Goal Setting, Part II

ACCOUNTABILITY

It’s Time to Put Your Butt on the Line

by Suzanne Lyons

In my last article on ‘Goal Setting’ I stressed the importance of setting goals, creating a strategic plan for your career, and following a timeline with clear specific actions to ensure that your goals happen. It’s all great… in fact, it’s all fantastic if you’re the type of person who jumps out of bed in the morning eager to get started on the tasks for the day, loves a challenge and can’t wait for that first obstacle to get in your way, that rock to fall in your path. My guess is, that’s not the case for many (if any) of us.

You’ve heard the saying, “when the going gets tough the tough get going.” Well in the entertainment industry the “going gets tough” a fair amount of the time. We deal with more rejection and more competition than probably any business in the world. The solution… being held accountable for your goals and actions. It works.

I’ve been in this industry for over twenty-five years and I’ve had ‘accountability partners’ or ‘accountability teams’ for every one of those years. I’ve had a partner with whom I’ve done weekly calls. And for years a group of five of my colleagues (from different aspects of the industry) met once a week to talk about our goals and what actions we were going to take that week. On Friday we would email the team with an update of what we had done so far and what was still left to do before we met the next week. It kept us focused and on target and the coaching and brainstorming we gave each other was priceless.

When I was interviewing professionals from the entertainment industry for my MTT video, Goal Setting Part II, I specifically asked them for their thoughts on the importance and the power of being held accountable. Director, Mark Rosman (“A Cinderella Story”) says that he makes a point of getting together with people on a weekly basis. “I’ve directed over fifteen TV movies and tons of episodic TV and feature films,” he says, “and I’ve found that especially when I’m in between jobs and I need that kind of help to keep going, an accountability group really is the thing that drives me.” Bob Stewart, CEO NowCasting/Players Directory, recommends “a breakfast club with likeminded people. Actors, directors, writers… even if it’s a mix of people… you make yourself accountable to them.”

Actress Mary Stein (“Changeling” “Babe: Pig in the City”) feels that accountability is key to success. “When you’re sharing with someone on a regular basis,” she says, “it lets you know if you’re keeping your word or not. What’s the truth here? Am I really doing what I said I was going to do.” Kris Emery, Production Executive at Comedy Central, told me that for her having somebody to talk to keeps her on track. “I have a very good friend in Texas who I’ve known for over 20 years, and we have done goal setting over those years. We have a personal blog where we correspond back and forth on a daily or weekly basis depending on what we’re doing. We report in, talk about our accomplishments, our goals and where we need support.”

People at all levels and facets of the industry have accountability partners or teams. I had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop with Film Producer, David Valdas (“Unforgiven,” “The Book of Eli”) and when I was speaking on the topic of accountability, David said that he has a team of other film producers who get together every Tuesday morning. All of whom are extremely successful people in our industry. It just proves the point… everyone can use that extra support.

So whether you’re taking on a new learning curve, a huge goal, or just going through the day to day routine with your promises and commitments, having a partner or team to check in with is essential. We’re all human and sometimes we need a little help to keep us on track. Being held accountable for your actions and promises will work miracles.

In my video, Goal Setting Part II, which you’ll find on the mastertalentteachers.com website, I’ll be interviewing industry professionals on the “Seven Steps to Goal Setting” and we’ll address this fascinating topic of accountability.

Is Your Website Savvy?

Is Your Website Savvy?

A website is a must-have for actors. The Savvy Actor’s Jodie Bentley discusses with Amy Russ of ActorsWeb.com what makes your website savvy!

The Savvy Actor: Audition Tracking

Audition Tracking: Clarity = Competence

Tracking the details of your individual auditions lets you determine how well your headshot and audition material are working. To run your business efficiently, you also need to see a bigger picture and quantify those auditions. When you quantify, you will be measuring the quantity of your submissions v. auditions vs. callbacks vs. bookings. This information will be invaluable, objective feedback, imperative to refining your business plan. It will be the difference between knowing what works and what feels like it’s working.

Artistic_Freedom

Artistic Freedom and Your Budget

Finances. Most actors want to run away when they hear that term – not when they work with us. By having systems and structures in place you will thrive.Watch our video to learn how to start saying…”YAY, Finances!”

Finances. Most actors want to run away when they hear that term – not when they work with us. By having systems and structures in place you will thrive.Watch our video to learn how to start saying…”YAY, Finances!”

Download your Career Budget Worksheet Now! This worksheet is directly from our Savvy Actor Career Manual.

Getting_a_Mentor-part3

How to Get a Mentor – Part 3

Mentor Etiquette

This paper is the last of my three articles on this super important subject… How to get a mentor. In my first and second articles I looked at: Why should we have a mentor? What is a mentor? Who makes a good mentor? How do you approach mentors? What do you want from a mentor? And the importance of being prepared when you get on a phone or in a meeting with your mentor. This time, I will focus on mentor etiquette… the “Do’s and Don’ts” that go along with having a mentor.

Firstly, here are a few of the don’ts to keep in mind. Don’t put them on the spot by asking them to hire you, audition you, or read your screenplay. If they request it, that’s fine. But don’t put them on the spot by asking.

Don’t have them be the one who works to generate the conversation. It’s your job to be totally ready. And don’t ever use their name without permission. Just because they might mention a show you would be great for and they mention that they know someone associated with that show, if you decide to get in touch with that person, and you want to use your mentor’s name, it is imperative that you get their permission to do so. Remember, you are going to them for their wisdom, not their rolodex.

Here are a few items to remember as far as the do’s are concerned. Always be prepared, really prepared, with your list questions as well as information on them and their company. Make sure you’ve done your homework. Make good use of their time. Keep your word. Call when you said you’d call. Show up at the meeting on time. Really respect their time and acknowledge them and thank them for their time and wisdom.

Remember that it’s a business relationship. So respect the term of your arrangement. If you’ve agreed to have three meetings or phone calls over a month long period and you decide you want to continue the relationship then get permission to do so.

When I was shooting my YouTube series for my YouTube channel on this subject of getting a mentor, I interviewed film and video game producer, Ruby Lopez. Ruby has been a volunteer at Women in Film for many years and their mentor program is a year long, so they are very strict about mentor etiquette.

“Having a mentor is not a time for you to look for a job or be an intern” she says. “It’s more about gaining knowledge. Also, remember that their time is valuable so if you say you’re going to meet them at certain time, do that. If it’s a ten minute phone call or a half hour meeting, keep to your promise and don’t go overboard.” She tells us that “this is not about you pushing yourself on them. If the relationship is meant to evolve, it will. Sometimes all you need from a specific mentor is the knowledge they give so you know how to move forward in your career.”

Ruby feels that “it’s a perfect time to explore different people, different areas that you’re interested in and to find out where you’re missing your knowledge. So when you’re meeting with them, know what you want to talk to them about and what to address.”

One of the do’s that I really really want to spotlight is acknowledgment. It is so so so important that you acknowledge your mentor each and every time. As I’ve mentioned in my other MTT articles and videos, acknowledgement is sadly missing in our industry. When MTT’s acting coach, Diane Christensen, joined me for my YouTube series she shared about the importance of giving and receiving acknowledgement. “I know that having a mentor in Hollywood is special,” she says “since they are the busiest people of all and they are so busy that they don’t even know they need acknowledgement. So for them to receive it and have that gift given to them is so special and such a truly needed moment in their lives. What better reason to mentor than to receive that acknowledgment and to have people grateful for it.”

That’s brilliant advice from both Ruby and Diane. They are giving you gold here, so be sure to use it. And remember, we all should have mentors in our lives and careers. As I mentioned in my first article, everyone loves and wants to contribute and there are thousands of people in our industry who have many years of experience and would be honored to share their knowledge and expertise with you. So take the information in all three articles and of course watch my YouTube channel and the Master Talent Teachers video series on this subject, and go out and get yourself a mentor or two. I promise it will be well worth it.

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How to Get a Mentor – Part 2

What a Mentor Can Provide

In my first article on “How to Get a Mentor” I touched on a) What is a mentor? b) Why we should have a mentor and c) Who makes a good mentor. In this article my focus is on a) How do we approach mentors, b) What you can expect from your mentor, and c) The importance of being prepared when you get on the phone or in a meeting with your mentor.

Firstly, how should you approach a mentor? When I was teaching the Flash Forward workshops a few years ago I suggested that people write a dynamite, personalized mentor request letter. This letter would basically be three paragraphs. Paragraph one is the actual request… that you would like them to be your mentor and including the specific terms that you are requesting. For example, three ten-minute conversations (on the phone or in person) over a 4 week period. The second paragraph is about why you’ve chosen them to be your mentor. And the final paragraph would be something about yourself. You can mail the letter or put it in an email. In the letter you can mention that you will be calling in a couple of days to get their response. It always helps to create a little urgency with people. In addition, I suggest that you read the letter to a few friends first to get their feedback.

What can you expect from your mentor? Some of what you can look forward to receiving from your mentor is advice and suggestions on the names you have listed on your target list. You will also get advice on your goals, timeline and action plan. As well as suggestions on your overall strategic plan and career path. You can practice your pitch (of yourself or your projects) and get feedback from them and also request guidance on areas where you may be stuck. And remember to find out about them. How did they get to where they are? What lessons, did they learn? You have the opportunity here to create a powerful relationship. And remember, you are asking for their guidance and advice. You’re not asking them to watch your actor’s reel or read your screenplay. If they ask you, that is fine, but never put them on the spot. You are requesting their wisdom, not their rolodex!

When it comes time for your call or meeting, make sure you are prepared. Have your questions ready. PLEASE don’t have them generate the conversation. If you need to, call some friends and brainstorm questions to ask. During my 10 Tips YouTube series on “Getting a Mentor” I interviewed Kevin E.West, a wonderful actor, speaker and president and founder of Actors Network. He feels as strongly as I do about this whole notion of being prepared. Here’s what Kevin had to say. “What do you really want from your mentor? Always know what you really want. Write it down. Make sure you have a list of questions. Write them down. Role play those questions with yourself and others before you get on the phone and understand that they are going to ask you questions. So you have to do research… you have to know your audience. You can’t go into a conversation asking someone to help you out if you don’t know a little bit about what they do… maybe where they’re from… how their day goes. Do as much research as you can to find out all the moving part of this person’s life.

“We don’t tend to spend enough time doing research,” says Kevin, “and we don’t spend enough time being really clear about exactly what we want… in steps… what I want now, two months from now, six months from now, a year from now, from this person that I’m engaging as a mentor.”

Take Kevin’s brilliant advice and be prepared. Do your research about your mentor and have your questions ready.

In my final article, I’ll address the topic of mentor etiquette… the important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when you are interacting with your mentor. In the meantime, I would suggest you continue to work on your list of possible mentors, begin work on your letters and start preparing questions. And certainly tune in to the Master Talent Teachers’ website to watch my video on this topic.

Mentor-part1

How to Get a Mentor – Part 1

In all my years in the entertainment industry, I’ve come to believe that having mentors is one of the single most important things you can do to help speed up your career and ensure your success.

There are so many aspects to this topic that I’m going to break this into three separate articles and in each article I’ll address different issues. For now, my focus will cover these areas: A) Why should we have a mentor? B) What is a mentor? C) Who makes a good mentor?

Firstly, why have a mentor? Well if you haven’t noticed there are 7 billion of us on the planet. And chances are there are tons of people who have done what you are planning to do. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and I think in the entertainment industry we often feel like we’re a Lone Ranger. And you don’t have to be. The one thing that all human beings have in common is that we love to contribute, so please allow people to contribute to you. It will help you avoid a ton of mistakes and open up doors that can save you years moving forward in your career.

What is a mentor? A mentor is someone you respect and who is in a position to advise you on your project goals, your strategic plan, your target list… even help you finesse your pitch. You can also request guidance on areas where you’re stuck. A mentor, in a sense, is an advisor. What they are not however, is a coach. So please don’t expect them to be. A coach is someone whose job is to kick your butt and push you outside your comfort zone. Like a coach in sports or a career coach. So with a coach, if you are making promises to make five phone calls today or send out twenty headshots or write five pages of a script, they will hold you accountable to that. That is what a coach does. That’s their job. That is not the job of a mentor. A mentor is more of an advisor.

Who makes a good mentor? Once again, it will be someone who you respect who can advise you. And it is not necessarily someone who does what you do (although it certainly can be). For example, a mentor for a writer who wants to sell his screenplay, may be a director of development, or a reader or a producer. For an actor, it may not be an agent or senior actor, it may be the supervising producer of that TV series you love, or a director you respect. Also, a good mentor is not necessarily the biggest name. Often the big names are too busy to give you the time and attention, so I always suggest that you have an A list and a B list. Write down the names of four or five people that are the big names and four or five people that are the more “gettable” names.

When I was shooting my “10 Tips” YouTube series on this topic, I had the pleasure of interviewing writer/director/producer, Heather Hale, who has had a number of mentors in her career and has been a mentor herself. We discussed the question, who makes a good mentor? Here is what she had to say.
“I would encourage people to make a hit list of ten people who wear different hats. Shoot for the pie in the sky person, but don’t have a list of ten pie in the sky names.” One of the things that helps Heather create her list is looking at her all-time favorite films. “Make a list of your top ten movies,” she says. “Who worked on those films? Who is it that shares your value system, shares your sensibility? Look at who would you be honored to work with and go after them as a mentor.”

As I mentioned I will be writing two more articles on this topic and in the next one I’ll focus on how to approach the mentor you want. I’ll look at how to best use their time and I’ll address the importance of being prepared. Then in my last article I will go over the necessity of mentor etiquette and look at all the do’s and don’ts. However, in the meantime, work on your A and B list. And if you decide to move forward and start approaching possible mentors, it is essential that you treat it like a business arrangement and also make it easy for them to say yes by keeping the time requirement brief. In the Flash Forward workshops I led over the years I suggested three ten-minute conversations over a four week period, or a half hour coffee meeting or a one hour lunch meeting for example. Something that makes it easy and doable for them.

Brand_to_Buzz-part3

The Savvy Actor: From Brand to Buzz Part 3

Creating the Buzz

If no one knows you exist, it is going to be difficult, if not near impossible, to book work as an actor. Your job as an actor is to know what you sell (refer back to Part 1 of this video series) as well as how to package your product to position you in the industry for the work you want to book (refer back to Part 2 of this video series). Now it is time to explore the role of publicist and create your own Buzz!

One way to create your own buzz is by using the free form of promotion that is accessible to us all – Social Media. You must use social networking as a business tool. We spoke on a panel about social networking at Actorfest a few years back and even then it became clear the impact that social media had on our business. A gentleman on the panel, Michael Salort, who at the time worked for Personal Screen Media, told a story of a web series he was working on. It came down to two women for the lead role. They liked both women very much and did not know whom to choose. So…….they “googled” them. The woman who was the most Google-able got the job! She had more friends, followers and influence over her community.

From a producer perspective, think about it, if she has more friends, followers and influence, who do you think is going to bring more butts in seats to watch the web series? Who do you think is going to bring more money to the project and therefore increase its overall success? Like it or hate it, but it makes complete sense from a business perspective.

How can you compete in this biz? By showing the industry that you have clout in your community. And social networking is the tool to do it.

First and foremost, get your name on everything. Your name is a big part of your Brand. You need to be found and found easily. If you have a common name like ‘John Smith’, you might have to choose a variant. For example, you could use ‘JohnSmithActor’ or ‘JohnSmithOfficial’ or ‘TheJohnSmith’ or ‘TheOfficialJohnSmith’. But whatever you choose, be consistent with it across all platforms. Consistency is key.

As you are using the social media platforms, make it Brand centric. Everything you do shapes and affects your personal Brand. Using social media is no exception. Pay attention to your content and word choice and make sure it reflects your Brand to the world.

Remember, It’s not all about you. Provide value to people. Sure social networking can be about shameless self-promotion, but in order to get people to listen to your successes and self-plugs, you need to cut through all the noise and provide value to your followers. Social networking is not all about you. Make it about other people and give people info they will value and use. That could be as simple as sharing article or making people laugh. Give people a reason to be a fan and follower.

Three Tips to Creating Buzz on Social Networking:

  1. Choose a site and start working it!
    There are a handful of main Social Networking sites we could be on. So pick one and just start! Here’s a breakdown on the different feel of each site.

    Facebook: The Party. Facebook is more of a social site. It is a less formal and more about building relationships and connecting on a personal level. A great site to give shout outs to others and expand your network.

    Twitter: The Conference. Still a social component but with only 140 characters brevity is key as is sharing info and your point of view. Since Twitter is all about followers not friends, give people a reason to follow you!

    LinkedIn: The Business Meeting. The more formal of the sites. LinkedIn is a great way to connect to other folks in the industry like producers, directors, etc. With a built in introduction system, connecting to folks is easy and done in a much more business formal way.

    YouTube: The Media Outlet. Create your own YouTube Channel and post your content for the world to see. Not necessarily a social media site, but YouTube is great in terms of Search Engine Optimization and getting your name and talent out into the world.

  2. Give yourself a structure.
    The best way to get something accomplished is to have a system! The same applies to social networking. Sometimes knowing what to post can be challenging, but by giving a theme to each day of the week you’ll always know what you’re posting about.

    So here’s an example. Let’s say you are a female comedienne who also loves dogs. How about this for a structure -

    • Monday – Give a shout out to a friend or colleague
    • Tuesday – Share an article you like that has to do with the industry or comedy
    • Wednesday – Post a photo of your dog
    • Thursday – Give another shout out to a friend or colleague
    • Friday – Share a success in your life or career
    • Saturday – Share a favorite quote from a famous comedienne
    • Sunday – Share something funny that has happened to you

    When following a posting schedule, remember to keep in mind the Marketing Rule of 7. It takes the average person 7 times to see something before they take action on it. So get your name out in the world and build clout for yourself.

    A great tool to accomplish a daily posting schedule is HootSuite. It is a free online tool to schedule your updates across multiple social media platforms.

  3. Be interactive!
    Don’t forget that the main reason to do all this posting in the first place is to create, build and maintain relationships. So make sure to not just post updates, but also to interact. Comment on other people’s posts, share other peoples statuses, favorite other people’s tweets. Connect with people! Keep in mind that the point of social networking is still to be social.

Follow these 3 tips, provide value and let the Marketing Rule of 7 work in your favor as you create your own buzz and get your Brand known in the social media sphere.

The Savvy Actor: From Brand to Buzz Part 2

The Savvy Actor: From Brand to Buzz Part 2

How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Part 1 of this series was all about creating your Brand. You MUST understand your product before you sell your product. You can’t be all things to all people. It doesn’t work. 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.

Once you know your Brand, you need to package that Brand. We are keen consumers as a culture. We can tell the difference between good packaging and bad packaging. How many of you walk into a wine store and buy a bottle of wine purely on the label? Enough said. Packaging speaks volumes.

Packaging you is like packaging a product, or a company or a celebrity. Before you get out there and promote yourself, you need to have a package

How do you package yourself? Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your position in the marketplace? (i.e. Commercial, Film, TV)
  • Who is your target demographic? ( i.e. Commercial Casting? Film Casting?)

Knowing your target audience will help you frame your package and your product for the correct audience and buyers. To help identify your target audience once you know your Brand, we recommend using Casting About! They are awesome!

Your packaging needs to capture you. It will give people a visceral feel about who you are and what you do. The more you understand packaging and do the work in creating your materials, you will feel confident about it and that confidence will also exude from your materials.

How can you make your Brand be familiar to casting directors, producers, and directors? It’s all in the packaging.

Headshot

Your headshot must incorporate your essence. Doing the Brand work before getting your headshots taken is key.

A lot of the time when getting headshots taken, actors rely on mood. They have their commercial smiley shot, their theatrical dark shot, their sexy shot, etc. If your playing mood in your pictures you’re being vague not specific. Being specific in your headshot is what allows your essence to shine through. Bring yourself and your Brand to each of your different looks.

Pay attention to the colors and backgrounds that photographers use as you are doing your research for headshot photographers. The background is going to enhance the story that you tell and help serve your specific market niche. For example, if your Brand is warm and sophisticated you probably don’t want to be photographed against a chain link fence. That most likely won’t serve you. That background doesn’t help tell your story or sell your Brand. Find what will.

Fonts

Actors tend to choose their font at random or play it safe with Times New Roman and Arial. Fonts tell stories as too. Fonts are used to create a mood and a feel. There are comic fonts, bold fonts, sweet fonts, simple fonts, fun fonts, etc. There are handwritten, serif, sans serif, or script fonts.

What type of font reflects what you are selling? Each and every font says something different about you. Again, make sure that the font supports your Brand and what you are selling.

Think about Coca Cola. They use a very particular font that represents their Brand. We see that font in our minds eye as soon as someone says Coca Cola. Do the same thing for you and find that font that represents you that you can use consistently in your packaging and Brand in people’s minds.

Color

Color can add to the visceral feel of your packaging and marketing tools. Keep in mind that whatever color(s) you choose also needs to reflect your Brand. Just like font, you can use color to tell your story.

If you are a girl next store, pastels may work. If you are an intense person, a deep red or purple may work. If you’re earthy, browns and oranges may work. Think about the color you choose in conjunction with the Brand that you’re selling.

The other thing with color is we all think similarly about them. There is a commonality that we all share almost instantaneously. Blue to the majority of us means: calm, conservative, the ocean, cool. Green to the majority of us means: earthy, warm, energy, the environment. Use this to your advantage to position yourself how you want to be seen.

This color is what your going to use on your website, your resume, your business cards etc. What is that color that best represents you and your essence? Color in conjunction with font is very powerful because you’re sharing with people your story and who you are right away.

Resume

All too often we see resumes that are neat and somewhat organized, but that are missing the most important quality –your essence. A resume should give its readers insight into who you are and your Brand.

Take your font and color and add them to your Resume. Why not add a hint of color that showcases you! Printing has come an awful long way where we can do that now. Being able to use spot color on your resume pulls the eye to what you want the reader to see.

Ultimately it is your face and your name that are your logo. Make the most of it!

The roles don’t have to be in chronological order. List them in a way to showcase your Brand and what you sell. There is also no need to put every show you have ever done. The roles should be a representation of you and your brand.

Need help I crafting your resume? Check out The Savvy Actor Resume Guide

Moving Forward

Think about your Brand and your packaging currently. Are you helping tell your story? Or are you doing yourself a disservice? Think about how you can make it all make sense and make you familiar to the industry.

Remember, packaging gives information faster than we can explain it using words. Fonts and colors that make up good packaging enhance that tenfold.

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The_Savvy_actor-Branding

The Savvy Actor: From Brand to Buzz, Part 1

Branding
This 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.