How to build your brand as an actor

After graduating from a theatre conservatory, I didn’t exactly take the “typical” route. Currently, most of my friends are either in one of two places: New York or Los Angeles. As I figure out the direction that my career will take, I took a job at a start up agency to see what life had to offer. It hasn’t been that long, but what has surprised me the most are the many things I’ve learned about acting from working at a start up.

The company I work for has a ton of clients. From Hollywood studios to large food manufacturers, they work in just about any industry you can think of. However, my company won’t work with just anyone–they only work with brands. Now, before you can become a brand, you first have to break down it’sĀ defining elements.

Jim Joseph, contributing “Marketing Master” for Entrepreneur, recently wrote an article titled, “Defining Your Brand: The First Step In Your Marketing Strategy“. In it, he emphasizes the importance of clarity when defining your brand: “A well-defined lawyer wouldn’t just say he ‘practices law’. He would be much more definitive and specific about his focus if he wants customers to see his business as a brand”. He goes on to say, “So instead…he may define his brand as a ‘compassionate attorney specializing in family law in the state of California, servicing women who need help getting through the tough times in their lives”. For an actor, this might mean getting specific about the kind of actor you are. Maybe instead of saying you are just an “actor”, you might find success in rebranding yourself as say “a seasoned actor with a proclivity for heightened language”. It might seem inauthentic to think of you, a living, breathing person as a brand, but as an actor–or any type of performing artist–you are. (1)
One other tidbit I managed to glean from my time at a start up is the value of social media. A business that doesn’t have an online presence (even in the smallest capacity) is as good as dead. Why? Because a healthy social media presence can help you–the brand–in a multitude of ways. Don’t take my word for it. The President of Web Marketing Pros, Peter Roesler, says in an article he wrote for Inc. what he thinks is the top benefit of having social media for your business: “Because social networks are used by more than two-thirds of the country, and given the way content spreads virally to others, social media is the perfect channel to promote a brand to potential customers.”

Are you having an “Aha” moment yet?

As an actor you are a brand, right? So wouldn’t you like to promote that unique brand? If you think about things like this, you might recognize how imperative it is to have a solid social media presence. Nobody is saying that you need to have 30k Instagram and Twitter followers, but if you want potential casting agents and directors to see your brand as valuable, I suggest you get to tweeting.

What success have you hadĀ branding yourself as an actor?

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