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The Savvy Actor: From Brand to Buzz, Part 1







     BRANDING

Branding is the piece that 95% of actors leave out.

As a result, actors spend a lot of time and money making choices that will affect their success before they actually know what they are selling. There is no other industry in which a product is marketed before it is defined. Yet actors do it all the time.

So, what is Branding?

BRANDING is the foundation of all our marketing. Most people in the industry refer too simplistically to an actor's type, but we feel that that doesn't go deep enough. You need to get more specific in order to define and craft your product. Branding essentially is product definition and ultimately it's up to you to define.

Your Brand is your ESSENCE.

It's who you are at your core - the energy that you carry with you when you walk in the door. It's the constant that you always bring with you, no matter if you're hanging with your friends, auditioning, or meeting an agent at an event. It's about identifying your strengths and understanding what makes you unique so that you can create a package for casting directors and agents. The cool thing about branding is that it allows you to accept who you naturally are… and that is the ultimate self-confidence. Understanding how you're perceived both in life and in your art will help in your overall marketing strategy. Ultimately, what's going to get you hired is you.

Branding yourself is empowering - it puts you in the driver's seat. People who don't know what they bring to the table do a whole lot of guessing…and that can come off as desperate. The focus becomes "how can I please you(the decision makers) " rather than this is what I have to offer the role.Ultimately, embracing your Brand is the key to getting your foot in the door in this business. Here are four steps to help you brand.

Step 1. Understand How You Are Perceived.

Do the research. Ask your peers. Watch yourself in performance. Sometimes, how we think we are perceived vs. how we're actually perceived are two different things. You may be warm and caring on the inside, but your face's natural resting position may look like a frown and that creates a disconnect. Understanding your natural tendencies will help you in the audition room. "The key is to know thyself" use the information to your advantage.

Step 2. Understand Your USP.Your Unique Selling Proposition = Your Strengths.

Have you ever walked into an audition room and "seen 10 of you?" It's easy to become deflated, but if you understand that even though you are the same "type" or have a similar resemblance, each of those 10 people has unique strengths which make you different. With this knowledge, you can approach the waiting room from a point of empowerment. Know what you're an expert at and trust that is enough.

Step 3. Fulfill Customer Expectations.

We know that you are talented, but it's hard to be all things to all people. Again, it goes back to what are you an expert in. How does your brand fit in the TV world, in Theater, or Film? Researching the roles and shows that are auditioning for your particular brand will help you fulfill casting expectations.

Realize that your Brand is a promise.

You fulfill your Brand Promise when you deliver it over and over again with consistency from the initial headshot, to the follow up, to getting in the door.To give a real world example, Apple's Brand Promise is a reputation for making intuitive products that work instantly. They have set up a plugin and play ecosystem. If you want to download a song, movie or book, you can have it almost instantly. They consistently fulfill customer expectations in this way and that is why they have grown to be one the largest companies in the world.If Brand Promise works for Apple, trust that it can work for you.

Step 4. Make it Personal

We want you to merge your career with your values. Making it personal gives you direction and also looks to make you happy in your career because a happy actor is a savvy actor. George Clooney is also a political activist. He chooses to tell stories based off of his beliefs. He values the political system and as a result he infuses that into his career. If you value family, maybe you target family oriented stories. ABC Family would definitely be on your list. Again, this is your career so include your values into your acting career.

Final Word On Branding

The key is to understand your product before you sell your product. You can't be all things to all people. It doesn't work. Own and appreciate what makes you special and build your brand around that. Ultimately, Your job as an actor is to know exactly what you sell. It will give you direction and help you focus on meeting the people that can help you achieve your career goals.






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Posted on 2013-03-15, By: *

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