You have to consistently think outside of the actor box. Competition is fierce. Being your own brand advocate is something you need to act on consistently. There is a ton of noise in the acting world and the cream doesn’t always rise to the top.
How do you get noticed?
It goes without saying that you have to get good at your trade. Work your hardest to be the best actor you have inside of yourself to be. Having said that, this is an article about actor marketing, so let’s talk about brand advocacy.
What is a brand advocate?
A brand advocate is someone who freely and willingly shares, promotes, evangelizes a company or product to their friends, family and general social circles.
You must be your own brand advocate. Who else will truly care as much as you about your value as an actor? It will be up to you to build your brand and market yourself to the industry.
This falls in line with the fact that you are your own business. If you don’t look at your career as a business within an industry, you will miss out.
You don’t lose integrity by managing your career through understanding the value of marketing yourself. You only provide for yourself the opportunity to enhance your creative ambitions. The more you learn ways to generate exposure for yourself in a very competitive industry, the better off you will be.
Being a good actor is part of the equation. You can be the greatest actor alive. No one will know or care if you are tucked away in your room. You have to get out into the world and meet people in the entertainment field. There are a multitude of ways for you to achieve this.
- Partake in acting events.
- Go to acting workshops.
- Attend film festivals.
- Go to seminars and Q & A’s.
- Connect through social media.
- Create your own blog site.
People perceive you based on what they see.
Keep this in mind. Daniel Day-Lewis has a brand. Johnny Depp has a brand. Helena Bonham Carter has a brand. Jessica Chastain has a brand. All these actors have a certain perception of who they are in their work.
Having a sense of who you are is important to where you place your focus and energy. This is how people begin to see you in a certain light.
Presenting yourself to people in person and the creative choices you make for the roles that you portray all add up to an image and persona. Be as true to your brand as possible.
In addition to meeting people in person and networking, you have enormous amounts of opportunities to virtually network as well. This can lead to more creative work offline.
Let’s go over a few thoughts on leveraging the power of the internet to help you be your own brand advocate.
Be Your Own Brand Advocate
Using digital media as an extension for your creativity.
Isn’t it insane to actually have the opportunity to reach the world through the internet? Think about that for a second or two. Why wouldn’t you want to connect to that potential audience? The next generation is growing up with social media already in place. It’s the norm. It wasn’t like that not too long ago.
What are you doing to tap into such audiences?
Bend these new digital platforms to your own creative will. Sit back and observe the playing field, whether it’s a new app or a new social media platform and think about creative ways you can inject your own special something to that particular medium. Brainstorm on it, experiment and I bet you will come up with your own unique thing. Try it out and see what happens. What do you have to lose?
Tip #1 Create Content Worth Sharing
There has to be a reason why you are on social media to begin with. It really shouldn’t be just about sharing your cat videos. This is your acting career we are talking about.
What are you sharing? Who are you sharing it to? You don’t need to be a cheerleader who puts their pom pom in everyone’s face. That can have a damaging effect. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion. That is the ultimate point of being your own brand advocate isn’t it? You can do it with grace.
Instead, share things you find intriguing and that have actual value to your colleagues in your industry. Perhaps you are friends with a filmmaker on Twitter and you share something really cool about Stanley Kubrick. Maybe you came across a really great headshot photographer who is offering a special discount and you want to share it with your Facebook peops. Be helpful to others is one way.
You should also share info on that new play you are in or film you just made that’s screening next week.
So long as their is a balance, you provide a good impression and are building your brand.
Create value, stuff that matters to you and to those that follow you. It doesn’t have to be this deep ‘change the world’ content either, but if that’s your brand, great.
My point is that you have to start putting out your own creative content. It can be comedic, dramatic or whatever you feel will create context for the project you want to get out into the world and share through your social media channels.
Tip #2 Stay Consistent
Being your own brand advocate isn’t a once in awhile type thing. You have to be in it on a regular basis.
One of the greatest ways of sharing creative content consistently is developing a project that you can share on a regular basis. Longer intervals will usually get ignored and not be strong enough to gain momentum in order to grow. If people find what you are doing interesting, they will come back for more but if nothing has been shared they will lose interest.
Pick your platform. Is it a blog, social media? Is it text, images, graphics, video?
Decide and get started. Stick to it and use your creative expression as a strength to grow your own following and build your brand as an actor.
Tip #3 Set Realistic Goals
Aim for the moon but build your spaceship first.
The last thing you want to do is get excited about being your own brand advocate and putting out content but your expectations are far beyond the gradual climb. It takes time and patience.
Think about what it is you want to achieve. Gradually build and work toward that goal. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. They won’t. Even if you have a video that goes viral, it will eventually fade. Build your foundation. When the viral video hits, you will be ready for it and it will empower what you’ve built.
Don’t make the mistake of trying things out for three months and giving up. You have to stay in it. You will have immediate success each day by making new contact and releasing new bits of content creation.
This all helps to lead you into having a strong brand.
What if there’s a project like a film or a web series that’s been eating at you for years and you just haven’t gotten to it? Then that’s what you need to do! There is no excuse why you can’t figure out a way to make it happen. Be realistic, I’m not saying to go out and make Star Wars (maybe you can) but work within your creative means and take a chance.
The more you continue to build on your brand marketing, the more people will get to know you and recommend you for opportunities. Word of mouth marketing is still the number one way for people to get to know who you are.
Being your own brand advocate is how you take control of your career. Your reputation starts with you.