In the fall of 2020, I became intrigued by the agency industry for actors. I perceived the existing business model as unfavorable for actors, who were required to give away between 10-20% of their salary without clear effort from the agent. Additionally, the services provided by these agents were of subpar quality. This situation sparked an idea to design a new business model and create a service that would be welcomed by actors, directors, and producers alike.
The issue was twofold: actors received low and unclear value in return for the significant portion of their earnings they had to surrender to their agents. Moreover, the existing services weren’t user-friendly, providing a low level of service for industry players. This opened up an opportunity to develop a new kind of service and a website that could serve as a reliable tool for the industry when scouting for new talent.
The initial step was an industry review to understand the current landscape of services. I then identified the most significant shortcomings based on Jakob Nielsen’s “10 heuristics for user interface design”. These insights formed the basis for the initial sketches, which were tested against the target group. After making necessary adjustments and onboarding a few actors, I launched the service.
The goal was to get the first version running as quickly as possible to gather live insights, crucial since I was new to the industry and needed to establish new contacts. I believed it was easier to demonstrate how a new version of an agency could function, rather than just talk about it. Upon going live, I actively sought feedback from the industry, which I rapidly incorporated into the website to improve its functionality.
The response to swedishactors.se has surpassed all expectations. New actors get in touch daily, wanting to join the agency and utilize the new service – all without any marketing efforts, relying solely on word-of-mouth, organic growth, and social media posts by our actors.
The industry appreciates the clarity of the service and its user-friendly nature. The revised business model, where actors have the freedom to determine how they want to set aside funds for their career development, has received positive feedback.
Furthermore, the SEO efforts have been a significant success. After only two months, the brand search term ”Swedish actors” made it to the first page of search results, competing against established sites like IMDb, Pinterest, and Wikipedia.
The new service has not only provided a more equitable business model for actors but also improved the overall user experience for all industry players. By focusing on user needs and continuously improving the service based on feedback, the website has quickly established itself as a reliable tool for the industry and a platform for actors to take control of their careers.