First of all, let me say that all the materials below are snippets of information I've gathered over the past few years. This is by no means a full guide. If you're looking to learn all the ins and outs about IMDb I highly recommend Kari Nissena's Actor Transformation. In fact, I just sent her an email myself asking to get the 3 Easy Steps to Improve your IMDb just 5 minutes ago. In this industry, we never stop learning. :) Okay, back to "my" things.
If you ask me, I think all actors should have their own IMDb Pro. I am so confident in saying this that I often tell people they should get it ahead of getting their website with me. Yup, I turn down a business for the betterment of others. But seriously... you may get by without an IMDb Pro account, and you may get by without your own website, but if you were really pursuing one OR the other, get IMDb first. It can be EXTREMELY helpful.
Casting notices for actors:
Yet another under-valued resource are the IMDb Pro's Casting Notices. You can be pretty specific with your notices as well. For instance the link I attached there is the one I have saved for myself which searches for non-union adult white males in Los Angeles - that's me. 52 results is not bad for a narrow specification.
The reason I say "under-valued" is not that it's better than Casting Networks or Actor's Access, but that it has ADDITIONAL listings. Just as the jobs section on Stage 32 or Backstage's Casting Calls & Auditions, IMDb's Casting Notices is yet another tool under your belt. If you're paying for it - use it! It drives me crazy how many actors pay for it annually just to have it and don't even know that ;they offer casting. It's a 4th tab in the menu!
People Search allows you to specify someone's profession and I've been told by a few filmmakers that this is indeed how they research actors they'd like to star in their movie. So DO make sure that your bio is fully up to date with all the physical attributes and skills, so that if someone happens to search for someone like you, they'll be able to find you easily.
As I've written in a previous blog post, STARmeter can be easily manipulated. That post was titled "Why STARmeter Shouldn't Matter", emphasis on the word "shouldn't". Unfortunately, some people don't know about any of this and they focus on making sure that the actors they hire have a somewhat decent score. Ughh... The People Search on IMDb Pro does include the STARmeter option, but it also includes a checkbox for "Has a headshot" which brings me to my next point...
Adding your photos and videos to your IMDb page:
One thing that you probably DO know is that as an IMDb pro member you can add information to any IMDb page. You can modify official websites, add press interviews and change few other biographical items. One thing that people may NOT realize is that if they get a pro account and upload your photos and videos and then stop paying for the pro account, all the photos and videos will be removed from your account. If you don't think you can afford the annual fee, having your friend update your profile for you won't really help.
As the photos, videos and resumes are pretty much the only things that can't be uploaded by non-owner. We could list other websites with your photo gallery for you, like your IADB profile gallery on there, but that's that. So if you want to have a photo on IMDb, you need the pro account. That sucks, but that's just what it is.
Production Listings subheading says "Stay on top of the latest developments for the movies, TV series and other projects". I think it should say instead "Hey, ACTORS, look at all those filmmakers making stuff! Connect with them, don't expect that they're actually going to look for you, be the first one to reach out!"
If you click on the link above, you'll see that I've narrowed down productions to micro-low budget comedy movie in development in Los Angeles. Again, very specific. 31 results. Guess what, for EVERY single one of them I can click either on the "director" link or "production company" link or in some cases both, and many times I can see their phone number and email! That's crazy, but good crazy. Other times all you will see is their representation, which is fair and makes total sense, but guess what again... they are probably on Twitter or on Stage 32 or on Instagram, find them, say hello, see what's up with their project.
Research option 2: Back to the People
This one is more for all you out there who need representation, BUT, even if you don't still check it out as it may give you some other ideas. One thing that you may consider doing is searching for yourself on the people's page. Fill in all the things that should apply to you. So for instance, I would search for an adult actor (with a headshot obviously) who's 5'7" - 5'10" (I'm 5'9" so right at the border), average weight, Caucasian, with brown eyes and brown hair (I wouldn't put bald, too specific). Okay, if you're there and see less than 50 results, be a bit less specific. If you're not on there, this is how you know your profile is not fully filled out, but if you are on there, just look at everyone around you. These are your peers.
What's next is find someone you feel might be a step or two steps ahead of you and see what they're doing right. Find out about their representation. See which directors they're working with. Find out if they are on social and what they're doing on there, who are they talking to. I know it all sounds a bit "stalkish", but that's how research works. This is not the Single White Female remake. You're simply looking out for yourself and doing it like a chess player - knowing few moves ahead.
Bonus: Finding things in common "Birthplace" search is an option in the people section. If you're from a small to mid-size town why not search who else from your hometown is on IMDb. What are the odds that this might lead to a collaboration? Small, but I thought it was a fun thing and have connected with few people in that way.
"Our Shared Credits" - you might see this on the people's profiles below their STARmeter. If you have actually worked on the same project, that project will be listed there, but if not, there's a chance that you will see "PEOPLE" section instead (or in addition to that). These are the people that you have in common with the person. Remember Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It's kind of like that but about your work. In fact, you can also search people who have collaborated on IMDb as well.
Just before I end this post, if you don't have IMDb Pro yet, don't forget to search for discounts - they often have some sort of deals out there for 15% - 20% off. It's worth a shot. Good luck to you all, and remember, put yourselves out there. Acting is not a part time job, it takes time and effort, and being an actor is like owning a business. You need tools for your business side, IMDb Pro is one of them, IADB Website is another. Put your heart into it and work it the best you can.