06 Aug 5 Ways to Build Your Brand as an Actor
If you want to make it as an actor, you can’t just wait around to be discovered anymore –you have to get out there and market yourself. Although industry experts agree that your talent is the most important component of your brand, there are a few things you can do to become a more widely recognized name. Here are five tips!
#1 – Fabulous Headshots
Behold one of Hollywood’s oldest forms of actor branding: the headshot. Don’t catfish potential employers with pics from your younger (“more attractive”) days. Mark Liflander (co-owner and principal photographer at New York’s LJ Studios Photography) advises Forbes readers against using any headshot older than three or four years. Although it may be tempting to save a few bucks, now is not the time to bust out the selfie stick. Hire a qualified professional photographer who can aptly direct your pose, head position, and expressions to highlight your best features and make you shine.
#2 – Unforgettable Showreel
Perhaps one of the most important items in your “Actor’s Branding Toolkit” is your showreel. Use clips from your most wholesome performances, displaying the breadth and diversity of their talents. Make them remember you! And, as Pearlman Acting Academy (PAA) suggests, do it in ninety seconds or less. No ten-minute clips of you playing the role of bartender asking every patron what their poison is, unless you can do it in a captivating way that makes people laugh until they pee. PAA advises against recreating scenes in your reel. Instead, they recommend creating your own footage. Write something yourself and, with the help of a good cinematographer and sound person, shoot it independently.
#3 – Professional Website
Think of your website as a first impression, except online. If someone in the industry hears your name, they’re going to do what anyone would do – google you. Your website should be the first thing they see. Backstage.com says it’s very important to have your agent’s contact information in an easy-to-find location on your website. Be sure to also include your résumé, clips from recent projects, your show reel, headshots, and links to all of your social media and YouTube channel.
#4 – Social Media Famedom
If you’re not present and active in social media, you may as well forget becoming an actor. To more effectively manage your time, focus your main efforts on just a few of the big ones – namely Facebook, Instagram, and especially Twitter. If you really think about it, his Twitter posts have been one of Donald Trump’s largest forms of publicity. You may not want to make posts that are as polarizing or provocative as his, but your posts should help tell your story. It should give the public an idea of who you are, what you’re about, and what you’re actively engaged in.
#5 – “Check Out My YouTube”
What better place to document your acting career, display your talent, and be seen and discovered than YouTube?! PAA recommends adding new content to your channel regularly to show you’re active in the industry. Backstage.com encourages actors to include clips from your best performances, your show reel, and if you want to display your musical talent, a memorable cover of a popular song.