Written By Jodie Bentley—
In order to market yourself effectively as a professional actor, you must understand branding. Every time you meet a casting director, agent, or manager, you hear that your job as an actor is to “market yourself”. You can’t actually do that with any kind of lasting impact unless you understand and implement the concept of branding.
The days of the studio system or your representation holding your hand and guiding your career have mostly gone the way of the door, whether you’re freshly minted in the biz, or have been hustling as an actor for the last 30 years.
That means this is the work you get to do yourself.
Branding sets expectations about the product you’re offering, in a way that’s clear, concise, and to the point. Your product development gives your audience mental shortcuts about what you deliver. Because let’s be real: the attention span of the average individual is 8 seconds. (Incidentally, that’s one second less than a goldfish. Ummm…yeah.)
In this unbelievably fast-paced industry, casting directors don’t have twenty-or- thirty-or-eighty-something years to get to know who you are. You must communicate quickly, efficiently. You must distill your message and make it digestible in 8 seconds or less.
Fortunately, that is what your authentic brand will do for you. People want to meet you, get you, and move on. If you are hindering that process by being unclear, vague, or vanilla, you’re doing your career a disservice.
Marketing is an extension of your Brand. Everything must be in alignment with who you are and what you sell.
In terms of marketing, here are 3 vital tips:
You are your Brand. Let me say that one more time: You. Are. Your. Brand.
Transparency is about being true and authentic, and about simply being. It’s subliminally letting your Brand influence and affect everything. It’s not about forcing your brand on people or shouting it from the rooftops. When you package your product correctly, people will get you without you having to shove it in their faces.
Think of it this way: You know when you work on an acting scene and you work beat to beat on the scene, right? But when you actually perform the scene you aren’t thinking about the beats. You’re simply doing the scene, and it looks seamless and easy. You did the work and you let it go. The same is true with your Brand.
Your packaging must be seamless. Everything must be in alignment. In the audition room, your headshot/résumé, your outfit, your makeup, how you talk, your take and point of view on the material all must reflect who you are at your core.
When everything makes sense and is in alignment, you see head nods in the room and they get you. You go in the callback pile. You’ve booked the room.
When something is off, it’s not seamless, something is disconnected. They have to work too hard to figure out where you fit. Guess what? No one takes the time to do that. That’s your job. When you’re getting the confused head tilt in the room, they aren’t sure what to do with you. Therefore, they do nothing.
It’s therefore imperative you stay in alignment with your brand to show your integrity as an artist and human being.
The #1 Rule of marketing is consistency. From your submission on Actors Access, to auditioning; from sending your follow-up thank-you card, to being on set when you book the job…
Who you are and what you deliver must be consistent. Why? Consistency will bu
ild trust in your product. Remember, people want to work with people they like, and people they trust. Consistently showing up, again and again, and delivering on your brand promise builds credibility in you.
The whole goal is to get folks to TRUST in you. Then you’ll book the work and have the lasting relationships you need to get ahead in this business.
When people trust in who you are and what you deliver, they breathe a sigh of relief. Be that breath of fresh air by being consistent!
And bonus, when you’re consistent it makes you appear like you know who you are inside and out. And that’s just sexy.
As you begin your authentic journey into packaging your product, keep in mind these three very important keys. You’ll build trust in your product faster and be remembered. Isn’t that what we all want?