Personal branding can sound like an overwhelming term, but it's important to learn for the sake of building your audience.
Actors must effectively market themselves, and building a brand can increase the success of those marketing efforts.
You might be thinking, "Wait, I don't have any customers as an actor, so why do I need a brand?" But remember, your fans and followers are your customers. At some point you'll want them to purchase and/or watch your work.
"Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity. (TSL Marketing)" - via Lucidpress
One of the easiest ways to kickstart your personal branding as an actor is by choosing your colors, which I'll teach you how to do in this post.
Here's what the experts say about brand colors:
When I say Starbucks, you think of the color green.
When I say Facebook, you think of the color blue.
On the flip side, those colors may make you think of those businesses.
You can also use color psychology to your advantage as an actor by making casting directors think about you when they see a certain color.
For me it's blue or aqua. I have an actor friend that looks great in citrus colors (yellow, red, orange), and I've highly encouraged her to always wear them.
STEP #1: PICK A NEUTRAL COLOR
What's your favorite neutral color?
Take a look at your clothes or the color of your walls. Which neutral do you use most in your everyday life?
Neutrals are colors that appear to be without color, creating an amazing backdrop for more pronounced colors.
Examples include white, gray, black, beige, ivory, taupe. I actually use navy as a neutral.
This will be the color you use as the primary backdrop of your graphics, logos, social banners, website, and staple pieces in your wardrobe if you're super coordinated.
STEP #2: PICK YOUR POWER COLOR
Now it's time to pick your second color.
Pick the color that makes you look your best, also known as your "power color."
This tends to be your favorite color.
This is the color I suggest you always wear for auditions or headshots.
That's why I pick blues. I have blue eyes and red undertones to my skin, so blues make my eyes pop (especially on camera) and tones down the redness in my skin.
Red, however, is my least favorite color. It really enhances splotchiness in my skin and accentuates acne.
Now look at your favorite color against your favorite neutral. Do they look good together? If not, tweak your neutral to match your power color.
This color will also be the color you primarily use for your text or graphics on your social media or sites, overlaid on your neutral backdrop.
STEP #3: PICK A POP COLOR
This last color is going to add a little pizzaz.
You need to pick a color that "pops" against your neutral and power colors.
These tend to be bright, bold colors.
This color should be used sparingly to highlight certain text on your sites or to add visual interest to graphics.
You could also use it in the accessories of your wardrobe.
BRAND COLOR EXAMPLE
My current brand colors are navy (neutral), aqua (power), and yellow (pop). I used coral instead of yellow initially, but it felt too feminine for me.
If you update your brand colors, make sure you do it everywhere!
It's ok, however, to leave old graphics with their original branding. It will allow your followers to see your brand change over time.
Just make sure any new branding is cohesive across all of your platforms once you pull the trigger.
Here's an example of my colors in action, via a post in our Actor Boss Facebook group:
I want to point out that my power color is blue, but there's not a true blue in my color scheme.
However, I consider navy and aqua to be in the blue color family, and I always wear blue shirts. In general, I'm associated with the color blue.
It's ok to bend these rules (i.e. two neutrals or only two colors total), but this is a great foundation to get you started.
So what are your colors?
At a minimum I recommend finding your power color.
Start incorporating it into your wardrobe and online presence.
If you want to pick a preset color palette, I've created free color branding kits for you to pick from to get started. The download also gives you the link to get free one-on-one feedback from me about your brand color choices:
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While it's true that you can network just by using your Facebook profile, it's still crucial for actors to have a Facebook page for a number of reasons:
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 1: POSTING TOPICS
So let's dig into these key tips for your fan page! You need to rotate 3-5 topics in your posts.
One of those topics should be about your actor's life. Notice I said ONE, not all of them.
Users go to Facebook to learn about a person, so if you only post about your acting, it feels like there's a giant brick wall between us stopping me from learning more about you.
Now in regard to your actor's life posts, you most likely won't have a new booking to post about everyday, so use this list of ideas:
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 2: POSTING FREQUENCY
Facebook just announced some big changes, and they probably will again in the future.
Back in the day we were told to post 1-3 times per day.
Now, since Facebook is running out of space in the newsfeed, experts say we should only post 1-3 times per week. Less is more.
This creates more "room" in the Facebook feed, which will hopefully translate to more of our audience seeing our posts. In summary, quality trumps quantity, so be sure to add value in your posts to increase engagement.
The best ways to currently increase engagement include live videos, using messenger bots for auto-replies, and polling your audience with a fun graphic. Just be sure to avoid engagement bait.
Casting directors love it when actors "bring an audience with them," so it's important that you drive engagement with strangers on your Facebook Page, not just with friends and family on your personal profile.
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 3: POSTING ATTRIBUTION
Be sure to post as your page and not your profile. There's a difference!
This is especially true when you comment on or like posts on another page (not profile).
When interacting on another page, you can change your post attribution from your personal profile to your page so it looks like your page is commenting on a post.
This will send traffic back to your page if someone hovers over your name.
Here are the top reasons to interact as your page instead of your personal profile:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You should download the Pages app to make sure you're always posting and commenting as your page via mobile.
If you want to market yourself better, Facebook is the best place to do it. It's free, and it still reigns as the social media king of the world.
With around 2 billion users as of 2017, there's no better place to build a fanbase.
So regardless of where you get Facebook training, just be sure to get it so you can start building your audience, which you'll eventually want to move off of social and onto an email list.
I recommend that you look for training from a variety of sources: casting directors, other actors, and Facebook experts.
Grab as many free resources as you possibly can.
Here's what reputable industry sources have to say about social media:
"I know firsthand that producers, studios, and networks can and do go through your social media." -Casting director Marci Liroff via Backstage | ET, Indiana Jones, Mean Girls
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Most actors have a hard time admitting to others that they want to be an actor,
much less directly say, "I'm an actor," when someone inevitably asks, "So what do you do?"
Even a Mrs. Sassy Pants like me felt weird saying it the first few times, but you know what?
I'm thankful that I live in a society that even allows me to pursue my acting goals, so I started saying it boldly, and now people think it's cool.
Hesitating to admit you're an actor is typically a sign of something most actors hate to admit: they want more CONFIDENCE in their decision to be an actor.
The good news? No actor is born with built-in confidence.
It will most likely come from surviving embarrassing situations.
I once thought I came out of the womb confident.
My daycare workers gave me the nickname Boss for crying out loud.
But when I look back over my life, I can see that my confidence was built by being in numerous embarrassing situations that made me feel insecure.
Remember that one time when I wore a tie-dyed velvet shirt to a high school football game when I was only in junior high?
I decided to just remind myself that embarrassing things happen to everyone, and the only difference I could make was to learn from the situation and laugh it off.
I could also choose to be thankful for all of the things that weren't embarrassing.
That leads us to today's surefire way to build your confidence, backed by science: EXPRESS GRATITUDE.
This is so easy, you can do it right now!
Join our Actor Boss Facebook group, and introduce yourself in a post by telling us something you're thankful for in your acting career RIGHT NOW.
It can be big or small.
I post a monthly "Don't Hate, Appreciate" actor challenge so we can make this a habit.
This month I posted that I was thankful for coming into some extra moola for my headshot fund.
Here's a little more of what you can expect:
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Before you dig into this blog post, I want you to understand that ultimately it's up to the casting director to decide if you're the right "type" for the role.
However, these criteria will help you better understand the primary impression you're making on others, which you can utilize to increase your casting opportunities--even if your results are different than you expected!
Aka press into your results and use them to your advantage, OR make a few key changes to start leaving the impression you intended.
Why Is Type Important?
It's very eye-opening to understand how you come across to other people versus how you *think* you come across to other people.
Because that's how you're coming across to casting directors that don't know you very well.
Here's the teaser post I made in our Actor Boss Facebook group:
Now please understand that ultimately I think you should read for any and all roles you're comfortable reading for, and I don't believe any actor just getting started is "above" a role.
But initially, we need to remember that casting directors are seeing hundreds if not thousands of auditions now-a-days with self-taping, but this training will make them to think about you.
In other words, you want casting directors to look at your profile for a role and either say, "Oh definitely not!" or, "OMG yes! They're perfect for this!"
This is especially true if you're just getting started and aren't yet making a full-time income from acting.
Also, if you really love action roles, but your vibe says suburban mom, you may build a successful career full of mom roles, but is that really what you want?
What Are The Criteria?
I learned this as a student during a summer workshop at the New York Film Academy.
I have no idea who created it, but I'm fairly sure the teacher's name that taught it to me was Abbie.
If you have any copyright information about this, or know of its existence elsewhere online, please comment to let me know! To my knowledge, this is not proprietary information.
3 Unique Criteria to Find Your Actor Type:
I've created a download for you with more details (see bottom of post).
How Do You Use These Criteria?
Pick one word from each column in the photo below. I would classify Sarah Silverman, for example, as Hot | Urban | Humor/Fun.
You'll want to map these out in a grid.
I've mapped it out for you in the download at the bottom of this page with more detailed explanations of each criteria + a training video that includes celebrity examples.
Once you learn how to use this chart, it basically becomes like an addictive game to play typing celebs or your other actor friends.