you notes along with audition habits and market knowledge physically can all be transferred into the virtual world as well. She recommended that in our marketing efforts be “slow and steady with controlling what we can and not worry about what we can’t.”

During our discussion about marketing ourselves as actors, Colleen mentioned and we agreed how CocaCola and Target Stores have done an excellent job in the consumers’ instant recognition with their red and white logos or “branding.”  She went on,   “How is your branding strongly repping you and do you understand your core thing that you are as an actor?  (What roles do you typically play, what is your main essence, etc..)  “Consistency and authenticity are the keys.  Always have the same name and same photo to help brand you.”  Online it is the same.  If you are not authentic, “You will be found out online.”

I especially enjoyed Colleen’s analogy about getting started in social media to finding the best pizza in New York City.  You would not just go to New York City and expect to have the finest pizza first thing.  She stated, “You can have a great social experience on the Internet but plan it, just like if you wanted a great pizza experience in New York City.  You would do your research.  ‘Do they take cash or charge cards, what to wear, how to get there, etc….”

With joining social media sites, Colleen mentioned her mentor Chris Brogan who she said “is THE BEST social networker that there is!”   She shared a helpful sample diagram that is like a wheel with spokes he made to get an idea about how to get started with social media with various websites.  “The Mothership” is you or me.


Colleen recommended that if we do not have our own websites with our own URL addresses yet, she said “the best social networker there is, is a great IMDB page that has your bio on it.  You have a place where people can click on you.”

Colleen also advised before we outreach to a cyber world, “Get your goal on. Learn the rules & tools.  Implement a plan.”


With the interactive social websites-

  • 95/5 % Rule:
    • 95% — It’s about the other person.  It’s not about you.
    •   5% — Shameful self promotion
  • Be specific  – Stick with your main goal.
  • Be useful  – Inform, support and entertain!(others)
  • Be nice.
  • Do favors, don’t ask for them
  • Promote others, not yourself.  Promote excellence.
  • It’s about talking to each other, not broadcasting.
  • Link, link, link!  Link generously!  Colleen stated, “Links are the currency of the Internet.”

Colleen mentioned several social networking websites but currently is a big fan of Twitter.  She said, it is “a public IM (Instant Messaging) platform.  You follow people and they follow you.”

Colleen recommended for all attendees to Google themselves.  “What comes up when you type in your name?  I would rather have stuff that I have controlover come up first.”  (Do it by becoming present on the Internet.)

Colleen’s seminars are always lively and informative.  This is just a taste of all the knowledge Colleen shared.  To get further detailed information, please check out Colleen’s website and my archived synopsis article of Colleen’s first seminar in the October 2008 THE NETWORKER.

Email Tracy, or find her on IMDB